The Media Bitch Awards 2008

Media Week has followed the antics of media-land closely over the past year. Here, we honour those schmoozers, boozers and groovers who make our industry so entertaining with the inaugural Media Bitch Awards

The Media Bitch Awards 2008
The Media Bitch Awards 2008

Luncher of the Year
The accolade of Luncher of the Year has been snatched from the chops of reigning champion Lawson "the Lunchmeister" Muncaster by Five's new chief executive Dawn Airey. When Airey is not watching the Coronation Street omnibus, she can be found lunching at The Ivy - so regularly, in fact, that the eaterie gave her a commemorative plate after she dined there five times in one week. Impressive.

Media's Most Plastered
Media-landers are an accident-prone bunch, with UBC's chief operating officer John Quinn suffering two shoulder operations, a knee operation and a broken neck in the past year alone. However, Quinn has been pipped to the title of Media's Most Plastered by Mike Colling, managing director of MC&C, who fractured his ankle by tripping over the kerb on leaving a breakfast meeting on Rathbone Place. The jury is still out on whether Colling was actually sober at the time.

Biggest Football Fan
The contest for Biggest Football Fan was a game of two halves between Tim Bleakley, managing director, sales of CBS Outdoor, and Andy Barnes, sales director at Channel 4. Barnes, who attends Arsenal games with his son James and M&C Saatchi boss David Kershaw, is our runner-up thanks to his obsessive collection of "virtually every match-day programme since 1963". However, Bleakley won on penalties when Bitch heard how he watched Manchester United win the Champions League final in Moscow, before flying through the night to be back at his desk by 9am.

Media's Most Stylish
Many would lay claim to this title, with the industry's peacocks taking every opportunity to parade their latest shiny footwear and sharp tailoring (and that's just the men). However, this year no one has outdressed David Weeks, ad director at The Economist, who stole the show at Media 360 in a brilliantly coloured blue suit, teamed with white shoes. Weeks could even match the hue of his jacket to a shade on the Farrow and Ball paint chart - Lulworth Blue, if you're interested.

Party Animal of the Year
Again, a hotly contested category, with some of the press reprobates on the Feather Brooksbank golf trip still propping up the bar at 8.30am (David Emin and friends, that means you). However, this year's best-loved party animal is Dan Botten, (right) research manager at Guardian News & Media, who was photographed fast asleep at 2am at the Media Week Awards. Sorry, Dan - we really will let sleeping dogs lie now.

Most Dangerous Media Jolly
Media-land is surprisingly reluctant to share its antics on media jollies with Media Bitch. However, one tale that did reach Bitch's ears was Carat managing director Neil Jones' near-death experience on the Aegis ski trip back in January. The trip - where the skiing was so hardcore that one client flew home after the first morning - saw Jones misjudge a jump over a crevasse, leaving him clinging on to a rock over a 30-foot drop. Rather too close to the film Touching the Void for comfort.

Most Talked-About Sales Conference
The credit crunch has downsized media sales conferences - forget Barbados, it's more like Plymouth (BlowUP), Brighton (Clear Channel) or Portsmouth (Five) these days. However, The Mail on Sunday did manage to escape to the more exotic climes of Cyprus, where Simon Davies, now ad director for the Evening Standard and London Lite, was at the centre of what has become known as "Dressinggowngate". Thankfully, Davies did see the funny side... eventually.

Party of the Year
Obviously, the party of the year was the Media Week Awards - where else can you spot Northern & Shell's Stan Myerson dancing enthusiastically with Mindshare's Paul Thomas at 4am? However, honourable mentions go to Claudine Collins' 40th birthday party, the Cuban-themed NABS Big Bash, NatMags' 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty event, and the much-hyped Facebook party. Oh, and the leaving drinks for Simon Daglish (from Global/GCap, above), Richard Firminger (from Yahoo), and Greg Grimmer (from Zed Media) - all went with a definite bang.

New Starter of the Year
Steve Atkinson (above) gave a textbook lesson in how to start a new job when he joined Clear Channel as group sales director. Forget actually turning up for work on your first day - celebrate your birthday the night before and take the day off with a hangover instead. And why stop at an afternoon watching golf in the pub, when you can fly up to Edinburgh to squeeze in a golf jolly as well? Graduates, watch and learn.

Best Industry Golfer
Talking of golf, MPG's Jim McDonald has shown form on the fairway this year, captaining the Established Media Industry Figures team to victory in the long-anticipated match against the Young Lions. However, media's best golfer is McDonald's office-mate Alan Brydon - the only man in media to win a hole off golf legend Colin Montgomery. So what is Brydon's handicap? An impressive 12 - although rival John Judge from the Telegraph tried to claim Brydon plays off 22.

Best YouTube Moment
Bitch didn't dare imagine that anyone could top last year's best YouTube moment: ShortList Media's anoraked Mike Soutar imploring distributors to start each day with the immortal words: "Smile, it's ShortList Thursday." However, the footage of the RAB's Simon Redican on the dancefloor at the Radio Advertising Awards (search for "Simon Redican Inda House") has done just that - he's the ultimate dad at the disco.

Most Promising Novelist
You would have thought Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy's
Jonathan Durden (pictured, bottom of page) would have had enough of the limelight after his spell on Big Brother. But no: hungry for another five minutes of fame, the erstwhile Media Week columnist turned his hand to novel writing, with publication of the semi-autobiographical Essex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll. But even though literary heavyweight Ziggy from last year's Big Brother attended the launch party in Soho, the opus has yet to top the best-seller charts.

And finally...
This story is not strictly from 2008, but Virgin Media's tale of "Showergate" will wrap up the year's diary stories nicely. Early one morning, Virgin's employees arrived at work to find somebody had - there is no polite way to put this - done a shit in one of the office showers. ID cards were scanned to find out who could have passed through the shower-room doors at the times in question, with the blame eventually pinned on a "visitor". Bitch was out to dinner with IDS boss James Wildman just last week - and he still views the chocolate log option on menus with suspicion.

Who could it be?
Which sensitive TV sales house boss was teased so mercilessly about his new Armani windcheater by his media mates at a football match that he threw the offending jacket on the Tube tracks on his way home?

Which agency chief executive threw up on the pavement outside the nightclub Maya after one too many drinks at the Media Week Awards?

Which agency chief executive flaunted the smoking ban by sneaking a crafty fag under the table at the Media Week Awards?
(Clue: it's not the same one who was sick on the pavement)

Which national newspaper managing director, out drinking with his sales team at Soho House, offered £100 to the first lady to strip off and jump in the pool?

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