For London-based PROs in the know, the bar to be seen in is no
longer the Groucho Club or Sugar Reef. Instead, PROs are heading south
of the river to check out the 'happening' Bedford Arms in Balham.
Only last week the pub hosted troubled agency RJH, when the Countess of
Wessex took staff for a 'pounds 15-a-head dinner', described by the News
of the World as a 'morale-boosting exercise'.
Many RJH staff are apparently regulars at the tavern, no doubt drowning
their well-publicised sorrows.
RJH staff are not the only PROs hanging out in Balham, immortalised by
Peter Sellers as the 'Gateway to the South'. Until recently, senior
Labour press officer Jim Godfrey held a regular pianist slot at the
pub's weekly jazz evening.
Surely it can only be a matter of time before the PRCA FrontLine
association joins the line dancing and salsa classes, while there are
unconfirmed rumours that recently-departed Weber Shandwick UK chief exec
Philip Dewhurst masquerades on Sunday lunchtimes as Mr Lolly the
The landlord would like to point out that the sheikh often seen propping
up the bar is a valued customer, with no hidden recording equipment.