DIARY: London-based PROs make pub in Balham the place to be seen

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.

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