Rich pickings for Diary at last week's Communications Directors'
Forum, on board the P&O cruiser Oriana.
Liberal Democrat comms chief David Walter proved his crisis skills when
he locked himself on his deluxe balcony with an urgent meeting to attend
elsewhere on the ship. Walter called Lib Dem HQ in London on his
mobile... who called P&O... who relayed a message to the bridge... which
eventually sent a minion to liberate the liberal.
This tale was not hardcore enough for those (including Diary) who
witnessed a fight break out on the dance floor of Harlequin's disco.
Faultless innocent Narda Shirley, Gnash Communications CEO, was assailed
by an attendee of another business forum on board and found herself
subject to a barrage of abuse, followed by a maniacal lunge.
Ever the gallant gentleman, Virgin Mobile corporate affairs director
Steven Day intervened. Using his 'extensive karate training', Day
stopped the carnage, receiving a punch in the face and a bitten hand for
his trouble. He was still showing off his bruised mitt as the Isle of
Wight came back into view.
Despite being trapped on board for four days, a good time was had by
almost all. Almost, because certain senior PR industry figures managed
to secure themselves a Blighty halfway through.
Richard Branson aide Will Whitehorn, with two prior engagements in
London late on Saturday, was given a lifeboat ride to Jersey where a
helicopter carried him home. After a thirst-quenching night in
Harlequin's, Whitehorn was told his launch was ready. 'An air ambulance
would be more appropriate,' was his jaded response.