DIARY: Before (and after) Forum meetings entertainment aboard the Oriana

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.

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