Press Awards put diners all in a spin

In a departure from the flying fists and Bob Geldof rants of previous years, jibes about spin took hold at this week's British Press Awards.

Master of ceremonies, Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow, regaled the crowd with a joke about St Peter: the disciple talks of a 'lie clock' that emerges out of us after death. Mother Teresa's never moved, Abraham Lincoln's moved just twice. But Tony Blair's was being used as a ceiling fan in Jesus's office. Ouch.

On receiving the 'political journalist of the year' award, the Independent on Sunday's Francis Elliott just said: 'I'd like to thank the clerk of the committee who answered the question in a straight way.'

Elsewhere, in between cigarette puffs, Diary's host, Camelot comms chief Mark Gallagher, assured us he was relaxed about Tim Bell taking on rival Chariot Lottery. But he has been avoiding Bell since the last time they dined - Gallagher was trying to give up smoking and fell off the wagon under his influence.

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