THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Media Salespeople to have lunch with

1. GUY ZITTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DAILY MAIL

Lunch with Zitter, the man who put the "bull" into ebullient, requires guests to be of a strong disposition. This is not just to cope with copious amounts of food and wine, nor even the chance to share the immense pleasure that Zitter takes in his own achievements, but also his right-wing views and the trashing of rivals. Is it all a front? Who knows, but it's immensely entertaining. Natural habitat: Harry's Bar.

2. MARTIN BOWLEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARLTON SALES

Don't be fooled by the faux-naive "I'm just a boy from Torquay" patter and the Jimmy Page-wannabe poses struck by the world's greatest living air guitarist. The man is a consummate salesmen for whom the pitch is a thing of infinite beauty. Like all good practitioners of the art, Bowley's trick is to make the recipient of his pitch simultaneously warm to him and feel good about themselves. He's also a prompt writer of thank-you notes - even when he's paid for lunch. Natural habitat: The Ivy.

3. PETER SHEA, DIRECTOR OF SALES, SKY

A hangover from the days when lunch was lunch, guests of Shea are advised to cancel all plans for the rest of the day. Lunch can stretch seamlessly into dinner and then who knows what. They are also advised to order heavy-lifting equipment to exit the table and/or a reinforced cab for the journey home. If you can't face that, try a bite with Shea's main man, Mark Chippendale. It's no less entertaining, but an awful lot quicker and healthier. Natural habitat: Langans (where else?)

4. CAROLYN MCCALL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE GUARDIAN

If a traditional newspaper sales lunch is "old cuisine", then lunch with Carolyn McCall is much more "nouvelle". The conversation's more contemporary too, geared as it is to politics, the arts and contemporary culture. A full-on networker and president of WACL, McCall is well up on the jobs gossip. Natural habitat: Smiths of Smithfield.

5. KIMBERLEY FORTIER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE SPECTATOR

Knows everyone from Conrad Black to David Blunkett and the Spice Girls - lunch with Fortier is a privileged peep into London society. Married to the Vogue publisher Stephen Quinn, she can also throw in fashion and Conde Nast gossip for good measure. Natural habitat: Le Caprice.

6. NICHOLAS COLERIDGE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CONDE NAST

Famous for his ability to do five parties a night, you know you're a player if you bag a lunch with Coleridge: even he can't manage more than one lunch a day. The slightly fey manner masks a razor-sharp brain wrapped up with immaculate manners and oodles of old-world charm. And the name dropping isn't really what it seems. He really does know them all. Just make sure you don't end up as the gauche media buyer character in one of his roman a clef s&f novels. Natural habitat: Daphne's.

7. ROGER PARRY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CLEAR CHANNEL

Far too grand to "sell" anything, "Two Brains" Parry nevertheless gives exceedingly good lunch and can put you into the right bits of his burgeoning empire, whether it's posters, radio, taxi sides or concert promotions. Impeccable connections and former career as a journalist make him a grade-A gossip. Natural habitat: The Ivy.

8. MIKE ANDERSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EVENING STANDARD

Ferocious networking ability and access to Associated's bottomless T&E budgets qualify Anderson as a premier luncher at the most basic level. But there's more to lunch with this man than a fat wallet and a bulging waistline. Steer conversation round to his Mad Shower Moments (MSMs); even the work ones are mind-blowing. Natural habitat: Timo.

9. ROB VAN POOSS, SALES DIRECTOR, UKRD

Trained in the Ron Miller school of lunch at London Weekend in the 80s, van Pooss is not the kind of man to allow the passage of time or contemporary social mores to get in the way. What was good for TV in the 80s is good enough for radio in the noughties. Favourite topic of conversation has to be doing the French wine run to top up his cellar. Natural habitat: The French House.

10. LAWSON MUNCASTER, VICE-PRESIDENT OF ADVERTISING SALES, METRO INTERNATIONAL

Despite his tender years, his impressive girth - and his nickname, Awesome Lunchmaster - tells you the man is a already a pro, soon to rival the legendary lunchers of the 80s. A Robbie Coltrane-type bon viveur, he can lunch out on the fact that he was at Gordonstoun with Lord Rothermere. With a few more years under his belt and a better knowledge of wine, he should soon be able to climb up the lunch ladder. Natural habitat: Bar de Marseilles in Brewer St.

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