DIARY: Altruistic Lace falls for audacious wind-up on his Alpine adventures

Holidays are supposed to be a relaxing experience, offering the opportunity to get away from it all. And where better to take a breather than the snow-filled mountains of Switzerland, home of chocolate, cuckoo clocks and, er, money laundering. Allegedly.

So thought TBWA/London's chief executive, Garry Lace, who recently headed out to the picturesque resort of Zermatt for a holiday break.

But one day Lace, who'd carved his way down the last run of the day and was heading for a well-deserved gluhwein or ten (well, what's a holiday for), had his pace interrupted by a pleasant enough looking Swiss man, who politely asked to borrow his phone.

In buoyant holiday mood, Lace readily proffered the goods, thinking it must be for an important call. But as the minutes ticked by, he grew impatient with Swiss Tony, who was taking rather large liberties by chatting away, while also wandering slowly off.

Lace, worried the impudent strudel would do a runner with his mobile, paced round after him, keeping him under a shrewd eye. But just as his good will started wearing thin and he gesticulated he wanted his phone back, another man turned the corner, and Swiss Cheese casually handed him the mobile to join in the conversation.

At this point our enraged altruist couldn't believe the audacity. "I really lost it at that point,

he admits, and with a strangled cry, prepared to hurl himself at the offenders.

But at that moment the two hastily pointed up to a nearby window. Through his red mist, Lace saw a camera's winking eye. Yes, he'd inadvertently been caught on the Swiss version of Candid Camera.

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