DIARY: Collister takes classes to hone comedy skills

As if standing up in front of clients and waxing lyrical about their products wasn't nerve-wracking enough, the ehsbrann creative chief, Patrick Collister, decided that what the agency needed was a trip to the school of hard knocks, and hired a comedienne to teach staffers the fine art of stand-up comedy.

The cherry-on-top incentive, or rather threat, was that the experience was to be topped off with an evening of hilarity when the crazy gang who'd signed up for some rib-tickling coaching would show off their skills to an exclusive, hand-picked gathering of supportive, albeit rather drunken, staffers.

Despite the evening going off without a hitch, during which the account director, Angus Crowther, revealed that he was the proud owner of a lesbian grandmother, and the Italian art director, Carla Greco, confided that she'd only stayed in London after her first visit because her car was clamped by an over-amorous traffic warden, it seemed that the person most troubled by the whole affair was Collister himself.

"I was bricking myself,

he says candidly. "But the really scary thing? Having your script ripped apart ruthlessly and without mercy. That hadn't happened to me for 15 years,

he sobs. Well, now you know how it feels.

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