The invitation to the Regional Press Club’s Christmas Party at the
Hilton reveals that aperitifs will be served from 11.30am. I have been
12.30pm Things start sedately with carols and an address from
Newsquest’s Sue Bebber, the RPC chairperson. Then it’s time for lunch
and the first game of the day, Reverse Bingo. We all stand and then sit
down when one of our numbers is called. The survivors cringe with
2pm A David Beckham-signed shirt is auctioned for pounds 400. He
presumably couldn’t fit his name on a thong. Newsquest wins the garment
and donates it back to the Starlight Foundation.
3pm It’s the raffle draw and Regional Independent Media’s Terrie
Annocent complains that she never wins anything, oblivious that her
winning number has been called out three times.
3.45pm The festivities are all too much for Jon Clarke, who is fast
asleep at the Northcliffe table.
I head to the loo to escape the next game, Heads and Tails, leaving the
rest to choose whether they should put their hands on their heads or
their arses. Most can’t tell the difference by this stage. The rest of
the afternoon is a blur.