DIARY: Helen Calcraft makes derriere into the butt of dinner speech joke

So, you are putting on a bit of a corporate do and you have got some money to spend on an after-dinner speaker. Who do you get?

Well, there's Nicholas Parsons, obviously. Tarby and Lynchy are always good for a laugh. We also hear that David Mellor is good value for money these days. But if you're not sold on this bunch of chancers, it's worth considering Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy's chief executive, Helen Calcraft. She may not be as famous as, say, Stephen Fry, for amusing post-prandial chit-chat. Nevertheless, Calcraft's reputation as a spectacular live act is steadily growing.

It all started at last week's WACL forum, during which 12 members of the sisterhood were asked to share their experiences via 15-minute speeches.

Up stepped Sky's Dawn Airey, who decided to throw the stopwatch out of the window, delivering a gargantuan address that clocked in at around the three-quarters-of-an-hour mark.

"Follow that," the crowd seemed to say in a hushed whisper. Well, follow it Calcraft did.

As she mounted the stage and began to orate on the subject of integrity, some members of the audience couldn't help but notice something different about Helen. Was it her hair? Was it her tan? Was it the fact that she was dressed as a nun? Ah yes, that'll be it.

The point of Calcraft's speech was that women in advertising should not let their male colleagues push them around. To exemplify this, she explained how she had once dealt with a male boss during her time at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The man in question had just promoted Calcraft to account director and thought it prudent to advise her that she ought to get her hair cut, as her present style made her look as if she had just been fucked.

How did Calcraft respond to this ill-judged comment, the audience wondered.

"I told him to kiss my arse," she said, before lifting up her habit and showing the entire forum her posterior.

Simple, dramatic, effective. Point well made, Helen.

Rumour has it that Calcraft has since been booked up for Jonathon Ross, Michael Parkinson and Today with Des and Mel.


Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).