Diary: Levy shows caring side in a bet with CNN anchor

To any guests left bewildered by Maurice Levy's sign-off comment during the dinner at Claridge's that Accenture gave in his honour last week, Diary is only too happy to offer an explanation.

The evening took the form of an extended interview between the Publicis Groupe chairman and the CNN business anchorman, Richard Quest.

How much longer was he going to remain at the helm of Publicis, Quest asked his subject. Five more years, the Gallic charmer replied.

And what else did he want to achieve during those five years? Levy answered that, having enjoyed what he called "the long ride", he now wanted to "take the company upside-down".

Minds were boggling at the thought of such perversion. However, there was a reason. Levy and his fellow table guests had agreed they would each donate £100 to the Terrence Higgins Trust if Quest could incorporate Levy's closing remarks into a live broadcast. "Piece of piss," Quest boasted.

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