Editing the Diary is investigative journalism at its most incisive,
involving hours probing people on how they lost their virginity. This
week’s tale concerns William Eccleshare, outgoing chairman of Ammirati
Puris Lintas, and headhunter Gay Haines - or, to be more accurate, her
Eccleshare and Haines had their first meeting at the Ivy on the last
Wednesday of November 1990. Haines had just been hired as J. Walter
Thompson’s new-business director, Eccleshare was deputy managing
director. After the usual pleasantries, Eccleshare asks Haines where she
lives. She names the street of Eccleshare’s first girlfriend. ’Oh,’ he
says, ’I lost my virginity on Parkhill Road, what number do you live
at?’ ’36,’ says Haines.
’Then I lost my virginity on your kitchen floor,’ Eccleshare
And the pair have been best friends ever since. Haines even put
Eccleshare into APL (so, on reflection, she has a lot to answer for) and
they have an annual reminisce at the same Ivy table on the last
Wednesday of November.