Diary: Adland chiefs opt for ritual humiliation

Those going along to today's (Thursday) Thinkbox Televisionaries conference are set to witness poptastic antics from some of adland's biggest names.

Word reaches the Diary that as part of the entertainment on offer, three ad industry "stars" have committed their own performances to film as part of the TV trade body's version of ITV's The X Factor.

Competing for praise from Simon Cowell and his fellow panel of judges were Johnny Hornby of CHI & Partners, Stephen Woodford of DDB London and Helen Calcraft of Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy.

Apparently, the trio didn't actually perform live in front of the judges but footage has been cut together by the organisers to make what is clearly a spoof of The X Factor look like a slightly more professional job.

The word from those who did witness the performances suggests that Hornby was the most impressive, drawing gasps of appreciation for his rendition of Brains from Thunderbirds' dance to Snap's Rhythm is a Dancer, which featured in his agency's ad for the launch of Britvic's Drench Water.

Meanwhile, Woodford's interpretation of the Volkswagen Polo "singing dog" and Calcraft's attempts to recapture the magic of her agency's Hovis spot sound like they are set to receive more mixed reactions from the harsh Thinkbox crowd.

They surely can't be as bad as John Sergeant on Strictly Come Dancing though.