DIARY: Barenboim and M&C: different examples of perfect pitch in effect

It's not every day that an ad agency attracts a world-class musician to play a one-off performance. But that was exactly what happened last week when the famous pianist, Daniel Barenboim, flew in from Berlin to play at the offices of M&C Saatchi.

The evening was taking place to launch a film, The Real Jacqueline du Pre, which intended to set straight the record of the life of the cellist and former wife of Barenboim, after the 1998 film Hilary And Jackie had been attacked for allegedly sullying her reputation.

The evening was planned down to the kind of meticulous detail you'd expect from an agency famed for its slick pitch process. One hundred and fifty of London's glitterati thronged in reception, including guests such as Julian Lloyd Webber, the playwright Sir David Hare, the actor Edward Fox and Lord and Lady Rothschild.

However, the one thing the agency's flawless planning could not overcome was the force of nature that, on a couple of occasions, tried its damndest to put a spoke in the well-oiled wheel.

The first sign that things were not going quite as smoothly as planned came when the Barenboim's car broke down - not once, but twice, on the return journey from the airport. Cue panic back at Golden Square.

But after that hurdle had been cleared, anxious agency staff were then faced with the untimely scenario of the building's heating choosing precisely that moment to break down as well. A pantomime scenario occurred behind the scenes as staff ran around with fan heaters to warm up the glamorous guests, who evidently remained blissfully unaware of the saga.

But the famous Saatchi touch was in full force, and the unforseen mishaps were overcome with ease.

Still, if all else had failed, Moray Maclennan, M&C's joint chief executive who's recently taken up piano playing as a hobby, could have impressed the crowd with his well-practiced rendition of that popular party favourite Chopsticks.