7.30pm - Sound, Leicester Square John de Napoli of Carlton Digital
Sales, which sells spot advertising for pop channel The Box, shoves free
drinks vouchers into our sweaty palms. Four vodkas, eight beers, four
white wines and four Tia Marias - junior sales execs who have raided their
parents’ drinks cupboards feel cheated.
Carlton Digital Sales’ ad director David Sanderson - known fondly as ’The
Colonel’ - strolls up. ’I’ve got my best clubbing gear on,’ he says,
showing off his pristine blue shirt, freshly ironed slacks and shiny
9pm - Pop bambina Billie bursts on stage sporting a small glittery outfit,
much to the delight of the audience of late 20- and early 30-something
planner/buyers, who sing along and ogle with gusto. ’Britney’s already
done this cover version,’ I overhear one buyer say with authority.
Billie is followed by Girl Thing - in my old age, I have never heard of
them. Heather Small of M People fame tops the bill - now, M People I can
10pm - Find Nick Downes, sales director of The Box, loitering behind a
speaker and drag him off to the bar for more vodka. De Napoli calls me
over to meet his ’crew’ and plants a Mafia-style kiss on my forehead.
One of de Napoli’s posse turns out to be John Barnes - you know, the
footballing fella of World Cup rapping fame.
’Is that the John Barnes,’ I hiss in his ear. ’We grew up together,’ says
de Napoli with a dismissive wave of his hand.
11.30pm - Our broadcast reporter Rachel Minter gets enticed on to the
dancefloor by a Carat buyer who is twice her height. She tells him she’s
going to the loo and leaves - an old trick, but a very effective one.