Diary: Gloves come off as party mix-up escalates rivalry

It's no surprise that two titans of the publishing world, IPC and BBC Magazines, are fierce rivals, but in the world of post-ABC parties, the battle has just gone nuclear.

A few years ago, it was simple. Guests would descend on the BBC Magazines bash on the Thursday evening and set their alarm for the IPC breakfast on Friday morning.

No longer. Now, both shindigs are held on a Thursday night. This year, IPC held its event at its shiny new Blue Fin Building in Southwark, while BBC Magazines chose a plush hotel in Covent Garden.

So far, so good. But a last-minute delay to IPC's party start-time meant incensed BBC executives were left mingling alone in the hotel, while, over at SW6, guests necked Champagne, which may or may not have been a deliberate act.

Diary understands that behind-the-scenes shuttlebuses and pre-paid taxis, and even a helicopter to fly from the top of the building, were being entertained as possible travel options.

IPC and the BBC have battled it out in the worlds of TV listings and gardening mags over the years, but we all know which "numbers" will come under the most scrutiny in the next period of ABC figures. It's all a matter of timing, really.