DIARY: Less Changing Rooms, more office Antiques Roadshow for Russell

It's damned inconvenient when the builders are in, particularly if you find your desk relocated to a corridor, the space between the loo and the recycling bin or near the lift while whistling workmen spill coffee on your carpet, drop cigarette ash everywhere and poke fun at your photographs of your loved ones.

But Geoff Russell, the director of media affairs at the IPA, who has been turfed out of his comfortable office while the HQ is spruced up, has some reason to celebrate following his encounter with our friends with the tool belts.

With builders carrying out a refurbishment of the Belgravia offices, Russell, who has hoarded pictures and furniture while colleagues through the ages updated with the latest wipe-clean Formica furniture, thought it opportune to find out whether his office was full of tat.

If the inventory revealed that the contents of his office would not have shamed Steptoe's yard, then he would make full use of the builders' skip outside and order in some new stuff.

It's just as well Russell checked before he chucked anything away. The inventory revealed that his 19th-century partners desk, while having an 1850s desk top, was on a 1730s base and had a value of about ten grand, while the rather nice painting on his wall was in fact by Sir David Wilkie, who, as any schoolboy knows, was the painter-in-ordinary to George IV.

The picture had a value of more than £70,000.

Aesthetes will remember that Wilkie is immortalised in JM Turner's A Burial At Sea following his death in 1841 while returning from a trip to the Middle East.

Russell confesses to have always liked the painting and has found it a constant inspiration during some of his bleaker moments at the IPA.

Its subject is a beadle dragging off a family to a workhouse.