When you're pitching for a top piece of business, you want everything to go like clockwork. So when Dan Clays, the department head of interactive TV at Quantum New Media, and Dom Mansour, an associate director, went in to pitch for a consultancy project at Tiger Aspect Productions, they were less than delighted to find that a seemingly tired and emotional journalist from Campaign would be present.
The sartorially challenged hack, sporting gelled-down hair and a wide side parting, broke from traditional business ranks and started stroking one of the Quantum team's legs under the table. Undeterred, Clays carried on, paying no attention as the 'reporter' knocked over a glass of water and waved a dictaphone frantically around the room. He then passed Mansour a piece of paper with a cartoon character scrawled on it saying 'Wot No Broadband', while rubbing up against him discreetly.
Professional to the last, Mansour struggled on, pretending to ignore the increasingly eccentric reporter, who shook his arm to show him his mobile phone, saying: 'Look at this filth!' After half an hour the pitch was concluded - but the show was not yet over for the sweating presenters, as the reporter asked to take some photos. He leapt on to the table and demanded that the pair roared like tigers for the camera. When they were slow to respond, he went a deep shade of vermillion and knocked over a plate of biscuits until the two duly obliged.
It was just as our journalist had the terrified pair waving their hands behind their backs to mimic tails that an editor from Channel 4 walked in shouting 'cut'.
The two had been royally stitched up by a Dom Jolly-esque imposter for a pilot spin-off from Trigger Happy TV.
'It was the most bizarre start to the day,' Clays recalls. 'I knew something was up but if you're pitching for business you've got to stay professional. But it was difficult when someone was telling you to growl like a tiger.'