Diary: Pollard polishes people skills as PM's protector

Ivan Pollard, who is set to join Naked Communications as a partner in January, has found a few bits and pieces to keep him busy while on gardening leave from his previous employer, Ingram.

Rather than pottering around the tool shed, Pollard, well known for his star turns at TV and outdoor media conferences, took a one-off gig as Tony Blair's chaperone after being drafted in as the moderator of a meeting last week between Blair and 50 Muslims in Leeds.

A stage appearance alongside a Labour prime minister might not exactly be politically neutral, but at least it had the appearance of media neutrality. That is, until you realise this was not the first time Pollard had volunteered to keep an eye on the PM - the booking came about after Pollard had hosted similar events for The Guardian.

Blair's "audience with" passed off peacefully enough, with Pollard managing to tone down some of the more vicious criticism before Blair took questions.

Diplomatic skills that will be well appreciated at Naked.

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