DIARY: Second career makes Rick a laughing stock

You've got be a bit of a renaissance man to get into direct marketing these days.

First, it helps a great deal if you can write. An understanding of layout is also handy. At some point you'll have to pick up the finer points of data management. And it's quite important that you appreciate the subtle but important difference between, say, a mail pack and an insert.

You'll need to have some knowledge of call centres, the internet, e-mail marketing and interactive TV. And on top of all that, you'll have to practice taking it on the chin when your better-paid above-the-line colleagues accuse you of doing nothing more than making shelf wobblers.

Quite a skill-set, I'm sure you'll agree. Yet this isn't enough for some people: take Rick Kiesewetter, for example. The EHS Brann copywriter has decided his day job doesn't keep him busy enough, so he's been busy earning his crust as a stand-up comedian.

Kiesewetter believes that he is one of the very few Oriental stand-ups working in Britain. Apparently, he got his Germanic surname because he was adopted in Japan by a German man and an Italian woman, thus forming the ultimate Axis powers family.

Since the start of the year, Kiesewetter has appeared on ITV's Take the Mike and Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny and has won the King Gong title at the Comedy Store.

And now the persistent little bugger has made it on to the Diary page - the ultimate accolade.