DIARY: Thirty Club gets porky pie-er, troop electrifier and media high-flyer

You've got to hand it to Robin Wight. Fortunately, that's what the Thirty Club did. The chairmanship, that is. And the bow-tied one hasn't disappointed.

Charged with putting together a programme of speakers to address adland's finest over the coming months, Wight has assembled a positively stellar line-up. Proof if ever it were needed that WCRS's chairman may be the subject of much merriment for having the sartorial style of a children's entertainer but has a contacts book to wipe the smirk off any rival's face.

Normally, Thirty Club openness about upcoming activities is about as common as a snowflake in August. However, Wight has found it impossible to resist a bit of trumpet-blowing about the goodies he has in store.

On 13 January, it will be time to microwave the shepherd's pie and crack open the Krug for Prisoner FF8282. Having finished his high-profile spell of porridge, Jeffrey Archer, the sometime Tory Party deputy chairman and, more recently, theatre tea boy, will doubtless be recalling the delights of slopping out. But preferably not before dinner.

On 10 February, atten-shun for Lieutentant Colonel Tim Collins, the cigar-chomping former commanding officer of the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq, famous for his Henry V Agincourt-style eve-of-battle speech to his troops.

Doubtless, though, there will not be a spare seat in the place on 8 June for Jean-Marie Messier. A living metaphor of our times, Messier was the high-altitude chief executive of Vivendi Universal who flew too close to the sun when trying to transform a French utilities company into an international entertainment and media conglomerate.

He promises to reveal how one day he was the one of the world's most powerful media moguls (after the Dirty Digger), and how the next day he wasn't.

So how do you top all that? Wight isn't saying but he is letting it be known that he's awaiting responses from Downing Street and Buckingham Palace for the April and May slots.

Sorry Robin, HRH doesn't do the after-dinner circuit. Not even for you.


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