DIARY: Wax lyrical as Howell plays the straight man

The audience at last week's IPA Effectiveness awards was treated to a comedy double act when Ruby Wax left them in stitches while twisting the knife into the IPA's president, Rupert Howell (yes, him again).

The warning signs were there when Wax recalled a previous gig with John Bartle. Wax said she found his hair a little unnatural and accused him of using dye. 'Yours doesn't look too natural either,' she told Howell.

And she didn't stop there. Howell complained that the audience wasn't listening to his pleas for quiet. 'It's because you're boring,' quipped Wax, who got extra laughs when she handed her business card out to all the winners after bemoaning the fact she'd been replaced by Griff Rhys Jones in the Vauxhall campaign.

And when she broke one of the IPA trophies, Wax was quick to come up with an alternative usage. 'You could use it as a cat flap - or if you're only a one-star winner, stick the spike into one of your veins,' she crowed.