The phrase, we wuz robbed, was used momentarily by us Shaws on Wednesday night as we were pipped to the post (well, beaten by three other entries as it happens but that’s mere detail, surely?) at the Headline Money Awards, with A Shaw Thing not being awarded Column of the Year. I mean, really, who judges these things anyway?
The Hargreaves Lansdown posse were out in force once again, as were former AWD Chase de Vere PR lovelies Anna Bowes and Sue Hannums proudly displaying their silverware and deservedly so. Skipton Financial Services PR Matthew Cox was beaming his way around the Park Lane Hilton, sans MD Simon Holt, who was off gallivanting elsewhere, hence he blew me out for our meeting earlier in the day. Shame on you, Mr Holt.
The night descended into, frankly, a bit of a mess. The Chesterfield Hotel once again played hosts to the unofficial Aegon post-awards press party. I can for once say I was not involved in any of this carnage.
Handbag-style spats between (male) journalists over award winners: rather more than between the ladies.
Injured attendees at industry awards dos: three casualties I witnessed
Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
My social week started with a pre-theatre supper at Marco Pierre White’s Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly, before going off to see Les Misérables at the Queens Theatre as a guest of the genial HBOS investment PR Richard Janes. Considering it is London’s – and I believe, the world’s – longest-running musical, it was amazing that I had not seen it before and it was a real treat.
Friday saw me lunching in the City with the lovely Karen Wagg of Polhill and her PR colleague John Fryer. As well as taking the PR shilling, Fryer, the urbane former labour correspondent of the Sunday Times and business editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, is also an esteemed media trainer, rendering captains of industry fit for public appearances and interrogation by aggressive hacks.
As soon as the weekend passed, I was on a dawn flight to Edinburgh to see those jolly people at Aegon. I am always glad to visit Auld Reekie and it was good to see head of corporate media Lesley McPherson, whom I had not caught up with since the launch of the Thoresen review in March. As luck would have it, she was at the Headline Money Awards the following evening so our planes probably followed each other down the runway.
Number of award winners on the same table as me: an amazing four.
Number of people on our table celebrating their wedding anniversary without their spouse: one (me but I promised I would make it up to him).
Esther Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
And so to the sunny shores of the South of France to watch the Olympic sailing team in action, with Skandia’s top PR team, Alex “why wear pants?” Jones, Charlie “pole-dancing” Musson and Jo “in the hammock” Gilbey. On arrival at our uber-plush hotel, we kicked back by the pool and enjoyed a civilised vin blanc or two as the sun set over St Tropez.
Needless to say, the evening grew a little less civilised as the Sauvignon Blanc was replaced by sambuca, the dining table was turned into an impromptu dancefloor and the Times’ Becky “biblical blonde” O’Connor dived into the pool fully clothed.
While there was a sore head or two the next morning as we climbed aboard our boat, I am glad to report that it did not delay the opening of the first magnum of champagne too long.
Back on shore that evening, we watched the millionaire men in their salmon-coloured trousers parade their trophy wives in front of their gin palaces and laughed as IFA Online’s Hysni “I love alcohol” Kaso crashed and burned as he tried to woo the waitress.
Then to Headline Money and an evening of wine-fuelled fun in the company of Virgin Money’s Jason “42pr” Wyer-Smith and Scott Mowbray.
Post-awards, there were certainly some interesting shapes on the dance floor and freelancer Laura Howard informs me that while she and Jason attempted to do the conga, by the time she got round the whole room and back to the bar, there was still only her and Jace in the train.
Post-Hilton, I somewhat predictably attempted to tinkle the ivories at the Chesterfield but was happy to give up the piano seat to Confused.com’s very own Elton John when I realised I could barely see my own fingers.
Hours spent in A&E by Laura Howard with a damaged toe: several.
Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Helen Pow at helen.pow@ centaur.co.uk telephone: 020 7943 8038