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Correspondent&#39s View

Monday morning finds me staring into a BBC camera with the words “financial expert” quite ludicrously tagged next to my name.

The camera rolls and with that fake self-assurance I learnt from Carol Vorderman when she once recorded a show from my Islington bedroom (and that is absolutely true), I start my expert analysis of Duran Duran, learnt seconds earlier.

Other personal finance editors start the week reviewing the Saturday and Sunday papers and scheduling stories for the days ahead. Not me. I am doing another slot for BBC TV&#39s Liquid Assets programme.

At least this time I know who I am talking about, unlike last week&#39s prog-ramme on someone called Beyonce. (Patrick Collinson is 104 years old).

The show airs on BBC3, often at 2am or 3am so I am not just delighted but rather shocked if anyone sees me on the telly. Shouldn&#39t they be in beddy-bye-bye land at that time?

Obviously not Rob Page of New Star, who emails to ask if that was me he saw late last night on the Abba programme. Yes, I reply – did you hear Dancing Queen, look up and see me? No, he says, it was his wife who pointed me out while he was snuggling up.It gives me a warm feeling that I have been welcomed into the Pages&#39 bedroom.

I sneak into work late from the shoot and hope the boss does not notice. Hooray! He is on holiday, so no chance of an inquisition as to why the Mail on Sunday is about 87 light years ahead of us on the Turner & New-all story.

Good to see my deputy, Phillip Inman, back in the office after a month-long sabbatical. The Guardian gives us a sabbatical every four years, we get every other Friday off plus another 30 days basic holiday. It is the world&#39s very best holiday entitlement.

Yet just hours after ret-urning from his extended holiday, Phillip asks if he can take tomorrow off. This is so shamefully cheeky I ought to grant it. But, pour encourager les autres, he gets short shrift.

Poking around for what to put in next week&#39s issue, my colleague Miles Brignall suggests his father-in-law&#39s hernia. He offers to turn this painful subject into a feature on self-pay •

private medical insurance. Said father-in-law somewhat understandably later backs out of the photo shoot but we continue nonetheless.

Fortunately, Rupert Jones&#39 mother-in-law comes up trumps with her benign tumour. Size of a grapefruit, no less.

The feature gives free rein to the schoolboy mentality on Jobs & Money. We are absolutely delighted to get “tension-free vaginal tape” into the opening spread copy as part of a table on self-pay costs. Vaginal rep-air also gets a look in, as do grommets insertion.

Elsewhere in The Guar-dian, naughty words appear all the time but almost never in Jobs & Money so we grab the chance when we can.

The reader&#39s editor rec-ently analysed the number of times that f**k app-eared in different parts of The Guar-dian. We were the only section to have no f***s at all. Even Obits have more f***s than us while G2 are at it all the time.

As the week progresses, my heart sinks as I realise the copy that I have squandered. Kelly Holmes&#39 triumph in the 800m is greeted with cheers across the office but not by me.

I had a long interview about her and her personal finances in my copydesk a couple of weeks ago and decided to run it at the outset of the Olympics.

Now that she is Britain&#39s golden girl, I realise I should have held on and splashed with: “Kelly Holmes, double Olympic gold champion, speaks exclusively to Jobs & Money about fame, fortune and blah blah blah.”

But I am revived when I hear on Wednesday evening that Chris Addison, our back-page Funny Money columnist, has been nominated for the Perrier Award, the Edinburgh Festival&#39s top accolade. So next week it will be “Chris Addison, Perrier Award winner, speaks exclusively to Jobs & Money about…” You know the score.

As the weekend draws closer, I prepare for the Edin-burgh Festival courtesy of Intelligent Finance which has very intelligently invited me and my partner up.

I am also looking forward to a meeting with Addison and his agent. Then the penny drops. They will be asking for a pay rise if he wins the award.

Patrick Collinson is editor of Jobs & Money at The Guardian •”When you&#39ve just spent £6,000 on something, you don&#39t want to get too violent.” – Nick Bamford of Informed Choice sorts out his computer problems.

What do the Diary and entrepreneur Richard Branson have in common? We both rely on Lansons PR Liz Willder for our mobile phone solutions.

Avid Diary readers may remember Liz&#39s champion effort in tracking down the Diary&#39s mobile phone after a long night on the town and it seems even Sir Richard has taken note of her prowess.

While shepherding journalists around the V-Festival in Chelmsford, Liz was coat-hangered by Sir Richard, perplexed by the workings of his mobile phone.

“Here, you do something for me, fix that,” says the mogul, handing his phone over to our young profess-ional. Without missing a beat, yet another communications conundrum was solved.


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