The annual Santander Media Quiz saw the great, the good, the bad and the pretty terrible lock horns at one of the pseudo-trendy new bars that accompany the soulless offices developments to have sprung up around Euston Square.
A fierce battle ensued between the 17 groups of well fed and watered hacks to be crowned the team who spends the most time reading irrelevant, rubbish news and celebrity gossip online rather than getting out into the field and bagging some real stories.
And so it was indeed a shock to hear that our hard-nosed journo friends at Money Marketing emerged as victors. The team of seasoned hacks were sitting in 5th place but a cracking 20 out of 20 in the final general news round saw them romp home in the final furlong.
It would be perhaps a little unfair on the hospitable hosts to point out that the wooden spoon winners included three members of staff from the Spanish Bank which laid on the enticing fish cakes, mini burgers and nachos that were quickly demolished in a gluttonous journo feeding frenzy.
However, there was more controversy when it came to the award for best team name. MM felt they were robbed after their well-crafted moniker “The Alan Lakey Spanish Beat Combo” was passed over for what many would consider the top prize of the evening.
Regular readers of the ex-Pink rag may recall the MM columnist’s local difficulties with the Spanish lender in 2012 which saw Alan removed from Santander’s panel following a forthright and colourful tête-à-tête.
Since then the Highclere Financial Services partner’s name has become a swear word that dare not be uttered within Santander’s Euston HQ. “This one’s for Alan,” declared the MM team as they were handed the winning prize by Santander’s media boss as he stood and smiled professionally through gritted teeth.