Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Wrapped Up in Another World; TOON AND COUNTRY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Wrapped Up in Another World; TOON AND COUNTRY

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BANKS

LONDON is another world. To start with, the capital is currently a whole scarf and overcoat warmer than Godzone-on-Tweed.

More than climate, too: fellow hacks at the British Press Awards "do" were wrapped only in their own parochial metro-politics, convinced that all of Britain was as fascinated as they are by the coming mayoral contest between Ken, Boris and The Other Chap.

My reasons for being in The Smoke were twofold: as a BPA judge, I was in town to carouse with the night's Big Winner (the Sun) and commiserate with the Big Loser (the Mirror) on their respective shares of the spoils.

And as a former editor and broadcaster I was down to take part in LBC Radio's Quiz the Candidates show.

I'm still not sure which event left me with the bigger headache. The Park Lane Grosvenor was awash with Piper Heidsieck (currently the editors' champagne of choice) while LBC's unfortunate listeners were drowned in a sea of schmaltz and schmooze, always the politicians' preference.

Talking of politicos, David Cameron was keynote speaker at the Press Awards, traditionally a notoriously difficult audience to control (I know, I've tried) and I was encouraged to hear him describe the blue track-suited Chinese who so rudely pushed and shoved the Olympic flame through London as "goons".

The knowledge that Our Dave "digs" the Dalai Lama will have done nothing to endear him to Beijing.

OLD Bob, my reserve domino partner, is an incorrigible smoker and we lose him between games when he retires to light a "reviver" and glow in the rain and wind and darkness.

So, when a mate of his announced he was taking a fortnight's holiday, Bob was quick to spot a moneysaver.

"Bring me back 200 king-size," he pleaded.

Two weeks later, upon the rover's return, Bob received his reward along with the bill: "That'll be pounds 72," he was told. …

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