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Sleuth 11/05/07

On Gallic vulgarity, hernias and a Baddiel day at the office for Chelsea

Published on May 11th 2007.

Sleuth 11/05/07

Rude Frenchman shock
PY Gerbeau is Executive Director of Capital & Regional. He was the flamboyant Gaul who tried to turn around the Millennium Dome. On Wednesday he was a keynote speaker at the North West Tourism Conference at the Lowry on Salford Quays. Sleuth learns that he was forthright to say the least. Talking about customer service he recalled a flight with Iberia Airlines, “I piss on Iberia. I piss on them,” he said. Then he demonstrated what it would be like to piss on an airline with the requisite actions – very Peter Street, very Friday night. He trumped that though when he recalled coming up to Manchester, “I met this small, ugly man who turned out to be your Sir Howard Bernstein, and he persuaded me to buy the Great Northern Goods Warehouse and now we’re stuck with it.” Fortunately Sir Howard Boss, as we call him, wasn’t there. Still at Confidential we think this is terribly rude, after all Monsieur Gerbil isn’t much of a looker. Anyway at Confidential we love our Chief Executive so much we've turned a corner of the office into a shrine for Sir Boss. We light candles there and put flowers in vases. There’re lots of very bright gold ornaments too and a comb which we symbolically move over our head occasionally. All praise Sir Boss.

Song and dance in London
Sleuth was down in London for a couple of days this week checking out the local landmarks, galleries and best restaurants, his hat pushed to a rakish angle, a confident and dapper diplomat for Manchester. He stayed in City Inn, Westminster, and got a view of the Thames. He also found a copy of the Manchester International Festival brochure on the hotel table in his suite. “Is there one of these in every room or is this just here for my benefit?” asked Sleuth of the boss and founder of the City Inn group, David Orr. “There’s one in every room in the hotel,” the gent affirmed. City Inn is opening a Manchester hotel later this month just over from Piccadilly Station and will be working with the Festival. But Sleuth was still impressed by this promotion of our big event down in London.

What? Where? Here – are you sure?
Speaking of Manchester International Festival, Sleuth hears of a recent meeting between an associate of the Festival and some Channel Erm producers. All the producers were surprised to learn of the Festival’s very existence. Blank looks all round that this star-studded and important event was happening in Manchester and starting as far away as June. Tut, tut indeed. As our fine local paper, the Manchester Evening News, is a key sponsor of the Festival, and part of the selfsame Guardian Media Group, this is a bit naughty to say the least. Finger on the pulse, folks, please.

Chin and the Special One
Sleuth was invited by a friend to the Chelsea v United game at Stamford Bridge when he was in London. The Manchester team were given a guard of honour after taking the Premiership away from the Cockney Blues. Sleuth was sat with the Chelsea fans and David Baddiel was a couple of seats away. The game was a dreary 0-0 draw. Chelsea fans have a song featuring their manager’s name, Jose Mourinho, to the tune of ‘O sole mio’. After his chin-up gestures when Chelsea lost the title last Sunday, the several thousand United fans responded with a jolly ‘Chin up, Mourinho’ song to the same tune with the same gesture. David Baddiel looked as if he was sucking a lemon. Where has that man’s sense of humour gone? Oh, yea, he never had one. (And for those who now wish to point out that United is really in Trafford, not Manchester , you can fill in the rant reply below).

Holding up well
Sleuth loves the crazy, zany conferences that come to G-Mex, sorry Manchester Central now it’s changed its name. The delegates like him too and have asked him to speak at several events. Sleuth can make no claims about the British Insurance Brokers Association meeting but the European Microwave Week was electric, whilst the Association of British Anaesthetists was a gas. A couple of weeks ago at a conference sponsored by medical company BARD Sleuth was doing a bit of public speaking. Nothing was working so he pointed at the BARD name and strapline which read, ‘BARD, Total Hernia Solutions.’ “Hey,” he quipped desperately, “did the old strapline of Partial Hernia Solutions, not work?” Time to exit stage left. The host crowd offered no support at all.

Elderly soap-star takes a walk down the aisle
Earlier this week Sleuth’s compadre Gordo was stocking up in the only Sainsbury’s with a split personality: Regent Road Salford. You can do socio economic studies at the till from studying trolley content. Ten cartons of Marlborough lights, three bottles of Sunny Delight, four loaves of white bread and a case each of Monster Munch and Budweiser in one, and a whole array of organic produce in trolley number two. The buyer at this store must be a genius. Anyway bang, Gordo is mown down by a lady with a runaway trolley. This turns out to be driven by Sue Nicholls aka Audrey Roberts, off Coronation Street. “I am most awfully sorry”, says Sue in her surprisingly refined silver spoon voice. “Oh Gordo sweetie, it’s you. Now where should I be going for dinner tomorrow night? Is The French on form”? Blimey, it takes all sorts here thought Gordo as he pushed his trolley of Marlborough lights, three bottles of Sunny Delight, four loaves of white bread and a case each of Monster Munch and Budweiser off into the evening.

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Sleuth likes to put some entertainment in his weekly roundup. Here’s eccentric Devendra Banhart from Texas doing a cover of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis. Devendra even makes Noel Gallagher’s unintelligible lyrics sort of make twisted sense - click here. If anybody out there does know how to slip inside the eye of their mind please could you let Sleuth know.

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kathyMay 11th 2007.

Davina..........you should have gone to specsavers

DavinaMay 11th 2007.

I think Sir Howard Bernstein's really fit

GeorgeMay 11th 2007.

The worst line has to be that crap Stock, Aitken and Waterman song which began, 'I'm going to write a classis, I'm going to write it in the attic.'

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