To posh modern restaurant/brasserie/bar/whatever Manicomio in the City this morning for the launch breakfast to mark the publication of the new Direct-to-consumer Investment Platform report, co-authored by Platforum boss Holly Mackay, her team and yours truly.
A good event in almost every respect – good venue, good turn-out, good coffee-and bacon sandwiches, good presentations, good advance orders – except one. Bear in mind that Holly sends out a weekly newsletter that goes, I think, to about 8,000 people in and around the industry. And then imagine my distress and alarm when she says that she has found out something she didn’t know about me, and then when I ask what it is she just starts humming the tune which I instantly recognise as “underground overground wombling free.”
Yes, someone has spilled the beans (I expect a Womble will clear them up) and it’s not so much the cat but rather the Womble that is out of the bag. Four million years ago, it is true, I did spend a few surprisingly agreeable months playing the bass guitar in Mike Batt’s great Womble enterprise. Honest, guv, cross my Womble heart, I never wore the Suit (you didn’t really need to in the orchestra pit or the recording studio) and sadly I didn’t appear on TOTP. But I did play the tunes, and four million years later I reckon I probably still could, or at least most of the famous ones.
I sometimes tell this story on a one-to-one basis, on occasions when I think a desperate move is required to make me seem a bit more interesting. But I fear that Radio Holly is going to broadcast it on a one-to-eight-thousand basis in 24 hours’ time – not sure how I feel about being quite as interesting as that.