Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Where there's a Will, there's a way

Glad for the chance to help out my old pal, Will Lewis, yesterday.

The energetic Telegraph editor-in-chief was due to speak at the end of Tuesday's Independent Publisher's Forum conference when he got the wrong train and found himself in Peterborough - instead of Grantham 30-odd miles away where delegates were awaiting his keynote address.

As the final business session ended, organisers made a frantic series of calls, to be assured that, as far as Victoria Plaza was concerned, he had boarded the train from London.

But as it came and went and the hapless driver laid on to collect him reported no sign of him or his sidekick, they decided to wind up the conference and let delegates dash for trains of their own.

Faced with the prospect of the great man arriving to an empty room, I discreetly got a message to Victoria that the audience were being told of the mishap and urged to make their way home. Some did, slipping out of side doors as votes of thanks were taken.

Quick as a flash, his wide-awake PA rang my mobile with the news that he was "literally minutes away", having just dived into a cab and Yours Truly had to break the news that the event was "literally breaking up". Anyway, (just for old times. Call me nostalgic)I poked my head back into the room like some apologetic Best Man and caught the eye of the podium.

Seconds later, most of the room sat itself down again, tactfully spreading out this time, and I returned to my seat eagerly waiting to find out what had happenned behind the scenes at the Telegraph since I cleared my desk.

And Will was back where he's most comfortable (in the hub) - and, er, spoke.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe he took the wrong train!

And this is the editor of the highest-selling UK daily?

I hope the speech was worth it.