Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 21/06/04Sorry about this, but we start the week with shocking footie-related action. Our man at the scam, Graeme 'Scoop' Wearden, was one of a number of journos invited to see the Croatia match on telly with BT at the top of the BT Tower.

Monday 21/06/04
Sorry about this, but we start the week with shocking footie-related action. Our man at the scam, Graeme 'Scoop' Wearden, was one of a number of journos invited to see the Croatia match on telly with BT at the top of the BT Tower. The joint was jumping, with a couple of 1966 England squad heros and the Cheeky Girls around to lend the event an air of... well, that unique atmosphere of elderly footballers and nanocelebs.

Graeme's head wasn't turned by all this stardom but, being a competitive chap with an interest in manly sport, he was persuaded to pony up a score to enter a couple of quizzes about the beautiful game. All for charidee, so who could complain? A tenner a quiz, and if you entered both you got your picture taken with the Cheeky Girls: if you won, you got a signed Michael Owen shirt or a shirt signed by the whole team 'using their best crayons', according to the compere.

But it was not to be - Scoop tried nobly, but only got around half marks. Tough questions. Not tough enough for BT marketing bod Danny Garvey, who tied for first place with a stonking score. He fell at the last, failing to guess the final score of the match, but still waltzed away with some football tickets. A sterling affirmation of BT's executive prowess? More a thundering technology demo: eyewitnesses reported that "Thumbs" Garvey didn't so much scratch his head for the answer as prod his Blackberry. Ooops.

This didn't impress his colleagues at BT's R&D labs at Adastral Park, who later confided to Scoop that "we don't like people who score own goals at our own ground". They also revealed the name of an online journo who frequently emails them with questions about security - not that we mind this sort of thing, the boffins sighed, but we keep having to direct him to Snope's Urban Myths site.

Back up the Tower, the evening closed with an auction to win the Cheeky Girls. "Do I hear £500?" asked the compere. No, he didn't. Nor £400 or £300. Someone eventually coughed up a few groats, but it wasn't Wearden: he was already guiltily disposing of his Cheeky Girls picture before returning to the arms of his beloved. And anyway, having been beaten by a Blackberry the poor chap didn't have enough bus fare for three.

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