Life is a game of chance when you work for the Gaming Board. The Home Office department, which regulates the UK betting industry, is conveniently located upstairs from the Oasis swimming pool on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. The pool is, incidentally, frequented by staff at some of the country’s top advertising agencies which are situated nearby.
The Diary was in the middle of a telephone interview with Gaming Board chief Tom Kavanagh about some intricacy of the UK’s complex gaming legislation. Kavanagh suddenly interrupted the interview to say that a disaster was unfolding at the poolside below – a bather was being given the kiss of life.
A brief silence ensued in which both The Diary and Kavanagh held their breath awaiting the outcome of the life-saving exercise. The Diary was wondering if the unfortunate victim might be some ad executive who had sunk to the bottom of the pool after a sumptuous lunch.
Kavanagh then sighed with relief when it turned out that the whole thing was a practice run using a dummy.