A last minute change of venue leaves Building stumbling around the dark back streets of Smithfield trying to locate PRP Architects. The clang of names being dropped is the only clue.
Katie claims she could feel the office shake as Christian Bale raced the Batmobile around Smithfield market. ‘That was a tube train,’ says Andrew
No sooner have we sat down than Andrew excitedly urges Zeke to tell us his sister is Andi Osho. Andrew’s enthusiasm is diminished, however, when he realises she’s not a contestant from the X-Factor but a comedian who’s been on Live at Apollo, Stand-up for the week.
It doesn’t stop there though. Before long everyone’s competing for the most notorious celebrity connections, everyone from Tony Blair to Michael Jackson or Steve Martin. Problem is though, they’re all just name sakes rather than the genuine article.
Anne Marie, however, is playing this game strategically. Her youngest son is… er, Jack Nicholson. “I like the name,” she protests, “but the first time I was at the GP and they shouted out ‘Jack Nicholson’ I did cringe.”
From this point the celebrity connections get even more tenuous. PRP are quite excited about the recent filming of the new Batman film in the area, but Katie’s assertion that she could feel the office shake as Christian Bale raced the Batmobile around the basement of Smithfield market is quickly dismissed. “That was a tube train,” says Andrew.
Katie’s fantasies about the raw power of the Batmobile may be driven by a longing for her old 4x4, which she sold because Andrew was “giving me so much grief” about the CO2 emissions - now she has a Fiat 500. The rest of PRP is incredulous at how she managed to clock up a speeding ticket in such a tiny car. “It was wind assisted,” says Zeke.
PRP is incredulous at how Katie managed to clock up a speeding ticket in such a tiny car. ‘It was wind assisted,’ says Zeke
But Zeke doesn’t have much luck with transport himself. “A few times I’ve been drunk on the train to Kingston and ended up in Kempton Park. You know you’ll sober up in the middle of winter in the Siberian chill,” he says before reenacting a disorientated call he made to his wife. “Can you pick me up,” he slurs. “I can see a road and a race course. I don’t know where I am.”
Later things get a bit weirder when Mel whips out her phone to show off her prized photo taken on a recent work trip with Andrew to Doha. The picture shows a mass of fluorescent chickens they found in a local market. “We wondered where all these coloured eggs in the hotel were coming from,” says Andrew.
Building learns the fluorescent chicken market is booming in Qatar where there are apparently “whole floors of them” and considers investing, but is wary of having all our fluorescent eggs in one basket.
Chosen watering hole: the Gate in Smithfield
Ambience: Scrubbed-up trad pub
Topics: Name-dropping, batman, fluorescent chickens
Drinks drunk: 2 red wines, 4 pints of Peroni, 2 white wines, 1 Corona, 2 Dogs Bollocks
Who was there:
Katie White head of communications
Andrew Mellor environment director
Zeke Henderson-Osho associate for regeneration
Mel Starrs environment assistant director
Anne Marie Nicholson partner
Vern Pitt Building