Our man with the muttonchop sideburns and stupid hat applies a few commonsense Victorian values to architectural ethics, foxy honeys and lap dancers
Darling, I think we should talk
The Construction Industry Training Board's recent efforts to get into the mind of the young person of today has led to some unfortunate yet amusing consequences. It seems that Peter Lobban, the CITB's chief executive, sent his fellow fellow board members armfuls of teen mags.

Alas, the packages of FHM (the world's foxiest honeys!) and Bliss (vote for the grooviest guy on our boy-o-meter!) did not reach the august members. Instead, they were opened by their secretaries and, better still, their spouses. Cue accusations of mid-life crises, apparently.

Out of their depth
S&P Architects was happy to tell me about the neat swimming pool system it had developed the other day, but was strangely hesitant about showing me the designs. Why so coy? Well it seems that the firm has just been the victim of architectural espionage. After it presented the Swim 25 concept to an audience of local authorities, it discovered that a rival practice had infiltrated the guests and had been busily taking notes. It turned out that the plagiarist had won a contract with a local authority and was looking for an oven-ready plan. The dastardly scheme might have gone undetected if the snoop hadn't rung up S&P and asked if he could borrow the designs. That's 10 out of 10 for barefaced cheek, but nul points for discretion.

Ready, set … destroy
I am being deluged with plugs for a current Channel 4 television series entitled Demolition Day. The series, which started this month, is based on the instantly attractive premise that it would be fun to build something and then – wait for it – knock it down as quickly as possible. Pictured above are some of the individuals taking part in the series, the most recent episode of which involved two teams competing to construct aqueducts before smashing them to pieces.

Staff from firms such as Carillion, TA Millard and Fulcrum Consulting have all taken part. The programme, which is filmed at the National Construction College near King's Lynn in Norfolk, is apparently supposed to inspire youngsters to join the industry – no doubt it evokes their childhood exultation at kicking over their smaller brother's sandcastle.

  • Speaking of plugs see Tanya Ross' column on page 30 – she's a judge on Sunday's show

    The smack down
    Here's one for all those fed up with smart Alec property agents. I attended Lee Hurst's warehouse comedy club in east London at the weekend, when the bald-headed compère, who is most famous for his appearances on the television show They Think It's All Over, read out a series of birthday congratulations. Hurst asked one of the more inebriated of the birthday boys what he did for a living. The punter replied, smarmily: "I manage this place." It turned out that the fellow worked for agent Lambert Smith Hampton, so Hurst rather coolly reminded him: "Oh yes, I remember. We called you in for a bit of advice. Once."

    Thigh spy

    I see that an establishment going by the name of Legs 11 is in hot water over its plans to turn a listed building in Birmingham into a lap dancing club. The establishment is planning to hoist a giant billboard of women’s legs on the front of the former Merchant Store building on Broad Street, near the Symphony Hall and the posh Brindleyplace offices. But Clive Ritchie, chairman of a licencees’ trade body, says the poster will be detrimental to the area. “You would not want to bring your mother to Symphony Hall if, as soon as you come out, the first thing you see is pictures of legs of women in front of you.” Heaven forfend.
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