Court sketch

Qualified health professionals, step aside. This week I have discovered a fresh ailment for our beleaguered NHS to concern itself with. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present: Wembley Fatigue Syndrome.

I first became aware that I was suffering from WFS last Tuesday, when I prayed that a burst of Happy Birthday being sung somewhere beneath the window of TCC court seven would drown out talk of contested accounts, sheikhs and boardroom bust-ups.

Alas, five minutes later the chanting subsided, but shortly afterwards another potential escape opportunity arose. One of the courtroom tapes ran out, and the matronly woman who attempted to replace it succeeded only in causing the machine to produce ear-splitting shrieks, like someone grating a rat.

Surely, this was a sensible time to abandon court? But no: Multiplex counsel Roger Stewart simply raised his voice to accompany it with a Shakespearian torrent of verbiage like an actor in some hideous avant garde play set in a courtroom and featuring contested accounts, sheikhs, boardroom bust-ups and now a grated rat.

But it's not just me. Three weeks into the case WFS is beginning to show all round. Former CBUK chief executive Roddy Grant wins the prize for sparkling wit and repartee: "I'm sorry Mr Stewart," a drowsy Grant said to the Multiplex counsel last Thursday. "I can't answer your question, because I was only half-listening to you."

But those suffering from WFS shouldn't complain too much: it seems there are still some members of the public itching to get in on the construction court action. A couple of unlikely lads of sixth-form age wandered in mid-hearing one afternoon last week, sat down in the gallery for 10 minutes then without explanation wandered out again. The TCC, it seems, really is the new place to be - for teenagers, at least.