Clinton's former spokesman to give his spin on the election

People & Business

President Clinton's former chief spokesman, George Stephanopoulos, is coming over in May to present the "Sword of Excellence" to the winner of the UK's Institute of Public Relations' annual awards.

Simon Lewis, president of the IPR and spin doctor-in-chief at Centrica, says it is the first time Mr Stephanopoulos has visited Blighty since his stint as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford.

Mr Stephanopoulos was the close confidant of the President during his first election campaign and only left the White House staff following the start of Clinton's second term.

During the first election campaign he was one of the key figures who coached the future President using the slogan: "It's the economy, stupid."

He is much admired by several of my female colleagues ("What a hunk" being one of the more printable comments). He was at one time suspected of having written Primary Colours, the anonymous book which lifted the lid on the Presidency. In fact it was somebody else, and Mr Stephanopoulos is now writing a book of his own.

He also lectures at Columbia University in New York and speaks on a Sunday morning programme for ABC News. Mr Lewis enthuses: "It's quite a coup for the IPR."

Over 200 spin doctors will attend the black-tie dinner in London on Monday 12 May, just 11 days after the British general election.

Mr Stephanopoulos will give his views on electioneering and then present the winner of the pr of the year with the ceremonial sword, originally donated by the first sponsors of the event, Wilkinson Sword. Whether the winner is allowed to use the sword in anger at work remains unclear.

Nicholson Graham & Jones has always claimed that as a firm of City solicitors it attracts star performers. Now this claim has become literally true.

Step forward Elaine Hanks, secretary in NGJ's Banking Department, who is shortly to appear on ITV's Stars In Their Eyes! as the singer Peggy Lee.

The game show, hosted by Matthew Kelly, was recorded last November and will be shown on Saturday 5 April. "I've been sworn to secrecy about who won," says Mrs Hanks.

"My boss Paul Salsbury (banking partner) has been telling all his clients about it, so I think he's pleased. Every time I get in the lift people ask me about it."

Mrs Hanks has been a legal secretary for 25 years, and with NGJ for around a year. She's always liked singing but only started taking it seriously last year, when she started "gigging" with Reg, a keyboard player and friend of her husband Gary's, who both work in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

"I've appeared twice at the British Legion. I chose Peggy Lee because I look like her and a lot of people say I sound like her. She was a showstopper. I sing Fever in the show."

She says appearing on the show was "mind blowing", not least because she was on last and had to walk through a cloud of dry ice. "As I walked through it, the clapping from the audience was overwhelming."

So does working at NGJ appear a trifle dull in comparison, now she has tasted fame? "Oh no - I haven't changed my image at all."

Roger Smith, 58, director on the convertibles desk at BZW, retired yesterday after 43 years with BZW. Mr Smith is so highly regarded and popular that he was cheered off BZW's dealing floor as he left for the last time.

Mr Smith joined what was de Zoete Gorton in October 1954, just before his 16th birthday. He also had an interview at Jeyes Fluid prior to joining, but opted for the City rather than cleaning liquids. A lucky escape.

Mr Smith's service at BZW has only been broken once when he did his National Service in Jamaica in the 1950s. He spent most of his years on the loan and preference market, and the last 10 years on convertibles. He also recently celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary.

Mr Smith has another claim to fame. His son Mark, now in his mid- 20s, competed in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, representing England in the 100m and 400m relays.

On Wednesday night Mr Smith's leaving party packed out the City of London Club near the Mansion House. The uproarious shindig was hosted by Simon de Zoete, chairman of equities at BZW.

Mr Smith can anticipate a quieter life - he plans to "go fishing".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
tv

News
VIDEO
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
news
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

£36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower