Anthony Hilton: Archer would be hard pushed to sell Greece


For the past 10 years, Philip Lader, who was the US Ambassador here in the Clinton years and who is now an adviser to Morgan Stanley, has hosted thanksgiving lunches in what was once the London home of the Astor family.

There is no guest list like it. Tuesday saw the first man to run the four-minute mile, Sir Roger Bannister, rubbing shoulders with William Nye, private secretary to the Prince of Wales. Carol Vorderman was there alongside Lord (Charles) Powell, the one-time private secretary to prime ministers Thatcher and Major. Mori's Bob Worcester vied with economist Dambisa Moyo. Then a selection of blue-chip business leaders, academics, politicians and not quite so blue-chip journalists.

And Jeffrey Archer. He now introduces himself as an auctioneer. He says the most successful item he sold for charity was lunch and a round of golf with Tiger Woods. It went for £92,000. The hardest thing to shift, he said, was a self-catering weekend for two in Bulgaria.

"That's not hard," muttered a listening banker. "He should try selling Greek sovereign debt."