THE BITES THAT BITE FROM THE GOLDEN ROSE FESTIVAL IN MONTREUX
Monday 28 April 1997
The people baring the broadest smiles here at this annual entertainment awards fest on the banks of Lake Geneva are from the BBC. To celebrate Auntie's 60th birthday she has been awarded the first honorary Golden Rose of Montreux. Will Wyatt, chief executive of BBC Broadcasting, received the gong at a gala on Saturday evening, where he recalled a legendary expenses claim submitted by one Eric Maschwitz, a former BBC head of entertainment. It contained just one very large figure in Swiss francs and a single line of justification: "Towards winning the Golden Rose of Montreaux".
The Channel 5 dinner was hosted in a small restaurant perched precariously on a mountainside and reached by a funicular rail service. To sprinkle a little stardust on the occasion (as much as Channel 5 could muster) the station flew in its late-night chatshow host Jack Docherty. But he was upstaged by a more famous fellow diner, Ruby Wax (left), who entertained the press pack by taking up a tambourine and forming an impromptu duet with the resident flugelhorn-blowern
The rabbi salesman
It is impossible to go anywhere in Montreux without bumping into MC Rebbe, the Rapping Rabbi. In fact this former comedy stand-up act - once hailed as the Woody Allen of Edgware - is now going by the name his Jewish mama gave him: Paul Maverich. He has come here to punt ideas for programmes he is keen to make through his newly formed independent production company, Shyster Productions (straight up). He is hoping his investment pays off because, as he himself puts it, "I am the one schmuck who is paying out of my own pocket to be here."
How to take a joke
Showbiz reporters and media pundits were pleasantly surprised to get invited to a bash by Channel 5 and find that they got a good reception (boom, boom). CH5's programming supremo Dawn Airey took such digs in good humour, pointing out that Switzerland was a perfect place for Britain's fifth terrestrial TV station to pitch its wares. "After all, we specialise in snowy pictures ..."
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