There are many qualities that an effective CEO must possess and I have at at least two of them - networking and name dropping. I have lost count of the number of times that esteemed friends and colleagues including Bernie Clifton, Roy Hattersley, Anne Diamond, Bleary Hazel, Jesus H Christ and the bloke down the local chip shop who swears he's Elvis, have said "Robin - no one, but no one, drops more names than you for the cause of umbrellas".
I wrote a book on the subject of name dropping a few years ago. I say a book, more a pamphlet. Well, few suggestions scribbled on a sheet of A4 (still available from the BUBB website for five English...dig deep, we need to boost our reserves). So with my obvious previous form in this arena, it was no surprise (but no less of an honour) to be asked to give the keynote address at this years International Name Dropping Symposium down in Port Talbot.
This long-established gathering is a must for anybody who is anybody, wants to know other anybodies and more importantly wants the world to know that they know plenty of anybodies. Here the most important item in the delegate pack is the delegate list, produced in large print and laminated.
My speech is a hit - I litter it with random tales of my many encounters with illustrious stars of politics and showbiz - legal and illegal - and the five hours just flies by.
Port Talbot is a much maligned town but while I am there I admire the stunning architecture of the steelworks - temples to a higher God in the pre Great War days. I also manage to catch a film at the Multiplex, which to be honest is a bit disappointing. I thought it would be a straightforward frothy rom com about the white stuff that cows produce but it is a dreary well meaning polemic about some politician in America. Still, I am soon cheered by a KFC bargain bucket which I take back to the hotel and munch on while reflecting upon the day.