THE ANTIDOTE TO THE NEWS: Savilian Patrick Kidd on 50 years of The Times “Diary” column.

Read all about it: for half a century the Diary column in the Thunderer has given readers a daily escape from the misery of the news pages with a mixture of celebrity gossip, political anecdotes, tall tales and jokes. Introduced on the same momentous day that the newspaper decided to put news, rather than classified adverts, on the front page, the Times Diary has been written by the likes of Alan and Giles Coren, Clement Freud, Simon Barnes, Ion Trewin, Michael Leapman, famed for his allotments, Hugo Rifkind and, since 2013, Savilian Patrick Kidd, many of whose stories may have been heard in the club bar after a well-oiled Friday luncheon. Savilians, being such an erudite, witty and intelligent bunch, regularly make an appearance in his column and there is a competition among some members to see who can get the most mentions! Some of Kidd’s recent “scoops” have included being the first to report that Boaty McBoatface was winning a public vote to be the name of a new scientific research vessel, that Ed Miliband, on the eve of the 2015 general election, had just been named the fourth most influential man in his constituency of Doncaster, and that the Queen was almost shot in the dark by one of her guards after taking an unannounced stroll round the palace gardens. To celebrate the publication of an anthology of 50 years of gentle Diary humour, we invite you to an evening of readings and reflections on the life of a diarist.

Chairman: Savilian Christopher Hourmouzios