Jon Culshaw makes an impression at CIPS Supply Management Awards

11 September 2013

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12 September 2013 | Will Green

The great and good of the procurement profession gathered beneath the ornate chandeliers of the Grosvenor House Hotel’s Great Room last night to discover their fate in the premier procurement and supply chain awards ceremony.

Well over a thousand people waited with baited breath in the flickering light from each table’s candles as celebrated funnyman Jon Culshaw took to the stage.

Culshaw took the audience on a journey from his beginnings as an impressionist, he was inspired as a boy by watching Mike Yarwood on TV, through to the politicians who make up his bread and butter.

Few escaped his acerbic wit, including prime minister David Cameron and foreign secretary William Hague, but Tony Blair and Gordon Brown got particular attention. He said Blair as Middle East peace envoy was “like putting Jeremy Clarkson in charge of the Vegan Society”, while Brown’s gruff delivery provided ample material.

But Culshaw’s pièce de résistance was a prolonged meditation on life and the universe by England midfielder (and well-known philosopher) Steven Gerrard, whose frowning countenance while playing “even has a Liverpudlian accent”.

Running proceedings with aplomb, Culshaw witnessed the best in the business come to the stage to collect their awards to rapturous applause, with only a smidgeon of good-natured booing.

Having reached for the stars, guests then got to their feet to dance the night away as band The Bright Sparks struck up with a rendition of David Bowie’s Starman.

AirPlus was the headline sponsor of the event, which was also supported by Hays Procurement and QinetiQ Commerce Decisions was the official technology provider for the judging. Zycus was the entertainment sponsor, and the evening was associated with de Poel.

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