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George Street's Diary

Regular viewers will know that last week I launched my own millennium scheme.

GS2000 was a £500M giant glazed canopy located in the bowels of south east London. Ideas for exhibits bandied around by my committed team of consultants included a National Museum of Greenery & Vegetation and a display of forking and pruning through the ages.

What a difference a few days can make...

Monday: Crunch day. A phone call came through to NCE's ultra-modern wipe clean offices in the heart of Tony Blair former territory.

On the phone was none other than Malcolm, spiteful secretary to millennium project funding supremo Peregrine Smallwart.

'I've got Smallwart on my extension,' minced Malcolm.

'I'm sorry to hear that,' I replied, ignoring the tired double entendre. 'Put Peregrine on the line.'

There followed much frantic button pressing and a snide comment from Malcolm that 'the match funding you deserve should only pay for a packet of Swan Vestas' before Smallwart's phlegmatic tones reverberated in my ear.

'Street? Is that you old boy?' he choked. 'Were we at Rugby together? Remember that terrible scrape with matron and the Elastoplast when I was fagging for Smythe?'

'Happy days,' I replied without a clue what he was talking about.

'It's about this GS2000 idea of yours,' Smallwart spluttered. 'We have been considering your proposal very carefully. Loved the forking and pruning.

'But we are afraid the full £500M is not possible because we have been instructed to give the go ahead to an interactive exhibition of Mandy's toe nail clippings to be built in the shadow of his Dome at Greenwich.'

Smallwart wheezed that only £25 is available for GS2000 and would I give his love to Binky and Baa-Baa, whoever they are.

Very bad news. Decide to drown my sorrows.

Tuesday: Headache. Far too much Babycham last night.

I force myself to face up to the situation. What can be achieved for £25? Even with match funding I'll have just 50 quid (thanks to Mr Jenkins at the local Happy Shopper). Clearly a strict value engineering exercise is vital.

Wednesday: Worked all night formulating new plans. I was initially depressed: a sinking feeling that GS2000 will comprise a second-hand garden shed and a display of New Seekers records.

But I now reckon it could be a big success. Everything currently deemed stylish dates from past decades. Retro is cutting edge (and cheap). What better way to see in the next millennium than by bouncing on an orange space-hopper, wearing polyester flares and listening to Demis Roussos? And I'm sure there's a fondue set lurking in the attic. The public are going to love GS74: the Retro Millennium Experience.

Unfortunately, the glazed canopy will have to go. But this sort of thing happens all the time - just look at the uncertainty at South Bank. There's just time before tea to nip to B&Q and check out the price of greenhouses - woe betide anyone who bounces too vigorously on their space hoppers.

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