Where would Backchat be without mum? Thank goodness Pinnacle Insurance recognised the value of mum and provided mum cover. If she's ill, phone for a replacement and the policy …

January Where would Backchat be without mum? Thank goodness Pinnacle Insurance recognised the value of mum and provided mum cover. If she's ill, phone for a replacement and the policy picks up the cost.Also Rolf Tolle, Lloyd's franchise board director, boasts that he's better at bridge than Omar Sharif. How so? Well Tolle reckons that Sharif is too easily distracted by the layd-eez.

FebruaryCrazy claims alert - chefs in San Marino freeze a little bit of every meal they cook in case a diner, who becomes ill, sues.Also, warfare breaks out on the slopes of the Alps, as two senior broking figures disagree over The Simpsons. And in particular how much one of them looks like evil, megalomaniac Mr Burns.

MarchSpiderman sighted in the sparkling new Tower Bridge offices of Marsh. It seems that the lifesize, inflatable superhero, which is stuck to one of the windows, is a protest at a policy banning personalisation of workstations.Complex philosophical drama unfolds at Bolton's AXA office. A Bolton adviser phones his own office to be greeted with the "all our operators are busy" recording. Except he is not busy, he is idle listening to a pre-recorded call. The Matrix Reloaded was simpler.

AprilBackchat was delighted to discover that recently-departed FSA chief exec Howard Davies was a regular reader of Insurance Times. Speaking at one award ceremony, he said that the FSA has its beady eye on award winners, after the Indie won so many Insurance Times awards (as voted for by brokers).

MayDavid Bowie sandwiched between Benfield's Grahame Chilton and Axis' John Charman. Sounds painful. The Sunday Times rich list reckons that the Thin White Duke's fortune is just below Chilly's £128m and just above Charman's £120m.Wishful thinking at the Biba conference raised a titter. In the open forum, BBC presenter Adrian Childs asked a broker in the audience who would be the ideal compliance officer at his firm? Quick as a flash the broker replied Kylie Minogue.

JuneEx-Ward Evans director Alex Dawson spilled his guts to the administrator and revealed that the directors were tattooed with the company name.

JulyRumours that Cox will move its motor underwriting from Lloyd's to Gibraltar refuse to go away. So where did one Cox employee, Kerry Richardson, choose as her destination for a sponsored bike ride - you guessed it, The Rock. I have heard that Cox keeps its expenses tightly under control, but if you are going to do a reccie . . .

AugustBachchat shed a tear for Berkeley Bear after hearing it had been marched outside and shot by R&SA board executives. It seems the bear was adopted by former group chief executive Bob Mendelsohn and it attended board meetings to keep spirits up. It failed. And paid the price.

SeptemberAfter J-Lo insured her much-admired bum for millions, Stoke Insurance Brokers stepped in to place cover for one of Britain's best known behinds. Yes, Basil Brush pays a premium of £100,000 per year to protect his tail.On a more serious note, enraged ex-TAG employees set off for Marbella to confront ex-boss Mark Langford who was spotted relaxing with a beer on a very large yatch.

OctoberBackchat's scoop of the year was to predict that Camberford Law would launch a network. Chairman Richard Sheikh was spotted scribbling furiously at the CII conference at a workshop on - you guessed it - networks.

NovemberBackchat spots past CII president Reg Brown in the crowd at Sydney watching our boys beat the Aussies. While R&SA corporate director Brendan McManus was inundated with ironic fan mail after Paul Meehan mischievously introduced him at a seminar to the tune of You're so vain.

DecemberIs the future of British clowning in doubt? According to Backchat's broker connections, insurance for clowns is simply not available. Can anyone out there save our clowns?