The news of Andy Homer's split with AXA Insurance spread like wildfire at the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) south-east regional dinner last Friday.

But Biba president George Nixon avoided the subject with diplomatic aplomb as he addressed over 100 baying brokers.

Instead Tottenham Hotspur fan Nixon revealed a comic talent. He said a year ago he had never heard of Osama Bin Laden and if he had, he would have thought he played for Chelsea.

While he was on roll, Nixon turned his comic attention to Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) supremo Andrew Paddick.

He said that brokers could join the George Nixon broker regulation body - a rival to the IIB - for just £30.

"That's half price compared to the IIB," said Nixon. "And," he added, "twice the value, coz you get the same benefits."