Publicity coup

Bongo Club bangs anti-Perrier drum

A minor Fringe venue has made national newspaper headlines by jumping on the "boycott Perrier" bandwagon.

The Bongo Club, a nightclub that hosts a joyfully amateurish late-night cabaret, says it is setting up an alternative "Tap Water Prize".

Even though details are "still being finalised", the publicity stunt made the pages of the Independent, which first broke news of comedian Robert Newman's objection to the prestigious prize.

The venue - which the paper ambitiously described as "one of the Edinburgh Festival's leading venues " - has also asked performers not to accept a Perrier if nominated.

However, only two shows there seem to be eligible - One Night Only and John Sinclair's Bagpipes and Angels, which did not make the printed Fringe programme.

Meanwhile Emma Thompson has added her voice to the boycott Perrier campaign.

Like Newman, she is a member of Baby Milk Action, which claims parent company Nestle encourages Third World mothers to use powdered milk they can ill afford, rather than feeding naturally.

Thompson, who won the first award in 1981 as part of the Cambridge Footlights, told The Independent: "The Perrier Awards should be boycotted by all right-thinking people. Nestlé has got to be stopped."

However, the company says that the group's allegations are years out of date and have long since been rectified.

Published: 31 Jul 2001

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