First up was David Trayford with an interesting take on time travel and how we all do it. Definitely a new perspective for me. Brian Elders kept us entertained with stories of when Budapest was considered a 'hardship' posting and his fond memories of waking up in a flower bed in Oktogon with the previous night's McDonald's under his arm. Peter Temesvary talked to us about breaking the thank-you barrier - a lesson there for all of us. Tim O'Sullivan wondered aloud what he was doing lecturing us on visions and morals of which, by his own admission, he has none. And David Saddington could have been cast as the Milk Tray man with his graphic illustration of the importance of not forgetting your passport.
With the easier (!) prepared speeches over, it was time to start on the impromptus and to see who really had the gift of the gab - variously defined as (i) to talk idly or incessantly, as about trivial matters, (ii) the ability to talk readily, glibly, and convincingly, and (iii) the ability to speak easily and confidently in a way that makes people want to listen to you and believe you.
David Trayford chose to go to the audience with the topics he picked: The Irish Weather or The first and last numbers in your mobile phone directory - who are they, where did you get them, and why do you have them. Unusually, no one wanted to talk about the weather. The audience asked Peter Temesvary to talk about a day in the life of a BKV controller while David Saddington chose to stick with his first topic - pets - and introduce us to Fluffy. Brian Elders pulled up a chair and settled down to talk about the which is more important: the car or the computer and Tim O'Sullivan capped it all off by reminiscing about unicycling in Oxford.
The judges - Colin, Kinga, Kenny, Tunde, and David - decided that the man from Cork - Tim O'Sullivan - would be the one they'd like to see again in the final.
All in all, a great night. Thanks to everyone for supporting the cause and remember, if you'd like to get up on stage, let us know!