8th November 1996 at 00:00
Those college principals are in for a treat, courtesy of who else but Roger Ward, bumptious boss of their newly formed Association of Colleges. As you no doubt won't remember, this is the new power in the land of further education, comprising the bashed-up remains of the Colleges' Employers' Forum and the Association for Colleges, run by red-haired powerhouse Ruth Gee.

When Ms Gee's AFC still existed, one of its final acts was to organise a knees-up for college bosses and other hangers-on in Cardiff. Arrangements are now in the mischievous hands of supremo Ward who, in acquiring the AFC, has also acquired the Cardiff bash.

Changes have been made. Ruth Gee had settled on the matronly broadcaster Mavis Nicholson to deliver some after-dinner words of wisdom on, well, who knows what? But the new man at the top would seem to have a better grasp of the FE psyche and promptly replaced the 65-year-old Mrs Nicholson with popular Welsh artiste and songster Max Boyce. "I want fun and booze. I want dancing," said Mr Ward, as he explained himself over an ample lunch. He is liable to be disappointed on a couple of counts.

Mrs Nicholson, a 1970s favourite, is apparently somewhat put out by this insultingly low estimation of her after-dinner presence. It is one thing to be out of favour among daytime television producers - quite another to be turned down by the glittering world of FE administration.

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