So popular Manuel is Top of the… Fridge

A big band song composed by the staff on a specialist magazine, to mark the departure of a colleague, is flying up the online music charts.

The colleagues of advertising sales manager Manuel Battista of Emap Maclaren's Refrigeration and Air Conditioning penned "Hasta la vista, Manuel Battista" on Post-it notes during a lunchtime. It was then orchestrated and recorded in editor Andrew Bailey's home studio.

The wheeze has had an unexpected side-effect. As a result of Croydon-based colleagues visiting the website to hear the song, it is in the online chart at number 72, out of a field of 80,000.

The up-tempo number charts Manuel's rise to fame as company cycling evangelist and much-loved manager. The lyrics point out that in moving jobs he was "swapping his sharp leather saddle for the M25".

"At this rate Manuel could find himself on Top of the Pops. He's got five weeks before it goes off-air. That would be an unusual leaving present. It's Barry Manilow meets the Wurzels," said Bailey.

Battista said: "I was gobsmacked. It's a fabulous song! They put it up on its own website, so the whole world can hear it.

Everyone was dancing to it in the office.

They managed to summarise 15 years of my life in three verses, make it rhyme and set it to music. I was blown away."

Reflecting Manuel's Latin roots, the song has a touch of "Copacabana" about it. It can be downloaded from soundclick.com.

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