The City Diary

Doonbeg duo: 'One guy who could throw and another who couldn't'
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The Independent Online

The course seems to be playing well for ex-rugby superstar Keith Wood, right, the RBS private banker and entrepreneur whose latest venture, a property and golfing holiday investment package based at the Doonbeg club in his native County Clare, is attracting interest in the City and elsewhere. A notable cohort is the former American Football quarterback Dan Marino, who recently joined Wood on the board at the Doonbeg club: "It's one guy who could throw and another who couldn't," says Wood, knocking his own lineout skills in the Ireland team. Links Living, Wood's company, apparently has further offerings in the pipeline, based in Spain, Portugal and the US.

Deputies will take the dive

It is perhaps not a coincidence that the market turmoil has happened in August. Every top fund manager is on holiday, leaving their number twos in charge. A number one, speaking from the Riviera, says: "In times like these, those standing in don't dare do anything other than follow the herd and buy safe equities. The BBC has a mantra: 'Deputy heads will roll for this.' I'm afraid it's the same in fund management."

YouTube bags another

Another week, another cautionary tale of internet videos. Craig Taylor lost his job as a manager of a Somerfield store in Aberdeen after posting footage on YouTube of an employee striking a colleague with a carrier bag. His bosses decided it brought the company into disrepute and fired him. Thankfully for Mr Taylor, a tribunal thought he had been unfairly treated and awarded him £2,283 compensation.

Move over, Great Bear, npower's the new star

Who said the recent turmoil in financial markets has put paid to takeovers? Npower, the electricity and gas supplier, has gone where no company has gone before and bought the lights in the night sky. The company has acquired the naming rights to 628 stars which together form the shape of the npower logo – the first known brand to "starvetise" apparently.

The brains behind the new ad campaign is the controversial adman Trevor Beattie who was also behind the French Connection "FCUK" brand.

Whether stargazers will be able to identify the npower stars alongside constellations like the Great Bear and the Plough remains to be seen.

More to sewers than dirty rats

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Those intrepid subterranean warriors at Thames Water – otherwise known as trunk sewer inspectors – are to enjoy their five minutes of fame when they appear in a BBC documentary tomorrow entitled 'The Boys from the Brown Stuff'. A spokesman for Thames Water breathlessly explains that the programme "graphically demonstrates what happens when people carelessly dispose of fat and sanitary products down their sinks and toilets." The programme airs at 9pm – just after the watershed.

Setanta correction

in an article entitled "Will football fans be cheering when Setanta kicks off the new season?", which appeared on 15 July, we incorrectly stated that Setanta, the sports broadcaster, was offering live Premiership football matches at a price of £9.99 per game. The correct price was £9.99 per month. We are happy to clear up the confusion.

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