Bunhill: Trendy young thing

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The Independent Online
NIGEL DEMPSTER, the veteran gossip columnist, is clearly trying to persuade us that he's still a trendy young thing. Last week, young Nigel, as we must learn to call him, trumpeted the fact that he had won a bet of a thousand guineas. The loser was the - genuinely sprightly - Bridget Rowe, editor of The People, who had published the 'news' that Princess Anne was expecting a baby and stuck to her guns when Dempster challenged the truth of the story.

When Dempster proved to be right, he published a picture of the cheque, duly made out to that worthiest of causes, the NSPCC. Unfortunately it was for pounds 1,100, and readers over fifty will recall that a guinea amounted - in decimal parlance - to pounds 1.05. So 1,000 guineas adds up, not to pounds 1,100, but to a mere pounds 1,050. History does not relate whether the tellers at the Midland, Ms Rowe's listening bankers, were equally young and ignorant and let the cheque through. Yet in real life, Dempster is surely old enough to remember the guinea and, as a racing man, must surely know the true value of that classic race, the One Thousand Guineas.