City Diary

A SLIM tome slips delicately on to the City diary's desk. And lo, if it is not a biography of whisky legend Raymond Miquel. Who is he, you might ask? Mr Miquel is the former head of Arthur Bell & Sons, the scotch whisky company that succumbed to a takeover from Guinness, which preceded the stout group's bitter battle for distillers.

"Business as usual: the Miquel Way" is a tale of how the great man made Bell's a household name before a brief spell at Bellhaven Brewery. Now 68, he is running Lees of Scotland, a Scottish confectionery company.

A thousand copies of the book have been printed by an organisation called The Memoir Club and it appears that Mr Miquel paid at least some of the costs of its production. Vanity publishing, then? "He paid something, though not the whole cost," a spokeswoman says.

Still, the book gets the thumbs-up from Lord Spens, Mr Miquel's former merchant banker, who has already read it from cover to cover. "I think it captures the man very well," the former Morgan Grenfell man says. "The passage where it shows Miquel completing a 2,000 metres steeplechase in Gateshead, in spite of falling and breaking his arm in several places, shows just how competitive he is."

The book also features Mr Miquel challenging Ray Reardon at snooker and racing Olympic athlete Alan Pascoe over 2,400 metres.

Lord Spens recalls his first meeting with Mr Miquel at Bell's in 1969. He had been dispatched to Scotland from London to look at Bell's as a possible flotation.

He was speaking to the company secretary when, not seeing Mr Miquel in the room, he said: "The trouble with Bell's is that it is a one-product company."

Lord Spens says: "He was furious and wrote to the London office saying 'either this man apologises or he must go'." Lord Spens duly swallowed his pride and backed down.

TERRY LEAHY, chief executive of Tesco, was in good form at last week's Management Today awards for Britain's most admired companies. This was no surprise, of course, given that Tesco picked up more gongs (three) during the evening than anyone else.

Mr Leahy was such a regular visitor to the podium that it prompted host Myra Even of The Money Programme to joke that there was "a moving van round the back to help Terry carry off his winnings".

Tesco's win made it Britain's most admired company for two years in a row. This appeared to make the supermarket chief slightly nervous. "Last year's win was followed by the worst retail recession in 20 years. I'm sure the two events were not related," he joked.

Just for the record, the least admired company was Alldays, the incredibly shrinking convenience store retailer, which recorded the lowest score in the history of the awards. ICI was the biggest faller slumping from 44th place last year to 224th.

Sir John Browne of BP Amoco won the new award of most admired chief executive, beating three other shortlisted candidates - Richard Branson of Virgin: Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, Kingfisher; and Lloyds TSB chief Sir Brian Pitman.

YOU CAN lead a horse to water but can you get it to drink? Not if you are British Aerospace, or BAE SYSTEMS as it would desperately like to be known. All those corporate consultancy fees paid to Lambie Nairn look like being money down the drain, along with its much vaunted "wordmark" (er, name, in case you were wondering) and its "property" (what used to be known as a logo). A quick scan of the press shows a healthy divergence when it comes to reporting on the new identity. For The Independent and the Telegraph, the new company is Baesystems while The Times and the FT have settled for BAe Systems. As for the Guardian and Wall Street Journal, they have plumped for BAE Systems.

"All very annoying," says a spokesman. "We obviously have more work to do on this."

NIGHT-CLUB bouncers have been given their own British Standard tomorrow, just in time for the Christmas and millennium entertainment season. The British Standard "muscle code" applies to the 100,000 "beefcakes" who man the doors at Britain's night clubs, pubs and other entertainment venues.

Produced by the British Standards Institution, BS 7960:1999 gives comprehensive guidance on their selection, screening and training. It includes guidance on the importance of customer care and social skills, including the use of body language to defuse potentially violent situations.

The standard will be launched at Home, London's latest superclub, which opened in September in Leicester Square. And if your name's not on the list, you're not coming in. "If that's alright with you. Sir."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Smaill’s debut novel, The Chimes, is a fusion of fantasy and romance
booksMan Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Sport
Ji So-Yun scores the only goal of the game
sport
Arts and Entertainment
One of the Pyongyang posters, the slogan of which reads: ‘Let the exploits of the northern railway conductors shine!’
art
Life and Style
Linguine with mussels and fresh tomatoes
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Administrator

£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...

Recruitment Genius: Dialler Administrator

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...

Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City of London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer