CITY DIARY

Sony goes to Soho with pounds 250,000 in a suitcase

Here is one for you to ponder. What was Chris Dearing, head of Sony Entertainment UK, doing wandering round Soho just before before Christmas with a suitcase full of pounds 50 notes? For a moment it looked like a case for Inspector Knacker of the Yard. The suitcase contained pounds 250,000 - hardly petty cash - and the colourful London district is not noted for its reputation as a banking centre.

It turns out (sadly) to be nothing more sinister than a routine payment to a trade creditor. Mr Dearing was visiting the Noel Street lair of Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson, the creative creatures behind those surreal advertisements for Sony's play station. The ad people were due a performance bonus.

Apparently Simons Palmer etc were prepared to forgo part of their standard agency fee in return for a performance-related lump sum. Once the sales of play station sales hit pre-determined targets the bonus kicked in - just in time for Christmas. None of which explains why Mr Dearing chose to pay the fee in person and in cash.

Well, it's a good feeling to run around Soho with quarter of a million about your person.

Day forty of the Forte bid ('fraid so) and it falls to Keith Hamill, Forte's fortysomething finance director to brief the City on the case for the defence. Mr Hamill began reciting from the cover of the defence document. "For hotels, for profit, for quality, for growth and for shareholder value.

"I would have liked to put four quid at the bottom,'' he added "But the advisers wouldn't let me.''

Denizens of Dulwich, the leafy London suburb (well in summer, anyway), report frenzied engineering activity over the Christmas break. BT squads arrived in force to probe and test and no expense was spared to rectify what must have been a major fault. Oddly enough, Dulwich is where Sir Iain Vallance, the BT chairman lives, prompting one observer to wonder whether the boss's free Christmas Day phone call was in jeopardy.

Doubtless this report will prove heartening for the good citizens of Surrey. That is where Sir Peter Bonfield, the new BT chief executive, lives.

Incensed at what he says is "inaccurate and misleading'' evidence presented to the Nolan Committee on standards in public life, Mark Boleat, director general of the Association of British Insurers, has taken the housing trust he used to chair to task. Circle 33 was the victim of a pounds 2m repairs fraud in 1993 and its evidence to Nolan claims Mr Boleat had "accepted responsibility''.

"Each of the statements about me is inaccurate,'' storms Mr Boleat. "I did not accept responsibility.''

The National Lottery can now be said to have invaded all walks of life. Even Britain's senior accountants are starting to play. After months of fighting a rearguard action, one abacus artist last week finally bowed to the inevitable. Grudgingly filling in the ticket, he warned his family that the chances of winning were minimal - and even if they did win the begging letters would make life unbearable.

Saturday night round the TV and not one single number right. "Well we didn't win,'' pipes up one of the kids. "Do we start writing the begging letters now?''

Bill Gates, the man who owns 80 to 90 per cent of all the software on the planet, has been elaborating on his early sex life (before he discovered everlasting happiness with his wife, above). Before you get too excited, we are talking about a long-distance affair - albeit one that allowed the Microsoft boss to sow his wild(ish) chips.

"We spent a lot of time together on e-mail,'' he admits in next month's Esquire magazine. "And we figured out a way we could sort of go to the movies together. We'd find a film that was playing at about the same time in both our cities We'd drive to our respective theatres, chatting on our cellular phones. We'd watch the movie, and on the way home we'd use our cellular phones again to discuss the show,'' he adds. "In future this sort of virtual dating will be better because the movie watching could be combined with a video conference.''

And who said romance was dead?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
UK Border Control
i100
Arts and Entertainment
TV
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn