CITY DIARY

Sir Terence Conran, doyen of design, was in fine form the other evening for the opening of a new restaurant in Sears' flagship store, Selfridges. The Premier Restaurant, which the ex-Habitat chief has designed, radiates a Habitat-like ambience.

Seated at a table with his son Jasper, the clothes designer, Sir Terence seemed pleased with his creation for the ladies who lunch.

Always one with an eye for detail, Sir Terence noticed something unsightly in the kitchen, which is separated from the dining area by only a glass screen. Stuck on a shelf in full view of customers was a heap of not very designer-like cling-film boxes. Sir Terence nipped in and had a quiet word. The boxes were replaced by a bowl of lemons.

Industry matters will be in the ascendancy at Cambridge University from this October, as the new vice-chancellor comes from an industrial background.

Professor Alec Broers, master of Churchill College, professor of electrical engineering and head of the department of engineering, will be the first science boffin to hold the vice-chancellor's post for at least 20 years.

As an expert in advanced electronics Professor Broers did a 20-year stint at IBM in the US.

He also sits on a technical advisory board for Oxford Instruments, is a board member of Lucas Industries and belongs to an IBM advisory board - although he maintains he had nothing to do with the IBM-Lotus link-up.

BT and South Africa's Telkom SA have joined forces to allow rugby fans to fax messages of support to the England team around the clock.

David Vanderwalt of Telkom SA says they will not be making much money from the venture. BT claims the same. But with an expected 10,000 messages a day someone must be making money - even if it's the couriers who will bike batches of messages to the team. Anyone wishing to send a bon mot should fax: 00 27 12 326 2446.

Bankers at BZW yesterday experienced the inconvenience of rather a large fire at the Ebbgate House office in Swan Lane. As is the way with fire alarms, most people ignored it until they realised that it wasn't a practice, but a genuine fire. The cause, as yet unknown, is thought to have been related to work being carried out on the roof of the building. Chaos reigned while staff were evacuated, and although all electronic systems are up and running again, lunchtimes for the great and good will never be the same again. The directors' dining room, on the eighth floor, is a complete wash-out, as a super efficient sprinkler system unleashed itself all over the fine furnishings.

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