Tuesday 26 September 1995
The scale of the industry means that prizes for the tombola are suitably deluxe. What's hot: a part in the film Carla's Song, donated by PolyGram, and what's billed as "the world's greatest autograph book" - collated from passengers at the VIP lounge at Heathrow. Not so hot - except for those who have lost their bags en route - a day out at Gatwick to see the baggage control system.
Ernest Saunders, the former Guinness chairman, who last year refuted claims that he had ever suffered from Alzheimer's disease, looks set to miss out on a new role. The local Thames-side residents' association is seeking a new treasurer. Word is that tactful diplomacy is in play to circumvent him as a possible candidate. Just as well, since the Court of Appeal accepted that he did suffer from the disease - on the grounds, among other things, that he could not recite three numbers backwards.
Members of the Institute of Legal Executives are a studious bunch. Even an invite to the Ritz - along with champagne - was insufficient to persuade many legal folk to ignore a Law Society meeting scheduled for the same slot. That was the official excuse for a rescheduling - but perhaps members were simply deterred by the topic for discussion: legal NVQs, which are due to be introduced next year. Hard to make palatable even with plenty of champagne.
Christopher Balfour, a director of Hambros Bank since 1984, has joined the board of Christies International. Given the competition between fine art houses, the auctioneer is understandably cock-a-hoop. One insider tells me that great store is being set on his "business getting" ability.
Balfour is already familiar with the world of luxury as a former director of Dunhill and now a non-executive of the luxury goods group, Vendome. Curiously he is also a non-executive director of the less rarefied property development company, Evans of Leeds. Perhaps that's how he hones his "business getting ability".
Sore ears all round after many spent the weekend pursuing a table at designer-cum-restaurateur Terence Conran's latest eaterie, Mezzo. With seating for 700, you would have thought booking preparations to be well in hand. Not so. Here's what would-be diners can expect: being answered by several electronic voices before being put on hold; then a test greeting before being transferred to someone else's answering machine. Then an electronic message puts you at six or seven in the queue; you hold in anticipation of six or seven people being dealt with quickly, only to get cut off. A spokesman for Mezzo admits to "a slight problem" with the booking system. Remember, the thrill is in the chase.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
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