Spectators at the Body Shop's results at NatWest's imposing Broadgate headquarters were treated to an even more Absolutely Fabulous performance than usual. Anita Roddick swept in wearing a flowery forest-green linen number like some real-life Edina accompanied by Jilly Forest, the glamorous marketing manager, in an attractive silk outfit. She spoke in an ethereal manner about her plans for a Body Shop radio station, a mobile Body Shop and door-to-door sales in Mexico. Then she swept out again to catch the plane to America to revitalise flagging sales there. The audience was left bemused but strangely impressed.

City Index, the spread betting company, is offering bets on the elections in Britain, France and America. The US presidential election bets are promoted with the phrase: "Will Clinton like the size of his poll?" The number of seats the Tories are predicted to win is too depressing to repeat.

Miko Giedroye, the former head of European equity research at Warburgs who yesterday jumped ship to Deutsche Bank, is known for more than just penetrative analysis and highly academic research. Regulars at London's jazz clubs will have spotted him playing with his characteristically intense style on a piano. "He was recently tempted by an offer to play at Raffles in Singapore but turned them down," said one Warburgs employee. "Now we know why."

Richard Heley, the former Hill Samuel corporate financier who has put together some of the largest mergers and reconstructions in the country, is set to move to Charterhouse. In the last five years he has helped with the reconstruction of Brent Walker, William Hill, Isosceles, Control Secturies (now Ascot Holdings) and Simon Engineering. He remembers one particularly torrid negotiation with George Walker at the Trocadero. The former boxer tried to starve the bankers into submission during one all-night session by secretly scoffing fish and chips while they were locked in another room. "We proved equal to the challenge," the workaholic tells me proudly.

The Government faces a mean opponent in its row with insolvency practitioners with the appointment yesterday of Colin Bird, senior corporate recovery partner at Price Waterhouse, to the position of president of the Practitioners of Insolvency. Mr Bird is a veteran of cases such as Slater Walker, Johnson Matthey Bank and, most famously, Maxwell Communications. He is now concentrating on insurance matters surrounding Lloyd's but will not be distracted in his campaign to have the Paramount decision, which will cost insolvency practitioners dearly, reversed as soon as possible.

Anyone with a gripe about the size of lawyers' fees will be satisfied to learn that the radicals at the Oxford University Union have decided to debate whether the British judicial system offers access to justice. Those attacking the establishment will include David McIntosh, senior partner at Davies Arnold Cooper, the City legal practice, who has generated many column inches by campaigning against legal costs, particularly expenses, and in favour of no win, no fee. Others on the platform with him will include Paul Boateng, the Brent MP, and Helena Kennedy, who might make a Shadow solicitor-general. Fighting McIntosh's team will be John Taylor, the Tory MP from the Lord Chancellor's office, and Sir Derek Spencer, the solicitor-general.

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