City Diary: A man with a mission to bring films to London

David Potter, the charming chap who has breathed new life into mini merchant bank Guinness Mahon, is set to do the same for film-making in London.

Mr Potter has been appointed non-executive chairman of the London Film Commission, which is the creation of Christabel Albery of the notable theatre family, and aims to copy the huge success of similar bodies in cities like New York.

Mission: Impossible, the latest Hollywood blockbuster, was made on location in London, and Mr Potter hopes that more film-makers will choose the capital. "The City, Government and Labour have all come to see how films bring jobs and revenue," he says. The commission will promote London as a location and help provide facilities, by simplifying relationships with local boroughs, the police and residents' associations.

Guinness Mahon has been involved in raising film finance in the last 20 years, for projects such as Richard III, The Crying Game and Howards End. The bank's Global Rights Fund recently bought the rights to Sooty - although Mr Potter groans: "I think Sooty has had about as much coverage as he can bear."

Who is the Hot Tub Sheikh? Over the past few months a mysterious Middle Eastern investor has appeared on the Chicago currency markets, taking multi-million-pound long positions in sterling-dollar options (ie betting the pound will rise against the greenback). Dealing desks don't know who he is, but he has laid such large bets that the white-sock boys have paid him the ultimate punter's accolade and awarded him a nickname.

One senior economist recalls a similar anonymous investor who gave governments a fright by moving currency markets in the 1980s, who was dubbed simply "the Egyptian". No one ever found out who he was.

As for the Sheikh, who presumably phones in his deals from a hot tub, the economist muses: "He's probably just some lowly guy who works for Sumitomo."

The price per copy of the Treasury's summer forecast on the economy has risen from pounds 6.50 last year to pounds 7.50. This, as an economist points out, represents a 15.3 per cent increase, compared with headline inflation of just 2.2 per cent. Doctor, heal thyself.

When Granada's chief executive Charles Allen joined the company five years ago he suggested that they should buy five or six of the top UK football clubs as an investment. Boardroom colleagues thought the City would never wear it, and the idea was shelved. Since then, the City has done a 180-degree turn, feting clubs like Manchester United. Which does not console Mr Allen, since those clubs that have floated are already fully valued, with no bargains to be had. As ever with investment, Mr Allen reflected yesterday, timing is all.

John Menzies will step aside next year as chairman of the newspaper wholesaling company which bears his name after 45 years in the top slot. The Eton-educated Scot, who is 70 next year, becomes life president as part of a wider shake-up of senior management. His career spans an early stint in the Grenadier Guards and 11 years as a director of Vidal Sassoon, the upmarket shampoo company. Mr Menzies is a member of the Royal Company of Archers, a select body of men who make up Her Majesty's Bodyguard for Scotland. Sometimes they even don the gear (including a feather- plumed hat) and shoot some arrows. A long way from shifting newspapers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas