CITY DIARY: Lloyd's broker beds Lily to put a price on her legs

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The Independent Online
Lily Savage's legs may not seem like an obvious subject for the City Diary - but Lloyd's broker Sedgwick begs to differ. Yesterday Sedgwick informed us that its own Andrew Fields, a broker, had appeared in bed with the Liverpudlian drag comedian and urged him/her to insure the aforementioned legs for "half a million pounds - with a monthly premium of around pounds 3,000".

The sordid episode happened under the leopard-skin canopy of Lily's bed on Channel 4's Big Breakfast. This may sound like just another pathetic attempt by Lloyd's to save itself from pending insolvency, but Mr Fields pointed to powerful precedents.

Starting with Betty Grable, the Second World War forces' sweetheart who insured her legs for $1m in 1949, Mr Fields went on to list Bruce Springsteen, who has insured his voice for $3.5m, and Keith Richards, the fresh-faced Rolling Stones guitarist, who has covered his right index finger for pounds 1m.

He also mentioned food critic Egon Ronay, who has insured his taste buds for pounds 250,000, although Mr Fields admitted that the story of Ken Dodd ensuring his teeth for pounds 4m could be apocryphal.

The discussion was prompted by the news that Jamie Lee Curtis has just insured her legs for pounds 1m after signing an advertising contract with a stocking company. Mr Fields told Lily: "You'd be crazy to insure just your legs. You should be insuring your whole body."

To which Liverpool's finest observed: "If you ask me, her [Jamie Lee's] legs look like two Park Drives hanging out of a packet." Eh? A Sedgwick spokeswoman explained later: "Park Drives are a brand of cigarettes - short and very strong."

A Sheffield steel company has come up with a wizard wheeze for getting around the current drought in Yorkshire and ever-rising water charges. Lee Steel Strip, of Meadowhall, Sheffield, has reopened a bore hole directly underneath its factory which has lain dormant for 50 years.

According to Ian Glasby, operations director, the canny company never relinquished its licence to two bore-holes - the other one may also eventually be reopened. This could halve the company's pounds 200,000 water bill - in exchange for paying the National Rivers Authority a fee of pounds 1,532 a year.

Over 4,000 other companies throughout the UK currently are similarily licensed to extract water from their own bore-holes or nearby rivers.

BT held a press conference yesterday to outline its exciting new venture into the Internet and duly presented each of the attendant hacks with a small black box, marked: "Get going with your travel pal."

The journalists greedily pried open their freebies, visualising some form of hi-tech kit which would connect them to the information super highway.

Inside the box they discovered - a pair of socks, a coffee mug marked "Get going on BT Internet", a plastic watch, a notepad and pencil, and a banana.

Corporate bribes are not what they were.

OK, pop-pickers! Today is your last chance to bid for the jewel in the crown of the regional FM radio franchises, Yorkshire. To win, you will have to beat, among 40 possible bidders, Capital Radio's own bid "YFM." John Barnes - the chairman of the chain of fish and chip shops rather than the footballer - was yesterday unveiled as YFM's chairman.

So far so good. YFM spoilt it completely, however, by describing Mr Barnes as their "fish and hip chairman". Groan. The Capital DJ Doctor Fox was on hand to give the launch extra oomph, along with pop combo Menswear and the chanteuse Berri (it says here). Rivals for the FM slot include The Voice of Yorkshire, owned by Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, the ITV company, and Chrysalis, which is putting forward its "Heart" soft rock format. Not 'alf.