Column Eight: Banker bet off course

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The Independent Online
LADBROKES has temporarily suspended betting on who will be the next Governor of the Bank of England because its hot favourite has been nobbled by GEC. Sir David Scholey of Warburgs, until yesterday 5 to 4 on, is joining the GEC board and would have to resign again if he became governor.

Precedent suggests the Bank job should be announced later this month - in which case Scholey would already have been told if he'd got it. On the other hand, the Prime Minister has been a little busy lately and may not have got round to it.

Sir David Walker has been second favourite at 7 to 4, but odds of 7 to 1 on Eddie George, the deputy governor, now look flattering. A good longshot bet might be industrialist Sir Christopher Hogg.

BASS'S director of communications has a name that must defeat many trying to communicate with him. Yesterday a colleague strangling: 'Aodh O'Dochartaigh' was saved by the telephonist telling him to pronounce the first name 'Eee'.

A COUCH-POTATO City type (and non-driver?) who recently left Warburgs thought he'd try for a job at Credit Suisse: there, a friend said, a declared interest in hearty, open-air activities would prove effective padding for his application form.

The interview ran much like this. Credit Suisse: 'So, Mr X, you're one for the outdoor life. Among other things I see you enjoy hang-gliding, water-skiing and, er, aquaplaning. Would you, er, say you were an experienced aquaplaner?' Our man: 'Oh, yes.' CS: 'Ah. And when did you last aquaplane?' OM (airily): 'Well, when I was last in the Caribbean.' CS: 'And where exactly did you do it?' OM: 'In the sea, of course]'

He is still job-hunting.

TOP executives of North West Water have just attended a three-day course designed to improve their responses when grappling with the media. Journalists were bussed in to fire nasty mock questions: 'Why did you erroneously cut off a blind 95-year- old pensioner?'

Shame that North West's chairman, Dennis Grove, had 'prior engagements'. He, after all, might have learned a lot. In September, fed up with being quizzed about his pounds 200,000 basic salary on a Panorama programme titled 'One Rule for the Bosses', Mr Grove opted to storm from the studio in a rage . . .