Column Eight: Early morning tastes

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The Independent Online
PETER Job, Reuters' chief executive, had to confess yesterday that he had yet to clap eyes on GMTV, the newly enfranchised commercial breakfast TV station, which takes ample war-torn footage from Reuters Television, formerly Visnews.

'In the mornings I listen to Classic FM,' he confided, diplomatically sidestepping questions about the quality of GMTV's frequently derided non-news output.

GOOD to see the ageing rock troubadour Bob Dylan is doing his bit for free enterprise. During his Monday night show at London's Hammersmith Apollo (formerly Odeon), witnesses saw half a dozen separate members of the audience illicitly videoing the concert, despite the best efforts of the bouncers, who gave everyone a thorough frisking beforehand.

These enterprising people were later taking orders for videos of the concert in Nicam digital stereo at pounds 22 each.

MORE green shoots in showbiz. One party that set out on Monday night to see the steamy smash hit film Damage, which stars Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche in various stages of undress, were unable to get into the normally sparsely attended cinema in London's Barbican Centre. So they tried Baker Street - which was packed out as well. Foiled by Damagemania they made do with an ice-cream. Not quite so steamy.

EXPERT testimony. Ian Posgate, once the leading underwriter of Lloyd's insurance syndicate 126, and perhaps the whole of Lloyd's of London before his fall from grace, turned up at the Savoy Hotel yesterday morning to advise an action group seeking restitution for their subsequent losses of more than pounds 50m on syndicate 126. The coffee and biscuits were good, one hears, but the action group did not stretch to lunch.

THE LABOUR MP Richard Burden has a vivid imagination when it comes to attacking Michael Portillo's Treasury cuts on public spending.

In a statement titled 'Treasury tentacles squeeze life from Heseltine's Empire', Mr Burden concludes: 'The problem about an octopus is that it has eight legs. Ministers at the Departments of Education, Health, Transport and Social security should beware.' Sounds like Portzilla.

ANOTHER episode in the life of Britain's highest-paid insurance broker and self- made man, Bill Brown. It is reported that while at a fashionable restaurant in the South of France he ordered 'Dover' sole. The waiter's response in that most xenophobic of countries to the pounds 3.6m-a-year man is unrecorded.

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