Maher moves from retail into manufacturing

CITY DIARY

Word drifts in that Terry Maher, the former chairman of the Pentos group, is to write a novel. The former leading light of the Dillons and Rymans group says he is working on a book "with a City background", no less. He will say no more for fear of whipping readers up into a frenzy of anticipation. "I've got an outline and written the first chapter," chirps the budding novelist. "But I don't want a contract with a publisher yet. I want to work a bit on it first without the pressure of a deadline."

Mr Maher scoffs at suggestions that he is only copying his former rival, Tim Waterstone, who published his first novel, Lilley and Chase, a couple of years back. This will be Mr Maher's second dash into print. His first, Against My Better Judgement, was an autobiographical account of his last days at Pentos. Even before the end of the Net Book Agreement it ended up being sold at the knock-down price of pounds 11.

Staff on the Docklands Light Railway have retained a sense of humour even after the shock of last Friday's bomb blast. An announcement on one rush-hour train yesterday ran: "Please take all your personal possessions with you on leaving the train. We are trying to run a normal service today and don't want it disrupted by a pack of sandwiches."

Graham Wallace, the laid-back Canadian who headed TSB's public relations, may be looking for pastures new. Following the merger with Lloyds Bank, Mr Wallace, or Walrus, as he calls himself, will no longer be responsible for day-to-day press relations for the merged giant. "I don't know what I will be doing yet. I have no plans at the moment." One thing is clear - he will not be at Lloyds results presentations on Friday. Mr Wallace says he may go off on one of his fabled long-distance holidays but is still hoping for a role somewhere in the City. "There might be something out there for me."

British Gas is showing how difficult it is to satisfy the often-conflicting demands of customers and shareholders. It has issued gasmen with two different scripts - one for each group. The script for customers who don't own shares burbles on about maintained standards of service and safety. The one for investors shows different priorities. Given that the chairman, Richard Giordano, wants to get rid of most of the smaller shareholders, it is no surprise that the letter includes several hotlines on which shareholders will presumably be advised to sell and double quick.

More whistleblowing on shirkers after research showing that smokers work a four-day week and some train drivers only spend half the day driving trains. Salesman are the latest target. According to NHA International, a Reading-based consultancy, salesman only spend 45 minutes a day selling. The rest is spent driving to appointments and other non-productive activities such as the assiduous chatting-up of secretaries.

Workers at the Prudential's new banking subsidiary could be in for a few shocks if a rumour about new chief executive Mike Harris proves true. Mr Harris, you may remember, caused much confusion at his former charge, Mercury Communications, when he started a cultural change programme called Imagine. The programme involved loud music, all sorts of management gobbledygook about corporate bonding which led to accusations of brainwashing. In spite of the hype it proved a spectacular and costly failure. Word is, however that far from being chastened by this experience, Mr Harris has hired the same consultancy again at the Pru.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015