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
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
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

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral