Business Diary: An award for the biggest PPI bill?

One for the "you couldn't make it up" collection. Staff at Lloyds Banking Group have been feeling a little blue over the past few days – last Friday, the State-owned bank revealed it had plunged back into loss during the first three months of the year, mostly because of the staggering £3.2bn it was forced to put aside for the cost of compensating victims of payment protection insurance. Still, here's something to cheer them up. Guess who was yesterday named as Bank of the Year by the CBI and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Step forward Lloyds Banking Group.



Just don't mention Heston

Good news from Little Chef, which has spent £20m revamping nine of its restaurants in line with the overhaul of its Popham outlet, a process which featured in a Channel Four documentary two years ago. A breathless release from Little Chef heralds the development, adding that the Popham experiment has continued to prove hugely successful. Strangely, while Little Chef alludes to the Channel Four show in which its Popham restaurant starred two years ago, it makes absolutely no mention of Heston Blumenthal, who supervised the revamp (and was filmed having a series of disagreements with the company's management).



Buffett gets 'The Office' gig

Warren Buffett has always had something of the showman about him. Now the great man is turning to the small screen – the sage of Omaha has landed a cameo role in the finale of the US version of The Office, which goes out in America next Thursday. He'll apparently be one of a string of applicants – other guest stars include Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey – for a job at the paper company where The Office is set.



Halloween comes early at Orange

Orange has always had a good eye for catchy marketing – its branding has been slick from the very start and its advertising continues to be excellent to this day. Isn't its latest broadband marketing campaign just a little oddly-timed, however? Entitled "No Tricks Just Treats", the idea is for Orange to expose the small print in rivals' offerings. But the Halloween theme is a curious one for May.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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