Business diary: No desire to bury bad news

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The Independent Online

Interdealer broker Tullett Prebon is rightly proud of Tim Morgan, its global head of research, who has just spent a not inconsiderable amount of time putting together a real state-of-the-nation report on the UK economy. So much so that it wants to ensure that the report, which includes a warning that "the UK is mired in debt and her economy is flatlining", gets as much coverage as possible. Today's launch, therefore, has been postponed by a week, in order to make sure it is not eclipsed by coverage of the Murdoch family's trip to Parliament this morning.

Making merry with Murdoch

In these difficult times, a bit of good humour is necessary to lift us all. With that in mind, the Diary today launches an appeal for your best News Corporation gags. Here's our contribution, to start you off: Rupert Murdoch walks into a bar. "Don't worry, mate, I know just how you feel," says the barman. "We've not got Sky either." If you can do better, email us at the address below.

Apprentice learns from his master

Tom Pellereau has hit the ground running after winning The Apprentice on Sunday night – yesterday he signed up a public-relations agency. We look forward to hearing more about Tom's now-famous office chairs from Frank PR, though we'd also like to hear a little more from the agency on one of its other clients. Stella English, who won last year's show, is also on the books of Frank, but we haven't seen much of her since her triumph back in December. Lord Sugar, by the way, is a Frank client too. All very cosy.

A blood sport to agree on

Fans of US sport will know that the stars of American football have been locked out through most of the off-season as they and their owners have been engaged in a bitter pay dispute. Many have characterised it as millionaires vs billionaires and declared "a pox on both your houses". But the Diary rather likes broadcaster Al Michaels' alternative take on the argument. "You want a real 'pox on both their houses' dispute?" he says. "Let's line up hedge fund managers against derivatives traders – the winners get a trip to Pamplona to run with the bulls."