Pembroke: A little bare-faced cheek can go a long way

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The Independent Online
Ceri Jones, the bubbly blonde who left Financial Adviser to become editor of sister paper Investors Chronicle, seems to have set an interesting new standard at the weekly financial organ. At the 35-year- old's farewell bash at Mustards brasserie in London last Friday, fellow hacks hired a stripagram for the occasion.

The stripper arrived wearing a pair of fetching orange trousers which were soon discarded, leaving the star-turn sporting only a G-string. 'I was an absolute wimp,' admits Ms Jones. 'I rubbed some oil into his bum and that was it.'

Unfortunately, the restaurant was not amused. 'We were not forewarned, which would have been common courtesy,' the manager said. The stripagram was allowed to finish his act, then asked to leave.

We look forward to a new brighter, saucy IC under Ms Jones' stewardship. What odds on a Page Seven fella?

SUMO in the City: four days of alternative sumo wrestling started yesterday at the Broadgate Centre in London. The 12ft latex wrestlers are strapped to lunchtime office gladiators' backs

MIDLAND BANK is the latest to throw its hat into the ring in the trend towards TV programme sponsorship. The bank is to put its name to Moving Story, a six-part sitcom that starts on 26 May. Written by Jack Rosenthal, who co-wrote the Barbra Streisand movie Yentl, it centres on a team of removal men. Midland, which plans to use its grim Griffin-adorned sofa adverts in the sponsorship, hopes the deal will raise its profile in the mortgage market.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are walking on British-made carpet in the White House thanks to Brintons of Kidderminster. Golden Serenade, pounds 3,000 worth of pale yellow Axminster, was chosen by the First Lady to match the yellow curtains and walls selected by Nancy Reagan. Kiddermister's finest now adorns the floor of the West sitting room in the Clintons' private quarters.

It isn't the first high-profile order Brintons has landed. Just before Christmas it laid 110,000 square feet of carpet in the 5,000- bedroom MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and earlier this month carpeted the office of Boris Yeltsin. 'We are not publicising the White House contract in the US in case it arouses ill-feeling that they didn't buy American,' says Brintons.

THE ATHENAEUM Hotel is already turning its attention to next month's World Cup. The Piccadilly establishment is inviting City workers to enter its World Cup Challenge competition. Open to anyone working within the London postal districts EC1-4, the competition invites entrants to name the top and bottom four teams in the competition.

Guessing the worst performers is a mixed blessing. The winner gets a free night for two at the Athenaeum but also a trip to a grotty game next season featuring one of this season's relegated clubs. Consolation prize: you get to go there in a chauffeur- driven limo.

(Photograph omitted)

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