Pembroke: A whiff of common sense

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The Independent Online
FUND manager Mark Flawn Thomas will be leaping around on the BBC's Big Breakfast this morning brandishing his radishes.

Mr Flawn Thomas, who runs Chartfield fund management, is appearing in the guest slot where celebrities (sort of) give helpful hints. He will explain how a chopped radish can get rid of unpleasant odours.

The handy hint was passed on to Mr Flawn Thomas by an acupuncturist who took pity on him when she heard how he had spilt a pint of milk on the carpet of his Volkswagen GTi. It created a dreadful whiff and he promptly lost all his friends.

'It stank to high heaven for two years. It got to the point where I was thinking of selling the car,' he says. The radish, I am told, did the trick.

WHEN Naim Attallah, flamboyant chief executive of Asprey, is not flogging posh jewellery and leather address books in the Bond Street shop, he is busy being an author.

Several books down the road, he is now thinking of turning to the stage. 'I'd like to write a play,' he tells me in that voice that shoots up an octave when he gets excited. 'A comedy, I think. Being a bon viveur, I don't think I'll be short of plots.'

THE announcement that Josephine Hart's recruitment agency, Graduate Appointments, is to seek a stock market listing brings together a number of interesting players.

Ms Hart, who is reversing her agency into a Nigerian mining company (now a shell), is the celebrated author of doorstep bodice-ripper novels Damage and Sin. And her husband is Maurice Saatchi, he of the advertising agency, who will become non-executive chairman of the reconstituted board.

Then there is the intriguing Irish question. The glamorous Ms Hart hails from Co Westmeath and is a committed fund- raiser for the Ireland Fund of Great Britain, a charity that promotes peace, unity and community projects in northern and southern Ireland.

And who did she choose as PR man for her flotation? None other than diehard Ulster Unionist David Burnside, the former public affairs director of British Airways. Their meetings must have been sparky, to say the least.

GAFFE 1: by the Post Office in Leeds. Ever eager to please, the local posties have produced little sticky labels of Post Office phone numbers and sent them to journalists and important customers in the Leeds area. Unfortunately the Post Office got the Leeds code wrong, listing it as 0534 rather than 0532. Obsequious apologies have followed and a fresh, correct batch is on its way.

GAFFE 2: by Extel Financial, which issued its rankings of City analysts yesterday. Special praise was lavished on a chap called Peter Wilton and his team at James Capel for the 'best piece of research'.

So memorable was the research and its author that Extel got Mr Wilton's name wrong. He's actually called Paul.