Pembroke: Fit to be tied at Granada

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CHARLES ALLEN's broken arm continues to cause embarrassment over at Granada Television. The accident occurred, you may recall, when the Granada TV chief executive slipped going into a bar, while holidaying in Turkey.

Last week, arm still in sling, he was in a meeting with Mike Southgate, managing director of the London studios, and Granada TV's personnel director, Stephanie Monk.

So imagine the career opportunity when both noticed that the poor man's shoelaces were undone. Ingratiatingly, both dived under the table to tie the laces, bashing their heads together in the process. Mr Southgate is doubly sore: Ms Monk beat him to the task.

SHOCK WAVES hit the City yesterday, when Tomkins' chief executive, Greg Hutchings, cracked a joke. Asked to explain why the company had increased its dividend by more than the growth in earnings, he quipped: 'I needed to build an extension on my house.'

Some extension. Mr Hutchings' six million plus shares would net him a dividend cheque not unadjacent to pounds 318,000. Enough to buy a whole house.

LIFE aboard the privatisation express at British Rail continues to be a lucrative business. According to a paper prepared by the Labour MP Frank Dobson, the latest to laugh all the way to the bank are the public relations advisers hired to make the great rail sell-off seem a good idea.

The paper reveals that Dewe Rogerson, the firm that helped Enterprise Oil fail to take over Lasmo, banked pounds 611,000 for about a year's work. Isn't that quite a lot of (taxpayers') money? 'It was quite a lot of work,' Cary Martin, a director, retorts.

But Dewe Rogerson's ride on the gravy train is over now, anyway. It lost the account in a beauty parade to rival firm Shandwick Consultants, which will no doubt be racking up the charges too.

ERNST & YOUNG is really getting into this art lark. Earlier this year, the accountants sponsored a Picasso exhibition at the Tate. Nothing wrong with that, except that in its publicity material the firm was moved to make risible comparisons between Picasso's greatness and its own.

Now it is putting its name to a Cezanne exhibition in 1996 that may offer similar opportunities. 'I haven't even started thinking about it yet,' sniffed an E&Y suit.

THE AMERICANS have won the World Cup. Not the real thing but the alternative inter- bank version held last week in the City. First National Bank of Chicago beat Saudi International on penalties in the final. As with USA '94, the Colombians flattered to deceive. A guest side from the Colombian Tourist Board were the pre-tournament favourites but were knocked out in the quarter-finals.