Pembroke: Little loathing lost on City

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The Independent Online
GQ, the unspeakably glossy men's magazine, is probably not well read in City boardooms, where features on ski fashion and Mandy from EastEnders may be deemed of marginal importance. But the feature on '60 men we love to loathe' in the current issue might cause a ripple of interest.

Not many of the suited brigade are included, unfortunately, as the list is dominated by rock stars, sports people and TV celebs - Bono and the rest of U2 top the hate list, followed closely by Jamie Blandford and Graham Taylor. But there are a few: John Birt, the Armani-suited director general of the BBC, is up from 22 to 11. And the erstwhile Spurs double act, Alan Sugar and Terry Venables, are new entrants at 13, just ahead of Judge 'She's no angel' Starforth Hill.

Other suits include Jacques Attali, Tony O'Reilly and 'Tiny' Rowland. But what did the bagpiper in front of Dickens & Jones do to deserve his entry?

(Photograph omitted)

TELFORD, the new town famous for its irritating adverts and the M54, is getting terribly worked up about its 25th birthday celebrations next month. 'We've got loads planned,' gushes a new town spokesman, rattling off a jolly list including champagne breakfast, hot air balloons and a special birthday cake. No expense has been spared on the celebrity front, either. Topping the bill so far are John Selwyn Gummer and Status Quo.

COMPANIES that run trout farms must be quaking in their galoshes after an out-of- court settlement that is sending waves through the usually tranquil waters of angling.

Hull County Court was to have played host today to a case in which the Anglers Co- Operative Association was to take on two trout farms which, it had alleged, had allowed farm-bred trout to escape into the River Nidd in North Yorkshire. But before the case could be heard the two sides agreed a pounds 20,000 settlement, including damages and costs, that has apparently had fishermen up and down the country hurling their maggots into the air with glee.

The problem was that the two farms had apparently allowed some of their rainbow trout to escape. This, you might think, would be good news to anglers who would then have more fish to catch.

Not so. Expert anglers don't like rainbow trout as they are too easy to catch. Used to being fed up nice and fat for Sainsbury's chilled counter, they do not have the wit to avoid the hooks. They just aim straight for the bait and come an immediate cropper. No challenge for your fishermen, you see. Worse still, rainbow trout also drive out the more wiley and intellectually challenging brown trout.

Trout farmers are no doubt checking their netting nervously.

EXECUTIVES at Walt Disney may have thought they were living in the Hammer House of Horror rather than the Wonderful World of Disney. After all, taking a dollars 350m provision because of its troublesome offspring of Euro Disney is enough to choke off a verse of 'The Bare Necessities of Life' in anybody's throat. But the genie of the lamp is brightening things up no end.

According to Forbes magazine, the company is selling copies of Aladdin videos by the truckload. It was only released in October, but Disney has already shifted 23 million copies and expects to flog a further 7 million by Christmas. Estimated pre- tax profits are dollars 210m.

The sales surge pushes Aladdin ahead of Beauty and the Beast, which sold 22 million copies last year, 101 Dalmations (15.9m) and Fantasia (14.2m).

By contrast, Paramount has sold just 527,000 of the Demi Moore-Robert Redford pic, Indecent Proposal.

TICKET sales haven't gone quite as well as planned for the Christ Church association debate at Citibank in the City tomorrow evening. Either the subject, 'British economic decline - might it be or has it been reversed?', did not appeal, or the speakers - Peter Oppenheimer, economics tutor at Christ Church College, Oxford, and Peter Jay, BBC economics editor and Christ Church old boy - have not caught the imagination.

'It's a bit embarrassing, really. 'We're a bit down on the numbers,' says organiser David Southern, who admits he has sold only 30 tickets.