Pembroke: One more time

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CITY FOLK will be off en masse to the US next month for the New York marathon, with a fair sprinkling representing the charity Save the Rhino.

Twelve jogging enthusiasts from JP Morgan, NatWest Securities and Schroders will pound the city streets, with David Stirling and Johnny Roberts, two of the charity's representatives, flogging themselves along the 26 miles in full-length rhino costumes weighing two stone.

Alan Jacobs, an assistant director at Schroders, who won a safari holiday after raising the most money for the charity in the London marathon ( pounds 4,000) and then gave the prize back, is one who is rising to the challenge. 'But this is definitely my last marathon,' he puffs, although he apparently said that last time.

NEXT WEEK sees another step forward in niche marketing when Village Group,

which claims to be the largest gay organisation in the UK, unleashes its discount card on the market.

The card, which looks like an ordinary credit card, entitles the holder to a discount at more than 50 gay independent businesses in Greater London, including shops, restaurants, clubs and what it describes as specialist shops.

The blurb doesn't say whether you have to be gay to qualify for membership, but presumably it helps.

MUCH EXCITEMENT will surround the opening of the long-awaited court case between George Michael and his record company, Sony, at the High Court in London today, not least when the be- stubbled and earringed popster eventually takes the witness stand. Whatever will he wear? Will it be the leather jacket and ripped jeans of his Faith album, or perhaps the primary-coloured jackets favoured in more recent appearances? 'We don't know but we think he will be formally dressed,' a spokesman in the GM camp says testily.

STRANGE GOINGS on in Kenya, where a doctored version of an Independent article has been doing the rounds. The article features an investigation by the Bank of England into Mount Banking Corporation, the London bank that closed last year.

In the forged edition, the word 'Mount' has been changed, quite effectively in most cases, to 'Moi', for Daniel arap Moi, the Kenyan president, so the headline reads: 'Bank secretly ordered investigation of Moi.'

Heavily annotated, largely in Swahili, one comment reads: 'Africa must get rid of these lyches (presumably they mean leeches) who are colluding with our so-called leaders to syphon out wealth and steal our natural resources . . . The struggle has just begun.'

Pembroke doesn't know much about the Kenyan president but we can safely assume that whatever he has or hasn't done, he has never been investigated by the Bank of England.