Pembroke: Private viewing

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The Independent Online
INTERESTING follow-up to the revelation last week that the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, does not watch the box. This insight emerged at the launch of the BT3 prospectus when the Chancellor let slip that he did not have a view on the BT advertising campaign featuring the comedian Mel Smith as Inspector Morose because he hadn't seen any of it.

The snub stung Robin Wight, chairman of the advertising agency WCRS, into action. He promptly arranged the dispatch of a TV set, a video recorder and copies of all the BT commercials to the Chancellor's offices in the Treasury so that he could watch them at his leisure. Whether Mr Clarke actually bothered is not known.

BRAVE TYPES, some of these City boys. Paddy Broughton, 30, who is in foreign exchange derivatives at JP Morgan, and Mark Halstead, 26, an advertising executive, both received bravery awards yesterday after hauling a drowning man from the Thames.

The pair were rowing a coxed four near Hammersmith Bridge last June when, mid-row, they noticed a man in some distress, who, having consumed a few too many lagers, had decided to jump off the bridge.

Broughton and Halstead, obviously used to making quick decisions, leapt from their boat and brought the man to safety.

Their good deed was acknowledged by a special commendation from the Royal Humane Society. Broughton, who had the day off work to pick up his award, said: 'It was nice for someone to say thank you even though we were surrounded by other people who had stopped armed robberies.' People will expect him to do well in the next in-house swimming gala.

SQUABBLING has broken out between two rival groups who do sums for a living. As reported yesterday, the learned members of the actuarial profession are this month claiming to be 250 years old (this explains a lot). This follows the tracing back of roots to some obscure Scottish church types who started counting the dead in 1743.

So what say the accountants? That they are 500 years old (or nearly, anyway). The Institute of Chartered Accountants is whipping itself into a lather over an Italian Fransciscan friar called Luca Paciola who, as well as being a friend of Leonardo da Vinci, had the foresight to invent double-entry book-keeping, from which modern accountancy developed.

The anniversary is actually next year as the monk's bodice-ripper, Summa de Arithmetica, was written in 1494. The celebratory bash is planned at the Chartered Accountants' Hall in London, where a facsimile of the book will be on show. Bring your calculator.