Pembroke: Samantha makes headlines

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The Independent Online
SAMANTHA Phillips, the former Willis Corroon broker who won her case for sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal earlier this week, will now be getting back to business in her day job. She runs Inside Eye, the monthly magazine that styles itself 'the inside track on the Lloyd's market'.

Ms Phillips founded the title in April last year after she was unceremoniously dumped from her pounds 17,000-a-year job at Willis Corroon. She cobbled together the start-up money with funds from the Bethnal Green City Challenge and the DTI Enterprise Scheme and is selling annual subscriptions for pounds 149.

Regular slots such a 'Litigation Corner' and features with headlines like 'The silver spoon: how brokers have it easy at Lloyd's' have not endeared it to some of Lime Street's old hands, but that is probably the point.

LEON ANDREWS, the compact live-wire who founded Kunick, the London Dungeon group, is planning to go one step further in his love of history and gore. Last October he opened the House of Detention, a 17th-century prison in London. Now he hopes to open up the catacombs underneath the Bastille in Paris.

'It's at a very early stage, but if everything goes to plan I would like to open it in a couple of years,' he says. 'I want to make sure I have finished the House of Detention first.'

This is not as easy at it sounds. Mr Andrews regularly spooks his wife by visiting the prison late at night to undertake excavation work with a Kango hammer and spade. Last month he broke through a wall, fell 20 feet and landed on his head. 'This explains a lot,' his wife says.

IF TOMMY HILFIGER Corporation, the trendy American clothing company, starts selling polyester trousers and outsize Y-fronts, you will know who to blame. Step forward Clinton Silver, the former Marks and Spencer deputy chairman, who was appointed to the board yesterday.

The man who spent 42 years developing strategies for navy socks and winceyette nighties might blush when he sees his new employer's advert in the latest issue of US Esquire: a group of young men lowering their Levi's to reveal designer underwear. Things were never like this at Baker Street.

FIRST Rupert Murdoch makes noises about supporting Tony Blair. Now Harpers & Queen has joined in. In an article that asks, is it possible to have a Coutts bank account and a social conscience?, it boldly states: 'Labour is about to take the middle ground, middle England and the middle class.' Cripes.

DESPERATE publicity stunt of the week comes from Columbus Travel Insurance. The budget insurer has pounced on the decision of Lady Helen Windsor to furnish her first- born with the name of the explorer and been moved to offer discounts on travel insurance to the US.