Pembroke: Tories make waves at Capital Radio

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The Independent Online
There are some very unhappy bunnies at Capital Radio following the station's starring role in a Conservative Party election broadcast on the eve of yesterday's local elections. The ad featured a house- hunting couple driving along a London street when suddenly a Conservative type starts speaking at them from the car radio. The radio's display very clearly showed Capital's frequency, 95.8FM.

This has not gone down too well with Capital or its listeners, many of whom have rung in to complain that the station should appear so partisan. 'We didn't know anything about it and our permission was very definitely not sought,' Capital says. 'We are very embarrassed about it. We do not endorse any political party.' Capital has requested a video of the commercial and will be holding an investigation. The Tories, meanwhile, remain unabashed. 'Car radios do not talk to people, so there was clearly an element of fantasy about it,' a Central Office official says.

A BIT of board re-shaping at Capital Radio yesterday as two of holding company's non- executive directors announced that they were handing their trannies back. David Maule- ffinch, who is based in the United States, has quit for geographical reasons, while Cob Stenham has resigned because of 'the pressure of other business commitments'. This seems an understatement. He is chairman of Arjo Wiggins Appleton, deputy chairman of the shipbuilder VSEL, and a non- executive director of six others including Rothmans, Rank Organisation, Trafalgar House and Unigate. Perhaps Mr Stenham has just read the Cadbury report and decided to trim his bulging portfolio.

PASSENGERS waiting for 'the Drain' connection from London's Waterloo to Bank yesterday morning were bemused by an announcement over the tannoy. 'Customers will be pleased to know that all trains are running normally,' spake the Underground man, at which point one passenger, clearly not used to such happy tidings, punched the air with joy.

Fashion-conscious readers might be interested to know that Allan Griffiths, receiver to the forklift truck maker, Lancer Boss, is fiercely loyal to his charges. He even wears Boss spectacles.

American Express, which has had its UK head office in Brighton for more than 25 years, clearly likes to be beside the seaside. In fact it likes it so much that it is backing a touring exhibition of British coastal towns.

The 'Resorts of Delight' exhibition, which opens in Weston- super-Mare next weekend, traces the history of the British seaside resort from Punch and Judy shows to piers and proms. 'We're very keen on coastal regeneration,' Amex says. 'In Brighton we have proved that business and pleasure do mix.'

It's official. You now need a passport to visit Folkestone. Or at least you do according to Eurotunnel. The Channel tunnel company is staging its big inauguration today and the jamboree's registration will be held at Folkestone rugby club. 'Personnel must have their passport with them at all times. Without a valid passport entry to the site will be denied,' warns the accreditation note. 'We need to have some sort of identification,' Eurotunnel explains.

There were whisperings in the City yesterday when a team of brokers from Panmure Gordon was spotted filing into the offices of SG Warburg at 7am. What could they be up to? Other dealers alighted on Argyll Group, where the two are joint brokers, as the reason for the meeting. The thinking was that there might be an announcement on Argyll's Lo Cost stores.

The rumour factory even had Argyll shares rising. On a missed guess, as it turned out. The Panmure and Warburg teams were chewing over Wassall, the mini- conglomerate where the pair are also joint brokers.

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