Pembroke: Virgin stowaway on BA flight

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The Independent Online
Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson's airline, has scored yet another victory over British Airways in their long-running battle. On a recent BA flight from Tokyo to Heathrow, the cabin staff were dutifully handing out pre-dinner drinks in Club class, when, shock horror, a passenger was handed a drink . . . in a Virgin glass.

Having had his attention drawn to this eyebrow-raising bit of competitor infiltration, the steward promptly whipped the glass away and replaced it with one emblazoned all over with the British Airways logo. 'It was probably the catering company,' the embarrassed steward explained. 'But Virgin and BA are really very good friends,' he continued, tongue presumably firmly wedged in cheek.

Leon Andrews-Zannetou, who bought the London Dungeon tourist attraction when developing the leisure group Kunick which he left seven years ago when it started diversifying into nursing homes and fruit machines, is making a comeback.

Next month he opens the first phase of the House of Detention, an underground prison in Clerkenwell, London, which is to be developed as a tourist attraction. It is the start of a new leisure group that Mr Andrews-Zannetou plans to bring to the market within two years.

Exhibits will include the 'coming to life' of the hands and face of Albert Pierrepoint, England's last hangman, and an animated section featuring other methods of execution including beheading, stoning and the electric chair.

The first phase of the exhibition will include 45 cells, though 176 have been found.

Mr Andrews-Zannetou, who has financed the initial pounds 250,000 phase himself, plans to place shares to finance the rest, which will cost at least pounds 2m. But he will not allow the Kunick situation to recur. 'This time I will keep control all the way,' he says.

Here's a thing for stock market investors. Instead of investing your money on a year-in, year-out basis, or adhering to the 'sell in May then go away' maxim, take a look at the advice offered by David Schwartz. A New York statistics buff who now lives in Gloucestershire, Mr Schwartz claims to have identified seasonal variations in the market.

Since selling his New York-based market research agency in 1986 and cashing in his share portfolio just before the 1987 stock market crash ('it was luck'), Mr Schwartz has spent years trawling through historic stock market data.

April is a terrific month, he says, as is the first week in May. June and September, by contrast, are dismal.

The entrepreneurial American has now compiled the data in a diary format with one page for appointments facing one of data on how the market has traditionally performed that week.

If enthusiasm and commitment count for anything, Mr Schwartz deserves some success. He is publishing the diary himself and has pumped pounds 40,000 into the project. 'I'm down on the prayer mat every day praying,' he says.

Coopers & Lybrand is coming over all unloved and misunderstood in the latest issue of Phoenix, the group's quarterly insolvency journal. Lamenting the 'shoot the messenger' mentality, the firm, which has racked up huge fees in cases such as Polly Peck, devotes the entire August issue of the magazine to trying 'to explain more fully what we do for a living'.

'Nothing we say or do is likely to prevent us from being criticised for the scale of a mess we have inherited, rather than caused,' blubs Chris Hughes, a partner.