People & Business: Switch on, stump up for the great celestial football spectacular
Wednesday 12 February 1997
The interviewer asks the ebullient Mr Fraher for his views on pay-per- view football. Mr Fraher replies that armchair fans should regard the planned electronic season ticket for such services as a "celestial turnstile".
Only investors can decide whether Mr Fraher's got his head in the clouds or if he's on a stairway to heaven.
The Man from the Pru is back - after being declared officially dead two years ago. The Prudential has woken up to the fact that, although it has not used the slogan about door-to-door salesmen in its advertising since 1978, an overwhelming majority of the public still think of the phrase first when the company is mentioned.
A new ad campaign kicks off this Friday with Sir Peter Davis, the company's portly chief executive, posing on television as "the man".
The company attempted to kill off the idea of residential collectors two years ago, when it declared that it was ending door-to-door collections for new business. Despite this, over 2,000 Pru collectors still quietly ply their trade on Britain's doorsteps.
"We want to get rid of the bike clips and trilby image, but keep the idea of the man from the Pru being friendly and helpful," a company spokesman says. "Now all 22,000 employees of the company will have to see themselves as the Man from the Pru. This will regain the confidence of the public in both the company and the industry.'' Brave words indeed, particularly for the female staff at the Pru.
The phrase was first coined in 1949 when the Illustrated Magazine ran a feature about a Mr Sawyer, a collector for the Pru who did his rounds in Hextable, Kent. The prospect of Sir Peter Davis pounding on my front door is certainly an intriguing one.
P&P, the computer services group named after co-founders Pete and Pam Fisher, is changing its moniker to Skillsgroup.
Has the company fallen out with the couple who launched the business, then? Pete Fisher still sits on the board and has a substantial stake in the business. "Not at all," says a Skillsgroup spokesperson. "We have three main brands, and the P&P brand now contributes only a third to company profits. We felt it was time to reflect this in the name of the company."
It still seems a bit odd. Companies usually change their name in an attempt to jettison associations with a less than successful past, whereas P&P's share price has risen from around 20p five years ago to 180p today.
Mr and Mrs Fisher launched the company in 1979 as a distributor of computers. They divorced in the late 1980s, and Pam Fisher went off to the US to run a graphics company. Pete, a former social worker, is still a non- executive director.
So Alan Shearer, the Newcastle striker who captains England against Italy at Wembley tonight, has signed up to promote Jaguar. The lucky sharpshooter gets a Jag XJ 4.0-litre saloon for his troubles. Commenting on the three- year agreement, the Tyneside maestro comments: "Jaguar represents for me the best of British." Strange, since it's owned by Ford of Detroit.
"I've also seen at first hand Jaguar's modern production lines and met their enthusiastic workforce," Mr Shearer adds. Until recently Jaguar's Coventry production lines were a byword for antiquity. Only since the unmentioned Americans intervened have things got better.
Yesterday's news that there are now over 80,000 millionaires in the UK did nothing for Keith Sharp's blood pressure. The journalist and author's fourth book, The Dreamer's Guide to Becoming a Millionaire, published 18 months ago, has done less well than his previous books, and sales are now plummeting.
"It's just incredible," fumes Mr Sharp. "I timed this book to coincide with the launch of the Lottery, but the number of copies sold has actually gone down over the last 10 months. I'd given up on the thing, then this report about a record number of millionaires comes out."
If any of you want to ease Mr Sharp's blood pressure, you can still buy the tome, published under the pseudonym James Matthison, for a mere pounds 5.95.
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...