The idea for the auction came from Moshe Gerstenhaber, the force behind the growth of KallKwik, the high-street chain of printers. Mr Gerstenhaber has got together with the Prince's Trust to call on Royalty, media celebrities, pop singers, artists and sportsmen to put their own design on a standard mask. The results will be auctioned at the end of November in the Royal Festival Hall.
The Prince's own design would certainly give a psychologist a field day. Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, contributes a rather dull green and blue splodge, no doubt in tune with his dress sense. We'll bring you more of the daft designs in due course.
The new Granada austerity regime installed by its chief executive, Gerry Robinson, at the former Forte hotels is clearly biting. One of my colleagues was lunching recently with the managing director of the Savoy, Ramon Pajares, and was deeply shocked to discover that they would have to serve themselves from a buffet, of all things.
Our unnerved journalist had a hard time with the serving tongs, but when Mr Pajares stepped up he grasped the spoon and fork in one hand and flipped the salmon and caviar rolls onto his plate with aplomb. Clearly Mr Pajares has not forgotten his early training in the hotels of Spain.
Needless to say, when Mr Robinson lunches with gentlemen of the press, waiters are on hand. Nick Fox of the Sunday Times has lunched with Mr Robinson so assiduously, and lectured Mr Robinson so often on what Granada should and shouldn't buy, that the latter has weakened and given Mr Fox a job.
According to Mr Fox, Mr Robinson said: "Why don't you come and try it, instead of talking about it to me."
So, in November, Mr Fox will start as an executive trainee in Granada, moving around all the operations. "I'll be turning beds and filling cars with petrol - I've got to get my fingers dirty," Mr Fox said. He will also have to work in Granada's Little Chef restaurants, prompting fellow scribblers to e-mail him with facetious orders for "eggs sunny side up".
Another day of fear and loathing at Sunday Business, the paper set up by Tom Rubython which went into administration and was then sold. Yesterday pounds 4.2m worth of unsecured creditors had the opportunity to turn up to four creditors' meetings, at which the administrators, Royce Peeling & Green, told them they would receive not a penny.
The administrators also said that they had compiled a report on Mr Rubython's behaviour as a director, a "D" report, and sent it to the DTI, as they must do by law for every director. The administrators didn't say what was in the report, and Mr Rubython said he hasn't seen it. He remains as editor.
Mind you, top-ranking creditors owed pounds 1.2m won't receive much either. New owner Gordon Brown paid only pounds 50,000 for the newspaper. The administrators said they might be able to get up to pounds 800,000 owed to them by advertisers.
Mr Rubython and another journalist on the title said they were suing a former member of the Sunday Business team who wrote an article this week about the paper which incensed Mr Rubython. He described the article as "shocking, ludicrous," and the author as "a nasty man". Ho hum.
Cairn Energy, the Scottish-based independent gas and oil exploration group, has appointed Peter Fowler, former British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, as a non-executive director.
A canny move. Cairn Energy's share price trebled earlier this year when it discovered huge gas reserves in the Sangu area of Bangladesh. No doubt Mr Fowler will smooth the way for Cairn's massive drilling plans.
Bill Gammell, chief executive of Cairn, has a proven eye for talent, which he may have honed when he played on the wing for the Scottish national rugby side. Mr Gammell recently promoted Hamish Grossart from non-executive to deputy chairman. Mr Grossart is a scion of the famous Edinburgh family of financiers. Mr Gammell hasn't put all his eggs in one haggis, however. Cairn is drilling in China and Vietnam as well, having vacated the US.
Lord Sterling of Plaistow, the chairman of P&O and supporter of the Conservative Party, was airing his Euro-sceptic credentials yesterday. Asked about the name to be given to the group's new pounds 2.6bn container joint venture with Royal Nedlloyd, he said some had toyed with calling it Eurolines. "Over my dead body," was the reaction of the man who oversaw a pounds 100,000 donation to the Tories last year. "You can be sure that the P&O flag and the Royal Nedlloyd flag will continue to fly over the ships."Reuse content