Sooty bares his legs on children's television

People & Business
Click to follow
The Independent Online
David Potter's Guinness Mahon group is responsible for one of the most shocking innovations in television: Sooty with legs.

Yesterday afternoon ITV screened the first of a 13-part cartoon series of our glove puppet friend, with the frolicsome bear's legs being shown for the first time.

Until now all intellectual rights to Sooty belonged to Guinness Mahon Development Capital's Global Rights Fund, which bought the rights last year. This meant only institutional investors could take a stake in the puppet, but yesterday Guinness Mahon Venture Capital Trust bought a 33 per cent stake at a cost of pounds 750,000. This means individuals will be able to invest in Sooty via GMVCT.

There seems no end to Sooty's financial possibilities, according to Gordon Power, managing director of GMDC: "The launch of the cartoon series Sooty's Amazing Adventures will mark the first significant step to break into the world market." He'll be running for Lord Mayor next.

There's nothing quite like an EGM rumpus to get the new year off to a good start, and Costain's EGM didn't fail us. Yesterday the construction group's new chairman, Dr Azman Firdaus bin Shafii, was faced by a pungent group of New Age anti-roads protesters, but they turned out to be the least of his worries.

At one point a wizened shareholder got to his feet and asked the chairman: "Do you know the difference between a dodecahedron and a tetrahedron?"

Dr Azman didn't come up with an answer; whether he didn't know or was simply too bemused by the question remains open to debate. The shareholder then signed off with a quote in Latin, which, sadly, our correspondent failed to catch.

A Costain spokesman tells me that before the EGM the same shareholder refused to let security guards examine his bulging pockets, saying he had " hundreds of thousands of pounds in them".

So Costain's press spokesman, Tim Westman, and a security guard accompanied the shareholder to a toilet, where they found his pockets were filled with bundles of old Costain tax vouchers. Strange but true.

The 84-page Woolwich transfer document landed on our financial reporter's doormat at the crack of dawn yesterday morning with such a loud thump that it woke her up. This is what marketing men call "making an impact". She awaits the crash of the mighty Halifax document later this week with trepidation.

The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants has changed its name to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Its acronym remains the same - Acca.

So why wasn't the old association known as Caca? And why change? Does this have anything to do with the fact that "caca" means "faeces" in Spanish, I wonder?

Obviously such an acronym would not go down terribly well in Spanish- speaking countries. A spokeswoman for Acca says this was not the reason for the renaming.

Peter Langard, president of Acca, explains: "Chartered is now the generic designation for all professionally qualified accountants. This advertising campaign stresses that chartered certified accountants are skilled professionals who practise to the highest standards of expertise and ethics."

And definitely nothing to do with caca.

One of my colleagues has noticed that Lombard Street in the heart of the City is not the pulsating thoroughfare it once was. Banks have been moving out.

TSB used to have its head office at number 60, but when it sold up to Lloyds Bank its operations transferred across the road to Lloyds' head office at number 71. The TSB building has been empty since last year.

Royal Bank of Scotland has moved its head office operations from Lombard Street to High Holborn, outside the City. Clydesdale Bank, owned by National Australia Bank, has moved its head office operations from Lombard Street to two other City sites.

So is this historic thoroughfare next to the Bank of England dying on its feet? "Not judging by the pubs I go to," says a Lloyds spokesman.

Comments