Tesco hogs the limelight by proving pigs can fly

City Diary

Staff at the Bank of England can testify that pigs do fly - if only six feet above the ground. Tesco heralded its plunge into financial services with a 25-foot inflatable piggy bank tethered outside the Bank in Threadneedle Street.

The people at NatWest - who are in effect running the Clubcard Plus initiative - diplomatically got permission from the powers that be in the Bank before the porker was inflated.

This is only the start for a nationwide "Hog Tour" of all Tesco's 545 stores for the piggy bank, starting with the group's Cheshunt, Hertfordshire head office today. For those of a certain age it brings back memories of Pink Floyd's first tour featuring the "Wall" album, during which the band tethered a similar inflatable pig over its gigs. "Ours is a cuddly pig," a Tesco's spokeswoman points out. "The Pink Floyd one was a bit ferocious."

The City is in the grip of Euro '96 fever. This week the Save the Children's Human Table Football tournament will feature over 50 City teams battling it out for supremacy in the Broadgate Arena.

The games will be blown-up versions of the pub game of table football, but with people taking the part of the rotating plastic players. Later in the month teams from the London insurance market are taking part in a seven-a-side tournament, "1996 European Football Challenge", organised by footie-loving solicitors Paisner & Co. The teams have yet to be finalised, but should include insurers Munich RE (for Germany), Scor UK (France), Assitalia (Italy) and Lloyds syndicate managers Brockbank (England).

Stakis chief executive David Michels has been comforting himself with one piece of good news, despite the hotels and casinos group's less than brilliant results. Under the Home Office's proposals for casino deregulation, Draconian bans on any form of advertising by gambling halls will be eased - slightly.

At the moment casinos are not even allowed to list themselves in phone books, let alone advertise in newspapers. The consultation document on deregulation recommends that casinos should henceforward be listed in phone books, in-flight magazines and hotel rooms. This may be pretty minimal, Mr Michels admits, but at least it's a start. As he says, "It's difficult to run a business your customers are not allowed to find."

The United States has always prided itself on championing freedom of speech, but it takes a pretty dim view of the financial probity of journalists if its latest visa requirements are anything to go by.

According to the United States embassy in London, journalists wanting to apply for a visa to visit the US must pay a fee first: "You should take the enclosed paying-in slip to the nearest Barclays Bank and pay the fee IN CASH." Cripes, they must have had a few dud cheques in the past.

To have a reasonable chanceof winning a share of the lottery jackpot over 60 years of playing you should buy 1,000 tickets a week according to John Haigh, a Reader in maths and statistics at the University of Sussex, in a recent article for RSS News.

New targets: Thames TV is finally cutting its roots with the Teddington Lock TV studios in west London. Parent Pearson is close to selling the site and is moving all its UK television operations to an empty office block just north of Oxford Street, on Tottenham Court Road.

Thames, maker of such classic series as The Sweeney (above) Grundy, ACI and Select will all move to central London as soon as the Teddingtion deal is signed. Sources say that there are a dozen parties interested in buying the site, four or five of whom would keep Teddington as a television production centre.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments