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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
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

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable