Arts and Entertainment Regal eye: ‘Hidden Histories: Britain’s Oldest Family Businesses’ featured Fiona Toye’s firm

A stray glance at last night's BBC4 schedules might have tricked people into thinking that Britain's Oldest Family Businesses were being given the Horrible Histories treatment. Alas, this is actually part of a three-part strand called Hidden Histories, which is similar in that it is about history, but different in that it is a very on-the-straight-and-narrow documentary for BBC4 rather than a daft romp through the past with Steve Punt and pals.

In Business: Jonathan Muirhead, Bridge of Weir Leather company

Leather forecast still good after 245 years

Who's in the house?: Keep it in the family

The woman who gave the world `Adrian Mole' shares an eclectic Leicester workspace with relatives and friends

Obituary: Robert Bingham

ROBERT BINGHAM had an overtly enviable existence and, though his accidental death at 33 is self-evidently tragic, his own sophisticated, subversive view of the world might not have seen it so. That is to say, though he would equally happily have lived to 80, Bingham's sensibility was sufficiently bold, caustic and audacious that it could easily encompass early death as just yet another maudlin ploy.

Classical: Still so controversial, still so new

For some, Berlioz is the world's greatest composer, for others he is scarcely a musician. Bayan Northcott examines his eccentric and still hotly debated legacy

Store's staff go to war

John Lewis calls its employees 'partners', but the paternalistic chain of stores is denying them a pounds 100,000 windfall. Emma Cook reports

The family business is hell for the family

Natasha Walter's Notebook

Pentland jumps on buy-out plan

SHARES IN Pentland, the branded clothing and footwear specialists, jumped 34.4 per cent after the group announced it was negotiating a pounds 490m management buy-out.

Film Studies: Louis B Mayer: reborn on the fourth of July

This is a Fourth of July story, and it takes a long journey. A man named Lazar Meir was born in the summer of 1885, somewhere in Ukraine. Lazar never knew the precise date. In later years, though, he did what he could to bury the real place. Why? Because he had been born very poor, in ignominious circumstances; and because by the late 1930s he was Louis B Mayer, the West Coast executive in charge of Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. He was by then not just "American", but the friend of President Herbert Hoover, of Henry Ford and William Randolph Hearst; and in 1937 he was paid $1.3m, which made him the highest-salaried person in the land. He held that title for nine years, and he had long since decided that his birthday was 4 July. So on that public holiday he threw a swaggering picnic on the studio's Culver City lot, to which his stars brought flags, and gifts for Mr Mayer.
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