Nigel Lawson

The thick of it: How to be chancellor (and survive)

No political office is more demanding – and as this week's revelations of tensions between Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling illustrate, none is less forgiving. For his latest BBC series, Michael Cockerell asked chancellors past and present how they survived Whitehall's toughest brief

Sir Denis Rooke: Engineer and chairman of British Gas who battled

The Queen bestows the Order of Merit only on a few who have achieved exceptional distinction. Denis Rooke, OM, Fellow of the Royal Society, pioneer of liquid petroleum gas, and chairman of British Gas plc and under its previous nomenclatures from 1976 to 1989, richly deserved the honour.