Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)


Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)


Article excerpt

WHO is mad enough to spend several days locked up with Sir Alan Sugar, even if it is for charity?

Cheryl Cole, pictured, Maureen Lipman, Alastair Campbell, Karren Brady, Trinny Woodall, Piers Morgan, Ross Kemp, Jo Brand, Rupert Everett - that's who. The BBC has squirrelled them away in a London hotel for a Comic Relief celebrity version of The Apprentice to be aired in March. Unfortunately, while it's all for a good cause, Sugar, who loathes celebs, refused to curb his snarling ways, treating them to an array of insults. A huge row ensued, with their agents complaining to the BBC and threatening to withdraw them.

One, Everett, has walked out - he was so angry he even refused to film a parting shot. Sugar has now been told to tone down his antics, and on they go.

* ACCORDING to Richard Ratner, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, this looks like being the worst Christmas for 25 years. One place where his comments will resonate loudly is Woolworths. In 1981, the store chain was forced to make a profits warning in the run-up to Christmas. Soon after, investors forced a change of management. Roll forward to this year... * ROD ALDRIDGE must be a happy man. In the nine months since he stepped down from Capita over the controversy surrounding his loan to the Labour Party, his stake in the outsourcing group has shot up to a record [pounds sterling]96 million. When he quit in March, it was worth [pounds sterling]71.3 million. So in the near-nine months away, he has seen his shares rise by about [pounds sterling]2.7 million a month. It beats work any time.

* STRANGE twist: National Westminster sold Hawkpoint in 2000, and the boutique investment advisory service moved out of the bank building at 41 Lothbury. Six years later, Hawkpoint has relocated - to 41 Lothbury.

* WHEN is a record a record? When US investment banks Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns repeat it no fewer than 37 times between them in their 2006 profit announcements. …

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