City Diary: Status anxiety for Lord Grade as showbiz grandee’s title gets the chop

City Diary: Status anxiety for Lord Grade as showbiz grandee’s title gets the chop

“That’s a funny way to hand in your notice,” said the showbiz grandee, waspishly.

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Still at the Tower, the BVCA was careful not to make the same mistake as last year, when it caused offence by booking a semi-naked burlesque dancer as the evening’s entertainment. As one outraged female private equity executive remarked: “I didn’t pay for my dinner to stare at the floor.” Taking the feedback on board, the BVCA this year hired a tasteful – and fully clothed – 1920s singer and jazz band.

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A very sleepy hollow

Chancellor George Osborne, look away now. Travelodge, the budget hotel chain, says workers with “morning after the night before” syndrome as the office party season gets underway will cost the economy £2.7bn.

Thanks to a rigorous straw poll, Travelodge has discovered that 76pc of Britain’s nigh-on 30m workers will attend a Christmas party, with the average employee attending three festive events.

If each of these employees spends three hours “in a hungover state” after each bash, calculates Travelodge, then 22.7m people will each write off nine hours next month. Factor in the average hourly wage of £12.76, and, well … Travelodge has already done the maths.

Expect Sleepy Hollow, as the Travelodge HQ is known, to live up to its name on the “Black Friday” after its own head-office blowout on December 19…

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Is Greggs the Baker, the pasty-maker that defeated George Osborne’s attempts to tax hot pies, concerned about its cholesterol count? The baker’s new independent non-exec director, the marketing veteran Helena Ganczakowski, was once the global vice-president of “heart health” at Unilever.

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Angela’s gift that keeps on giving

“The greatest gift I can receive in return [for my legacy] is to see the true measure of the company’s success,” trilled soon-to-depart Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts earlier this week.

Burberry’s continued success would indeed be a great gift for Ahrendts.

On the day she made that touching speech about “following your intuition”, Ahrendts received an extra £5m of equity through a Burberry share plan, boosting her stake in the retailer by 76pc to just over £11.5m.

It beats the traditional gold watch.

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M&S rains on Sir Phil’s parade … again

Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green’s parental pride at seeing daughter Chloe unveil her new shoe collection may have been tempered by another emotion. Regret, perhaps. Or even rage.

Whether by chance or design (surely not), the pre-roll ad before one newspaper website’s video interview with Chloe was the latest Christmas effort from M&S.

With apologies to the M&S food marketing, this is not just a retail rival, this is a retail rival that famously made Sir Phil lose face by knocking back his £10bn hostile takeover bid.

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harriet.dennys@telegraph.co.uk

Finance News – Business news from the UK and world


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