From the leaders debate to the Holborn fire: Here's what got us talking this week

Catherine Neilan
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Leader debates: The calm before the storm (Source: Getty)
There was a fire. Then there was another fire. And in Salford, there were fireworks (or was it a damp squib?). Considering it was a short week, plenty happened.

Here's what got us talking.

1. And they were off.
It may feel like they've been at it for weeks, but Monday was officially the start of campaigning for the General Election. The Tories got in early with widespread support from the business community (although there were two fewer backing them by the weekend) it was a bad week for Nick Clegg, who is on course to lose his Sheffield Hallam seat.
We've also crunched the numbers to find out which party is the most expensive to campaign for (look away now Ukip fans).
And lastly, we launched our poll tracker, measuring the support for each of the six main parties. There's even a doughnut of destiny to help you keep on top of the polls from the last two weeks.
2. The Quindell klaxon sounded.
Quindell shares were suspended. When trading was restored, it disclosed that it had got its sums wrong on the Slater & Gordon deal, to the tune of £13.5m. You can't insurance out for that.
3. Things got a bit hot under the collar.
Fires broke out in shopping outlet Bicester Village and Kingsway, Holborn on the same day. No one was hurt in either case, but businesses were certainly affected.
It got us wondering, which parts of London were the fire hotspots. And we were surprised by what we found, especially the east-west divide when it came to arson.
4. The first day in April didn't fool us.
But did it fool you? These were our favourite jokes (and the ones we loved to hate). And you can put your cynicism to the test by taking this fiendish quiz to see whether you can spot the fake.
5. Seiken signed out.
Telegraph Media Group's controversial editor-in-chief resigned on Thursday. He'd been in the role for just 18 months but it's probably safe to describe his tenure as a memorable one.

Leisurely reads

As you settle into the four-day weekend, we've got plenty of long reads for you to get your teeth into.
This week, the government's ill-fated attempt to privatise Hinchingbrooke Hospital came to an end, when contractor Circle handed it back to the NHS. We spoke exclusively to the company about what – and who - was to blame.
We also investigated the world of esports – huge in much of the rest of the world, emerging in the UK – and asked whether it could replicate that growth to become a multi-million dollar industry domestically.
If you think you have a nose for wine, you might be interested to read this piece about the famous critic Robert Parker, and why he is skipping the famous Bordeaux tasting this year. Grapes and wrath indeed.
Lastly, we spoke to Brendan Meehan, former partner at KPMG and current finance and legal executive at Leeds Fans Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), who this week launched an ambitious fundraising project which they hope will lead to fan representation on the board of Leeds United. Could it be the largest ever seen in the UK? Meehan certainly seems to think so.

Great reads from elsewhere

While not strictly a business story, this article detailing how one man became a huge celebrity after his phone was stolen is an incredible read, if only so you can imagine how your brand could go viral in the same way. Keep dreaming.
In the new world of on-demand everything, you’re either pampered, isolated royalty — or you’re a 21st century servant, claims this article, which imagines a not-so-distant future. Whether that vision is valid is up for debate.
And this Washington Post piece considers what life is like to work for company that insists on a “no boss” approach. Could you work in a holacracy?

The Last Word

(Source: Getty/CityAM)

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