SIR Stuart Rose was on fire yesterday as he churned out Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) half-year figures in his customary staccato tones, pausing only to dwell upon his favourite subjects.<br /><br />The presentation, you see, included the unveiling of the retailer’s latest Christmas advertising campaign, which will this year feature regulars singer Myleene Klass and model Twiggy, along with a raft of other celebrities including national treasures John Sergeant and Stephen Fry and cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit. <br /><br />(And before shareholders start twittering about the cost, Rose was keen to stress that it had barely nudged up since last year, when Take That cost the firm a fair few bob.)<br /><br />Rose also waxed lyrical about M&S’s new move to stock the nation’s favourite branded products in his stores – though it appears the decision might be less a push to provide customers with wider choice than a bid to help the dapper retail chief stock his own kitchen.<br /><br />“Some customer tell me ‘this is my must-have brand’,” he told his gathered audience. “For me, it’s Tabasco… and Colman’s mustard.” <br /><br />A spicy fetish indeed.<br /><br /><strong>WHEELER DEALERS</strong><br />Congratulations to broker and asset manager Eden Financial, which yesterday followed in the gigantic footsteps of its bigger City counterparts Icap and BGC Partners by holding a charity trading day.<br /><br />Eden raised almost £400,000 over the course of the day, with celebrity appearances from the likes of ex-England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Sugababes’ Heidi Range and Jade Ewen, former All Blacks player Zinzan Brooke, TV presenter Dave Berry and actor Tom Chambers.<br /><br /><strong>FLYING HIGH</strong><br />Terry Smith took a break from dealing with the legal wrangle between his inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon and rival BGC Partners yesterday to celebrate something much closer to his heart – a new statue of the late war hero Sir Keith Park.<br /><br />Over the past few years Smith has pumped almost £1m of his (albeit considerable) personal fortune into his campaign to get a likeness of Park, who served as a commander in the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.<br /><br />A keen flier himself, Smith earlier this year completed a recreation of the historic 1,880 mile aerial circuit of the UK performed by Park in 1919 to demonstrate aviation’s great future. He has now succeeded in his costly quest to gain recognition for his idol – and Park will stand proud on the plinth for six months before the usual rotation of artworks on the column resumes.<br /><br /><strong>KEPT IN THE DARK</strong><br /><br />Not only have Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail branch staff been clobbered recently with the news that the bank is laying off 3,700 of its employees, it also looks as if they aren’t being kept in the loop about the restructuring plans.<br /><br />A City chum who was originally a customer of Williams & Glyn’s, the brand which might be resurrected as part of the branch disposals forced upon RBS by the European Commission, emails to say he was in the bank yesterday and enquired as to whether there had been any news regarding the re-branding.<br /><br />Quick as a flash came the monotone reply from an obedient customer services manager: “We’re hoping to make an announcement within the next four years.”<br /><br />“I won’t hold my breath,” was our scribe’s glum riposte.