SKY NEWS BITES THE HAND THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE FEEDING IT

 
Steve Dinneen
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SOME puzzling editorial choices have been afoot at Sky News this week.

On Sunday, Gordon Brown’s disclosure that he asked the police to look into whether his phone was hacked by the News of the World topped its agenda all day. And yesterday the attack of foot-in-mouth disease that afflicted Sky Sports’ Andy Gray and Richard Keys – during which they saw fit to question whether a female referee’s assistant might need the intricacies of the offside rule pointing out to her – also headed the news list (at least until the Moscow airport bombing knocked it from the airwaves). The interesting point about these stories is that they both involve companies controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns the News of the World and covets 61 per cent of the chunk of Sky that isn’t already in his clutches.

So why has Sky News turned on its brethren with such gusto? Could it be that the channel wants to prove just how impartial it is, and not at all a threat to media plurality?

Not so says Sky News editor Chris Birkett: “These are the stories of the day. We’ve covered the phone hacking scandal from day one. We play it straight.”

BEST INVESTMENT
THE Capitalist has been given an exclusive sneak peak at the Investment Special from this Thursday’s Prospect magazine.

The indefatigable Jon Moulton (bottom), chairman of Better Capital and sometime City A.M. celebrity judge, comes out with a particularly fine zinger.

In a section entitled “Win some, lose some,” which asks City-types to talk about their best and worst investments, Moulton quips: “My wife sadly declined, with unusual vigour, to be nominated in either category.”

Also featured in the section is investment fund manager Nicola Horlick, who yesterday spoke about her plans to make a staggering 25 films in just three years in an ambitious £2m project called Derby Street Films. After the demise of the UK Film Council, any investment in our film industry is to be applauded. Let’s just hope it ranks among her best, rather than her worst, investments.

BROWN’S WEIGHT IN HAGGIS
London’s famous Scottish restaurant, Boisdale, has devised an interesting way of promoting its Burns Supper.

What could add to the culinary experience of munching on a sack of sheep offal? Why, of course, it is the knowledge that the amount of the stuff Boisdale expects to sell will more or less exactly match the weight of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown (250lbs, apparently, bottom, left) although whether he agreed to come into the restaurant for a weigh-in is unclear). Prices range from £39.50 for a three-course meal to £59.50 for a five-course.

ACCOUNTANTS’ BALL
In festive merriment of another kind, accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), not usually renowned for their sense of humour, swapped their suits for flamboyant costumes for their annual pantomime. This year’s show – a performance of Pinocchio at the West End’s Peacock Theatre – even featured an impromptu cameo from PwC partner Leo Johnson. The dame – Mama Macaroni – was played by Dave Gironi, a manager in PwC’s finance team, who spent the performance pining for a date with Pinnochio’s dad, tax manager Phil Richardson.

The firm is giving away 7,000 tickets to children from inner city schools and charities for the eight performances.

WINE WARS RAGE
The Capitalist has always questioned the value of having two Corney and

Barrow wine bars within staggering distance of each other in the heart of insurance land (Lime Street and Fenchurch Avenue).

The bars surround the Lloyds building, where many an insurance boy can be seen with pink shirt, enlarged jowls, and file under arm.

Always at the top of our game, we can now reveal that the Lime St Corney’s has vanished, to be replaced, according to smart green posters in the dusty window, by “a new wine bar for the city,” One Under Lime.

An underwriter who spends most of his time in Lloyds the rest frequenting the local bars (no jowls, but has a file) described the vanished Lime St Corney’s as a “fleapit” compared with its Fenchurch Avenue counterpart. One Under Lime will be run by a group called Aventine, reportedly on behalf of Lloyds. We wish them all the best of luck in the over-priced Pinot Grigio war.