Business Diary: April 23

WHEN Ripley Castle hosts a fundraising event in aid of research at Leeds’ St James’ Hospital later this month it promises to be a glittering affair, not least because a rare diamond is among the raffle prizes.

The Mouton Cadet Wine Bar in Cannes

The diamond, worth £5,000, has been donated by luxury bespoke jeweller Christopher Stoner Fine Jewellery and will feature as the main raffle prize at the Crystal Ball on April 28.

The event is organised by Harrogate’s Crystal Committee, which raises funds for local causes.

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This year’s charity of choice is one close to the committee’s hearts and will raise money for testicular cancer research at St James’ Hospital.

All proceeds from the raffle will go towards the hospital’s continuous efforts to increase the research on germ cell tumours, which represent 95 per cent of testicular cancers.  

Christopher Stoner, owner of Christopher Stoner Fine Jewellery, said: “We’re fortunate to have a hospital such as St James’ on our doorstep, who are leading the way in testicular cancer research, an illness that is sadly affecting more and more men.

“Every penny that can be donated to finding a cure for this awful disease is worthwhile.

“Every diamond is different in terms of its cut, clarity, and colour.

“I have handpicked a rare diamond for the Crystal Ball that is perfect in colour and clarity. My team and I will craft the special stone into a unique jewellery masterpiece for the lucky raffle winner.”

That’s powerful

Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser has a lot on its mind.

It’s hard for any company to stay completely on the ball when it’s got 19 ‘Powerbrands’ to juggle, including products such as Cillit Bang cleaner, Dettol disinfectant, Vanish stain remover, Strepsils lozenges, pain killer Nurofen, toilet cleaner Harpic Mucinex Fast Max and Sinus Max decongestants and Gaviscon indigestion treatment.

On top of that it’s got 16 ‘Powermarkets’ to focus on around the world. So perhaps we shouldn’t laugh too much at the accidental double entendre that appeared in its first quarter results yesterday.

Under its health division, the company informed us that: “Other powerbrands also performed well, with Durex in particular benefitting from further penetration in China...” Oops!

Star gazing

You’ll be pleased to hear, dear readers, that Diary gets invited to some pretty swish events. In the line of duty, Diary is often wined and dined by the great and the good of Yorkshire society, and rubs shoulders with soroptomists and stalwarts of local rugby and rotary clubs.

Diary’s prized possessions include an invitation to Baildon Road Safety Committee’s annual meeting.

Every now and again, Diary is summoned by mighty forces to hear about gatherings which are perhaps slightly out of our league.

Try and imagine Diary’s thrill when the following email thudded into the business desk inbox.

We shall let it speak for itself:

“As the Cannes Film Festival is approaching, we are pleased to announce the reopening of the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar at the forthcoming Festival (it runs from May 15 to 26). For the third year running, international celebrities will meet at the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar to share exceptional moments.”

Which celebrities do they have in mind, Diary wondered? Perhaps it could host a reunion for the cast of the 1990s soap El Dorado?

Intrigued, Diary was forced to read on:

“Both a luxurious terrace apartment and confidential observatory, the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar is the perfect intimate location in which to welcome actors, producers and directors.”

Sounds good so far, but who precisely is Diary likely to meet?

The email continued: “A temporary private location which, with its refined decoration and original layout is a hospitable and elegant place to receive lovers of fine wines.”

Yes, yes, yes, but who precisely are these celebrities?

Do they include Bingley Little Theatre’s finest?

Deep breath, here they come: “Robert de Niro, Jude Law, Clive Owen, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Bruce Willis and Matthew McConaughey but also Kristen Stewart, Faye Dunaway, Jessica Chastain and all the members of the jury have thus enjoyed the French art of hospitality.”

Not bad. I suppose, and should Diary ever be in Cannes covering a business story for the Yorkshire Post, Diary might just find the time to pop in.

Provided, of course, it was De Niro’s round.

There are limits to Diary’s expense allowance.