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The Mortgage Mole

Working at the weekend isn’t so bad, as MS editor Robyn Hall and hackette Rebecca Atkinson found out when they attended the premiere of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit on Sunday courtesy of those kind folk at Bradford & Bingley. The pair got a taste of how the other half lives as they trod the red carpet in Leicester Square while celeb spotters and the paparazzi looked on, bemused.

“Actually, the carpet was green,” Rebecca confided to Mole. “We felt like stars but nobody asked for our autographs.” But Atkinson perked up when she discovered heart-throb Ralph Fiennes was seated just rows away.

And things got even better at the after-party. Hall’s natural instincts led the pair to a prime position by the bar where the famous faces were congregating. As well as the girls from B&B, the star-struck hacks rubbed shoulders with Peter Sallis, Liz Smith, Ian Hislop and John Thomson. They also boasted to Mole that they spoke to Kym Marsh of (brief) Hear’Say fame about face painting. Strategy’s specialist celebrity stalker Natalie was green with envy on Monday morning.

Mole enjoyed a night at the theatre last week courtesy of Savills Private Finance. The Theatre Royal on Haymarket was the venue for the stage adaptation of A Few Good Men starring Rob Lowe of The West Wing fame and Suranne Jones, better known as Karen McDonald from Coronation Street. Mole was particularly impressed by the front row seats – close enough to see spittle fly. And not just from the actors but also from features ed Mira, ahem, admiring Mr Lowe from close quarters.

Meanwhile senior reporter Barney has the running bug again. Not content with having secured a place in the Flora London Marathon 2006, he has entered the GRIM 8 – an eight mile off-road run, wade and crawl in Aldershot on land used to test Army vehicles. The challenge, which takes place in chilly December, promises to make keen entrants feel “cold, extremely wet, very tired and particularly grim.” What a treat.

Mole got the star treatment on Tuesday at GE Day. Hackette Natalie knew there would be photo opportunities with top Olympians but didn’t realise she would become a rock star for the day. When photographers digitally imposed Natalie’s photo onto a DVD cover, she thought it would be a good look for her debut album.

But Natalie politely declined the opportunity to see a picture of what she will look like in 40 years’ time.

“Since working at Mortgage Strategy, I dread to think,” she confessed to Mole.


em- introduces free valuations north of the border

Following the success of the free valuations offer on all sub-prime ranges in England and Wales, em- has introduced an exclusive free valuations offer to the Scottish market.The free valuations offer in Scotland applies to Right to Buys and remortgages only on sub-prime cases. Roger Morris, managing director at em-, says: “em- group is currently […]

I will lead push to boost ASU uptake

The small minority of brokers who moan about the concept of Treating Customers Fairly annoy me. The Arthur Daleys do not belong in our industry. But without going so far as to say there are still many Daleys around I wonder if most brokers are treating clients fairly, based on the decrease in ASU sales. […]

Private rented sector continues to grow

New information from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister provides evidence that the private rented sector continues to grow steadily, with households under 30 responsible in part for this growth.Provisional findings from the Survey of English Housing, due to be published in full in 2006, show that the proportion of households that are privately […]

Amber appoints development manager

Christian Rolfe has taken up the post of development manager for Amber providing sales coverage in the southern region of the country.Rolfe has a wealth of experience in the mortgage sector, having worked within both packaging and lending markets in the past.He says: “I am looking forward to developing strong relationships with intermediaries and improving […]

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Infographic — health cash plans 2014

Health Shield has strengthened its position in the cash plan market, according to the latest Laing & Buisson report, increasing its market share by income from £27m in 2012 to £29m in 2013. The Health Cover UK Market Report 2014 revealed that the non-profit-making Friendly Society was the only provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income over the past year. Health Shield was also the only cash plan provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income every year for the previous five years. This infographic presents the figures.


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