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August 7: Lucky Charles Allen. We had planned to do lots on what’s wrong at ITV but then BP shut its Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska, America’s largest. We are now putting together a chunky package on the problems there. News from BP that the field would be shut indefinitely has knocked more than 2 per cent off BP’s share price – a lot for a stock this big – and has helped drive crude oil above $77. Lex says the shut-down in Alaska, combined with BP’s other recent US problems, may make it harder for it to gain access to much-needed reserves elsewhere by undermining its claim to strong project management expertise.

You can find out more on BP’s Alaskan operations from the company’s Alaska location report.

On Charles Allen, the ITV board meets today to decide the terms of his departure. We don’t expect a statement until tomorrow, although we hope to hear something.

Pendragon says the takeover of Reg Vardy boosted first-half profits. It also says it wants more deals.

Lawyers for David Carruthers, the former chief executive of BetonSports, have reached a deal with US prosecutors that would allow him to be released on bail this week, according to the Daily Telegraph. We wrote on Saturday about how BetonSports has been linked by US prosecutors to a website that employed associates of New York’s Gambino crime family to collect debts. Find out more about these chaps on the Broward Sheriff’s website, including pictures of Frank Basto, Joseph (”Boca Joe”) Fafone Sr and Joseph Farfone Jr.

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