Amstrad: hairy faces, high places

“If you want to get ahead, get a beard,” seems to be the order of the day at electronics company Amstrad.

The Diary was enjoying a convivial lunch with Bordan Tkachuk, the plain-speaking managing director of Viglen, the Amstrad-owned PC manufacturer.

Pouring himself a glass of Côte du Rhône, Tkachuk fixed the hirsute Diary with a steely gaze and said: “You’ve got a beard – you would do well in this company. You need a beard to do well here.”

Facial hair is not the only similarity between the Viglen man and his boss Alan Sugar. Both men have a reputation for straight talking and even share the same East End accent.

If only former England coach Terry Venables had sported a goatee. His relationship with Sugar at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club might have turned out very differently.

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