THE MANAGING DIRECTOR of direct credit company Premier Direct Group [formerly Park Foods], Barry Moat, was forced to cancel his purchase of 8,000 company shares after his appearance on a daytime TV show caused an unprecedented rise in Premier’s share price.

Moat appeared on Channel 4's Show Me the Money, which gives company directors just sixty seconds to persuade a group of amateur investors to buy shares in their company. Although his pitch failed to convince the punters in the studio, it did have a dramatic effect on the Stock Exchange and shares in Premier jumped 84p to a record high of 320.5p.

Shortly afterwards, the Stock Exchange issued a po-faced announcement: 'In the light of today's significant increase in the share price, Mr Barry Moat, managing director, has, with the agreement of the market, can-celled his earlier purchase.' [Tough on Barry - had the deal gone ahead, he would have made a paper profit of £6,500.]