There are rumours in circulation that the Japanese "Doshan" Syndicate has offered just £85M for the Millennium Dome after an extensive re-evaluation of the entertainment complex's prospects. A Hertitage Department spokesman denied last night that a sale was being discussed or that the Government would ever accept such a low price.
Syndicate member Jiro Karo, who is becoming identified as the group's semi-official spokesman, is believed to have expressed some serious reservations about the deal. He is believed to be unhappy about foot dragging by A New Millennium Dawn, the dome's management quango, and the vagueness in some of its communications
The sticking point would appear to be the difficulty that the syndicate is experiencing in obtaining an exact listing of the Dome's assets and liabilities. The Japanese bidders are believed to be worried about being saddled with an 'incalculable liability'.
A free-lance journalist, named as Alan L. Marshall, is in hiding after his car was bombed last night. Mr. Marshall is believed to have been the target of an alleged hit-and-run assassination attempt made in North London two weeks ago. He is believed to have become a target because he is close to identifying the Millennium Dome Bomber through research among the UK's 'underground' community.
A Fire Brigade spokesman described the device in the car's engine compartment as a 'crude incendiary device, which failed to ignite property and did very little damage'. The police are believed to have interviewed Mr. Marshall but no details of his statement have been released.
On a brighter note, the Government has promised a bigger and better "Wall of Fire" on the Thames to herald the real dawn of the new millennium. "The last one was just a dress rehearsal," a Government spokesman said last night. "A mere try-out for one of the most spectacular of a whole range of stunning events planned for the coming New Year celebrations."
Images of the spectacle will be provided for the audience in the Millennium Dome on its giant TV screens so that no one enjoying the night there will miss anything.