Visitors to the Co-operative Group HQ in Manchester this week found themselves battling their way through crowds of hip, hop and mostly happening youngsters. "Whassup?" enquired our man on the spot (which just shows how un-hip, hop and happening he is). "Has the Co-op got some weird recruitment drive underway? Have the kids heard about your new policy on pay?" Came the reply: "No, the kids are registering for Pop Icon"­that's a remake of the splendily awful Popstars programme that spawned the group Hear'Say. "Wow!" Our man was impressed. "That's smart". So is the Co-op getting all yoof oriented and sponsoring the programme? "Er, no", came the reply. "We rent out that part of the building." Pity, it would have been a great story. {{COUNTERPOINT }}