HURRAH for technology: the days of keeping up appearances among fellow passengers by trawling through suitably intellectual reading material on the daily commute are officially over.

The Kama Sutra, that literary fountain of Indian sexual wisdom, has been released in audio book format for the first time in its 1,600 year history. Publisher Beautiful Books is preening itself over its new product, which it describes as a “perfect meeting of ancient history and modernity”, and suggests using it to “liven up the commute to work” (ooh-er).

“Some may also consider using the audio book as a step-by-step manual for improving bedroom techniques,” it adds, “without the need to stop and start with constant reference to a book…”

And who, you may ask, is the lucky girl whose dulcet tones were selected to croon about weird and wonderful positions and amazing feats of sexual endurance? None other than British actress Tanya Franks, who the less high-brow among us might recognise as Rainie Cross in EastEnders. At least her dulcet tones have got to be preferable to an ancient CD of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”.


At last, the answer to a mystery The Capitalist has been pondering for a while. In October last year, this column brought you news of a shake-up down at the London Stock Exchange, which had taken the decision to axe “The Source”, the sculpture of moving spheres installed in the atrium when the firm moved to its flagship Paternoster Square HQ some years ago.

The eight-storey-high sculpture was subsequently removed, leaving the hallway naked in preparation for a new, interactive “market opening experience”, the implementation of which was being overseen by corporate communications director John Wallace. Fast forward over nine months, and nothing has yet materialised – which may well have something to do with the fact that Wallace was let go in May amid chief executive Xavier Rolet’s restructuring drive.

Now, I’m told that oversight of the project has been passed to technology whizzkid Antoine Shagoury, who recently joined the exchange as chief information officer to oversee the migration of its IT systems onto the MillenniumIT platform. Plans are afoot to launch the new “experience” by early next year – while ideas already mooted include shooting a current through the glass panes of the atrium to make them opaque and allow images to be projected onto them. Very Minority Report.


Oh, goody. The National Archives, always keen to stir up a bit of interest in historical data, is preparing today to release the latest instalment of its extensive files on UFO sightings in the United Kingdom.

Close followers of extra-terrestrial goings-on will remember the previous instalments, which included a “Toblerone shaped” UFO spotted by a West Lothian electrician and a large, illuminated, flying blue triangle which deposited a silky substance on the tree tops of a Birmingham garden. Whatever will they reveal next?


The name Kristin Davis is probably familiar to those who followed the Eliot Spitzer escort girl fiasco with intrigue a few years ago.

Davis, the “madam” who supplied Spitzer and other high-profile politicians and businessmen with beautiful girls, is now running for governor of New York (yes, really) and has just released her official campaign video.

As you’d expect, it’s full of gaudy bright colours, exposed cleavage and bleached blonde hair, and is set to the tune of “Funk Soul Brother” – and there are some gems in there about Davis’ background before she entered the sex industry.

Apparently, Davis – who is campaigning for the legalisation, taxation and regulation of prostitution and marijuana – used to be the vice president of a “billion dollar hedge fund”, before she made the business decision to found an escort agency.

“The economics of sex sounded very appealing,” she coos. I’ll bet.


A reader emails with news that “ice cream Wednesdays” are being phased in at Royal Bank of Scotland during the summer, which he suggests is a small token to thank staff for staying loyally with the bank despite lower-than-average bonus pots. The official line over at the bank is that the initiative is on a small scale among various teams, rather than a group-wide ice cream giveaway. But perhaps those affected could make the whole affair into a true gastronomic challenge by dreaming up bank-appropriate flavours other than Raspberry, Banana and Strawberry?


And finally, count this as the last call for nominations for The Capitalist’s upcoming competition to find the ten hunkiest gents and loveliest ladies of the City! Send your nominations to along with a photo – the results will be in very soon…