A RAFT of celebrities got the chance to try their hand at wheeling and dealing last Friday, as inter-dealer broker BGC Partners held its annual charity trading day over in Canary Wharf.<br /><br />Among the famous guests were sporting heroes Sir Ian Botham, Linford Christie, Martin Johnson and Jade Johnson, as well as tens of others including TV presenters Lisa Snowdon, Jonathan Ross, Carol Vorderman and Gail Porter, Cherie Blair, her husband’s former spinner Alastair Campbell, and actor Clarke Peters (The Wire).<br /><br />The event – originally conceived to honour the 658 employees the firm lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks back in 2001 – has now grown to include any number of charities around the globe, with over $8m (£4.8m) raised last year over the course of the day in BGC’s offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and New York.<br /><br />“The City has had so much stick recently for raking in the money, and this is a great chance to be able to give something back to the community,” BGC president Shaun Lynn tells me. <br /><br />“We just want to go forwards from here every year – making the event bigger and better and making even more money for the charities involved.”<br /><strong><br />DEBT SHARK<br /></strong>Lynn certainly had an impressive list of celebrity backers for the day, including one Sir Alex Ferguson, who came in and bantered with the brokers like a pro about everything from club loyalties to past and potential player transfers.<br /><br />Yet unfortunately, when it came to a surprise that one desk had set up specially for the Manchester United manager – trading the club’s own debt – things didn’t exactly go to plan.<br /><br />“What do you mean, the price is too low?” Ferguson demanded of the trader on the other end of the phone. “That’s our final offer. Miserable old s*d.”<br />Let’s just hope the damage done to the trader’s relationship with Fergie’s poor chaperone wasn’t entirely irreparable…<br /><strong><br />UNDER FIRE<br /></strong>And finally, to The Capitalist’s own award for the celebrity with the most authentic broker behaviour over the day.<br /><br />TV presenter Jonathan Ross and cricket legend Sir Ian Botham both put up a jolly good fight, spouting “the chat” (read: turning the air a deep shade of blue) despite an early blunder from Ross. (“We’re buying, we’re buying,” he chanted down the phone repeatedly, until the broker at his side gently alerted him to the fact he was actually selling).<br /><br />But in the end, wannabe hard-man Ross Kemp – who arrived with a contingent of Army soldiers in his role as an ambassador to war charity Help the Heroes – won through with strident East End vocals and a startlingly good grasp of the jargon.<br /><br />“£500 mil!” yelled one BGC broker across the floor to Kemp, as he was sealing a deal with a trader on the phone.<br /><br />“You can stuff that,” hollered Kemp straight back. “I’m not settling for less than a yard!” (One billion, to get the rest of you up to speed.)<br />All that time spent with the forces in Afghanistan must have toughened him up a treat.