FANS of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, which has whipped up millions of Britons into a frenzy yet again ahead of this weekend’s final, will be surprised to know that one of the City’s own has a claim to fame via the show.
Those who’ve been following the series may remember Alesia Vasmitzel, the scantily-clad blonde bombshell who has wowed the judges with her pole dancing moves and is due to appear in the last of the live semi-finals tonight.
I hear the limber lass is married to Harri Huuskonen, the managing director of Canary Wharf-based investment boutique St Andrews Securities – who’s gunning for his missus to win the competition against those left in, including impressionist Paul Burling, singing group Connected, dancer Tobias Mead and acrobatic gymnastics troupe Spelbound, among others.
“Every vote from the City is more than welcome!” Huuskonen tells The Capitalist, explaining his wife is actually an ex-UK pole dancing champion.
“She’s very dedicated and practises all the time – we’ve even got a pole in the middle of the living room,” he continues. “Mind you, I’m not complaining…”
Clearly taking their inspiration from a bearded, leather-clad Euan McGregor some years back, two French City workers have decided to embark on a motorcycle adventure across the remoter parts of Europe.
Florent Beluche, a soft commodities options trader from ED&F Man, and Charles de Guerry, who works at private equity real estate investment adviser MGPA, are due to set off next Saturday from London – flying to Moscow and then biking 14,000 uncomfortable kilometres through Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the finish in Mongolia.
For the trip, the daring duo have bagged themselves some replica 1930s Ural Sahara motorbikes, complete with vintage sidecars.
“The model we’re driving hasn’t changed since World War II and was originally designed by the Germans,” Beluche says. “They’re not particularly sophisticated, but we’ve done some training in the English countryside to prepare us for the off-roading stints – it may not be much, but it’s a start.”
To follow them or chuck them a few quid – they’re “selling” each kilometre to sponsors for £1 a pop – visit www.roadofempires.com.
Horseracing aficionados, listen up: there’s a new event happening at Kempton Park at the end of the month, and it’s not something you’ll have experienced before.
Olympic sprinter Jamie Baulch (right) is descending on the course on 30 June to race 100m against a thoroughbred racehorse. Now, it’s not such a crazy idea as you might think – speedy Jamaican Usain Bolt holds the (human) world record over the distance with under 9.6 seconds, while experts are apparently predicting that the horse could achieve a time of under 12 seconds.
Tickets cost £15 to watch the challenge, though the equine sprinter is still a firm favourite to win…
TAKING A PUNT
Intriguing goings-on over at spreadbetting firm Extrabet prior to the start of the World Cup next week. I hear England striker Wayne Rooney is now 1/2 to score three goals or more during the tournament, after a flood of support coming in from the City boys in recent days.
That may not sound like too much of a long shot, but it does start to look less likely when you take into account that England, based on past World Cups, only usually manages to score around six or seven goals before being kicked out. Apparently, the rumour doing the rounds on the trading floors of the City is that Rooney will replace Frank Lampard as England’s preferred penalty-taker during matches themselves, after Lampard missed two crucial penalties recently, for England against Japan and for Chelsea against Portsmouth in the FA Cup final.
Ping! An invitation arrives to Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall’s leaving party at the Rotunda Bar in North London later this month.
The invite is peppered with photographs of McCall, aeroplanes, ash-filled skies and (The Capitalist’s favourite) a superimposed vision of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s face over an erupting volcano, all designed to substitute in for words.
“After 24 effortless years at the controls of the no-frills Guardian newspaper, [McCall] is moving to [easyJet] – skillfully (sic) charting a flight path around the torrents of molten rock spewing from the Stelyjakjallajoekull volcano,” the invite reads, with footnotes about keeping to strict baggage allowances and drinks and snacks being available at competitive prices.