views

CITY HELL'S ANGELS TO DON THEIR LEATHERS

EAT your heart out, Ewan McGregor: there&rsquo;s a new globe-trotting motorbike posse in town.<br /><br />Lord Gillford, founding partner of communications firm Gardant, and his partner-in-crime Levan Vasadze, the chairman of Prometheus Capital Partners, are about to embark upon their annual jaunt to Eastern Europe atop their BMW Adventure &ldquo;monster&rdquo; motorbikes.<br /><br />The pair have been doing their Hell&rsquo;s Angels bit for three years now and usually end up in Georgia. But this time around, they&rsquo;re leaving on 15 August to ride all the way to Kazakhstan, in aid of the Shooting Star children&rsquo;s hospice in Surrey and orphanages in Georgia and Kazakhstan.<br /><br />&ldquo;The first bit is road all the way, so the only challenge is watching out for all the lunatics on the road,&rdquo; Gillford &ndash; known as Paddy to his friends &ndash; tells me. &ldquo;But the new stretch will be dirty and sandy and great fun.&rdquo;<br /><br />Just don&rsquo;t compare them to the aforementioned McGregor and his motorbike world tour.<br /><br />&ldquo;Pah,&rdquo; spits Gillford, &ldquo;he had a minibus with him and luxury inflatable beds and everything. If his was the Rolls Royce version, then our trip is the equivalent of an Austin Mini Cooper&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>ASSET CLASS WAR<br /></strong>People must be starting to wonder who&rsquo;s wearing the trousers at trucker breakfast chain Little Chef: chief executive Ian Pegler, or celebrity chef Heston <br />Blumenthal (right), who gave the menu a well-publicised revamp in a Channel 4 documentary last year.<br /><br />First of all came the news that Pegler is planning a spin-off series on Channel 4 on his own, with potential titles being &ldquo;Big Boss&rdquo; and &ldquo;Pegler&rsquo;s About&rdquo;.<br />And the latest in the power tussle between the two is that the chain&rsquo;s logo, &ldquo;Fat Charlie&rdquo;, is being given a makeover to make him resemble Blumenthal, with a proper chef&rsquo;s jacket and glasses. Yet this is despite the fact that Little Chef&rsquo;s publicist, Richard Hillgrove, previously said of Pegler: &ldquo;Ian Pegler is Fat Charlie. They&rsquo;re one and the same. They&rsquo;re both jovial, rounded, hardworking and much loved by their staff. They are tremendous PR assets&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br />Just not as much of an asset as a television-friendly famous chef&rsquo;s face, are we to conclude?<br /><strong><br />HERBAL REMEDY<br /></strong>A word of advice from a City chum, who tells me the way to beat the dreaded swine flu is &ldquo;elderflower cordial rather than that silly Tamiflu&rdquo;. Hmm. The Capitalist knows in which one most people would trust...<br /><br /><strong>HIDDEN GEM<br /></strong>A surprise no-show at the Betfair Weekend of horseracing at Ascot over the past few days, in the form of the betting company&rsquo;s co-founder and keen racegoer Andrew Black.<br /><br />Black tells me that after years of being heavily involved in Betfair&rsquo;s racing operations, he decided to take a back seat, having recently got his own racing stud up and running in Surrey. Not that there&rsquo;s not ample opportunity for him to show his face on the other side of the paddock fence in future years, mind &ndash; there&rsquo;s a little jewel in Black&rsquo;s stable called &ldquo;Blast Furnace&rdquo; who he believes might have the potential to go all the way to the weekend&rsquo;s star race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s almost rude to think I could achieve that, but she does have the pedigree to get her there,&rdquo; he tells me. &ldquo;I would die to have a runner in that race &ndash; it&rsquo;d be a dream come true, and it would make it even sweeter because of the Betfair connection&hellip;&rdquo; Only time will tell.