Desmond the cosy neighbour

YOUVIEW chief executive Richard Halton may not have anticipated that moving into the Northern & Shell building would involve such frequent visits from the man who heads up one of the firm’s partners, and landlord of the building.

The Capitalist hears that Desmond, who owns Channel 5, has taken advantage of the proximity, and often drops by to say hello. Last year Desmond, after taking a stake in the venture, said that “YouView is going to be the biggest thing in television since Sky launched.” Good to see him keeping an eye on things.

■ RECESSIONARY times appear to have hit some party budgets hard if this year’s Square Mile Masked Ball was anything to go by. The black tie affair, which raised money for children’s charity Rays of Sunshine, was promised to be filled with the elite of London’s financial industry. While last year’s bash boasted Mayor Boris Johnson as token party entertainer, and a proper sit down dinner, there was barely a canapé in sight at One Mayfair on Thursday evening. As for the toast of the banking world...sorry, did someone mention food again?

Perhaps guests forgot to heed the last minute email advice from organisers to: “remember to eat beforehand” and disappeared into the night for sustenance.

■ OXFORD Street may have Robbie Williams and Leona Lewis, but the City has its very own Christmas lights switch-on superstars, in the form of the new Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. The pair were out and about flicking switches in Leadenhall market and Bow Lane over the weekend, to officially illuminate the Square Mile. Lord Mayor Roger Gifford and Lady Mayoress Clare Gifford were joined by Sheriffs Jeffrey Evans and Nigel Pullman on one of their first official outings since moving into the Mansion House earlier this month. Undertaking their responsibilities with a serious sense of duty, the words: “Let there be light” were jubilantly declared.