ROBERT Peston must be quaking in his well-oiled boots.<br /><br />The media rumour mill has been going into overdrive over the past few days as industry veterans gossiped about Sky News launching a bid to up the stakes in its rivalry with the BBC by hiring the Sunday Telegraph’s Mark Kleinman to be its new City editor.<br /><br />Sky yesterday confirmed the news in a statement, basking in pride at its attempt to upstage the Beeb – especially after a year in which the latter’s business editor Peston shot to fame breaking stories like the Northern Rock debacle and the tie-up between Lloyds and HBOS.<br /><br />Pesto himself, you may remember, also joined the world of television from the Telegraph group, and it does rather seem that the dapper Kleinman might give him a run for his money when he gets behind the camera, what with his impressive scoop record, chiselled features and all.<br /><br />“Mark is a first-rate journalist and I’m sure he’ll do exceedingly well,” says Pesto, never one to show his nerves. “I’m a great believer in general that the more competition there is out there, the better. Sky are very lucky to have him.”<br /><strong><br />ON THE WARPATH</strong><br />Legal and General chairman Sir Rob Margetts may have received plaudits for his remuneration policy from investors at yesterday’s general meeting, but it didn’t stop the more elderly of the firm’s shareholders holding back from airing their grievances.<br /><br />While some of the veteran shareholders snored happily at the back of the hall, another policyholder patiently stood up to enquire why she had encountered a multitude of problems trying to buy shares – phoning up numerous times, only to be cut off, put on hold and directed unhelpfully elsewhere, before sending a letter that was ultimately ignored.<br /><br />“You tried to do business with us and we failed,” Margetts admitted, with a touch of contrition that did not have the desired placatory effect.<br /><br />“Sorry is such an unfamiliar word for chairmen these days!” roared a fellow shareholder from the back of the hall. “You should say you are profoundly sorry!”<br /><br />To which Margetts, stuttering, apologised profusely. There’s no stopping these shareholders once they get on the warpath, is there?<br /><br /><strong>SOUND OF MUSIC</strong><br />Companies mulling over relaxing their corporate hospitality crackdown to take a trip to Kempton Park over the summer should take note: there’s history in the making.<br /><br />The Surrey racecourse – frequented by the likes of KPMG, Citigroup and Allen and Overy for their business jaunts – has decided to pull a novel stunt for this year’s Best of British gala racing evening on 8 July. It’s bringing in a load of musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to serenade the horses with the William Tell Overture as they pound down the track – in the wild hope that the melody will affect the emotional state of the animals and motivate them to up the pace.<br /><br />The Capitalist isn’t convinced by that particular piece of hare-brained logic, though at least it’ll make the evening more pleasant for the punters.<br /><br /><strong>SINGING SENSATION</strong><br />Speaking of musical shenanigans, I hear that many a City singer has been polishing up the old vocal chords over recent weeks, practicing for a concert in which choirs from various firms will be belting out the classics (if such a phrase is not too irreverent) alongside children from their local partner schools.<br /><br />The City Sings, to be held at the Barbican on 8 June, will feature choirs from Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others, and will feature Baroque works by Handel and Purcell.<br /><br /><strong>SPLIT LOYALTIES</strong><br />What is it about football that can bring even the oldest of friends to loggerheads with each other?<br /><br />Cheeky BGC Partners commentator David Buik ruffled a few feathers in the City yesterday as he sent out a round-robin missive setting out his footballing loyalties.<br /><br />“Much as I like Mark Brumby of Blue Oar – an avid Hull City fan – I am so disappointed that the Tigers survived!” he began. “Hull was indisputably the worst side in the Premiership, without a doubt and manager Phil Brown is very ‘gobby’ for a man of very average talent, without the slightest hint of humility! Roll on 2010! Hull should be ready for the inevitable drop!”<br /><br />The dignified Brumby’s only response was a miffed “Ouch!”, though a few enquiries revealed that Buik, a staunch supporter of Fulham, was simply still hurting from a couple of trouncings his team received at the hands of Hull this season. Peace reigns again.