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