I was really determined not to drone on about the Olympics any more, but having just been to City trader BGC’s charity day, I feel I have to. Because the Olympic spirit was alive and well and wafting around spreading its goodness whenever an Olympian or Paralympian ventured near.
BGC has had a September 11 charity day ever since losing colleagues in the terror attacks on New York eleven years ago. Today, the 11th anniversary, was my third or fourth charity day as part of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research team, one of 25 charities who take a share of all the profits made by BGC trades around the world. And the mood was better than ever, and again a lot of that was down to the Olympics.
I was joined today by Gary Lineker, whose son had leukaemia but is now fit and well, his fellow former England international Geoff Thomas, who has also survived leukaemia, and two Olympic gold medallists, long jumper Greg Rutherford and cyclist Dani King. Their connection with leukaemia is, thankfully, marginal bordering on non-existent, but I bumped into them at the Olympic village a few weeks ago and they were in that state of post victory bliss when they said pretty much to anything that anyone asked of them, so I asked if they would join us, and they said yes.
To be honest, I had my doubts they would turn up. Oh me of little faith. Not only did they turn up; they were brilliant. Dani managed to do a 800million yen trade, and looked rather more panicky than she does hitting top speed on the bike. Greg’s smile never left his face from the moment he arrived to the moment he left. And people just loved to get a touch of those medals.
Meanwhile I got into a bit of bother after doing joint trading with Peter Capaldi aka Malcolm Tucker, who was there for Barnardo’s. The trading bit went fine, and I did a 500 million deal with Singapore – I think – before Peter aka Malcolm and I gave advice to the ‘property derivatives’ desk on how to improve their image. Traders around the world should now look forward to calls from the ‘future residential opportunities investment fund.’
Then someone had the bright idea of Peter aka Malcolm and I having a sponsored swear-off, which went down very well with the testosterone-charged trading floor, some of whom stopped shouting to listen to the twin torrents of f words. I suggested to Peter aka Malcolm for example that his f—-ing programme and its f—-ing anti politics so-called f—-ing jokes were pretty well f—-ed by the coalition and quite frankly the whole f—-ing show is f—-ed to f—-ing f—-ery and he and his f—-ing scriptwriters might as well just f— off. Peter aka Malcolm hit back, saying he was f—-ing offended that a f—-ing unemployed hasbeen like me dared to f—-ing suggest he had f—-ing writers to write his f—-ing sweary bits and …. and then the microphone went dead, and so the traders couldn’t hear him, and so I was declared the winner.
They clapped and laughed and we all felt very pleased with ourselves until we were told that the mikes were cut because our little exchange was being played not just around the trading floors, but into the creche downstairs! Oh f—-ety f—–k, we echoed. So apologies to the kids and their mums and dads, and anyone else who took offence. Our only defence is that the traders looked in need of a laugh after a day spent trying to humour celebs, and we were raising money for our respective charities.
Meanwhile, in every interview I did, I was asked about Boris Johnson and whether I thought on the back of the Olympics he had become a threat to David Cameron. Quite clearly he has, and the more he denies any prospect of challenging the PM, then as with Michael Heseltine and Mrs Thatcher, the more people will think it may happen.
I still find the concept of Boris as PM not just comical but a but dangerous. But then again, I never thought he would be Mayor; I never thought he would be re-elected. I never thought we would see the day when he made a speech that was received as rapturously as those he has uttered in these last few weeks. So the truth is that anything can happen, and as Mr Cameron prepares for a tricky party conference, Boris is certainly on his long list of problems.