The City Diary

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Sheila's Wheels are on their way to Wales for Carly's bonzer big day

Star of the Sheila's Wheels car insurance adverts, singer Carly Romain will be getting hitched in July, but you might mistake the wedding party for one of the Aussie-themed commercials. Carly will be arriving at the church in North Wales in the sugary pink 1957 Mercury Monterey made famous on TV and the whole celebration will have a pink theme. The car, which was purchased off eBay and painted specially for the ad campaign, "drives like a pair of double mattresses", according to Adrian Webb, who will be chauffeuring the bride on the big day. Welsh residents will be able to spot the parade from miles off, as the event is set to be "an orgy of pinkness". No word yet on whether anyone will be singing the irritatingly unforgettable jingle. Let's hope guests have the stomach for it.

Sign up here for private tuition

Could the aim market be readying itself for a glut of public to private takeovers? If the number of bosses attending a conference on the topic next week is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding yes. Sources close to the law firm Taylor Wessing tell us the conference normally attracts "20 or 30 people at best" but this time 150 head honchos are expected. "Apparently, there is a reserve waiting list too," our mole says. "It's clearly a sign of what people are thinking." What? Snaffling listed companies on the cheap by taking them private? Surely not!

French try to clip Red Bull's wings

Red bull might give you wings but it doesn't get you across the Channel. The energy drink has sold 3.6 billion cans in 144 countries – but not France. There, the government has waged a 12-year campaign to keep out all imports as the drink contains taurene, a banned stimulant. Red Bull has got round this by replacing the taurene with arginine. However, the French OFT now claims the company is perpetuating a "fraud" by selling something in the same packaging as in the rest of the EU but with different contents. And you thought regulators were stupid!

Fenchurch duo's golden run for good causes

The City had its fair share of runners in the London Marathon but a big hats off to Fenchurch Advisory founder Malik Karim and his colleague Chris Deville for their efforts.

Karim, who recently advised on the deal between Suffolk Life and Legal & General, was running his first marathon and clocked up a time of just over five hours. Deville completed the run in an impressive three hours 47 minutes. However, most impressive of all has to be the pair's fundraising efforts – a staggering £96,000 for Great Ormond Street children's hospital, the cricket-in-schools charity A Chance to Shine, and the Aga Khan Foundation. "We'd like to say thanks to everyone who has given us money," says Karim. "And for those of you who have pledged but haven't paid up – remember, we know where you live!"

Only the best are now good enough for 'Shares'

Moles tell us that 'Shares' magazine will be cutting back substantially on the tips it includes in an attempt to go, er, more upmarket. A cagey Steven Fraser, editor of the mag, told us: "There will be a change in the number of share tips. We will now be focusing on good shares." Sources tell us the number could drop from scores per issue to as low as three, which would certainly be a notable change. Did they think we wouldn't notice?

The construction industry rebuilds its image

Some positive spin on the Office of Fair Trading investigation into the construction industry, which saw 112 companies accused of bid-rigging on Thursday. Don Ward, the chief executive of industry body Constructing Excellence, stresses to the City Diary that the findings have shown the collusion affects "well less than 1 per cent" of work. He also believes the OFT's report will lead to construction chief executives "sending off emails to every single employee telling them, 'You do this again and you're fired'". Well, that's just super.

Not so easy internet café

Most useless quote of the week has to come from the spokeswoman for one of the easy ventures of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Reacting to claims that only a tiny number of the computers at easyInternetcafe's flagship store in central London actually work, she says: "If anyone has any queries, we encourage them to contact us directly on, where we will be more than happy to provide support." Not really that easy when sitting in front of a duff monitor? Perhaps a better point of contact would be support@totallyirritating- Just a suggestion.

Too tired for sex? Blame it on business meetings

The creative chaps at Davies Tanner PR know that it's hard to get cynical hacks to write about the increasing number of business meetings City folk have to go to, so they have decided to sex up their press releases. According to the latest one, adulterers will soon suffer at the hands of their very own alibi.

"The age-old excuse 'Darling, I'm stuck in a meeting' could soon become a reality as industry observers predict that the number of business meetings held in the UK will increase substantially in 2008."

They even go as far as to say this could be the saving grace for a marriage that's heading for the rocks and might encourage exhausted workers to return home to their deceived spouses. Stretching the point? Certainly not.