Party girl's e-mail goes round the world

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A young trainee at an international financial services firm became the latest victim of the forwarded e-mail yesterday.

Lucy Gao sent instructions tofriends on how they should present themselves at her 21st birthday bash at the Ritz Hotel, in central London. From specific times when each of the 39 invitees must arrive to what they should say and how they should dress, nothing was left to chance.

Ms Gao, who works at Citigroup in Canary Wharf, east London, even said those with queries should contact her personal assistant "between 8.30pm to 10pm". On the "strict" dress code, she warned: "The more upper-class you dress, the less likely you shall be denied entry."

And she added: "I will be accepting cards and small gifts between 9pm to 11pm ... wink wink, he he he."

At least one recipient felt the toe-curling message was worthy of a wider audience and it has now been forwarded worldwide.

Ms Gao, who studied engineering at Balliol College, Oxford, was not available on her mobile phone yesterday, the number of which was included in the e-mail.

She is the latest person to fall foul of the ease with which e-mails can be distributed globally.Last year a solicitor quit his job after an e-mail to his secretary became public. He had asked her to pay a £4 cleaning bill after she spilt ketchup on his trousers. Perhaps the most notorious case is that from 2000 involving Claire Swire, whose e-mail describing oral sex went round the world.