Fry offers kisses to the “assorted capitalist scum”
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Fry offers kisses to the “assorted capitalist scum”

What better way to start off an awards ceremony than with a quick reminder of one's place in the world? That's the tack comedian Stephen Fry took as he introduced Euromoney's second annual awards dinner at the Natural History Museum in London last month.

"Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and assorted capitalist scum."

Clearly banking's finest enjoy a good insult, as they all laughed along heartily. Fry then changed tack, deciding to try to identify with his audience. "Banking," he said, at a deliberate, slow pace, "is my life. I know many of you might be suspicious, and probably think that I had never even heard of Euromoney before my agent rang me up, and that my conversion to banking probably had something to with the rather large cheque offered to host this event." It was a good call -assorted capitalist scum generally tend to stick together.

But it was soon time to get on with the presentations. So, continued Fry, "as the Archbishop of Canterbury likes to say, enough of this tedious stuff from me, let's get on with the show."

And so he did. But not without laying down the ground rules first - recipients of the awards were to come up to the stage to get their trophy and have a photo taken with Fry. But also, he warned, they would "get a big kiss from me".

And so they did, or at least so the first few did, including one lucky follicly-challenged winner a good foot shorter than the tall host who received a plum smacker right on the top of his head.

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