The directors of BritWeek 2013 staged “A Salute to Oid Hollywood” to kick off the year’s annual, nearly two week long celebration of creative ties between Great Britain and California.
Appropriately enough for a Hollywood tribute, guests included, among others, two James Bonds: Timothy Dalton, of “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill,” and George Lazenby of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (leading Adam Tschorn and Booth Moore of the LA Times to wonder, “If you have two 007s in the house, does that mean you’ve got one agent 014?”)
Also from Hollywood, (granted, not of the old-Hollywood type,) came Mischa Barton of “The O.C.,” Sebastian Knapp of “The Bible,” host Louise Roe of “Fashion Star,” Terri Seymour of “Extra;” “Dancing With the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Lisa Vanderpump; plus Judi Shekoni of “Twilight,” Tehmina Sunny of “Argo” and the upcoming “Mistresses,” Xander Berkeley of “24,” Vinny Jones of “Snatch,” Juliet Mills, Downtown Julie Brown, Max Caulfield, Lady Victoria Hervey, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge.
Taking place at the official British Residence of Consul General Dame Barbara Hay, done up with a 1920s vibe, Laurel and Hardy – aka Paul Reid and Brian Patrick Mulligan – greeted guests on arrival. An oversize card also awaited signatures to welcome the soon-to-arrive royal baby.
Prosecco was served Prohibition-style, in Wedgewood teacups to disguise the then-forbidden demon alcohol. A photo booth gave people the chance to pose in flapper hats, furs and cigarette holders, courtesy of Boots, the mega-pharmacy chain out of England. And a jaguar sat outside, just beside the red carpet.
In a conversation in the garden, board member Fiona Francois talked of the Apr. 24 UK Trade and Investment Business Innovation Awards, “It’s the next best thing after the Oscars, I promise,” she said.
As a fan of “Dancing With the Stars,” I also had the great opportunity to talk with judge Bruno Tonioli, one of the show’s reigning dance experts, about, among other things, contender Zendaya’s extraordinary talent. (Isn’t she amazing?!!)
In official remarks from up on the bandstand, Hay welcomed guests; royal family member Lord Frederick Windsor proposed a toast to the Queen; and BritWeek board chair Bob Peirce talked of the upcoming events, which readers will find by clicking here.
In one highlight, slated for May 3, BritWeek will honor TV’s “Downton Abbey” with Laura Carmichael, the show’s Lady Edith; executive producer Graeme Neame; and other cast members. Held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, the event will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.
BritWeek board members also include Sharon Harroun Peirce, Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” Paul Wright, Simon Wright, Stephen Lloyd, Christopher Guy Harrison, Nigel Daly, Michael Krycler, Danny Lopez and Barry Waldo.
Wedgewood, Boots, Jaguar and BBC Worldwide sponsored the BritWeek launch.
Top photo: Mischa Barton of “The O.C.,” Sebastian Knapp of “The Bible” and BritWeek board member Sharon Harroun Peirce at the launch of BritWeek 2013 (photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for BritWeek)
Third photo: Two James Bonds: Timothy Dalton, left, of “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill,” and George Lazenby of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” at the launch of BritWeek 2013 (photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for BritWeek)
Fourth photo: From left, Terri Seymour of “Extra,” Lisa Vanderpump of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and Lady Victoria Hervey at the launch of BritWeek 2013 (photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for BritWeek)
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Published Apr. 24, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA