Brit Week Downton Abbey Golden Globes Luncheon

BritWeek Honors Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey at a Pre-Golden Globes Luncheon

 

BritWeek paid tribute to “Downton Abbey,” Jan. 12, the day before the Golden Globe Awards, by feting three of the show’s nominees: creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame and actress Michelle Dockery, aka Lady Mary Crawley, at a luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

“BritWeek is all about creativity and how can we do better than ‘Downton Abbey?’” said Bob Peirce, BritWeek’s chairman. The British/California celebration this year takes place Apr. 23-May 6.

Indeed, the much-celebrated PBS Masterpiece Classic captured a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Television Series – Drama,” with Dockery up for best actress in a television series and Maggie Smith up for best supporting actress in a television series. Last year the show won for “Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television” and had three other nominations.

“I feel I’ve already won,” said Dockery, who plays the just-wed Lady Mary Crawley on the show. “Being nominated alongside all those wonderful women is an honor in itself.” The other “wonderful women,” (and I wouldn’t argue with Dockery’s assessment of them) are Connie Britton of “Nashville,” Glenn Close of “Damages,” Claire Danes of “Homeland” and Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife.”

On that note, Dockery – in Stella McCartney – seems quite wonderful herself: friendly, charming and as beautiful up close as she is in the series. And regarding her breathtaking wedding gown in the series 3 opener, Dockery said she doesn’t get to keep it, but thought it might be auctioned off.

During the reception before guests settled in for lunch, Fellowes said the show’s immense popularity came as a surprise. “When we started out, we thought it was a good show, but we never expected the extent of the show’s success,” he said. “I would have thought anyone expecting that to be mad.”

Later in his brief remarks, he talked about the show’s genesis, which started with the character Cora, as he thought about the American heiresses, who came to the U.K. in the late 1800s and married British aristocrats. He wondered, he said, how those women felt when they woke up some years later in a massive house with one bathroom and no central heating.

The occasion also served as an announcement for BritWeek, which again will celebrate Great Britain’s creative influences in California through arts, cultural, entertainment, business and charity events, beginning with a star-studded reception at the British Consul General’s Residence. The 2013 BritWeek will also include a street festival in Santa Monica, a music party in Echo Park and the week’s signature charity gala, this year benefiting Malaria No More.

Honors will go to British-born architect John Parkinson, who designed many of the buildings in downtown Los Angeles.

Among others enjoying the luncheon were BritWeek co-founders Sharon Harroun Peirce and Nigel Lythgoe, producer of “American Idol” and executive producer of “So You Think You Can Dance;” BritWeek board members Paul Wright, OBE, Fiona Francois and Simon Wright with his wife Louise Salter; Suzanne Simpson and Rebecca Eaton of Masterpiece, Lord Frederick Windsor; Lady Emma Kitchener; and executive director Lauren Stone.

This year’s major BritWeek sponsors include Jaguar and Christopher Guy.

Top photo: Michelle Dockery, aka Lady Mary Crawley, in Stella McCartney at the BritWeek Downton Abbey Golden Globes Luncheon (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)

Center photo:  From left, Downton Abbey’s executive producer Gareth Neame; actor Michelle Dockery, aka Lady Mary Crawley, and show creator Julian Fellowes with BritWeek co-founder Nigel Lythgoe, BritWeek Chairman Bob Peirce and BritWeek co-founder Sharon Harroun Peirce at the BritWeek Downton Abbey Golden Globes Luncheon (photo, courtesy of BritWeek) 

Bottom photo: From left, Lord Frederick Windsor chats with Julian Fellowes and his wife Lady Emma Kitchener at the Jan. 12 BritWeek Downton Abbey Golden Globes Luncheon (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)
 

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BritWeek Downton Abbey Golden Globes Luncheon

Published Jan. 13, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA