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IN COOL DOWN

 

 

Editor's Note | Showbiz

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Showbiz

Showbiz News

by Zoe Griffin


LONDON FASHION WEEK AW15

February 2015

London Fashion WeekLONDON FASHION WEEK has been a manic whirlwind of fashion, famous faces sitting FROW and faux-fur. I ran around the capital checking out the hottest shows and these are the five I liked the most.

 

We'll be seeing them in the shops in Autumn/Winter so looking at them here now means you're ahead of the trend.

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FUR AND FLORALS by MATTHEW WILLIAMSONLFW AW15 Matthew Williamson

Matthew is famous for his multi-colour dresses but he’s warming it up for the British weather with some faux fur collars. Stunning!

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CHECKS at VIVIENNE WESTWOODLFW AW15 Vivienne Westwood

There were a lot of checked skirts, jackets and dresses at Vivienne’s show. It wasn’t very glamorous, but it was full of attitude.

LFW AW15 Temperley

 

 

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BLACK DRESSES and COATS at TEMPERLEY LONDON

Sophie Dahl was back on the catwalk at the Temperley London show and she looked stunning in a black coat. So did most of the models – black is the colour according to Temperley.

 

 

LFW AW15 Burberry

 

 

 

 

 

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BOHO CHIC at BURBERRY

Burberry had fringing, printed clothes and browns, bringing a bohemian, hippy vibe to London Fashion Week. I wonder if this will take off come Autumn / Winter?

 

 

 

LFW AW15 PPQ

 

 

 

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LBDs at POP by PPQ

A little black dress is a wardrobe staple and POP by PPQ was interesting as there was a mind-boggling amount of different LBDs. I liked the one above with ruffles.

And that's it...til September when London Fashion Week kicks off again with the SS16 collections.

 

 

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VIP PREVIEW: KOOZA

January 2015

Cirque du Soleil Kooza

CIRCUS for adults. Tickets start at £40. With those two sentences echoing round my head, I took a seat in the Royal Albert Hall, on the opening night of the show, fully prepared to hate it.

Cirque du Soleil Kooza Chris Robshaw Camilla Kerslake

 

The troupe have been performing in London at the start of every year for more than 10 years and the VIP opening night is always one of the most star studded nights of January. On the red carpet, I'd seen a variety of personalities including newsreader Michael Buerk, Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding, Strictly Come Dancing's Brendan Cole, Gail Porter, Derren Brown and England Rugby captain Chris Robshaw with girlfriend Camilla Kerslake. Poor things, I thought to myself as the curtain went up, they should have gone to a film premiere if they wanted to get photographed without being forced to clap at clowns and gymnasts.



The show started with involvement from the whole troupe. There was so much to look at in the first five minutes that it was impossible to remain detached and I could feel my scepticism melting away. The cast bounced on and off trampolines with fast music, contortionism and drama coming from forming sky high pyramids. And that was just the intro!

Cirque du Soleil Kooza

Cirque Du Soleil is one of the most popular shoes in Las Vegas, where people want an antidote to the thrill of the gambling floor without having to think so much. There's nothing particularly intellectual about it. However, the producers cleverly realised that people return to Vegas again and again and therefore they would be missing out on gambling dollars if they kept the show the same. Therefore the circus movements are choreographed to a different storyline every season with a storyline loosely based on the environment with lots of elements of magic and fantasy. For example, the show that I saw, Kooza, 'tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world’.

Cirque du Soleil KoozaOne of the benefits about this is that it can be understood by young and old, and English and foreign audiences. And there's not just a shared appreciation of what the stars are doing, the actions on stage bond the audience together in fear. As a troupe of athletic men took to a very tall high wire, I watched them walk it thinking it was average. Then I watched them erect a higher high wire while standing on the already-high one. Then they jumped on each other's shoulders and walked over it. Then there was a bicycle and a lot of people travelling over it all at once. A bicycle on a highwire and a bicycle pyramid were impressive in themselves but the effect of both together, caused me to gulp and then smile as I turned round to hear the people sat either side of me do exactly the same thing.

Cirque du Soleil Kooza

The show runs til 19th February, and Cirque du Soleil will be back at The Royal Albert Hall in January 2016 with a new production, so I highly recommend treating yourself. If you're feeling any lethargy after Christmas and New Year, this will pick up your spirits and throw you back out ready to take on another year. Plus it puts things into perspective. No matter how bad your day is, you're not risking death by riding a bicycle over a highwire.

 

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VIP PREVIEW: QUIDAM

January 2014Quidam Cirque de Soleil

ONE of the reasons I like watching rugby is because I respect the skill of the players and I am blown away by their bravery. It's something you don't often get in Showbiz as stunt doubles replace the celebs in action movies, and I would hardly call dancing on stage in hot pants (or nude if you're Miley Cyrus) admirable. However, the performers in The Cirque Du Soleil take my breath away and at the VIP opening night of their Quidam show at The Royal Albert Hall I could see the celebrities felt the same!

Tamara Ecclestone Quidam

 

 

 

The first star I saw was Tamara Ecclestone, who was sporting a baby bump. At the time she was 7 months pregnant and I was worried she was going to give birth early after watching the high wire acts, the trapeze and some kind of crazy choreographed routine on treadmills. She was holding her breath, and her husband Jay was stroking her hand to make sure she was ok. Bless!

 

 

Ben Foden Una Healey Aoife Franklins GardensThe Saturdays singer Vanessa White turned up on her own, sparking rumours the band were about to split. However, she told me there would be at least two new albums from the band and a tour at the end of the year. It just goes to show that motherhood isn’t the end of the world as three of the band have kids now and they’re working just as hard as ever, including Una Healey, married to rugby’s own Ben Foden, who should currently be on England Six Nations duty if it wasn't for those darn injuries!

Kelly Hoppen Quidam

 

 

I also spotted the new star of the UK version of Dragon’s Den, Kelly Hoppen. She is one scary lady, refusing to give anything away about the show itself. However, she controlled the renovation and design of the Beckhams’ LA house and she did confirm that David and Victoria had asked her to oversee their new London home decoration, They’ve just bought a place in Kensington worth £6 million. I also know David has a Treadway treadmill, the same one he used at the gym at Barry’s Bootcamp...my daily haunt!

If you get a chance to go the Albert Hall before 19 February to see Quidam, then I highly recommend it. If not, you can catch one of the Cirque shows in Las Vegas all year round. What a fabulous excuse to go to Vegas!

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PREMIERE: THE GREAT GATSBY - CANNES

May 2013


MY showbiz column is all about glamour, extravagance and indulgence (well that's what I attempt) and there was one event that epitomised all that this summer - the premiere of The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby premiere Cannes

I was very lucky because I got to go to Cannes for the film festival where the European premiere of The Great Gatsby was held. I was pinching myself at my luck but there was one drawback - there was torrential rain. Thankfully the female stars, led by Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher, still made an effort but they just had to seek shelter under huge umbrellas from time to time. It was a bit of a nightmare for the hair frizz!

Cara Delevigne The Great Gatsby premiere Cannes

 

As well as the film’s main female stars Isla and Carey, British supermodel of the moment Cara Delevigne flew in from London for the night and actually wore a dress. If you knew Cara, you'd know that she lives in scruffy jeans and t-shirts, but she knows how to pull it out the bag when she needs to.

Equally show-stopping was singer Lana Del Ray, who did her best to detract attention from the rubbish weather by performing live during premiere arrivals. She looked every inch the Hollywood golden girl in a strapless black and white vintage gown with a fishtail trim.

Cindy Crawford The Great Gatsby premiere Cannes

 

 

 

I was also pretty shocked to see 90s model Cindy Crawford, who is 41 now. How is that possible? Is she still modelling, because she could. She's actually working on nutritional and fitness products right now, she revealed. Obviously.

 

 

 

Leonardo Dicaprio Amitabh Bachchan The Great Gatsby premiere CannesAnd finally, I couldn't have a Gatsby post without talking about Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo loved his moment in the spotlight at the festival so much he stayed for the entire two weeks in Cannes. Pictured below is the suave Leo with mis-cast Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan who plays Meyer Wolfsheim in the otherwise breathtaking film, though the latter looks like he's sporting a sad Liberace cast off.

Leo even brought along his dad George, who is producing his own movie about the assassination of JFK. They all partied on yachts, at the five star Hôtel Du Cap in Antibes and at parties organised by jewellery firm Chopard. With lots of flowing champagne at these events, decadent clothing and all night dancing, Leo really was living the life of his on-screen alter ego Jay Gatsby for his time in Cannes. Good on him!

Zoe Griffin Cannes 2013

 

 

I hope I get to go to Cannes again next year fo more spectacular parties, celebrities, yachts and the inimitable red carpet. But in the mean time, showbiz never sleeps…

 

 

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NTA AWARDS 2013

January 2013

NTA Awards 2013ON a cold January night the O2 Arena was lit up by a dazzling array of TV stars from all genres. There were the reality stars (complete with fake tan glows), the comedy presenters (in dashing suits), the soap stars (who all love a bit of sequin), and the stars of Saturday night TV with their mega watt smiles. Dermot O'Leary eloquently took the event through its paces after an entertaining entrance...

 

NTA Awards 2013 Ant and Dec

 

Ant and Dec won best entertainment presenters for the 12th year in a row(!) so they were grinning, but X Factor - which they are part involved in - lost to Strictly Come Dancing in the Talent Show award. Host Tess Daly looked so shocked.

NTA Awards 2013 Downton Abbey

 

Unsurprisingly Downton Abbey won best drama, but perhaps this time next year Mr Selfridge will take its place. Either that or Homeland.

 

The show itself in the main arena at the O2 was very tame, but the after-party in the Indigo 02 at the same venue was when the stars really let their hair down. With free-flowing Prosecco, cocktails, large dishes and bite-sized canapés being passed around from the moment of entry, it was clear any celebrity who had dieted to fit into their red carpet dress was going to let loose that night. The Hollyoaks stars seemed to be the last at the party; I was still dancing with them at 2am until the venue staff told everyone to leave! A lot of them said they were due to get the train back to Liverpool the following morning – I wonder how many of them made it.

NTA Awards 2013 fashion

The next awards ceremony is the BAFTAs on 13 February. Normally it’s another wild night. Bring it on!

AND THE NTA WINNERS ARE...

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
DOCUMENTARY SERIES: Frozen Planet
COMEDY PANEL SHOW: QI
DRAMA PERFORMANCE MALE: Colin Morgan (Merlin)
DAYTIME: This Morning
DRAMA PERFORMANCE FEMALE: Miranda Hart (Call The Midwife)
LANDMARK: London 2012 (Lord Sebastian Coe, David Weir, Chris Hoy)
SERIAL DRAMA PERFORMANCE: Alan Halsall (Coronation Street)
ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTER: Ant & Dec
FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT: Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs
NEWCOMER: David Witts (EastEnders)
SITUATION COMEDY: Mrs Brown’s Boys
DRAMA: Downton Abbey
TALENT SHOW: Strictly Come Dancing
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Joanna Lumley OBE
SERIAL DRAMA: Coronation Street

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF...ZOE GRIFFIN
PREMIERE: FLIGHT

January 2013

Denzel Washington Flight PremiereDENZEL WASHINGTON has earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in the air crash drama thriller, Flight, so he was the star of the night at the premiere in London’s Leicester square.

Everyone wanted to talk to him, but I fought my way onto the red carpet (and got my hair and outfit sorted in advance) to talk to him about life as a VIP, fashion and boxing. All in a days work…

 

What you don’t see on this video is a smattering of other celebrities walking the red carpet trying to get their photos taken and be associated with a glamorous red carpet. The singer Jamelia, who I haven’t seen for years since she moved back to Birmingham, announced she had been given some film roles of her own – watch this space. Sugarbabe Jade Ewen said she was working on some solo project as well as stuff for the girl group. She had a break to practise for the ITV diving show Splash and said she feels like she has a lot of catching up to do. Bless! Finally, The Only Way Is Essex stars Sam Faiers and Joey Essex walked the red carpet hand in hand and indulged in a Public Display of Affection. It was pretty disgusting, actually.

Denzel was far more reserved and cool. He’s up against Daniel Day Lewis and Hugh Jackman for that best Actor Oscar so doesn’t fancy his chances but this is the sixth time he has been nominated. What a legend!

The film is in cinemas from 1 February. And here’s our review...

Flight Review

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COSMOPOLITAN ULTIMATE WOMEN AWARDS

November 2012

Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Of The Year Awards 2012THE Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards held in the historically decadent main hall of the V&A Museum was one of the most star-studded events I have been to all year. I feel like I need to clarify this properly because of the title of the event – an awards ceremony for women – but in actual fact there was an equal share of male and female celebs at the event. Once the men know there will be a lot of hot famous women in one place, they turn up as well to try their luck!

So let’s get to the star-spotting. The ever popular Ant and Dec shared a table with Lisa Snowdon, Holly Willoughby and Leigh Francis. X Factor judges Tulisa and Nicole Scherzinger took their acts Rylan Clarke, Jahmene Douglas, Ella Henderson and Union J. Alexandra Burke was the envy of millions as she hung out with One Direction, and there was a table of athletes including runner Iwan Thomas, gymnast Louis Smith and the gorgeous Jessica Ennis. I caught up with Jessica, who is a lot smaller than I expected, and she told me she is back in training already with her eyes on Brazil in 2016. That is dedication for you!

Zoe Griffin Kian Egan Westlife

 

Trying to channel some of this year’s vintage trend, I styled my hair into a quiff for the evening, which meant I was a lot taller than Westlife star Kian Egan. He was with his ex-Hollyoaks actress wife Jodi Albert, who said she was in talks for not one but two Hollywood roles in 2013. Not to be cynical or anything, but let’s hope she doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.

 

Host for the evening was Celebrity Juice panellist and Radio 1 presenter Fearne Cotton. Heavily pregnant Fearne said she cannot wait until she gives birth so she can have some time off. Unlike other mums who rush back to work, Fearne said she wants at least three months at home. We don’t blame her.

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Ultimate Olympian
Jessica Ennis

Ultimate Paralympian
Sarah Storey

Ultimate Newcomer
Zawe Ashton

Ultimate Film Actress
Jennifer Lawrence

Ultimate Confidence Queens
Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian

Ultimate Style Icon with VO5
Kelly Osbourne

Ultimate Campaigners
Natasha Devon and Ruth Rogers

Ultimate Fundraiser
Polly Brooks

Ultimate Editor's Choice
Stephanie Kercher

Ultimate Street Style Icon with VO5
Suzan Yasemin

Ultimate Fun Fearless Female
Nicole Scherzinger

Ultimate TV Personality
Tulisa Contostavlos

Ultimate Hottie
Louis Smith

Ultimate Pop Star
Cheryl Cole

Ultimate Men
One Direction

Ultimate UK TV Actress
Vicky McClure

Ultimate International TV Actress
Melissa George

Ultimate Family Girl
Melanie Burgess

Ultimate Love Story
Emma and Chris Barton

 

NOTE:  Zawe Ashton really is lovely. If you haven’t seen an episode of Fresh Meat yet check it out and I am sure it will make you laugh out loud at least once!

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LONDON LIFESTYLE AWARDS

London Lifestyle Awards 2012October 2012

THE iconic Hurlingham club in West London was the scene of one of my personal favourite parties of the whole year: the London Lifestyle Awards.

Zoe Griffin London Lifestyle Awards 2012When I party every night, to pick a favourite event is difficult, but the one thing swung it for me was that I was nominated for an award! I was actually the only female to be nominated in the category London Personality Of The Year so I could theoretically say I have the best personality out of any woman in London. Gary Barlow, Danny Boyle and Danny Baker were also in my category but it was won by Mayor Boris Johnson. If I had to lose to anyone it would be BoJo.

The event was sponsored by Ciroc vodka and it felt like they’d made enough cocktails to serve the whole of Russia. Blue looked like they’d indulged in a few as they let their hair down on the dancefloor with their respective girlfriends. Les Dawson’s daughter Charlotte was also making the most of it and worked the room, trying to find someone to help her achieve her dreams of becoming a TV presenter.

London Lifestyle Awards 2012 Leslie PhillipsOther celeb guests included legendary British film actor Leslie Phillips, former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, The Voice winner Tyler James and X Factor special adviser Sinitta, who told us she had a soft spot for Union J on this year’s X Factor.

If you’re planning a trip to London soon it’s useful to know who won what so you can make the most of your visit.  The London Lifestyle Awards are the definitive measure of what’s hot right now in the capital city.

The winners...

London Lifestyle Awards 2012 JaguarPersonality of the Year: BORIS JOHNSON
Best Health and Beauty Facility: CHUAN SPA
London Lifestyle Legend: ARLENE PHILLIPS
Best Members Club: EIGHT MEMBERS’ CLUB
Best Hotel: SANCTUM SOHO
Best Bar: PLAYBOY CLUB
Best Concierge: QUINTESSENTIALLY LONDON
Best Restaurant: CAPRICE HOLDINGS
Best Hairdressing Salon: TAYLOR TAYLOR
Best Theatre Show: MATILDA
Best Live Music Venue: ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Best Fitness Facility: PINEAPPLE DANCE STUDIO
Best Festival: E4 UDDERBELLY
Best Cultural Attraction: KIDS WEEK
Hospitality Business of the Year: FIRMDALE HOTELS
Best Coffee Shop: THE HABERDASHERY
Best Fashion Retailer: KATHERINE ELIZABETH MILLINERY
Best Green Contribution: THE ROYAL PARKS

I’m still buzzing and very, very grateful. I think I have the best job in the world!

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LONDON FASHION WEEK

September 2012

London Fashion WeekALEXA CHUNG, Kate Moss and Olivia Palermo are some of the beautiful faces you would have seen on the Front Row of London fashion week. This is such a coveted position those in the know are calling it FRow. While it’s lovely to be invited to a fashion show, if you’re not on the FRow it’s an insult, dahlings.

Anyway…designers from Vivienne Westwood to Eudon Choi dressed their models in only the finest garments and let them strut their stuff on the runway.

Mulberry SS13 Lana Del Rey Kate Moss Alexa Chung Olivia Palermo

From Mulberry, we saw clothes inspired by an English garden (they even walked poodles down the catwalk set up at Claridges Hotel). On the FRow was Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Gillian Anderson, Lana Del Ray and Olympian Jessica Ennis.

 

We saw heavy embellishments and strong monochromes from Sass & Bide, 90s style bright colours and fabrics from House of Holland and lots of leather by Moschino Cheap and Chic.

Vivienne Westwood SS13

 

 

 

We were surprised though that Vivienne Westwood left her trademark tartan at home and used a colour palette of frosty greys, greens and blues at her show in a converted Church in East London. Cute floral prints replaced her usual tartan and the overall look was less punk and more romantic cool.  However, the standard of celebs on the front row was not as good as at Mulberry. Alexa Chung again (if only we had a pound for every time we saw her during fashion week), Pixie Geldof and the slimmed-down Kelly Osbourne.Philip Treacy SS13

 

 

 

It was milliner Phillip Treacy’s show that was my personal highlight though.  Firstly because Lady Gaga sat in the front row at the spectacular Royal Courts Of Justice venue. Secondly because he really showed how the power of hats have the ability to transform an outfit. Yes, his own coterie of trees and hoods and 3D sculptures are difficult to wear but they straddle the line between art and fashion and give the rest of us a little bit of inspiration to break free from our self-imposed fashion rules and try something new. Winter is a time for hats after all.

 

 

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PREMIERE: THE SWEENEY

3rd September 2012

The SweeneyNOW summer’s over, there’s nothing more comforting than a classic British movie. The Sweeney had its world premiere in London’s Leicester Square and it was a right old cockney knees up.

The Sweeney premiere 2012 Lois Elaine Ray Jaime Winstone

 

 

The film’s stars British hardman Ray Winstone, Ben Drew a.k.a Plan B and director Nick Love hit the red carpet with Winstone’s family, which included his daughter and actress Jaime Winstone. The Sweeney premiere 2012 Jaime Winstone

 

 

 

Jaime walked the red carpet alone, prompting rumours she had split from her photographer boyfriend Tom Beard, which she later confirmed. This is good news for the guys out there – she’s now single. However, would you fancy Ray Winstone as your father in law?

The Sweeney premiere 2012 Ben Drew Plan B

 

 

 

Plan B looked very dapper in a custom-made three piece suit. He says he’s in the middle of manufacturing and marketing his own clothes line. Fancy a bit of sophisticated street style in your life? Keep reading the showbiz section for more details.

But it was after the film when the real gossip happened. After drinks at the Groucho Club in Leicester Square (old school), Ray invited people back to his house as he has built his own pub in his garden. With beer on tap and as many vodka tonics as you could stomach, there was a real lock-in before people realised that Winstone lived in Essex and they lived in London. Thank goodness the drinks were free as some of the guests must have grimaced the next morning when they woke up and looked at how much their taxi was home. 

The Sweeney ReviewTalking of grimacing, there was a lot of fighting, groaning and hard man talk in the movie but the chemistry between Winstone and Drew made up for it. Check out our review...

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THE PREMIERE: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Thursday 19th July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises REVIEWTHE DARK KNIGHT RISES had its European premiere in London’s Leicester Square and at the BFI Southbank – it was that huge! The Dark Knight Rises premiere Christian BaleBut it wasn’t just the fans that were excited; the celebrities raced to the cinema to watch the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy too.

Along with the film's stars such as Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises premiere Prince Harrydirector Guy Ritchie came to see the caped crusader one last time. Whilst our favourite rugby Royal, Prince Harry showed up and confessed he is a massive Batman fan – what we wouldn’t give to see His Royal Hotness Harry in the batsuit!

The film focuses on the death and destruction that left the previous film on a cliffhanger and shows us what lengths some people will go to, to see the good fail. Eight years after Batman took the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes, the caped crusader has a new enemy in town. Gotham City’s new terrorist Bane, The Dark Knight Rises premiere Tom Hardywreaks havoc on the city’s residents and only Batman can stop him. With a new love interest and leather clad Catwoman, can Bruce Wayne save the city and his identity?

It’s a long film but Prince Harry stayed in the cinema and seemed transfixed all the way through. Yes, we were watching him almost as much as the film. Sadly he had a blonde Chelsy Davy lookalike next to him and they looked pretty close. We think Harry may have found a new girlfriend and what a great movie to take a date to. Watch this space!

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PREMIERE: THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN

Monday 18th June '12

The Amazing SpiderMan REVIEWTHE hotly anticipated return of Spiderman has finally hit our screens; with the remake of the Lycra clad superhero taking a more sinister turn than Sam Raimi’s 2002 vision. The Amazing Spiderman Paris premiere Emma Stone Andrew GarfieldJune 18th saw the film all you comic geeks and Andrew Garfield fans have been waiting for and it did not disappoint.

The film is based on the Marvel Spiderman comics and focuses on the transformation of Peter Parkers character from geek to hero and discovering the truth behind his parent’s death. Although the bare bones of the movie are similar to the previous version, the developing story shows us a darker side to the Spiderman character and what human mortality truly means.

Stars of the film Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield and Rhys Ifans took to the red carpet despite the rain and greeted fans for nearly an hour. The blonde bombshell, The Amazing Spiderman London premiere Anna Friel Rhys Ifanswalked most of the red carpet hand in hand with co-star and boyfriend Andrew Garfield, who looked pretty loved up. Awwww!

Rhys Ifans’ girlfriend Anna Friel could have rivalled Emma Stone in the fashion stakes with a beautiful floor length purple gown. The English rose looked glowing on the arm of Rhys and said she couldn’t wait to start working with him on their next movie.

However, I’m a bit worried about this. It was the end for Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes when they worked together on Revolutionary Road and Tom Cruise split from Nicole Kidman shortly after A Clockwork Orange. Good luck guys!

 

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PREMIERE: WAR HORSE

Sunday 8th January '12

War Horse ReviewWAR HORSE was one of the best premieres we’ve had in the UK for ages as it was packed with A-listers and they all let themselves surrender to the magic of the film. War Horse Premiere Steven Spielberg Joey Jeremy IrvineThere was no room for egos on the red carpet as the star of the film is very much Joey the Horse and we noticed he got a louder cheer than director Steven Spielberg when he was led down the red carpet.

Once inside the cinema,  we saw royal tears. Prince William and his new wife, Catherine, The Duchess was handed a box of Kleenex  midway through the film. We wondered who needed it? What happened to the royal stiff upper lip?

War Horse Premiere Prince William Duchess of CambridgeOutside the venue, we heard that the night raised over £1 million for charity. Some tickets were sold to the William and Harry charitable foundation for £10,000 each, and part of this will go to Help For Heroes. Some injured servicemen were also given tickets to the premiere and it was an honour to walk down the red carpet near them. Before I went to the show, I wondered would lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch be as hot in real life as he is in Sherlock on BBC1. Yes, he scrubs up pretty good in a suit but his eyes are wide apart. Ladies, the soldiers were better looking, stronger and altogether more fanciable. I was in my element!

This very much called for a celebration with a decadent party at The Queen’s Gallery in the palace. More Champagne anyone? Yes please, it was unlimited.

Champagne waiterDRINK OF THE NIGHT: Champagne.

Served  like the royals do  it – in chilled glasses with waiters in suits. Surrounded by beautiful people. If they’re not beautiful enough, don’t let them in the party!

 

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PREMIERE: THE IRON LADY

Thursday 5th January '12

The Iron Lady ReviewTHE premiere of The Iron Lady took place at the BFI on London’s Southbank and our overall impression from the night was that it was a really grown-up affair. Meryl Streep London Premiere The Iron LadyThere were no random reality TV stars turning up because they wanted a bit of glamour. They’re more suited to films like Fast And The Furious…or Shrek. Instead the list of stars was: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head.

Then let’s take Meryl’s outfit. The wise actress realised that there is no need to bear all when it’s January and so covered her body in a stately blue dress. It  was a blue carpet outside the venue – to reflect Tory colours – and Streep was perfectly colour co-ordinated. However, when we grabbed a chat with her she said she wasn’t necessarily a fan of Thatcher, telling us: “It was interesting to me to look at the human being behind the headlines; to imagine what it's like to a live a life so huge, controversial, and groundbreaking in the winter of that life, and to have sort of a compassionate view for someone with whom I disagree."

Emily Anthony Daisy Head London Premiere The Iron LadyBuffy The Vampire Slayer actor Anthony Head -who played Cabinet Minister Geoffrey Howe- attended with his two daughters, both of whom are budding thespians. Emily’s in The Inbetweeners and the other sister, Daisy has had parts in dramas like Holby City. Look out for them all in 2012.

Another reason that signalled it was a night for the grown-ups was the drinks selection. Rather than book a fabulous venue for the after-party, things were kept simple and it was done at the BFI.

Gin and TonicDRINK OF THE NIGHT: Normally I’d report on the cocktails but it was Gin and Tonic or Vodka and Tonic or fizz.

Want to know how to drink a G*T the Iron Lady way?

75ml of Gin (or more) and 20 ml tonic plus ice and lime. Make it strong!

 

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AUSTIN REED REGENT ST STORE LAUNCH

Thursday 15th December '11

Courtney Lawes Austin ReedCOURTNEY LAWES covered his tattoos to scrub up in a suit at the launch of the new Austin Reed shop on London’s Regent Street. Austin Reed sold the old shop to Superdry for £20 million and moved a few doors down the street (it’s now at 100 Regent Street). Cricketer Alistair Cooke was also there and The Overtones band, but the versatile England and Northampton Saints forward, Lawes looked the smartest (bizarrely).

Saving the cash from moving stores meant the label had more to spend on cocktails! It even hired a special bar team called Liquid Chefs to create them. Mojitos were nice but the Gingerbread Smash was a particular hit.

Lawes couldn't indulge in many, but we did, and it brought on the festive spirit.

DRINK OF THE NIGHT: To make the Gingerbread Smash you need:

25ml dark rum
20ml apple liqueur
125ml pineapple juice
2 long slices of fresh ginger
cinnamon to dust

Add all the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled martini glass and add the ginger and cinnamon.

Austin Reed cocktailtop


 


PREMIERE PARTY: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE GAME OF SHADOWS

Friday 10th December '11

Sherlock Holmes ReviewGUY RITCHIE impressed me at the premiere of Sherlock Holmes and The Game of Shadows – the man can drink! Not content with an after-party full of boozy (and rather delicious cocktails) at the posh London cocktail bar 50 St James, the film director went on for a lock-in at his Mayfair pub, The Punchbowl.

Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows PremiereThe actual premiere, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr, was brilliant. It’s one of those rare Christmas movies that’s suitable for the whole family. Yes, it’s slightly cheesey but no more so than Harry Potter and you don’t get Robert Downey Jr in a Harry Potter movie.

In the flesh Rob’s a bit private – there was not much talking to journalists (boo) – but Guy Ritchie was really fun. Here’s Five Facts we found out about Guy over the course of the night:

(1) Guy says he got behind England in the World Cup but he does not have a premiership team. Sadly he’s more into football, supporting Chelsea FC.

Guy Ritchie(2) However, Guy’s main sport is judo. He has a black belt and his own mat in his house in London. He’s harder than he looks…

(3) While not quite as short as Tom Cruise, Guy is 5ft 11 at most. His girlfri9end Jaqui Ainsley is 6ft 2 in heels (and I was taller than him too)

(4) The Punchbowl band, a group that play in his pub, contributed some of the soundtrack to Sherlock Holmes. Cute! They’re now signed to Punchbowl records, a label Guy created especially

(5) Guy’s next project is a film adaptation of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. Apparently this was a tv series about spies – he’ll be perfect at this!


Sherlock Holmes cocktailDRINK OF THE NIGHT: 50 St James created a special Sherlock Holmes cocktail for the occasion.

Mix 40ml Bulliet bourbon whiskey with angostura aromatic bitters and add one large ice cube and a lime wedge in a highball glass. Garnish with brown sugar on the rim of the glass and another slice of lime. It’s a strong and serious drink, just like Mr Ritchie!


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