August 10, 2008

Let’s All Sizzle in the Drizzle



Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson looked pensive as he stood on the balcony of Somerset House. The venue was hosting Film4's Summer Screen season, and the opening, pre-film VIP bash - to be followed by the premiere screening of Hellboy II - threatened to be a washout as storm clouds loomed.

The unsettled weather was echoed by the mood of the ever- immaculate Peter York, as the style guru barrelled in early, only to be baffled that he didn't seem to know anyone; maybe the threat of rain scared off the VIPs.

Fortunately, glamour arrived in the form of electric violinist Linzi Stoppard, Tom's daughter-in-law resplendent in a midnight- blue dress, while Tchaik Chassay, the architect behind trendy London haunts the Groucho club and 192, brought some star quality with him in the form of daughter Dixie, the inspiration behind James Blunt's "You're Beautiful".

A downpour soon sent the crowds scurrying under the canopies, leaving waiters and their mini-baked potato canapes stranded, but it wasn't long before the night's leading man arrived: shorn of his locks for his next film, John Hurt had turned up to introduce Hellboy II with his chic co-star Anna Walton.

Director Terry Gilliam managed to quickly rib Hurt about his hair before unpacking his picnic and settling down with the hordes for a rain-free showing of the action spectacular. Luke Johnson, you need never have worried.

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