The Huffington Post celebrated its first British birthday in style last night with an evening at the Ivy.
The guest-list for the bash was suitably eclectic for an online newspaper that prides itself on its wide open forum for every voice and opinion.
Ken Livingstone brushed shoulders with Nancy Dell'Olio, former chancellor Norman Lamont, Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow, comedienne Helen Lederer and life peer Lord Adonis – all in the arty surrounds of the top floor of the celebrated London playground.
Ken was on fine form, looking forward to the Olympics (yes, he will be at the opening ceremony after his efforts involved in bringing the Games to London during his time as Mayor) - although he admitted the only sporting event he’d be eligible for these days was “gardening” – and he was as mischievous as ever about his mayoral rival Boris.
Ken Livingstone arrives at the HuffPost party
Meanwhile, Nancy was at her usual indefatigable best. Anyone curious as to what she’ll do next will soon be hearing about a book, a theatre project… as usual, Nancy has it all going on, and that's without the looming matter of her ongoing court case with former love Sven over their once-shared Regent's Park home - what she described as "a big case".
Over in the corner was another tireless character, the sweet and thoughtful Peter Tatchell. Asked who he thought should be lighting the Olympic cauldron at next week’s opening ceremony, Tatchell spent a great deal of thought on his answer and eventually came up with three… none of them British.
TV presenter Laura Whitmore
There was plenty of glamour in the room, including TV presenters Laura Whitmore and Cherry Healey and Shingai Shoniwa, the stunning lead singer of The Noisettes, who performed an acoustic set for the room before DJ Mr Hudson took over the controls and St Etienne’s Pete Wiggs closed the night.
Carla Buzasi, Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post UK, said: "I can't quite believe it's been a whole year since we launched The Huffington Post in the UK. A lot of hard work has gone into creating the site that you see today, but I don't think even we could have predicted the impact it would have on the British media scene. I'm extremely proud of the team we have built here and the successes along the way, here's to another great year.”
Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes, Carla Buzasi, and Nancy Dell'olio
Commenting on the first birthday of the UK site, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, said: "Having spent several years living and studying in Britain, HuffPost UK will always have a very special place in my heart. I'm so happy to have seen such great growth and enthusiasm for HuffPost in the UK over the past 12 month. Our UK edition was the first to take HuffPost's values, voice and signature point of view into Europe and make them their own. We are very proud to be part of the UK media landscape, so Happy Birthday HuffPost UK."
Guests were treated to cocktails from Cointreau and Remy Martin as well as a classic Italian birthday cake – a Genoise sponge steeped in Grappa, mascarpone and fresh raspberries, the creation of Michelin-starred chef Theo Randall - fittingly for the occasion, another Huffington Post blogger.
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