Journalist stars and editors were out in force at this year’s London Press Club Ball which raised an estimated £30,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.
Dermot Murnaghan – himself a long-standing ambassador for the charity ‘run by journalists for journalists’ – hosted the glittering event at the stunning Victoria and Albert Museum – the ‘V&A’ in London’s South Kensington.
Guests included TV star and columnist Piers Morgan, MailOnline editor Martin Clarke, Mirror group editor in chief Lloyd Embley, Daily Mirror weekday editor Peter Willis, London Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands, David Dinsmore, chief operating officer of News UK and chancellor George Osborne’s communications chief James Chapman, former political editor of the Daily Mail.
Many media representatives from the Royal Household were also in attendance, including James Roscoe, the Queen’s head of communications, Kristina Kyriacou for the Prince of Wales and her deputy Eva Omaghomi, Jason Knauf – head of commutations for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and his deputy Nick Loughran.
Also among the guests were BBC Radio 4’s media guru Steve Hewlett, TV presenters John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds-Wood. Former Sunday Times journalist Isabel Oakshott auctioned a signed copy of her controversial biography of David Cameron ‘Call Me Dave’.
Ball patron Lord Black of Brentwood said fund-raising for the Journalists’ Charity – helping those in need through ill health, unemployment or sheer bad luck’ was more vital than ever during what is a ‘challenging time’ for the newspaper and media industry.
In keeping with the increasingly digital nature of the media, the Ball dispensed with the traditional auction and instead relied entirely on a ‘money can’t buy’ hi-tech silent auction set up by Givergy using electronic pads on each table which guests could use to make their bids.
Ball co-chairmen Ray Massey and Robert Jobson said: ’We would like to express our sincere thanks for the generosity of our sponsors, our media partners and of those guests who bid enthusiastically in our first all-electronic charity auction. It has proved a huge success. Along with the raffle and much-loved ‘heads and tails’ game, we are confident the Ball will have raised more than £30,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.’
Entertainment was supplied by the wonderful Mezzo-Soprano Laura Wright, the brilliant violin duo Elektra and celebrity DJ Pat Sharp to round off the evening with dancing in the Dome.
Jaguar Land Rover, which has provided many of the cars for the new James Bond movie ‘SPECTRE’, was the main automotive and headline sponsor. Qatar Airways sponsored the champagne reception. Barclays, easyJet which sponsored the raffle, and The Money Shop were also key sponsors. British Airways backed the ‘Heads & Tails’ ice-breaker game, and there was also generous support from Kingsland Wines, Champagne Henriot and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Media partners were News UK, Telegraph Group, dmg media, Trinity Mirror, Independent and Evening Standard Group and their associated titles.