Party On

I haven't been to a black tie do for years, so The Horse Whisperer after-party was a bit of a novelty. Held at Mirabelle, Marco Pierre White's Mayfair restaurant, Robert Redford and Kristen Scott Thomas were conspicuously absent, but London's horsey set turned out in force. Jilly Cooper, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Andrew Parker-Bowles, Simon McCorkindale, even William Hague and Ffion bathed in the spotlight and talked shop. It felt like the social pages of Tatler had come to life and were taking over the world. Considering Scott Thomas plays a glossy magazine editor who rejects her superficial, self-absorbed existance and gets a grip on reality, it's kind of ironic really.

As book launches go, it was hardcore. Well, it had to be to coax Stephen King - Prince of Darkness and the world's best-selling author - away from his lair in Maine and into London's Royal College of Art.

Mr King's new book, enticingly titled Bag of Bones, is his 35th (ish - pseudonyms, short stories, collaborations notwithstanding), so he must be tearing his hair out at having to go through the media mill for yet another novel. But publishers Hodder & Stoughton pulled out all the stops for this one, coaxing King with a cricket match if he was a good boy at the launch.

And so he was, although strictly on his own terms. Michael Jackson couldn't have orchestrated a bigger build-up than Stephen, who still hadn't appeared two hours into the evening. Photographers were at the ready, publicists were looking flustered, rumours were flying that he was arriving "any moment now". I half expected him to explode from under the floor or abseil from the ceiling singing I'm Bad.

When the great man eventually appeared (all 6'4" of him) it was in a simple floppy white t-shirt, loose jeans and trademark goggle glasses. He reminded me of no-one so much as that bloke from King of the Hill. Still, he was very charming and was more than prepared to do his duty, gamely looked interested while earnest looking men from WH Smith talked book sales and wirey-haired loons quizzed him about Bag of Bones.

Later he confided, rather sweetly, that "the publicity thing's not that hard, actually". It no doubt eases the way, having a bodyguard two steps behind all evening and ready to flatten the nearest fan . And fans there were. Real, gabbling, gushing fans. Loads of them. Even the publicist was going for it, at one stage collecting, opening and placing a can of coke in King's hand, and all-but kneeing undesirables out of the way.

This was fun enough. But the most surreal bit was yet to come. It doesn't take a genius to recognise that Stephen King is an "anorak". And lo, after he'd done his star turn around the room and touched all his disciples, Saint Stephen picked up his gee-tar and took to the stage with fellow author Ken Follett.

It was text book rock 'n' roll cliche. Enthusiastic whooping, facial expressions of excruciating pain whilst "riffing", "high five" slaps between songs - grown men generally behaving like Bruce Willis on a bad day, but with more hair to fling around. Frankly, you wouldn't want this lot playing at your wedding. But believe me, they do a wicked book launch.

A big fat raspberry to the American film companies out there. Here's how to throw a UK premiere and party. The British gangster gem Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels had so many celebrities in attendance, the tabloid photographers were nearly wetting themselves. Ewan McGregor, Anna Friel, Robbie Williams, Steven Mackintosh, Leslie Ash, Sting, Trudi Styler (does she count?), Richard Ashcroft - and let's not forget dear Vinnie Jones, resplendent in shirt collars the width of the Thames - were all jostling for position at luvvie central. The scramble was so intense, one bloke complained at the party that there should have been an ultra VIP room, to keep out the normal VIPs!

As part of the revelry, three floors were at our disposal (I can't remember the venue - drunken haze, I'm afraid), with exquisite food, drinkies on the house until such time as you saw fit to collapse and hundreds of beautiful, pouting people. All very stylish and classy apart from, ahem, the "dancing girls". I think it's fair to say that this was a part of the evening which only the gentlemen could truly appreciate, as a dozen or so gambolling beauties, wearing spangly bikinis circa Ibiza '88, skipped around the base of a large podium, blowing whistles, clapping wildly and inviting enthusiastic men on the dancefloor for a spot of gyration.

It was hard to pick out a favourite, but my vote goes to the lovely blonde, resplendent in beaded bikini, black stilettos and bare bottom, who looked for one frightening moment like she might end her act with something like a Lewinsky cigar trick.Which, no doubt, she would have executed with far greater aplomb than dear old Monica. Still, I think we managed to show our American friends up quite enough for one day.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

    £16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

    £100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world