PM reveals celebrity house guests
Tuesday 22 July 2008
A list of all those who joined the Prime Minister and his wife Sarah at the country retreat during his first year as Premier, also including the Duke of York, was published by No 10 today.
It reads like a who's who of big business, showbiz and politics, with Mr Brown just as happy to entertain celebrities as was predecessor Tony Blair.
Veteran actor and film director Lord Attenborough, comedy writer and anti-poverty campaigner Richard Curtis, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and Beatles producer Sir George Martin headed the cast of entertainment personalities to have taken up invites.
Newspaper editors from across Fleet Street - as well as some of their proprietors - joined the Browns at the Buckinghamshire grace-and-favour residence.
And while the menus were not published, there were certainly "Goats" on the menu at times as the guest list included the ministers given that name after being drafted in by Mr Brown from outside politics to join his so-called "Government Of All the Talents".
There was also a smattering of society names such as Sabrina Guinness, Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild and James Ogilvy -once 13th in line to the throne.
But there appeared to be no representatives of the trade unions, which provide 90% of Labour's funding.
While the number of household names was on a par with his predecessor's list, Mr Brown eschewed Tony Blair's fondness, in his final months, for pop-culture celebrities such as singer Charlotte Church and rugby star partner Gavin Henson, daytime TV hosts Richard and Judy and DJ Chris Evans.
Among the well-known names on the list of more than 180 guests to have been entertained at Chequers from last June until the end of March this year were:
Lord Richard Attenborough CBE
Sir Richard Branson
Damon Buffini (venture capitalist)
Dr Tanya Byron
Sir Terence Conran
HRH the Duke of York
Sir James Dyson CBE
Lord Norman Foster
Lord and Lady Kinnock
Sir Richard Lambert
Sir Terry Leahy
Sir George Martin
Sir Stuart Rose
Sir Tom Stoppard
Sir Alan Sugar
Professor Magdi Yacoub
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