PM reveals celebrity house guests

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Indy Politics

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

Richard Curtis

Paul Dacre

HRH the Duke of York

Sir James Dyson CBE

Lord Norman Foster

Emma Freud

Derek Gadd

Alan Greenspan

Kirsty Young

Simon Kelner

Lord and Lady Kinnock

Sir Richard Lambert

Sir Terry Leahy

Kathy Lette

Sir George Martin

Piers Morgan

Lord Rogers

Sir Stuart Rose

Lord Rothermere

Alan Rusbridger

Arun Sarin

Sir Tom Stoppard

Sir Alan Sugar

Rebekah Wade

Celia Walden

Professor Magdi Yacoub