One week to remember

Champagne flowed, high heels clicked and tongues wagged - from awards ceremonies to film premieres, this has been the party week. And Guy Adams and Oliver Marre were on every guest list
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The Independent Online

When: Tuesday, eight till late.

Where: GQ's annual celebrity circus came to the Royal Opera House, turning Covent Garden into a gridlocked mess of limousines, crash barriers and paparazzi.

What: The gentleman's glossy hands out gongs to its favourite famous people. The Rolls-Royce of magazine awards do's treated several hundred lucky guests to dinner, dancing and late-night excess at Club Movida, Soho.

Who Was There: An awesome A-Z of celebrity: Alicia Silverstone, Bob Geldof, Bryan and Otis Ferry, Burt Bacharach, Carol Vorderman , Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson, Chris Moyles, Daniel Craig, Dannii Minogue, David Walliams, Davina McCall, Denise Van Outen, Erin O'Connor, Eva Herzigova, Gordon Ramsay, Ian Rankin, Jade Jagger, James Nesbitt, Jenson Button, Jay-Z, Louis Walsh, Lulu, Martine McCutcheon, Matt Lucas, Morrissey, Nancy Dell'Olio, Paula Abdul, Pierce Brosnan, Rachel Stevens, Sam Taylor-Wood, Simon Cowell, Stephen Daldry, Tess Daly, Timothy Spall and Vernon Kay, despite partying till late at the TV awards the night before.

The Gossip: Where to start? Burt Bacharach broke down in tears after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the editor of this newspaper. Nancy Dell'Olio - presenting the Editor of the Year gong - had a pop at the British press, who are now gunning for her partner, Sven. Charlotte Church was crowned Woman of the Year because, according to GQ editor Dylan Jones: "She's larger than life and enjoys life to the full." We drank to that and so did she, which may or may not have contributed to her (now standard) late-night tiff with boyfriend Gavin Henson. Simon Cowell was one of many guests ticked-off for sparking up a fag in the non-smoking building. On the dancefloor, Davina McCall jived like a grandmother, while Jenson Button "made out" with a young lady he'd met earlier that evening. It was all a bit much for a well-refreshed Alicia Silverstone, who tripped and fell over on her way out the door, much to the concern of arm-candy Timothy Spall.

If you weren't invited: You stayed at home and read back-issues of the magazine.

The Fashion Event: Isabella Blow's lipstick launch

When: Wednesday, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Where: Detmar Blow's gallery, Blow de la Barra, in Mayfair. Trendies drank champagne and nibbled, but not much.

What: Fashion supremo Isabella Blow hosted the party for her art-dealer hubby Detmar, haute couture protégé and friends. It was all thanks to the make-up firm Mac, which has named a lipstick after her and launched it at the bash.

Who Was There: Isabella and Detmar, Sadie Frost, Daphne Guinness and Lulu Guinness, Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Philip Treacy, Margo Stilley, Eloise Anson, and Bryan Ferry. The fashion magnate Matthew Mellon turned up, uninvited.

The Gossip: The writer Stephanie Theobald was banned from the bash, despite being the social editor of Harpers & Queen, because she'd enjoyed a very public fling with Isabella Blow's husband Detmar only last year. Thankfully, behind the scenes, Blow and Theobald are attempting to patch things up: they've had a long phone call and now the usually-lesbian Stephanie says: "Perhaps I should have had an affair with Issy instead." The American millionaire playboy Matthew Mellon was also not invited, because of his previously close relationship with Isabella. He turned up anyway. And Tatler editor Geordie Greig slipped away after only a few minutes for dinner with Madonna, but made sure he took a goody bag full of free cosmetics to give to the pop queen.

If You Weren't Invited: Don't worry, there's all the fun of London Fashion Week in a fortnight.

The Literary Soirée: Salman Rushdie's book launch

When: Wednesday, 8 till late.

Where: Literary London headed south of the river to the David Gill Galleries, Vauxhall. There, they were plied with champagne, cocktails, and a selection of the author's favourite Indian canapés.

What: Noted media darling and enemy of militant Islam, Salman Rushdie, held a high-profile launch for his Booker long-listed new novel, Shalimar the Clown. Not long ago, Rushdie was in hiding for fear of execution under a fatwa; now he's hardly ever off the party circuit. His bash attracted an exotic mix of literary hacks, gossip columnists and literary London's brightest stars - not to mention Mr Rushdie's fragrant young wife, Padma.

Who Was There: Salman and Padma, Nigella Lawson, Ruth Rogers, Alan Yentob, Lynn Barber, Bel Mooney, Maryam D'Abo, Mariella Frostrup, Dave Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Kathy Lette, Caroline Michel.

The Gossip: Lots of highbrow chat about the Booker Prize - it was the eve of the shortlist announcement andit looked like Salman was a shoo-in after a glowing review by the chairman of the judges appeared in the London Evening Standard. Surprisingly, he failedto make the cut when the finalists were announced. Rushdie tossed about a bit of lowbrow chat, telling guests he likes to write in a "state of undress" but finds his wife "distracting". Bel Mooney spent much of the evening discussing the love lives of her children by broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby. Alan Yentob was keeping his own counsel about the BBC/John Humphrys row.

If you weren't invited: You drowned your sorrows at Sebastian Faulks's book-launch, or Fourth Estate's 21st birthday party, on Thursday.

The Soap-star's Night Out: TV Choice/TV Quick Awards

When: Monday, 8 till late.

Where: Some of Britain's worst frocks, haircuts, and actors, converged on the Dorchester, Park Lane.

What: A brace of glossy TV magazines dished out gongs to their favourite stars.

Who Was There: The entire casts of most British soap-operas, together with dozens of television presenters, reality show contestants and others. Including: Cilla Black, Vernon Kay, Tess Daly, Myleene Klass, Kate Ford, Fran Cosgrave, Natasha Hamilton, Craig Coates, Makosi Musambasi, Natalie Cassidy, Shane Richie, Paul O'Grady, Bradley Walsh.

The Gossip: Coronation Street rounded off a successful year in the ratings battle by winning best soap, but EastEnders and Emmerdale picked up two minor gongs each, so were able to claim "victory". An "insider" at the ITV show told a red-top newspaper: "We just can't believe this. OK, we've won best soap but - with respect to EastEnders and Emmerdale - where else would it go?" Having been named the best soap actor, EastEnders star Shane Richie discussed his decision to leave the soap: "I jumped before I was pushed." In keeping with her red-carpet performances, the Big Brother contestant Makosi Musambasi was carried out. She'd been falling over and throwing insults at fellow guests.

If you weren't invited: Living TV held a glitzy bash on Thursday to launch its new winter season of reality television bumpf.

xThe Society Gathering

Everything I Know About Men I Learned From My Dog

When: Wednesday, 6.30pm onwards.

Where: London's posh crowd quaffed champagne at Fifty, an upmarket casino and private members' club in St James's.

What: Friends and family of the society author, Clare Staples, celebrated publication of a self-help manual. Its thesis - as suggested by the title - is that your average English gentleman likes to be treated like a gundog.

Who Was There: A coven of ageing party perennials: Andrew Neil, A A Gill, Michael Winner, Kelly Hoppen, Mike Rutherford and his wife, Angie. The newly single Elle MacPherson provided glamour, supported by Nicky Clarke, Bill Nighy, Paul McKenna, Ronni Ancona, Simon Cowell, Matthew Mellon (still standing after Isabella Blow's party earlier in the evening) and the author's sister, Kate, who used to be Zodiac in the TV showGladiators.

The Gossip: A huge amount of talk about - what else? - dogs. Simon Cowell likened Michael Winner to "a pug", before posing for photos with the six-foot Staples sisters (so long as they agreed to crouch down, so he didn't look small). Some complained about the lack of canapés, a problem exacerbated by the hostess, who kept taking them outside to feed her own dog, a Great Dane called Mr Big. Mr Big had earlier been banned from the club for being poorly behaved, and (rumour has it) relieving himself on its deep-pile carpet.

If you weren't invited: You're hoping for an invite to nip over to Henley for this week's premier posh party: the wedding of Tom Parker Bowles - son of Camilla - to the fashion journalist Sara Buys.

The Pop Party: Mercury Music Prize

When: Tuesday 7pm-10.30pm.

Where: The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, home to London's biggest ballroom.

What: Thirteenth reprisal of London's biggest annual music prize after the Brits. The record industry's money men expect the Mercury results to set the tone for the rest of the coming season of music awards.

Who Was There: The great and good of the record industry, together with most of the nominated bands - although Coldplay, who are touring the US, did not turn up. Fancied shortlisted acts who did put in an appearance included Kaiser Chiefs, the rap artist MIA, KT Tunstall, the Magic Numbers, and Hard-Fi. The bash was hosted by Jools Holland and Jo Whiley. Special guests included Abi Titmuss and her new boyfriend, Lee Sharpe, and the music-loving Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy.

The Gossip: Controversy over the big result. The American group Antony and the Johnsons, a virtually unknown act fronted by a cross-dressing former choirboy, were the surprise winners of the prestigious gong. They had only qualified for the prize - which is reserved for British musicians - because the singer, Antony Hegarty, was born in Chichester, before moving to the States during childhood. Presenting the award, the judges admitted there'd been a "huge row" behind the scenes over the choice. .

If you weren't invited: You saw it on TV.

The Film Premiere: Pride and Prejudice

When: Monday, 7pm.

Where: The Odeon, Leicester Square, and afterwards at Banqueting House, Whitehall. The after-party was supposedly closed to the press, but we saw VIPs plied with every delight the kitchens and cellars could provide.

What: An all-star cast turned up for the UK premiere of yet another film version of the Jane Austen novel. This one - by the modish British production firm Working Title - stars Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew MacFadyen as Mr Darcy.

Who Was There: Knightley, MacFadyen, Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Keeley Hawes, Natasha Richardson.

The Gossip: Truth was as strange as fiction. In a scene straight out of a Jane Austen novel, Keira Knightley watched helplessly as both ex-boyfriend Jamie Dornan and her new man - Body Rockers musician Kaz James - turned up on the red carpet. Despite the very public love triangle, 20-year-old Knightley elegantly brushed off inquiries about the state of her private life, saying that Mr Darcy is the only male occupying her thoughts at present. Her official "date" was her brother, Caleb.

Meanwhile Rosamund Pike - who co-starred in the film with her former boyfriend, Simon Woods - broke down in tears when asked about the joys of working with her ex. Pass the silk handkerchief, dearie!

If you weren't invited: You watched Renée Zellweger's film The Cinderella Man, premiered at the Curzon Soho on Thursday.

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