The imposing domed hall of the Victoria and Albert Museum was the stunning setting for this year’s London Press Club Ball which raised more than £20,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.
Journalists, stars and editors attended the glittering annual event which was hosted by Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan – himself a long-standing ambassador for the charity ‘run by journalists for journalists’.
The London Press Club Ball 2016 host, Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan (right)
Guests at the ‘V&A’ in London’s South Kensington included The Sun columnist and Loose Women panellist, Jane Moore, owner of Express Newspapers and OK!, Richard Desmond, and his wife, Joy, Sky broadcaster and Daily Mirror Assistant Editor, Kevin Maguire, Kristina Kyriacou, adviser to Prince Charles (and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton), Julian Payne, Prince Charles’s new head of communications, Charles Anson CVO, the Queen’s former Press Secretary and Metro Editor Ted Young.
The patron of the Ball, Lord Black of Brentwood, opened proceedings with a speech imploring guests to ‘dig deep’ for the Journalists’ Charity which helps those in need through ill health, unemployment or sheer bad luck.
He said that this financial help is needed now more than ever because of what he described as a challenging time for the media – an industry whose freedoms and beliefs, he said, are coming under ever-increasing attacks.
As with last year, the Ball was fully digital and the hi-tech silent auction, set up by sponsor Givergy, allowed guests to bid using electronic pads left on each table.
“It also had a very patriotic feel as the Wine and Spirit Trade Association showed our 360 guests that the British can make a corking bottle of fizz too. English sparkling wine from Chapel Down in Kent and Hattingley Valley in Hampshire took the baton from their Champagne colleagues, to host the reception for the first time.
Entertainment was provided by the brilliant violin duo Elektra and a DJ rounded off the evening with dancing in the Dome.
Chairman of London Press Club, Doug Wills, said: “I’m proud to say that last night’s Press Ball raised more than £20,000 for the Journalists’ Charity. This is a fantastic achievement and once again demonstrates the generosity of those in our profession willing to support such a worthwhile cause.
“It was a fantastic evening and a terrific tribute to our industry to have a full house of 360 journalists and media executives supporting the Press Club and the charity. I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who made it such a successful event by being there last night.
“I’d also like to congratulate Press Ball chairmen Ray Massey, Rob Jobson, along with their committee, for once again pulling together a brilliantly successful event.”
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