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April 23 - May 6, 2013

A Conversation with

Celebrating Creativity & Innovation Between

Britain and Los Angeles

Gareth Neame

Santa Monica Spring Jubilee

Celebrates BritWeek

UK Music Invasion Featuring New Build

Interview with

Peter Asher


2 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


Welcome to BritWeek 2013 in Los Angeles We are now in our seventh year. BritWeek started right here in LA in 2007. It has been held every Spring since then. Orange County joined the BritWeek family soon afterwards, followed by San Francisco. Last month, I was delighted to be in Miami with some of my fellow founding directors to help inaugurate “BritWeek Visits Miami” – the first ever BritWeek to be held outside of California. This magazine describes the many and varied events that comprise BritWeek 2013 in LA. New to our program this year are: a great music festival in Echo Park at The Echo and Echoplex featuring numerous emerging and established musicians from Britain; and a weekend “Spring Jubilee” street festival on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica on May 4/5th which will be kicked off by a period costume “Downton Abbey” party at the Fairmont Hotel on Friday May 3rd, complete with Downton Abbey cast members. We hope that you can join us for these great new additions to the BritWeek celebrations. Another special item for BritWeek this year is the launch of a new book about John Parkinson. John is the British expatriate who built over 200 buildings in Los Angeles a century ago, including such iconic ones as Bullocks Wilshire, City Hall, Union Station, the USC campus and the Coliseum. Together with Charlie Chaplin, Griffith Griffith, Senator John Jones, William Mulholland and Raymond Chandler, John Parkinson was one of a large number of immigrants from Britain who helped shape the architecture of early Los Angeles. As you will see from our program, BritWeek celebrates all the many creative links between Los Angeles and Britain now - in entertainment, art, design, technology, fashion and all kinds of innovation in business. British creativity thrives in Los Angeles and those of us that live here count ourselves lucky to do so. BritWeek celebrates the great partnership between the UK and LA. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with us.


4 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


C o n t e n t s

6 BritWeek Red Carpet Launch: A Salute to Old Hollywood

7 BritWeek Events

16 Music Festival Events

22

Christopher Guy’s Feature

19

20

Matthew Stone: Featured BritWeek Artist

24 Santa Monica Spring Jubilee Celebrates BritWeek

A Conversation with Gareth Neame

13

BritWeek UKTI Business Innovation Awards

14 UK Music InvasionFeaturing New Build

8

John Parkinson

26

28 Boots: How to Look and Feel Younger: Start an Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen

Interview with Peter Asher

Published by

S p o n s o r s for

31 BritWeek Sponsors

to reach us visit www.orbmarketingsolutions.com or 407.401.9690

Britweek Los Angeles | 5


6 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


2013 Events April 23, 2013

BRITWEEK RED CARPET LAUNCH PARTY, British Consul General’s Residence, Hancock Park (invite only)

April 22, 2013 – May 5, 2013

THE JOURNEY (ITS OK TO GO TO ART SCHOOL) EXHIBITION IN ASSOCIATION WITH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON, LA Mart, General Public Admission (invite only reception April 28)

April 23, 2013 – May 6, 2013

LA’S BEST CHILDRENS’ ART EXHIBITION, Winner’s art displayed as part of “Art Below” at London’s Pimlico Station and on Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica on May 4th and 5th

April 24, 2013

BRITWEEK UKTI BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS Presented by Virgin Atlantic, Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 24, 2013

BREAKFAST WITH BORIS: LIVE CHAT WITH BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON, ROC Santa Monica (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 26, 2013

NORMAN BROADBENT’S WOMEN IN BUSINESS BREAKFAST, Cecconi’s, West Hollywood (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 26, 2013

BRITWEEK CHRISTOPHER GUY DESIGN ICON AWARD & RECEPTION, West Hollywood Showroom (invite only)

April 26 & April 27, 2013

VIVIEN SHERIFF MADHATTERS TEA PARTY AT FARROW & BALL, 12-4 pm (open to public)

April 27, 2013

OPARTASH, a private event hosted by Amanda Eliasch (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 27, 2013

SPACELAND PRESENT’S THE BRITWEEK MUSIC FESTIVAL – NEW BUILD, SWIM DEEP, NO CEREMONY, SPLASHH, BLOOD RED SHOES, VARIOUS CRUELTIES, AND VIRALS, POP NOIR. The Echo & Echoplex, Echo Park (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 28, 2013

MICH DOLCE JUBILEE HAT PARTY, Shangrila Poolside, Santa Monica (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 28, 2013

SPACELAND PRESENT’S THE BRITWEEK MUSIC FESTIVAL – STEVE MASON WITH DARK FURS, The Echo & Echoplex, Echo Park (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 28, 2013

NATIONAL THEATRE SCREENING OF ‘PEOPLE’, James Bridges Theater, UCLA Campus (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 28, 2013

KEEP CALM AND ROBERTSON! – Robertson Blvd Shopping Stroll, Robertson between Beverly Blvd & Burton Way. Noon – 6 pm. Open to the public. More information available at www.britweek.org

April 28, 2013

MANNERHOUSE MANOR – AN UNSCRIPTED EDWARDIAN MELODRAMA, ComedySportz, Los Angeles (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 29, 2013

URBAN ART AUCTION, Julien’s Auction, Beverly Hills (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 29, 2013

MATTHEW STONE ARTIST SALON, Shangrila Hotel, Santa Monica (invite only)

April 30, 2013

SPACELAND PRESENT’S THE BRITWEEK MUSIC FESTIVAL – CHAD VALLEY, The Echo & Echoplex, Echo Park (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

April 30, 2013

SARAH DANAYS ‘FABERGE GOTHIC’ EXHIBITION, COCKTAIL RECEPTION, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE LAAA, Hollywood. RSVP at www.britweek.org

May 1, 2013

KESH 4 SHANGRILA ART LAUNCH HOSTED BY HOTEL SHANGRI-LA, Shangrila Penthouse, Santa Monica. (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

May 1, 2013

JOHN PARKINSON BOOK LAUNCH, Bradley Room, Los Angeles City Hall (invite only)

May 1, 2013

MUSIC INDUSTRY PARTY IN HONOUR OF UK TRADE MISSION, British Consul General’s Residence, Hancock Park (invite only)

May 2, 2013

MATTHEW STONE DJ EVENT HOSTED BY HOTEL SHANGRI-LA, Shangrila Rooftop, Santa Monica.(for more information go to www.britweek.org)

May 2, 2013

BRITISH POP STAR STACEY JACKSON’S LIVE IT UP ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY, The Lexington Social House, Hollywood (for more information go to www.britweek.org)

May 2, 2013

SPACELAND PRESENT’S THE BRITWEEK MUSIC FESTIVAL – LITTLE BOOTS, The Echo & Echoplex, Echo Park (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

May 3, 2013

BRITWEEK CELEBRATES DOWNTON ABBEY, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica (for tickets and more information go to www. britweek.org)

May 4 & 5, 2013

SANTA MONICA “SPRING JUBILEE” CELEBRATES BRITWEEK, Third Street Promenade. Saturday, 10AM – 9PM. Sunday 10AM – 8AM. Open to the public.

May 4, 2013

STEVE COOKE’S BRITISH ROCK N’ ROLL CONCERT, Molly Malones, West Hollywood (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek. org)

May 4, 2013

LA CONSERVANCY ‘DOWNTOWN RENAISSANCE’ CELBRATES JOHN PARKINSON TOUR. Downtown Los Angeles (for tickets and more information go to www.britweek.org)

May 4, 2013

BRITWEEK RUGBY, Daniel Wesbter Middle School, 11330 Graham Place, Los Angeles, 9 am - 5 pm(for more information go to www. britweek.org)

Britweek Los Angeles | 7


Presented by

UKTI Business Innovation Awards

Wednesday 24 April 2013 at 6.30pm | By Invitation Only | Four Seasons The 4th Annual Business Innovation Awards, presented by Virgin Atlantic, is a joint venture between BritWeek and UK Trade & Investment which celebrates outstanding achievement and innovation across five different categories: design, technology, service provision, philanthropy and marketing and communications. The evening recognizes the most innovative British companies doing business in California; those American companies

ABOUT UKTI

who have succeeded in growing their business in the UK; and leading individuals and organizations that have helped further the bilateral economic relation-

ship between American and the UK. Applications in each of the awards categories are judged by a panel of distinguished experts including Walt Disney International Chairman, Andy Bird; Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum; and renowned creativity guru, Sir Ken Robinson. New to the judging panel and also this year’s keynote speaker is Carlos Amezcua, co-anchor of the toprated FOX 11 10:00 News on KTTVTV (Channel 11) and FOX News at 11 on KCOP-TV (Channel 13).

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK's economy - acknowledged as Europe's best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. www.ukti.go.uk/greatbritain/us

 For more information please contact:
Alexandra West
Business Development Associate, Los Angeles
T: +1 310 996 3030
E: alexandra.west@fco.gov.uk 8 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


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Britweek Los Angeles | 9


Contemporary ChiC in the heart of London

ebony Suite

ebony Suite

introducing the ebony Suite new for 2013 themayfairsuites.com

St r a t t on S t r e e t , lon d o n , w 1 J 8 l t +4 4 (0)2 0 7 769 404 1 th e m a y f a i r h o t e l .co. uk 10 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


MANCHESTER RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN, MANCHESTER TAKES ONE OF THE CITY’S MOST FAMOUS FACADES AND TURNS IT INTO A STYLE ICON FOR TOMORROW. A STORIED PAST, A SOOTHING SPA, LIVELY RESTAURANTS AND DECADENT BARS – THIS HOTEL HAS IT ALL. DISCOVER NEW BLU. IT’S VERY YOU.

RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN, MANCHESTER The Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP radissonblu-edwardian.com Britweek Los Angeles | 11

ExTERIOR, RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN, MANCHESTER

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27‡0A5‡2013

12 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


Christopher G uy Showroom | 8900 B everly Blvd, West Holly wood, C A

Christopher Guy internationalises Parisian chic for the 21st Century global residence

Guy is famed for; it combines curvaceous poise with an avant-garde edginess that engages and entices with soft, sensual silhouettes. With over 250 beautifully designed Mademoiselle pieces, Christopher globalises the Art Moderne experience to suit a London townhouse, a Hong Kong high-rise, a Soho loft or, indeed, Mademoiselleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Rue Cambon apartment.

A

s creator of some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most fabulous lifestyles, Christopher Guy has designed an entire home furnishings collection inspired by Coco Chanel, the most inspirational of designers. Christopher created the Mademoiselle Collection to reflect the undisputed style of Coco, as if she were a 37 year old living in today's world, combining her understated elegance with a contemporary edge. This Collection internationalises Parisian chic for the 21st Century global residence. Mademoiselle is a lifestyle collection that evokes sumptuous and flirtatious elegance, it teases with its subtle, coy forms and allures you in to a prestigious world as if casting a spell on the room. While each piece works individually there is a harmonious design dialogue of glamour throughout. The Mademoiselle Collection displays simplicity seasoned with exquisite craftsmanship, for which Christopher

Creating a new collection is always fabulous, so for me to design a collection based on my own interpretation of how Coco Chanel may have commissioned her home in her late thirties, if she was amongst us today, was beyond exciting. Christopher Guy Harrison

Britweek Los Angeles | 13


MUSIC FESTIVAL

For 2013, BritWeek’s music event will be its biggest yet. The festival, at the venerable Eastside music venues, The Echo and Echoplex, will feature the latest and greatest British musical talent with over 10 bands performing over a full week. BritWeek and its partner, Spaceland Presents, are delighted to be welcoming these fantastic artists to Los Angeles. By Lauren Stone, Contributor: Zach Stone

B

ritWeek Executive Director Lauren Stone had the opportunity to chat to one of those groups participating in the festival: New Build. Already with quite a following, New Build was formed in 2010, with its two core members

14 | Britweek LOS ANGELES

UK

Music Invasion

Featuring New Build Feliz Martin and Al Doyle. Lauren spoke to Felix about New Build, its history, its music, and its plans for the future. We are delighted to have New Build as part of the Spaceland Present’s BritWeek Music Festival. Give us a little history of the group - how did New Build come together? Al & I have a long history of musical collaboration that predates our time playing with Hot Chip. We hit it off as friends when we met in 2000 and found that listening to and exchanging ideas about music was a lot of fun. We didn't really get around to forming a band at that time and then spent a good few years seriously dedicated to touring with Hot Chip. When

we at long last had the luxury of some downtime after helping to record "One Life Stand" in 2010 at our studio in London, we quite quickly came up with most of the songs from "Yesterday Was Lived & Lost", helped along in no small part by the enthusiasm of Tom Hopkins, a friend and music engineer. “Do you not feel loved” has a great sense of depth and sincerity - what is the backstory to the lyrics? Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics generally? Al would answer this question better than me since he is the lyricist for most of our songs. However I have a bit of insight into it, having spent many afternoons helping


him come up with things! He has a large collection of identical looking scrappy black note books into which he jots down ideas as they occur to him, along with quotes from books that he is reading and so on. It's a nice organic way to build up a collection of ideas. I feel like Al often writes about struggles with depression, anxiety, family difficulties, and relationships, quite tough subjects but always with an opaque lyrical sheen. Quite often there are more or less obscure references to other writing and there is also a pervading sense of nostalgia, which I think is especially present in "Do You Not Feel Loved?" and "Finding Reasons". How does the writing process differ from “Hot Chip”? There are similarities, because Alexis and Joe are also quite cerebral song writers. I think Joe and Alexis tend to draw a little more directly from their own experiences of life and relationships and that's something we haven't done so much so far. Your recent single “Your Love” has a distinct almost down-tempo beat. Can you tell us a little about that tune? It's an oddity really - just something that Al and Tom put together in an afternoon messing about in the studio. Al has a vague interest in dance music with slow tempos (or slow bits and fast bits) and this song plays around with a half speed feel. It wasn't recorded with a great feeling of conviction about putting it out, or about it even being a New Build song, but I think it's pretty catchy and suggested that we should get it out there. Funnily enough it was the one tune of ours to get picked up a bit by radio DJs over here in

the UK! Both New Build and Hot Chip have been very good about letting DJs remix some tunes. How do you feel about the remixing? It's fun working with artists and music that you respect and enjoy and we would definitely be up for making some remixes in the future, it just hasn't been a priority so far. When not on tour with New Build, what does daily life look like and do you have any favorite British establishments or pastimes? Life at home is always a bit all over the place but when there is enough downtime in between tours, it's nice to get into a routine and work something close to "office hours" at the studio! Our studio is located right near Brick Lane in the East End of London so we will often break off around lunch time for an Indian "Thali" lunch at a restaurant called Maida, followed by something of an afternoon slump in front of the mixing desk. Al is a denizen of many drinking establishments in these parts as well, and is often to be found at The Carpenter's Arms pub on Cheshire Street. BritWeek is all about celebrating and highlighting the UK talent and creativity. Why do you think there is such an incredible export of talent from the UK. On that same note, why do you think there is such a huge appetite for British musical talent here in the US? It's hard to say from our perspective really. We have always tried our best to be true to ourselves and retain our slightly awkward sense of British identity, even in the face of

a welcoming American public. The temptation is always to adopt a mid-Atlantic drawl but I really like to pronounce my English accent over here, I think people find it funny and quite charming (and probably irritating sometimes). I think people over in the US think we are pretty eccentric to be honest, but they seem to want to celebrate that, which is fine by us. Are there any British or American artists that you particularly admire? Bonne "Prince" Billy is a great American musician and someone that we admire and have enjoyed working with with Hot Chip (he covered our song "I Feel Better". Robert Wyatt is a great English musician that we have also been lucky enough to work with that we have a lot of love and respect for. There are a lot of incredibly talented musicians and bands emerging from the UK. Are there any new artists or groups that have caught your attention? We're excited to play with NO CEREMONY /// on our little West Coast tour following on from Britweek. Aside from that we have good friend called Sam Lawlor, a film maker and musician who is making some interesting electronic music in complete obscurity in North London. Do you see a new full length album in the future? Any other projects we should keep our eyes open for? We are about to release a new single, "False Thing", accompanied by our first ever video, which we made entirely ourselves. We have a few new songs that we are very excited about and will definitely be releasing an album later this year or early next year. New Build will join other groups including Swim Deep, NO CEREMONY///, Splashh, Blood Red Shoes, Chad Valley, Little Boots, Dark Furs, Various Cruelties, Virals, Steve Mason, Pop Noir, and more over a week of concerts during BritWeek. Tickets for all shows are available through www.britweek.org and www.theecho.com. Britweek Los Angeles | 15


16 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


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Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone Featured BritWeek Artist Matthew Stone is an artist and shaman. These two interconnected roles are defined by his activities as photographer, sculptor, performance artist, curator, writer, Optimist and cultural provocateur. Stone’s work and thinking goes far beyond the remit of his art, and his power of existence is recreating the role of the artist in the 21st century. Recognizing this, The Sunday Times recently placed him at number one in the arts section of their “Power players under 30” list. After Graduating from Camberwell Art School in 2004, with a first-class degree in Painting, Stone spearheaded South London’s !WOWOW! art collective, organizing guerrilla art exhibitions and throwing London’s most notorious and decadent squat parties. Dazed and Confused magazine featured the collective, claiming the children of !WOWOW! “would live on in legend for years to come.” and i-D Magazine described Matthew, saying “He gave birth to a happening, and all of a sudden, in his wake, London was exciting again.” In 2008 — !WOWOW! took over Tate Britain — attracting a record 4,000 people, who came to witness one of his performances. Stone’s whole being is geared toward a

life lived as art. His personalized definition of Optimism as a method for avant-garde thought and art practice, inverts the nihilistic cultural dialogues of the late twentieth century to create a necessary space for vibrant new ways of being. Saatchi Online said that Stone’s work “definitely points to the art of tomorrow, I think, an immaterial quality equal parts idealist belief and cynicism, working as an alternative, very palpable reality running along the rest of society.” Esteemed curator and ex-head of the Royal Academy; Norman Rosenthal said simply “he has invented a new ‘ism’— Optimism.” Stone has provided the soundtrack to each of close friend, designer Gareth Pugh’s fashion shows and films, and was a resident DJ at London’s legendary nightclub Boombox. Though perhaps most known for his painfully beautiful photographic nudes, most exciting is Stone’s recent move into video. He has begun to direct his own video-based artworks as well as a raptur-

ous, celebrated and daring directorial debut in the form of a music video for cult heroes These New Puritans. Following the video’s release, NME instantly placed Matthew at number 14 in their list of the “50 Most Fearless People In Music”. Churning bodies dissect rhythmic windows that open onto varied states of concentrated being. A collage of limbs and interconnected consciousness, involving and depicting transcendental states, meditations and ecstatic dance, spin into contemporary motion. The body is shown and used to free the viewer from their own. Stone’s work revolves specifically around creative interactions and community, based on the idea that individual autonomy can be successfully combined with the power of collectivity. Recent exhibitions and performances have taken place at the Baltic, the Royal Academy, the ICA and Tate Britain.

Matthew Stone will be a featured artist during BritWeek with an exclusive artist salon hosted by The Shangrila Hotel and owner Tamie Adaya, as well as an evening of music on the rooftop with Matthew as host. In addition, Echo Park art gallery Subliminal Projects will open a special exhibition of Matthew's work during BritWeek. Britweek Los Angeles | 19


BritWeek is delighted to honor the iconic British-born architect who designed many of Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; most celebrated buildings and defined the urban landscape of Los Angeles and Southern California: John Parkinson. by Stephen Gee

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ohn Parkinson was the preeminent architect in Los Angeles at a time when the city was inventing itself. His prolific body of work includes such iconic structures as Union Station, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Bullock's Wilshire and City Hall. Since his reign from the late 19th century to his death in 1935, Parkinson's name has been almost forgotten, yet his legacy remains a central part of life in the city. What makes Parkinson's story more remarkable is that it all started thousands of miles away in the industrial northwest of England. The son of a mill-worker, he was born in Scorton, Lancashire and spent much of his childhood in Bolton. 20 | Britweek LOS ANGELES

He began his working life at the age of thirteen sweeping floors in a hardware store and it wasn't until he turned sixteen and was apprenticed to a local builder that a career began to take focus. John Parkinson arrived in North America in 1883 with only five dollars and a toolbox. Looking for a shortterm adventure, his travels took him to Winnipeg and Minneapolis where he advanced to become the foreman of a sawmill. After eighteen months, he returned home with the intention of continuing his career in England but soon realized local employers had little respect for his American experience and he quickly made the decision to

return to the United States â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this time for good. Parkinson settled in Napa, California where he became an architect almost by accident. His landlord noticed plans Parkinson was working on for his own house and suggested he design an addition to the Bank of Napa and thus an architect was born. He later moved to Seattle where he became one of the most respected architects in the city. After the economic crash of 1893, Parkinson made the decision to start a new life in Los Angeles. He arrived in

Photos by Sandra Stojanovic

John Parkinson


Images from the book Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles. Copyright 2013 Stephen Gee (Angel City Press)

John Parkinson

the spring of 1894 when the city's population was just over fifty thousand. During the next forty years, as the head of the city's dominant architectural firm, he would design the city’s first class “A” steel frame structure along with its first skyscraper and help Los Angeles transition from a fledgling young city into a world renowned metropolis. When he died in 1935, the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Future citizens have only to walk through the streets of Los Angeles to be reminded how much John Parkinson in his lifetime contributed to the city that grew up under his hand." We look forward to honoring John Parkinson’s remarkable talent throughout BritWeek. During BritWeek, we will be hosting a book launch at The Bradley Room City Hall to support the release of John Parkinson, Architect of L.A. by Stephen Gee and published by Angel City Press. There will be other exciting Parkinson events during BritWeek 2013. Visit the website for information on this book launch and other John Parkinson events happening during BritWeek.

Britweek Los Angeles | 21


Gareth Neame

A Conversation with

Gareth Neame

Gareth Neame, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning Producer and Executive, is the powerhouse behind the hit television success, Downton Abbey.

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s the Managing Director of Carnival Films, he has brought Downton Abbey to global success, winning a Golden Globe for Best Mini Series and nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Mini Series. We spoke to Gareth about his early days of Downton Abbey with the show’s creator Julian Fellowes, seeing the series incredible success (it is the most nominated non-US show in the history of the Emmys!), an inside look to the next season, and his future plans. Downton Abbey has had huge success, both in the UK and the US. Obviously it is an extraordinarily well made production, but has the degree of its success surprised you and what do you think explains it? I hoped that if we made a good show that it would be popular in the UK and with the core anglophile (and therefore capped) audiences around the world. What we could not have anticipated was just what an enormous hit the show would be when first broadcast in Britain. That phenomenon grew as the show was rolled out across the many other territories in the world. The 22 | Britweek LOS ANGELES

first season in the US demonstrated very strong viewing figures for PBS, but I think we really started to see the beginning of the real success in the US following our wins at the Emmys and Golden Globes. I believe it is the combination of a much loved and ex-

pressly British genre – the English country house – and a very contemporary storytelling and production style; together with an ensemble of 20+ characters and themes of drama, laugh out loud comedy and good, old-fashioned romance that have led to the


huge success of Downton in the UK, the US and right across the world. I think many people love these characters, almost as an extension of their own families! What gave you the initial idea of Downton Abbey, and how did you and Julian Fellowes work together on the original concept. Julian and I had been working on another idea, when I set out my suggestion of a long-running TV series set in an Edwardian country house and asked Julian if I could persuade him to re-visit the territory he had written about so brilliantly in Gosford Park, the movie he won the Academy Award for best screenplay. I recall Julian took a little persuading to return to a subject that he had already enjoyed so much success with. However, once we had thrown some ideas around, he agreed to think about it. And just a few weeks later he sent me a short proposal document, which, funnily enough, outlined many of the characters who did eventually end up in the show. Apart from getting the great locations and costumes right, what are the less well known challenges in creating a period drama? I think a key challenge is to create a world which feels authentically something from a long time ago, but where the characters and their predicaments feel relevant to a modern (and international) audience. For example, 90 years ago aristocratic people would have spoken with a rarefied accent that would seem quite alien to our ears. The trick was to try to capture the very rigid structures of the class system, through casting and characterisation and use a slightly different turn of phrase in order to give an interpretation of that world that would still be palatable for a contemporary viewer. Generally, we try hard to depict the rules, behaviour and etiquette of the time – as so often the social conventions are so central to this show. Our Historical Advisor Alastair Bruce (known as ‘The Oracle’ to the cast) is on set almost every day and works tirelessly to ensure the social rules and behaviour of the time is accurately depicted.

Downton Abbey appeals to such a wide audience. Have there been any fans that have really surprised you, either in who they are or in how they have reacted to the series? I think each and every person involved in the making of Downton has a story or two about an unlikely fan. There are just so many and I couldn’t begin to list them here. Suffice it to say, I met a lady here in Los Angeles who has named her pets after Carson and Mrs Hughes and another woman told me her 8 year old daughter dresses up on Sunday evenings with makeup, jewellery and a toy tiara and sits on the sofa waiting for the opening titles declaring that she is Lady Mary! Jim Carter’s story about a group of Chinese tourists bumping into him on a cycling trip in Cambodia dressed in lycra and exclaiming ‘Look Mr Carson’ says all you need to know about the extraordinary reach of this show. Everyone is following Downton Abbey with baited breath after last season. Anything you can tell us about Season 4 that you are particularly looking forward to? Is Shirley Maclaine going to reappear?

Well I can’t say much about season 4, other than clearly the main storyline will be the re-building of Mary’s life, following her husband’s sudden death. But aside of this, viewers can expect all the usual drama, comedy and romance of previous seasons and the interaction of our ensemble of wonderful characters. And yes we look forward to the return of Shirley Maclaine’s character Martha Levinson. Gareth will be joining other cast members to attend BritWeek’s special honour to Downton Abbey at an exclusive party at the The Fairmont Miramar Hotel on May 3rd benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters. A limited number of tickets are available for this exclusive event at www.britweek.org.

Britweek Los Angeles | 23


Santa Monica Spring Jubilee

Celebrates BritWeek

24 | Britweek LOS ANGELES


Santa Monica Spring Jubilee

Fun for All Ages! Enjoy Jaguar displays of the new F-Type, minimakeovers from Boots, Madame Tussaud’s celebrity wax figures, a doggy red carpet from Walker’s Shortbread (bring your pooch!), a duncan quinn mobile double-decker tailoring bus, and Cunard sweepstakes. Take cooking classes with The Jamie Oliver Foundation and learn about urban beekeeping from local experts Honey Love. Prize wining garden and landscaping vignettes. British Invasion concert Saturday night and dancing performances throughout the day. Everybody’s favorite promenade with a British twist! V i s i t w w w . b r i t w e e k . o r g f o r m o r e i n f o r m at i o n .

Britweek Los Angeles | 25


Peter Asher 50 Years and just getting started!

The music and influence that Peter Asher has had over the last 50 years of pop music has made his life’s work a part of our lives soundtrack. It’s been an incredibly accomplished and varied journey that started with Peter reaching success at the age of 8 as a child actor, to a singing duo with his friend Gordon in University that resulted in 9 top 20 records. It was only supposed to be a year long hiatus from school to see where it all would go, but four short years later Peter took on the role of head of A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records, and then became the highly sought after and acclaimed 2 time Grammy award winning record producer that he remains today. 50+ years later, he laments that one doesn’t normally just leave a prestigious position studying philosophy at an esteemed school to test out a singing career, but then Peter’s highly acclaimed career has been anything but normal. Peter lives in Los Angeles and shows no signs of slowing down or retiring. In 26 | Britweek LOS ANGELES

addition to work and family, he has been involved with BritWeek since its inception 7 years ago therefore it was natural to get his perspective on its phenomenal success and growth in addition to his thoughts on the British invasion in general – speaking of the most recent one in terms of culture of course! You have had an incredible career spanning 50 odd years with many awards and accolades but the most incredible part would seem to be the pivotal role that you have played in the sound of modern music and the artists that you have helped shape. If you had to sum it up, how would you describe this journey? It has been long and complicated but fun and exciting as well! I have always been in the entertainment industry since the age of 8 and although I have always enjoyed singing and acting, I have spent the majority of my time working as a record producer and still love it today. This aspect of the business allows me to work with the

best in the industry and the world’s best singers. It is just as exciting and enjoyable today as it has always been. You have been, and continue to be a great supporter of BritWeek. With events spreading through California and now into Florida and no signs of slowing why do you believe that it is striking such a chord with both Brits and Americans? Americans have always had an anglophilic interest and have embraced British culture. As Brits, we really have a tiny little country that remains an incredible super power and are extremely proud of our accomplishments. Americans have been very generous and tolerant of us as their former oppressors by embracing our culture and allowing us our moments to show off a bit. That’s really what BritWeek is about. BritWeek’s success though is a direct result of the tireless energy of Bob & Sharon Peirce who work tirelessly with their team to organize these events. I am certainly a big supporter and while I sat on the board


interview

until recently when my schedule wouldn’t allow me to commit the appropriate time, I continue to be heavily involved. As part of BritWeek Music Festival, there are a number of up-and-coming British bands performing in LA’s Echo Park region. As a legend in the music business, what is your perspective on the overwhelming interest from up and coming talent and groups that are looking to debut to a US audience at BritWeek Anytime anyone can get their music in front of people, they should do it, anyway that they can! This really is a natural addition and direction for BritWeek and while each year there have always been music performances included in the program, the festival is a great opportunity to hear the British-American crossover of music. From the current fascination with Downton Abbey to back in the beginning of your career with the Beatles, the crossover doesn’t always happen but when it does, British brands, music, and entertainment seem to reach incredible popularity that really influence and captivate the American audience and the industry itself. In your opinion, what is America’s love of British entertainment?

Peter Asher Born in London June 22, 1944. At the age of eight he starred in “The Planter’s Wife” 1964 as one-half of the singing duo Peter & Gordon, who amassed nine Top 20 records during their career. 1968, became head of

One never knows which one will really cross over and become a US hit, look at Dr. Who for instance, after almost 50 years on television, it is suddenly popular with mainstream American audiences. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, we were all influenced by American music and were simply trying to emulate the sound that we heard. We failed miserably at trying to sound like our American pop idols and the sound that we came out with became decidedly British – albeit accidental, this became the first wave of British music that was the first interchange. While it comes in waves, this has continued ever since with the likes of Elton, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and countless others. The success of Downton Abbey is another example of America as Britain’s best friend and partner, embracing this cultural division. There is a mutual appreciation of each country’s culture and the crossover goes back and forth.

accomplishments, knowledge, and stature, not from any other part of the conversation. I’m not sure that the best isn’t yet to come with Peter as retirement seems a long way off and the conversation left me feeling that I had only half the energy necessary to complete a day in the life of Peter Asher.

It was a pleasure speaking on the phone with Peter and discussing BritWeek, the twists and turns of his life’s journey, and some random observations of politics, music, and life in general. It was an interesting and easy conversation with an accomplished man who still appears not to have reached his prime. You can only really gather that he is pushing 70 from his

A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records, where he found, signed and produced James Taylor and worked closely with the Beatles on their individual projects. 1971, moved to the U.S. and founded Peter Asher Management, representing James Taylor and, beginning in 1973, the management and production of Linda Ronstadt as well along with artists such as Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and Carole King. As a producer, Mr. Asher has worked with such artists as James Taylor, 10,000 Maniacs, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Ringo Starr, Linda

Ronstadt, Cher, Morrissey, Robin Williams, Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello, Jane Monheit, Kenny Loggins, Heart, The Dixie Chicks, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hans Zimmer and Billy Joel, among many others. Awarded 37 RIAA-certified gold albums and 22 platinum albums in the U.S., and many more internationally. Produced twelve Grammy Award-winning recordings, and in 1977 and 1989 was honored individually with the Grammy Award for “Producer of the Year”. In February 1995, Peter Asher was named Senior Vice President, Sony Music Entertainment. Peter Asher

Management re-emerged on its own in 2009 Recent projects include the latest album from guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, the recent Buddy Holly tribute “Listen to Me”, a forthcoming album by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell and the production of music for “Pirates of the Caribbean 4”, “Sherlock Holmes 2” and “Madagascar 3”, He also collaborated with Zimmer and Pharrell Williams on the production of all the musical elements of the Academy Awards show, 2012 and is currently working on a production project with Elton John with current artists singings the songs from “Yellow Brick Road”. Britweek Los Angeles | 27


Look and Feel How to

Younger

Start an Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen Beauty and aging is something that women everywhere worry about; each day they strive to maintain and achieve a youthful appearance – and it begins with your skin. Every day we are faced with environmental issues like sun exposure, diet, pollution, smoking, drinking and stress that act together to adversely affect the normal aging process. While you cannot stop natural aging, you can help your skin fight the battle with an anti-aging skincare regimen to help maintain your youthfulness. By: Mike Bell, Boots International Skincare Scientific Advisor

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s we grow older, our skin doesn't produce new cells at the same pace, and environmental and biological factors take their toll. By creating and implementing an anti-aging regimen, you help fight the aging process, avoid future wrinkles and improve any lines or wrinkles you may already have. There’s lots of confusion in the marketplace surrounding skincare products, so here are some tips to achieve your desired results:  Ensure that each product is clinically proven and backed by scientific data 28 | Britweek LOS ANGELES

 The product should address the fine and deep lines and wrinkles you currently have, while also preventing the formation of new lines before you even see them  Products should be gentle on your skin so you’re able to use them daily As a Scientific Skincare Advisor for Boots for over a decade, I’ve seen clinical proof from research programs that explore the effects of skincare science on the skin. From those findings, we’ve been able to determine a few ingredients to look for if you're plagued by fine lines:  Alpha-hydroxy acids help turn over surface cells  Peptides are critical; they communicate with your cells to help

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build and reinforce collagen and elastin in your skin's deeper layers  A Pro-Retinol complex encourages mature skin to behave like younger skin, because it: - Boosts skin’s elasticity for a more youthful look - Smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - Moisturizes dehydrated skin - Improves skin’s overall tone  A Firming complex activates collagen and elastin in skin to help encourage new production, helping the surface of your skin look smoother and feel firmer  Brightening ingredients such as glucosamine help diminish hyperpigmentation (i.e. brown spots) A proper skincare routine for aging skin really doesn’t require too much time or effort. A simple routine can help you achieve best results when it comes to maintaining a youthful, wrinkle-free appearance. Also, note that this process can and should be extremely affordable. It’s simply a myth that a dedicated anti-aging routine needs to break the bank.

Anti-aging serums, such as Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Serum, are relatively new to the marketplace and contain the highest level of anti-aging ingredients targeted to very specific concerns like reducing the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles. To maximize the benefits, you should following these steps:  Serum should be used first in your skincare regimen, day and night, and then followed by a moisturizer to feed the skin  Day cream should be layered over your serum and also include protection from the sun with SPF 15 or higher  Night cream helps restore skin overnight while it is at rest – helping your skin recover from stresses of the day Remember - there isn't just one product that can cure all aging skin symptoms just as there isn't one medicine that can treat all medical problems, so it is important to find the combination of anti-aging treatments that will work the best for your skin type.

Boots will be a key feature of the Santa Monica Spring Jubilee May 4th and 5th. Visit Boots for mini-makeovers, tips, and more!

Britweek Los Angeles | 29


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