Flack on Friday: Soho House party, famous PRWeek fans, Star Wars Day fun, easyJet jaunt

In Flack this week: Dancing on the French Riviera with easyJet, ferry eye-catching Star Wars Day stunt, a royal farewell, UKIP-style and more Flacking great stuff...

Serious Soho Chic in the Square Mile

Flack was lucky enough to blag his way into the A-list launch party of the year - so far - the opening of The Ned hotel and private members club last week.

This glittering occasion of course marked Nick Jones and Soho House Group’s first venture from Medialand into the Square Mile. Located at what was formerly the City HQ of Midland Bank near, er, Bank, the new club attracted more than 1,000 guests including nouveau Cool Britannia luminaries Daisy Lowe, Eddie Redmayne (pictured below with Hannah Bagshawe) and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Moreover, the grand opening was PR triumph of some scale, masterminded by Soho House chief communications officer, Peter Chipchase, with a little help from his Freuds.

Unsurprisingly, Matthew Freud himself was in attendance - was that Owen Wilson whom he was shepherding urgently into what looked like a VVIP area? (Or maybe it was just that most of the men there looked like Hansel from Zoolander) – as was Freuds’ head of corporate, Hannah Pawlby, working the (capacious) room in some style.

Freuds alumni joining this air-kissing extravaganza included Oli Wheeler, now boss of THRSXTY, and film producer Kris Thykier with his TV star wife Claudia Winkelman. And it was no surprise to spot Freud’s sister Emma with hubby Richard Curtis.

And showing Soho House’s continuing ability to attract the wider PR elite, Flack was fortunate to bump into the legendary Gary Farrow, Seven Dials founder Simon Kelner and Unilever global PR chief, Laura Misselbrook.

As Flack made his excuses and left, somewhere near 2am, the party was just starting; Nick Grimshaw was hitting the decks in the bank’s former vault-come-nightclub; and the Negronis were beginning to seriously flow.

Readers: it’s all in a day’s work for the diligent Flack.

#celebholdingmagchallenge hots up

Flack enjoys fewer things more than a lengthy hashtags. One of those things is celebrities. Happily, these two passions have been united around our new #celebholdingmagchallenge.

After Ready10 snapped Olympic trampoline Bryony Page checking out the latest copy of PRWeek at a client launch, we challenged you to put our organ into the hands (stop sniggering at the back) of more celebs.

We've had a strong effort this week from Performance Comms, a sports and autos specialist, when they met former pro cyclist David Millar and cycling presenter and author Ned Boulting. Chapeau!

Right, who’s next?

Farewell, UKIP-style

Time now for a wry teasing of UKIP, whose press team put out the following statement from deputy leader Peter Whittle this week, when it was announced that Prince Philip would be retiring from public life: "Prince Philip has been the very model of public duty at its best and utterly steadfast in his support of the Queen."

On the occasion of his royal highness’ retirement, it might be considered indelicate to pick that statement apart too much, but it certainly got Flack thinking. Also interesting is the following line from Whittle: "We in UKIP offer him our very best wishes for a well-earned rest from public life."

Why was this line attributed to Whittle and not party leader Paul Nuttall? Surely not because Nuttall himself appears to be teetering on the brink of himself taking a... rest from public life.

In a galaxy far, far… well, Southampton

As anyone owning a social media account would doubtless be aware, yesterday, 4 May, was officially Star Wars Day (as in, "May the Fourth be with you", for the uninitiated).

It’s an event ripe for brand-jacking, and Flack’s favourite came from ferry company Red Funnel with help from agency Carswell Gould. The ferry operator's Falcon vessel was renamed the Millennium Falcon after Han Solo’s famous space ship, and it received a visit from some iconic characters from the series, as this picture demonstrates:

(Left to right, we have Darth Vader, a couple of stormtroopers, a somewhat elongated Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Flack particularly enjoyed this relaxed pose from the Sith Lord:

Dancing on the French Riviera

Yesterday evening Flack was whisked away to the Cote D’Azur (well, a warehouse in Russell Square) for the latest instalment of easyJet’s pan-European ‘Why Not? campaign, which it launched last year alongside VCCP and experiential agency Bearded Kitten.

The immersive experience, played out by actors, cast journalists into the centre of a love story as it unfolded on the faux French Riviera. Singing, selfies and, of course, a merry-go-round were all part of the bizarre scene.

Flack, with tap shoes on standby, was ready to dance when (inevitably) called upon – Ed Balls eat your heart out. The event also included a mock market setting, complete with wine stalls, make-your-own perfume, and a lethal-looking concoction topped with absinthe. Flack’s head is still swimming.

Those interested in visiting the experience can do so this weekend at Yeomanry House on Kenton Street.

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