Cameron hosts showbusiness stars

Stars from film, music and television have stepped into the world of politics at a Government reception celebrating Britain's creative industries.

Helena Bonham Carter arrives for a reception for Britain's creative industries.
Helena Bonham Carter arrives for a reception for Britain's creative industries.

The King's Speech and Harry Potter star Helen Bonham Carter, singers Katherine Jenkins, Eliza Doolittle and JLS's Oritse Williams, and veteran television entertainers Cilla Black and Sir Bruce Forsyth were among those who joined Prime Minister David Cameron at the event at the Foreign Officer in London.

Mr Cameron used the event to champion the flourishing sector over drinks and canapes.

He told the assembled guests: "The UK has always punched well above our weight in culture and the arts.

"We don't have the natural resources to rival other nations but we've got the cultural resources.

"We've always had rich seams of thought, creativity and ingenuity to mine.

"So tonight let's resolve to keep on leading the world with our culture.

"You make your country so proud - you fly the flag for Britain around the world - so thank you, and keep up the good work."

Other stars to attend the event in the ornate courtyard of the grand Foreign Office building included movie magnate Harvey Weinstein, comics Ronnie Corbett and Michael McIntyre, television presenters Kirsty Allsopp, Aled Jones and John Barrowman, Game of Thrones' actress Natalie Dormer, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, celebrated cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, James Bond and American Beauty director Sam Mendes, Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes, actress Keeley Hawes and model Danielle Lineker.

Star Wars actor Harrison Ford was reportedly invited to the event but if he attended he must have used The Force on the photographers and cameras waiting in the rain outside the Whitehall building because he was not seen arriving.

Sherlock and Star Trek star Benedict Cumberbatch was also invited but again was not spotted entering the building.

A select group of the guests were due to later enjoy a private dinner with the Prime Minister at Downing Street.

The publicly-funded party has been compared to Tony Blair's ''Cool Britannia'' bash, a description that No 10 has been keen to dismiss.

Mr Blair's 1997 party attracted high-flying British celebrities like Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, but was later seen to backfire on the then PM as invited stars later criticised his government.

The Government is due to launch its strategy on the creative industries on Wednesday, with the aim of boosting a sector which Downing Street says is worth £70 billion a year to the British economy.

Trade promotion body UKTI is publishing a Creative Industries International Strategy with the aim of doubling the sector's annual exports to £31 billion and increase inward investment by 2020.

And the Culture Department said it will be consulting on scrapping the requirement to apply for planning permission for location filming, in order to make it easier to film outside and construct sets.

The drive to increase inward investment was boosted by Warner Bros' announcement it will build three new state-of-the-art sound stages at its studios at Leavesden, Hertfordshire, where production on a new Tarzan film has just begun.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "For years the UK has been at the cutting edge of the creative industries - and we want that to be the case for decades to come.

"This comes back to two things - and the two things that I see being as the most important in my job. One: promoting our culture. Music, film and television help inspire young kids and bring our country together - so I will always back those industries.

"And two: our long-term economic plan. The announcements today, and the reception tonight, are about securing investment, creating new well-paid jobs and opportunities, and helping us build that brighter, better future in our country."

Warner Bros president Josh Berger said: "We're delighted to be reinforcing our commitment to the UK creative industries through the expansion of our studios and the announcement that our highly anticipated Tarzan action adventure film will be shooting there."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "British talent, services and products are in high demand around the world and our £71 billion creative sector is one of the UK's most important industries, employing thousands of people across the country.

"UKTI's new international strategy builds on the UK's global reputation for innovation and quality by setting a goal to double creative exports, double the number of creative companies that trade and establishing the UK as the favoured location for inward investment for the creative industries sector, creating long term jobs and building a stronger economy."