BritWeek invades America

Popular event expands to OC, SF, NYC

At last week’s gala to launch of BritWeek, BAFTA/LA and BritWeek topper Nigel Lythgoe said the event has proved so popular in its three years that it’s expanded to Orange County, San Fran and Gotham.

“Gradually we are taking back America bit by bit,” Lythgoe said Thursday at the BevWilshire.

Britain and California are separated by 6,000 miles and an Icelandic volcano,” said Bob Peirce, BritWeek chairman. That volcano had quite the starring role as speakers took several cracks at it, including honoree Richard Branson.

During a Q&A with Michael Sheen, he was asked about the effect on his airline and responded, “Shit happens.”

Event, a fundraiser for Save the Children and Virgin Unite, included an auction and a perf by David Archuleta of “American Idol” fame.

Guests included Maria Shriver, Victoria Beckham (surrounded by four burly guards), Morgan Freeman, Patricia Heaton and Jeff Lynne.

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