Event kicked off Tuesday in Hancock Park

With a toast to the queen, BritWeek kicked off in Hancock Park on Tuesday. BritWeek chairman Bob Peirce perched on the top of a pool slide said, “This is a great year in the U.K., every year is a great year in the U.K., but this year we have the Olympics and the queen’s jubilee. All year is BritWeek in L.A., there’s a lot going on.”

“I just handed it over and then walked away and let them get on with it,” said Nigel Lythgoe, one of the founders of BritWeek, told Variety. He added a piece of advice to his successors at the event: “Stay British.”

That might be tough as the event, held at the home of Patricia Heaton and David Hunt, drew a fair number of non-Brits including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Atticus Shaffer who partied along with Michael Apted, Jared Harris and Ioan Gruffudd, among others.

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