Tamara Beckwith

hellomagazine.com

About Tamara Beckwith…”…

I am a gallerist, columnist and occasional TV presenter as well as the mother of two gorgeous girls Anouska and Violet.

When I´m not dashing off to some fabulous location on a photoshoot, writing assignment or to attend a friend's event, I am busy juggling work at my photography gallery, The Little Black Gallery in Chelsea, with keeping my Italian husband Giorgio and our three-year-old daughter Violet happy and fed. Writing up the previous evening's adventures is not so easy if I break the cardinal rule of no drinking on a school night!

www.thelittleblackgallery.com

May, 2013

23 May
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Charity clay shooting and the fabulous HELLO! birthday party

The day of reckoning has arrived. My alarm sounded at 5.30am and I was up and in the shower like a rabbit. I can’t recall the last time I was so enthusiastic about something! The Highclere Shooting Challenge had been blessed with a spectacular display of British weather at its best – blue skies and sunshine. The ride to Highclere with two of my fellow team members, Grainne Stevenson and Lily Hodges, was hilarious as we suddenly realised that we were about to endure 5 drives of 200 clays per drive – for novices like us that would be a lot of shooting!

Highclere Castle aka "Downton Abbey"

Highclere Castle aka “Downton Abbey”Highclere Castle

Arriving at the gates of the Highclere Castle we got our driver to stop so we could really take in the magnificent sweeping scenery of “Downton Abbey”. It is even more beautiful than you could imagine, pulling up outside in the drive we fully expected Carson to come rushing out – but no such luck! However, once inside the hall we were met with a swarm of men all dressed in their country khakis and tweeds. It all felt a little surreal. Sir John Beckwith (my uncle) and his daughter Nicola had masterminded the whole Charity event to raise much needed funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ‘The Face Value’ fund. Nicola’s eldest son, Oscar, was born with Crouzon syndrome and has already undergone many facial surgeries. Urgent research is still required for extensive surgery to get him and many other little children safely into adulthood. Lord & Lady Carnarvon had been so generous to allow us to have the shoot on their estate.

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

One of my girlfriends had injured her shoulder the week of the shoot and had called me in a panic for a replacement. Lily Hodges mentioned our mutual friend Jodie Kidd and thankfully she was totally up for it! Breakfast was old school bacon baps and coffee. We had to sign for our shotguns and then were allocated spanking new Range Rovers  - so far so brilliant! I had found our fourth Girls member Annette Nygren – she was our secret weapon as she is a terrific shot and flies all over the world with her husband to shoot.

Me with Jodie Kidd

Me with Jodie Kidd

Our 1st drive was exhilarating – never had we loaded and shot so fast. It actually didn’t matter that we were not hitting much but the adrenaline was huge. The second was a whole different kettle of fish and we struggled a bit. The third was incredibly impossible to put it mildly – I barely saw the clays high up above! Walking away we were a little downtrodden but perked up when we saw Geri Halliwell looking every inch a Pro. She is a very sporty girl and loves a competition and she certainly looked the part. The fourth and fifth drives were thankfully wonderful and we all blasted away. Heading back for lunch we were all filled with renewed vigour and how much fun we had had.

Team Victorious Secrets

Team Victorious Secrets

Lunch was all about the auction and the talented Henry Delahunty was in rare form. Very sombre speeches ensured tears flowed and pockets emptied. I was amazed to learn a total of £315,000 was raised, a fantastic amount. Prize giving was of course what all the men had really come for and I was touched that our team “Victorious Secrets” got a booby prize! Well “Most Enthusiastic” or something!!!

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

After the day’s clay shooting, it was back to London and it was the hugely important 25th anniversary party for HELLO Magazine. As a contributing Editor I have been lucky to have been involved with them for over 15yrs. Juliet Herd, my lovely Editor has always been a great supporter and I know she has a tough job sometimes! I had chosen a really fun but slightly Rock n Roll Skaist Taylor dress and some Tracey Ross stud heels. My sister Clare was riding with Giorgio and I, as was my long suffering agent & business partner Ghislain Pascal. The venue was the magificant Wallace Collection (where Stella McCartney held her 40th birthday celebrations) on Manchester Square. It’s very grand and perfect for the beautiful party they threw. Eduardo Sanchez, HELLO!’s head honcho had flown in from Spain, was with all the HELLO! family.

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

As we arrived England’s favourite cheeky blonde, Denise van Outen, was making her entrance. Once inside more photos and bang smack into Theo Fennell and his glorious wife-turned-novelist Louise. Our good friends, Stephen and Assia Webster were also there and I promptly set about stealing her incredible blue opal earrings. Jodie Kidd arrived with her pretty mother Wendy and naughty brother Jack and her beau Andrea. I had just met her little boy the day before and to say he is delicious would be an understatement. The room was heaving with people but John Cleese and his wife Jennifer Wade stood out. Giorgio found Joan Collins and her lovely Percy. She of course looked amazing in a black sequin trouser suit! She always exudess glamour. Patsy Palmer and her partner Richard were right at the front next to the stage and I wanted to say how much Violet had liked their little chap Bertie.

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

My all time favourite Stacey Young, wife of crooner Paul Young, arrived and you can hear her giggling from the other side of the room. There was just such a huge turnout of faces that have appeared in the magazine, it was great – having obviously seen their faces before you kept thinking you knew them! The champagne was definitely flowing and all you could really hear was laughter. I think that’s a great sign for any party. We then had a fabulous speech by Eduardo and our editors before no 1 artist Caro Emerald got up and sang her heart out – in such a wonderfully intimate venue it really was something special.

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! 'Happy Birthday'

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! ‘Happy Birthday’

Finally whispering started and the one and only Rod Stewart was brought in with his gorgeous wife Penny Lancaster to sing a fun Happy Birthday. The room went mad and he was almost lynched! Our only complaint was that he didn’t play a full set!!! Realising we had an early flight to Milan the next day we slipped off, but not before being handed big red HELLO! goodie bags – fantastic treats and gifts, utterly spoiling. A really great night.

14 May
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Photo shoots, princess parties and fabulous art!

Being back in London feels great although I am quietly nervous about the airing of my new CH4 TV show “Four Rooms”.  It was a great experience shooting the shows and I really enjoyed working with my fellow gallerists but there is a lot that can be done in editing!

 

Tamara on the Four Rooms photo shoot

On the set of Four Rooms © Ch4

Straight back into the thick of it though, Vivi and I headed off to Euston to a serious old-school studio for a HELLO! Magazine photo shoot with the maestro, photographer John Swannell.  It was a huge excitement for Vivi and watching her have her hair and makeup done was just too precious. National treasure, Patsy Palmer’s three children were also there and they were so good looking, polite and generally charming that I would have considered stealing little Bertie…

 

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

I was up bright and early for yet another shooting lesson with my new BFF Pat. Remarkably I seemed to really get the hang of it and even got so cocky as to suggest we try a couple of pretend rabbit targets. I must say, it certainly gets the old adrenaline pumping. Not long to go now before the actual Highclere Shooting Challenge.

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Next we had my great girlfriend Jenny Halpern Prince’s twin girls 4th birthday party. Jenny had gone all out! Little Princesses ran amok and poor Mr. Marvel really had to raise his game to keep them in line. Vivi had decided she wanted to wear her sari. I have to say it is the best thing I have given her in a long time! All my girlfriends were there and I finally had to drag Vivi home when she decided she had to help the poor face painter. Needless to say she was an unwanted assistant. Kate Driver and I left with Vivi and her daughter Lilly laden with armfuls of helium balloons and guilty chocolate-covered mouths.

My gorgeous older daughter Anouska had come home from Paris for a precious weekend with her new beau Maxime. I was very keen to meet the boy who has made her so happy!

Anouska and her boyfriend Maxime

Anouska and her new beau Maxime

Firstly I had to be up really rather early for a Sunday to appear on one of my favourite shows, CH4’s “Sunday Brunch” to promote “Four Rooms”. I watch it usually from the comfort of my bed but it was all quite different getting there at silly o’clock as it’s live. I was thrilled to be on with my old friend Capital Radio DJ, Lisa Snowdon. She is just a gem. Always cheery and what a body! We gossiped and laughed about the old days in LA and our mutual friend Adam Bernhard. She really needs snapping up! The boys, Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer were up to their normal high jinx but the whole show was an absolute pleasure to be on.

Me, Monty and Lisa Snowdon

Me, international cricketer Monty Panesar and Lisa Snowdon

Back to my other reality, The Little Black Gallery. We had curated a “Flowers” show with stunning pure black and white photographs by Japanese photographer Hiroyuki Arakawa, and as a contrast, highly digitised colour flowers by emerging British photographer Lisa Creagh. This was slightly different for us, but with two stellar photographers we hoped it would entice our loyal client base to come and take a peek.

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Well the preview night was crackers. Ex Supermodel Marie Helvin, looking quite unbelievable, was one of the first to appear as she is longtime friends with Hiro’s wife, the heavenly Maxine Van-Cliffe. Maxine arrived from Tokyo and I must say between the two of us we never drew breath. We had met years ago at the Cannes Film Festival at the legendary Hotel Du Cap.

 

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

It was also quite mad to see another old familiar face, Charlotte Lewis.  We used to hang out in LA when she was still acting. She brought her very well behaved little boy along and was another old friend of Maxine’s. I remember so many crazy nights with Charlotte it made me feel ancient just recollecting them…

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliff Arakawa

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa

Scent by Design, a seriously cool florist and candle maker run by my friend Charmian Taylor, had made some special arrangements for the show and even legendary florist Rob Van Helden made encouraging noises although it was his naughty sidekick Sebastien who was after more photographs for their home. Heather Kerzner swung by looking svelte and happy and full of vigour for her charity, The MacMillan Trust. Bless her for being such a tireless Charity Chick.

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Designers Betty Jackson and Edina Ronay, both uber elegant, also came by to say their hello’s to Hiro. It was a huge success and we were all a bit worse for wear, having drunk the many Hibiki Japanese Whisky Highballs courtesy of Suntory Whisky, as we slunk off for a small supper afterwards next door at Eleven Park Walk. I was told off, in a nice way by Hiro, for not letting Maxine eat as we gossiped all night!

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Another day, another lunch!  So much for eating light and exercising like a lunatic! It was off to Harry’s Bar for a small welcome lunch for the incredible Lorraine Schwartz, jeweller to the stars thrown by Denise Rich. The food is always the same old but I was seated next to Lorraine and I was allowed to touch and try all her magnificent rocks. OMG I was in heaven. Sliced 10 carat diamonds, I know they sound OTT but trust me, once on your little finger they so lose that vulgarity!! She was a character with a capital C and I loved every minute of her chat. I learnt more about Hollywood from her than I have seen in the 20 odd years I have flitted back and forth! All I can say is that I love Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds even more now….

So another quiet week has flown by but I have my eye firmly set on the prize of next week’s Highclere Shooting Challenge. Excited? Like a kid? You bet…

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