The Courthouse Hotel in central London – an old Grade II listed Magistrates Court – was the setting for our exclusive red carpet premiere of the new Center Parcs advert and family films. The excitement was palpable as the families arrived, each taking their turn on the red carpet in front of the paparazzi (well, our photographer) before making their way into the private cinema with rich aubergine carpet, suede walls and apple green leather seating.
The families enjoyed a screening of the 50-second advert, the 30-second and 10-second versions followed by each of the individual family films. There was laughter, cheers and applause as the families watched their own and the others. With whooping and singing along to the music, the receptive crowd asked for a repeat showing and again clapped and cheered.
It was great to see how much they enjoyed seeing themselves up on the big screen – and how much they enjoyed meeting up with each other again. Following the screening the guests of honour moved into the waiting room for a Champagne reception, complete with mocktails and canapés.
I caught up with each of the families during the reception to get their verdict on the final cut.
Rising screen stars
Ronnie Giddings says that his children Rory (14) and Anna (9) had enjoyed the experience of being part of the Center Parcs advert so much that they have both recently appeared as extras in two upcoming films. Anna as a Second World War evacuee where she excitedly tells me that Benedict Cumberbatch walked right past her when filming!
“We have thoroughly enjoyed our Center Parcs experience. We feel like it’s been a dream and today has just made us all feel so special” ~ Stacey Hyde
Rory has been an extra in The Woman in Black: Angels of Death, also playing an evacuee from the Second World War.
Justine Griffiths excitedly says: “It’s been so lovely to see ourselves and the other families on the big screen. We are going to plan a reunion where we can all get together. I have loved every minute of the whole experience.”
Stacey Hyde says: “We are having a lovely time today and we have thoroughly enjoyed our Center Parcs experience. We feel like it’s been a dream and today has just made us all feel so special.”
All gone swimmingly
The Myatts were excited too, although they had had a sneak preview on Facebook but were delighted with the results when they saw it on the big screen with dad Mark saying how glad he was to have gone on a diet before filming – especially as he was in his swimming trunks!
Alexander Myatt (13) was looking forward to going back to school after Christmas to his friends’ reaction, as were all the children, who were particularly excited to discover the advert was going to be screened on Christmas Day during the Downton Abbey commercial break.
“It’s been so lovely to see ourselves and the other families on the big screen. We are going to plan a reunion where we can all get together” ~ Justine Griffith
Grandma Sabina Myatt told me how much fun she had with her grandchildren during the filming and how special the whole experience had been.
Kerry Andrews was delighted with the ad and added that 7-year-old Alice had enjoyed every minute. “We enjoyed ourselves filming; it just felt like we were on holiday and it is fantastic to see how it has all come together,” she says.
At the end of the reception, it was hugs and goodbyes all round with plans to meet up again in the new year. A great experience had by all, commemorated forever on film.
Click on the images below to enlarge.