By Adele Chapin Posted March 22, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT
WASHINGTON BBC World News America hosted this year’s after-party for the 66th annual Radio and Television Correspondents Association’s Dinner on Wednesday, drawing nearly 600 guests to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Since an abundance of influential journalists and politicos attend the R.T.C.A. dinner, BBC executives thought an after-party would be a chance to showcase the network’s coverage of U.S. news.
“We want to emphasize that we are not just overseas, we’re not just bringing international news to the America, we are right here cultivating relationships within the Beltway and beyond, broadcasting in Washington five nights a week with World News America,” said Jo Petherbridge, executive vice president of communications for BBC Worldwide, Americas. Network talent such as anchor Matt Frei and Washington correspondent Katty Kay mingled at the party, one of the dozen events that the BBC stages each year throughout the U.S.
For Wednesday’s event, Petherbridge turned to Philip Dufour, who helped produce last year’s MSNBC after-party at the Historical Society. Under direction to make the venue look completely different than last year, DuFour used bright spring colors like tangerine against stark white furniture, accented with whimsical polka-dot and damask patterns.
The party kicked off after 10:15 p.m., as guests walked across the street from the Convention Center following a speech by Vice President Joe Biden. Servers handed out Occasions Caterers’ British-inspired snacks and drinks, such as mini Cornish pasties and gin and tonics, while a dessert buffet offered a variety of puddings.
As the night went on, guests hoisted pints of Guinness—a nod to St. Patrick’s Day. The relaxed vibe was part of the BBC’s goal for the evening, as guests stuck around past 1 a.m., dancing to the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder tunes from DJ Pitch One. “I want them to let their hair down, have lots of fun, and remember our name in the morning,” Petherbridge said.