Victoria Barnsley was the surprise guest at the HarperCollins summer party, held at the V&A last night (6th July), with Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins UK c.e.o., paying tribute to his predecessor as a "great friend to many staff, agents and authors" and someone who led the business "brilliantly" for 13 years.
Redmayne (below) also told guests that the vote to leave the European Union "presents huge challenges for this country", saying that the nation needed a "framework that can maximise the value of our close economic and cultural ties." He added: "In a truly global economy we cannot be cast adrift."
But he committed the firm to continue investing in authors and books despite the possibility that the UK with leave the European Union.
"I am very glad I am selling books not financial services - but the company is performing well and will continue to do so," Redmayne said, adding that the business was "operating more and more as a global company . . . and whilst we will watch how events unfold closely we continue to look forward into the future with real confidence. We will continue to invest in great books and are looking to continue to grow our business."
The party was attended by about 750 guests including authors such as Judith Kerr, Nigel Slater, Max Hastings, Michael Bond, Richard Holmes and Oliver Jeffers. Redmayne singled out Kerr (below) for being a "truly wonderful and inspiring person" on the same day that she received Booktrust's Life Time Achievement Award. Redmayne also promised that next year, when it marks its 200th anniversary, the company would be "celebrating appropriately".
Thumbnail picture: Abiola Oni, winner of the 4th Estate/Guardian BAME short story prize, David Roth-Ey and Charlie Redmayne.