Big Friendly Giant - Movie Premiere Garden Party
By Kevin Egan

On a glorious Sunday afternoon in July, Mary Davies, her corgis Benji and Katy, and I were invited to Lancaster House, London SW1 to attend a garden party in celebration of the BFG film premiere at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square in London's West End that had taken place earlier in the day. Our purpose was to literally 'walk the dogs' around the very well tended front lawn at Lancaste House which backed on to Green Park, not far from Buckingham Palace.

Lancaster House

There was an eclectic gathering of actors, film producers, families and friends milling around on the grass chatting excitedly about their day. The job that we were there to carry out was simply circulate amongst the guests and carry on the Corgi theme that had been screened at the cinema earlier. Many people were curious to know whether it was actually Benji and Katy they had seen on the big screen as the Corgi scenes had been quite memorable - but nobody seemed disappointed to be told that our two Pems were just stand ins!
Scene from BFG

Katy and Benji take the new Footman for a walk

Katy was first to try her luck at escaping from her temporary dog walker [i.e. me] and shot off across the lawn when I dropped her lead. This was about the only opportunity for me to grab a strawberry & cream desert from the nearby waiter - only to drop it on the grass and then try to stop the dogs from scoffing it!

There was another degree of difficulty experienced when helping the guests pose for their photographs too. This was to get both Corgis looking in the same direction - or in fact to stay in one position at all whilst they wriggled about!

Eventually, a proper Corgi handler took over!

It was quite warm work, particularly with the heavy woollen bright red footman's uniform coat that I was wearing, but more importantly great fun to be swanning about telling everybody how fulfilling it is to be owned by a Corgi!

The last stop of the day was to walk Katy, Benji and Mary up to The Ritz so they could catch a taxi to Paddington Station for their train home.

Reproduced from OCW Christmas 2016 with kind permission.