Opening Gala

See a small selection of the photos below. 

A spectacular Opening Gala at the historic Guildhall welcomed Advertising Week Europe in style on Monday night.

Fleur East, last year’s X Factor runner-up, dazzled the crowds with a wild and energetic performance, which rocked the ancient building.

X Factor star of 2010, Rebecca Ferguson, also appeared on stage looking stunning four months after giving birth to her daughter Arabella.

And Kim Cattrall, the star of Sex and the City, was also one of the star guests among the high-flying crowd.

Matt Scheckner, the executive director of Advertising Week Europe, welcomed the crowds and told them: “We always try to come up with something really perfect for this night.”

It was the third Ad Week Europe Opening Gala; the first was held at St Paul’s, and last year it was the turn of St James’ Palace.

This year the Guildhall was chosen – the Great Hall, built in the 1400s on the site of a Roman amphitheatre.

“It was a place where people would come to see mortal combat. Then it became a place where business was done. So we figured this was the perfect place for Ad Week,” said Matt.

Kelly Williams, ITV’s Managing Director, Commercial, also greeted the crowd, with a comic performance which later prompted Matt to suggest he might have a career in presenting ahead of him.

“Ever since Frank Maloney had a sex change and became Kellie Maloney, life’s been very difficult for me,” explained Kelly.

Since taking over from Fru Hazlitt last year, he said he had been invited to a number of events, including the International Women’s Summit.

“I was overwhelmed by the number of emails I received, clearly from people that didn’t know me very well,” he said.

He explained that ITV’s association with the Guildhall went back to the beginning of the company. “On September 22nd, 1955, the very first ITV TV programme was broadcast live from the Guildhall, and of course that included the first television advert,” said Kelly.

The first advert featured a tube of Gibbs SR toothpaste in a block of ice, with a voiceover promoting it as a "tingling fresh toothpaste" for teeth and gums.

“It’s a very fitting venue for the third Advertising Week Europe,” said Kelly. “We’ve been involved with Ad Week Europe from the beginning and we’re very proud to be one of the headline sponsors.”

Matt added: “ITV is an indelible part of this week; none of this happens without them.”