Catherine Zeta-Jones

CALLING ON CATHERINE: Having just returned from Cannes where she was promoting her latest TV film “Cocaine Godmother,” Catherine Zeta-Jones is poised to add some pizzazz to the annual Walpole luxury industry awards in London next month.

Walpole, the association of British luxury brands, has tapped the actress to host its annual luxury awards, which will be held at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Nov. 20. “Nobody does luxury better than the Brits,” said Zeta-Jones. “British luxury is desired the world over.” Walpole’s chief executive officer Helen Brocklebank called Zeta-Jones “one of our country’s greatest exports.”

Born and raised in Swansea, the Welsh actress has starred in “The Mask of Zorro,” “Entrapment” “Chicago” and “The Terminal,” and has also performed onstage in musicals including “42nd Street” and “Bugsy Malone.”

Cartier, Estée Lauder, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren are competing for the international luxury brand of the year award while David Collins Studio, Farfetch, Harrods and have been shortlisted for the brand of the year award.

Johnstons of Elgin, Mulberry and Private White V.C. have been nominated for commitment to British manufacturing and Charlotte Tilbury, Farfetch and Yoox Net-a-porter Group are vying for the digital award. Jimmy Choo and Ettinger are up for the excellence in exporting British luxury award.

The judging panel consists of Michael Ward, who is chairman of Walpole and managing director of Harrods, Helen Brocklebank; Gillian de Bono, Editor of FT How to Spend It; Hannah Rothschild, writer, filmmaker and chair of the London National Gallery’s Board of Trustees; Marcus Wareing, restaurateur; Stefan Sielaff, design director at Bentley; Tim Delaney, chairman, Leagas Delaney, and Henrietta Jowitt, deputy director general, CBI.

Walpole’s aim is to promote, protect and develop the U.K. luxury industry through its mentoring programs, events, research and public affairs activities with the British government. The association is also celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is the 16th edition of the Walpole British Luxury Awards.

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