WASHINGTON (AP) - There’s something special for the Obamas and something special for the Camerons in the entertainment lineup and guest list for Wednesday’s state dinner for the British prime minister and his wife.
The Obamas are big admirers of Grammy-winner John Legend, who tweeted that he was psyched to play the White House. And David and Samantha Cameron are huge fans of Mumford & Sons, a British folk rock band also performing.
President Barack Obama is a big fan of “Homeland” actor Damian Lewis, who also snagged an invite to the big dinner. Others who made the guest list: actor George Clooney, billionaire Warren Buffett, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, businessman Richard Branson, fashion’s Anna Wintour, Apple’s Jony Ive.
The list became public Wednesday evening, but a few excited invitees couldn’t wait to share their news.
Hugh Bonneville, the earl of Grantham from “Downtown Abbey” fame, is coming. So is Rory McIlroy, the new world No. 1 golfer. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland tweeted that he’s coming, and posted a photo of himself being fitting for his dinner suit.
Wendell Pierce, the New Orleans actor who stars on HBO’s “Treme,” tweeted that he was angling for more than small talk at the dinner, seeing it as a chance to bring up issues like ongoing problems with defective pumps in his hometown.
One anticipated guest _ at least by the Camerons _ was not on the list, a possible mix-up caused by what George Bernard Shaw called two nations separated by a common language.
David Cameron revealed at a luncheon that his wife was thrilled to learn that her favorite movie star was coming.
“I said, `Is it Ben Kingsley from `Gandhi’ or Peter O’Toole from `Lawrence of Arabia?’” Cameron said.
“No, it’s Chevy Chase from `Caddyshack,’” Cameron said his wife had told him.
The only Chevy Chase on the invitation list, however, was the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Md., listed as the home address of one invitee.
The dinner _ in a massive white tent on the South lawn _ isn’t all about celebrities and sports stars though. Plenty of corporate and policy and public officials are expected.
White House economist Alan Krueger was toting a tux as he headed in to work Wednesday, and said he’d be at the dinner with his wife, Lisa.
Mrs. Obama gave a preview of the dinner during an afternoon meet-up with students from the U.S. and the U.K. in the State Dining Room, complete with an advance tasting of the evening’s dessert: steamed lemon pudding, a nod to the traditional English treat.
“Me and grandma and a couple of people, we’ve tasted the desserts, but you guys will be the first to taste the desserts tonight,” she said.