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Celebrities flock to Saatchi Gallery party

Nigella Lawson topped the list of celebrities attending the first anniversary party at her husband's art gallery in County Hall on the South Bank.

Other big names at the party included Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bill Nighy, Audley Harrison and Alexander McQueen. They were joined by Jayne Middlemiss, Lesley Ash, Charlie Brooks, Denise Van Outen, Alice Beer, Kathy Lette, Ralf Little and Ronni Ancona.

Saatchi's new exhibition New Blood opens its doors to the public tomorrow, featuring Damien Hirst's latest creation – a molasses of dead flies – and new artist Matt Calderwood's 30-ft rope made from a mile of toilet paper.

"Domestic goddess" Lawson, who married Charles Saatchi in September last year, would not comment on which of the pieces in her husband's New Blood exhibition she most liked.

Dressed in a Vivienne Westwood black corset dress and multi-coloured Pucci heels, she said: “A collector has to follow his own taste.

“He does ask for my opinion and takes it on board if he agrees with it.”

Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry, the transvestite potter, was carrying around a baby doll, which he has named Clara, to match his baby doll dress.

Some guests were less impressed by the art. "What it tells us about Charles Saatchi I don't know. There is nothing here I would want to own" said film critic Barry Norman.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor gave a more favorable verdict: "I'm really enjoying this. I came here last year and think it is a really great gallery."

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