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An all-star guide to throwing the perfect party

By Fraser McAlpine, 17 August 2018

Radio 2 brings the funk to Bridlington Spa for this year's All Star Party.

With DJ sets from Radio 2's Trevor Nelson, Craig Charles and Ana Matronic, as well as live performances from Clean Bandit, Incognito, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Lemar, Rozalla, and The Fantasy Funk Band (featuring Gabrielle, Jaki Graham and John Turrell).

Craig, Ana and Trevor certainly know a thing or two about getting a party started, so what are their top tips for hosting the perfect bash?

Craig Charles: Take tips from Nile Rodgers

Radio 2's All-Star Party will be "an evening not to be missed," Craig says. And would it even be a party without Craig Charles?

What's the perfect party food?
My wife is a perfect host, and she gets all those canapés and all that finger food and stuff. I like the little samosas and onion bhajis. I like it spicy. A good way to get a party started.

What songs need to be on the party playlist?
Anything by Stevie Wonder. You can't go wrong with Stevie, especially from his classic 70's phase. So, things like Sir Duke, I Wish, Superstition, stuff like that is proper go-to, party-starting music. If you can't dance to Stevie then you should throw away your feet.

Stevie Wonder: Superstition

Stevie Wonder performs "Superstition" at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert from Buckingham Palace.

What's your cocktail of choice?
I'm not really a cocktail person. My nearest thing to a cocktail would be vodka and cola, with a slice of lemon in it. That's three ingredients. Cocktails take too long to make; my ideal party would have a bottle bar.

What's your go-to party outfit?
I always wear sunglasses and a hat. In fact, here's some name-dropping for you. I was talking to Nile Rodgers, and he told me that he'd been hanging with John Lee Hooker one time, and someone came up to him and John Lee Hooker and said 'Can I have a photograph?', and John turned around to Nile and said 'Young blood. Never take a photograph without wearing sunglasses and a hat.' So that's the way I live my life.

A party isn't a party without...
Me! There ain't no party like a Craig Charles party 'cause a Craig Charles party is hot.

Ana Matronic: Get creative

Ana has promised to play "some of my all-time favourite dance and disco tunes" at this year's All-Star Party, and suggests you get creative when planning a shindig of your own.

What's the perfect party food?
I like my snacks like I like my guest list: assorted nuts. A mix of salty and sweet!

What songs need to be on the party playlist?
First Choice's Let No Man Put Asunder; Loose Joints' Is It All Over My Face; The Pointer Sisters' Yes We Can Can.

Summer Party Hacks

Jo and Simon's top tips for a great summer party!

What's your cocktail of choice?
The most festive (and hydrating!) thing you can do at a party is get a giant watermelon, hollow out the inside, and use it as a punch bowl - making a punch from the watermelon guts, obviously!

What's your go-to party outfit?
A catsuit under a kaftan! The catsuit is two-piece though, wearing a onesie to a party is high maintenance.

A party isn't a party without...

Trevor Nelson: Keep it simple and casual

Trevor has said that he "can't wait" for the second annual All-Star Party, ensuring that it'll be a "blast" for all. But how does he himself prepare for a night of revelling? By keeping it simple and casual, of course.

What's the perfect party food?
Food can't be messy when socialising. Sliders always work... If no one is looking you can slip a whole one in your mouth.

What songs need to be on the party playlist?
Oliver Cheatham's Get Down Saturday Night; Arrested Development's People Everyday; Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk; The Jackson 5's I Want You Back, and Stevie Wonder's Do I Do.

Mark Ronson "Quincy Jones is like the Dalai Lama of music!"

Mark tells Chris about celebrating Quincy Jones' 85th Birthday with a special concert.

What's your cocktail of choice?
I like the odd lychee martini.

What's your go-to party outfit?
A plain white shirt, jeans and casual rubber-soled shoes. Never leather-soled!

Listen to Radio 2's All Star Party:

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