LONDON: The first International Pakistan Prestige Awards (IPPAs) took place in London amid a lot of fanfare and showbiz personalities from Pakistan, and hence was a huge success. Celebrating Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day, these were the first IPPAs acknowledging the greats from Pakistan’s film, music, TV and fashion industries. London’s crème de la crème from the expatriate community as well as the corporate sector showed up in large numbers to demonstrate their support for Pakistani talent, while members of the showbiz industry of Pakistan flew into London in large numbers to make the event a roaring success. Glitz, glamour and a sense of wonderment was what defined the first IPPA held at Hilton Park Lane. Mukhtar Ahmed Chohan and Ali Malik, the organisers of the event were very grateful to Hum TV, the sponsors, and to the audience for their support in making this first-of-its-kind event in London possible. Speaking on the occasion, Ali Malik said, “We are very grateful to all the participants for supporting us and helping us make the awards a success. This was our first attempt and we are pleased with the many positive outcomes. At the same time, we are learning and will assess the feedback and will grow and develop to perform even better next year. All our partners and artistes have been very supportive and we are forever grateful to the Almighty for this honour.” The red carpet was a star-studded affair with the who’s who of the entertainment industry, socialites and corporate giants coming together in an elegant mix of glitz, glamour and class. Humayun Saeed, Ahsan Khan, Ayesha Khan, Mekaal Zulfiqar, Ayesha Omer, Mawra Hocane, Urwa Hocane, Farhan Saeed, Sana Fakhar, Behroze Sabzwari, Wajahat Rauf, Noor Bukhari, Fiza Ali, Bilal Ashraf, Gohar Rasheed, Javed Sheikh, Saife Hasan, Nabeel Qureshi, Fizza Ali Meerza, Humaima Malick, Moomal Sheikh and Ayesha Sana were just some of the names that graced the red carpet. The show opened with Pakistan’s national anthem followed by an amazing fashion presentation by Saira Rizwan and Amty of Tehzeeb, London, which set the mood for the night. A comedy segment by Yasir Hussain and Adnan Siddiqui, which left the audience in fits, followed this. The first pair of hosts for the evening comprised the actor/comedian Mani Liaquat and the celebrated anchor person Ayesha Sana who hosted the segment of special awards: Outstanding Achievement by British Pakistani in Fashion, Outstanding Achievement by British Pakistani in Business, Acknowledging contributions to Cosmetic Surgery, and Outstanding Community Service Award. A mesmerising performance powered by Mawra Hocane followed. The hosts for the next set of awards were Farhan Saeed and Urwa. The first award was for Best Style Icon of 2016 (male) presented by Ahsan Khan and Rashida Ali and was bagged by Hamza Ali Abbasi, while Best Style Icon of 2016 (female) presented by Nooray Bhatti and Mehboob Hussain of Royal Nawab was bagged by Ayesha Omer. Best Model 2016 was presented by Sana Fakhar and Golden Pearl Director Abdul Rasheed, and was won by Neha Ahmed; Best Designer Couture, presented by Amna Baber and Wasim of Tayyabs was won by Faraz Manan, while Best Designer Lawn, presented by Ali Malik and Ayesha Omer was won by Asim Jofa. The segment ended with a scintillating performance by the uber-talented Noor Bukhari on a medley. Yasir Hussain returned to host the show with the very glamorous Omer. The next set of special awards were for Outstanding Achievement by a Pakistani Actor on a Global Platform (female) – was presented by Moomal Sheikh and Wajahat Rauf, and received by Humaima Malik – and Outstanding Achievement by a Pakistani Actor on a Global Platform (male) – presented by Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza, and received by Adnan Qureshi; IPPA Star of the year 2016 (male) – presented by Rafi Butt and Ayesha Sana was received by Humayun Saeed; IPPA Star of the year 2016 (female) – presented by Ainy Jaffri Rehman and Bilal Ashraf and received by Mawra; and Lifetime Legend Award was presented by Sultana Siddiqui and received by Jawaid Sheikh. The hosts for the next segment were Meekal Zulfiqar and Ainy Jaffri Rehman. Published in Daily Times, September 24th 2017.