And the winner is... total overkill

Oscars nonsense: Angelina Jolie
Oscars nonsense: Angelina Jolie
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IS it safe to come out yet? Is the awards season over now?

Have people stopped talking about Angelina’s leg or Adele’s finger?

Have the winners, the losers and the liggers, the good, the bad and the James Corden gone home?

Can we now stop analysing the dresses, the speeches and the expediency of Billy Crystal blacking up?

Can we go back to a world where Meryl Streep showing cleavage, Harry Styles getting drunk and a French bloke swearing aren’t – as much as I’m enamoured by all those things – reportable news?

Can we be allowed to forget for 10 merciful months the Oscars, the Grammys, the Brits and the Baftas exist?

You what? You’d already forgotten about the Baftas? Well, fair point. It’s a bit runt of the litter, isn’t it? Nice to attend if you’re a movie star, I’m sure, but only if there’s nothing good on TV. Which there probably isn’t. Because the BBC is devoting four hours air time to the damn things.

Talk about overkill. Talk about a complete and...


You think I’m jealous of those stars?

Well, yes, possibly.

See that headline up there? Columnist of the year?

I was given that at what some people (the organisers) nickname the Regional Journalism Oscars.

They’re held in London every year. A red carpet’s put down and everyone wears a suit but none of that can disguise that it’s essentially a room of old hacks getting drunk and talking about the good old days when you could bribe a police officer at 9, have a story written by 10 and hit the boozer for 11. And that was just the editor.

In any case, I’m a modest chap so I won’t overstate what winning best columnist means... but basically it makes me the equivalent of George Clooney in 2006.

Or, as I imagine the way old George sees it in his heart of hearts, it makes him the pretending-to-be-a-character equivalent of me.

Except what did I get for my glory?

An invite to a Vanity Fair party where Jack Nicholson lit up a spliff and introduced me to a willing-looking Lindsay Lohan? A goody bag full of clothes and jewellery? A new multi-million dollar contract to stop The Derbyshire Times poaching me?

Nope, I got the overcrowded 20.20 back to Sheffield and the features editor asking if I wanted a pack of cheese and onion en-route. And, even then, when he realised he’d have to break into a tenner, I got asked to pay for them myself.

And quite right too.

Because, frankly, what on Earth is an award anyway when you’re judging something so subjective as a song or a film or, um, a column?

Why is the world so intent on categorising everything? Why can’t we be happy that a building or play or footballer or restaurant or accountant exists and we personally like it? Why must we attempt to scrutinise and order opinions?

What an affront to art. What anathema to anything worthwhile. What validation of vanity.

And what fawning sycophants we must be to sit watching it for hours and then gossiping for days because a group of people have been recognised for being good at their job.

“You’ll not be entering the journalism award this year then?” she asks.

And I think about the hypocrisy and egomaniasm of it all.


Probably I will, although probably I’ll not enter this particular column.