And the winner is... Nostradamus
Thursday 30 December 1999
In practice this tends to mean the last 10 years, as nowadays our short attention span means that most people can't remember anything about the previous 990 years. Nevertheless, I think you will be impressed by the antiquity of one or two of the awards in this millennial list...
Most enduring monument to bad taste of recent years
Shared between Norman St John Stevas and the Queen Mother's Gate in Hyde Park.
Most outstanding year of the millennium, at least in England...
Best fictional year of this century
Most overrated discovery of the last thousand years
Shared between chewing gum and America.
Most commonly used word in the 1990s of which not one person in a million could give the correct definition
A wonderful example of a brand name which became famous even though there was no product
Special award for something given to Europe by the New World in revenge for the gift by us to them of syphilis
Lifetime award for giving birth to art of political forecasting (ie making predictions whose value can never be tested)
Special camouflage award given to any mysterious phenomenon from the East which survived there for hundreds of years but didn't get noticed by us till 10 years ago, when we suddenly went bananas about it
Shared equally among feng shui, acupuncture, ginseng, aromatherapy etc etc etc.
Special publishing award for having remained on the best-seller lists for 2,000 years in the Christian Interest section, even though almost all of it was written by Jewish authors for the Jewish market
The Holy Bible.
Special award given to any male political leader who once dominated the known world and is now best remembered for having given his name to a method of childbirth
Best sporting attempt by any superstition to disguise itself as a science
Special award for being the only jazz musician in history whose name was an anagram of "Svengali"
Special award for achieving the supposedly impossible task of penetrating the American market even though you're British
Benny Hill. And Princess Diana. And Andrew Lloyd Webber. And The Two Fat Ladies.
Short pause, while we try to visualise the image of Britain in the minds of people who only know us through Benny Hill, Lloyd Webber, Princess Diana and The Two Fat Ladies.
The Anthony Quinn award for being able to act in any accent in the world and make them all sound the same
A special publishing award for being an ambivalent book which contains EITHER everything you have done in the past OR everything you are going to do in the foreseeable future but never both
Another special publishing award for being the American publisher most mentioned by people in Britain, even though they haven't the faintest idea he was a publisher
Plenty more millennial awards coming in AD2099!
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