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!
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant