And the winner to be announced tomorrow is ...

Hollywood's awards season kicked off with an epic clanger as the Golden Globe website revealed a winner – 72 hours before the event. Guy Adams reports

There may still be 36 hours to go until the audience at this year's Golden Globes gets to see famous people tearing open envelopes, clearing their throats and announcing that "the winner is ..." But Anne Hathaway could be forgiven for starting her victory celebrations early.

The actress, who has been short-listed for her role as a recovering drug addict in the film Rachel Getting Married, has already been identified as the winner of the prestigious "best actress in a drama" gong, on the awards ceremony's official website.

In what some saw as a computer glitch, and others believe to have been a major leak, a gold asterisk briefly appeared next to Hathaway's name in the ceremony's official running order.

Asterisks are not usually added until after the awards have taken place, when they signify the winner. Although it was swiftly taken down, several bookmakers stopped taking bets on the outcome of the race.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Golden Globes, did little to dampen speculation that a major cock-up had taken place, when it refused to comment on the incident, which took place at lunchtime on Thursday.

Members of the association, which is made up of roughly 80 journalists from around the world, were required to submit their completed ballot papers to the accountancy firm Ernst and Young by Wednesday, meaning that the winners of the awards were already known to some organisers when the website reported Hathaway's "success".

The incident added to the air of fevered anticipation in Hollywood in advance of the annual event, which is in its 66th year. Although they offend some purists by honouring the stars of both film and television, the Globes are widely considered to be the second most prestigious event in the spring awards season, after next month's Oscars.

Remarkably, British actors, directors and producers have an interest in 15 of the 25 categories to be announced during the event, which will be broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

Two British films are among the five competing for the sought-after "best drama" award: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon, which was made by Working Title, the London-based firm which rose to prominence during the 1990s as the producers of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill.

Kate Winslet, who has never won either an Oscar or a Golden Globe, despite being nominated five times for each award, has a sporting chance of finally breaking her duck, since she is shortlisted twice: as best actress in a drama (the category in which Hathaway's "victory" was announced) for her role in Revolutionary Road, and best supporting actress for The Reader.

Meanwhile Emma Thompson is shortlisted for best actress in a musical or comedy for Last Chance Harvey, while the Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are both shortlisted in the actors category for their role in the gangster comedy In Bruges.

The director Stephen Daldry joins Boyle on the shortlist in the "best director" category for The Reader, a film about a Nazi war criminal for which the writer David Hare has also been shortlisted. Ralph Fiennes, who also co-stars in the film, has been shortlisted for his work on two other titles: the HBO TV drama Bernard and Doris, and the film The Duchess.

British stars are also in the running for 11 television awards. Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins are both shortlisted for the BBC costume drama Cranford, while Hugh Laurie is up for best actor in a TV series for his portrayal of Dr Gregory House in House, a role that won him Golden Globes in 2006 and 2007.

Steven Spielberg will be honoured with a special award, celebrating his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field".

Guy Adams: 'Slumdog Millionaire' catches spirit of times

Today, with the global economy mired in doom and gloom, cinema audiences are turning to feel-good movies which, while not exactly critical triumphs, have managed to embody a sense of cheerful escapism from life's troubles.

Nowhere is this more evident than the box-office charts, which are currently topped by Marley and Me, a flyweight comedy about a labrador, and Four Christmases, the Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn vehicle which critics deemed "eerily unfunny".

Mamma Mia! recently became one of the most lucrative films of all time, defying the credit crunch to make an astonishing $500m (£325m) worldwide, 10 times its budget. Yet the film that truly embodies the spirit of the times may yet turn out to be one of Britain's own: Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished Indian teenager who wins the local version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

A critical hit (unlike other feel-good fodder) the film, by the Trainspotting auteur Danny Boyle, has already generated nearly $30m in the US despite being on a limited release. On Thursday,it completed a virtual clean sweep of the Critics' Choice Awards and, tomorrow, it is shortlisted for four Golden Globes. Local soothsayers note that the Critics' Choice judges have successfully picked the winner of the best film Oscar in seven out of the past 10 years.

It may be asking too much for Slumdog, made on a shoestring budget of just $15m, to outperform Mamma Mia!, but if Boyle adds to his sackful of Globes tomorrow, it may at least indicate that his industry still knows a masterpiece when it sees it.

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

Arts and Entertainment
Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way
tvIdris Elba will appear in two special episodes for the BBC next year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up