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
The Rolling Stones at the Roundhouse in London in 1971: from the left, Keys, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger

Music ...featuring Eric Clapton no less
Arts and Entertainment
In the dock: Dot Branning (June Brown); Union boss claims EastEnders writers are paid less than minimum wage

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Roger Christian wrote and directed the 1980 Black Angel original, which was lost until 2011

film
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Green (Hand out press photograph provided by Camilla Gould)

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones reviewWarning: Spoilers aplenty
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific