Who'd be mates with Britain's best-dressed man?

`GQ' loves doling out awards - but do they get it right? CAYTE WILLIAMS took an ordinary bloke to its Men of the Year party to find out

Men's magazines are having an identity crisis. Things were never the same after King of the Lads James Brown left his beloved Loaded to head up GQ last year. Unfortunately he got fired, as only true lads can, by mixing military muck with sartorial brass and praising Rommel's dress sense. You see, GQ is aiming at your classier type of lad now. One who loves his Cohibas and Nasdaq along with his nipple count. Except that no one really seems to know who he is.

At the GQ Men of the Year Awards last Tuesday the confusion was palpable. In lists compiled by the magazine's writers, Vinnie Jones and Hugh Grant were both up for best actor, Gianluca Vialli (Chelsea's manager) and Kofi Annan (General Secretary of the UN) were both possibilities for International Man of the Year, while Charles Saatchi and Liam Gallagher were both up for Most Stylish Man. There was even a Most Alluring Man section (the Chanel aftershave, Allure, sponsored the whole event).

What on earth is going on? Time to bring in an "ordinary bloke" to make sense of it all. I show the list of nominees to 33-year-old Post Office worker Guy Fischer who is about as likely to blow-dry his hair Ginola- style as fly in the air.

He can't quite believe his eyes. "What's Prince William doing in the Most Stylish Man category?" he asks, brows beetled with confusion. "I didn't think any bloke over 18 took any notice of him." Then there's the lifetime achievement nominees. "George Best!" exclaims Guy. "What has he ever achieved apart from ruining a perfectly good football career through drink? Perhaps some of these nominations are a piss-take. Bill Clinton for International Man of the Year or David Beckham as Sportsman of the year? I don't think so."

Still, perhaps everything will become clear at the ceremony itself which Guy and I are lucky enough to attend. But this is no black-tie dinner; rather it's held at Home, the new uberclub in Leicester Square, London. The celebrities - Nick Moran, Graham Norton, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson - are herded into roped-off areas, and occasionally break free to run around the club. Chris Eubank saunters past in that Charlie-Drake-meets-Muhammad- Ali look he's made all his own. So much for a Puff Daddy posse.

"Moran should win an award," says Guy, "because he looks like the kind of bloke who'd go out for a curry after a night down the pub with his mates. He shows that fame is a lottery, really, and that ordinary blokes get famous."

As the night moves on, it's obvious that the lads win hands down: Nick Moran gets most stylish man, Mark Radcliffe and Lard get best radio personality, Chris Evans wins best entrepreneur. Richard Branson gets the lifetime achievement vote. Guy is delighted. Only best sportsman David Beckham ("He's a wanker with no style") and best band The Manics ("the Dire Straits of the Nineties") get the thumbs down.

"These are British blokes who've done well," he beams, "they're lads who are ambitious but who are having a laugh." Michael Caine gets the most alluring award, which is odd because we agree he has all the charisma of a hake after a hard night. "Somehow I don't imagine Alfie or Harry Palmer wearing Chanel," says Guy. "I think GQ got the sponsorship wrong."

The music picks up again and the dancefloor becomes a breeding ground for the celebrities of the future: next year's model flirts with next year's actor/singer/whatever. Meanwhile, I'm wondering why anyone bothered with the lists in the first place. "It's a male thing," explains Guy. "Lads get together and while away ridiculous hours making them."

By now we've sneaked into the celebrity pen and we're arguing with chat show host, Graham Norton. "Women make shopping lists all the time," he counters. "Anyway, our obsession with lists is a millennium thing. Everyone's counting down." And Guy's last views on the evening? "It's been gorgeous," he says. "The club is brilliant, and I really loved the way they presented the awards." As we exit he swaggers down the red carpet after poncing a cigarette from the PR girl. It seems the GQ Man is a lad after all.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

    £250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

    Health & Social CareTeacher - Full time and Part time

    £90 - £140 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Sixth for...

    History Teacher

    £95 - £105 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Plymouth i...

    SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?