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Media: Talk of the Trade - Cut to ribbons

TELEVISION still cannot quite work out how to broadcast an awards ceremony. The Oliviers, screened on Monday night, were infinitely slicker than the interminable Baftas a few weeks before, thanks to a 24-hour delay before showing edited highlights rather than a live transmission. But the editing itself would win no awards, leaving in jokes that responded to earlier cut material and were therefore rendered meaningless. And isn't it taking artifice to absurd lengths to hire gels in evening frocks to rush into a place vacated by an award winner so that the camera won't accidentally focus on an empty seat? A pity, too, that the most dramatic moment of the evening - the full frontal assault by Stephen Daldry, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, on government funding and on the Heritage Secretary, who was sitting in the audience - was completely edited out by the BBC. Shortage of time, presumably.