The perennial complaint about awards ceremonies is that they go on too long. This week, lots of people – including the Leader of the House of Commons – moaned that an awards ceremony hadn't gone on long enough. Adele, who had already made one speech, was cut short during her second, so the Brits might finish in time for the news from places east of the O2, such as Syria and Greece.
There is a simple solution to all this: don't broadcast awards ceremonies on television at all. Next year, the Oscars, Brits et al ought to stream their ceremonies online, where Adele or Gwyneth Paltrow can sob to their heart's content without being forcibly interrupted by news. That way, anyone who cares can tune in and the rest of us can watch repeats of Lewis.
Following the awards, those speeches, musical performances and hosts' monologues deemed worthy of repeat viewing could be uploaded to YouTube. (This would also solve the problem of the Baftas, still bizarrely broadcast two hours after it has occurred, by which time anyone with a working internet connection knows who has won anything and which speeches proved diverting, if any.)
As to the lost opportunity for advertising revenue, I propose each award be sponsored by a brand: "Best Actor, sponsored by Louis Vuitton", for example. Or "Achievement in Sound Mixing, sponsored by EDF Energy".
Each winner would then be contracted to mention the name of their award's sponsor once per 30 seconds of speech.
That should keep them brief.