Baftas, Grammys, Oscars - all these awards are meaningless. Unless, of course, you win one

As a nominee for Beard of the Year in 2010, I've had my fair share of award show disappointments

Share
Related Topics

A friend of mine who's in the movies, and who had gone to the Baftas more in hope than expectation, texted me in the early hours of the morning yesterday. He was in rueful mood about the nature of awards ceremonies. "The truth is that it's an ego boost today," he wrote, "and everyone forgets a week later". Yes, that's right, he hadn't had a very successful evening. His acceptance speech remained neatly folded in his lapel pocket, and in these circumstances, it's easy  - and more becoming - to get all philosophical.

His reaction was a variation on the stoic approach I've adopted at various times during my career when I've come away disappointed from such events. Awards? Pah! They don't mean anything...until, of course, you win one, when they become tangible symbols of the esteem in which you are held by your peers.

The Baftas are now second only to the Oscars in terms of importance to the film industry, and the attendance by so many members of Hollywood's elite at this year's event confirms its relatively new-found eminence in the entertainment world. It never used to be like this. Little more than a decade ago, the Baftas didn't even register on the Hollywood seismograph, but now - moved to a point in the calendar close to The Oscars, but, significantly, before the Academy has stopped voting - they create serious reverberations, and are seen as reliable pointers to the big one.

So prepare for more croaky-voiced emotion from Anne Hathaway, more urbane observations from Daniel Day-Lewis, and another exhibition of ineffable cool from Ben Affleck. What's more, the growing influence of the Baftas is a further indication of London's rising stock as a global centre for the arts, culture, and entertainment. The inherent Britishness of the Baftas - once seen as parochial and negative - is now regarded as one of its appeals.

So much so that Stephen Fry, whose persona is as British as a pot of Fortnum & Mason jam, is the man chosen to host the event. At times, as he went on a linguistic foray deep into the metaphorical undergrowth full of simile and wordplay, he seemed to forget that he wasn't in fact presenting an edition of QI, or that he had been engaged to do an impression of Jeeves and Wooster.

Neverthless, his script was extremely clever - including a good joke about the film Zero Dark Thirty: "I didn't go to see it, because I'd missed the previous 29 in the Zero Dark franchise" - and his delivery insouciant. The unspoken message was clear: Hollywood may do glamour, but we do class.

The other impression to take away from the evening was that beards are back. And how! Clooney, Affleck, Fry, Mendes, Tarantino, Jackman - they were all sporting various types of facial hair arrangement. So what are we to make of all this? As a nominee for Beard of the Year in 2010, I can only support this tonsorial development. As it happens, I was beaten to the honour that year by Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams. But you know what, it didn't bother me at all. Awards never meant anything to me...

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before