If there's a Sports Personality of the Year, why shouldn't there be an Arts one too?

Plus: The Matthew Bourne ultimatum and let's stop hearing it for BlackBerry

Share

Watching the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, I began to wonder why we don't have an award, an evening, and weeks of speculation, for the Arts Personality of the Year.

One reason that we don't, of course, is that it's quite refreshing to have a week without an arts award. There is no end of them, from the Booker to the Baftas to the Brits. There's probably a Best Mime Artist award somewhere too. The arts love prizes.

But, unlike sport, we don't group them all together, compare and contrast and pick an overall winner. It would be a mighty difficult task. Who do you pick between, say, Daniel Craig and Hilary Mantel? How do you compare Sarah Millican with Judi Dench or Damian Lewis with Bryn Terfel? But is that any more difficult than comparing Andy Murray with Jessica Ennis?

And then, should one include the people behind the scenes, the administrators who tend not to win awards reserved for visible stars? Ruth Mackenzie deserves some sort of plaudit this year for rescuing the Cultural Olympiad, when it looked like being a shambles. She might be in with a shout as Arts Personality of the Year. Well, a moderate whisper perhaps.

It's tricky, but if sport can do it, then it shouldn't be beyond the arts. And it would be a night of serious glitz, even eclipsing Beckham, Wiggins and co. It would, naturally, be televised, and TV could show highlights of some of the best shows of the year – theatre, dance, opera, pop, comedy. For some of those art forms, not least theatre, TV highlights would be a rare treat.

Let's not be afraid of some comparing and contrasting to find the greatest achiever of the cultural year. And since I've suggested the award, I will propose the first winner. With numerous Grammys and an album that has sold in numbers that left the music industry rubbing its eyes in wonder, the 2012 Arts Personality of the Year has to be Adele. With an image and looks that differ from the usual pop star, with some headline-grabbing slagging-off of the former boyfriend in song, and with a nice pregnancy and birth to round off the year, she ticks all the personality boxes.

So, it's not that difficult. Now it just needs a date in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's diaries. If sport can get one of them, the arts must trump it with both.

Sport is all about competition. Now its top award can have some real competition.

The Bourne ultimatum: get a real orchestra

Matthew Bourne's version of Sleeping Beauty, currently at Sadler's Wells in London, is a great Christmas show. It has all the invention, humour and originality one has come to expect of him. But it is a pity that he uses recorded music for Tchaikovsky's score rather than having a real-life orchestra in the pit. Some of the rich, lush sound, and indeed some of the drama, go missing. And at £60 for a stalls ticket, the audience is perhaps entitled to expect an orchestra for a major dance show. At least, though, it's an improvement on a previous show of his, The Nutcracker, which started at Sadler's Wells with an orchestra, then used recorded music for the out-of-London performances. This time there's equality for the whole tour. But next time, please, let's have equality and an orchestra.

Let's hear it for BlackBerry! Again!!! Actually, let's not

Girls Aloud and Pink performed at the Jingle Bell Ball at London's O2 arena. The event was sponsored by BlackBerry, who must have felt rather chuffed at sponsoring a major pop gig in the home of phone network 02. But that was no reason for the crowd to be continually encouraged by hosts Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry to cheer for BlackBerry, or for said crowd to comply each time and cheer to the mast-tops. Those must count as the most uncool moments at this or any other gig.

React Now

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

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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?