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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 10:38 GMT
And the award for the best award...
By Brian Wheeler
BBC News Online Magazine

There are about 18,000 awards in the UK
The first awards ceremony for people who organise awards is being held on Friday, and it's not a spoof. Why is it that even the gong industry needs gongs?

The Awards Awards, at London's Dorchester Hotel, is a chance for the cream of the UK's award industry - the gongerati, if you will - to give themselves a hearty slap on the back.

Without a trace of irony, organisers Awards World say the event will give those who work behind the scenes at other awards nights a chance to "shine in the spotlight".

"I agree the idea of the awards industry awarding itself awards can sound amusing, but not for people who are shortlisted," says Awards World editor Barbara Buchanan.

"The industry is taking it seriously."


According to Ms Buchanan, who says she has not won anything "since school", there are about 18,000 separate awards in the UK.

The list includes everything from the smallest community or school prize to glitzy, big budget affairs such as the Brits and the Baftas.

But doesn't this orgy of backslapping rather devalue the concept of rewarding merit?

What is the point of handing out prizes if everyone receives one?

"You wouldn't say that if you won an award," says Ms Buchanan. "Everybody likes to win an award. It's good for morale."

Faux Pas

Gongs up for grabs on Friday include Awards Organiser of the Year, Awards Personality of the Year and Awards Lunch of the Year. There will also be award for the Awards Faux Pas of the year.

Ricky Gervais
The BBC forgot to nominate Ricky Gervais for an award
This is likely to feature celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson who, Ms Buchanan says, made a bit of a hash of hosting Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.

It might also go to the organisers of a football club awards night which ended with the assembled sportsmen phoning out for pizzas because of bad menu planning.

The BBC may also receive a mention for forgetting to nominate Office star Ricky Gervais for best comedy performer at this year's Baftas.

Sadly, classic award-show howlers of the past - such as Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood's bizarre double act at the 1989 Brits, or Michael Jackson's acceptance speech for "artist of the millennium" at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards - an honour which existed only in his head - will not be eligible.

Friday's ceremony will have a heaven theme, says Ms Buchanan, with an animated cupid on a giant screen "talking about how God invented awards" and a mock-up of the Pearly Gates. There will also be an "awards hell".

But however dazzling a night it is, it will not be going to be entered for next year's awards, she says, robbing us of the prospect of an Awards Awards Award.

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