Left giddy by the Golden Globes? Excited by the Oscars?
British awards-show addicts dreading withdrawal after Sunday’s Academy Awards can prolong their pleasure with a new addition to the calendar — the first-ever Awards Awards.
On March 5, award-givers will gather at London’s swanky Dorchester Hotel, hoping to give an acceptance speech for a stainless-steel statuette recognizing excellence in award-giving.
“People seemed to think it was some sort of joke,” said Barbara Buchanan, editor of Awards World magazine, which is organizing the event. “We’ve given professional satirists a field day.”
The event does call to mind an episode of the British TV show “Absolutely Fabulous” in which hapless publicist Edina Monsoon attends what she calls the “PR PR Person’s Awards Dinner of the Month Lunch.”
But in a slightly more real world, awards are big business.
Rescue Cat of the Year
Buchanan estimates there are 18,000 awards ceremonies in Britain each year, ranging from the Rescue Cat of the Year Awards to the glitzy British Academy Film Awards.
Those include the roughly 1,000 trade and industry awards that are held at London’s major hotels each year, attracting 5 million people and generating $185 million in revenue.
“A lot of people say an awards event is like an iceberg — what you see on the night is only a fraction of all the planning that goes on beforehand,” she said. “There’s a hell of a lot of work in putting an awards ceremony together, and the Awards Awards are a way of acknowledging that.”
To that end, trophies will go to organizer of the year, personality of the year, supplier of the year, sponsor of the year and — the booby prize — faux pas of the year.
“We’re having a bit of trouble getting people to put themselves forward for that one,” Buchanan said.
The event may be short on A-list glamour — two comic impressionists will stand in for celebs — but its high-concept design would make Hollywood proud.
“There’s a bit of an Adam and Eve theme,” said Buchanan. “We’re going to have a virtual cherub on the screen flitting about. The story line goes back to the beginning when God created the Earth, the sky and everything, and what he decided to do on his day off — create an award.
“On stage we’re going to have big pearly white gates for heaven, and a fiery pit for hell.”
Winners will receive a trophy forged in the shape of three entwined sails. “We ordered the trophies before we thought up the theme,” said Buchanan. “But it looks a bit celestial.”