Wednesday, November 05, 2008

...and it's goodbye from him


Last night, while America was proving just how much the world has moved on, I was at an industry awards ceremony.

It's an occasion that celebrates the best in magazines, but what it actually is is a bunch of editors who consider themselves to be a cut above passing judgement on magazines they think are posh, thereby making it look good for them. The day they actually reward anything populist - other than Heat or Closer, obviously, will be the day Gary Wilmot becomes prime minister.

That aside, the event was hosted by Ronnie Corbett. Now, I've never seen Ronnie C in the flesh, so I was hoping for a treat. Bad news. He was awful. Some shockingly unfunny jokes, not helped, it must be said, by the sound system, but jokes I've heard many times before. The usual height gags, etc. He got few laughs, did the old 'is this thing on?' fallback, but still couldn't really cut it. He looked flustered and nervous too, which didn't help.

But it's a tough room. The host has to work quite hard. Piers Morgan discovered this when, on his second year of doing it, he practically got booed off when he started telling the same stories again ("I knew Diana well", etc.). But it's a very lacklustre ceremony done, quite clearly, on a shoestring. The food was paltry, the decoration minimal. The ceremony is rushed and confusing and, frankly, cliquey. Not even a guest appearance by Brucie could save it. He was clearly there to support Ronnie and to mark 25 years since these particular awards were created, when he was on the first judging panel along with Prince Michael of Kent and Katie Boyle (those were the days, eh?). But even together they weren't any good. Note to self: do not book for forthcoming awards ceremony.

So no wins over here, not even in the raffle, which frankly seems like one big fix too. You really had to be there.

On a lighter note, I went to a really nice Japanese restaurant yesterday lunchtime, and who should be on the next table, but Raymond Blanc. Little, but that nose is unmistakable. He loved the food - he was doing all those dramatic, exaggerated tasting gestures he does, and he went to congratulate the chef. He ate enough too. The food was fantastic. I recommend Roka in Charlotte Street if you've not been already.

So today's a new day. And there's always next year. But somehow I doubt it. Am I bitter?

Yes.

16 comments:

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Roka is one of my favourites! I am so pleased to see that Raymond concurs.

Benjamin said...

Sorry to hear you had a disappointing night on the awards front, F-C – at least you can take consolation in the fact you were nominated – and even sorrier to hear that Ronnie Corbett, half of my all-time favourite double act, was a let-down. Please tell me he didn't make that old quip about wearing tartan and looking like Rupert Bear again!

Five-Centres said...

Yes he did, Benj! That's what I mean. Very poor.

And nice of you to think so, but I wasn't nominated for anything.

Matthew Rudd said...

I've always thought Ronnie Corbett to be a vastly underrated comic. Everyone's entitled to a bad day's work...

Chris Hughes said...

Brucie didn't do his "doddery" bit, did he?

Those awards do's are always a shambles. Rowland Rivron, Bird & Fortune, Arthur Smith - I've seen 'em all sleepwalk through their act and trouser the cash. I'm sure F-C has seen more than me.

Is Katie Boyle still alive?

Five-Centres said...

I asked that Chris, and the think the answer is no. She had a very long running affair with the editor of TVTimes in the 70s, I hear.

rockmother said...

We used to refer to her as Katie Boiler in our house for some reason.

Matthew Rudd said...

Katie Boyle is descended from Nazis.

Ishouldbeworking said...

If it's any consolation, your mention of Gary Wilmot made me laugh aloud (something Gary Wilmot himself always failed to do.).

Five-Centres said...

Thanks ISBW, you are a tonic.

Chris Hughes said...

It would be great if Gary Wilmot was prime minister. He could have a Copycats Cabinet, with Bobby Davro as Chancellor (doing the budget in the guise of Harry Enfield's Stavros) and Jessica Martin as home secretary.

And the front bench could be replaced by a row of chrome stools.

I'll shut up now.

LF Barfe said...

Katie Boyle had an affair with the editor of the TV Times? Well, he certainly gave her a column. She's still with us, I'm absolutely certain.

office pest said...

She had it in the rear, weekly, as I recall.

LF Barfe said...

There's so much more in it.

Five-Centres said...

Now stop it you two!

Clair said...

Katie Boyle's late husband used to weigh her breasts.

FACT. (My pal L's dad used to be a great friend of his)

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