The hangover has just about cleared and I am wondering what I can report from the British Press Awards. The reason I’m slightly at a loss is that it was quite a dignified, if not muted, affair. Quite extraordinary, really, when you consider the Great Room was packed with around 700 journalists. But, I’m sure it is better this way than the feral rattle pit of the Hilton in years gone by.
Press Gazette did a fine job and I think the winners were a fair and balanced reflection of talent and achievements. Certainly, I was satisfied with the outcomes in my two judging categories – Scoop and Interviewer (Daily Mirror’s Prezza Affair and the Daily Telegraph’s Jan Moir respectively). I feel that Robert Crampton deserved a commendation – he is an excellent interviewer and writer who had a good year – and I was relieved that the Sunday Times won Team of the Year for their cash for honours expose, which evened out missing the Scoop award.
I was delighted for Roger Alton. He has worked wonders with The Observer, but deep down I felt the Mirror had shaded it and had been my pick for a stand out year. I understand that Roger modestly, graciously said as much, too, but the Mirror had plenty to cheer about.
The award winning drunk of the night was won hands down by Nick Cohen who hugged me like a long-lost brother (we’ve never met) while glugging white wine with an unquenchable thirst. Lord knows how he felt the next day.
But one of the highlights of my night has to be an impassioned chat with *******************. I don’t remember a single bloody word of it. Now that’s what I call a result!