Louise Minchin - why I love award ceremonies
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 March 2017
The BBC TV presenter who lives near Chester enjoys a rare mid-week treat: staying up late for a night out on the red carpet with fellow Breakfast colleagues.
I love watching awards ceremonies, whether it is the Baftas, the Brits, the Oscars or the Soap Awards. I love the gushing, over-the-top speeches, the dress disasters and those awkward moments when they announce the winner, and they cut to a close-up of the rest of the nominees smiling through gritted teeth, wearing their gracious loser faces.
It is not often that BBC Breakfast gets involved in the world of awards, but for the second year running, we were nominated for a National Television Award, which meant we spent a rare night out running the gauntlet of the red carpet. Enveloped in a dress that wouldn’t fall down, and with enough make up for an army, I shivered in the drizzle when we got stuck in a showbiz traffic jam behind Scarlett Moffatt, Tess Daly and Honey G. Everyone was stopping in front of the phalanx of photograhers trying to get the picture that would make the front page.
I always think it looks so glamorous on the telly, but it felt a bit like trying to board the first off-peak evening train back to Manchester. In the crush both my co-presenter Dan Walker and sport presenter Sally Nugent tripped over Rochelle Humes’ resplendent long silk train, meaning her husband Marvin had to gather it up and walk behind her to stop it happening again.
The O2 was packed and the atmosphere electric as we were guided to our seats, walking past the front row where the real stars, Mary Berry and Ant and Dec, were sitting. We were two rows behind our rivals, ‘This Morning’, but that didn’t deter us.
Cool as ever Dermot O’Leary got the event off to a cracking start, and we had a great time celebrity-spotting while we waited for our category. Carol Kirkwood and Dan were made up with a selfie with Toadie from Neighbours. I was happy with seeing Jenna Coleman in the ladies but, sadly, I failed to locate Aidan Turner.
My favourite part of the night was meeting the seat-fillers. They are volunteers who wait in the wings and when someone leaves, they sit in their place, to avoid shots of empty chairs. I had a great chat with Victoria, Kerri and Chloe who sat behind us when the ‘Last Leg’ team headed to the bar. Thanks to their enthusiasm, I think I was able to pull off a gracious smile when we lost. Afterwards my daughter texted me: ‘That’s a shame you didn’t win, but at least you took part.’ She was right, the whole thing was an absolute blast.