THE COUCH POTATO: Chinn up – or not: red faces on red carpet
2:42pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
RARELY is Hollywood’s biggest night of the year an unpredictable affair.
But with the most wide-open Oscars in years, there was really only one big talking point at the 85th Academy Awards.
Over to Sky Living’s Alex Zane: “There seem to be a lot of beards on the red carpet.”
Yes, beards. And it sparked quite the debate among his studio guests, I can tell you.
Fashion expert Antonia O’Brien: “Look at Clooney. He’s working a long grey beard. Hugh Jackman is the current king of the beard, alongside Ben Affleck. Do you think he kept his so he’d be taken seriously in the film industry this season?”
Heat magazine’s Boyd Hilton: “It adds gravitas, doesn’t it?”
Zane: “I think we once had a conversation and you didn’t have a beard and I sort of zoned out halfway through...”
I know how the man feels. It was only the 17 cups of Kenco that kept me going, around the midnight hour, last Sunday night.
That, and a sweepstake I had with myself about how long Alex Zane would maintain the pretence that his “rooftop terrace here in Hollywood” was inside a London television building.
Up to the point, as it transpired, that he announced: “Let’s hop across the Pond now to Hollywood,” where Sky News’ Lucy Cotter announced: “All your dignity goes out the window on the Oscars red carpet.”
She wasn’t kidding. What unfolded was a Tinseltown brown-nose operation, courtesy of pooled US network coverage, that made me long for the chaotic, warped days of Fearne Cotton and Angela Griffin abandoning any shred of self-respect interviewing the stars pre-ceremony.
It wasn’t until the following morning that the UK provided its own dignity-shedding, Oscars after-show party, TV trolls.
Leading the charge, as ever, Daybreak’s Ross King at the Vanity Fair bash: “Who have we got behind me? It’s Taylor Lautner.
Hello Taylor. Taylor! Hello Taylor!
TAYLOR! We’re live on British television!
“And that’s enough to make him run away.”
If I say he fared better than BBC Breakfast’s Tim Muffett, merrily ducking and diving a TV camera that was sparring next to his right temple in the media pen, you’ll have some idea how poorly the Beeb’s man coped in the scrum for A-list sound bites.
It didn’t help that Muffett was making very little sense: “Everywhere you look there are incredibly famous people. Just like the Isle of Man.” “Daniel Day-Lewis broke history by winning his third best leading man actor.”
Not all of it was his own making.
Muffett’s interview with the triumphant British team behind Best Documentary Feature Searching For Sugar Man suggested he was chatting to “Simon Chin”.
It wasn’t Simon Chin. Neither was it Simon Chinn, the film’s correctly spelled producer, but executive producer John Battsek.
John Travolta, by the time he rocked up to Muffett for his 137th red-carpet exchange of the day, had clearly had enough by this point and ignored the question: “Hi John, you’re live on the BBC, what did you think of this year’s Oscars?” choosing instead to pretend to be a TV reporter with a London accent straight from the Dick Van Dyke school of Cockney.
No one knows why.
The shambles demanded a shambolic finale. And up stepped Breakfast host Susanna Reid: “Well, that’s almost all the time we’ve got time for.”
● ITV’s extraordinary, shocking, provocative and, most of all, agenda- free HMP Aylesbury.
● The flag-waving, just-glad-to-bethere Bradford City fans watching their side’s 5-0 drubbing to Swansea in the League Cup final.
● The welcome return of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
● On Let’s Dance For Comic Relief, Kim Woodburn and Rosemary Shrager as Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell but looking more like Marilyn Manson and Ken Russell.
● And One Direction’s emotional Ghanaian hospital film, in which Harry Styles openly wept: “This little boy is three and has malaria.
“No movement, too weak to even cry. Watching Kofi and his mum is simply heartbreaking.”
Back in the studio, Alex Jones: “You will be glad to know he made a full recovery and was discharged from hospital.”
No word yet on Kofi, though.
● Channel 4 swallowing Ricky Gervais’s delusion that Derek deserves a Making Of documentary.
(Don’t be ridiculous.) ● Steve Jones showing the sign outside Let’s Dance For Comic Relief’s pub Shenanigans that had the Six Nations result as: “Wales 26, Italy 9,” when the match was played in Rome, not Cardiff.
● And Simon Cowell production company Syco’s Food Glorious Food, a rip-off of Great British Bake Off, Gino D’Acampo’s There’s No Taste Like Home, This Morning’s People’s Pizza competition, and Channel 5’s Breaking Into Tesco, complete with X Factor-style sob stories, sore losers, certifiable fruit-loops, a Judges’ HQ (bootcamp) stage, and two rejected Welsh lamb cawl dishes. But fear not.
Next week, I suspect they will both be invited back to join two other cawls to create one cawl supergroup.