The 2012 GQ Awards, Royal Opera House London

September 4th, 2012

At last year's 2011 GQ Awards, the planets aligned, I had a great position, Charlize Theron showed up and smiled, angels sang, birds tweeted and all was good with the world. So naturally, this year, faced with the choice of a Jude Law / Keira Knightley premiere or This Year's GQ Awards, I went for the GQ Awards.

I got there about 3pm. My spot was a mirror image of last year. And then things went downhill.

It was with merely THIS many Paparazzi in attendance that the organisers spontaneously decided to increase the size of their pens by FIFTY PERCENT from last year, forcing all people back and out of direct view. There was no reason for this - in fact, unlike last year, there was a Keira Knightley premiere on at the same time in another part of London... there were, if anything, LESS photographers. Well done, GQ 8( In retaliation for this, let me just provide this opinion : if you have a "Best Solo Artist" Award but no "Group" Award, then I suspect you're just making Awards up to fit your guest list.

It was with merely THIS many Paparazzi in attendance that the organisers spontaneously decided to increase the size of their pens by FIFTY PERCENT from last year, forcing all people back and out of direct view. There was no reason for this - in fact, unlike last year, there was a Keira Knightley premiere on at the same time in another part of London... there were, if anything, LESS photographers. Well done, GQ 8( In retaliation for this, let me just provide this opinion : if you have a "Best Solo Artist" Award but no "Group" Award, then I suspect you're just making Awards up to fit your guest list.

Ah, the list... What, no Charlize Theron? This is already worse than last year (which I'm actually thankful for, given my spot!)

Ah, the list... What, no Charlize Theron? This is already worse than last year (which I'm actually thankful for, given my spot!)

We're underway, and.... things have started slowly. I can only identify this man as : Human, best known for : bipedal locomotion, and a four-chamber heart.

We're underway, and.... things have started slowly. I can only identify this man as : Human, best known for : bipedal locomotion, and a four-chamber heart.

Oh, look it's..... another human. Known for : bow tie, and opposable thumbs.

Oh, look it's..... another human. Known for : bow tie, and opposable thumbs.

If you can't wear a bow tie, print one out. That's totally my policy at weddings, too.

If you can't wear a bow tie, print one out. That's totally my policy at weddings, too.

Well, this just keeps getting better! I'm not sure if this is a celeb or not (the Paps were caught napping and/or disinterested) - but the hair! THE HAIR!!

Well, this just keeps getting better! I'm not sure if this is a celeb or not (the Paps were caught napping and/or disinterested) - but the hair! THE HAIR!!

Human Female arrives. Which is odd, you would think, for a Man Of The Year awards (...no?)

Human Female arrives. Which is odd, you would think, for a Man Of The Year awards (...no?)

Oh, thank goodness. Somebody I've heard of : James Corden. Known for : Writer, Gavin & Stacey, Performer. Sadly, he and DJ Chris Moyles and radio weatherman Dom Byrne never did get the band "Love Contract" off the ground...

Oh, thank goodness. Somebody I've heard of : James Corden. Known for : Writer, Gavin & Stacey, Performer. Sadly, he and DJ Chris Moyles and radio weatherman Dom Byrne never did get the band "Love Contract" off the ground...

Another human male arrives, possibly realising he's not at the Keira Knightley 'Anna Karenina' premiere. Later identified as John Slattery, who won the "We're GQ and we can make up awards" "International Man" award. Right. 7billion people on the planet. 3.5billion men, only 32million of whom live in the UK. Going to give it to a leader of men? Charity worker? Person who splits the Higgs Boson? No? An actor, then? Alrightey.

Another human male arrives, possibly realising he's not at the Keira Knightley 'Anna Karenina' premiere. Later identified as John Slattery, who won the "We're GQ and we can make up awards" "International Man" award. Right. 7billion people on the planet. 3.5billion men, only 32million of whom live in the UK. Going to give it to a leader of men? Charity worker? Person who splits the Higgs Boson? No? An actor, then? Alrightey.

It's Kelly Brook - last photographed attending the "Keith Lemon Movie", a premiere which has had barely 50 views but as yet ZERO comments, which is something I'm childishly pleased about since I *really* have no intention whatsoever to watch the movie and feel kind of unclean at having attended the premiere for (Still... the Hoff showed up)

It's Kelly Brook - last photographed attending the "Keith Lemon Movie", a premiere which has had barely 50 views but as yet ZERO comments, which is something I'm childishly pleased about since I *really* have no intention whatsoever to watch the movie and feel kind of unclean at having attended the premiere for (Still... the Hoff showed up)

New arrival : 1980s singer Boy George. Known for : Music, and also stuff I'm not sure I can mention without putting the word "Alleged" in front of for legal reasons. Still, I definitely rate his recording of "The Crying Game".

New arrival : 1980s singer Boy George. Known for : Music, and also stuff I'm not sure I can mention without putting the word "Alleged" in front of for legal reasons. Still, I definitely rate his recording of "The Crying Game".

Sir Chris Hoy is well known for winning six Olympic gold medals across 3 Olympics, including the most recent one in London.

Sir Chris Hoy is well known for winning six Olympic gold medals across 3 Olympics, including the most recent one in London.

Another arrival : Human Male, known for ... odd posture and shiny teeth? (Dental hygiene is no joke, people. Brush AND floss)

Another arrival : Human Male, known for ... odd posture and shiny teeth? (Dental hygiene is no joke, people. Brush AND floss)

Alex James is known for being a member of the band 'Blur'. I'm more of an Oasis/ Pulp man, if we're talking that era. *Song 2*, though, very good.

Alex James is known for being a member of the band 'Blur'. I'm more of an Oasis/ Pulp man, if we're talking that era. *Song 2*, though, very good.

"I'm not saying I *AM* Batman, I'm just asking whether you're sure I'm not" Ronan Keating was in Westlife (or some such boy band) and is known as a singer, generally.

"I'm not saying I *AM* Batman, I'm just asking whether you're sure I'm not" Ronan Keating was in Westlife (or some such boy band) and is known as a singer, generally.

Damian Lewis won the GQ Award for "TV Personality". He was in Band of Brothers, among other things. I don't usually go for close-crops like this, but he strayed too close!

Damian Lewis won the GQ Award for "TV Personality". He was in Band of Brothers, among other things. I don't usually go for close-crops like this, but he strayed too close!

It's Tom Jones, last photographed at the main stage of this year's V Festival. He's best known as a singer, judge and having met Elvis. He won the "Legend (as distinct from Inspiration)" Award at this year's GQ's.

It's Tom Jones, last photographed at the main stage of this year's V Festival. He's best known as a singer, judge and having met Elvis. He won the "Legend (as distinct from Inspiration)" Award at this year's GQ's.

Heston Blumenthal is a chef, and I'll be able to critique his skillz in a couple of weeks as long as the booking made to eat at one of his restaurants isn't usurped by Tom Cruise or Axl Rose or something. Sadly, though invited, he did NOT win the "Chef" Award at the GQ's. That honour went to Walter Puck.

Heston Blumenthal is a chef, and I'll be able to critique his skillz in a couple of weeks as long as the booking made to eat at one of his restaurants isn't usurped by Tom Cruise or Axl Rose or something. Sadly, though invited, he did NOT win the "Chef" Award at the GQ's. That honour went to Walter Puck.

"How's your camera's white balance coping with my spraytan?" Ordinarily, I'd leave the comment at an attempted joke, but this is Aaron Sorkin and he was screenwriter for A Few Good Men, The Social Network and Moneyball (all excellent) and creator of The West Wing. He won the "Writer" Award.

"How's your camera's white balance coping with my spraytan?" Ordinarily, I'd leave the comment at an attempted joke, but this is Aaron Sorkin and he was screenwriter for A Few Good Men, The Social Network and Moneyball (all excellent) and creator of The West Wing. He won the "Writer" Award.

It's Mo Farah!! Known for dual 5000m and 10000m gold medals at this year's Olympics. (WOO!). Inspirational? Not really... apparently (refer : Bradley Wiggins' sideburns)

It's Mo Farah!! Known for dual 5000m and 10000m gold medals at this year's Olympics. (WOO!). Inspirational? Not really... apparently (refer : Bradley Wiggins' sideburns)

Upcoming Bond Girl Berenice Marlohe poses for one of the world's more eeeeeeevil autograph dealers. _Curse their charisma and ability to know which side of the crowd to be at. I last photographed her at another Awards ceremony : this year's "Empire Awards"

Upcoming Bond Girl Berenice Marlohe poses for one of the world's more eeeeeeevil autograph dealers. _Curse their charisma and ability to know which side of the crowd to be at. I last photographed her at another Awards ceremony : this year's "Empire Awards"

Berenice Marlohe consents to a quick unrehearsed candid fashion shoot, and the Paparazzi are stunned. Where's MY award, GQ?

Berenice Marlohe consents to a quick unrehearsed candid fashion shoot, and the Paparazzi are stunned. Where's MY award, GQ?

Tinie Tempah. Known for : Music ("Pass Out") Won best Solo artist on the night.

Tinie Tempah. Known for : Music ("Pass Out") Won best Solo artist on the night.

Jacketed Human Male! Known for : dismembering favourite couch to make awesome dinner jacket!! (later identified as Elton John's Significant Other, David Furniss) (I do like the jacket...)

Jacketed Human Male! Known for : dismembering favourite couch to make awesome dinner jacket!! (later identified as Elton John's Significant Other, David Furniss) (I do like the jacket...)

Lady from Mad Men! (later identified as Elisabeth Moss). Known for : ... Mad Men!

Lady from Mad Men! (later identified as Elisabeth Moss). Known for : ... Mad Men!

Monica Belluci! Okay, legitimately cool. Known for : Matrix Reloaded, among many other films. And I got fleeting eye-contact. Woohoo!

Monica Belluci! Okay, legitimately cool. Known for : Matrix Reloaded, among many other films. And I got fleeting eye-contact. Woohoo!

More eye-contact than I might have wanted, in the form of singer Jessie J!

More eye-contact than I might have wanted, in the form of singer Jessie J!

I used to work at a job where one day a dowdy lady who mostly wore comfortable loose-fitting slacks got a severe haircut and started wearing power suits. It actually totally worked - she got promoted pretty quickly. Why do I mention this? Because I last photographed Jessie J at the premiere of "Demons Never Die"

I used to work at a job where one day a dowdy lady who mostly wore comfortable loose-fitting slacks got a severe haircut and started wearing power suits. It actually totally worked - she got promoted pretty quickly. Why do I mention this? Because I last photographed Jessie J at the premiere of "Demons Never Die"

It's Bradley Wiggins! He's known for : those sensational sideburns; also winning the 2012 Tour de France and gold at the 2012 Olympics time trial (plus three additional golds in other Olympics). But also the sideburns. He won the "Lifetime Achievement" Award... which seems a bit harsh : I don't believe he's retired! (in contrast to say, Chris Hoy, who has (?))

It's Bradley Wiggins! He's known for : those sensational sideburns; also winning the 2012 Tour de France and gold at the 2012 Olympics time trial (plus three additional golds in other Olympics). But also the sideburns. He won the "Lifetime Achievement" Award... which seems a bit harsh : I don't believe he's retired! (in contrast to say, Chris Hoy, who has (?))

It's Salman Rushdie! Known for : being an author, and getting death threats for writing The Satanic Verses. He won the "Inspiration" Award on the night. Whatever that means. I mean.... Bradley Wiggins? Did you even SEE those sideburns, GQ?? They're *Inspirational*, not a Lifetime Achievement!

It's Salman Rushdie! Known for : being an author, and getting death threats for writing The Satanic Verses. He won the "Inspiration" Award on the night. Whatever that means. I mean.... Bradley Wiggins? Did you even SEE those sideburns, GQ?? They're *Inspirational*, not a Lifetime Achievement!

It's Olivia Munn! (Who is Olivia Munn?) (checks imdb) : she's an actress in The Newsroom (the who?), Perfect Couples (ermm..?). Oh, she had a small role in Iron Man2. Yeah..okay. But so did a parrot.

It's Olivia Munn! (Who is Olivia Munn?) (checks imdb) : she's an actress in The Newsroom (the who?), Perfect Couples (ermm..?). Oh, she had a small role in Iron Man2. Yeah..okay. But so did a parrot.

It's Lana Del Rey! She's not really known for upbeat music or zany-ness but at least one of those is on display here. She won the Award for "Woman" at the GQ Man of the Year Awards. Because..... wait. What? Really? (eye-roll)

It's Lana Del Rey! She's not really known for upbeat music or zany-ness but at least one of those is on display here. She won the Award for "Woman" at the GQ Man of the Year Awards. Because..... wait. What? Really? (eye-roll)

Oh, look : it's..... (?)... human male! Known for both X *and* Y chromosomes. I'm sorry - I do realise that it's me whose shortcomings are on display here, and I'm wearing a red t-shirt to this event, and not walking a red carpet wearing a suit and bow tie!

Oh, look : it's..... (?)... human male! Known for both X *and* Y chromosomes. I'm sorry - I do realise that it's me whose shortcomings are on display here, and I'm wearing a red t-shirt to this event, and not walking a red carpet wearing a suit and bow tie!

"Red trousers AREN'T cool anymore? Since WHEN - just now? FARQ!!" I don't know who this is. I suspect an Olympian, because they can pretty much get away with this sort of thing these days.

"Red trousers AREN'T cool anymore? Since WHEN - just now? FARQ!!" I don't know who this is. I suspect an Olympian, because they can pretty much get away with this sort of thing these days.

Attendee quality is slowly rising : Robbie Williams! Known for : Singing. Being in Take That. Leaving Take that. Reuniting with Take that. Returning to Solo career. He won the "Icon" award at this year's award. Icon. I heard that word said about three different things at yesterday's "The Sweeney Premiere"

Attendee quality is slowly rising : Robbie Williams! Known for : Singing. Being in Take That. Leaving Take that. Reuniting with Take that. Returning to Solo career. He won the "Icon" award at this year's award. Icon. I heard that word said about three different things at yesterday's "The Sweeney Premiere"

Highlight : Kylie Minogue! Known for : Music, appearance in the original Street Fighter movie (?). She was at last year's awards but I didn't get a good shot. I now have one. Everything was almost looking pretty good... until...

Highlight : Kylie Minogue! Known for : Music, appearance in the original Street Fighter movie (?). She was at last year's awards but I didn't get a good shot. I now have one. Everything was almost looking pretty good... until...

Sigh. Lowlight : Victoria Pendleton. Known for : Cycling gold medals. Me : Known for : Devastated at not getting a better photo of Victoria Pendleton.

Sigh. Lowlight : Victoria Pendleton. Known for : Cycling gold medals. Me : Known for : Devastated at not getting a better photo of Victoria Pendleton.

Side profile? Still devastated 8(

Side profile? Still devastated 8(

I might just console myself with another photo of Kylie Minogue

I might just console myself with another photo of Kylie Minogue

And maybe even a third. Hey... I'm from Australia. I'm ALLOWED!

And maybe even a third. Hey... I'm from Australia. I'm ALLOWED!

Holly Valance. Known for : "Kiss Kiss" (2002). Also: Marrying a multigazillionaire, and exiting Rolls Royces.

Holly Valance. Known for : "Kiss Kiss" (2002). Also: Marrying a multigazillionaire, and exiting Rolls Royces.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber! Known for : the bags under his eyes also having bags under THEIR eyes. Or perhaps deserving of SIGNIFICANTLY more respect, based on being a composer of: Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and Cats. And Starlight Express. What... no Award, GQ?? What's a man worth GBP700million supposed to do?

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber! Known for : the bags under his eyes also having bags under THEIR eyes. Or perhaps deserving of SIGNIFICANTLY more respect, based on being a composer of: Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and Cats. And Starlight Express. What... no Award, GQ?? What's a man worth GBP700million supposed to do?

Lord Sebastian Coe! Known for : Dual Olympic 1500m Gold medals (1980, 1984), spearheading the London 2012 bid and the games themselves. Outstanding achievement award for tireless work on the biggest event in London this year? No. Just guest. Also known for : straying FAR too close to my lens.

Lord Sebastian Coe! Known for : Dual Olympic 1500m Gold medals (1980, 1984), spearheading the London 2012 bid and the games themselves. Outstanding achievement award for tireless work on the biggest event in London this year? No. Just guest. Also known for : straying FAR too close to my lens.

Bono! Known for : being lead singer of U2, and also posing slightly longer at last year's awards.

Bono! Known for : being lead singer of U2, and also posing slightly longer at last year's awards.

Stella McCartney! Known for : fashion, and (I'm guessing) racausly outrageous and carefree laughter?

Stella McCartney! Known for : fashion, and (I'm guessing) racausly outrageous and carefree laughter?

Time for the late arrivals : it's Chris Hemsworth! He's best known (I'm told) for working with Tom Hiddleston, once. Oh, I'm sorry : *twice* . He won the dubious "International Breakthrough" award. Sure. Because he was in 185 episodes of Home and Away from 2004, and the Star Trek reboot in 2009. Still, I've photographed him before, most recently at the "Snow White and the Huntsman" premiere

Time for the late arrivals : it's Chris Hemsworth! He's best known (I'm told) for working with Tom Hiddleston, once. Oh, I'm sorry : *twice* . He won the dubious "International Breakthrough" award. Sure. Because he was in 185 episodes of Home and Away from 2004, and the Star Trek reboot in 2009. Still, I've photographed him before, most recently at the "Snow White and the Huntsman" premiere

Late arrival. Somebody said "Jamelia". Okay, then! Did you know the GQs even had an "Entrepreneur" Award? Awesome... an award for people whose primary motivation was making money!

Late arrival. Somebody said "Jamelia". Okay, then! Did you know the GQs even had an "Entrepreneur" Award? Awesome... an award for people whose primary motivation was making money!

Harvey Weinstein! Known for arriving even later than Jamelia (?), and movie production of some SERIOUS movies like Lord of the Rings and Pulp Fiction. Movies you've heard of in other words! Also : co-founder of Miramax pictures.

Harvey Weinstein! Known for arriving even later than Jamelia (?), and movie production of some SERIOUS movies like Lord of the Rings and Pulp Fiction. Movies you've heard of in other words! Also : co-founder of Miramax pictures.

Liam Gallagher! Known for : Oasis (pre-Split), and Beady Eye. Also : being *unapologetically* late!

Liam Gallagher! Known for : Oasis (pre-Split), and Beady Eye. Also : being *unapologetically* late!

Gary Barlow. Known for : Take That, and being Very Nice. In fact, I'm less inclined to think of him as arriving late as actually being sensationally early for NEXT YEAR'S GQ Awards.

Gary Barlow. Known for : Take That, and being Very Nice. In fact, I'm less inclined to think of him as arriving late as actually being sensationally early for NEXT YEAR'S GQ Awards.

So... that was that. Was it worth it? Well... kind of. But also not really. Events like this bring home even more so the fact that these events are MANUFACTURED. There incestuous. They're cordoned off. They purport to involve the public, but the public are the last people in any way involved. And let's recap. The GQ Men of the Year Awards had:

* A WOMENs award at a Mens Award night.
* A Solo (but not Group) artist award for music.
* A Politician Award (politicians are voted for, so having an award that you vote for would be... redundant? At least somewhat?)
* An International Breakthrough Award for a performer who made his first breakthrough in 2004. Or possibly 2009. Or possibly 2011.
* Separate "Inspiration", "Legend", "Icon"; and "Outstanding Achievement (unspecified as to what specifically)" and "Lifetime Achievement" Awards. Next year, why not add "Awesome", "Supercool", "Fantastic", and "Mega"?
* "Entrepreneur" Award. Which is effectively bestowing an award on people whose main motivation was doing something for money!

That said, if they invite me to shoot the event, I'd be happy to say yes in exchange for money.

Until next year? Maybe...