The 2014 GQ Awards, Royal Opera House London

September 2nd, 2014.

The GQ Awards are both fantastic and massively frustrating. Pretty much every time I go to one (as I did in 2011 and also in 2012 and again in 2013) I leave frustrated at all the people I missed, and then slowly over the course of a year I instead remember fondly the people I DID manage to photograph.. .so by the time it comes around I'm really looking forward to it, and then after I go I leave frustrated... and so on....

But this time? It was different. It was ALL frustrating... except.. well...

Here's how it went down.

I had #58 on my hand. Was that good? It was hard to say...

I had #58 on my hand. Was that good? It was hard to say...

Like the BAFTAs and OLIVIER Awards, the GQ Awards are held at the Royal Opera house. Unlike those two awards, however, the GQs do not involve a long red carpet and wristbands and outdoor media interviews. Mere mortals are tolerated... in the same way as bad weather and corruption are... well... tolerated.

Like the BAFTAs and OLIVIER Awards, the GQ Awards are held at the Royal Opera house. Unlike those two awards, however, the GQs do not involve a long red carpet and wristbands and outdoor media interviews. Mere mortals are tolerated... in the same way as bad weather and corruption are... well... tolerated.

I have a spot, and it affords me a view of the Main section of the crowd, which generally only has side-on views of anyone except those who choose to cross the road, or turn around as they exit their car.

I have a spot, and it affords me a view of the Main section of the crowd, which generally only has side-on views of anyone except those who choose to cross the road, or turn around as they exit their car.

I have a spot and it is, sadly, directly behind three rows of step-laddered Paparazzi. And they have a list. And it is? A pretty frikkin' amazing list. Also containing former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. Among others.

I have a spot and it is, sadly, directly behind three rows of step-laddered Paparazzi. And they have a list. And it is? A pretty frikkin' amazing list. Also containing former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. Among others.

And we're off! .... we're also off to a typical start. I have no idea who this is. Stand by for a lot of this kind of stuff, I'm afraid.

And we're off! .... we're also off to a typical start. I have no idea who this is. Stand by for a lot of this kind of stuff, I'm afraid.

I don't know who this is.... but I DO hope she's massively famous, as we've made a definite mutual connection. I also hope she's rich, since I'm being unreasonable and unlikely to ever see her again.

I don't know who this is.... but I DO hope she's massively famous, as we've made a definite mutual connection. I also hope she's rich, since I'm being unreasonable and unlikely to ever see her again.

I... also have no idea who this is. I'd say he's probably just some newly minted youth icon, but given the people desperate for his autograph, I'm not so sure.

I... also have no idea who this is. I'd say he's probably just some newly minted youth icon, but given the people desperate for his autograph, I'm not so sure.

All the unsharp masks in photoshop can't quite make me care enough that this photo of Piers Morgan is somewhat focus-blurred.

All the unsharp masks in photoshop can't quite make me care enough that this photo of Piers Morgan is somewhat focus-blurred.

I don't know who this is, though. She seems nice.. but you'll recall that other lady further above and I had a much more genuine connection based on mutual trust and physical attraction.

I don't know who this is, though. She seems nice.. but you'll recall that other lady further above and I had a much more genuine connection based on mutual trust and physical attraction.

Oh! I DO know who this is - but not by name : he's the pirate with the wooden eye in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies!! (edited to add : Mackenzie Crook)

Oh! I DO know who this is - but not by name : he's the pirate with the wooden eye in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies!! (edited to add : Mackenzie Crook)

I ... don't know who this is. But I feel like starting a friendship with the neck-fatted security guy, as he (and/or the back of his aforementioned neck) will be showing up quite a lot at this premiere)

I ... don't know who this is. But I feel like starting a friendship with the neck-fatted security guy, as he (and/or the back of his aforementioned neck) will be showing up quite a lot at this premiere)

The guy on the right looks like I should know who he is, but I'm too annoyed that I missed Luke Evans (from The Hobbit) just moments ago.

The guy on the right looks like I should know who he is, but I'm too annoyed that I missed Luke Evans (from The Hobbit) just moments ago.

She's pretty - in a nice Marion-Cotillard-meets-Kirstent-Dunst way (which is a good way!)... but once again I have no idea who she is, and I'm going out on a limb and saying she has no idea who I am. I'd make a move, but in amongst this crowd it probably wouldn't go down well.

She's pretty - in a nice Marion-Cotillard-meets-Kirstent-Dunst way (which is a good way!)... but once again I have no idea who she is, and I'm going out on a limb and saying she has no idea who I am. I'd make a move, but in amongst this crowd it probably wouldn't go down well.

"Your porn collection? Here? Now? Ummm... okay...." Once again.. I have no idea who this is. Him or her.

"Your porn collection? Here? Now? Ummm... okay...." Once again.. I have no idea who this is. Him or her.

Wait! I know who this is! The lady in the side-profile is Pippa Middleton, sister to the woman whose husband is third in line to the throne.... (is that impressive?)

Wait! I know who this is! The lady in the side-profile is Pippa Middleton, sister to the woman whose husband is third in line to the throne.... (is that impressive?)

And I also know who this is! I mean, sure, I only discovered the TV series 'Sherlock' all of about two weeks ago, but I know Benedict Cumberbatch from such premieres as Star Trek Into Darkness and Creation and War Horse... plus he's been in 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate and The Hobbit (he's the voice of the dragon Smaug)

And I also know who this is! I mean, sure, I only discovered the TV series 'Sherlock' all of about two weeks ago, but I know Benedict Cumberbatch from such premieres as Star Trek Into Darkness and Creation and War Horse... plus he's been in 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate and The Hobbit (he's the voice of the dragon Smaug)

"Ma'am, you're going to have to let go of me eventually or it becomes either assault or wrongful imprisonment, I'm not sure which. Also, the dude with the floral iPhone cover worries me and the lady in the aqua hoodie is making me nervous". The queasy colour scheme is my fault though. That's bad white-balance, right there.

"Ma'am, you're going to have to let go of me eventually or it becomes either assault or wrongful imprisonment, I'm not sure which. Also, the dude with the floral iPhone cover worries me and the lady in the aqua hoodie is making me nervous". The queasy colour scheme is my fault though. That's bad white-balance, right there.

And I know who this is, too! It's the very cool Samuel L Jackson - and even though the white balance of the Pentax is acting up, the autofocus in this case is doing a spectacular job.

And I know who this is, too! It's the very cool Samuel L Jackson - and even though the white balance of the Pentax is acting up, the autofocus in this case is doing a spectacular job.

Cool enough for a second shot, even if he's been partly blocked by a guy whose explicit job it is to block views of Samuel L Jackson!

Cool enough for a second shot, even if he's been partly blocked by a guy whose explicit job it is to block views of Samuel L Jackson!

Oh and this IS somebody pretty famous : Ringo Starr, one of only two surviving members of The Beatles.

Oh and this IS somebody pretty famous : Ringo Starr, one of only two surviving members of The Beatles.

I'm going to be honest and say that while I have only a passing knowledge that Daisy Lowe is somehow famous, I could probably - even on the basis of this 'mild' crop - identify both her and her dress in a police lineup. (ironically I later found out it's a kind of overall/pantsuit that she's wearing.... well, damn.)

I'm going to be honest and say that while I have only a passing knowledge that Daisy Lowe is somehow famous, I could probably - even on the basis of this 'mild' crop - identify both her and her dress in a police lineup. (ironically I later found out it's a kind of overall/pantsuit that she's wearing.... well, damn.)

I'm rather sad to say that this is the best I managed of actress Jenna Coleman of Dr Who fame... the Nikon autofocus seemed rather taken by the lustrous hair of the photographer as I was shooting high-and-blind. Sigh... and Samuel L Jackson, talented but nowhere as pretty ....is razor-sharp like you could cut blocks of railway sleepers from in no less than two photo....

I'm rather sad to say that this is the best I managed of actress Jenna Coleman of Dr Who fame... the Nikon autofocus seemed rather taken by the lustrous hair of the photographer as I was shooting high-and-blind. Sigh... and Samuel L Jackson, talented but nowhere as pretty ....is razor-sharp like you could cut blocks of railway sleepers from in no less than two photo....

And here's the current Doctor Who himself - Peter Capaldi, captured side-on because that's the kind of spot I've got (the blur to the right is the baggy jacket of the Paparazzo blocking all views except high-and-blind ones at this event. Still... Peter Capaldi. Best I could do.

And here's the current Doctor Who himself - Peter Capaldi, captured side-on because that's the kind of spot I've got (the blur to the right is the baggy jacket of the Paparazzo blocking all views except high-and-blind ones at this event. Still... Peter Capaldi. Best I could do.

Until I shot this photo a few moments later. Big thanks for the press photographer flashes that helped my camera overcome its attraction to male foreground hairstyles. (Peter Capaldi, incidentally won the award for "TV Personality " on the night. I don't know specifically what that award means.... but I'm still reeling from there being an "International Man" award at this thing).

Until I shot this photo a few moments later. Big thanks for the press photographer flashes that helped my camera overcome its attraction to male foreground hairstyles. (Peter Capaldi, incidentally won the award for "TV Personality " on the night. I don't know specifically what that award means.... but I'm still reeling from there being an "International Man" award at this thing).

The man hidden on the right is Gold winning Olympian Mo Farrah.... good news for fans of spotting famous people ill-composed due to restrictions in my view will find a lot to love in this journal!

The man hidden on the right is Gold winning Olympian Mo Farrah.... good news for fans of spotting famous people ill-composed due to restrictions in my view will find a lot to love in this journal!

Meanwhile, the lady leaning drowsily on the left is singer Ellie Goulding. "Anything Could Happen" is kind of a great song - I associate it with a particularly good ski trip. I'd shout that out and attempt to thank her for that, but it's a clunky sentence and it'd get lost over exhortations for her to turn over her right/left shoulder coming from the photographers.

Meanwhile, the lady leaning drowsily on the left is singer Ellie Goulding. "Anything Could Happen" is kind of a great song - I associate it with a particularly good ski trip. I'd shout that out and attempt to thank her for that, but it's a clunky sentence and it'd get lost over exhortations for her to turn over her right/left shoulder coming from the photographers.

"Lady, as Sherlock not only can I read you like a book, but I can edit that book, knock out a quick sequel, adapt the screenplay and use my connections to get Martin Freeman to star in it..."

"Lady, as Sherlock not only can I read you like a book, but I can edit that book, knock out a quick sequel, adapt the screenplay and use my connections to get Martin Freeman to star in it..."

"Guy over there? Claims you owe him five dollars". Sherlock seems uncertain. Benedict Cumberbatch won the "Actor" Award on the night, and his acceptance speech was pretty legendary.

"Guy over there? Claims you owe him five dollars". Sherlock seems uncertain. Benedict Cumberbatch won the "Actor" Award on the night, and his acceptance speech was pretty legendary.

I've never photographed singer Iggy Pop, and I have a whole one (1) song of his on my iPod. I've also not previously photographed his wife / daughter / girlfriend / valet / accountant before. Iggy Pop won the "Icon" Award on the night, and like many of the awards on the night, it's kind of hard to say what that means or represents. His last solo album was in 2012 and the last solo single of his that charted was in 1999... but he's been in some TV ads so I guess he's still active.

I've never photographed singer Iggy Pop, and I have a whole one (1) song of his on my iPod. I've also not previously photographed his wife / daughter / girlfriend / valet / accountant before. Iggy Pop won the "Icon" Award on the night, and like many of the awards on the night, it's kind of hard to say what that means or represents. His last solo album was in 2012 and the last solo single of his that charted was in 1999... but he's been in some TV ads so I guess he's still active.

Natalie Dormer has been in Ron Howard's "Rush" as well as "Captain America" and will be in the next two Hunger Games films.... but let's be honest she's best known for being Margaery Tyrell in the other 'games' franchise : Game Of Thrones.

Natalie Dormer has been in Ron Howard's "Rush" as well as "Captain America" and will be in the next two Hunger Games films.... but let's be honest she's best known for being Margaery Tyrell in the other 'games' franchise : Game Of Thrones.

Pharrell Williams be seein' dat, but he not be believin dat. And if it wasn't for the fact I'm listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, right about now I'd be getting that damn "Happy" song stuck in my head with no chance of getting it gone for the next four days or so. (Edited to add : That's Sir Bob Geldof on the far right wearing  a suit and silvery hair!)

Pharrell Williams be seein' dat, but he not be believin dat. And if it wasn't for the fact I'm listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, right about now I'd be getting that damn "Happy" song stuck in my head with no chance of getting it gone for the next four days or so. (Edited to add : That's Sir Bob Geldof on the far right wearing  a suit and silvery hair!)

Richard E Grant arrives, looking rather unlike Richard E Grant. That's my fault, I had to convert this to black'n'white because round about this point, the Pentax's autofocus was defaulting to some kind of setting that made everyone look like they'd gone to the same fake spraytanning salon just prior to the GQs.

Richard E Grant arrives, looking rather unlike Richard E Grant. That's my fault, I had to convert this to black'n'white because round about this point, the Pentax's autofocus was defaulting to some kind of setting that made everyone look like they'd gone to the same fake spraytanning salon just prior to the GQs.

This man's apparent fake tan mishap is probably my Pentax's fault, but that chin is real and it's all his, baby. I'm so impressed I'm not even going to check wireimage.com and find out who he is - he's clearly the real-life inspration for Gaston from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)

This man's apparent fake tan mishap is probably my Pentax's fault, but that chin is real and it's all his, baby. I'm so impressed I'm not even going to check wireimage.com and find out who he is - he's clearly the real-life inspration for Gaston from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)

No man in the history of the world has ever cared so much about getting the dutch tilt on his camera *just* perfect. Not even me - I like to freestyle my orientation and worry about the rest in photoshop later, when I'm much more tired and incapable of making good judgements.

No man in the history of the world has ever cared so much about getting the dutch tilt on his camera *just* perfect. Not even me - I like to freestyle my orientation and worry about the rest in photoshop later, when I'm much more tired and incapable of making good judgements.

Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis fame, storms past, scowls at the crowd and makes known he views them all with contempt. But to be fair to him, we all know that's part of his particular charm.

Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis fame, storms past, scowls at the crowd and makes known he views them all with contempt. But to be fair to him, we all know that's part of his particular charm.

Please don't break my heart and tell me this ISN'T Louise Brealey, who I only recently 'discovered' because as I've previously confessed I've only recently discovered TV's 'Sherlock' (which started back in 2010)

Please don't break my heart and tell me this ISN'T Louise Brealey, who I only recently 'discovered' because as I've previously confessed I've only recently discovered TV's 'Sherlock' (which started back in 2010)

"Excuse me... are you....?" "Louise Brealey?" "No... are you going to stand here for a while... because I really want to meet Jonah Hill"

"Excuse me... are you....?"
"Louise Brealey?"
"No... are you going to stand here for a while... because I really want to meet Jonah Hill"

OMG It's Jonah Hill. And he just remembers he owes me five dollars, but it's all the way on the back seat and there's no time now to go back and get it...

OMG It's Jonah Hill. And he just remembers he owes me five dollars, but it's all the way on the back seat and there's no time now to go back and get it...

"Seriously? You pirated that? Do you kids pay for ANY movie these days? How the hell am I earning a decent living if nobody's making any money?" I assume the money's all in GQ Magazine publishing. Jonah Hill won the enigmatically-titled "International Man" award on the night.

"Seriously? You pirated that? Do you kids pay for ANY movie these days? How the hell am I earning a decent living if nobody's making any money?" I assume the money's all in GQ Magazine publishing. Jonah Hill won the enigmatically-titled "International Man" award on the night.

Next to arrive is Colin Firth, one of only two (2) people to approach our area. Not sure why him and the Other (further below) and nobody else... but I guess it was that kind of day. Also : he ended up winning the "Leading Man" Award on the night, though the way in which this does not overlap or contradict such awards as "Actor", "Icon" or "Inspiration" probably requires some complicated algorithms for the supercomputer at GQ Headquarters to chew through.

Next to arrive is Colin Firth, one of only two (2) people to approach our area. Not sure why him and the Other (further below) and nobody else... but I guess it was that kind of day. Also : he ended up winning the "Leading Man" Award on the night, though the way in which this does not overlap or contradict such awards as "Actor", "Icon" or "Inspiration" probably requires some complicated algorithms for the supercomputer at GQ Headquarters to chew through.

"Check it out. Another high score on Angry Birds!"

"Check it out. Another high score on Angry Birds!"

Well, who would have predicted this day would end (or at least include) a photo for Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton kissing Kim Kardashian while his singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger looks on, and her husband rapper Kanye West looks on. And... I look on . (Lewis Halmilton won the "Sportsman" award on the night, and without wanting to display anything but the highest regard for the GQ Awards, wasn't his last title back in 2008??)

Well, who would have predicted this day would end (or at least include) a photo for Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton kissing Kim Kardashian while his singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger looks on, and her husband rapper Kanye West looks on. And... I look on . (Lewis Halmilton won the "Sportsman" award on the night, and without wanting to display anything but the highest regard for the GQ Awards, wasn't his last title back in 2008??)

I expect the Swarovsky crystals (or whatever) on that thing could bankroll Africa.... ("that thing" being the dress, people. I'm not THAT disrespectful, even towards somebody whose background is not too dissimilar from that of a porn star... or perhaps a somewhat slightly less exalted position than that)

I expect the Swarovsky crystals (or whatever) on that thing could bankroll Africa.... ("that thing" being the dress, people. I'm not THAT disrespectful, even towards somebody whose background is not too dissimilar from that of a porn star... or perhaps a somewhat slightly less exalted position than that)

I can't really claim that taking this photo makes me a better person. So I'm not going to. My camera's going to need a wash after this event. The Nikon, I mean.. the Pentax is kinda used to slumming it. (Kim Kardashian won the "Woman" award on the night, and I guess she does meet the XY-chromosome requirement for that award, plus she was present to collect it, so well done her!)

I can't really claim that taking this photo makes me a better person. So I'm not going to. My camera's going to need a wash after this event. The Nikon, I mean.. the Pentax is kinda used to slumming it. (Kim Kardashian won the "Woman" award on the night, and I guess she does meet the XY-chromosome requirement for that award, plus she was present to collect it, so well done her!)

Fine. One more shot. Because this one represents The Craziness of the situation and the Paparazzi flashes best. Can I photograph anyone even less.... (insert word I'm looking for) tonight? Probably not... but I'm going to try.

Fine. One more shot. Because this one represents The Craziness of the situation and the Paparazzi flashes best. Can I photograph anyone even less.... (insert word I'm looking for) tonight? Probably not... but I'm going to try.

A green dress arrives, and it appears to be wearing Singer Jessie J.

A green dress arrives, and it appears to be wearing Singer Jessie J.

Ronnie Wood and a pink dress arrive. Roonie Wood is from the band The Rolling Stones, a group that holds the honour of causing more of my Not-For-Sale artworks taken down from Redbubble than any other artist or group. I own a couple of their albums.. but I assume actually playing them also constitutes some kind of copyright infringement so I generally don't.

Ronnie Wood and a pink dress arrive. Roonie Wood is from the band The Rolling Stones, a group that holds the honour of causing more of my Not-For-Sale artworks taken down from Redbubble than any other artist or group. I own a couple of their albums.. but I assume actually playing them also constitutes some kind of copyright infringement so I generally don't.

A slightly overexposed shot of Model Lara Stone (L) and Comedian David Walliams (R). She's looking lovely in what appears to be a relatively normal dress, while his white tux will destroy any chance I have of correctly exposing any shots of them taken high-and-blind over the paparazzi wall in front of me.

A slightly overexposed shot of Model Lara Stone (L) and Comedian David Walliams (R). She's looking lovely in what appears to be a relatively normal dress, while his white tux will destroy any chance I have of correctly exposing any shots of them taken high-and-blind over the paparazzi wall in front of me.

"Babe, don't come over here. I don't think you want me watching what they're making me watch. But it would be rude not to stay and keep ... you know... watching". The speed of arrivals is starting to slow down, but Stanley Tucci is pretty cool

"Babe, don't come over here. I don't think you want me watching what they're making me watch. But it would be rude not to stay and keep ... you know... watching". The speed of arrivals is starting to slow down, but Stanley Tucci is pretty cool

"Oh NO HE DIDN'T!!!! BUT HE DID - HE DID!!" I'm not sure what that was all about but it was loud and nobody got hurt.

"Oh NO HE DIDN'T!!!! BUT HE DID - HE DID!!" I'm not sure what that was all about but it was loud and nobody got hurt.

Model Cara Delevigne shows up and is certainly very pretty (or certainly knows how to pose VERY prettily). But there's one HUGE (ish) (sort of) name left to arrive... depending on your definition of 'huge', 'huge(ish)', 'name' and 'star' (or perhaps even 'arrive')

Model Cara Delevigne shows up and is certainly very pretty (or certainly knows how to pose VERY prettily). But there's one HUGE (ish) (sort of) name left to arrive... depending on your definition of 'huge', 'huge(ish)', 'name' and 'star' (or perhaps even 'arrive')

But it's not Rita Ora, here being photographed by a guy taking  a photograph of her.

But it's not Rita Ora, here being photographed by a guy taking  a photograph of her.

At this stage... the Paparazzi are restless. Some have left, usually a sure sign that nobody capable of being sold for $$ is going to arrive. But some stay. And, five minutes later, they continue to stay. Who are they waiting for?

"She's doing lines of what while swigging from a bottle of who? Barry.... PLEASE tell me it's line of Shakespeare and a bottle of milk...". I guess it's possible....

"She's doing lines of what while swigging from a bottle of who? Barry.... PLEASE tell me it's line of Shakespeare and a bottle of milk...". I guess it's possible....

Well... I for one can't believe that I've gone from never having photographed either over a period of five years to suddenly having photographed both Kim Kardashian AND Lindsay Lohan on the same night. I'm basically one Jutin Bieber away from the whole Hollywood Babble-on Unholy Trinity.

Well... I for one can't believe that I've gone from never having photographed either over a period of five years to suddenly having photographed both Kim Kardashian AND Lindsay Lohan on the same night. I'm basically one Jutin Bieber away from the whole Hollywood Babble-on Unholy Trinity.

Not only had I never photographed either KK or LL, but I'd guardedly acknowledge that both of them signed autographs in the crowd, something not that many people did. I'm not ready to join either of their fanclubs, mind you. Though a round of drinks with Lindsay could be entertaining.

Not only had I never photographed either KK or LL, but I'd guardedly acknowledge that both of them signed autographs in the crowd, something not that many people did. I'm not ready to join either of their fanclubs, mind you. Though a round of drinks with Lindsay could be entertaining.

And that? Is ... kind of the end of that.

And that? Is ... kind of the end of that.

Was it worth it? Well... yeah. Why not. I feel kind of unclean if I'm honest... yet not so unclean that I won't put this into "The Archive of Movie Premieres" which has always had an Awards section....

If you want to see "Last Year's GQ Awards This Is The Link" for that - it features, among other things, Samuel L Jackson with a moustache, Jessie J with a more demure dress, Noel Gallagher actually smiling, Michael Douglas, Tom Hiddleston and Russell Brand. Enjoy!

Until next time!