The King Speaks - Behind The Scenes At The BAFTAs
I've been to the BAFTAs a couple of times. Walking up the red carpet and having no-one take your photo or shout your name is officially the most embarrassing thing in the world. Actually, scrub that. Getting in the way of Catherine Zeta-Jones having her photos taken by the paps on the is officially the most embarrassing thing in the world. Both have happened to me.
But get past the flashbulbs and camera crews and find yourself inside the actual event (this year the Royal Opera House) and all of a sudden you're an equal. Reese Witherspoon sits her million dollar butt on the same seats as everyone else. Meryl Streep has a free packet of Minstrels on her seat just like the rest of the audience. Even leg-end Morgan Freeman will empty his wise old sage bladder in the same urinals as every other fella in the building.
Of course there is one major difference. These A-listers have been primped and preened to within an inch of their lives. The grooming will begin hours before they set a foot in front of the cameras, countless outfits discussed, make-up palettes debated and hairstyles workshopped. And that's just John Travolta. The stars and the chancers may all be eating the same goat's cheese and beetroot salad starter at the after-party but it's the botox fillers that really separate the haves from the have-nots.
So the official BAFTAs end and the private parties begin. Films and film companies host their own events (I've got a ticket this year to The Hurt Locker party - how much fun is a party for a film about a bomb disposal team gonna be?) but the famous rarely stay out late and get lagered up. That's another way to spot the real stars. For some of us, it's overwhelming to be at an event like the BAFTAs and we want to milk every last second of it. For the big names though, they've been to plenty of these things before. A few photos, a couple of handshakes and a sip of champers then it's off to the private jet and the next awards ceremony.