My top tips for the Oscar nominees...

Viola Davis at the BAFTAs last week.
Viola Davis at the BAFTAs last week.
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

It’s award season and, having recently watched the Baftas on TV, I’d like to think I’m now a bit of an armchair expert. We have the Oscars coming up on Sunday and I really do think potential recipients of the coveted figurine should take heed of my handy tips.

Think carefully about your outfit. Ladies, it’s likely a fancy fashion house will lend you a frock anyway but make sure you are comfortable wearing it. There was an issue with strapless dresses at the Baftas: I noticed an awful lot of bosom-hoisting going on.

I was also puzzled as to why women felt the need to pick up the train of their evening dresses. Walk proudly and let it skim the floor. The dress will be returned the following day and a bit of fluff on the hem won’t be a problem.

Men standing at the podium need to make sure their dinner jackets fit properly. It’s no good trying to fasten it for the first time in front of the camera before realising it doesn’t quite reach.

If Stephen Fry, at 6’5”, can stand up straight and still be heard, there is no need for you to bend over and practically eat the microphone. For heaven’s sake, you people are in the film industry; this is something you should know about.

What’s with all the 
lectern-thumping? You can get your message across, and your big list of thank-yous, without resorting to slapping your hands down to accentuate every point.

If there is a chance you might win something – being nominated is usually a big clue – it wouldn’t kill you to have something prepared. Do what Prince William did and write it on a piece of paper. If you practise your speech you might also remember everyone’s names. Think of it like a script and learn it, like you would in your day job.

As a winner, this is your chance to say something very meaningful. In years to come, will you look back at your big moment and cringe or will you be proud of your utterances? Be like Ken Loach and wow the audience with a short, targeted, memorable speech.

Waiting for your name to be called and conscious there’s a camera two inches away from your chin? You’ll need to rehearse your losers’ face. This involves smiling through gritted teeth plus earnest clapping. Turning to your neighbour to mouth the words, “yes, very well
deserved” is also worth a try.

If your film wins an award, decide in advance how many of you are going to pick up the award. Does it really require the whole cast to come up on stage? If you do all want your faces on the telly, be quick about it. Don’t queue up to air kiss the presenters and please, just one of you make a speech.

I shall be watching on Sunday to see if Trish’s top tips for the Oscar nominees are being heeded. Good luck!