A dazzling evening at one of TV’s big nights of the year.
That was mainly down to the blizzard of camera flashes in the backstage press room.
“I can’t see now,” protested Corrie’s Kym Ryder, as she faced the massed ranks of photographers.
The actress, who plays Rovers barmaid Michelle Connor, was beaming after being voted Most Popular Newcomer.
And she had to beam a whole lot more after coming off stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
No wonder she turned away from the snapper in this pic.
It works like this:
Star wins an award. Star is escorted to the press room, along with the person who handed over their gong.
Star then climbs on small stage while grown men standing on chairs attempt to break the world record for most pictures taken in 60 seconds.
Snappers try to extend the ordeal by flashlight for as long as possible.
As the seconds elapse, there are increasingly urgent cries of: “To the right” / “In the middle” / “Left, left, left” / “Kym, Kym, Kym” / “Get off my foot.”
They then retire to quickly download and file their pics as deadlines loom, before returning minutes later for the next victim.
Once the star of the moment is all flashed out, it’s the turn of “the writers” to pose a few well-chosen questions.
I’m not sure I qualify as a “writer” – but I asked Kym some questions anyway.
She confirmed that the woman she hugged in her moment of victory was her mum Pauline.
“My mum and dad have always been so supportive of me, right from day one.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do the whole Popstars experience.”
And finally regaining her vision, she told me: “We will be celebrating tonight.”
As you can see, the questioning can get pretty incisive.
One member of the media, who shall remain nameless, insisted on asking every winner: “How do you feel?”
It’s something she never got to ask the rest of the Coronation Street cast.
That’s because, aside from Kym, they again left empty-handed.
No win – no ordeal by flashlight.
As feared, overall it was another disappointing night for Weatherfield.
Life On Mars also – all too predictably – lost out.
Phil Glenister (Gene Hunt) did get his hands on a National TV Award.
But, rather cruelly, he was sent on stage to pick it up on behalf of the absent Catherine Tate.
There was plenty of backstage gossip from, among others, the stars of Doctor Who, The X Factor and Top Gear.
More of that later today.
And rest assured – as ever, there was a complete absence of any glitz or glamour in the press room.
It was the usual mix of tables crammed with laptops, organised chaos and a curled up sandwich before midnight.
Click here for the online version of today’s MEN coverage, with photo gallery.
Did you agree with last night’s winners and losers?
I’d be interested to read your views – leave a comment below.
It’s painless. And I promise – no flash photography.
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