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Jameson Empire Awards 2014: As It Happened!
The red carpet arrivals to the final winner...

31 March 2014  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

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Jameson Empire Awards 2014

The most fun, irreverent and unpredictable awards show of the season is here. Voted for by you, the dedicated cinemagoers of the Empire readership, these will see some of the biggest stars in Hollywood rewarded for their efforts this year - while others go home empty-handed. And since this is our 25th birthday year, we also have a couple of very special awards to give out to the stars of our lifetime. The awards have begun, so you've already missed the red carpet arrivals and the live streamed interviews (don't worry; we'll have edits of those up later), but keep your eyes firmly fixed this way as the awards roll on.


16:16 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2014 Jameson Empire Awards. This is the finale that awards season needed, and the one it deserves. We are going to have some huge stars in the room tonight, to the extent that one false step on the way to the bar could cause the sort of collision that leads to the creation of a new pulsar. Right now, the red carpet arrivals have just begun with Armando Ianucci, nominated for Best Comedy for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and our own Kim Newman, looking as dapper and be-hatted as ever.

16:28 

Sophie Turner
Game Of Thrones' Sansa Stark, AKA Sophie Turner. We attended a season four premiere party the other night with a Q&A from Turner, where she revealed that if she could play any character other than her own, it would be Joffrey, because at least he's meant to be hated, whereas Sansa seems to be hated without much cause. Fair play really. And then we watched as [SPOILER] [SPOILERED][SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER], so that was fun.

16:58 

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson, who should give lessons on How To Have A Good Time On The Red Carpet.

16:58 

Our live stream is now in full flow, with our Chris Hewitt interviewing the likes of Richard E. Grant, Sophie Turner, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Will Poulter and George McKay so far. Elsewhere, Emma Thompson, Margot Robbie and Paul Greengrass have all arrived, driving the crowds outside completely nuts.

17:01 

OK, it's official, we can reveal that TOM ACTUAL CRUISE is here. Yes, Tom Cruise is on our carpet, signing autographs, taking pics and calling everyone's mum, as is traditional. Given that it's Mother's Day, he might be there for a while. We expect him to reach the Great Room in the early hours of tomorrow.

17:03 

Hayley Atwell
Hayley "Agent Carter" Atwell has arrived, looking what looks like some sort of extremely cool, high-fashion SHIELD produced armour.

17:07 

Margot Robbie
The Wolf Of Wall Street's Margot Robbie, looking just as foxy as a brunette as she did as a blonde there. She's sounding a lot more Australian tonight, however.

17:20 

Arnold Schwarzenegger has arrived! For those of you keeping score at home, we now have Arnie, Tom Cruise and, er, The Inbetweeners on the same red carpet - surely a first. Meanwhile, in a definite first, Brian Cox (the actor) has just been introduced to Brian Cox (the physicist) on the Empire livestream. Happily, their meeting did not produce some kind of disastrous space-time collision that wiped us all out.

17:27 

Tom Cruise
The legend that is Tom Cruise arrives at the Jameson Empire Awards. Oh, and if you fancy reading an amazing in-depth interview with the man himself, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Empire.

17:59 

Well, the live stream has finished with a bang, with an Arnold Schwarzenegger interview; but never fear, we'll post those interviews online in the future. Right now the guests are eating their starters; the awards will start as soon as those are done and then they get the rest of the dinner afterwards, assuming they have behaved and haven't heckled the winners (that's not actually a condition, but don't tell our guests that).

18:01 

It begins! The lights have gone down, the music has come up and the video is rolling. The 2014 Jameson Empire Awards are beginning. Cue an epic supercut of 2013's best films, and even the best bits of the films that were just pretty good. It's all punctuated by some pretty tasty Empire covers for good measure.

18:13 

James Nesbitt

Our host is James Nesbitt, and he is here! He's singing's his introductory speech to the tune of That's Why The Lady Is A Tramp. This is a first for the awards! Turns out that Nesbitt has a decent Sinatra-style singing voice.

"Welcome to Empire, oh my god what a sight. / It's only 6.30, but most of us are high as a kite... That's why Empire is for champs. Jackman is charming, Rosamund's dripping in bling / Wonderful Margot, my heart goes boom badda bing / Who's that old Geordie? Fuck me, it's actually Sting / That's why Empire is for champs.

We don't need Oscars - they're just for phonies and scamps / That is why Empire is for champs."

Best. Opening. Ever.

"Eric Fellner, I fuckin' told you I should have played Javert!" finishes Nesbitt. That is how you do it! We now proceed to a more traditional jokey intro.

"Better than the BAFTAs, more original than the Oscars, the Empire awards come at a better point in the awards season: the end. Which means more booze. Now I must say for our international audience who may not be familiar with me: my name is Jimmy Nesbitt and I am huge over here. I'm a drinking woman's George Clooney, if you will, if George had an Irish dentist and had made some very different lifestyle choices."

"It's only fair that you should know that I appear in one of tonight's most nominated films, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. It's been a good year for films and films from these shores. Gravity, since winning all those Oscars, has been granted Indefinitive Leave To Remain in this country."

"Looking down the guestlist tonight, I was slightly intimidated to note that Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry are here, two of the best awards show hosts this side of the Pond. Thanks Empire. It's like De Niro and Pacino watching Terry Scott play Sonny Corleone."

Now he's taking a selfie with the audience, to keep in awards hosting tradition. "I worked with the Empire Inspiration winner Paul Greengrass once in Sunday Bloody Sunday. Lovely to see you again, Paul. After 13 years. There wasn't an Irish person in anything since?"

"If you're nominated tonight, congratulations and all that but you're technically a loser unless you win. If you do win, please don't look me in the eye."

Now, on to the Awards. It's BEST COMEDY first.

18:18 

BEST COMEDY presented by Magic 105.4

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get this engine running as The Inbetweeners step onto the stage to present Best Comedy. Their second film is due out later this year you know, seeing the four tackle some particularly thorny philosophical essays as they begin their university careers reading PPE at Merton College, Oxford. JUST KIDDING. They go to Australia and all sorts of bad behaviour, bad judgment and bad luck no doubt ensues.
Anyway, they’re also presenting an award.

"There are a lot of promising new comedians up for this award tonight - Judd Apatow, Steve Coogan, Simon Pegg," says Simon Bird. "If you don't win, don't be discouraged. Keep plugging away, honing your craft."

And the winner is… Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Jameson Empire Awards 2014 Best Comedy

Steve Coogan, Armando Iannuci, Simon Greenhall, Kevin Loader and Felicity Montagu are all here to collect it.

Coogan gives a very charming speech (you'll be able to see all the speeches on the site very soon) and manages to reference the Pope while also complaining about the price of Coca Cola here and use the word "clusterfuck".

18:23 

BEST SCI-FI/FANTASY presented by MediCinema

Now most of the categories in these awards were settled by public vote, but when we asked Game Of Thrones’ Sophie Turner and Thomas Brodie-Sangster to present, they suggested that the nominees fight to the death and the prize go to whoever still had a head at the end of the process. That didn’t go over so well with the nominees though, so we went back to your votes instead. Maybe next year.

And the winner is... The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

(Turner carefully overpronounces Smaaauuug)

Jameson Empire Awards 2014 Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy - The Hobbit

Nesbitt, Armitage, Aidan Turner and Adam Brown take the stage to accept this one. Nesbitt takes a moment to compliment the evening's host on doing a terrific job. He also claims to be shocked that The Hobbit took this one. "Honestly, I had no idea about that until I saw tonight's script."

18:26 

BEST HORROR

Be afraid, be very afraid! To present this one, we have Kill List star MyAnna Buring (looking good in black and gold) and We’re The Millers star Will Poulter (also looking good, but in grey). Well, honestly, if you’ve seen something more horrific in the last year than what that tarantula did to him in that comedy, we don’t want to know.

And the winner is... The Conjuring

Director James Wan is currently still hard at work on Fast & Furious 7, so he sent a message by video. Disappointingly, he is neither menaced by a creepy doll nor surrounded by beefy drivers of fast cars as he does so.

18:30 

BEST THRILLER presented by Quaglino’s

Jamie Campbell-Bower and Stacy Martin are presenting this one. He is, of course, one of the stars of Harry Potter and more recently The Mortal Instruments. She starred as Young Joe in Nyphomaniac, which means that she officially has more balls than anyone else in the room because it takes some serious cojones to sign on for a role like that in a Lars Von Trier film.

And the winner is... The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Sadly, Sam Claflin was hoping to pick this one up, but was detained at the last minute. "He sent a message," says Nesbitt. "Dear Empire, thanks blah blah dream come true blah honoured." So that's lovely.

18:33 

BEST MALE NEWCOMER presented by Tresor Paris

Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud is presenting this, bringing a touch of pop-star glamour to the whole affair. If you're wondering, it’s similar to film-star glamour, but slightly more tuneful. But who will win? Whose career stepped up to a new level this year? No, honestly, we’re asking; you bloomin’ voted for him so you should know who won. Hang on, Harding seems to have an envelope that might hold the answer…

And the winner is... Aidan Turner, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Aidan Turner

That's Turner's second trip to the stage this evening. "I wasn't expecting this at all - Jimmy, you might need to help me, ya bollix." It's weird, but nice, to hear his natural accent.

18:34 

"A gorgeous, multitalented Irishman winning an award for The Hobbit. I couldn't be happier for him," says Nesbitt sourly. We're not sure he's really so curmudgeonly.

18:38 

BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER presented by Max Factor

Turner’s Hobbit compatriot, and fellow remarkably-tall dwarf, Richard Armitage is presenting this one. Because it’s not enough that the remarkably talented and utterly gorgeous nominees win an award here; they also get to cozy up to the world’s favourite dwarf prince / upcoming tornado-fighter. There’s no justice. He has a little pony tail at the moment; we're guessing that's for a role rather than a commitment to mullets. Anyway, who will take this one?

And the winner is... Margot Robbie, The Wolf Of Wall Street

She's flustered, taken aback and claims that this is the first award she's ever won. We suspect it won't be the last.

"Margot Robbie, holy shitballs!" exclaims Nesbitt. She is just a bit stunning.

18:42 

DONE IN 60 SECONDS

Every year, Empire asks readers to remake their favourite films in much shortened form; in no more than one minute, to be precise. And every year, you blow us away with the demented, hilarious, brilliant solutions you come up with when trying to fit an entire film into sixty seconds. This round was no exception – and this year's jurors Edith Bowman, Alex Zane and Ben Wheatley are here to explain just who won and why…

The winner is There Will Be Blood, and winner David Smith is here.

"Very surreal!" is his understandable opening. "I hope Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't see this."

18:53 

EMPIRE INSPIRATION presented by Mazda

Brian Cox – the actor, not the physicist – is presenting this one, which is a tiny clue to the recipient. But then again, Brian Cox has worked with practically everyone so it probably doesn’t help you much. However, if we tell you that he worked with this director (for it is a director) more than once, that might be more of a clue. Over to Cox…

Cox: "He regularly does the impossible, the unheard of, what we are told Hollywood never does. He makes intelligent commercial blockbusters, films that are global in scope but heartbreaking in their intimacy. The true measure of the man can be seen in how he handled himself and adjusted himself in the Hollywood system. Our man is a genius in pulling a group of competing writers together to make a cohesive whole. In his first Hollywood film, he made one of the best car chases ever - and that was the opening of the shoot, a calling card. He untethers his camera, throws the audience into chaos, and you feel every punch, every crunch of metal. You feel exhausted, but exhiliarated. He treats his viewers like adults. And he has really, really wonderful hair."

This year's Empire Inspiration is Paul Greengrass

Paul Greengrass

Greengrass, whose hair really is quite lustrous, bear-hugs Cox before taking the mic to pay tribute to his crews and actors. Inspirational indeed. At least until he takes a moment to take the mick out of Jimmy Nesbitt instead.

19:01 

EMPIRE HERO

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a bit of a surprise presenter now. He didn’t walk the red carpet, probably because he knew that he’d get nothing but questions about a certain sci-fi franchise – or heck, any of several sci-fi franchises – but J.J. Abrams is here to present the Empire Hero award to someone he’s worked with closely in the past. But who could it be? Let’s see what he will reveal from his mystery box…

"I love Empire magazine; I could not be a bigger fan - or, as it turns out, a bigger kiss-ass. I am here to present this award to someone who has no idea he's getting it. Who could it be? The first person who comes to mind is Tom Cruise, but giving a hero award to Tom Cruise is like giving a toy to Santa Claus. So let's give the award to the second-best person here! This is a comedian, an actor, a writer who makes it all look so easy. It was after seeing him in Shaun Of The Dead that I found myself calling Simon Pegg to beg him to appear in Mission: Impossible III opposite the man who should be winning this award tonight. From playing Shaun to the most iconic Star Wars character ever - and I refer of course to the Clone Wars character Dengar - he is in Empire's DNA. He makes any movie - any room - he's in a warmer and funnier place."

Yes, this year's Empire Hero is... Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

Pegg takes the stage as Tom Cruise leads the standing ovation. Given that Pegg claims to be "needy" for validation, we suspect that tonight should help. He thanks "Nick Frost, my fuckin' husband" and claims that it's just all the great people he works with who make him look good. He also chides J.J. for lying to him about whether they'd see each other tonight. "You said you were in Paris!"

19:04 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR presented by The National Lottery

These two Supporting categories are new for this year, just because there's so much great work in supporting roles that we felt we were missing out. Celia Imrie, fresh back from shooting The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 in India and wearing an utterly fabulous gold coat, is presenting this award – but to us, she’ll always be Fighter Pilot Bravo 5 in The Phantom Menace.

"Thanks Empire, because I'm hoping to be able to kiss one of these gorgeous nominees when they win," says Imrie.

The winner is... Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave

Fassbender can't be here because he's working out of the country on something that requires a big ginger beard, but he sent his thanks. "You'll have to make do with snogging me, Celia," says Nesbitt.

19:08 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Richard E. Grant, a former presenter of the Empire Awards, is presenting this and looking dapper doing it. Then again, given that he’s recently been appearing in Downton Abbey, we’re a little surprised he’s not wearing tails and a top hat. Fun fact: the former Withnail has recently turned perfumier and has an apparently fab new scent on sale at Libertys. He's also hoping to snog the winner, so he claims. It's all gone a bit Adrien Brody around here, hasn't it?

The winner is... Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Sally Hawkins

"I'm happy to give you a snog, Richard!" laughs Hawkins. She's in heels so high they probably need a planning permit. She gives a very sweet speech, and is the first to say Happy Mother's Day, so she should get brownie points from her mum for that.

19:19 

THE ACTION HERO OF OUR LIFETIME

Jonathan Ross is presenting the next award, The Action Hero Of Our Lifetime. Bet you can guess who is going to win this one just from the guest list. Ross takes a moment to salute Nesbitt, presumably to put his mind at ease, and to admire the size of his balls in opening the show with a song.

But on to the intro! "If the winner of this award had only made two of the films on this list, if he'd just made the first two Terminators, that would be enough." He lists the rest anyway, and wishes we'd seen more of the birth scene in Junior - perhaps alone in all the world.

In any case, The Action Hero Of Our Lifetime is, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Jameson Empire Awards 2014 Action Hero Of Our Lifetime

Once again, Cruise was the first on his feet with the standing ovation as Schwarzenegger makes his way to the stage. The former Governator has to wait for a moment for the whooping to die down. "Thanks for the introduction, Jonathan; that's just the way I wrote it." The Austrian Oak also gives us his guide to life: work your butt off, and never listen to the naysayers. "Never take no for an answer, that is the bottom line."

This may be the funniest speech of the evening so far. Worth watching in full, people!

19:25 

BEST DIRECTOR presented by Air New Zealand

Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth, onscreens this week coming as Russell Crowe’s sons in Noah, are presenting the next award. If they can survive the end of the world in the company of Australia’s most fearsome export, we have no doubt that he can handle the pressure of presenting an award in a room full of A-listers.

"How do we follow that?" asks Booth, of Schwarzenegger's speech. "Anyway, Best Director. The talent in this category is ridiculous; we would be happy to work with any of you."

"Two-for-one offer," profers Lerman. "On the table tonight!"

The winner of this is... Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Cuarón can't be here tonight as he is producing Jonas Cuarón's new movie, so he sent his thanks by video - even though he's been living and working here in London for 13 years now. He thanks all his British collaborators, as well as Sandra Bullock.

"This movie took over four and a half years to make, and the only thing we had in common over these four years was that in every single pre- and post-production place, there was always a copy of Empire. I'm so pleased that Gravity has been appreciated by genuine film fans."

19:30 

BEST BRITISH FILM

Mark Gatiss has a hand in so much of the best drama and comedy to come out of the UK in the past few years that we suspect he has the sort of giant brain that makes his role as Mycroft Holmes basically typecasting. Today, however, he’s going to be tested to the limit as he presents Best British Film – or not. Anyway, how about those nominees, Gatiss? Tell us more.

"For the first time in a generation, British film can take its rightful place in... fuck it, here are the nominees," says Gatiss, giving up on the usual speech extolling the greatness of British film.

This one goes to... The World’s End

The World's End

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nira Park, Eric Fellner, Michael Smiley, the real Nick Angel, Steve Price, Rosamund Pike and more take the stage, but it's Wright who takes the mic. It's almost ten years to the day since Shaun Of The Dead premiered in London, so it's a lovely end to the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.

19:40 

EMPIRE ICON presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey

Darren Aronofsky worked with the winner of this prize, and has taken time out from his duties launching Noah to come along and anoint his old collaborator an Icon. He’s sporting a buzzcut that we like to think was inspired by Russell Crowe’s mid-flood look in the film. Come to think of it, it's also a clue to this winner's look when they worked together.

Aronofsky: "I first met Hugh backstage at a performance of The Boy From Oz, after a 15 minute standing ovation that would shake the humility of the Dalai Lama. I met the kindest and most genuine man I've ever known. That's the real reason he's an icon - but he's also a great leading man. He's spent 14 years as Wolverine without a single call to recast - unique in the superhero universe. He can also dance, sing and be a leading man for Woody Allen or Christopher Nolan."

This year's Empire Icon is... Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Another standing ovation, another round of hugging onstage. "Please, sit!" are his first words. "Getting an award with the word icon in it in a room with Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emma Thompson and the rest in it is RIDICULOUS."

He really is that modest. "This is a huge surprise. I really thought this would happen a lot earlier." Oh. Maybe not. "Thanks Empire for putting that clip reel together - about a minute and a half of action and very little dialogue. It's like my wedding night."

All this, and he's hilarious. Maybe the modesty and kindness is a survival mechanism because otherwise we'd have to kill him.

19:47 

JAMESON BEST ACTOR

The gorgeous Kate Beckinsale is presenting Best Actor this year, on a break from filming Absolutely Anything with Simon Pegg. We wonder if she’ll manage to find some time after her presenting gig to talk to Arnold Schwarzenegger about their respective versions of Total Recall? Anyway, what about the nominees?

Says Beckinsale, "I've been to American awards but never the Empire awards. I was so excited - someone was moved along outside for actually wanking! That never happens at American awards."

And the winner is... James McAvoy, Filth

Kate Beckinsale and James McAvoy

There's quite a lot of screaming in the room when McAvoy wins, and he takes a moment to put his jacket on (Bartlett-style, incidentally) before leaping onstage. We're not sure he was expecting that win.

"You're faced with a quandary when you're nominated for an award; do you come up with a speech or not? I've opted not, but I love you all."

Unsurprisingly he also thanks Jameson, because he seems a wee bit tipsy already. He's making the entire room take a drink before he gets offstage. "Thanks very much and get on ye!"

McAvoy always gives amusing speeches. Give him more awards, world!

19:48 

"Jesus, I'm glad he didn't actually write a speech," says Nesbitt.

19:55 

BEST ACTRESS presented by Max Factor

Stephen Fry presented the whole of the BAFTAs, but we don’t believe in overloading the poor man; we just asked him to present a single award. You might be thinking that his presence is a clue to who’s won, and you might well be right; let’s see if the winner is someone he is known to hang out with…

Fry: "Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. There was a panic over whether I'd get here in time. I have the thrill of playing the British Prime Minister in 24. Would you like a spoiler? Jack Bauer kicks ass! I'm like a pig in chardonnay."

This one goes to... "The genius of our age", says Fry, Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Jameson Empire Awards 2014 Best Actress Emma Thompson

She's as giggly and hilarious as ever. We're not sure this is all even printable, although she somehow gets away with calling James Nesbitt a "singing sex god". "When I first read Empire it was printed on papyrus, more or less. I went to the first awards and it was in a pub."

This is another one to watch in full, probably on repeat, especially for a tribute to her gorgeous husband Greg Wise and his penchant for nipple adjustment and animal noises.

20:00 

BEST FILM presented by Sky Movies

We’ve had one Brian Cox presenting an award already, but why have one when you could have two? Professor Brian Cox ("usually to be found on an Icelandic volcano or in the Gobi desert, contemplating the univese") is here to raise the average IQ several points, and also present Best Film of the year. Hmm, a professor of quantum physics – is he going to explain how the dragon works in The Hobbit?

First, the Professor gets a screaming welcome from what sounds like an army of fans in the audience, then the stage is invaded by the actor Brian Cox to offer his official seal of approval.

"Fittingly, on the 99th anniversary of the publication of Einstein's Theory of Relativity" says Professor Cox, the winner is... Gravity

Since Cuarón still isn't here, effects artist Neil Courbould is here in his stead to collect, and modestly notes that Cuarón would probably want to thank him.

20:12 

EMPIRE 25th AWARD

Rosamund Pike presents the next award, which must be a welcome bit of comic relief after shooting the dark thriller Gone Girl for David Fincher. This is a special award for our 25th birthday, and it goes to Pike’s co-star in Jack Reacher. Over to her for a little more…

"First I have to thank all the ladies in the room: I left three rings that aren't mine in the bathroom and none of you took them, so thank you for that. It seems unnecessary of me to say anything about this man, since he is the movie star of the last 25 years. You could ask anyone to name one of his films, and everyone would have a different answer and each would be a film that means something to them. He's an action hero, a comedy star, a romantic lead. This man can literally stop traffic. We landed in Korea, and in rush-hour traffic we managed to get through a mile-long bridge during complete gridlock in about five minutes. He's a legend of some sort! This man has graced Empire covers probably 13 times. No one has dominated the movie landscape quite like him. He rose to prominence in 1983, sliding across a wooden floor without getting any splinters. He's good-looking, he's blindingly charismatic, he's very nice, he has the skill and daring of the greatest character actor. He seems able to do anything without ego and without trepidation. I don't really need to go on, do I?"

The Legend Of Our Lifetime is... Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Well obviously it is. This is the first ovation of the night that Cruise hasn't led, and it follows the sort of clips reel that reminds you just how many of this guy's films rock, and rock hard.

Continuing this evening's theme of humility and nice guys finishing first, his speech is a classy affair expressing thanks for all his good fortune and to all his collaborators. If "it takes a village to make a movie" as he claims, he is determined to pay tribute to the villagers, and acknowledge how lucky he is to,er, live in so many villages? We may be stretching his metaphor.

"It's an extremely talented room here tonight; my hats off to you for all you've achieved, and I look forward to what you're going to achieve in the future."

"Empire, I hope to get the invite back for the 50th."

Consider it sent!

20:14 

"As we say in Northern Ireland, what a ride! He's so good-looking, especially when he was saying nice things about me," says Nesbitt of the departing Cruise.

And that's it! Thanks to all our guests, our sponsors and all of you for voting for this year's winners. We'll have all the speeches and interviews online asap - but right now, we're off to join the party.


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