And The Winner Is...
The audience that's assembled in the plush auditorium are all a buzz. Who will be this year's is the question on everyone's mind and even some people's lips. Throughout the build-up to this evening, in the weeks proceeding, press agents and media representatives have been hard at work promoting those who they represent, resulting in one of those glorious atmospheres of artificially created anticipation.
But even the most cynical of observers admits to being hard pressed to finding an event within the past week which has generated this much excitement. It's obvious that it has struck a chord with people; people who care and people who matter. Not just the normal star gazing hoi-polloi who turn out in the hopes of catching site of anybody who they think they recognise, but the stars themselves.
Why if the rumours were true humanitarians like Celine, Leonardo, Bono, and maybe even Mel, were tuning in their televisions right now wherever they were in the world to watch the proceedings unfold. Even the politically mighty were said to be interested and would be viewing the results with anticipation. Hadn't George Bush said that he thought events like these were the future for fostering understanding and communication between nations?
Well since the event was sponsored by the State Department it was natural for the American President to throw his weight behind it, but Canadian Prime Minister Harper has also gone on record as being eagerly awaiting this "unique and innovative development in the field of international co-operation and bridge building". "Events like these", he said, "are the future for building foundations of understanding and fostering awareness between nations."
Of course those negative thinkers at Amnesty International and The United Nations have come out with the usual hand wringing. But their mutterings about trivialization and lack of sensitivity were dismissed as sour grapes for not being able to hang out with the celebrities and be in the limelight.
But none of that matters now; as the lights in the auditorium begin to dim the babble of voices from the excited crowd recedes like ebb tide and the music composed specifically for the event by Hollywood's greatest composer swells up underneath the last quiet murmurings. At this moment across the nation and around the world televisions are being turned on and a global community is formed.
The night's host swans to centre stage and his smile catches the spotlights as he approaches the microphone that rises like a cobra to a snake charmer's flute from the stage to greet him. Music and applause intermingle for just long enough for him to wave with studied casualness as he searches out the teleprompter and brings it into focus so he can read his welcoming speech.
"Thank-you, (pause for applause) Thank-you. I'd like to welcome all of you who are here in person, and also extend a welcome to the many I know who have tuned in around the world in anticipation of taking part in what can only be described as an historic undertaking" (pause for applause – smile in appreciation) Knowing that so many eyes from so many places are watching makes you really believe in the words of the song "It's A Small World After All". It also reminds us that we are not alone on this planet; no matter where we live we are only the touch of a button on a remote control away from the rest of humanity. Television is truly the great unifying bond that brings humanity together like the big family we are." (Pause for more applause and beam at audience and into the cameras)
"It's because of our human family of course that we have been brought together tonight. Like all families we sometimes have our disagreements and don't get along as well as we should. The unfortunate result of these fallings out can be seen today in many countries not blessed with the grace of democracy like we in this room. In those countries people are deprived of a voice in how their government works and some are even persecuted by the powers that are supposed to looking out for their best interests."
"Our purpose for gathering here tonight is to show them, those who are right now suffering persecution, that we in care; that we he have a HEART. (Turn to accept statuette from model who is crossing from stage left slightly behind, turn to face audience with statuette held up in both hands to left hand side at shoulder height)
"Ladies and gentlemen and citizens of the world I give you the HEART Award. (Pause for sustained applause and begin to speak before it ends) to be presented annually as a symbol of our compassion to the people who have suffered the most in the year just gone by. Each year countless people suffer the agonies of starvation, dispossession, and even watching loved ones being killed without any recognition given to their pain"
"Now no longer will you go unnoticed, no longer will you suffer and think nobody cares about what happens to you. Each year our select panel of judges will establish just who has suffered the most and they will be commemorated and immortalized forever in our minds and HEARTS by the recognition offered by this beautiful heart shaped statuette. It is our way of saying you're not alone" (pause for what should be sustained applause – use time to pull envelope out of inside jacket pocket)
"For this, the inaugural presentation of the HEART award there have been many deserving people's through out the world making our judges job especially difficult (joke) You'd think people knew there was going to be an award this year there was so much suffering, ha, ha. But our judges sifted through all the available materials and they believe they've come up with a winner who is most deserving of our pity; and the answer is right here in this envelope (hold up envelope so all can see the seal on the back)
" I never thought I'd ever get to say these words, probably four of the most famous in television history: and the winner is…