The 2015 GQ Awards, Royal Opera House

September 8th, 2015

Every year I try to go to the GQ Awards because they're kind of a more random version of the BAFTAs - what they lack in the creme de la creme of the Movie Industry, they make up for with weirdness like authors and sportspeople and musicians and politicans and philanthropists AND movie industry people. And it's not usually held in sub-zero conditions in the darkness of late winter.

This year wasn't my favourite of years, but it was okay. Here's how it went down:

The list of (likely) attendees contains some interesting names, but unlike last year there are no stars from the TV Series Sherlock or Dr Who, not as many high-calibre actors, and not even as many crazily random people. And yes, Elton John was on the list... but he went in via the back entrance.. Which I'm only realising now might be construed as a lame joke. But believe me, I'm too tired to make jokes right now, lame or otherwise.

The list of (likely) attendees contains some interesting names, but unlike last year there are no stars from the TV Series Sherlock or Dr Who, not as many high-calibre actors, and not even as many crazily random people. And yes, Elton John was on the list... but he went in via the back entrance.. Which I'm only realising now might be construed as a lame joke. But believe me, I'm too tired to make jokes right now, lame or otherwise.

"OMG! Is that Chris O'Dowd??" - not unless you can see about twenty minutes into the future, dude.

"OMG! Is that Chris O'Dowd??" - not unless you can see about twenty minutes into the future, dude.

OMG - that's Chris O'Dowd. (He's an actor, probably best known for being in the rather awesome Brendan Gleeson movie 'Calvary', but he was Natalie Portman's character's (brief) boyfriend in Thor The Dark World). Also, I think his suit is more and better ironed that his shirt, which is great.

OMG - that's Chris O'Dowd. (He's an actor, probably best known for being in the rather awesome Brendan Gleeson movie 'Calvary', but he was Natalie Portman's character's (brief) boyfriend in Thor The Dark World). Also, I think his suit is more and better ironed that his shirt, which is great.

I don't know who this is. And I'm not feeling particularly motivated to find out. I mean... I love the bow tie, don't mind the silk handkerchief, and have no idea what the thing he's got in his buttonhole is. Trapped moth, maybe? Is that a thing in fashion now?

I don't know who this is. And I'm not feeling particularly motivated to find out. I mean... I love the bow tie, don't mind the silk handkerchief, and have no idea what the thing he's got in his buttonhole is. Trapped moth, maybe? Is that a thing in fashion now?

Singer Pixie Lott and I may (or may not) have made a connection as she walks directly towards me. I'm no fashion expert, but I quite like the vaguely Greek/Egyptian motif on her dress... and I'm not really looking at the dress all that much.

Singer Pixie Lott and I may (or may not) have made a connection as she walks directly towards me. I'm no fashion expert, but I quite like the vaguely Greek/Egyptian motif on her dress... and I'm not really looking at the dress all that much.

"This man is going to be following half a step behind me everywhere. I've got a sort of a Ganesh thing I'm trying". Before today, I'd have struggled to tell you who 'Sam Smith' is and why he's famous... but as at today he's been announced as the person who'll be singing the theme for the upcoming James Bond movie 'SPECTRE... which is pretty cool. As is, I suppose, paying a guy to walk behind you for some kind of Ganesh-effect thing.

"This man is going to be following half a step behind me everywhere. I've got a sort of a Ganesh thing I'm trying". Before today, I'd have struggled to tell you who 'Sam Smith' is and why he's famous... but as at today he's been announced as the person who'll be singing the theme for the upcoming James Bond movie 'SPECTRE... which is pretty cool. As is, I suppose, paying a guy to walk behind you for some kind of Ganesh-effect thing.

Sam Smith won the 'insert name of corporate sponsor Solo Artist'   "award" on the night. Because while it's nice to get an award that represents the respect of your peers, when a vodka company says you're a decent singer it means MORE somehow.

Sam Smith won the 'insert name of corporate sponsor Solo Artist'   "award" on the night. Because while it's nice to get an award that represents the respect of your peers, when a vodka company says you're a decent singer it means MORE somehow.

"Aren't you glad I remembered it wasn't a jeans-and-t-shirt event?" English cricketer Chris Broad won the award for 'Outstanding Achievement' on the night. Whether it was for the cricket or the dress code adherence... I don't know.

"Aren't you glad I remembered it wasn't a jeans-and-t-shirt event?" English cricketer Chris Broad won the award for 'Outstanding Achievement' on the night. Whether it was for the cricket or the dress code adherence... I don't know.

Good news : while I try to formulate an articulate concept of who or what Sam Smith represents, an old guy shows up to distract me. I don't know who he is, but the silvery hair is fantastic, Sir.

Good news : while I try to formulate an articulate concept of who or what Sam Smith represents, an old guy shows up to distract me. I don't know who he is, but the silvery hair is fantastic, Sir.

Our first BIG arrival is actor Samuel L Jackson. I like to think he shows up every year without an invitation, and is just so intimidating they just let him in before he starts putting on a black eye-patch and shooting missiles at planes.

Our first BIG arrival is actor Samuel L Jackson. I like to think he shows up every year without an invitation, and is just so intimidating they just let him in before he starts putting on a black eye-patch and shooting missiles at planes.

"Wait... you broke into an art gallery, removed it from the wall, snuck out with it ... and now you want me to sign it?"

"Wait... you broke into an art gallery, removed it from the wall, snuck out with it ... and now you want me to sign it?"

"Last Tuesday? Hell... I've got a tight alibi for last Tuesday, sure I'll sign!"

"Last Tuesday? Hell... I've got a tight alibi for last Tuesday, sure I'll sign!"

The latent child-of-the-80s in me kind of thrills to see this man : he's Georgio Moroder, best known for singing the number one hit "Electric Dreams" (in my mind) but he also composed the score for 'The Neverending Story' . He won the "Inspiration" award on the night... so... you know GQ have their finger on the musical pulse about as much I do. What next.... Blur to win the price for "Band" about 20 years after they were relevant? edited to add : Blur was given the award for 'Band' on the night.

The latent child-of-the-80s in me kind of thrills to see this man : he's Georgio Moroder, best known for singing the number one hit "Electric Dreams" (in my mind) but he also composed the score for 'The Neverending Story' . He won the "Inspiration" award on the night... so... you know GQ have their finger on the musical pulse about as much I do. What next.... Blur to win the price for "Band" about 20 years after they were relevant?

edited to add : Blur was given the award for 'Band' on the night.

Turns out this young rapper/DJ is actually two-time Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton... He won the "Sportsman" award on the night, which is certainly slightly less of a surprise than his neck tattoo(s)

Turns out this young rapper/DJ is actually two-time Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton... He won the "Sportsman" award on the night, which is certainly slightly less of a surprise than his neck tattoo(s)

David Gandry is apparently some kind of male model. I guess the slightly askance bow-tie look is the crucial clue as to his fashion credentials? Whatever it is, he won the 'award' for 'Insert Name Of Sponsor Most stylish man' on the night.

David Gandry is apparently some kind of male model. I guess the slightly askance bow-tie look is the crucial clue as to his fashion credentials? Whatever it is, he won the 'award' for 'Insert Name Of Sponsor Most stylish man' on the night.

"You can't just get anyone to tousle your hair and have it look as great as this" actor Sam Claflin is best known for his roles in (and memorable facial expressions at the premieres of) The Hunger Games films, Love Rosie and The Quiet Ones

"You can't just get anyone to tousle your hair and have it look as great as this" actor Sam Claflin is best known for his roles in (and memorable facial expressions at the premieres of) The Hunger Games films, Love Rosie and The Quiet Ones

"I'm not signing anything, but hopefully a wide cheesy grin will do?" Rolling Stone Keith Richards arrives to loud cheers. I last photographed him either at a past GQ Awards or the premiere of the Rolling Stones film "Crossfire Hurricane" back in 2012, and after many fine years of attending, the GQ Academy honoured him with the 'Legend' "award" on the night.

"I'm not signing anything, but hopefully a wide cheesy grin will do?" Rolling Stone Keith Richards arrives to loud cheers. I last photographed him either at a past GQ Awards or the premiere of the Rolling Stones film "Crossfire Hurricane" back in 2012, and after many fine years of attending, the GQ Academy honoured him with the 'Legend' "award" on the night.

Jose Mourinho is the current (and also simultaneously) former Manager of premier league club Chelsea, which is possible if you think about it four-dimensionally. He won the 'award' for 'Editors Special' which sounds even more like 'name of award we just made up' than the other awards.

Jose Mourinho is the current (and also simultaneously) former Manager of premier league club Chelsea, which is possible if you think about it four-dimensionally. He won the 'award' for 'Editors Special' which sounds even more like 'name of award we just made up' than the other awards.

I don't know who this is, but the purple suit certainly makes the 'style' beanie I'm wearing at this event look a little less awesome. Well played, neatly-trimmed-stubble-dude.

I don't know who this is, but the purple suit certainly makes the 'style' beanie I'm wearing at this event look a little less awesome. Well played, neatly-trimmed-stubble-dude.

I don't know who this is either, but in contrast to neatly-trimmed-stubble-dude above, I'd actually be much more interested in finding out who she is, how currently single she is, and just exactly what the minimal cool factor she'd require in a boyfriend might be.

I don't know who this is either, but in contrast to neatly-trimmed-stubble-dude above, I'd actually be much more interested in finding out who she is, how currently single she is, and just exactly what the minimal cool factor she'd require in a boyfriend might be.

I heard people shouting out 'Gabrielle', but much as I can maintain a cool suave demeanour among glamorous people, I don't automatically assume I can get by on a first-name basis with people I've not quite just nearly met.

I heard people shouting out 'Gabrielle', but much as I can maintain a cool suave demeanour among glamorous people, I don't automatically assume I can get by on a first-name basis with people I've not quite just nearly met.

Inasmuch as I don't want to risk my burgeoning relationship with... uh... 'gabrielle?' above, I've been momentarily distracted by somebody I've never photographed who I do recognise : Emilia Clarke is best known for playing Danaerys in Game of Thrones. And to think, it's only been a short while since I photographed her very own 'Lord Friendzone' at the Bad Education Premiere

Inasmuch as I don't want to risk my burgeoning relationship with... uh... 'gabrielle?' above, I've been momentarily distracted by somebody I've never photographed who I do recognise : Emilia Clarke is best known for playing Danaerys in Game of Thrones. And to think, it's only been a short while since I photographed her very own 'Lord Friendzone' at the Bad Education Premiere

Why yes, I feel it is necessary to take a second photo of Emilia Clarke exiting a car at this event. She won the 'award' for 'Woman' on the night and, yes, certainly, she meets the criteria for that..

Why yes, I feel it is necessary to take a second photo of Emilia Clarke exiting a car at this event. She won the 'award' for 'Woman' on the night and, yes, certainly, she meets the criteria for that..

Emilia Clarke was also Sarah Connor in the critically panned Termynytr Gynysys movie released earlier this year. But near as I can tell, most people don't blame her for how bad the plot, script and concept was. Plus, this is a REALLY nice dress she's looking great wearing, so ease off, people.

Emilia Clarke was also Sarah Connor in the critically panned Termynytr Gynysys movie released earlier this year. But near as I can tell, most people don't blame her for how bad the plot, script and concept was. Plus, this is a REALLY nice dress she's looking great wearing, so ease off, people.

I last photographed Paul Rudd at the premiere of Disney's (or 'Marvel's') "Ant-Man" a few months back. He looks.... taller since then.

I last photographed Paul Rudd at the premiere of Disney's (or 'Marvel's') "Ant-Man" a few months back. He looks.... taller since then.

"Every time I lean in to look at something more closely, somebody takes a photo and makes a comment about ants" . Paul Rudd won the 'leading man' 'award' on the night... which might surprise anyone who's watched Ant-Man and would suggest Evangeline was tougher.... or if you've ever met Jason Statham.

"Every time I lean in to look at something more closely, somebody takes a photo and makes a comment about ants" . Paul Rudd won the 'leading man' 'award' on the night... which might surprise anyone who's watched Ant-Man and would suggest Evangeline was tougher.... or if you've ever met Jason Statham.

"If you won't give me a standing ovation, people, who's to say I can't give myself one?" Jack O'Connell was in the Angelina Jolie-directed movie "Unbroken" last year, and also the highly-regarded '71'. He won the 'insert name of ludicrous fashion label that rebrands mobile phones and sells them for a 7000% markup on retail in exchange for tacky gold plating Breakthrough Actor' on the night.

"If you won't give me a standing ovation, people, who's to say I can't give myself one?" Jack O'Connell was in the Angelina Jolie-directed movie "Unbroken" last year, and also the highly-regarded '71'. He won the 'insert name of ludicrous fashion label that rebrands mobile phones and sells them for a 7000% markup on retail in exchange for tacky gold plating Breakthrough Actor' on the night.

"Best Valentines Day movie experience ever, am I right?" Chiwetel Ejiofor won a Bafta and received an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor for "12 Years A Slave" ... and yes, I watched that movie with a friend on Valentines Day back in 2014.

"Best Valentines Day movie experience ever, am I right?" Chiwetel Ejiofor won a Bafta and received an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor for "12 Years A Slave" ... and yes, I watched that movie with a friend on Valentines Day back in 2014.

"It's a great film, but for a Valentines Day movie? I'd go with '2012' or 'Children of Men' or something". Some peoples filmography doesn't scream rom-com

"It's a great film, but for a Valentines Day movie? I'd go with '2012' or 'Children of Men' or something". Some peoples filmography doesn't scream rom-com

I don't know who this is, but if they're doing live-action biopics of either KFC's Colonel Sanders or The Monopoly Guy... this dude would be looking like a front-runner in both.

I don't know who this is, but if they're doing live-action biopics of either KFC's Colonel Sanders or The Monopoly Guy... this dude would be looking like a front-runner in both.

Once again... no idea who he is, but the wonderful world of GQ Awards encompasses many varied and ambiguous nominations for 'legend' and 'inspiration' and 'guy we invited who's got an ace hairstyle'.. so don't write him off just yet.

Once again... no idea who he is, but the wonderful world of GQ Awards encompasses many varied and ambiguous nominations for 'legend' and 'inspiration' and 'guy we invited who's got an ace hairstyle'.. so don't write him off just yet.

Get your 'Hello' memes ready and bask in the retro awesomeness of 'Dancin' on the Ceiling'... it's LIONEL RICHIE!! Sadly, he didn't wave in our direction... but he's cool enough that I'll make do with a profile shot. GQ agrees (thank goodness!) - they gave him the "Icon" "Award" on the night.

Get your 'Hello' memes ready and bask in the retro awesomeness of 'Dancin' on the Ceiling'... it's LIONEL RICHIE!! Sadly, he didn't wave in our direction... but he's cool enough that I'll make do with a profile shot. GQ agrees (thank goodness!) - they gave him the "Icon" "Award" on the night.

Two-time Academy Awards winner Christoph Waltz is not only the bad guy in the upcoming James Bond movie 'SPECTRE', but he's the guy who gives me personally a Kevin Bacon score of 3. Sadly I'm not on imdb.com.... and he won the 'Actor' award for the evening. Because two Academy Awards are one thing... it's when GQ says that you've made it that it REALLY counts.

Two-time Academy Awards winner Christoph Waltz is not only the bad guy in the upcoming James Bond movie 'SPECTRE', but he's the guy who gives me personally a Kevin Bacon score of 3. Sadly I'm not on imdb.com.... and he won the 'Actor' award for the evening. Because two Academy Awards are one thing... it's when GQ says that you've made it that it REALLY counts.

The word 'yellow' floats through my mind, looking for something to connect with... before I recognise her as Naomie Harris, the current Miss Moneypenny in James Bond films. The upcoming premiere for SPECTRE has been announced for late October, but I'm already in pre-emptive mourning for the almost certainly that I won't be able to randomly get a great spot at that premiere like I did at the premiere for SKYFALL back in 2012

The word 'yellow' floats through my mind, looking for something to connect with... before I recognise her as Naomie Harris, the current Miss Moneypenny in James Bond films. The upcoming premiere for SPECTRE has been announced for late October, but I'm already in pre-emptive mourning for the almost certainly that I won't be able to randomly get a great spot at that premiere like I did at the premiere for SKYFALL back in 2012

Much as I'm going to miss daylight events as we head into October... I will welcome back Neat Flash Effects from Nighttime Paparazzi photography (and that's not something many people can claim)

Much as I'm going to miss daylight events as we head into October... I will welcome back Neat Flash Effects from Nighttime Paparazzi photography (and that's not something many people can claim)

"Hi... my name is... uh..." Oh, damnit. Not again. I'm usually so cool behind the anonymity of a DSLR.

"Hi... my name is... uh..." Oh, damnit. Not again. I'm usually so cool behind the anonymity of a DSLR.

A second Rolling Stone strolls up, and in contrast to Keith, Ronnie Wood did sign a few autographs, albeit for undeserving 'fans' who'd cheerfully leverage their own relatives' kidneys or trample into a disabled pen for his signature.

A second Rolling Stone strolls up, and in contrast to Keith, Ronnie Wood did sign a few autographs, albeit for undeserving 'fans' who'd cheerfully leverage their own relatives' kidneys or trample into a disabled pen for his signature.

"Sure, I'll sign this on behalf of Keith and Mick as well.... but truth be told I forget the name of the other guy in the band"  meanwhile, is it just me or have Ronny Wood's girlfriends crossed the threshold from 'young enough to be his grand-daughter' to 'young enough to be his GREAT-grand-daughter'??.

"Sure, I'll sign this on behalf of Keith and Mick as well.... but truth be told I forget the name of the other guy in the band"  meanwhile, is it just me or have Ronny Wood's girlfriends crossed the threshold from 'young enough to be his grand-daughter' to 'young enough to be his GREAT-grand-daughter'??.

Ronan Keating is a late arrival, and unlike last year's GQs where last to arrive was Lindsay Lohan, he cuts a much less controversial (or feminine-attired) persona.

Ronan Keating is a late arrival, and unlike last year's GQs where last to arrive was Lindsay Lohan, he cuts a much less controversial (or feminine-attired) persona.

"It doesn't accessorise. You're going to keep holding that" model Jourdan Dunn (at least I assume she's a model, rather than say an astrophysicist) declines to touch the abomination she's presented with.

"It doesn't accessorise. You're going to keep holding that" model Jourdan Dunn (at least I assume she's a model, rather than say an astrophysicist) declines to touch the abomination she's presented with.

"You've already bought merchandise for the new Star Wars movie two months before it's even released? In contrast to the films, I actually find your FAITH disturbing"

"You've already bought merchandise for the new Star Wars movie two months before it's even released? In contrast to the films, I actually find your FAITH disturbing"

"Another woman wore red to this thing? I'm leaving" Daisy Lowe heads for the Paparazzi cordon, hoping nobody noticed.

"Another woman wore red to this thing? I'm leaving" Daisy Lowe heads for the Paparazzi cordon, hoping nobody noticed.

Not so much an old wrinkled gatecrasher, but rather highly-famed photographer David Bailley, who I last photographed also at a GQ Awards (2013, I think?) - blocking views of the lovely Alice Eve.

Not so much an old wrinkled gatecrasher, but rather highly-famed photographer David Bailley, who I last photographed also at a GQ Awards (2013, I think?) - blocking views of the lovely Alice Eve.

"I'm not going to sign anything right now, but if you can pay the frankly ridiculous cover charges at Zizzi's over there, I'll let you buy me dinner and I'll maybe think about it". Our last arrival for the night (I hope, because I left just after) is/was actor Will Ferrell, the might Mugatu himself.

"I'm not going to sign anything right now, but if you can pay the frankly ridiculous cover charges at Zizzi's over there, I'll let you buy me dinner and I'll maybe think about it". Our last arrival for the night (I hope, because I left just after) is/was actor Will Ferrell, the might Mugatu himself.

"On second thoughts... I'm hungry for pizza now. You take my ticket and accept any awards I might win.. And remember to thank the myriad of cells and bacteria in my gut, without which I wouldn't be able to metabolise and digest food and thus wouldn't be here tonight" edited to add : Will Ferrell won the 'Comedian' award on the night. Which is a shame - some of Sam Claflin's facial expressions at premieres over the past year really deserved some kind of acclaim.

"On second thoughts... I'm hungry for pizza now. You take my ticket and accept any awards I might win.. And remember to thank the myriad of cells and bacteria in my gut, without which I wouldn't be able to metabolise and digest food and thus wouldn't be here tonight"

edited to add : Will Ferrell won the 'Comedian' award on the night. Which is a shame - some of Sam Claflin's facial expressions at premieres over the past year really deserved some kind of acclaim.

And on that rather arbitrary note.... that was that.

And on that rather arbitrary note.... that was that.

I'll be honest, I contrast to:
* The 2011 GQ Awards or
* The 2012 GQ Awards or
* The 2013 GQ Awards or
* The 2014 GQ Awards ...
... this wasn't in the top three. I say Lift Your Game, GQ. Past years have had better guests than this, and even if I'm not the arbiter of 'cool' and 'better' and would certainly not cast aspersions on the people who DID attend because they were nominated to receive an award... you need to find better people to accept those awards.

And I say that because I care. As a guy who wears hoodies and a beanie and sneakers to events, and who recognises just about 60% of attendees at these awards.... I am allowed to have an opinion!

That said, it was free and it didn't rain and the low-lifes in my pen probably weren't carrying communicable diseases... and the girl I like who I was going to catch up with tomorrow for the first time in 6mths was already likely to cancel... BEFORE she did in fact cancel.

So... until next time!

follow me on facebook by clicking here

follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo