On Tuesday, I was one of the reported 1,000+ people who logged into the (virtual) PPA Awards.
The event was hosted by a partially dressed Owen Meredith (ah, that serves you right for logging off early) and the effervescent Lucie Cave (the red carpet correspondent). Lucie did her best to get viewers in the mood and post selfies, particularly the “fun stuff” (#PPAAwards). Whilst I think she was looking for colourful boxers and pyjamas, who knows what people might have sent in! But no need to worry – it’s amazing how inhibiting having your nine year old son / daughter in the next room can be.
The event might have lacked the razzmatazz of the Grosvenor House version, and I don’t see virtual awards ceremonies providing any competition to the real thing long term, but here and now, they’re the perfect pick-me-up.
They might have missed out on the thunderous applause and standing ovations, but this year’s winners went through the same nominating and judging process as previous years, and are every bit as worthy. The covid cohort can stand proud, and they (and their PR people) will be able to prefix their names with the immortal words, ‘award-winning’, for ever and a day.
Given the events of the last few weeks, one award seemed particularly timely. The first PPA ‘Diversity Initiative of the Year’ award was won by Vogue. According to the PPA, the judges were impressed with Vogue's efforts to use their position to champion diversity. One judge commented that the ‘forces for change’ issue felt like a “genuine media ground-breaking moment”.
I agree with Owen who called the new award a “small but important first step”. Ultimately, the success of such initiatives will be determined by how quickly we can dispense with them. Sadly, we’re still some way off.
(Finally, particular congrats to History Extra Podcast, Stylist Live Luxe and Cedar Communications. You were the only three I predicted right. Well done you, I knew you could do it!)