THEY were the first big Irish awards of 2008 but, strangely, there was no mad clamour by any of the winners to claim their prizes.
Hundreds of fans packed into the Sugar Club in Dublin last night for the inaugural Gooseberries Awards ceremony, devised to pay tribute to the bad and the ugly in Irish music, film and TV and other media.
However, the event not surprisingly suffered a similar fate to this weekend’s Golden Globes ceremony in Hollywood — it was boycotted by all the major stars.
Westlife emerged as the big, er, “winners” at the Gooseberries by lifting three of the awards — for Worst Irish Act, Worst Irish Single (Home) and Worst Irish Album (Home), sparing the blushes of other acts like the Frames, Damien Rice, Andrea Corr and Phil Coulter in the process.
Although RTÉ broadcaster Pat Kenny has already won many awards, it is doubtful he’ll find space on his mantelpiece for his latest two gongs. The TV and radio star was voted Worst TV Host while the Late Late Show was separately named Worst TV Programme ahead of Seoige & O’Shea and Fair City.
Also feeling “goosed” were 2FM presenter, Gerry Ryan, who was named as Worst Irish DJ.
Not surprisingly, many winners lived up to the title of the awards by feeling too prickly to pick up their Gooseberry in person.
The light-hearted awards were created to mirror the infamous Raspberries, which are themselves a hoax version of the annual Oscars.
“The Gooseberries were born out of the huge despair at the number and quality of Irish awards ceremonies,” explained one of the event’s creators, Oisín Davis.
However, Davis, the general manager of the Sugar Club, stressed that all the award winners, as well as the nominated parties, were based on votes collected from the public via the Elevator internet site.
As the motto of the Gooseberries hints, the aim of the awards is “havin’ the craic at the worst”.
Davis pointed out that no offence was meant towards any of the award winners or nominees.
“We’ve invited all the winners along but to be honest, we didn’t really expect anyone to show up,” laughed Davis.
The Sunday Independent was selected as the Worst Irish Publication, beating off competition from VIP and the Irish Debs Magazine, while the newspaper’s colourful columnist and You’re A Star judge Brendan O’Connor beat his colleague Barry Egan to claim the title of Worst Irish Journalist.
Other winners included mock-horror flick Shrooms, which was voted Worst Irish Film, while the Oxegen musical festival was declared the Worst Gig of 2007.
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