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SECONDGLANCE.

Byline: Gareth Evans

WORD is this year's Oscars attracted a US TV audience of 40.3 million - the largest for three years.

That's a lot of people, even if 57.3 million viewers tuned in across the pond to watch Titanic clean up in 1998.

Overall, it is estimated that up to a billion people watched at least part of the 2013 Oscars, with the full ceremony broadcast in more than 200 countries.

While the eight-hour time difference doesn't lend itself to a large UK audience (proceedings began at 1.30am our time), you can't doubt its global reach.

But I have to say, I'm not impressed. The Oscars have never done anything for me and I can't imagine ever wanting to wait up to see the latest self-loathing speech or flaunty waltz down the red carpet.

Seriously, who cares? It's not as if those with an Oscars invite need any more publicity. The majority are multi-millionaires and earn more in one film than most of us make in a lifetime.

Ben Affleck's Argo recently hit $200m in worldwide ticket sales, while award-winning epic Life of Pi is fast approaching box office receipts of $600m. That's a serious amount of money and, while I'm not entirely sure how it works, all-star casts are sure to get a cut.

This year's big winner just happened to be British as Daniel Day-Lewis became the first person in history to win the Best Actor award three times. What a wonderful achievement. All hail Mr Day-Lewis.

I won Second XI Player of the Year twice in three years at my village cricket club - and once hit a180 in a 24-dart leg down my local boozer. So I know how he feels.

Success on such a grand scale is reserved for the select few. But I wasn't paid handsomely for my enviable achievements and the eyes of the world were busy when I picked up my plastic statuette.

Crocodile tears don't wash with me and it matters not one bit how hard an actor has "worked" to land his or her respected gong. It's not as if they haven't been properly compensated.

Rumour has it, Oscar-nominated stars who didn't make the final cut still got a goody bag worth $47,802. But when you consider that this year's "swag bag" was the stingiest given to nominees in the last five years, you can't help feel some sympathy for the 2013 Academy flops.

In 2010, losers got riches worth $90,000 which included a reported $45,000 safari in Africa and a $14,500 trip to Monte Carlo. Say no more.

The only watchable part of last week's Oscars was our very own Dame Shirley Bassey and another rip-roaring (they always are) version of seminal Bond song, Goldfinger. Wonder if she got a goody bag.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 2, 2013
Words:469
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