There was unanimous approval at the tenth annual Nivea Awards ceremony last night when Professor Brian Cox was the runaway winner of the male category of the prestigious ‘Face you would most like to slap’ award.
The delight of the packed house was clear from the very moment that past winner Jonathan Ross opened the glittering envelope to announce that the BBC’s current supernova had won the award in the face of stiff completion from a list of impressively irritating candidates.
As Prof Cox made his way to the stage to the inevitable dirge of ‘Things: Can Only Get Bitter’, the glitterati rose as one, each straining to slap his boyish face as he went past.
Runner up David Cameron was given special praise by the judges for his chubby cheeks and oily condescending toff attitude, while nothing new needed to be said about perennial favourite Piers Morgan in third place.
One judge, who did not wish to be named, said, ‘The particular attribute that gives Cox his overwhelming advantage is that permanent supercilious grin which never quite leaves his face, even when discussing the end of the universe. Then there are those twinkly eyes, the irritating tilt of the head and the inappropriately youthful mop of hair. I could go on. OK, I will. Then there’s that insistent, cheeky-chappie, whiney voice with just enough of an accent to really get on your tits…yes, a worthy winner on all counts.’
Another judge said the award had nothing to do with Cox having a doctorate in rocket science, a glamorous wife, alleged past membership of a top band or freedom to play on the Large Hadron Collider, although no doubt these factors contribute to a core of warm smugness that radiates effortlessly through the prize-winning mug like one of the billions of stars in the universe in the first bloom of youth. It is said that only his trademark Diesel jeans block an equally strong effulgence from elsewhere, and voting was swayed by the fact that the mere mention of his name leaves an awful lot of women of a certain age glowing in the cheeks and stifling far-away, coquettish smiles.
In the female category, joint winners Cheryl Cole and Julia Bradbury were closely followed by Sandi Toksvig, although Davina McCall missed out this year despite a remarkable display of spontaneous giggling and gushing. On behalf of a grateful nation the prize-announcer for this category, Ray Winstone, gave her an honorary slap anyway.