Oscars gaffe brings back memories of previous award-ceremony blunders

© AP
Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday,

The Oscars blunder that saw La La Land wrongly announced as the best picture winner instead of Moonlight is the latest in a long line of embarrassing televised mix-ups and mistakes. Michael Alexander looked at some of the most memorable.

It’s been described as the biggest blunder since the American presidential election result!

The finale of the 2017 Oscars’ ceremony was plunged into awkward chaos after musical La La Land was handed the top gong in error.

The team from La La Land were in the middle of their gushing acceptance speeches during Sunday night’s ceremony  when the film’s producer Fred Berger dramatically cut in to announce that the winner of best picture was, in fact, drama film Moonlight.

“This is not a joke,” Berger said, as it emerged film star Warren Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway had apparently been handed the wrong envelope prior to announcing the result just minutes earlier.

Sunday night’s ceremony also saw another gaffe take place when an “alive and well” film producer was mistakenly included in the In Memoriam montage.

Despite the bizarreness of it all, it was still a good night for La La Land which walked away with six gongs, including best director and best actress, whilst Moonlight won three including best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor.

But it’s not the first time a high profile awards ceremony has been remembered for cringe-making gaffes,  wrong results being read out – or results not being read out at all!

In fact, the La La Land team weren’t the first to have an Oscars win snatched from under them.

During the 1934 ceremony, actor Will Rogers announced the Best Director winner by yelling out, ‘Come up and get it, Frank!’ And as Frank Capra headed to the stage, believing he had won for Lady For A Day, the real winner was actually Frank Lloyd for Cavalcade.

In 2013, Jennifer Lawrence lived the nightmare every award-winner fears, when she tripped up the stairs while walking to the stage to retrieve her best actress gong.

The following year, John Travolta puzzled everyone as he introduced Frozen star Idina Menzel to the stage as Adele Dazeem for her performance of Let It Go.

However, it’s not just movie ceremonies that can leave viewers cringing from behind the comfort of one’s fingers.
Take the annual Brit Awards.

From host Russell Brand cracking jokes about the Queen’s ‘naughty bits’ and the ‘friendly fire’ death of a British soldier in 2007, to Madonna tumbling down some steps during a much-hyped live performance in 2015, the annual British music industry back-slapping night has a long back catalogue of controversial incidents that organisers would surely rather forget.


Who can forget Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker dashing on to the stage and wiggling his bottom at the crowd during Michael Jackson’s epic live performance of Earth Song in 1996.

The singer later revealed the stage dash had been a “form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing”.


Perhaps the most infamous Brit Awards ceremony to be remembered for all the wrong reasons was 1989 when page three model Samantha Fox and rock star Mick Fleetwood presented what can only be described as the equivalent of car crash television.

A catalogue of errors saw the mismatched hosts miss cues, look lost as people turned up on stage unannounced, and at one point they even forgot to announce the nominees for best newcomer.

Elsewhere, Olly Murs was left red-faced in 2015 after he told an X Factor contestant she was going home before the result was officially announced.

Miss Universe made headlines for all the wrong reasons during the same year when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner, Colombia’s Ariadna Gutiérrez.

She was crowned and given the sash.

But a few moments later, Harvey had to go back up on stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, and say, “OK folks, there’s been a…I have to apologize. It turns out that Miss Colombia is the first-runner up. The title went to Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.”

Something similar happened in 2010 when Australia’s Next Top Model host Sarah Murdoch wrongly announced that Kelsey Martinovich was the winner. After Martinovich gave a speech, Murdoch suddenly had to recant and announce that the winner was actually Amanda Ware.

Then in January there was tittering when legendary English comedian Ken Dodd repeatedly messed up on stage at the National Television Awards.

The 89-year-old, famous for his unruly hair and protruding teeth, was awarding the gong for Best Comedy to BBC One show Mrs Brown’s Boys.

But when reading out the nominees, the frail-looking funnyman accidentally called out Mrs Brown’s Boys instead of Orange Is The New Black when the Netflix Original was showing on the big screen.

When it came to reading out the winner, Dodds also opened up the sealed envelope the wrong way round and stumbled for a few moments looking confused.

In doing so he even flashed the winner for viewers at home to see.

Yep. You could not make it up!