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  • Fill in the gaps in the text by changing the verbs in brackets so that they can fit grammatically.
    When we buy a newspaper the morning alter the Academy Awards ceremony, of course we want to know who won Best Film, Best Director, Best Whatever. But, more to the point, we want to know the really important details: who cried, whose jokes fell flat and who wore a dress that resembled a meringue that … (leave), abandoned, for several days in the bottom oven. That’s the stuff we love most about the ceremony. It … (long forget) that it was the best actress statuette for Shakespeare in Love that Gwyneth Paltrow received in 1999. What … (remember), however, is her simpering acceptance speech, a performance so self-indulgently lachrymose that the phrase to do a Gwyneth … (enter) the language as a generic description for anyone who … (lose) all sense of emotional proportion the moment they step up to accept an award. And these days we have plenty of opportunity to use the term.
    The television schedules are full of blubbering acceptance speeches: mums, dads and the rest of the world … (thank) in watery-eyed profusion. Comedians suddenly turn Gwyneth at the Comedy Awards, cast members of EastEnders come over all tearful at the Soap Awards, and the emotional incontinence at the National TV Awards is such that the cleaning staff must have to employ heavy-duty pumping equipment to drain the stage afterwards. One of the most alarming sights to be seen on television recently involved something … (call) the National Celebrity Awards, in which two former inmates of the Big Brother house did a Gwyneth as they picked up a trophy for Celebrity Couple of the Year. So here was a pair, … (possess) no greater talent than an ability to lounge around all day whining, being given an award for the magnificent achievement of going out with one another. This was television of the most punishing kind: it took all available reserves of self-restraint … (not throw) a brick through the screen the moment the sniffles … (start). But this urge to hand out awards, even for the most facile non-achievement, … (not restrict) to showbiz. Over the next few weeks alone, journalists … (polish up) their Gwyneths in breathless anticipation of the Campaign for Racial Equality’s Race in the Media Awards, the World Food Media Awards, Amnesty International’s Media Awards and the Mental Health Media Awards. You have to get in early if you want a swanky place to hand out awards, too. The ballrooms of London’s grand hotels are fully booked this time of year with everything from the European Office Equipment Awards to the International Stationery Awards. All trades, all professions have their equivalent of school prize-giving. It provides work for a small army of waiters, bar staff and after-dinner speakers. A friend of mine invited me along a couple of years back to the National Estate Agents Awards. Tears flowed as surveyors from Stockport and brokers from Basingstoke insisted that this was actually a team award to the unsung heroes in the office. Around the room, the losers in such categories as High Street Franchise Chain of the Year struggled to maintain composure as a name other than their own … (pull) from an envelope. At one point it was difficult to know who was crying more: the winner of the coveted Young Negotiator of the Year award or one of the other nominees she … (just beat) to the title. It was while … (witness) this exchange that I realized why there has been such a rapid growth in ceremonies of mutual back-slapping over the past few years. Some might suggest it reflects the truth that the recognition of our peers is the most seductive praise of all. But it is simpler than that. Awards ceremonies provide the rare opportunity for us to step into the limelight and to kid ourselves we are stars. And these days we know precisely how to behave, as estate agents up and down the country step forward and do a Gwyneth.