Acceptance Speeches, Alcohol and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Alcohol and acceptance speeches just don’t mix.

Not even for the charming actor who’s name incidentally I wouldn’t try saying after having had a few too many scoops myself.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that it doesn’t matter how likeable or famous you may be, being tipsy whilst giving any kind of speech simply isn’t a great idea. The end result of which is normally something of an incoherent ramble, as was the case with Cumberbatch.

Whilst it did lighten things up a little and add some semblance of entertainment value to otherwise notoriously tedious acceptance award speeches it’s probably best to stick to the lime and soda until after you’ve said your piece. Otherwise you could risk giving a disconnected speech while inadvertently committing the unforgivable sin of insulting Downton Abbey.

By contrast Cumberbatch made a humbling and eloquent acceptance speech at last year’s (2013) Britannia Awards on BBC America. The difference between the two speeches demonstrates to us all the effect being a little tipsy can make to a speech.

At the Britannia Awards Cumberbatch opened by emphatically stating that he was in a position that was just ‘unfair’ as he was standing on the shoulders of writers, artists and directors who help him do what he does. Perfectly coherent, impassioned and articulate he endeared himself to the audience and then humbly paid tribute to Chiwetel Ejiofor for his role in 12 Years a Slave receiving tremendous applause.

By stark comparison to this year’s GQ speech, at last year’s Britannia Awards he graciously thanked his parents for giving him such ‘love, generosity and wisdom’ whereas this year he simply thanked them for ‘rearing’ him.

Whilst I would never recommend anyone consuming any alcohol prior to giving any speech (even for medicinal nerve calming reasons) I think we can all forgive him for his letting his hair down at the GQ Awards following his grueling ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

I’ve seen a lot of great Ice Bucket Challenges over recent weeks but this has to be by far the best. You have to watch it.

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