Gasps, sighs and the sentence "A blog about a Scottish football team’s tax case?!" echoed around a disbelieving Church House Hall in Westminster last night, as the winner of the Orwell Prize for blogging was announced.
Supporters of Beneath the Wig author and former barrister Milly Bancroft, one of seven bloggers nominated for the prestigious prize, shook their heads in disbelief as some Scottish bloke trudged to the front and made some speech about football and tax.
"GET OFF! YOU’RE BORING!" we yelled in unison, before turning on the event organisers. "Where’s the food? At other award ceremonies you get food! What the hell is this?!" we continued.
On Tuesday, legal blogger Amanda "Milly" Bancroft found out, via Twitter, that she’d made the shortlist for the prestigious Orwell Prize For Blogging as she sat watching a panel of top journalists discuss the future of law reporting at a Halsbury’s Law Exchange debate.
At which point, Bancroft roared: “Get in!” Then, like a legal blogging version of Al Pacino’s character in Scarface, she strode to the front of the room and wrenched debate chair Joshua Rozenberg out of his seat. As the shocked audience looked on, the usually softly spoken author of Beneath The Wig announced: “Journalism is dead!” It was quite a moment.
Well, it would have been if it had actually happened. In boring old reality, Bancroft (pictured) smiled quietly to herself upon reading of the good news, sent a couple of tweets thanking people who had congratulated her – and then, as New Statesman legal correspondent (and avid Legal Cheek reader) David Allen Green points out below in the comments, received a huge round of applause when one of the panel announced her shortlisting. At the drinks session that followed the event, I cajoled her into coming on the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast...
In 2010, when City lawyer David Allen Green (AKA Jack of Kent) was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize For Blogging on the back of his coverage of the Simon Singh libel trial, many thought he'd dominate the legal blogosphere for years.
But a mere two years on and Green (pictured) has been knocked from his perch by Wiggy Beneath the Wig (AKA ex-barrister @_millymoo), who yesterday evening was revealed to have made this year's prestigious Orwell shortlist of seven bloggers. Green was nowhere to be seen.
Last night, the de-throned king of British legal blogging took to Twitter to lament his loss. It made for great reading...