Shafta Awards

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For the pornographic film awards, see Soft and Hard Adult Film and Television Awards.

The Shafta Awards are British awards given annually for "the very worst in tabloid journalism".[1] They were established in 1987 following a Daily Star story "Princess Margaret to appear in Crossroads" by Geoff Baker and Pat Codd, in honour of which they are also known as the "Princess Margaret Awards".[2] The Guardian wrote in 2008 that "Shaftas host Johnny Vaughan often sums up the awards' ethos by quoting a tabloid journalist who once told a colleague: 'Fuck the facts, just quote a friend - the pub's open in 10 minutes.'"[2] Piers Morgan, winner of a lifetime achievement Shafta in 2005, described the awards as "celebrat[ing] what I believe to be the very essence of Fleet Street: the regular ability of adult, intelligent, well-educated, street-smart journalists to behave like complete and utter numbskulls."[2] The awards were originally little more than a meeting in a pub, and were not held between 1997 and 2001, when they were revived by The People's showbiz editor Sean O'Brien.[2]

Winners include Sean Hoare and Piers Morgan, winning lifetime achievement Shaftas in 2004 and 2005 respectively.[3][2] James Desborough also won the ""can we hear the tape?" award for verbatim quotes" in 2002[4] for an interview with George Martin that alleged included a fabricated quote.[5]


  1. ^ The Guardian, 26 April 2006, Monkey goes to the Shaftas
  2. ^ a b c d e The Guardian, 5 May 2008, And the winner is ...
  3. ^ The Guardian, 28 April 2004, Shaftas honour best of the worst
  4. ^ Jessica Hodgson (1 May 2002). "The Shaftas: full list of awards". Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Martin Lewis (3 August 2001). "The art of lying". Retrieved 18 August 2011.