Until a fairly advanced age, I was rather under the impression that the Oscars were announced by Brian Perkins on the Today programme.
But no. I now discover that this is big business here in the US. The excitement as to who would be wearing the most hideous dress has been growing palpably over the last week.
So last night found me just north of 184th Street (that's almost as far as you can go here without getting wet) desperately hoping for disaster.
Unfortunately, it didn't really come.
The first couple of hours were spent with interviews from the red carpet ('you look divine', 'you're wonderful', 'I love everything you do', 'who's this with you? your sister/mother/grandmother/cleaning lady? how sweet'). My favourite question of the night, to an apparently tightly corseted young thing:
Tell me, how important is breathing during an evening like this?
Not as important as taking large quantities of drinks, drugs and botox, if the vacant expression of some of those present was anything to go by.
The programme (on a channel called E) was interrupted by adverts to tell you that the programme was being brought to you without adverts thanks to the adverts that you would then be shown. Surreal. In the background I'm sure I saw Blue Peter's Tim Vincent at one point, but that might just have been the champagne...
The ceremony itself was, inevitably, a bit of a damp squib. There's only so many tearful thank-yous you can listen to before boredom sets in. And it's hard to summon up enthusiasm for the Sound Mixing oscar only a couple of minutes after seeing the Sound Editing oscar handed out.
And, although Hilary Swank did get a bit dewy-eyed, there was nothing that made me want to hide behind the sofa.
Perhaps the best moment was a posthumous jibe by the late Johnny Carson, relayed from the huge screens in the theatre:
Nice to see so many old faces here. And so many new faces. Mostly on the old faces.