Winning lines

Awards ceremonies are difficult to deal with for the losers, but ­sometimes even harder for the winners – especially if you’re a barrister. All that pressure to come up with a speech that does your ­oratorical skills justice can sometimes prove too much.

The perfect acceptance speech is short, funny and, most importantly, not embarrassing for either the winner or the audience.

Michael Mansfield QC hit two out of those three criteria with his latest stab at public speaking.

On receiving his lifetime achievement gong at the Bar Awards, he declared: “I’ve been touched in a way I’ve never been touched before.”

Tulkinghorn thinks this might be a tad more information than the hushed crowd was bargaining for. And that ­Mansfield might be more comfortable in a courtroom than on a stage.