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Confusion Reigns At Top Business Awards

Embarrassment was in fashion last night at the Dorset Corporate Business Awards when the evening's main award - best Corporate Company - was mistakenly awarded to the wrong organisation and then immediately withdrawn.

Threadbone Corporation CEO Mrs Amanda J Threadbone had hardly begun her speech of thanks when red-faced officials announced that joint Dorset personalities of the year Ziggy Osmington and Brenda Oats had been given the wrong envelope to open and had, therefore, announced the wrong winner.

Without missing a beat, Threadbone Corporation CEO (Mrs Threadbone) left the stage only to reappear seconds later as CEO of the real winner - the thrupiece organisation. Ostentatiously placing the script for the speech she had been delivering seconds before into a pocket of her Stella Stourpaine-designed clutch bag, she then took it out again and recommenced at the exact point at which she had previously broken off, pointedly replacing nothing other than the words "Threadbone Corporation" with "thrupiece organisation" at the appropriate moments. "It was as though, in her mind, the two organisations were almost the same", an unabashed admirer noted.

"It could have been worse", Awards host Inna Shambles said, "it might have gone to an company outside the thrupiece organisation altogether"; though she later acknowledged that, given the composition of the jury, this was extremely unlikely.

Inquiries in to the mix-up will doubtless continue, though suspicion has fallen on the Award's wholly independent scrutineers and vote counters Threadpole & Thrucount plc. "I feel sure it was an administrative error and not an act of terrorism as as first thought", a spokesperson for the respected company said. "In any event we will leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of it - our Chairwoman Mrs Threadbone will be on the case and on our backs before you can say P45 let alone UB40." UB40 member "The Edge" - a previous winner of the Dorset Irish Personality of the Year 1992 Award - was unavailable for comment.

Cock-up or Conspiracy? Organisers have already ruled out a Cyber-terrorist attack. ABOVE: a post awards photograph of some of Mrs Threadbone's official guests.

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