Date: 14th January 2004

Oscar voting chaos in Britain

Scores of Oscar voters in Britain risk missing the deadline to nominate their top films after ballot papers were lost in the post.

Nearly 250 Academy Awards voters have not yet received nomination forms which were sent from the United States to Britain before the New Year.

There are only a few days to go before the nominations must be returned to Hollywood and the US postal service said the letters in question were "out of our hands".

The forms have arrived at other worldwide destinations, including Sydney, according to Variety Magazine.

But the Royal Mail said there had been no recent problems with mail deliveries arriving in the UK from the United States.

The whereabouts of the missing forms was a mystery.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has now couriered 241 ballot papers to the UK.

Voters have been told to send the forms by express delivery or messenger to the London offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Academy's official vote courier.

Due to the problem, British voters have been given a three day extension, to January 20, to return the forms.

The Academy allowed only 20 days from the posting date December 29 to the return deadline - and that period included the New Year holiday.

Source: Press Release