The ball was over at the glittering Battersea Evolution centre on London's South Bank. The dancers had left the stage to thunderous applause and the STAR Awards ceremony was about to begin.
Channel 4 newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes stepped up to the podium to present prizes to "the people who make a difference in learning and skills".
The third "Oscars for lecturers" event was bigger and glitzier than ever before. But it almost ended in Guru-Murthy breaking his neck, as he narrowly missed stumbling on a shoe, left behind by a dancer.
Unfazed, the newscaster held the shoe aloft and declared: "We'll see who this fits later". Yes, it is true. FE really is a Cinderella service. Only this time it was a more politically correct version of the fairytale. The clodhopper held aloft by Krishnan belonged to a bloke - and the organisers are still seeking Prince Charming.
So, if you think the shoe fits, contact Andrew Thomson, chief executive of the Quality Improvement Agency. Who knows what glittering prizes it may bring?