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Everyone was hyped up about this year’s programme as this annual awards event did take place for the last two years due to the corona outbreak. The stars turned up in large numbers.

The stars started arriving at the venue from the afternoon, showcasing their exclusive red-carpet looks. While entering the auditorium, walking on the red carpet they expressed their excitement about the event.

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In the evening, after announcing the event open, Anisul Hoque, associate editor of Prothom Alo invited Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman on stage to deliver his welcome speech.

Recalling the confinement of the last two years, Matiur Rahman said, “We didn’t know if we’ll be able to come out of our homes. We were filled with dread and anxiety about corona. We lived amid the threat of death, isolated from each other. We lost so many talented and loved ones. Yet, we didn’t give up. Now is the time to move forward and celebrate.”

He further said, “Artistes have shown the way and inspired us time and again.” He called for a minute of silence in memory of the departed artistes.

After that, Anjan Chowdhury, managing director of Square Toiletries, greeted everyone present. He said, “Though the event was not held in the past two years, presenting Meril Prothom Alo awards did not stop. Employees of Square and Prothom Alo personally delivered the awards going to their homes.”

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He added, “It is a matter of huge pride for us that our showbiz artistes are now bringing international recognition for us, going beyond our borders. Square will continue this collaborative initiative with Prothom Alo to recognise their works and to inspire them.”

Then the stage lights went off and the main event started. Film actor Ferdous and actress Nusraat Faria appeared on stage with a dance performance. Actor Riaz joined in as the third anchor after their lively performance. Three of them carried out the whole show as anchors.

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The lifetime achievement award segment was followed by the jury awards followed by popular choice awards. Best artistes of film, drama and web series were awarded in these sections.

In between the award segments there were dance performances along with jokes and skits -- much to the delight of the audience.

Iconic singers Runa Liala and Sabina Yasmin were honoured with lifetime achievement awards this year. Audience cheered them with rounds of applause. Key moments of their lives played on the mega digital screen behind the stage.

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