Oscars 2017
26 February 2017: Brian Cullinan (R) and Martha Ruiz of PricewaterhouseCoopers confer on stage after the Best Picture was mistakenly awarded to La La Land instead of MoonlightLucy Nicholson/Reuters

On Sunday 26 February, an unprecedented mistake was made at the 89th Academy Awards; the wrong film was named best picture. Screen legends Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty took to the stage to announce La La Land as the best film of the last 12 months, only to discover the accolade was meant to go to Moonlight.

It later transpired that the Bonnie and Clyde stars were given the wrong envelope to read out, and the man responsible was identified as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountant Brian Cullinan, but who is he exactly?

So, who is Brian Cullinan?

Cullinan is 57 and has worked for PwC for 32 years. He lives with his wife Andrea in Malibu in their $2.9m home (£2.3m). The pair, who married in 1988, have three children together – a daughter named Bree and two sons Brett and Drew.

He graduated from Cornell University in New York having studied psychology and also obtained a master's degree in accounting from Northeastern University. He first attended the Oscars in 2014, having become the 13th Academy Award ballot counter in history after his predecessor stepped down a few years ago and offered him the role.

Cullinan is also an US Board Member at PwC and Managing Partner for the Southern California, Nevada and Arizona Markets and is reportedly known around the office as 'the Matt Damon lookalike'.

How was Cullinan involved in #Envelopegate?

Cullinan and his colleague Martha Ruiz had been tasked with sorting the envelopes for presenters entering from their side of the stage on the night. It's believed that Cullinan was stationed stage left, and accidentally handed Beatty the duplicate envelope he was holding for best actress in a leading role; an award which had just been presented to Emma Stone for her performance in La La Land.

In the midst of the confusion, Dunaway then read out La La Land from the card (despite seeing Ston'e name on it too). However, the real best picture envelope later read that Moonlight was the intended winner.

Following the incident, Tim Ryan, the accounting firm's U.S. chairman and senior partner, further explained that Cullinan taken the envelope "from the wrong stack." He had picked up a card from the "back-up" pile instead (where the duplicates are kept), Ryan clarified.

He's a keen Twitter user

While both Ruiz and Cullinan were involved in handing out the envelopes on the night, blame seems to have come down hardest on the latter, with the argument that he was standing on Beatty and Dunaway's side of the stage and that he was distracted during the proceedings. Mere minutes before Beatty and Dunaway took the stage, Cullinan took to social media to share a photo of La La Land star Emma Stone, who had just won the prize for best leading actress. The post has since been deleted from his account.

It's been suggested that Cullinan revels in the glamour of the Oscars too, having shared enthused anecdotes and photos from his many interviews and television appearances leading up to the awards on Twitter. Could it have been the case that he got swept up in the moment?