Courtesy of BAFTA/Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi
The sun is shining, the stars have made their way down the red carpet and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ (BAFTA) Television Awards is underway at the Royal Festival Hall in London, U.K.
The event – the first time it has taken place in person in three years due to the COVID pandemic – is being hosted by comedian and director Richard Ayoade (“The IT Crowd”).
Among those nominated for a gong tonight are “An Audience With Adele,” for best entertainment program, Rose Matafeo is nominated for best female performance in a comedy for “Starstruck” while Olly Alexander is nominated for leading actor for “It’s A Sin.”
Meanwhile the contenders for best international series will be one of the most fraught with some of the past year’s most talked-about series – including “Call My Agent,” “Mare of Easttown,” “Squid Games” and “Succession – up for an award.
“Sex Education” star Ncuti Gatwa – who was today announced as the next Doctor Who – is also in the running for an award for best male performance in a comedy for Netflix hit “Sex Education.”
On the red carpet outside, George Ezra gave a special outdoor performance of his latest single “Green Green Grass.”
BAFTA Chair Krishnendu Majumdar opened the ceremony with a speech in which he noted: “We should also cherish public service broadcasting,” a statement which earned a long applause and whoops of support in light of the government’s current commitment to privatize Channel 4 and freeze the BBC’s license fee.
“Seeing is believing,” Majumdar said of the importance of diversity in the industry, saying the room was full of the most important people in television, who have the chance to make a difference. “We desperately need diversity” among the leaders and gatekeepers in the industry, he added, again earning heartfelt applause.
Ayoade delivered his opening monologue in typically caustic style, saying: “I’m here to reassure you this will eventually end. It won’t feel like it, but it will.”
Citing that it is the 75th anniversary of BAFTA in 2022, he said the TV awards only launched with 5 categories initially. “There was barely enough time to get out of your seat and slap someone,” Ayoade said, in reference to the Will Smith slap at the Oscars in March. As the audience giggled nervously, he added: “We can laugh about it.”
“I’m not going to use your faces as punchlines or punchbags,” he reassured them. “You’ve suffered enough. No one works harder than us. Apart from people in other professions.”
Ayoade also noted that the awards coincided with Sir David Attenborough’s 96th anniversary on Sunday.
Cathy Tyson, who won a BAFTA for best supporting actress for her role in “Help,” gave a shoutout to Channel 4 when she collected her award, calling the public broadcaster “a voice for the people,” as well as saying she stood with the people of both Ukraine and Russia.
Meanwhile popular daytime TV host Lorraine Kelly – who recently found herself at the center of a mini media storm when Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to not know who she was during a recent interview with one of Kelly’s colleagues at ITV – arrived at the podium to present two awards with the words: “A special hello to Boris, I’m Lorraine.”
Kelly wasn’t the only one to address Johnson. Instead of a traditional speech, the team behind “Together,” who won the BAFTA for best single documentary, read out a statement from the charity and pressure group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice when picking up their award, which included a strong rebuke of the government.
Meanwhile new Time Lord Gatwa and his “Sex Education” co-star Aimee Lou Wood presented the award for best scripted comedy, taking to the podium with a knock-knock joke. “Knock knock,” said Wood. “Who’s there?” replied Gatwa. “Doctor,” said Wood. “Doctor who,” replied to Gatwa to laughs and groans from the audience. After which the duo handed over a gong to winning series “Motherland.”
Matthew Macfadyen won the award for best supporting actor for his role as the manipulative Tom in “Succession.” Macfadyen was not at the ceremony so “Succession” show runner Jesse Armstrong stepped in to accept it on his behalf. “Matthew is a lovely man and I’m very glad he’s won this award,” Armstrong said. He revealed he’d also asked Macfadyen’s co-stars Sarah Snook and Nicholas Braun for comments about Macfadyen to share with the BAFTA TV Awards audience.
According to Armstrong, Snook said “lots of nice things” about her on-screen husband, including the fact that “after 12 hours on set he returns his clothes to the costume van smelling better than when he took them out” while Braun said there was “No one I’d rather have kiss me tenderly on the forehead than Matthew Macfadyen,” referencing a scene in the show.
“Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer picked up the BAFTA for best leading actress for her role in COVID drama “Help.” In her acceptance speech she thanked writer Jack Thorne, revealing: “I very embarrassingly slid into his DMs a few years ago and told him I wanted to work with him. Little did I know [co-star] Stephen Graham had done the same.”
And comedian and actor Sir Billy Connolly CBE (“Mrs Brown”) was honoured with a fellowship, BAFTA’s highest honour. In his acceptance speech, which was delivered in a pre-recorded video transmission, Connolly cited his struggles with Parkinson’s disease as well discussing his career. “I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “It’s made me such a happy man, getting these good attendance medals now my career is out the window.”
Prince William also made a brief appearance in a video transmission in which he talked about climate change on screen. “Writers and producers are playing a unique role in ensuring the future of our planet is something we all want to talk about,” William said. “I hope you all continue to keep up your valuable work.”
Another shout-out to public service broadcasting meanwhile came from the team behind “Gogglebox,” when they picked up the award for best reality or constructed reality TV series. “A publicly-owned, risk-taking Channel 4 believed in [the show] and they stuck with it [despite initially low ratings],” said producer Stephen Lambert. “If the government goes ahead with its destructive plan to end Channel 4 as a public organization, those risks won’t be taken. And a big part of what makes British television good will have ended.”
Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen also made sure to cite the broadcasters in his acceptance speech for best factual series for “Uprising,” about the tragic New Cross fire in 1981, saying: “Things like the BBC and Channel 4 bring us together. Sitting in front of the TV talking, sharing. So please, whatever we can do, the BBC and Channel 4 are things we have to hold tight and fight for inch, inch, inch, every inch.”
Similarly Mo Gilligan, who won best comedy entertainment program for his series “The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan,” also spoke up for the beleaguered network. “My mental health wasn’t in the best place,” said Gilligan of when he was first shopping around his series. “[Channel 4] trusted me and let me be myself and bring Black boy joy to people’s screens.” He implored the industry to try to save Channel 4, saying: “It’s so important that the next Mo Gilligan or Judi Love can watch us and say. ‘Wow that’s what I want to do'”
British Academy Television Awards Nominees and Winners
LEADING ACTRESS WINNER: Jodie Comer – “Help” – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/Channel 4 Denise Gough – “Too Close” – Snowed-In Productions/ITV Emily Watson – “Too Close” – Snowed-In Productions/ITV Kate Winslet – “Mare of Easttown” – wiip Studios, The Low Dweller Productions, Juggle Productions, Mayhem, Zobot Projects, HBO/Sky Atlantic Lydia West – “It’s A Sin” – Red Production Company/Channel 4 Niamh Algar – “Deceit” – Story Films/Channel 4
LEADING ACTOR WINNER: Sean Bean – “Time” – BBC Studios/BBC One David Thewlis – “Landscapers” – Sister, South of the River Pictures/Sky Atlantic Hugh Quarshie – “Stephen” – HTM Television/ITV Olly Alexander – “It’s A Sin” – Red Production Company/Channel 4 Samuel Adewunmi – “You Don’t Know Me” – Snowed-In Productions/BBC One Stephen Graham – “Help” – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/ Channel 4
DRAMA SERIES WINNER: “In My Skin” – Kayleigh Llewellyn, Nerys Evans, Molly Manners, Sophie Francis – Expectation/BBC Three “Manhunt: The Night Stalker” – Ed Whitmore, Marc Evans, Jo Willett, Evie Bergson-Korn, Philippa Braithwaite – Buffalo Pictures/ITV “Unforgotten” – Production Team – Mainstreet Pictures/ITV “Vigil” – Tom Edge, Simon Heath, Jake Lushington, Angie Daniell, James Strong, Isabelle Sieb – World Productions/BBC One
COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM WINNER: “The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan” – Rhean Archibald, Ben Wicks, Tim Dean, Pollyanna McGirr, David Geli, Mo Gilligan – Expectation, Momo G/Channel 4 “The Graham Norton Show” – Graham Norton, Graham Stuart, Jon Magnusson, Toby Baker, Catherine Strauss, Pete Snell – So Television/BBC One “Race Around Britain” – Ben Wicks, Andy Brown, Munya Chawawa, Trent Williams-Jones, Claire Cook, Kevin Muyolo – Expectation, Munz Made It/YouTube “The Ranganation” Ruth Phillips, Richard Cohen, Mark Barrett, Barbara Wiltshire, Debra Blenkinsop, Helena Parkhill – Zeppotron/BBC Two
Virgin Media’s Must-see Moment (Voted For By The Public) WINNER: “Strictly Come Dancing” – Rose And Giovanni’s Silent Dance To ‘Symphony’ – BBC Studios/BBC One “An Audience With Adele” – Adele’s Surprised By The Teacher Who Changed Her Life – Fulwell 73, Onward, Sony, Columbia/ITV “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” – Ant And Dec Dig At Downing Street’s Lockdown Parties – Lifted Entertainment/ITV “It’s A Sin” – Colin’s Devastating AIDS Diagnosis – Red Production Company/Channel 4 “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.” ‘UK Hun?’ – Bimini’s Verse – World Of Wonder/BBC Three “Squid Game” – Red Light, Green Light Game – Siren Pictures/Netflix
ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE WINNER: Big Zuu – “Big Zuu’s Big Eats” – Boom/Dave Alison Hammond – “I Can See Your Voice” – Thames/BBC One Graham Norton – “The Graham Norton Show” – So Television/BBC One Joe Lycett – “Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back” – Rumpus Media, My Options Were Limited/Channel 4 Michael McIntyre – “Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel” – Hungry McBear Media/BBC One Sean Lock – “8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown” – Zeppotron/Channel 4
SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA WINNER: “Coronation Street” – Production Team – ITV Studios/ITV “Casualty” – Deborah Sathe, Loretta Preece, Debbie Biggins, Jenny Thompson, Sarah Beeson – BBC Studios/BBC One “Emmerdale” – Production Team – ITV Studios/ITV HOLBY CITY Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAM WINNER: Jamie Demetriou – “Stath Lets Flats” – Roughcut TV/Channel 4 JOE GILGUN Brassic – Calamity Films/Sky Max Ncuti Gatwa – “Sex Education” – Eleven Film /Netflix Samson Kayo – “Bloods” – Roughcut TV, Sky Studios/Sky One Steve Coogan – This Time with Alan Partridge – Baby Cow Productions/BBC One TIM RENKOW Jerk – Roughcut TV/BBC Three
FACTUAL SERIES WINNER: “Uprising” – Production Team – Rogan Productions, Lammas Park, Turbine Studios/BBC One “The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime” Production Team – Minnow Films, Open University/BBC Two “9/11: One Day in America” Caroline Marsden, Daniel Bogado, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay, David Glover – 72 Films/National Geographic “Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles” – Joe Mather, Simon Ford, Jamie Pickup, Mark Casebow, Charlie MacDonald, Juliet Piper – BBC Studios/Channel 4
WINNER: “Time” – Jimmy McGovern, Tom Sherry, Lewis Arnold, Simon Maloney, Michael Parke, Andrew Morrissey – BBC Studios/BBC One “It’s a Sin” – Russell T Davies, Nicola Shindler, Peter Hoar, Phil Collinson – Red Production Company/Channel 4 “Landscapers” – Will Sharpe, Ed Sinclair, Katie Carpenter, Olivia Colman, Jane Featherstone, Chris Fry – SISTER, South of the River Pictures/Sky Atlantic “Stephen” – Mark Redhead, Madonna Baptiste, Alrick Riley, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Joe Cottrell Boyce, Jessica Sharkey – HTM Television, Baby Cow Productions/ITV
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAM WINNER: Sophie Willan – “Alma’s Not Normal” – Expectation/BBC Two Aimee Lou Wood – “Sex Education” – Eleven Film/Netflix Aisling Bea – “This Way Up” – Merman Television/Channel 4 Anjana Vasan – “We Are Lady Parts” – Working Title Television/Channel 4 Natasia Demetriou – “Stath Lets Flats” – Roughcut TV/Channel 4 Rose Matafeo – “Starstruck” – Avalon/BBC Three
REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL WINNER: “Gogglebox” – Production Team – Studio Lambert/Channel 4 “Married at First Sight U.K.” – Murray Boland, Dermot Caulfield, Danielle Lux, Sharyn Mills, Rachel Viner, James Kayler – CPL Productions/E4 RuPaul’s Drag race U.K.” – RuPaul Charles, Fenton Bailey, Tom Campbell, Bruce McCoy, Sally Miles, Matt Green – World of Wonder Productions/BBC Three “The Dog House” – Production Team – Five Mile Films/Channel 4
SUPPORTING ACTOR WINNER: Matthew Macfadyen – “Succession” – Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, Gary Sanchez Productions, HBO/Sky Atlantic Callum Scott Howells – “It’s A Sin” – Red Production Company/Channel 4 David Carlyle – “It’s A Sin” – Red Production Company/Channel 4 Nonso Anozie – “Sweet Tooth” – Warner Bros. Television/Netflix Omari Douglas – “It’s A Sin” – Red Production Company/Channel 4 Stephen Graham – “Time” – BBC Studios/BBC One
SCRIPTED COMEDY WINNER: “Motherland” – Holly Walsh, Helen Serafinowicz, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Caroline Norris, Sharon Horgan, Clelia Mountford – Merman Television, Twofour/Channel 4 “Alma’s Not Normal” – Sophie Willan, Gill Isles, Andrew Chaplin, Nerys Evans – Expectation/BBC Two “Stath Lets Flats” – Jamie Demetriou, Seb Barwell, Andrew Gaynord, Ash Atalla – Roughcut TV/Channel 4 “We Are Lady Parts” – Production Team – Working Title Television/Channel 4
FEATURES WINNER: “Big Zuu’s Big Eats” – Sam Grace, Alex Gilman, Chris Faith, Lucy Blatch, Big Zuu, Rohan Minhas – Boom/Dave “Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing” – Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer, Lisa Clark, Stephanie Fyfe, Rob Gill – Owl Power/BBC Two “Sort Your Life Out” – Charlotte Brookes, Kurt Seywald, James Callum, Lucy Blatch, Michael Hyland, Demi Doyle – Optomen Television/BBC One “The Great British Sewing Bee” – Production Team – Love Productions/BBC One
LIVE EVENT WINNER: “The Earthshot Prize 2021″ – Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One “The Brit Awards 2021” – Production Team – BRITS TV/ITV “The Royal British Legion of Remembrance” – BBC Studios/BBC One “Springwatch 2021” Production Team – BBC Studio/BBC Two
SHORT FORM PROGRAM WINNER: “Our Land” – Alexandra Genova, Alfred Thirolle – Alexandra Genova/Together TV “Hollyoaks Saved My Life (Hollyoaks IRL)” – Rachel Hardy, Alan Toner, Graham Gallery – Lime Pictures/YouTube “People You May Know” – Juliet Riddell, James Graham, Tom Hannen, Franklin Dow – Financial Times, Sonia Friedman Productions/Financial Times “Please Help” – Lucy Pearman, Ben Mallaby, David Simpson – Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC Three
SINGLE DRAMA WINNER: “Together” – Production Team – Shoebox Films, Sonia Friedman Productions, BBC Film/BBC Two “Death of England: Face to Face” – Clint Dyer, Dixie Linder, David Sabel, Rufus Norris, Christine Schwarzman, Roy Williams – National Theatre, Sabel Productions, Cuba Pictures/Sky Arts “Help” – Production Team – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/Channel 4 “I Am Victoria” – Dominic Savage, Krishnendu Majumdar, Richard Yee, Suranne Jones, Josh Hyams, David Charap – Me + You Productions/Channel 4
INTERNATIONAL WINNER: “The Underground Railroad” – Barry Jenkins, Colson Whitehead, Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner – Plan B, PASTEL, Big Indie, Amazon Studios/Amazon Prime “Call My Agent!” – Harold Valentin, Aurélien Larger, Dominique Besnehard, Michel Feller – Mon Voisin Productions, Mother Productions, France Télévisions/Netflix “Lupin” – Production Team – Gaumont Télévision/Netflix “Mare of Easttown” – Production Team – wiip Studios, The Low Dweller Productions, Juggle Productions, Mayhem, Zobot Projects, HBO/Sky Atlantic “Squid Game” – Hwang Dong-hyuk, Kim Ji-Yeon – Siren Pictures/Netflix “Succession” – Production Team – Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, Gary Sanchez Productions, HBO/Sky Atlantic
CURRENT AFFAIRS WINNER: “Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin (Exposure)” Sarah Collinson, David Henshaw, David Alter, Sasha Odynova, Ksenia Barakovskaya – Hardcash Productions, The Economist/ITV “Four Hours at the Capitol” – Jamie Roberts, Will Grayburn, Dan Reed – AMOS Pictures/BBC Two “The Men Who Sell Football (Al Jazeera Investigations)” – Phil Rees, David Harrison, Jason Gwynne, Sarah Yeo, Nicholas Dove, Naji Tamimi – Al Jazeera I-Unit/Al Jazeera English “Trump Takes on the World” – Norma Percy, Tim Stirzaker, Sam Collins, Tania Rakhmanova, Lucy Hetherington, Greg Sanderson – Brook Lapping, Les Films D’ici, Arte France/BBC Two
SINGLE DOCUMENTARY WINNER: “My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years In Afghanistan” – Phil Grabsky, Shoaib Sharifi, Amanda Wilkie, Clive Mattock – Seventh Art Productions/ITV “9/11: Inside The President’s War Room” – Adam Wishart, Neil Grant, Serena Kennedy, Simon Finch – Wish/Art Films/BBC One “Grenfell: The Untold Story” – James Newton, Daisy Ayliffe, Emma Lysaght, Kirsty Cunningham, Jessie Versluys – BBC Studios/Channel 4 “Nail Bomber: Manhunt” – Production Team – Expectation/Netflix
SPORT WINNER: “The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Production Team” – Sky Sports, Formula 1/Sky Sports Formula 1 “Tokyo 2020 Olympics” – Production Team – BBC Sport/BBC One “ITV Racing: The Grand National” – Mark Demuth, Paul Mcnamara, Paul Cooper, Tasleem Hasham-laywood, Rob Oldham, Jon Harris – ITV Sport/ITV “UEFA Euro 2020 Semi-final: England V Denmark” – Mark Demuth, Paul Mcnamara, Phil Heslop, Maggie Price, Roger Pearce, Stuart Smith – ITV Sport/ITV
DAYTIME WINNER – “The Chase” – Michael Kelpie, Martin Scott, Helen Tumbridge, Hester Davies, Christina Clayton, Mick Thomas – Potato/ITV “Moneybags” – David Flynn, Michelle Woods, Aaron Rosenthal, Louisa Benger, Shaun Parry, Mike Maclaine – Youngest Media/Channel 4 “Richard Osman’s House of Games” – Tamara Gilder, Breid McLoone, Tom Banks, Abby Brakewell, John Smith, Sarah Boyce – Remarkable Television/BBC Two “Steph’s Packed Lunch” – Ben Wicks, Rebecca Papworth, Vivek Sharma, Steph McGovern, Alan Clayton, Derek Hallworth – Expectation, Can Can Productions/Channel 4
SPECIALIST FACTUAL WINNER: “The Missing Children” Production Team – Truenevision/ITV “Black Power: A British Story Of Resistance” – George Amponsah, Helen Bart, Steve Mcqueen, James Rogan, Soleta Rogan, Tracey Scoffield – Rogan Productions, Lammas Park, Turbine Studios/BBC Two “Freddie Mercury: The Final Act” – James Rogan, Daniel Hall, Chris Wilson, Mark Hedgecoe, Soleta Rogan, Simon Lupton – Rogan Productions/BBC Two “Silenced: The Hidden Story Of Disabled Britain” Production Team – Blast! Films/BBC Two
NEWS COVERAGE WINNER: “ITV News At Ten: Storming Of The Capitol” – Production Team – ITV News, ITN/ITV “Channel 4 News: Black to Front” – Production Team – Channel 4 News/ Channel 4 “Good Morning Britain: Shamima” Begum Production Team – ITV Studios Daytime/ITV “Sky News: Afghanistan: Endgame” Production Team – Sky News/Sky News
SUPPORTING ACTRESS WINNER: Cathy Tyson – “Help” – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/Channel 4 Céline Buckens – “Showtrial” – World Productions/BBC One Emily Mortimer – “The Pursuit Of Love” – Open Book Productions, Moonage Pictures, Amazon Studios/BBC One Jessica Plummer – “The Girl Before” – 42/BBC One Leah Harvey – “Foundation” – Skydance Television, Phantom Four/Apple TV Plus Tahirah Sharif – “The Tower” – Mammoth Screen, Windhover Films/ITV
ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM WINNER: “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway” – Production Team – Lifted Entertainment, Mitre Studios/ITV “An Audience With Adele” – Adele, Jonathan Dickins, Sally Wood, Ben Winston, Lou Fox, Bex Hampson – Fulwell 73, Onward, Sony, Columbia/ITV “Life & Rhymes” – Production Team – CPL Productions, Licklemor Productions/Sky Arts “Strictly Come Dancing” – Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One
Variety's K.J. Yossman contributed to this post.