Bafta TV Awards 2020: ten things we learned from the virtual ceremony


Media playback is not supported on your device

Media captionWatch the very different Bafta TV Awards highlights, where the awards were accepted virtually.

It was “showbusiness as usual” at this year’s Bafta TV Awards, despite the dramatically sleek ceremony.

There was no red carpet or live audience on Friday night, and the winners telephoned remotely to accept their prizes.

“Tonight we’re honoring a variety of people while keeping the kind of distance I’ve dreamed of my whole life,” joked host Richard Ayoade.

“It’s sad that it took a pandemic to apply the most basic settings of personal space. ”

Chernobyl and Stath Lets Flats were among the big winners of the night, and Glenda Jackson won her first TV Bafta at the age of 84.

Here are some highlights from the ceremony as well as a few things we learned in the Winners Zoom Room.

1. Sian Clifford is not a burglar

Sian Clifford won the female comedy for her role in Fleabag

However, she and her co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge fact have to break into their friend’s house to get a good enough signal to connect.

The duo, each nominated for their performances at Fleabag, were spending the evening together at Phoebe’s – before everything went wrong.

“Our connection to the wire wasn’t working,” Clifford explained afterward. “We were trying to do it in Phoebe’s garden, and we were getting feedback, and the poor producers in Bafta were like ‘you have to fix it.’

“So we broke into the house of our friend, who lives down the street, he went on vacation. ”

Fortunately, they asked for her permission first – and they didn’t have to break any windows.

“He was more than happy to oblige,” Clifford said. “And Phoebe had a spare set of keys.

2. Bruno Tonioli seems to have been on vacation in the sun

We take our hat off to this truly exceptional tan.

Which, to be fair, may not have had to travel far to get there – as the UK had its hottest day of the year on Friday.

3. Some winners have created their own trophies

Usually at the Baftas, stars receive their trophy on the spot – but this year, they’ll have to wait for it to be delivered by post.

Romesh Ranganathan came up with his own solution to this problem when his documentary series Misadventures won the feature film award.

His DIY Bafta trophy appeared to be made from foil, duct tape and a Christmas ball, which he accepted on his own podium – made from a trash can.

4. There was a good reason behind Naomi Ackie’s brightfield

While watching TV, you might have (and rightly so) taken the opportunity to snoop around the homes of some celebrities.

At first glance, The End of the F ****** world star Naomi Ackie seemed to have the most boring background of the night – a plain white wall.

But, the winner for Best Supporting Actress later explained, it’s because she’s currently in the process of moving.

” Do you want to see? She asked tilting her camera. “It’s my room right now because I’m packing – everything’s a mess.”

“My bed is in the wrong place, I have lots of furniture that weren’t built right behind me… and I had to buy a sofa, they are really expensive – did you know that ?!

“So I would have made it more interesting if I could. “

5. Paul and Daisy have become socially distanced

Image copyright
PA Media

Not everyone had to log into the ceremony through Zoom – special guests joined Ayoade in the Bafta studio.

Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal were there to present the show’s award to Mo Gilligan.

But before the ceremony, the pair made sure they were in full compliance with social distancing guidelines, bringing a tape measure with them.

It’s probably the furthest they’ve ever been from each other’s bodies, as anyone who’s watched the show will tell you.

Mescal still lived up to his Emmy nomination earlier this week, but Normal People won’t be eligible for a TV Bafta until next year.

6. Shirley Ballas gave us some clues about this year’s Strictly

While Strictly’s win for the entertainment program was a chance to celebrate the 2019 series, questions remain about how this year will work, given social distancing guidelines.

“People have to think outside the box to put on such a magnificent show,” Chief Justice Shirley Ballas said backstage at BBC News. “And everyone is striving to make the most spectacular show possible.

“We may only have 10 shows instead of 13, but I’m just glad we got some at all in the current crisis. ”

She explained: “ [The professional dancers] isolate themselves in the hotel for all group numbers thats about what i can tell you but they are taking massive precautionary measures.

“We will be a little more apart on the [judging] office, and I guess there will be one way traffic, and they’ll think of everything to make it work. You cannot have an autumn and a winter without Strictly! ”


Rumors have also been circulating that Bruno may miss this year Strictly because quarantine rules could prevent him from flying between the UK and the US – where he also appears in Dancing With The Stars.

But, Shirley said, “If the flight [restrictions] and all is well, i know Bruno will do everything in his power to do both shows – this is Bruno. ”

7. You cannot scroll down Twitter while looking at Giri / Haji

Will Sharpe won the Best Actor award for his performance in Giri / Haji – a series notable for its bilingual nature.

The characters speak both English and Japanese in the show, with subtitles applied to some scenes. Sharpe says the use of captions is less alienating to viewers than it used to be.

“Parasite’s success has been very helpful in that regard,” he said, referring to Korea’s winner for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars.

“The feeling I have is that the world is becoming more and more international and that entertainment is shared more easily and quickly around the world. ”

He points out: “It means you also have to watch it properly, you can’t scan your phone at the same time. You have to be engaged with it, and maybe that’s why it can be a challenge – but it’s worth it. “

8. Kermit and Miss Piggy stole the show

As they presented the comedy entertainment program, Kermit the Frog encouraged Miss Piggy to say hello to ceremony host Richard Ayoade.

“Who is Richard? Never heard of him, ”replied the Muppets’ biggest diva.

“Does he host the Baftas?” The computer crowd? The crystal labyrinth? Kermit said, trying to jog his memory, to no avail.

Kermit then reminded him that Ayoade also hosts Channel 4’s Travel Man series, “where he takes different celebrities to cities around the world.”

« Oh! This Richard Ayoade! Miss Piggy replied. I love it. I love you Richard, kissy kissy. By the way, I would like to go to Venice. ”

9. Chernobyl could have had a very different star

“You ruined my losing streak!” Jared Harris joked as he was announced as the Best Actor winner for Chernobyl.

It was one of two awards won by the HBO series Friday night – in addition to the seven awards won by the Bafta Craft Awards last month.

But in his acceptance speech, the Harris actor mentioned that a producer told him his first choice for the role was three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis.

“I was really flattered,” Harris said backstage. “I was second behind Daniel Day-Lewis, I mean it’s an incredible position. I’ll take his drops all day! ”

Casting directors are unlikely to be able to get Day-Lewis again, as he announced his acting retirement in 2017, but Harris is hopeful he returns.

“He’s a wonderful talent. The way he approaches his job, you can see that he needs to take a break every now and then because it all takes so long, so I hope he comes back. “

10. The ceremony without an audience went surprisingly well

“It’s been a while since I played in a place this empty, ”joked Adrian Lester as he took the stage to feature Best Leading Actress.

Tim Minchin, meanwhile, shed light on the absence of the red carpet, asking the nominees during his song, “Tell me, who’s the creator of your tracksuit?” ”

But some have argued that this year’s ceremony was actively an improvement.

“These Baftas were miles nicer than normal Baftas,” wrote Anita Singh of the Daily Telegraph. “Awesome host, short speeches, done in 90 minutes, what’s not to like? “

follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here