The annual Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards are kicking off — and it’s an unprecedented edition for an unprecedented year.
As a physical ceremony is not possible because of the coronavirus pandemic, the BAFTAs are broadcasting from a closed studio with winners accepting awards virtually. BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar — who took over in June from producer Pippa Harris — told Variety it was important for the org to “celebrate the brilliance and the importance of television” during the crisis.
HBO and Sky’s nuclear drama “Chernobyl” leads the nominations, followed by Netflix hit “The Crown,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s BBC and Amazon-backed comedy “Fleabag” and BBC and Netflix thriller “Giri/Haji.”
Several of the nominees participated in an at-home photoshoot coordinated by acclaimed photographer Rankin earlier this week.
After an introduction by host Richard Aoyade, comedian Tim Minchin kicked off festivities with a piano performance backed up by a trio of singers. “No one’s stronger than an artist in a crisis,” sang Minchin. “Come hell or high water, pandemic or disorder, we will stand up to give each other prizes. But there’s no one to applaud me, who am I? No camera to record these real tears that I cry.”
Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal from “Normal People” are presenting the BAFTA for best entertainment performance.
And the BAFTA goes to “The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan.” “This award means so much to people who look like me and sound like me,” says Gilligan in his acceptance speech.
Next up is best entertainment programme, presented by Broadway performer Billy Porter.
And the BAFTA goes to “Strictly Come Dancing.”
Himesh Patel from “EastEnders” and “Yesterday” is presenting supporting actress.
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