Monday, 21 April 2008

And The Winner Is...

So the excitement is over for another year (or at least until the next awards ceremony) and the winners will no doubt have hangovers this morning and, quite likely, so will the losers!

The BAFTA Television awards were, as expected, a glamorous affair with the cream of British and international talent in attendance. Probably the biggest shock of the night was Dame Judi Dench losing out in the Best Actress category to her Cranford co-star Eileen Atkins. Despite predictions, the BBC drama failed to pick up any other awards but BBC3 comedy Gavin and Stacey won two – the Audience Award for Programme of The Year and Best Comedy Performance for creator and actor James Corden (above with co-star and fellow writer Ruth Jones). Last Christmas Eve I was waiting to meet a friend in a large computer store with a fruity name in Regent Street (eat one a day and it keeps the doctor away!) and for a good 10 minutes stood next to a man I thought I knew. I turned and smiled at him a couple of times and he smiled back with no recognition so I didn’t risk speaking to him in case it was mistaken identity! It was only when I started to watch Gavin and Stacey a couple of months ago that I realised he was James Corden who I have never worked with or even met! Thank goodness I didn’t embarrass myself totally!

Some guest presenters last night included Patrick Duffy (of Dallas fame) who, in my opinion, gets more handsome with age; Alan Dale, currently starring in West End show Spamalot but known to TV viewers from Neighbours and Ugly Betty; British Olympic hopeful, 13 year old diving champion Tom Daley, joined Denise Lewis to present the sports coverage award and Paul Merton gave a tribute to the big winner of the night, new Academy Fellow, Bruce Forsyth.

The big winners at the glitzy London ceremony were:

Actor: Andrew Garfield - Boy A

Actress: Dame Eileen Atkins - Cranford

Entertainment Performance: Harry Hill - Harry Hill's TV Burp

Comedy Performance: James Corden - Gavin and Stacey

Drama Series: The Street

Drama Serial: Britz

Continuing Drama: Holby City

International Series: Heroes

Feature: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

Current Affairs: China's Stolen Children - A Dispatches Special

News Coverage: Glasgow Airport Attack

Sport: ITV F1- Canadian Grand Prix Live

Entertainment Programme: Harry Hill's TV Burp

Comedy Programme: Fonejacker

Sitcom: Peep Show

Audience Award for Programme of the Year: Gavin and Stacey

Holby City was an unexpected winner of what is, essentially, the soap opera award. Harry Hill (pictured right) was a double winner with his TV Burp and (surprisingly?) beat Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing to Best Entertainment Programme.

The process of deciding the award winners has always been a little controversial but I think, for the second year in a row, there may have been more than a few eyebrows raised. I watch my fair share of television (verging on unhealthy!) and there were some nominees and winners that I had never heard of. Still, for those of us not invited to turn up in evening dress or black tie on a Sunday evening in London, this wonderfully sparkly event was a welcome diversion to normal life.

The British do these occasions with such elegance and, with Graham Norton at the helm, a good dose of humour too.

Congratulations to all the winners and to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for a superb evening.

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