Stephen Fry’s inimitable Baftas hosting style may have drawn laughter from the crowd on Sunday, but his choice of language has also fuelled a number of complaints from viewers, prompting the BBC to release a statement in response to the objections.
The comedian – presenting the ceremony for the tenth time – got particularly excited when the choice for presenter of the Best Film award caused him to cry out: “It’s Tom f***ing Cruise!”
“The BAFTAs is not a BBC event, but during our coverage of the awards ceremony we try to find a compromise between presenting the events of the night as they happened, while remaining within the expectations of the majority of the viewers at home – which saw over 5.5 million people tuning in to watch.
“Attitudes to strong language vary enormously and we considered very carefully how to reflect this.
“Stephen, whose irreverence and style is extremely well-known to viewers, has presented the BAFTAs for several years.
“Any strong language was used after the watershed, and there was a presentation announcement at the start of the programme warning viewers that the broadcast would contain language of this nature.
“We accept that some viewers disagreed with this approach, and this feedback has been noted.”
The ceremony’s organisers had previously been in hot water over the exclusion of Bob Hoskins from the tribute section of this year’s awards, prompting complaints from readers and former colleagues of the late actor.
Kenith Trodd, the producer of Hoskins’ acclaimed 1978 TV series Pennies from Heaven, told RadioTimes.com that he was “surprised” there was no mention of his friend and colleague.
He added: “Bob’s career had a remarkable and unique span in that he began with a huge television success in Pennies from Heaven and graduated into a natural and in-demand film actor for the next 35 years, making a number of big films both in the UK and in the US.”