The film BAFTAs have long been a grand night for British television: a chance to stage our own Oscars a few weeks before the real thing. Sometimes a dress rehearsal for Hollywood's big night, at others a celebration of British cinema with a sprinkling of foreign stars, and occasionally both, the evening has been an important date in the film industry's calendar since 1949.


For years the ceremony was hosted by Stephen Fry, who left viewers at home and any Hollywood stars in the audience in no doubt that when it comes to class, charming self-deprecation and sheer brainpower you can never beat a theatrical Brit.

Fry has, of course, moved on to other things now, his place these days taken by a changing cast of home-grown actors, the latest being David Tennant. Readers of Radio Times will need no persuading of Tennant's right to assume the crown. He ticks all the boxes. Read our interview in this week's issue.

What has changed in recent years is the relationship between TV and film. Once this was the small screen's chance to host a night of cinema in which television felt very much the junior partner. Nowadays, of course, the dividing line between film and TV is vanishingly thin.

This has as much to do with technology as it does the availability of talent and the budgets of the streaming platforms. But these days you can watch pretty much any film you want to on TV, if you're prepared to pay for it.

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To that end, in the latest issue we also provide our guide to the top 12 films nominated for BAFTAs and point you towards the streaming services where films are available at the click of a button. It may not capture the magic of going to the cinema, but there's something to be said for watching the best films of the year without having to leave your sofa.

David Tennant Radio Times cover

Also in this week's Radio Times:

  • Doctor turned whistleblower Rachel Clarke recorded the reality of life in the NHS during the pandemic in a shocking memoir – now with Jed Mercurio, she's telling her story on screen in ITV1's Breathtaking
  • Actor Michael Sheen, who's collaborated with screenwriter James Graham and acclaimed documentary maker Adam Curtis on BBC One drama The Way, discusses being an actor-activist and his first role directing fiction
  • Speaking to The Radio Times Podcast: Wicked Little Letters co-stars Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley on swearing, sweaty auditions and swanky awards parties

The BAFTA Film Awards will air on BBC One and iPlayer at 7pm on Sunday 18th February. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Film hub for all the latest news.


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