When Sarah Millican turned up to the Baftas in 2013 she did not expect her choice of dress to attract such a hostile reaction from social media.
As she wrote in Radio Times, the reaction to her sartorial selection was like a “pin” to the “excitable red balloon” of being nominated.
“Literally thousands of messages from people criticising my appearance,” she wrote. “I was fat and ugly as per usual. My dress (the one that caused ooohs in a department store fitting room?) was destroyed by the masses. I looked like a nana, my dress was disgusting, was it made out of curtains, why was I wearing black shoes with it. I cried. I cried in the car.
“And that wasn’t the end. The next day, I was in newspapers pilloried for what I was wearing. I was discussed and pulled apart on Lorraine.”
The comedian did not attend the 2014 Bafta Television Awards ceremony, although she was invited. Instead she played a gig in Buxton, Derbyshire on the same night – wearing the same outfit.
But now Millican has vowed that if she is nominated for another Bafta she will proudly wear the very same floral frock on the red carpet.
The Radio Times columnist told Kirsty Young on Radio 4’s Desert Islands Discs airing today [Sunday, pictured below]: “I was thrilled to be there. And out in the same category as Ant and Dec and Alan Carr and Graham Norton was so flattering. And then to be pulled apart for something so unimportant seems really odd.
“If I saw somebody wearing something and I thought, ‘oh that’s brave’, I wouldn’t go up and tell her. And that’s what Twitter and Facebook are. It’s tapping somebody on the shoulder and saying, ‘oh you look rubbish, you shouldn’t be wearing that, you’re too fat for that, you’re too ugly for that’. Of course it hurts. It shouldn’t matter because there is literally no other way into the Baftas. If there was another way nobody would go on the red carpet.”
Asked if she would be hiring a stylist for the next Baftas she attends she replied: “Absolutely not. If I am nominated again I will wearing exactly the same dress. Because the public, general, fans, nice people, realise how unimportant it is. Am I funny, yes? Do you care what I have on? No. As long as I am covered, as long as nothing is hanging out unless I want it to hang out, I think that’s enough.”
Also on the Radio 4 programme, Millican addresses the debate about whether there should be female quotas on TV panel shows.
She says that “‘if that’s the only way I suppose that’s the way it has to be” and added that it is “really disappointing” that 51% of the population is obliged to have a quota in order to gain adequate representation on a TV programme.
Her choice of records to take away to her mythical Desert Island included Wake Me Up Before You Go by Wham!, Perry Como’s Home for the Holidays and Pharrell Williams’ Happy.
Desert Island Discs airs on Radio 4 on Sunday at 11:15am