Amid all the award-giving action at tonight’s British Academy Film Awards, there was plenty to keep us entertained. From host Stephen Fry’s antics to the tales told on the red carpet, here’s our pick of the best bits from in and around Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House…
1. Tom Hiddleston’s turn as an elephant’s leg
So as it turns out, Thor actor Tom Hiddleston (who was on presenting duties tonight) once played the right leg of an elephant. Not perhaps the most surprising fact – even most of us non-acting folk have played ‘third tree on the left’ in some school play or other. But this elephant was being ridden by none other than tonight’s Leading Actor winner Eddie Redmayne. Nice dinner party story – we like your work, Hiddles.
2. Stephen Fry’s shock at Tom Cruise’s arrival
Host Stephen Fry was given a surprise tonight: Tom Cruise was brought on stage to announce the winner of Best Film. After the name of the guest citation reader was fed into Fry’s ear, he initially seemed to decide this couldn’t possibly be true, before yelling: “It’s Tom f***ing Cruise”. Yes, that’s how we’d react too.
3. Rachel Riley’s ‘armpit cam’
On red carpet duty grabbing interviews with the nominees and award givers, Countdown’s Rachel Riley was armed with a camera on her dress which she lovingly referred to as her “armpit cam” to catch the live action as she dotted about. But the best moment was when she asked Hunger Games star and Bafta presenter Sam Claflin to blow a kiss into it. He panicked saying it looked like he was trying to sneak a peek at something else…
4. Eddie Redmayne’s “redecorating” experience
The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne was up on stage tonight collecting the award for Leading Actor. But while he was obviously elated to win, the British star was also very pleased not to be “redecorating” the walls of the Royal Opera House. Yes, last time Redmayne was at Bafta he was stricken with a bout of food poisoning and ended up being sick in a corridor. It was one of the “worst nights” of his life, he admitted. Luckily he says tonight up there with the best.
5. A brand new Cumberbatch name
If you thought Benedict Cumberbatch had enough nicknames – Batch, Benny C, Cumbercookies, Cumbers etc etc – you’d have thought wrong. Because, according to Mr Fry, if you decode Cumberbatch’s name it comes out as “Red Hot Public School Totty”. We could have ‘name a day’ loo roll at this rate.