It’s that time of year again. The 2019 British Academy Television Awards are upon us, bringing together the best of TV talent at London’s Royal Festival Hall where the industry’s top actors and creatives hope to get their hands on the coveted Bafta statues.
Who’s nominated? Killing Eve and A Very English Scandal lead the charge (you can see the full shortlist here), with Bodyguard and Mrs Wilson also up for multiple awards. The ceremony begins at 6:45pm and BBC1 doesn’t start airing coverage till 8pm, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with live minute-by-minute reporting on the red carpet, a full winners list, backstage gossip and in-depth analysis all within the forum of this live blog…
22:13: Right, Bafta fans. It’s been a pleasure. I’m going to leave you in the hands of my colleague, Eleanor Bley Griffiths, who has rounded up all the winners for you here.
And – finally – this gif of Helen McCrory because it really was my highlight of the evening. Goodnight!
21:26: Some great quotes coming from Joan Bakewell in the press room backstage – “men have sacked me, women have given me jobs”.
Meanwhile, Jessica Hynes has said Olivia Colman is “perfect” for the part of Queen Elizabeth II – “she will nail it” – and Julia David is hinting there may be a second series of camping, even though it was always considered to be a one-off.
21:21: Right, time to tally up the winners. I was about to attempt to tally up the winners after nearly six hours of live-blogging but am happy to say the lovely folks at Bafta have just sent me an email round-up. Hurrah!
Killing Eve: 3
Patrick Melrose: 2
A Very English Scandal: 1
Mrs Wilson: 0
The real hero of the night: Helen McCrory in her sunglasses
21:16: **LAST AWARD OF THE EVENING KLAXON**
Best Actress. And the nominees are…
Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard)
Ruth Wilson (Mrs Wilson)
My money’s on Killing Eve…
Steve Coogan gets to present this one. And the Bafta goes to Jodie Comer for her wondrous performance as Villanelle – her first award from the British Academy.
What a triumph after so many awards bodies have overlooked her. She tears up as she thanks “inspiration” Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Stephen Graham – “Stephen, if I didn’t owe you a pint before, I do now”. It sounds like he hooked her up with some good contacts a few years ago…
She ends by saying: “I would love to dedicate this award to my Nana Frances who sadly passed away the first week of filming.” Gosh, I’m about to cry now. What a lovely speech.
21:09: And now on to the final two big awards of the night – first, Best Actor.
Will it be – Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose), Chance Perdomo (Killed By My Debt), Hugh Grant (A Very English Gentleman) or Lucian Msamati (Kiri)?
Here’s a handy Photoshop I mocked up earlier…
There was a moment there where I thought we might be shown English Scandal’s Vaseline scene (we weren’t).
Presenter Helen McCrory is up on stage and – after forgetting her reading glasses – pops on her sunglasses. What a hero.
The award goes to… Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s seventh time lucky at Bafta.
“I think I’m going to fall over. I breathe rarefied air but i’m very used to being a bridesmaid, not the bride,” he tells the audience.
After giving a BIG shoutout to author Edward St Aubyn – “thank you for your wit, your courage” – he saves a thank you for his wife. “You are my rock. I had to go pretty weird for this one… and it was very nice to come home and feel stable again.”
21:07: Kirsty Wark has presented to Joan Bakewell who comes up on stage to recall her “exhilarating” journey in the industry. “Creativity is the human spark that gives meaning to life,” she tells a room of creative people, and – along with many others tonight – praises a “golden age of television”.
21:04: This year, the Bafta Fellowship goes to the terrific Joan Bakewell. And let me tell you, there’s a lovely montage of clips mocked up for your viewing pleasure.
In other news, Jessica Hynes has been backstage in the press room where she’s continued to extoll the virtues of her co-star David Tenant – “brilliant” as a wayward father. She’s hoping to make more There She Goes but sadly, there really is no more W1A and Siobhan Sharpe: “It’s run its course as far as I know”.
20:58: Another biggie here (we’re nearing the end now…) Best Drama Series and the contenders are…
Bodyguard v Informer v Killing Eve v Save Me
Julia Styles and James Norton have teamed up for this one and the winner is… Killing Eve! A second Bafta of the night! And an opportunity for a Phoebe Waller-Bridge acceptance speech!
Phoebe takes a while to make it up on stage and the first word she utters is an expletive. Lovely.
She speaks a hundred miles a minute BUT I can tell you she thanked author Luke Jennings, Sally Woodward-Gentle and… some other people. Oh, and Jodie Comer almost swallowed a wasp in Tuscany, apparently.
Thank goodness Bafta Fellowship is up next. A break for this frazzled live-blogger who is really starting to resemble this…
20:53: Best Entertainment Performance. Can Ant & Dec really do it? Or will their Saturday Night Takeaway turn be bested by Would I Lie To You? panellists David Mitchell and Lee Mack, or The Mash Report’s Rachel Parris?
Rooting for Rachel Parris over here…
Bandersnatch co-stars Asid Chaudhry and Will Poulter are on stage… and they hand out the prize to Lee Mack.
Lee’s pretty miffed he hasn’t been able to watch the football but cheered by the fact he’s been singled out over David and Rob Bryden. “It’s bad enough I get paid more but this is going to kill them!”
20:48: Danny Dyer and Holly Willoughby (what a combo!) are on stage to present Must-See Moment. Danny’s miffed about missing out on the shortlist for calling David Cameron a “twat”. “They told me not to read it out,” he says – of course they did!
Anyway, you can watch all the nominees here but, for brevity’s sake, here they are in a handy bullet-pointed list:
(A little tip – flick over the channel for a minute or so if you don’t want to see some massive spoilers)
Bodyguard – Julia Montague assassinated
Coronation Street – Gail’s monologue on the suicide of Aidan Connor
Doctor Who – Rosa Parks, the Doctor and her companions ensure history remains intact
Killing Eve – Eve stabs Villanelle
Peter Kay’s Car Share – The Finale
Queer Eye – Tom completes his transformation
And the winner is… Bodyguard! This is the ceremony’s only viewer-voted award and it’s no big surprise it’s gone to last year’s biggest show.
Jed Mercurio hasn’t made it, neither has Richard Madden, but Keeley is on stage looking like a fairy princess. She gets a formal apology for being killed off for a second time (yes, she really is dead).
20:43: Derry Girls fans, this is your moment. Best Scripted Comedy is about to be announced – the girls and James are up against Mum, Sally 4EVer and Stath Lets Flats. Can they win their first Bafta?
Nope, this one’s going to Julia Davis’ Sally 4Ever (another award for Sky!) which co-stars her real-life husband Julian Barratt.
“There’s no way I thought this was going to happen,” says a shellshocked Julia as she accepts the prize and does an “Olivia Colman” thanking her babysitter. She beat some big comedy shows there, a huge win for the Sky comedy.
And for any miffed Derry Girls fans, here’s a pic of your gang looking all scrubbed up…
20:40: Now we’re onto Best Sport Coverage? Will it be 2018 Six Nations: Scotland v England (BBC), 2018 World Cup Quarter Final: England v Sweden (BBC), England’s Test Cricket – Cook’s Farewell (Sky Sports) or Winter Olympics (BBC)?
It is, of course, World Cup fever that sweeps this category (nearly a year on) and the BBC team make their way up on stage for their World Cup Quarter Final: England v Sweden Bafta-winning coverage.
It’s the last Match of the Day of the season on TV tonight so none of the presenters make it up onto the ceremony’s stage.
20:36: Father and son Bradley and Barney Walsh are here to present Soap & Continuing Drama. It’s EastEnders for the win – seeing off competition from last year’s winner Casualty, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks.
Danny Dyer gets a mention (but doesn’t speak – boo!) and Kate Oates is also thanked “for leaving Coronation Street. A few months into the new job and she’s already turning around EastEnders’ fortunes with some coveted silverware…
20:34: Some press room tidbits for you. David Walliams is very keen on taking part in X Factor’s celebrity special – he wants to do a duet with Wagner (please, NO) – meanwhile, Louis Theroux is saying he’d love to do another feature film documentary.
And while Inside No.9’s live special was praised far and wide, Best Male Comedy Performance winner Steve Pemberton says he won’t do another one any time soon…
20:29: We’ve swiftly rolled into Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme. Can This Country’s Daisy May Cooper make it two consecutive awards? Or will she be bested this time by Jessica Hynes (There She Goes), Julia Davis (Sally 4Ever) or Lesley Manville (Mum)?
While we’re waiting, let’s remember the back of Daisy May’s dress again…
Mo Gilligan and Lolly Adefope are here to present this category stuffed with talent.
And the Bafta goes to… Jessica Hynes. Her second Bafta TV Award (her first was for W1A) and she makes her way up to the stage and praises her co-star David Tennant (“I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, he’s ‘coming through'”) – “he’s a phenomenal actor, a kind and brilliant person to work with.”
20:25: Now, time for Best Reality & Constructed Factual. Last year this went to Love Island, but in 2019 it doesn’t get a look in. Instead we’ve got Dragons Den v I’m a Celebrity v Old People’s home for 4-Year-Olds v The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night.
Joe Sugg and Shirley Ballas are on stage, with a terrible joke about Joe’s romance with dance partner Dianne Buswell, before they swiftly move on to announce I‘m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! as the winner.
Dec has gone up on stage for this one, as has Ant, but it’s Holly Willoughby who stands centre stage with her presenting partner (hurrah!)
Dec thanks the “dedicated” production team and Holly for doing a “fantastic job” standing in for Ant who has “reluctantly come up here tonight because he’s still part of the team, obviously”. Medic Bob has also made an appearance, all the way from Australia! Good on Medic Bob.
20:21: We’re onto the sad part of the evening, where we remember everyone we’ve lost in the last year. Among the images flashing up on screen are those of Andre Previn, Clive Swift, Luke Perry, Leslie Grantham, Mya-Lecia Naylor, Jeremy Hardy, Rachel Bland, John Bluthal, Dame June Whitfield.
Once the montage has finished, Graham adds Freddie Starr and Brian Walden (whose death was announced earlier today) to the list.
20:19: Meanwhile, backstage in the press room, Fiona Shaw has been explaining how Phoebe Waller-Bridge has moved on from Killing Eve “with great regret” and telling everyone she’d like to be in a James Bond film (yes PLEASE!)
You’re lucky I have no time to mock up a fancy Photoshop.
20:15: Suranne Jones and Sir Lenny Henry step out on stage to hand out the Special Award to Nicola Shindler who set up Red Production Company in 1998 and – among others – created Banana, Butterfly, Casanova, Clocking Off, Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Ordinary Lies, Queer as Folk, Scott and Bailey, Trust Me and Unforgiven. Lenny had to take a deep breath after reading that lot out and I didn’t get time to write them all down…!
20:10: Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme is up next. The nominees:
Leonie Elliot and Samson Kayo (who was nominated in this category last year) stroll out on stage to present. “The Bafta goes to… Steve Pemberton” which will make a LOT of Inside No.9 fans very happy after years without recognition from the Academy.
Pemberton, of course, thanks his un-nominated co-creator who he’s already given a shout-out on the red carpet. “I feel totally bereft tonight without Reece Shearsmith standing next to me. Everything we do on Inside No. 9 we do together and that includes this award.”
He also thanks “the runners all the way down to the executive producers,” which gets a huge round of applause from the audience. A masterclass in acceptance speeches.
20:07: Another brief interlude for me to fawn over ANOTHER lush backstage picture. We need more Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fiona Shaw mutual appreciation in our lives.
20:05: Next on the list is Best Specialist Factual – this is the Bros category, people!
When the Screaming Stops is up against Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage, Suffragettes with Lucy Worsley and Superkids: Breaking Away From Care.
Louis Theroux takes the stage to present this one and – rather cheekily – plugs his own documentary, Mothers on the Edge, which is about to kick off on BBC2.
Once he’s done, he announces Suffragettes with Lucy Worsley as the winner, and the historian takes to the stage looking resplendent in a white, purple and green Suffragette sash.
“We have loved making this programme but we have also, all of us, been left with a sense of unfinished business,” says Worlsey. “Our favourite people at the Women’s March last year were the ones dressed as Suffragettes.”
20:03: A brief interlude for us all to reflect on the positive impact TV can have on our lives, with footage from EastEnders, The Undateables, School For Stammerers, DIY SOS: The Big Build and more included in this montage of clips, with contributions from Sir David Attenborough, of course.
Meanwhile, over in the press room, Huw Edwards has been marking The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance’s win with yet more teasing of his Strictly Come Dancing involvement.
19:59: Best Entertainment Programme time. Will Ant & Dec be up on stage? They’re nominated for Britain’s Got Talent and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, but face competition from Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.
Awkwardly, Bafta host Graham Norton has been snubbed from this year’s shortlist but he gamely welcomes Sex Education stars Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa to the stage to hand out the prize to Britain’s Got Talent, the show’s third win.
Ant & Dec take to the podium and thank the crew and – of course – all the people who come along to audition. “There really is no show without them”.
19:54: Now for the second of the four big acting prizes. Best Supporting Actress.
Will it be Keeley Hawes (Mrs Wilson), Billie Piper (Collateral), Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve) or Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal)?
What. A. Category.
And what presenters: Line of Duty co-stars Martin Compston and Stephen Graham are up on stage to present. Graham pulls a KitKat out of his pocket instead of his glasses before opening the envelope and reading Fiona Shaw‘s name.
This could be the start of a big night for Killing Eve… Fiona’s first Bafta win from her first ever nomination. She’s described the role as “probably the greatest pleasure of my life,” and jokes that people have started to suspect she is a spy.
But her final thanks go to show creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her “glass shattering genius and wayward imagination.”
19:50: Best Features is up next. Do Bake Off have it wrapped up? They’re vying for the Bafta against Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, Who Do You Think You Are? and Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip.
We must be running short of time because presenter Matt Berry has been told to “crack on” and he duly does, announcing the winner as Who Do You Think You Are? with Cumberbatch’s best mate Robert Rinder up on stage to accept the prize, recalling his grandfather, a child Holocaust survivor.
15 series in and still winning awards. Bafta is clearly feeling the love for long-running shows tonight.
19:49: On a Sherlock-y side-note (sorry for anyone after Channel 4’s acceptance quotes) I thought you lot might enjoy this. Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch feeling the love at Bafta tonight…
19:47: Now, it’s time for Best News Coverage. Piers Morgan & co have a 50/50 chance here, with two GMB noms for On a Knife Edge? and the Thomas Markle Exclusive. They’re up against Cambridge Analytica Uncovered and Bullying and Harassment in the House of Commons (Newsnight).
No Bafta for Piersy tonight, Cambridge Analytica Uncovered (from Channel 4) has the win.
19:42: Next on the list is Best Single Documentary. Driven: The Billy Monger Story is up for this one, against Gun No. 6, My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me and School for Stammerers.
Peter Jones and Victoria Coren-Mitchell are on stage to present this one, awarding the Bafta to Gun No. 6 which followed the story of a single handgun involved in 11 separate shootings and three murders. Quite a feat of filmmaking.
19:38: Now, time for a biggie. Best Single Drama.
And the nominees are…
Killed By My Debt
Through the Gates (On The Edge)
Kudos to Craig Parkinson who stars in both Killed by My Debt and Bandersnatch fame.
And the winner is… Killed By My Debt. The first award of the night for BBC3 and a wonderful single film based on a tragic true-life story, with the family of the victim up on stage tonight. “Thank you to everybody who’s helped bring this to the nation’s attention,” they say at the podium.
Star Chance Perdomo is up for the prestigious Best Actor prize later tonight.
19:36: Fun tidbit from the press room – apparently Jamie Redknapp was supposed to be here tonight to collect the Bafta for League of Their Own but he’s stuck in a taxi after watching the football!
19:33: Best Short Form Programme is next on our list, with Bovril Pam (Snatches: Moments from 100 Years of Women’s Lives) starring Jodie Comer, up against The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Missed Call and Wonderdate (co-created by Fleabag producer Lydia Hampson).
Pure’s Charlie Clive and Anthony Welsh present the Bafta to Missed Call – the first film to be shot entirely on an iPhone (or so the voiceover announcer has just told me)
19:30: Current Affairs sees a shortlist of Football’s Wall of Silence (Al Jazeera Investigations), Iran Unveiled: Taking on the Ayatollahs (Exposure), Massacre at Ballymurphy and Myanmar’s Killing Fields (Dispatches)
WINNER: Myanmar’s Killing Fields (Dispatches)
The team pays tribute to the Rohingya community who risked their lives to record the footage that made this film.
19:29: Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch has been backstage in the Winners’ Press Conference. and says it has been “great to see Andrew Scott” – he’s a dear friend and he’s always excited to see him. He also jokes he’ll be enjoying some champagne and class A drugs to celebrate.
19:26: Time for Best Factual Series. Seriously challenging my touch-typing speed here as we tear through the categories at breakneck speed…!
The nominees here are: 24 Hours in A&E, Life and Death Row: The Mass Execution, Louis Theroux’s Altered States and Prison.
Graham introduces Naga Manchetty and “Sofa” Raworth to present. Make that “Sophie Raworth!”
The Bafta goes to… Louis Theroux’s Altered States! That’s the BBC’s second award tonight. And some nice promo for Louis’s new documentary – airing tonight!
19:23: Now, Best Live Event. Fighting it out are Open Heart Surgery: Live, The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Stand Up to Cancer.
Bobby and Jane stay on stage for this one, presenting the award to The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.
Huw Edwards is up on stage to collect. “The entire production really was constructed to pay tribute to a truly remarkable generation of people,” he says.
19:18: Time for Best International Show. The nominees are…
Reporting Trump’s First Year: The Fourth Estate (Storyville)
The winner: Succession. And as I mentioned below, Succession is written by Fresh Meat and Peep Show scribe Jesse Armstrong who has been nominated for a massive 12 Baftas over the course of his career.
Jane Krakowski and Bobby Berk are up on stage to present to the cast and crew, with Keeley Hawes’ husband Matthew Macfadyen among them (will their family silverware collection grow further tonight?)
Also, on a side-note, that’s 3/4 awards so far for Sky who are surely cracking open the champagne by now.
19:14: Now, we’re onto Best Supporting Actor.
It’ll be Alex Jennings (Unforgotten) up against Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal), Kim Bodnia (Killing Eve) and Stephen Graham (Save Me).
“I won’t win but I suppose it’s nice to be nominated again,” Graham said earlier on the red carpet. Will he be pleasantly surprised?
Nope (although we’re sure he’ll be up again next year for Line of Duty) – the prize goes to Ben Whishaw. Paloma Faith and Emma Corrin (The Crown’s new Princess Diana) instead dish the award out to director Stephen Frears as Whishaw is acting on Broadway.
“I’m sorry I’m not Ben,” he quips. “He didn’t send me a speech he’s useless.”
19:11: “Good evening, I’m world-famous TV star David Schwimmer,” quips the Friends actor, up on stage with Nick Mohammed. They’re definitely not up there to promote their upcoming sitcom Intelligence. Definitely. Tune into BBC1 later if you want to see Mohammed’s sly dig at the diversity of the Friends cast…
Anyway, they’re here to present Best Comedy Entertainment Programme. Nominees are:
The Big Narstie Show
Would I Lie to You?
The Last Leg
A League of Their Own
WINNER: A League of Their Own
Nine years and 13 series in – not a bad achievement. And they get to meet FRIENDS STAR DAVID SCHWIMMER (not that I’m jealous).
This second win also marks 2/2 awards for Sky so far. Their night’s off to a flyer.
19:04: We’re starting off with Best Mini-Series, and we’re treated to Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott as presenters.
“Just because something feels perfect, doesn’t mean it should last forever,” she says with a giggle at her citation autocue.
“It’s not the length of a thing but what you do with it that matters,” adds Scott. Wink wink.
And the winner of Best Mini-Series is… Patrick Melrose!
Benedict Cumberbatch is up on stage alongside the show’s creators to accept their prize. They give the books by Edward St Aubyn a good plug while they’re up there.
19:01: While we reflect on a montage of the last year in TV, here’s a Keeley Hawes appreciation post. Doesn’t she look marvellous?
If tonight goes in her favour, she could walk away with TWO acting prizes tonight.
18:57: Well, that was rather lovely. “It almost seems a shame to follow it with some snarky ill-spirited jokes,” quips Graham Norton in his opening speech. He’s already managed a sly dig at Seann Walsh.
18:54: Kicking off proceedings is a performance from Gareth Malone and the Kensington Aldridge Academy choir.
18:52: Right, it’s awards time here at Festival Hall. Stay tuned for some winners – and inevitable typos…
18:27: “This is the first time we’ve seen each other since the show’s aired,” says Fleabag’s Andrew Scott who has joined Phoebe Waller-Bridge on camera.
The two lit up screens earlier this year in the ridiculously good second – and final (sob) – series. But Waller-Bridge has her hands full, executive producing Killing Eve’s upcoming second and third series – its first is up for a whopping SIX awards, although not without controversy (more on that below).
“I’ve got my thank you list sorted, just in case,” she admits. Surely she’ll be up on stage at some point this evening…?
“We’re just really honoured that everyone really seemed to love it,” they say. They’ve already won a Bafta Craft Award and tonight they’re up for Specialist Factual. And they’re promising a new film for their fans…
“We’re definitely in talks about a new film. It’s going to be a very different type of movie,” they promise Clara Amfo.
18:16: Sherlock fans, look out for a reunion between Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott on the red carpet tonight.
Apparently, her mum made it with her friend – and here’s a sneak peek at the creation from behind.
17:59: Kim’s been getting, erm, up close and personal with Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
He promises us Black Mirror series five is “imminent”. The Netflix show’s interactive special Bandersnatch just sneaked into the Bafta eligibility period with its release at the very end of December. It represents just one of just two nominations for Netflix, up for Best Single Drama (Queer Eye is up for Must-See Moment).
17:52: Want a sneak peek at where some of the night’s biggest stars are sitting tonight?
Bafta shared a look at the seating plan inside London’s Royal Festival Hall at the end of last week…
Incidentally, Good Morning Britain has landed its first ever Bafta nominations at this year’s ceremony. The ITV show is up for Best News Coverage, making up half of the shortlist with On a Knife Edge and their Thomas Markle exclusive. If they win, Piers will be sure we know about it…
17:44: Kim has been talking to Shirley Ballas on the red carpet.
17:41: A quick look at who could win their second consecutive award this year – 2018 winners Daisy May Cooper, The Handmaid’s Tale and Casualty are all hoping to take home Bafta gongs twice in two years.
Interestingly, The Handmaid’s Tale is up against Succession for Best International Show – but UK comedy fans will be interested to hear that it’s writer Jesse Armstrong (of Peep Show and Fresh Meat fame) behind the breakout US hit starring Matthew Macfadyen and Brian Cox.
17:38: Line of Duty may not be eligible for this year’s ceremony – nominees must have aired between 1st January and 31st December 2018 – but star Martin Compston has still scrubbed up for a night on the town.
“I’m delighted Line of Duty is over,” he said on the red carpet – apparently it’s a wee bit stressful starring in one of the biggest shows on TV.
17:33: Let’s take a look at some other nominees to watch…
Doctor Who may have been snubbed in all categories except Must-See Moment, but one of the show’s former stars, Billie Piper, is up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Collateral – although she’s facing stiff competition from Keeley Hawes (Mrs Wilson), Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve) and Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal).
Another nominee to look out for is Rachel Parris. She’s up for her Best Entertainment Performance for her contributions to The Mash Report – and viral videos like this…
Parris – who was among Radio Times’ 2018 TV 100 – is up against some big hitters in the comedy world, though, with Would I Lie to You?’s Lee Mack and David Mitchell also nominated, alongside entertainment giants Ant & Dec.
And speaking of Ant & Dec, they’re in the mix for three awards: Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway are also both shortlisted for Best Entertainment Programme.
Whether they win any is another matter – there was some backlash in January when they took home a 18th consecutive National Television Award for Best Presenter, despite Ant spending much of the year off-screen after his drink driving conviction in April 2018.
“It’s nice to be back on the red carpet,” they’ve said to Clara Amfo tonight.
17:19: Steve Pemberton ends a long Bafta drought for Inside No. 9 with recognition in the Best Male Comedy Performance category. But he’s not happy his co-creator and co-star has been overlooked.
“It’s really a shame my colleague, Reece Shearsmith, who I do all the series with hasn’t been nominated alongside me,” he’s told Clara Amfo on the red carpet.
They’ve told Kim on the red carpet that they don’t want Greatest Dancer judge Oti Mabuse to take over Darcey Bussell’s spot on the Strictly Come Dancing panel. They’d prefer she kept dancing on the show instead.
16:51: We’ll be taking a very brief blog hiatus for 15 minutes while I scurry inside the media centre at Royal Festival Hall. One year they had these adorable chocolate mini Baftas and it would be sad to tell you how much I’m hoping they make a reappearance.
In the meantime, EVERYONE should watch this video of Olivia Colman the night she won not one but TWO Bafta TV Awards and gave another of her heroically good speeches:
16:51: Kim has nabbed our first red carpet interviewee, Gareth Malone, who will perform as part of tonight’s ceremony…
16:42: As for the coveted Best Drama category, it’s a BBC-dominated shortlist with Killing Eve, Bodyguard and Informer all vying for the trophy, but repping Sky are Lennie James’ drama Save Me (which he wrote and starred in with Suranne Jones).
If Killing Eve’s acting nominees start picking up prizes (Fiona Shaw and Kim Bodnia are also nominated), it will be the favourite to convert here.
16:45: Now, let’s turn our attention to Best Actress. No unknowns here – instead we get a head-to-head of four fantastic performances watched by millions upon millions of viewers over the past year.
Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh has been nominated by all major American awards bodies in the past year for her role as MI5 agent Eve Polastri, but her co-star Jodie Comer (who plays assassin Villanelle) has been largely overlooked (much to the chagrin of viewers).
Luckily, Bafta have righted that wrong, recognising both in their Leading Actress category. But Keeley Hawes lead last year’s biggest TV drama Bodyguard (well, half of it) and is hoping to convert her second Leading Actress nomination (she’s previously made the shortlist for Line of Duty). And Ruth Wilson will also be hoping to make it up on stage on her second time of asking (she was last nominated in 2007 for Jane Eyre). Her family biopic Mrs Wilson was a critical hit just before Christmas.
16:32: The race for Best Actor is an interesting one. Bafta has a habit of delivering shock winners when it comes to its high profile categories – relative unknowns Molly Windsor and Georgina Campbell have both caused upsets in the Best Actress category in recent years.
This year’s Best Actor shortlist is made up of two heavyweights – Hugh Grant and Benedict Cumberbatch – alongside Killed By My Debt’s 22-year-old lead Chance Perdomo and Kiri’s Lucian Msamati.
Cumberbatch – who is attending tonight’s ceremony – will be hoping to make it seventh time lucky (that’s right, he’s been nominated by Bafta TV seven times – six in the Leading Actor category and once for Supporting!)
Surely it’s his turn to finally pick up the prize for his haunting portrayal of Patrick Melrose?
… I suggest we have a proper look at this year’s nominations. First up, a numbers breakdown. I got up extra early this morning to make this first Photoshop and I’m rather pleased with it.
(Side-note – see here for an idea of just how bad my Photoshopping can get…)
Why is Killing Eve nominated?
Killing Eve leads the charge with six nominations but they haven’t come without controversy. Bafta rules have traditionally stated that any nominated programme must have aired in the UK first. Killing Eve broadcast in the US five months before it launched on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer – so, why is it eligible for the major categories?
The British Academy have justified their decision by citing “the significant contribution from key UK talent throughout the production” which we’ve taken to mean the book’s original author, Luke Jennings, and showrunner Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The decision to include the show so prominently in the shortlist (it makes up half of the Best Actress nominations) has raised some eyebrows…
Who else is up for the big Bafta Awards?
Also vying for the night’s major prizes are A Very English Scandal, up for four categories after taking home four prizes at the Bafta Craft Awards earlier this year. And then we have the explosive Bodyguard and Ruth Wilson’s family biopic Mrs Wilson – each with three nods.
16:06: One thing’s for sure – the red carpet won’t look this calm for much longer…
The red carpet kicks off in a few moments with the first guests expected to make an appearance at 4:15pm. If you’re looking out for the biggest stars, they usually make their way down towards the end, before the ceremony begins at 6:45pm.
If you’re planning to watch the events on BBC1, be warned that TV coverage begins at 8pm, finishing at 10pm. The BBC edit down the two hour and 45 minute ceremony into a two-hour broadcast and won’t show every winner.
Here at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the awards will conclude at 9:30pm before all the guests are shipped off to a swanky after party to quaff champagne and while the night away.
15:55: Good afternoon! My name’s Susanna Lazarus, RadioTimes.com’s Associate Editor, and I’ll be guiding you through tonight’s Bafta coverage. I’ll be joined by my colleagues Eleanor Bley-Griffiths and Kimberley Bond, who has the lucky job of nabbing interviews with the crème de la crème of TV talent on the red carpet.
Stay tuned for awards analysis, full details of all the winners, backstage chats – and some dodgy Photoshopping and inevitable typos as I attempt to hit my 90 words per minute touch-typing record.