BAFTA Television Awards 2016 – as it happened

Breaking news of all the winners, plus pictures and interviews from the red carpet and backstage – follow our live coverage of the British Academy Television Awards


The sun is shining, the red carpet’s been rolled out – it can only mean one thing… Yup, it’s BAFTA day! And while you relax and unwind this fine Sunday afternoon, the nation’s biggest TV stars are busy powdering their noses ahead of this year’s British Academy Television Awards, hosted by Graham Norton. 


And are here at London’s Festival Hall to deliver every bit of the action, from red carpet interviews to backstage gossip and, of course, news of the night’s biggest winners, as it happens. The ceremony will air on a delay from 8pm on BBC1 so for minute-by-minute updates on the evening’s headlines stay tuned with our live blog. It’s the only place to be. 

On Twitter? Use the hashtag #RTBafta or tweet @RadioTimes to join in the conversation.

22:23: Right, the Percy Pigs are finished and we’re being booted out of the media centre. It’s time to sign off and sleep for a week. Thanks for following folks, you’ve been grand. We hope you enjoyed our coverage. Over and out.

22:22: We chatted to Michelle Gomez on the BAFTA red carpet earlier this evening and, as promised, click here to see what she had to say on new companion Bill and her future on Doctor Who.

22:08: Leading Actress winner Suranne Jones has been backstage discussing the return of the drama which won her a BAFTA.

Shooting begins in September and the episodes are beginning to roll in. “I’ve read episode one and I’m due episode two and three this week. At first I didn’t know if there should be a second series. Now we get to look at what actually happens when people have to parent a child in the aftermath of a divorce.”

Jones – who had a baby a couple of months ago – is plotting a return to the West End stage next year. Does she see things differently now she’s a parent? “I think I’ll find out. What’s wonderful about taking some time off with my family is that I get to have a new life experience. I don’t know – I’ll find out what all this new mummyness will bring to the role.”

22:02: Backstage off the back of Bake Off’s win is Nadiya discussing her new series, tentatively titled with the best pun ever: “The Chronicles of Nadiya”.

“It’s my travels back to Bangladesh. I’ve not been back for 10 years. It’s a mixture of food and family.”

It’s been a good few weeks for the Bake Off champ who, on top of her BAFTA triumph, has recently baked a birthday cake for none other than Her Majesty the Queen. “What really helped was that I was so busy I didn’t realise what I was doing. My goodness, then it hit me. What an honour.”

21:55: Ian Hislop promised on stage not to get political… before promptly getting political, and he stuck to his pro-BBC message in the winners conference backstage. “I have a feeling John Whittingdale’s ideal HIGNIFY panel would be the Prime Minister as host, the defence secretary and the home secretary as the two team captains.

“It’s a ludicrous idea what he’s proposing. But I think like most of the really terrible ideas this government has come up with, in about three weeks it’ll decide they never meant it anyway. That’s what we hope.”

He added of recent political events: “Politics is pretty reliably surreal. The show’s seen quite a lot of ups and downs in terms of politics. It comes in waves but last week was very, very difficult to make up.”

And he’s certainly looking forward to the Brexit result and the outcome of Trump’s presidency campaign. “It’s like the Championship and the FA Cup and the other football-y things all happening together. That’s how excited I am.”

21:47: Mark Rylance scooped one of the night’s top prizes – is there a single award that eludes that man? – but he admits that tonight he was more nervous than at the Oscars. “It felt like a community much more than at the Academy Awards. There is a real sense of community in the TV world. There’s a sense of BBC being the mothership.”

How does he reflect on winning the film and television BAFTAs in the same year? “It feel like an extraordinary time in my life.”

21:45: After sounding like a member of the Royal Family with that plummy acceptance speech, Leigh Francis is back to his usual self. His hands smell like a bag of change because BAFTA awards are really “metal-y,” he tells the press backstage.

21:44: As far as the ceremony goes, that’s it folks. The BAFTA winners are making their way up to the stage, the losers heading towards a slap up meal (scroll to the very bottom of this bumper blog for details of the scrumptious menu. Or if you’re hungry maybe don’t. All I’ve eaten in the past five hours is Percy Pigs and an egg sandwich. To be rich and famous, eh?)

21:40: “All the people who’ve campaigned to support diversity in this industry. Since I was 14, television has been my life,” he adds – naming Bake Off, Goodness Gracious Me, The Week that Was and many more.

“I believe British TV is the best in the world and if it feels like I’m banging on about diversity, it’s because I believe in increasing it so all the 14 year-olds glued to their phones who want to work in TV irrespective of their race, gender, class can achieve that ambition. If we do this we will make this fantastic industry even greater. So please, let’s keep working together to make this a reality. Let’s create a coalition of the willing and please, let’s put it in the charter.”

21:38: The standing ovation that follows is no surprise. Lenny unfurls his piece of paper and begins…

“I never dreamt my work would be recognised in this way. Throughout my career I’ve received support, advice and inspiration from some brilliant people. Because I’ve been around for so long there are too many people to thank and this speech would last longer than a BBC charter renewal negotiation.” But first…


21:36: And finally, it’s Lenny Henry’s big moment. The co-founder of Comic Relief and star of The Lenny Henry Show, Tiswas and Three of a Kind is the recipient of the Alan Clarke Award. Adrian Lester welcomes him up to the stage.

21:29: Hurrah! Rylance it is – with that natty hat he was sporting on the red carpet now in hand. He makes his way up on stage to collect ANOTHER award. He must feel like a pro at this by now – and it comes as no surprise that his speech references Peter Kosminsy and that it’s political…

“You’ve seen the lion of a director that we have on Wolf Hall. He’s also the only director I’ve ever worked with who visits every cast member at 6 or 7 in the morning.

“I’m really struck by the quality of the storytelling in this country and I agree with Peter that times are hard. Woe to any government or corporation who try and get in the way of British people and their love of a good joke, a fact, a song, good commentating, newscasters who can hold themselves together, people who can cook well and bake cakes. The incredible variety of popular culture in this country has really blown my mind tonight and woe to any government who tries to get between that.

“We’re a nation of storytellers and we’re admired around the world for it and long may that live and long may that be a privilege of the people here without having to watch commercials.”

21:26: And now for the penultimate award – Leading Actor, with Helen McCrory introducing some seriously good male performances: Ben Whishaw for London Spy, Idris Elba for Luther, Mark Rylance for Wolf Hall and Stephen Graham for This is England ’90.

Wolf Hall already has one prize – will it claim another? Rylance has got to be the favourite here. His mantlepiece is already heaving with silverware.

21:24: And the BAFTA goes to Suranne Jones for Doctor Foster. Any of them could have won that and I’d be happy.

“This is such a big moment for me and I’ve got terrible baby brain,” she quips. “I can’t remember my own name never mind anyone else’s.”

Nevertheless, she recalls plenty and breathes a deep sigh of relief.

21:21: Big moment here: the fiercely contested Best Actress category presented by Mr Tom Hiddleston. He’s “very happy to manage the night at any time, particularly on the BBC.”

He introduces four “supremely talented women” – we won’t argue with him there – Sheridan Smith (The C Word), Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster), Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) and Ruth Madeley (Don’t Take My Baby).

Before the ceremony we thought it would be Sheridan, Suranne or Claire, but after Don’t Take My Baby’s success in Single Drama, could it be Ruth?

I’m not even going to try and call this.

21:19: Graham stands gamely aside to make way for Leigh Francis – the second man bun of the evening – who kicks off his acceptance speech with a plummy RP accent. This all feels very strange.

21:17: Entertainment Performance, presented by Alesha Dixon, is up next. Will it be Romesh Ranganathan (Asian Provocateur), Leigh Francis (Celebrity Juice), Stephen Fry (QI) or the host himself, Graham Norton, for The Graham Norton Show.

21:14: And so it is. Peter Kay & co head up to the stage to collect their second prize of the evening. Will there be more words in this speech?

Producer Gill Isles is ushered towards the stage as Kay moves as far away from it as possible before being hauled back over. “It’s two people in a car, just talking. Who’d have thought it in this day and age. It’s just nice to make people laugh – simple as that, it’s lovely.”

N’aww, and lovely that was.

21:13: The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar ups the diversity quota (his words, not mine) to present Best Scripted Comedy to one of Chewing Gum, Peep Show, People Just Do Nothing or Peter Kay’s Car Share.

My money’s on Car Share. Or Chewing Gum. No, I’m going to say Car Share.

21:08: And the winner is…

Wahoo, it’s The Great British Bake Off. Luckily Bezza’s dressed to match the award itself. She looks all gold and shimmery as she makes her way up to the stage joined by Nadiya.

“Thank you BAFTA,” says Mary. “I’m not normally in charge up here but tonight Paul, Mel and Sue have landed me in it. I love them dearly and miss them because we’re all a team. It all started with a bit of baking in a tent. The program is all about wonderful amateur bakers making fantastic cake. So thank you Anna Beattie for creating the Bake Off and the BBC for commissioning a show that we are enormously proud of.”

And finally, a few words from Nadiya who calls Bake Off “one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done and I’m totally biased but long may it continue.”

AND they’ve got Josh Hartnett as a fan. Not a bad evening, eh?

21:07: Features is presented by Katherine Jenkins who introduces the four nominees – Back in Time for Dinner, Kevin McCloud: Escape to the Wild, Travel Man and Teh Great Britihs Bake Off.

This is Bake Off’s fifth nomination and would be its third win (it scooped the prize in 2012 and 2013). Can Nadiya’s victory help them triumph yet again?

21:05: The BAFTA goes to EastEnders – what a send off for outgoing showrunner Dominic Treadwell-Collins. Adam Woodyatt, Laurie Brett and DTC head up to the stage – the latter thanking as many names as he can remember before ending with “everyone at Elstree, the most amazing team who work so hard every day of the week. This is for them, thank you.”

21:02: Ooh, it’s a biggie next: Best Soap & Continuing Drama aka the grudge match between EastEnders and Coronation Street. Or could it be Emmerdale? No one’s really considering Holby City, are they?

Dermot O’Leary and Fearne Cotton are on stage to deliver the results.

20:59: Trevor McDonald is up on stage to present Best Specialist Factual – will it be Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, Grayson Perry’s Dream House, Rudolf Nureyev – Dance to Freedom, or will David Attenborough get a special 90th birthday present with a gong for The Hunt?

It’s not to be. The BAFTA goes to Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.

20:58: Just FYI, if you ask This Is England writer Jack Thorne about his new stage play, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, you’re probably putting his life at risk.

“I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about anything to do with that project! I think if I did there would be someone with a poison dart somewhere over there who would just blow it at me,” he said backstage at the winners press conference.

20:54: And now it’s time to pay tribute to the unprecedented number of people we’ve loved and lost over the last twelve months, beginning with Victoria Wood singing the Ballad of Barry & Freda and, of course, Sir Terry Wogan. Denise Robertson, Jimmy Hill, Garry Shandling, Paul Daniels, Cilla Black and Ronnie Corbett are also remembered in a special montage.

20:52: And the BAFTA goes to… Have I Got News for You. Ian Hislop is at the podium thanking his wonderful team… Leicester. “I thought I wouldn’t do any political stuff, it’s already been done,” he says, before going on to say political stuff: “I would like to thank the BBC who have allowed HIGNFY to be very rude about governments of all persuasions and to be very rude about the BBC themselves which is a privilege you’re given with public service broadcasting but not state television.”

20:49: Best Comedy & Comedy Entertainment Programme is presented by Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan. “Katherine and I are honoured to present this award and also grateful to diversity targets,” jokes Romesh before listing the nominees which are…

Charlie Brooker’s Election Wipe, Have I Got News for You, QI and Would I Lie to You.

20:47: We’ll have to wait on Michelle’s victory jig. The BAFTA goes to Chanel Creswell who makes her way up on stage for a second time tonight. She hasn’t written a speech so, here goes… She thanks Shane Meadows for giving her “the best work experience I could ask for” and her mum, dad, two brothers, sister Charlotte and best friend Claire.

20:45: Eye candy alert! James Norton is up on stage to present the Best Supporting Actress gong. He’s come as Harry Potter in some very fetching round spectacles…

The nominees? Chanel Creswell (This is England ’90), Lesley Manville (River), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (The Enfield Haunting), and Michelle Gomez (Doctor Who).

Michelle Gomez is basically our favourite woman on earth so we’re rooting for her. This is how she reacted to her BAFTA nomination. We can only imagine what she’ll do if she wins.

20:41: It could have been any of Channel 4’s three offerings but this BAFTA is going to First Dates. King of suave Fred Sirieux is making his way up to the stage, dressed in blue velvet. Of course he’s dressed in blue velvet.

“We probably feel a little bit like Leo did at the Oscars,” the team quip after getting their hands on a BAFTA prize for the very first time.

“The only reason why I’m doing First Dates is it’s a good programme made by good people, it’s got good intent,” says Fred. “It’s been a great learning curve for me and it reminds me of what’s important to me in life, in business, in love – to have a clear vision and common values, to make a clear effort and compromise.

“We’re off to get pissed!”

20:39: Helen George and Craig Revel Horwood make their way up to the podium next to present the Reality and Constructed Factual category (now that’s a mouthful) to one of four nominees – First Dates, Gogglebox, I’m a Celebrity and The Secret Life of Four, Five and Six-Year-Olds.

20:37: It would have been Ian McKellen’s first TV BAFTA but instead the prize goes to Tom Courtenay who makes his way on stage to whoops and cheers. “I’m rather surprised,” he admits. “I was taken aback to be introduced on the ITV Good Morning show as a veteran actor which didn’t seem right. It wasn’t so long since that I was most promising newcomer,” he quips.

20:34: It’s Best Supporting Actor time as we inch towards the business end of the ceremony and here to present is last year’s Best Actress winner Georgina Campbell. This category is jam-packed with wealth and experience – we’ve got Ian McKellen for The Dresser, Tom Courtenay for Unforgotten, Anton Lesser for Wolf Hall and relative youngster Cyril Nri joining them for Cucumber.

20:33: Aidan Turner – WITH MAN BUN (I still can’t get over that man bun) – is up on stage to thank the fans. “You’re incredibly supportive and loyal and we wouldn’t be anywhere without you. BBC and Radio Times, thank you so much for the support.” You’re so welcome, Aidan.

20:32: We only welcome the best to present the Radio Times Audience Award – so, of course, it’s Martin Freeman taking to the stage to remind us that five years ago Sherlock lost in this very same category to The Only Way is Essex. Who will win the public vote this time around? Doctor Foster, Bake Off, Humans, Making a Murderer, Poldark or Peter Kay’s Car Share? The winner is…


20:30: Can’t stand the suspense? How about a few words from This is England creator Shane Meadows speaking backstage at the winners’ press conference…

“For now there’s nothing in the pipeline, but I’d never rule out coming back. OAP This is England!”, teased Meadows

What about making a film? Or taking the show to the West End?: “All those things have crossed my mind!”. Stage show?: “It’s crossed my mind. The original film fits that shape. We’d all try and do something that you’d not seen before.”

Don’t go begging him for another series any time soon, though.

“I don’t think I’ve got another series in me. This was 13 or 14 months of proper grind. I’m a maniac. I have to be involved in everything. It took my away from my home life. But there could be a film left in there.”

20:28: And now for a spot of musical accompaniment courtesy of Birdy as we await the announcement of the Radio Times Audience Award – the only category voted for by viewers and, in our opinion, THE gong of the evening. Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we.

20:25: An hour and a half into the ceremony and it’s time for the Fellowship Award which this year goes to Steptoe and Son creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. They’re appearing on VT, recalling their long collaboration – over 60 years! – and admitting that most of the people they’d choose to thank are now dead. Oh. Alan thanks Ray, they toast their champagne glasses, and we’re back in the auditorium for the next prize.

20:22: Jack Thorne takes to the stage, becoming the latest to deliver a political message with his speech – this time focusing on disability: “The cuts to access to work are making it very difficult for theatre, film and TV companies to employ disabled talent and that’s wrong and that’s got to change,” he says, to cheers from the audience.

20:21: It’s Don’t Take My Baby who scoop the prize. As they make their way up to the stage, Nesbitt adds in the wife of Shane Meadows after he thanked her four times without mentioning her name. In case you were wondering, it’s Joanne.

20:18: Best Single Drama is presented by James Nesbitt and Rose Leslie. But first some words from Nesbitt in defence of the BBC and echoing Kosminsky’s earlier speech…

“I think it’s true that all these films, everyone in this hall, the writers, the directors, the cast and crew, are able to do what they do as well as they do because of the BBC. Do not strip it away. I mean, did he watch the Hollow Crown last night? Please protect it, let’s cherish it.”

And now, the nominees: The C Word, Cyberbully, Don’t Take My Baby and The Go-Between.

20:17: It’s Peter Kay who’s named winner before delivering the speech of the night. With no words whatsoever. Trust us, the man is a genius.

20:13: Ashley Jenson is up on stage to present Best Male Comedy Performance – a category celebrating her two greatest passions: comedy and men. Let’s take a look at the four huge “talents” nominated:

Peter Kay in Peter Kay’s Car Share, Hugh Bonneville in W1A, Toby Jones in The Detectorists and JAvone Prince in The Javone Prince Show.

20:12: Best Entertainment Show winner Craig Revel Horwood is backstage and says Strictly duo Tess and Claudia are a bit of a modern day Morcambe and Wise:

“They are a juxtaposition. They are totally different. One is, I suppose in the theatre you’d say, the straight man. The other one is the comedy and provides the punchlines.

That’s why it works so well. It’s just wonderful to have Tess’s almost vulnerability and Claudia’s kookiness. She’s completely crazy, she goes completely against what Tess is like. Morecambe and Wise played by the same rules. It’s wonderful having a female double act on a prime time television show.”

He also says he would HATE Strictly to lose its current slot on BBC One:

“The scheduling is created around our audience. We want families to watch it, people between the ages of 3 and 93. I would hate to see it move slot. I love the slot that it’s in because it goes to a wider spectrum of audience.”

And he’s not at all worried about X Factor either.

“I find it a very useful tool, X Factor. Because I work as a theatre director I use that as an audition place. In fact, I’m employing two people from X Factor for Sister Act, so there you are darling. It’s useful. It has its uses.Thank you, Simon for my free auditions!”

“It’s not a competition as far as we’re concerned” “One is a wannabee. We’ve already got celebrities.”

“Simon Cowell’s been begging to do it.”

20:11: And the BAFTA goes to… Transparent. Star Jeffrey Tambor makes his way up on stage to collect his shiny golden mask and say a few inspiring words: “This is a series that answers the questions: it’s ok to change, you will still be loved, go for your authentic self, be who you are, to hell with the consequences. Live, love, be free.”

20:08: International Award is next up – but first a dreadful joke from Graham Norton, so dreadful he thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ll save it for the TV broadcast. For now, Josh Hartnett who admits he spent 12 hours binging through Bake Off. That’s right Mary Berry, you grin away.

Anyway, the international nominees are The Good Wife, Transparent, Narcos and Spiral.

20:05: Up next, Victoria Pendleton is on stage to present Best Sport. Will it be The Ashes, The Grand National, MOTD Live: FA Cup Final or Six Nations – Final Day?

It’s The Ashes. As someone who knows very little about cricket I have, er, very little to add. Still, it’s rather nice to beat Australia at something, eh?

20:03: It IS Michaela Coel. She’s looking rather overwhelmed as she makes her way to towards the stage. A kiss from Idris is reward enough.

“I’d like to pay my respects to Victoria Wood,” she begins, before giving some advice to those trying to break through who are a little unsure of themselves: “You are beautiful, embrace it, you are intelligent, embrace it, you are powerful, embrace it.”

20:00: The applause that meets Idris Elba and his dance to the stage is deafening. He’s up there to present Best Female Performance in a Comedy… but he’s a gravelly-voiced Idris Elba. He’s not drunk, he promises.

It’s got to be Michaela Coel, hasn’t it? The 28-year-old writes and stars in Channel 4’s Chewing Gum and is one of 2015’s breakout stars. Then again, this is the only chance for Catastrophe to score some silverware with Sharon Horgan’s nomination. And then there’s Sian Gibson in much-loved Peter Kay’s Car Share and Miranda Hart who should never, ever be discounted.

19:57: It’s Big Blue Live who emerge from their seats with giant grins on their faces as The Sound of Music, Stargazing and The Vote offer gamely applause. The natural history programming team pay tribute to birthday boy David Attenborough and thank the BBC for their bold commissioning choices. “The ocean put on an amazing spectacle for us – it goes to show that if you give nature the chance, it’ll come bouncing back.”

19:55: Graham Norton advises everyone to keep their speeches short as he introduces the presenters of Best Live Event – Musketeers star Luke Pasqualino (try spelling that in a hurry!) and Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon.

Will it be Big Blue Live, The Sound of Music Live! Stargazing Live: Brit in Space, Tim Peake Special or The Vote?

19:52: The winner is Channel 4 News: Paris Massacre with Jon Snow, last year’s BAFTA Fellowship recipient, among those making their way up to the stage. He takes to the podium to recall “the most testing evening I’ve ever known in news television. It ripped the heart out of Paris, it was a devastating experience and it was a struggle to get it to the screen.”

19:50: Krishnan and Katie remain on stage to present another gong – this time for Best News Coverage. The nominees are… BBC News at Six: Paris Attacks Special, Channel 4 News: Paris Massacre, ITV News at Ten: Refugee Crisis and Sky News: From Turkey to Greece.

19:47: And the BAFTA goes to… The Murder Detectives whose creators remember the 19-year-old boy, Nicholas Robinson, who was murdered two years ago in Bristol – the subject of the police investigation that formed the basis of the series. Nicholas’ mother joins them at the podium to hold the BAFTA aloft.

19:44: Krishnan Guru-Nurthy and Katie Derham are presenting Best Factual series – the nominees are The Detectives, Great Ormond Street, The Murder Detectives and The Tribe.

19:40: D’oh, my predicting streak comes to an end as the cast of This is England ’90 make their way to the stage led by Chanel Creswell. But it’s creator Shane Meadows who takes the mike to whoops and cheers. “This was probably the end of This is England and you dream of how you’re going to finish something and this was probably the dream that you had was to come to the BAFTAs – the last chance of winning something for something you love. He finishes by remembering to thank his wife for becoming “like a psychopath when I’m working”.

19:38: Next up, the prize for Best Mini-series, presented by Cush Jumbo and Olivia Grant. The shortlist is full of the expected – Doctor Foster, London Spy, This is England ’90 – and the unexpected: The Enfield Haunting. The Sky Atlantic drama wasn’t expected to have much of a presence on this year’s shortlist but walked away with two nominations (star Eleanor Worthington-Cox is up for Best Supporting Actress, too. Who will win?

I’m going to say Doctor Foster.

19:36: And the winner is… Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola. “This really is a massive surprise,” says Dan Edge, who admits they don’t get invited to many parties. “I want to say a little bit about what we learned making this film and that is all over the planet we are connected in a way I didn’t realise we were. What i mean is we spent time in a village where the outbreak began and I realised what happens in that village, it matters to us all and at our peril we turn away and ignore that and we’re all connected, we’re all the same and so I want to dedicate this award to the courageous people who fought this outbreak.”

19:33: And now the award for Current Affairs. Will it be Children of the Gaza War, Escape from Isis (Dispatches), Jihad: a British Story or Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola (This World)?

19:31: My Son the Jihadi it is. Sally Evans, son of jihadi Thomas, is up on stage. “It’s been a very difficult year for Michael and I but we’re both very glad to make our case public and grateful for the positive response we’ve received. I hope our story helps people speak out against cases of extremism, she tells the audience.

19:28: Reggie Yates and Professor Green may not be nominated tonight but they’re up on stage to present Best Single Documentary. The nominees? My Son the Jihadi, Bitter Lake, Life After Suicide and Louis Theroux: Transgnder Kids. In my opinion, Pro Green’s Suicide and Me deserved a nod but hey ho.

If Bitter Lake wins it’ll be the first online-only documentary to claim a BAFTA, but my money’s on either My Son the Jihadi or Theroux.

19:26: Tess is up on stage to collect Strictly’s very first BAFTA and she didn’t think they stood a chance. Neither did her daughter who told her, “no offence mum, but you’ve got no chance.”

Claud is regretting her three tequilas but is heading up a five-day party in celebration. Expect an excellent showing on the dancefloor.

19:24: Next up, Greg Davies on hand to present the Best Entertainment Programme. Will it be Adele at the BBC? BGT? Strictly Come Dancing or TFI Friday Anniversary Special?

It’s Strictly! Tess, Claud and the gang make their way up on stage.

19:18: And the BAFTA goes to… Wolf Hall. I would say I told you so… Heck, I’m going to say it. I told you so. Director Peter Kosminsky makes his way to the stage. He has a speech prepared which we’ll have more details on here later. Suffice to say, his defence of the BBC was impassioned and there were HUGE cheers around the auditorium, plus a standing ovation.

19:16: Who will it be? Wolf Hall? Humans? The Last Panthers? Or No Offence? My money’s on Wolf Hall… And if it gets this one, I reckon the BBC2 drama will sweep the board with its four nominations.

19:15: First up, the drama award, presented by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. In their words, “two Americans who’ve never seen any of these shows.” We don’t mind…

19:12: Next up, a montage of British telly’s best bits of 2015 – with a truncated BBC broadcast, you folks might not get to see this later. We’re currently watching the likes of Danny Dyer, Adele at the BBC, Tim Peake’s lift off, Amanda Holden’s golden buzzer, that Broadchurch verdict, Nadiya’s teary Bake Off win, Jenna Coleman’s Doctor Who exit, Britain’s Davis Cup win, Chris Evans’ TFI comeback and much, much more.

19:10: His next gag? “Poor Donald Trump was only the second most talked about arse of the year.” Number one? Tom Hiddleston, of course.

19:08: To quote Nelly (for the first time ever on the Radio Times website), it’s gettin’ hot in heeeerrre. After a sweltering red carpet, the auditorium smells a little wiffy, according to Graham.

19:08: Graham Norton is up on stage to introduce proceedings in a very sparkly tux. Missed it earlier? Here it is…


19:05: As the ceremony gets underway, we’ve got reporter Ellie Walker-Arnott in the winers’ press conference primed and waiting to bring you quotes and stories from all this evening’s winners.

19:01: BAFTA chair Anne Morrison is on the stage and commands an enormous cheer for nominee Sir David Attenborough who is celebrating his 90th birthday today. He’s understandably absent – probably off scoffing on some birthday cake.

Morrison also makes reference to government reforms and John Whittingdale’s White Paper, set to be published in the coming week, telling us we must never take the British TV landscape for granted. “The future of our industry is continually at stake and the particular broadcasting ecology we’ve evolved is serving us well. Whatever change lies ahead, we have to find a way to ensure the range and quality we see here tonight is preserved.”

She ends by channelling Peter Kay’s Car Share and offering Tom Hiddleston a lift home. I imagine she’ll have strong competition…

18:55: The red carpet is over, but there’s no rest for the wicked. The show starts in one minute. We repeat, ONE MINUTE – or so a man on a loudspeaker is telling us. I’m going to briefly gorge myself on sandwiches and I’ll be right back with you.

18:51: Twiddles alert! The Night Manager may not be eligible for this year’s ceremony – programmes have to air between 1st January and 31st December 2015 – but we imagine the John le Carré drama will feature this time next year. In the meantime, look out for Tom presenting the award for Best Actress.

18:49: With calls echoing around Festival Hall for ticket holders to make their way to their seats, the auditorium is starting to fill up good and proper. The awards kick off at 7pm with Graham Norton in the driving seat. Bear in mind, this live blog is an hour ahead of the BBC broadcast at 8pm so stick with us to hear all the winners before anyone else.

18:47: With the ceremony about to begin, there are only a few stars left outside – but one of them is Tom Hiddleston.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what we’ve been up to, check back here for some videos of Idris Elba and Mr J-T. This is shaping up to be a very suave BAFTAs ceremony indeed…

18:42: Two names you don’t usually associate with British television – but that we’re nevertheless VERY excited to see – are Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick who are currently posing for photos together outside the entrance to Festival Hall. Expect some serious Hollywood glamour from this year’s ceremony.

18:40: Tom Hiddleston is on the red carpet being adorable in the way only Tom Hiddleston can.

Meanwhile, we caught up with Murdered by My Boyfriend star – and last year’s Best Actress winner – Georgina Campbell. Until last week she was one of the hot favourites to be named Doctor Who’s new companion – although apparently she had no idea she was even in the running until the day everyone starting ringing her to tell her she was hot favourite!

18:35: We’ve spied Sherlocks’ Martin Freeman on the red carpet, looking cool as ever in reflective sunnies. He’s not here to represent Sherlock this year, as it wasn’t nominated. Here’s why. (We were confused too to start with…)

18:22: Idris Elba and Mark Rylance have arrived. Idris is looking suave, Mark is sporting a natty little hat. Will one of them be walking away with the Leading Actor award later this evening? Scroll down for all my fascinating (in my opinion!) facts on the Elba v Rylance rivalry.

18:19: Sheridan Smith has just arrived sporting a black lacy number – and we’ve just spotted Poldark stars Aidan Turner, Heida Reed and Ruby Bentall posing for the paps. Oh, and here’s Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones doing a mini twirl for the cameras.

18:15: We promised you a picture… and here it is. Aidan Turner. With man bun. Yay or nay? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter with #RTBAFTA.

18:13: The leading men are out in force – yup, we’re talking Aidan Turner, Martin Freeman and James Norton. It should come as no surprise that the screams are ear-piercing.

18:10: She may not be nominated but we reckon Jodie Comer will be headline news this time next year for her turn in BBC3 drama Thirteen. In the meantime, what a dress…

18:08: Aidan Turner is sporting a man bun. We repeat, Aidan Turner is sporting a man bun. Pictures to follow…

18:06: Gold appears to be the dress code tonight. Here are the cast of Humans chatting to us – we love Katherine Parkinson’s glam gold dress…

18:02: Coronation Street and EastEnders go head-to-head tonight in the Best Soap and Continuing Drama category – although both casts have nothing but smiles on the red carpet.

18:00: Poldark is in the running for the Radio Times Audience Award and its star Eleanor Tomlinson is looking mighty glam tonight in an olive-y gold gown – no sign of her co-star Aidan Turner just yet.

17:55: We’ve just caught a few minutes with Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez. She’s up for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as evil Missy – only the second Doctor Who actor to be nominated by the Academy since its reboot in 2005. Don’t forget to check back here later for what she had to say on the Doctor Who companions, both new and old.

17:52: Who HAVEN’T we spotted on the BAFTA red carpet? There’s Lenny Henry in his tux and trainers, Michelle Gomez in a fetching black gown, newcomer and Don’t Take My Baby nominee Ruth Madeley, Rob Brydon, Amanda Holden and many, many more.

17:47: Want to know what it’s REALLY like on a BAFTA red carpet? Here’s Sarah with a sneak peek of the action…

She’s been chatting away to nominee Charlie Brooker who tells us Black Mirror series three will be everything you expect and everything you don’t expect. Hmm, cryptic. He also promises not to have any more goes at the Prime Minister after his series one storyline turned out to be a little, erm, closer to the truth than expected.

17:40: We shared a preview of it earlier but here’s Grayson Perry’s dramatic train in all its glory. He’s up for Best Specialist Factual for Grayson Perry’s Dream House.

17:38: We’ve been chatting to The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi who’s bringing some serious glamour to proceedings – check back here later for what she had to say on how British TV is becoming more diverse.

17:33: The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussein are posing and signing – Bezza has channelled the golden BAFTA theme with a shimmery dress.

Will she be able to match it to an actual BAFTA later this evening? This is the fifth (yes, FIFTH) consecutive time Bake Off has been nominated for Best Feature, an award it took home in 2012 and 2013. Nadiya’s win reduced Mary – and the nation – to tears. Surely it’s worthy of some silverware, too.

17:30: Our favourite female presenting duo is looking Strictly awesome – we can’t wait to see Tess and Claud on the red carpet in a matter of minutes.

17:26: Humans star and Radio Times Audience Award nominee Gemma Chan is looking uber glam on the way to the ceremony. She’s not far behind the likes of Matt Baker, Tom Courtenay and First Dates’ Fred Sirieux currently posing for photos in the Southbank sunshine.

17:17: As the stars begin rolling in, let’s take a brief moment to look at who will NOT be walking the red carpet tonight. Here are the snubs:

Spare a thought for poor Nicola Walker whose critically praised turns in both River and Unforgotten failed to earn her any recognition from the Academy. Poldark was another notable omission, failing to make it into any of the major drama categories – although the BBC1 series did secure a nomination for the Radio Times Audience Award. Poor Aidan Turner didn’t get much of a showing – And Then There Were None was also overlooked – and while Humans got a nod for Best Drama Series, its star Gemma Chan was noticeably absent from a strong Leading Actress category.

Over in comedy, Sharon Horgan may have a Best Female Comedy Performance nomination but the series was missing from Best Scripted Comedy, as was her co-creator Rob Delaney. And the makers of Inside No. 9 faced disappointment yet again as they failed to make a single appearance on the shortlist. Rather unbelievably, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s series is yet to win a single BAFTA nomination.

17:14: Were Graham Norton and Craig Revel Horwood party to a secret dress code? They’ve both turned up in sparkly black tuxes. Truly fabulous, daaarling.


Meanwhile, more famous faces are signing autographs and posing for photographs with fans – we spy Broadchurch and Line of Duty star Will Mellor and TV presenter Laura Whitmore doing the rounds.

17:11: Sarah’s on the red carpet ready to chat to some stars – we’ve already spotted Craig Revel Horwood and The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar stepping out in the sunshine.

17:03: We’ve looked at the leading men, now it’s the turn of the ladies and yet another keenly fought contest to take home Best Actress. I’m going to call this and say Sheridan Smith will bag the prize – mainly because I thought she was spellbindingly good in The C Word. She’s also a favourite of the Academy, although I wouldn’t put it past Suranne Jones to get her hands on the BAFTA instead. Doctor Foster had the nation talking last year and the former Corrie actress owned her role as scorned wife Gemma Foster. Then there’s Claire Foy whose peerless turn in Wolf Hall provided one of 2015’s unforgettable telly moments. And let’s not forget newcomer Ruth Madeley. As proven by Georgina Campbell’s shock win last year, BAFTA loves to reward a relative unknown – and Madeley’s acclaimed turn in BBC3’s Don’t Take My Baby is certainly awards fodder.

So, my fingers are crossed for Sheridan – but, honestly, it could be any of these marvellous leading ladies making their way to the stage later this evening.

16:51: Just nine minutes to go until the first glossy-maned, high-heeled, sharp-suited guests begin making their way into Festival Hall – but inbetween putting the finishing touches to their outfits, some have found the time to tweet.

We can’t WAIT to see Grayson Perry’s train on the red carpet.

16:43: For the first time ever, there is music on the red carpet. Yes, that’s Elle King you spy performing for the gathered crowds. Quite how the guests will negotiate the gig as they make their way down towards the entrance remains to be seen…

16:30: Which leads me nicely on to one of my favourite facts I stumbled across ahead of this evening. The Elba v Rylance rivalry is nothing new – in fact, the pair have gone up against each other many times during the 2016 Hollywood awards season, including twice at January’s Golden Globes. Once in the Best Supporting Actor category – Rylance for Bridge of Spies and Elba for Beasts of No Nation – although both lost out to Creed’s Sylvester Stallone. Neither’s luck improved later in the ceremony when Oscar Isaac beat them both to the Best Performance in a Miniseries or Television Film with Elba up for Luther and Rylance for Wolf Hall.

16:17: In a bid to distract myself from munching through an entire packet of Percy Pigs, let’s take a look at those nominees – a shortlist that has proved too tight to call in almost all of the major categories.

Leading Actor is among the most tightly contested with Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance facing competition from Luther’s Idris Elba, London Spy’s Ben Whishaw and This is 90’s Stephen Graham. Rylance’s tux has been in constant use these past 12 months with wins at the Oscars and BAFTA Film Awards for Bridge of Spies, but he’s yet to pick up any significant silverware for Wolf Hall despite nods at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Could this be his night? Or will Idris spoilt the party?

16:05: Right, we are safely ensconced inside the media centre in Festival Hall, ready to bring you live updates from the red carpet which should see the arrival of the first guests at 5pm. Our reporter Sarah Doran is currently negotiating the rabbit warren of corridors towards the entrance armed with a camera and a bottle of suncream. Fingers crossed she doesn’t turn the same colour as the carpet itself…

14:31: This year’s BAFTA nominees may want to enjoy a light lunch this afternoon ahead of the three-course meal that awaits them at the afterparty. The star-studded audience sitting down for dinner will begin with a cheese soufflé with watercress veloute and spring vegetables, before tucking into corn-fed chicken with rye and leek stuffing with a fricassee of broad beans, green beans and baby carrots pomme maxim and mousseron jus. And for those with a sweet tooth, dessert is Hotel Chocolat’s Madagascar Sambirano Valley 72% dark chocolate and compressed raspeberry delice with raspberry and bell pepper sorbet and a black olive soil, followed by petit fours.

Meanwhile, backstage we’ll be feasting on cheese sandwiches and crisps. It’s alright for some, eh?

13:34: Good afternoon and a very sunny afternoon it is too! My name’s Susanna Lazarus and I’ll be live-blogging ALL the BAFTA action later today, from the very first footsteps on the red carpet to the final acceptance speech. Events get underway in just a few hours time but first, here’s a peek at RT’s exclusive photoshoot with some of BAFTA’s biggest stars, from last year’s Best Actress winner Georgina Campbell…


…to EastEnders landlord Danny Dyer – check out the full gallery of images here.