Bafta TV Awards 2015: 11 memorable moments
From Graham Norton's "perfect bottom" to Jessica Hynes' anti-austerity plea to wigs receiving their due, here are the highlights from last night's star-studded ceremony...
The Bafta TV Awards are over for another year! The 2015 ceremony brought us many things – a bearded Graham Norton, a win for Sherlock in the Radio Times Audience Award and some shock results in the major categories.
If you want to relive the entire evening in one giant dollop of live blog madness, click here. If not, we've rounded up the highlights...
Neil Baldwin takes centre stage
It was (excuse us) a marvellous night for Marvellous as the drama based on the life of Neil Baldwin – circus clown, lay preacher and Stoke City Football Club's kit man and honorary graduate of Keele University – picked up two awards. Toby Jones may have lost out in the lead actor category, but his co-star Gemma Jones was named best supporting actress and Marvellous was awarded best single drama. The latter saw the entire cast and crew get up on stage and, after a few words from writer Peter Bowker, Neil stepped up:
"I would like to thank everybody in Marvellous," he told the audience. "I thank all my friends at Keele, in my football team. And it's been great to be here tonight – I thank the Lord and what he's done for me. And I'm very pleased the Queen is still going strong."
Jessica Hynes makes an impassioned plea
Many of the stars were suffering a General Election hangover, taking it in turns to make digs at the newly re-elected Conservative government. But Jessica Hynes – who picked up best female comedy performance for her vacuous W1A PR Siobhan Sharpe – went one step further, seizing the opportunity to turn her speech into an impassioned plea against austerity:
More like this
"I am from a single parent family," she said, "and my mum was a full time worker to support me and my sister and I'm really worried about the cuts that are coming to state education for people in low income families.
"Because I don't feel low income means low talent or low imagination or low intelligence," she added, before urging everyone to support Arts Emergency – a charity helping disadvantaged teenagers study arts – and stepping off stage to huge applause from the audience.
Best actor winner Jason Watkins delivered a moving tribute as he picked up his prize for The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, based on the man accused of the 2010 murder of Joanna Yeates.
"I'd like to thank Christopher himself – I'm sorry for invading your life once again. This time we came with a warm embrace, not a bitter quill," he said, before adding: "I'm going to share this with our daughter who we lost a few days after Joanna's death. If there's a reason I'm standing here, it's because of our Maudie."
"Still the Homeland star"
It's been an awfully long time since David Harewood last appeared in Homeland, but that's how he was introduced by Bafta host Graham Norton as he made his way to the podium to hand out the best single drama award. "Still a Homeland star," he sighed. Yes, David, but you're also dressed to the nines at a swanky ceremony. We're not going to feel all that sorry for you.
Molten Benedict Cumberbatch
Broadcaster Clive James received one of two special awards. While he wasn't present at the ceremony, his acceptance of the statuette was certainly memorable – especially when he realised "at last" who the Bafta itself was based on: "They poured molten gold onto a wax face mask of Benedict Cumberbatch," he exclaimed, prompting much laughter around the auditorium.
When winners take to the stage, there's usually a long list of people they want thank, but last night gratitude was bestowed upon some unlikely recipients. First, the team who made The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies took to the stage to collect their best mini-series gong, not forgetting to thank "Jason [Watkins]' wig and the people who made the wig." It was pretty impressive, no?
Then Gemma Jones made her way up to the podium after she was named best supporting actress for her portrayal of Neil Baldwin's mum Mary in BBC2's Marvellous. She gave the usual round of thanks – including Toby for his "marvellous" performance – before taking a moment to recognise the important contribution made by her fake follicles. Here they are in all their glory...
Graham Norton's "absolutely perfect" bottom
Mary Berry has been known to accuse many of having a "soggy bottom" in her time, but not Graham Norton. The Bafta host had a tumultuous journey to the stage in the night's opening VT, stumbling onto the sets of Downton Abbey, Channel 4 News, The Voice, and The Great British Bake Off where he encountered Mary and Paul Hollywood judging the "wobbly bottom" of a tasty treat. "Not yours, Graham," she purred. "Yours is absolutely perfect."
And when he made it up on stage, the quick-witted host made the most of his opening speech, which included a topical dig at Jeremy Clarkson and co: "The election results are in and the country is largely blue. We bid farewell to Clegg, Miliband and Farage. On the upside, the makers of Top Gear have just had an idea."
And the winner is...
The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi was tasked with dishing out the prize for best supporting actor, but she came perilously close to reading out the winner without first introducing the nominees. Graham had to swoop in and stop her to ensure we got a chance to see clips of James Norton, Adeel Akhtar, Ken Stott and eventual winner Stephen Rea. Oops!
"That's what real men do"
Steven Moffat joined producers Beryl and Sue Vertue and Amanda Abbington on stage to collect the viewer-voted Radio Times Audience Award for Sherlock (that's the one you, our readers, voted for in your tens of thousands). But where were the show's stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, we wondered? It was an absence addressed rather brilliantly by Moffat during his acceptance speech:
"Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson can't be here tonight. Martin Freeman is looking after the kids and Benedict Cumberbatch is looking after his pregnant wife, because that's what real men do. Never forget that."
And when the Sherlock gang made their way backstage, they had an exciting date for our diaries: series four will begin filming in spring 2016. Ok, it's still a considerable way off, but there's a Sherlock special to look forward to in the meantime.
Bafta certainly kept us on our toes last night – if you read my blog, you'll be privy to some disastrous predictions – with a series of shock results in the major categories. No one looked more surprised than the cast of Coronation Street as they took to the stage to pick up best soap over favourites EastEnders, while Matt Berry "certainly didn't expect this to happen" when he collected some Bafta silverware for surreal comedy Toast of London.
But it was best actress winner Georgina Campbell who appeared the most flabbergasted as she overcame stiff competition from Sheridan Smith, Keeley Hawes and Sarah Lancashire in the night's most hotly contested category. "My mum's going to kill me," she laughed. "She's been calling me all day asking if I've written a speech." She hadn't... but delivered a tribute to Ashley, the domestic violence victim whose story Murdered by My Boyfriend was based on.
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones?
Could the Channel 4 newsreader join his famous namesake in the HBO drama once his news career ends? Backstage we asked him what he planned to do when he retires from the newsroom. His reply? "Game of Thrones? Who knows? At the moment I'm busy with the North and Red Weddings." If only he wasn't joking...