Bafta viewers call ceremony so woke 'it should be renamed the Waftas'

Bafta viewers blast ceremony for being so woke ‘it should be renamed the Waftas’ as Ashley Banjo reveals ‘torrent of abuse’ sparked by Diversity’s BLM routine as it wins ‘Must See Moment’ after sparking 24,000 complaints

  • The ceremony took place at London’s Television Centre on Sunday, with a limited audience of mask-clad stars
  • Baftas had most diverse list of winners in its history, honouring shows dealing with race, politics and sexuality
  • Piers Morgan wrote: ‘This #BAFTAs is unwatchable, like every other awards show since the pandemic started’ 

Viewers blasted last night’s Baftas as ‘so woke it should be renamed the WAFTAs’, as Ashley Banjo told of the ‘torrent of abuse’ sparked by Diversity’s BLM routine in a speech to mark it winning ‘Must See TV Moment’ after sparking 24,000 complaints. 

Officials were accused of pursuing a ‘woke, political agenda’ when they originally shortlisted the dance for the award, with one viewer writing: ‘Up for a BAFTA award for being on their knees in support of BLM. Welcome to woke great Britain.’

The academy this year produced its most diverse list of winners in its history, honouring TV shows that dealing with race, politics and sexuality.

Several of the hotly tipped favourites including Normal People’s Paul Mescal and the Michaela Coel drama I May Destroy You picked up gongs to huge celebrations from fans.

But other parts of the ceremony drew the ire of viewers with the BBC who were broadcasting and Bafta in the firing line. 

One critic tweeted: ‘Must see TV moment well that’s a shock, I don’t think. BBC is woke personified.’

Ashley Banjo, 32, used his speech accepting the Must See TV Moment of 2020 from Bafta to describe the ‘torrent of abuse’ he received after the routing aired, saying it proved that ‘so much needs to change’. 

He said: ‘Being in a storm of 30,000 comments just being in a torrent of threats, that support made a difference. I want to say thank you to the people who poured that abuse online, you showed why that performance was necessary. 

‘As much as there’s so many conversations and so much needs to change, this is what change looks like, I’m so thankful to all those people, for me it’s not about presenting the minority, standing here right now this represents the majority, thank you so much. Let’s keep standing up for what’s right.’

Describing the ceremony as a whole, Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘This #BAFTAs is unwatchable, like every other awards show since the pandemic started.’

The 2021 British Academy Television Awards saw Diversity triumph on Sunday night, with star Ashley Banjo (seen with his brother, Jordan) reflecting on the ‘torrent of abuse’ he received following the troupe’s Black Lives Matter-inspired performance 

Diversity’s controversial BGT Black Lives Matter routine, which sparked 24,000 complaints to media watchdog Ofcom (pictured) was nominated for the BAFTA’s Must-See Moment



Despite the ceremony succeeding in its attempts to adhere to Covid restrictions, it wasn’t without hiccups with some guests dropping a pre-watershed expletive, and a momentous victory for Casualty plagued by technical issues. 

Viewers were also left cringing over the ceremony’s host Richard Ayoade’s jokes, although the comedian is believed to have been hit by some technical difficulties.

The show took place at London’s Television Centre with strict Covid-19 regulations in place, meaning a much reduced audience to react to Richard’s gags.

But delays in the communication systems meant that he was also left waiting a few seconds before receiving any laughs for his jokes, leading to a very awkward atmosphere.

One viewer tweeted: ‘This feels so… empty. I know it’s because there’s not a lot of people there but the atmosphere seems so off and awkward.’

Richard even joked about the circumstances himself, saying at one point: ‘In just two weeks, the national lockdown may be lifted, but why wait until then to have this show? I like things with no atmosphere.’

As the audience laughed and clapped, he replied: ‘Thank you, it’s good to wait three minutes to show any signs of appreciation.’

He then made a jibe about the virtual audience made up of members of the public.

He said: ‘They differ from actual members of the public in that they may well watch this all the way through.’

His attempts at humour proved unsuccessful for former TV host Piers Morgan, who had been watching from home and slammed the awards show as ‘unwatchable’. 

Keith Oswin also slammed the programme, tweeting: ‘Tonight’s awards are so ‘woke’ it’s unbelievable. You can guess the winners even if you’ve never seen the shows or the actors.’ 

And Rosie added: ‘Twice I’ve taken a look at the BAFTA’s ffs it’s Woke too! So I’ve decided to rename themDown pointing backhand index.

‘British Academy of Woke and Leftie Awards.’      

Viewers called out Bafta for hosting a ‘woke’ awards ceremony last night – with many suggesting they would switch off or fast-forward through the politically correct show. Pictured: Host Richard Ayoade

BAFTA TV Awards 2021: Winners

DRAMA SERIES

GANGS OF LONDON

I HATE SUZIE

SAVE ME TOO – WINNER

THE CROWN

LEADING ACTOR

JOHN BOYEGA – Small Axe

JOSH O’CONNOR – The Crown

PAAPA ESSIEDU – I May Destroy You

PAUL MESCAL – Normal People – WINNER

SHAUN PARKES – Small Axe

WALEED ZUAITER – Baghdad Central

LEADING ACTRESS

BILLIE PIPER – I Hate Suzie

DAISY EDGAR-JONES – Normal People 

HAYLEY SQUIRES – Adult Material 

JODIE COMER – Killing Eve

LETITIA WRIGHT – Small Axe

MICHAELA COEL – I May Destroy You – WINNER

SUPPORTING ACTOR

KUNAL NAYYAR – Criminal: UK

MALACHI KIRBY – Small Axe – WINNER

MICHAEL SHEEN – Quiz

MICHEAL WARD – Small Axe 

RUPERT EVERETT – Adult Material

TOBIAS MENZIES – The Crown

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

HELENA BONHAM CARTER – The Crown

LEILA FARZAD – I Hate Suzie 

RAKIE AYOLA – Anthony – WINNER

SIENA KELLY – Adult Material

SOPHIE OKONEDO – Criminal: UK 

WERUCHE OPIA – I May Destroy You

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

CHARLIE BROOKER’S ANTIVIRAL WIPE 

ROB & ROMESH VS Jack Shillaker

THE BIG NARSTIE SHOW – WINNER

THE RANGANATION

FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

AIMEE LOU WOOD – Sex Education – WINNER

DAISY HAGGARD – Breeders

DAISY MAY COOPER – This Country

EMMA MACKEY – Sex Education 

GBEMISOLA IKUMELO – Famalam

MAE MARTIN – Feel Good

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

CHARLIE COOPER – This Country -WINNER

GUZ KHAN – Man Like Mobeen

JOSEPH GILGUN – Brassic

NCUTI GATWA – Sex Education

PAUL RITTER – Friday Night Dinner

REECE SHEARSMITH – Inside No.9

MINI-SERIES

ADULT MATERIAL

I MAY DESTROY YOU – WINNER

NORMAL PEOPLE 

SMALL AXE

CURRENT AFFAIRS

AMERICA’S WAR ON ABORTION (EXPOSURE) – WINNER

ITALY’S FRONTLINE: A DOCTOR’S DIARY

THE BATTLE FOR HONG KONG (DISPATCHES)

THE CYPRUS PAPERS UNDERCOVER (AL JAZEERA INVESTIGATIONS)

DAYTIME

JIMMY MCGOVERN’S MOVING ON 

RICHARD OSMAN’S HOUSE OF GAMES

THE CHASE 

THE GREAT HOUSE GIVEAWAY – WINNER

ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE

ADAM HILLS – The Last Leg

BRADLEY WALSH – Beat the Chasers

CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN – Strictly Come Dancing

DAVID MITCHELL – Would I Lie to You? At Christmas 

GRAHAM NORTON – The Graham Norton Show 

ROMESH RANGANATHAN – The Ranganation – WINNER

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY 

LIFE & RHYMES – WINNER

STRICTLY COME DANCING 

THE MASKED SINGER

FACTUAL SERIES

CRIME & PUNISHMENT

HOSPITAL

LOSING IT: OUR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN IRAQ – WINNER

FEATURES

BIG ZUU’S BIG EATS

LONG LOST FAMILY: BORN WITHOUT TRACE – WINNER

MORTIMER AND WHITEHOUSE: GONE FISHING 

THE REPAIR SHOP  

NEWS COVERAGE

BBC NEWS AT TEN: PRIME MINISTER ADMITTED TO INTENSIVE CARE 

CHANNEL 4 NEWS: DETERRING DEMOCRACY 

NEWSNIGHT: COVID CARE CRISIS 

SKY NEWS: INSIDE IDLIB – WINNER

REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL

MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS 

RACE ACROSS THE WORLD 

THE SCHOOL THAT TRIED TO END RACISM – WINNER

THE WRITE OFFS 

SINGLE DRAMA

ANTHONY

BBW (ON THE EDGE)

SITTING IN LIMBO – WINNER

THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN

SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA

CASUALTY – WINNER

CORONATION STREET

EASTENDERS

HOLLYOAKS  

INTERNATIONAL

LITTLE AMERICA 

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY

UNORTHODOX

WELCOME TO CHECHNYA: THE GAY PURGE (STORYVILLE) – WINNER

LIVE EVENT

LIFE DRAWING LIVE! 

SPRINGWATCH – WINNER

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE

THE THIRD DAY: AUTUMN Production Team 

SCRIPTED COMEDY

GHOSTS 

INSIDE NO. 9 – WINNER 

MAN LIKE MOBEEN

THIS COUNTRY

SHORT FORM PROGRAMME

CRIPTALES 

DISABLED NOT DEFEATED: THE ROCK BANS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES – DELTA 7 

THE MAIN PART 

THEY SAW THE SUN FIRST – WINNER

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY

AMERICAN MURDER: THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR 

ANTON FERDINAND: FOOTBALL, RACISM & ME

LOCKED IN: BREAKING THE SILENCE (STORYVILLE) – WINNER

SURVIVING COVID 

VIRGIN MEDIA’S MUST-SEE MOMENT (voted for by the public)

BRIDGERTON – Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown 

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT – Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020 – WINNER

EASTENDERS – Gray kills Chantelle  

GOGGLEBOX – Reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference

NIGELLA’S COOK, EAT, REPEAT – Mee-cro-wah-vay

THE MANDALORIAN – Luke Skywalker arrives

 

Yes! Following the sensational win, Ashley and his brother Jordan took to Instagram to share a selfie with their BAFTA, writing: ‘WE DID IT!!!! Proud and overwhelmed would be an understatement’

Oh dear! Despite attempting to keep all its attendees safe during the Covid pandemic, the ceremony wasn’t without technical issues as the cast of Casualty accepted the award for Soap And Continuing Drama

Diversity’s performance became the second-most complained about television moment of the decade, but a spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body confirmed to MailOnline no action would be taken. 

Troupe leader Ashley later revealed he and the dance group had been subject to racist abuse in the wake of the controversy, and then reacted to Ofcom’s announcement on Instagram.

He wrote: ‘Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over… Sending love to everyone that stood by us’

The routine, which narrated the death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during BGT live show in October. 

Viewers took to Twitter in the aftermath of the episode airing on September 5, complaining about the politicisation of the ITV1 prime-time show. 

Spread out: The guests and nominees all sat spaced out in the venue to abide by Covid safety rules, and all attendees wore masks unless they took to the stage to present an award

Following the sensational win, Ashley and his brother Jordan took to Instagram to share a selfie with their BAFTA, writing: ‘WE DID IT!!!! Proud and overwhelmed would be an understatement. Thank you so much to everyone that supported us and continues to do so. This is such a special moment. 

‘So much hate, so much negativity and still so much that needs to change. But also so much love, so much support and so many important conversations. Here now after all of it… We’re BAFTA award winners!!’

Despite attempting to keep all its attendees safe during the Covid pandemic, the ceremony wasn’t without technical issues as the cast of Casualty accepted the award for Soap And Continuing Drama.

The stars appeared from the show’s set via. Zoom, but it seemed the router may need some adjustments as their speech was plagued by a poor connection.

Nothing the technical difficulties, a fixture of many awards in 2021 due to the reliance on Zoom and satellite technology, host Richard Ayoade ended their speech with the words: ‘Get a new router.’

‘This is like the c*****st episode of Gogglebox ever!’: Many stars also appeared to forget that the ceremony was being broadcast before the watershed, with Inside No. 9 star Steve Pemberton dropping a surprise expletive

Many stars also appeared to forget that the ceremony was being broadcast before the watershed, with Inside No. 9 star Steve Pemberton dropping a surprise expletive after accepting the award for Scripted Comedy.

He said: ‘This is like the c*****t episode of Gogglebox ever! We’re so thrilled and delighted to have won this award. We are so so grateful, it’s such a privilege to be able to go into people’s homes and make them laugh and cry or whatever.’

Later in the show, This Country’s Daisy May Cooper presented Must See TV Moment, and joked that she was the prime example that anyone could have success in TV even when they ‘couldn’t be a***d at school.’

And it seemed that even Richard himself wasn’t impressed with Normal People’s Paul Mescal’s victory, as following the win he branded the actor a ‘b*****d.’

Emotional: Paul Mescal fought back tears after taking to the stage to accept the prize for Leading Actor, following the huge success of Normal People during the first weeks of the Covid lockdown


Honoured: He said: ‘I want to thank the cast, I want to dedicate this to Daisy, who is the best scene partner and one of the best people I know. I’m probably forgetting people and I’m incredibly nervous. My mum and dad at home, I love you’

Praise: Both Paul and his co-star Daisy Edgar Jones earned praise for their performances as the lovestruck pair Marianne and Connell in the drama Normal People

Prestigious: Sadly it wasn’t a clean sweep for Normal People, as Daisy missed out on the prestigious honour in favour of Michaela Coel, winning for her critically lauded drama I May Destroy You

There she is: Hollywood superstar Catherine Zeta Jones made an appearance via Zoom to present the gong for Best Single Drama

Paul himself fought back tears after taking to the stage to accept the prize for Leading Actor, following the huge success of Normal People during the first weeks of the Covid lockdown.

He said: ‘I fully was not expecting to be here so I have no clue what I’m going to say. I want to thank everyone at the BBC, I want to thank everyone at Element…

‘I want to thank the cast, I want to dedicate this to Daisy, who is the best scene partner and one of the best people I know. I’m probably forgetting people and I’m incredibly nervous. My mum and dad at home, I love you.’

Real issues: Taking to the stage for a moving speech, the Chewing Gum star, who also won the prize for Miniseries called for all dramas to have intimacy co-ordinators to sensitively and safely portray the issue of consent

Show: The actress was snubbed for her work in the critically acclaimed series at the Golden Globes this year (pictured in the drama as Arabella)

Sadly it wasn’t a clean sweep for Normal People, as Daisy Edgar-Jones missed out on the prestigious honour in favour of Michaela Coel, winning for her critically lauded drama I May Destroy You.

Taking to the stage for a moving speech, the Chewing Gum star called for all dramas to have intimacy co-ordinators to sensitively and safely portray the issue of consent.

She said: ‘Thank you BAFTA and thank you to the jury for selecting me as your winner today. A huge shoutout to Billie [Piper], Daisy [Edgar-Jones], Hayley [Squires] , Jodie [Comer] and Letitia [Wright] because you guys are literally sick.

‘Also, I shouldn’t really say it but I wrote my words and I know that your talent to take words that a writer has written and make it sound like your own is unbelievable and I really hope I get to work with each of you one day.

‘I did write a speech, I want to dedicate this award to the director of intimacy, Rita O’Brien. Thank you for your existence in our industry, for making the space safe, for creating physical, emotional and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power without being exploited and abused in the process. 

‘I know what it’s like to shoot without an intimacy director – the messy embarrassing feeling for the crew, the eternal devastation for the actor. Your direction was essential to my show and essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of content. Thank you BAFTA.’

Thrilled: The first award for Entertainment Performance was given to Romesh Ranganathan for his series The Ranganation, and the comic joked he’d scooped the prize for ‘the least effort’ after filming much of the series at home in lockdown

Hilarious: Richard Wilson then took to the stage to give out the award for Scripted Comedy to Inside No. 9, with Reece Shearsmith vowing they’ll ‘keep going’ following the show’s sixth series

I May Destroy You was one of last summer’s most critically-acclaimed shows around the world when it aired on BBC One and HBO. 

It follows Arabella as she comes to terms with a sexual assault after her drink was spiked at a nightclub, in a storyline based on the harrowing real-life experience of Michaela. 

Michaela has previously won two BAFTAS in 2016 for her hit E4 comedy Chewing Gum in the Breakthrough Talent and Best Female Comedy performance categories. 

In February, fans of I May Destroy You were outraged when the hit show, and creator Coel, were snubbed by the 78th Golden Globe Awards.

It appeared that BAFTA were keen to correct the HFPA’s snub, as I May Destroy You was also given the prize for Miniseries. 


Touching: One of the award show’s more moving moments came from Rakie Ayola for her performance in the drama Anthony, which was based on the murder of teen Anthony Walker

Giddy: Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood won a whole new army of fans when she took to the stage to accept Female Performance In A Comedy Programme

Smile! She gushed: ‘Sorry I’ve had this mask on! Oh my god thank you so much, we said on our panel thing we’d break into pieces and share it, but it’s solid, and I’m gong to give a metaphorical piece to everyone’


Gorgeous: Aimee was the picture of elegance in a white floral gown as she headed backstage after accepting her award

Viewers were also impressed with Sunday’s event and praised the BAFTA Awards for the ‘diversity’ of the show, with some calling this year’s ceremony ‘amazing’ to watch. 

One person tweeted: ‘Was great to see so many diverse nominations and also winners- felt very inclusive!’

While another added: ‘I’m really enjoying this year’s BAFTAs such a diverse range of winners rather than the same old same old. It’s been amazing’.

‘BAFTA brilliant list of diverse talent and winners. Well done. Love it,’ shared a third fan of the ceremony.

Reaction: Viewers were delighted to see ‘good diversity’ at the BAFTA Awards, with many praising the academy for making the show feel ‘very inclusive’

While someone else suggested that next year they could go even further, tweeting: ‘It is really good to see diversity at the BAFTAs tonight. Maybe next year they could have a presenter who has a disability?’  

Quick to poke fun at the show’s Covid-friendly format, also Richard joked that there was ‘no atmosphere’ in the studio, as he delivered a brief opening monologue for a limited audience. 

After It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander kicked off the show, the first award for Entertainment Performance was given to Romesh Ranganathan for his series The Ranganation, with Line Of Duty legend Adrian Dunbar taking to the stage to present the prize.

Taking to the stage in person for the ceremony, he said: ‘I really didn’t expect to win it (I mean there’s a really good chance) it was much easier doing this series as I just did it from my garage I put in less effort to be honest.’   

Well done! Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope gave out Entertainment Programme to Life and Rhymes, a lockdown series that celebrated the beauty of the spoken word

Over the moon! Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace were awarded Features, and host Davina McCall proudly said: ‘We really just want to say thank you so much for our families, because it’s not stories we’re not just telling stories it is their lives’

One of the award show’s more moving moments came from Rakie Ayola for her performance in the drama Anthony, which was based on the murder of teen Anthony Walker.

In a touching speech she said: ‘If you think you know someone who feels all they have is to take the life of another, do what you can because the one reason we wanted Gillian’s story to be told is that she thought people might watch it and think about it for someone to get away.’ 

Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope gave out Entertainment Programme to Life and Rhymes, a lockdown series that celebrated the beauty of the spoken word. ‘We gave voice to a community that needed to be heard’ the show’s host  and poet Benjamin Zephaniah said.

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace scooped Features, with the show’s producers and host Davina McCall accepting via. Zoom.

She gushed: ‘We really just want to say thank you so much for our families, because it’s not stories we’re not just telling stories it is their lives and they give us these tales to tell and we know it is immensely personal to them and sometimes very painful and I just want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts. We’re so grateful for them for letting us share their story.’

Well done! Following its third and final series last year, the night was also a triumph for This Country, with star Charlie Cooper scooping the prize for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme, which his father Paul accepted on his behalf

After landing 15 nominations, it was no surprise to see Small Axe triumph at the ceremony, with Malachi Kirby landing the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the first film of the anthology series, titled Mangrove.

Clearly in shock to receive the prize, Malachi said: ‘Wow I genuinely didn’t expect that, thank you so much. I don’t have time to thank every single person who I want to thank, but I want to dedicate this to my mum I wish I could write your name on this, I wouldn’t be doing this without you, thank you.’

Following its third and final series last year, the night was also a triumph for This Country, with star Charlie Cooper scooping the prize for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme.

There she is: Schitt’s Creek and Home Alone star Catherine O’Hara was also one of the guest presenters

Touching: After landing 15 nominations, it was no surprise to see Small Axe triumph at the ceremony, with Malachi Kirby landing the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the first film of the anthology series

Reunion: Oti Mabuse, 30, and Bill Bailey, 56, appeared to have a blast as they were reunited backstage at the BAFTA TV Awards 2021 on Sunday

Friends: The couple put on an animated display in the ceremony’s green room, with comedian Bill laughing away at Oti as he sipped on a glass of bubbly

Glam: The South African dancer looked sensational in a white gown with a thigh-high split, while Bill looked dapper in a smart black suit and white shirt

We won! There was also a surprise win in Comedy Entertainment Programme, which was given to Channel 4’s The Big Narstie Show, with the rapper joined by his co-host Mo Gilligan and the show’s producers

Sadly the actor was not present to accept the prize, with his father Paul picking up the award on his behalf, saying: ‘Very honoured to be able to see this on behalf of Charlie, I know he’d like me to thank the viewers at home, the BBC… the cast and the crew, his big sister Daisy, thank you so much and we’re so so proud of you Charlie, well done son.’

Sex Education’s also Aimee Lou Wood won a whole new army of fans when she took to the stage to accept Female Performance In A Comedy Programme.

Heading to the podium to accept the prize she gushed: ‘Sorry I’ve had this mask on! Oh my god thank you so much, we said on our panel thing we’d break into pieces and share it, but it’s solid, and I’m gong to give a metaphorical piece to everyone.’

News Coverage was awarded to Sky News’ Inside Idlib, and the award for Current Affairs was presented to America’s War on Abortion (Exposure). International was awarded to Welcome to Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville).

Once Upon a Time in Iraq received the BAFTA for Factual Series, Locked In: Breaking the Silence (Storyville) won Single Documentary and The Surgeon’s Cut won Specialist Factual.

Gracing the stage! Olly Alexander commanded the stage with a performance of his song Starstruck to kick off the awards

Standing out: The It’s A Sin star was every inch the showman in his mustard jacket and matching trousers, with both featured a contrasting black snakeskin print

There was also a surprise win in Comedy Entertainment Programme, which was given to Channel 4’s The Big Narstie Show.

Joined by the show’s producers, and co-host Mo Gilligan, Narstie listed off all the team he wanted to thank, with one of them shouting: ‘Everyone doubted you now Narstie, now you’ve won a Bafta!’

The coveted prize for Drama Series was awarded to Sky’s Save Me Too, a surprise to many given the contention of rivals such as The Crown, I Hate Susie and Gangs Of London.

Speaking on behalf of the show’s producers, star Lennie James proudly said: ‘Oh! I was really not expecting that, but I’ve only got 30 seconds… dear god we’re going to have a party when we get back to England!’

Single Drama was given to the Sitting In Limbo, a moving programme depicting the Windrush generation’s ongoing struggle for justice.


Rising star: Olly’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent months after earning critical acclaim for his role in It’s A Sin, with the star going onto perform with Elton John at the BRIT Awards



Soaking it up: Elsewhere, It’s A Sin stars Lydia West and Olly also signed the alcohol bottle, with them both beaming smiles for the camera while rocking eye-catching ensembles

Star-studded night: This Country star Daisy May Cooper, 34, also seemed to be in good spirits during the event and put on a very animated display as she signed a huge bottle of Taittinger Champagne

Quick rest: Line Of Duty star Adrian Dunbar, 62, ensured to sneak in a moment to relax amid all the festivities as he lounged on a sofa backstage

Finishing touches: Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan was also seen her locks trimmed by a hairdresser ahead of the show, where she’s nominated for the Must See TV Moment for the revelation her character Penelope Featherington is Lady Whistledown

Sweeping: Actress Zawe Ashton let her pink dress flow across the sofa and floor while chatting backstage

Getting some snacks: She stocked up on popcorn while next to the bar with actor David Morrissey


Chatting away: Lydia West looked relaxed in more behind-the-scenes snaps from the event, lounging on a sofa backstage

Ahead of this year’s ceremony, Billie Piper, Jodie Comer, Michaela Coel, and Oti Mabuse were among the select celebrities to make it onto the red carpet in person.

Pop star-turned-actress Billie, 38, wowed she arrived on the red carpet in a black tuxedo dress, which was given a dramatic touch with a single puffy pink sleeve, which descended into a matching bow and train.

With one half of her dress covered in sequins, the star – who has been nominated for her turn in I Hate Suzie – toted a clutch bag, while she opted to accessorise with a glittering statement necklace.

Virtually with you: Celebrities who were unable to attend the ceremony in person were beamed onto the red carpet in hologram form, including Richard Blackwood (above)


Here she is! Following the awards, Stacey was spotted heading to the afterparty in an eye-catching look, with the presenter going braless in a tight ribbed vest and oversized jeans



Departing: Stars including Rakie (far left), Stacey (centre) and Siena Kelly (far right) were all seen heading off in their taxis following the ceremony




Leading the glamour: (L-R) Billie Piper, Jodie Comer, Michael, and Oti Mabuse led the glamour as they arrived at the red carpet earlier in the evening

Meanwhile, fellow nominee Jodie, 38, kept things simple yet elegant in a navy sleeveless top with matching high-waisted trousers, which she gave a summery touch with open-toe heels.

While her ensemble was simple, the Killing Eve star added bold jewellery, including an open choker and colourful earrings as she posed up a storm for photographers gathered on the red carpet.

Also nominated on the night, acclaimed actress and screenwriter Michaela, 33, looked incredible in a flowing backless gown and with a statement red cuff sleeve detail.



Suits you! Actress Billie turned heads as she arrived on the red carpet in a black tuxedo dress, a part of which was sequinned


Elegant: Fellow nominee Jodie kept things simple yet elegant in a navy sleeveless top with matching high-waisted trousers

Bold jewellery: While her ensemble was simple, she added bold jewellery, including an open choker and colourful earrings


Strike a pose: Nominated for her critically-acclaimed turn in Killing Eve, the star gleefully posed up a storm for photographers

Michaela, nominated for hit show I May Destroy You – which she wrote and starred in – looked sensational as she slicked back her raven tresses and accentuated her features with bold lipstick. 

With her dress featuring a peephole descending the length of much of her torso, the star added a selection of gold accessories to her gown, including a chunky chain necklace and some statement rings.  

Strictly Come Dancing star Oti, 30, looked sensational as she stepped out in a deeply plunging cream gown, which boasted a daring thigh-high slit.

Standing tall in a pair of silver strappy heels, the South African beauty’s dress of choice perfectly hugged and flattered her enviably toned frame as she posed up a storm for photographers.

Eye-catching: Michaela Coel looked sensational as she made her way down the red carpet in a flowing black backless gown


Contrasting touch: The I May Destroy You star’s dramatic gown was given a contrasting touch with a red cuff sleeve detail

Golden girl: With her dress featuring a peephole descending the length of much of her torso, the star added a selection of gold accessories to her gown, including a chunky chain necklace and some statement rings

Radiant: The actress looked sensational as she slicked back her raven tresses and accentuated her features with bold lipstick

With a pair of dazzling drop earrings complementing her stunning ensemble, the TV personality wore her honey brown tresses in a playful bob, while her good looks were highlighted with a palette of glossy makeup.

She was joined on the red carpet by Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman, who stood out on the red carpet in a dramatic black poncho dress, which enveloped her frame.

Claudia’s dress was fringed with a series of shimmering silver tassels, adding a contrasting touch to her look, which also included a pair of vertiginous black heels.

Toting a black envelope clutch bag, the TV personality wore her signature raven locks in a straight sleek style with a long fringe, while a generous application of makeup highlighted her looks. 



Wow: The Strictly Come Dancing star looked sensational in a plunging cream gown, which boasted a daring thigh-high slit


Glamorous: Oti stepped out in truly glamorous style for the occasion as she hit the red carpet well ahead of the ceremony



Monroe moment: The star appeared to be having something of a Marilyn Monroe moment as she adjusted on the red carpet

Black to basics: The stars were joined on the red carpet by Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman, who stood out on the red carpet in a dramatic black poncho dress, which enveloped her frame



Making a statement: Claudia’s dress featured a series of shimmering silver tassels, adding a contrasting touch to her look, which also included a pair of vertiginous black heels

Helena Bonham Carter looked fun and flirty as she arrived on the red carpet in a white layered sleeveless gown, which was decorated with an array of black polka dots.

Wearing her chestnut brown locks in a half-updo, the 55-year-old The Crown star bucked convention by adding a pair of sunglasses to her accessories, which included hoop earrings.

She was joined on the red carpet by her beau Rye Holmboe, who cut a dapper figure in a classic black tuxedo. 

Also in attendance was AJ Odudu, who stunned as she stepped out in a red feathered one-shoulder gown, which boasted a backless feature. 



Fun and flirty: Helena Bonham Carter looked fun and flirty as she arrived on the red carpet in a white layered sleeveless gown, which was decorated with an array of black polka dots.

Dapper gent: She was joined on the red carpet by her beau Rye Holmboe, who cut a dapper figure in a classic black tuxedo

Gown: The actress proudly displayed her gown in all its dramatic form as she posed up a storm for red carpet photographers



Shine bright like a diamond: Actress and nominee Letitia Wright arrived in a breathtaking  embellished Prada minidress

Beautiful: The BAFTA Awards will make history on Sunday as stars who weren’t able to attend the event are beamed onto the red carpet in hologram form


Say cheese: The actress posed up a storm on the carpet before the star-studded event with fellow actor Paapa Essiedu, 31

Glitzy: She wore a unique dress which was covered in jewels, including the collar around her neck

Happy: Paapa wore a gold chain around his neck and a pair chunky brown shoes as he posed with Letitia

This year, BAFTA beamed celebrities that can’t attend onto the red carpet as holograms.  

And ceremony hosts Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope introduced the hologram guests to those actually at the socially distanced ceremony.  

Of her red carpet role, Vick revealed last week: ‘If you’re anything like me, over the last year your WhatsApp groups will have been nonstop about a recent episode or moment in the latest TV drama, documentary, reality or even cooking show.

‘It’s made me fall in love with TV all over again, and it’s because of this that I think that the Virgin Media BAFTAs feels extra special this year. 

All things bright and beautiful: Bridgerton actress Emma Coughlan wowed as she hit the red carpet in a flowing orange gown

Captivating red carpet look: The Derry Girls star’s gown featured a sheer chiffon overlay at the neckline and puffy mid-sleeves

Purple reign: The screen star complemented her eye-catching look with vibrant violet eyeshadow and dazzling hoop earrings

Taking the plunge: Actress Cush Jumbo wowed as she hit the red carpet in a deeply plunging shimmering black gown


Making waves: The screen star wore her golden locks in soft waves with a long fringe, while she kept her makeup natural

‘To be able to chat directly with the TV fans who have voted for their favourite Must-See Moment nominee and connect them to their favourite stars via holograms live on the red carpet will be a unique, once in a lifetime experience. 

‘I’m so excited to bring a bit of this magic to the fans at home, it’s going to be an emotional one.’

COVID-19 restrictions meant TV fans couldn’t be in attendance on the red carpet as usual this year and some nominees were unable to attend because of filming bubbles.

All content was captured by a live stream camera and to enable everyone at home to see the action unfold from the comfort of their living room. 



Starry: It’s A Sin star Lydia West was a far cry from her quirky It’s A Sin character Jill Baxter, as she walked the red carpet


Beauty: The actress, 28, stunned in a figure-hugging black gown, featuring white puffed shoulders 

Busy: Lydia’s turn in It’s A Sin sees her with a whopping four acting projects line up for the coming year


Stunning: She swept her raven locks tightly back from her smiling features which were expertly made-up with a clean palette of cosmetics

Host with the most: The Chase’s Bradley Walsh looked dapper in a black tuxedo as he arrived with his glamorous wife Donna


LBD: The ceremony’s hosts for the evening, (L-R) Vick Hope and Stacey Dooley posed in black gowns of differing lengths

Television break: Ellie and Izzi Warner took a break from watching TV for Gogglebox to hit the red carpet in stylish dresses



So stylish: (L-R) Hayley Squires, Golda Rosheuvel, and Rose Matafeo added to the night’s glamour in their gowns of choice

Members of the public watched a livestream of the red carpet and be a part of the glamour by visiting Virgin’s website from noon on Sunday.

They also chose from a selection of digital red carpet outfits to help them get into the spirit of the Awards and get ready carpet ready.

If selected, they were beamed onto the red carpet and even asked a question to their favourite celeb with a video of the interaction being sent to the fan after. 


Flawless: AJ Odudu looked stunning as she stepped out on the red carpet in a red feathered one-shoulder gown at the show

Turning heads: The TV presenter, 33, looked sensational as she posed in the statement ruby gown and white stilettos  


Chic: The presenter wore her raven tresses in a sleek bob, which she tucked behind her ears as she beamed for photographers

Beautiful: AJ oozed glamour and looked radiant in the jewel toned ensemble and opted for a natural makeup look

Understated: AJ let her statement outfit speak for itself as she kept her hair and makeup looks subtle 


Upbeat: Zawe Ashton looked sweet as she twirled onto the red carpet in a playful cartoon print maxi dress at the BAFTAs

All smiles: The Fresh Meat actress beamed as she worked her angles for the cameras in the dusty pink gown with a large bow



Mellow yellow: Actress Siena Kelly caught the eye in a yellow halterneck polka dot dress, which boasted a thigh-high slit

Twirling: Gbemisola Ikumelo showed off the beauty of her patterned dress in all its glory as she twirled on the red carpet 

Stunning: Aimee Lou Wood, 26, wowed in a flowing white dress with exquisite floral detailing on the red carpet as she arrived



Up for an award: The actress is nominated for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her role as Aimee in hit series Sex Education

80s inspired: The floral pattern continued down the rest of the garment and the ends of the dress hung just above the ground 


Making history: The BAFTA Awards will make history on Sunday as stars who weren’t able to attend the event are beamed onto the red carpet in hologram form

Flawless: Her makeup was heavy and she opted for lipstick with a dark pink tinge, tying in with the flowers and her large pendant earrings

Exciting: ceremony hosts Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope will introduce the hologram guests to those actually at the socially distanced ceremony


Wow! Jessica Plummer ensured she left a lasting impression as she arrived at the ceremony in a showstopping silver dress

Stunning: The EastEnders actress, 28, put on a very leggy display in a ruffled silver mini skirt, which she styled with a matching strappy top

Panache: Rupaul’s Drag Race UK stars (L-R) Bimini Bon Boulash, Lawrence Chaney and Awhora arrived in typically glam style

Happy: Daisy May Cooper, 34, made her appearance at the 2021 British Academy Television Awards a family affair, as she joined her uncle Trevor (far left) and father Paul on the red carpet



Gorgeous: The This Country star cut a glamorous figure in a navy sequinned gown after arriving for the ceremony at London’s Television Centre as she joined Amanda Berry (centre) and Sophie Okonedo (right)

Dapper lading man: Screen heartthrob Paul Mescal arrived at the star-studded awards ceremony looking dapper on Sunday

Nominee: The Normal People star is up for a Leading Actor gong at the awards this year, after his stand-out turn in the role of Connell Waldron last summer


All smiles: Paul was seen arriving at the ceremony in West London, waving to bystanders. He looked suave in his ensemble

Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, it was also reported that BAFTA TV had ‘temporarily paused’ Fellowships and Special Awards.

It comes after Noel Clarke, who has been accused by more than 20 women of sexual harassment and bullying, was suspended from BAFTA amid the allegations after he won the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award in April. There was no mention of the star during the ceremony.

It was recently reported the British Academy of Film and Television Awards spent two weeks deciding how best to respond to allegations against Clarke, 45, prior to presenting him with one of its highest honours. 

According to reports, bosses have suspended ‘all the individual honours’ which are ‘in the gift of the Academy’ ahead of the ceremony, with The Mirror stating bosses are fearing giving an award to another scandal-ridden industry figure. 

Stiff competition: He is up against I May Destroy You star Paapa Essiedu, Baghdad Central’s Waleed Zuaiter, The Crown’s Josh O’Connor, and Small Axe actors John Boyega and Shaun Parkes

Totally nailed it: The dashing actor added a silver nail lapel pin to the ensemble for a touch of flair


Suits: Alexis Ffrench went for a patterned suit, while TV star Tom Allen donned a classic tux as he shielded under an umbrella

Contenders: Diversity dancers Jordan and Ashley Banjo looked dapper as they posed together ahead of vying for a trophy



Big night out: (L-R) Reece Shearsmith, Adrian Dunbar, and Sanjeev Bhaskar were also among the attendees on the night

The Mirror claims a message was sent to members last week which explained that BAFTA were ‘reviewing its selection protocols for its prestigious solo accolades’. 

The publication reported that the message said: ‘We wanted to let you know that while we review the processes behind selecting the awards that are ‘in the gift of the Academy’ – the Special Awards and Fellowships – we have temporarily paused these kinds of awards and they will not feature in Sunday’s ceremony.’ 

The Mirror claims that the only other time a TV Fellowship was ‘given and then cancelled’ was Rolf Harris.

The disgraced children’s entertainer was stripped of his BAFTA Fellowship after he was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at Southwark Crown Court in June 2014, and was sentenced to six years behind bars. 

Bold look: Guz Khan (left) went for a bold patterned paisley look as he posed on the expansive red carpet with Arslan Ashraf



Tux: (L-R) Shaun Parkes, Toby Alexander Smith, and Bill Bailey arrived at the star-studded ceremony suits of differing shades

Harris was released from HMP Stafford on parole in May 2017 after serving just three years of his sentence. 

Over the years, a collection of people have been awarded a BAFTA Fellowship, the highest accolade the Academy can bestow, including Joan Bakewell, Kate Adie, Jon Snow, Julie Walters and Joanna Lumley.

While the likes of Idris Elba, Lenny Henry and the late Cilla Black have previously won a Special Award during the ceremony.

However, the BAFTA website states that awards ‘in the gift of the Academy’ are ‘presented at the discretion of the BAFTA Television Committee; therefore they may not all be presented in any given year’.

MailOnline contacted BAFTA for comment at the time.

In sync: Mae Martin and Joe Hampson held hands on the red carpet as they posed in suits that complemented one another’s


Delight: Actor Richard Wilson was a delightful addition to the red carpet as he arrived in a black tux and white running shoes

 


Big hit: Small Axe starring John Boyega (left) and Letitia Wright (right) led the nominations with 15 nods, with Malachi Kirby winning on the night for his performance in the Supporting Actor category

Coming-of-age drama: First-time nominee Paul Mescal scooped the gong for Leading Actor for his performance as Connell in Normal People (pictured with co-star Daisy Edgar Jones)

Drama: Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown shock twist, which revealed Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan, pictured) as the mysterious gossip, was also on the shortlist however lost out on the night to Diversity’s BGT routine

Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, it was also reported that BAFTA TV had ‘temporarily paused’ Fellowships and Special Awards. 

 It comes after Noel Clarke, who has been accused by more than 20 women of sexual harassment and bullying, was suspended from BAFTA amid the allegations after he won the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award in April.

It was recently reported the British Academy of Film and Television Awards spent two weeks deciding how best to respond to allegations against Clarke, 45, prior to presenting him with one of its highest honours. 

According to reports, bosses have suspended ‘all the individual honours’ which are ‘in the gift of the Academy’ ahead of the ceremony, with The Mirror stating bosses are fearing giving an award to another scandal-ridden industry figure.

The Mirror claims a message was sent to members last week which explained that BAFTA were ‘reviewing its selection protocols for its prestigious solo accolades’. 

The publication reported that the message said: ‘We wanted to let you know that while we review the processes behind selecting the awards that are ‘in the gift of the Academy’ – the Special Awards and Fellowships – we have temporarily paused these kinds of awards and they will not feature in Sunday’s ceremony.’ 

The Mirror claims that the only other time a TV Fellowship was ‘given and then cancelled’ was Rolf Harris.

The disgraced children’s entertainer was stripped of his BAFTA Fellowship after he was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at Southwark Crown Court in June 2014, and was sentenced to six years behind bars.

Harris was released from HMP Stafford on parole in May 2017 after serving just three years of his sentence. 

Over the years, a collection of people have been awarded a BAFTA Fellowship, the highest accolade the Academy can bestow, including Joan Bakewell, Kate Adie, Jon Snow, Julie Walters and Joanna Lumley.

While the likes of Idris Elba, Lenny Henry and the late Cilla Black have previously won a Special Award during the ceremony.

However, the BAFTA website states that awards ‘in the gift of the Academy’ are ‘presented at the discretion of the BAFTA Television Committee; therefore they may not all be presented in any given year’.

MailOnline contacted BAFTA for comment at the time.     

Suspended: BAFTA TV have reportedly ‘temporarily paused’ Fellowships and Special Awards after Noel Clarke was suspended from BAFTA amid sexual harassment and bullying allegations

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