Bafta TV Awards: Stars both real and virtual expected at ceremony

2 weeks ago
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Richard Ayoade, a Bafta mask and Olly Alexander

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A host of stars are expected at this year’s Bafta Television Awards later, both in physical and virtual form.

Michaela Coel, Graham Norton and Billie Piper are among the nominees expected to physically attend the ceremony at Television Centre in west London.

Others will take part via video call or in hi-tech hologram form.

Comedian Richard Ayoade will host the event, which will kick off with a live performance from Years & Years’ Olly Alexander.

The singer and actor, recently seen in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, said he was “so excited” to open the ceremony with new track Starstruck.

His appearance follows his acclaimed performance of Pet Shop Boys song It’s A Sin with Sir Elton John at this year’s Brit Awards.

Further music will be provided by pianist Alexis Ffrench, whose rendition of his piece Bluebird will accompany a moment of reflection.

Guest presenters include comedians Bill Bailey and Daisy May Cooper, Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar and Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse.

Jon Snow, Catherine O’Hara and Catherine Zeta-Jones will be among the celebrities who will present awards virtually.

Nominated shows this year include Sir Steve McQueen’s BBC anthology series Small Axe, which is up for six awards in four categories.

They include best actor nods for John Boyega and Shaun Parkes and two more citations in the best supporting actor category.

Small Axe was the big winner at last month’s Bafta Craft Awards, picking up five prizes for its behind-the-scenes achievements.

Other dramas in the running for awards include The Crown, Gangs of London, I Hate Suzie and Save Me Too.

Michaela Coel as she appears in I May Destroy You

Coel’s hard-hitting consent drama I Will Destroy You is up for five awards, including best miniseries.

The series also won big at the Bafta Craft Awards, picking up three prizes that included one for Coel’s writing.

Coel is up for leading actress on Sunday, a category that also includes I Hate Suzie star Piper and Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer.

Her co-stars Paapa Essiedu and Weruche Opia are also shortlisted for the drama, which won Coel three trophies at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards in March.

Comedy shows with a shot at glory include Ghosts, Inside Number 9, Man Like Mobeen and This Country.

Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter, who died in April aged 54, is up for best male performance in a comedy.

Paul Ritter

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Norton is up for best entertainment performance, an award he has won on six previous occasions.

The chat show host is one of five men up for the prize, for which Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman is also nominated.

Diversity’s Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine on Britain’s Got Talent is up for the must-see moment award.

Scenes from Bridgerton, Gogglebox and EastEnders are also up for the prize, the only award of the evening decided by public vote.

The ceremony, to be shown on BBC One from 19:00 BST, will take place in a closed studio due to Covid-19 safeguards.

Comedian Tom Allen and presenter AJ Odudu will conduct interviews on the red carpet, which members of the public will not be allowed to line.

No special awards or fellowships will be handed out this year as Bafta is currently reviewing the processes that govern their presentation.

Bafta was criticised for giving Noel Clarke an outstanding contribution award in April despite being aware of sexual harassment claims against him, claims the actor denies.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts was formed in 1947 and has been presenting awards for television since 1954.

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