LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
18 May 2014
I Win, You Lose, Get Over It

It was the BAFTAs and at times the audience looked like it had all been herded
en masse into the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane by force rather than choice.

Even Graham Norton’s chirpy, cheery, cheesy persona had an effect in the
beginning of the evening, but all that gaiety eventually caused mass
queasiness. The audience looked unmoved to the point of rigamortis.

Several stood up to acknowledge Cilla Black’s Special Award, several more got
off their cushy chairs when prodded by those standing, but others assumed
they were at home in front of the telly less animated than the stars of
Goggle
Box
. They woke up to leading actor winner Sean Harris’ amusingly incoherent
acceptance speech for his role in
Southcliffe. Surely magician superior
Dynamo could have made the entire audience delight in response to the
winners. Perhaps not.

A few highlights: Naomi’s chest caught everybody’s collective gaze. That was
the point was it not. Nicky Campbell didn’t get a hug from the model, but
responded upon winning for
Long Lost Family, “She’s my sister”... the soap
losers always look disgruntled, with
Coronation Street winning again, really...
James Corden anytime, any place, any where – augh... Paterson Joseph and
David Mitchell shared more wit than the nominations for best comedy... Graham
made a practiced ‘I care’ face following the tribute to last year’s deceased...
Julie Walters upon receiving the Bafta Fellowship award thanked her husband
for “being there for me and allowing me my dreams.” Stop here. “Allowing me
my dreams.” Allowing? Allowing? No, no. Support, love, but allowing is simply -
sad. (Curiously Nicole Kidman has announced independent of the awards
ceremony that she would give up her Hollywood career if her husband asked
her to. Off my Christmas list – for ever.)

Personal favourites that won:
Broadchurch was recognised as it absolutely
deserved: David Bradley for best supporting, which the audience loved as did
the equally deserving Rory Kinnear in
Southcliffe. The totally brilliant,
endearing, enchanting Olivia Coleman won for leading actress. It was the
actress's third Bafta in just two years. Also deserving: Maxine Peake in
The
Village
(but really for Silk) Kerrie Hays in The Mill, and Helena Bonham Carter
Burton and Taylor, well, perhaps not HBC. Olivia got all teary and said she was
humiliated to do ‘a Gwennie’; we only got teary.

The winner, Katherine Parkinson in the fab
IT Crowd up against Doon
Mackinchan in the addictive
Plebs. Richard Ayoade from The IT Crowd won
over
The Wrong Mans’ Mathew Baynton. All just so funny, witty, clever.

Personal favourites should-have-won:
The Returned, The Revolution Will Be
Televised
.

Personal shouldn’t-have-been-nominated:
The Village, Count Arthur Strong,
despite the brilliant writer, Graham Linehan, who wrote the brilliant
IT Crowd
which should have won rather than
Him and Her:The Wedding...Top of the
Lake
– truly dire, one of the worst attempts at ‘meaningful drama’ ever...
Vicious – why?... Sarah Millican Television Show – sorry, not funny, crass
though,
Graham Norton Show – no, no, no.

Personal ‘you must be bloody kidding’: “Allllright! How you guys doin?” -
Jeremy Piven awarding the International Award wanted to know. Really. We’re
fine. How you doin’?
House of Cards – oh dear, oh dear. I couldn’t possibly
comment, but comment I will. I know; let’s all get together and have an unlimited
amount of money to remake a British classic and tell everyone that it is so
much better than the original. I might be commenting to myself in expletives
here. The nominees included the engaging
Borgen and the best ever, The
Returned
which were all reduced to nil by Breaking Bad! Breaking Bad! WTF.
Accepting the award, Aaron Paul said: “WOW! I don’t know what to say”. Well
darling, ‘WOW!’ isn’t it. He had already done the WOW! bit on the red carpet.
WOW! WTF!

It all seemed a bit ‘can we go home yet’.

The winners:
Leading actress
: Olivia Colman, Broadchurch, ITV
Leading actor: Sean Harris, Southcliffe, Channel 4
Supporting actress: Sarah Lancashire, Last Tango in Halifax, BBC One
Supporting actor: David Bradley, Broadchurch, ITV
Drama series: Broadchurch, ITV
Situation comedy: Him & Her: The Wedding, BBC Three
Reality and constructed factual: Gogglebox, Channel 4
Comedy and comedy entertainment programme: A League of their Own,
Sky One
Female performance in a comedy: Katherine Parkinson, The IT Crowd
Male performance in a comedy: Richard Ayoade, The IT Crowd
Entertainment programme: Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, ITV
Entertainment performance: Ant and Dec, ITV
Sport and live event: The Ashes 2013, Sky Sports
Current affairs: Syria: Across The Lines (Dispatches), Channel 4
Mini-series: In The Flesh, BBC Three
Single documentary: The Murder Trial, Channel 4
News coverage: ITV News At Ten: Woolwich Attacks
Soap: Coronation Street, ITV
Specialist factual: David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D, Sky
3D
International: Breaking Bad, Netflix
Single drama: Complicit, Channel 4
Factual series: Bedlam, Channel 4
Features: Long Lost Family, ITV
Radio Times Audience Award: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, BBC One
Bafta Fellowship: Julie Walters
Special Award: Cilla Black  
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