Sunday saw the 2015 House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards, at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
Usually a much anticipated event, this year’s show was a rather laborious evening for the BBC. Only a few days after the general election, the change in British politics wasn’t the only controversial event to shake up the colours of the UK.
Because of tradition – or because the BBC couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to do it – the BAFTA Awards was Graham Norton. Opening the show, we watched Norton attempt to amuse the star studded guests with election jokes galore; they were so bad I think he might have actually written those jokes himself. Making reference to the resignation of Clegg, Miliband and Farage, he made a punt at how that could give the creators of Top Gear a really great idea. Yawn, yawn – the Clarkson jokes are over and done with.
No surprises this year
They eventually began with the award for Best Entertainment Programme. Not that anyone was really wondering who would win this, even though I questioned how entertaining all the nominations were. Of course, it was Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway that claimed the crown. What a non-surprise. The Voice and Strictly just missed out, making me want to turn my chair around and watch paint dry.
Harry Potter star, Jason Isaacs gave the award for Best Mini Series. According to Isaacs, it should be called Best Event Series, as most of the nominations were spectacular and much bigger. The award went to The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, the difficult true story about a school teacher falsely accused of murder. The team and creators were clearly very honoured to receive it.
Keeping Norton company, Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife also made a bit of a faux pas when trying to announce the award. I’m not sure how hard it is to 1) smile at Graham Norton 2) give an intro written by a hard-working script writer 3) read out the nominations and 4) tell us who won. But, hey ho, Panjabi very nearly read out the winner before the nominees. Amusingly, Graham Norton’s own talk show won an award for Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme, which was a credit to him as his show is hilarious and interesting in equal measure.
Lacking genuine laughs
Aside from the entertainment provided by Graham Norton’s beard (I’m surprised nobody has set it up a Twitter account yet) I was hoping for more from this year’s BAFTA Awards. Sadly, it was full of the classic drag-camera-to-a-star-to-see-if-they’re-laughing-or-not move. Predictable shows won. Predictable presenters won. It might as well be called The Ant and Dec vs Graham Norton Show show.
Forgetting the viewers, I felt most sorry for poor James Corden, who travelled all away from the US in the hope of winning and award for The Wrong Mans. He certainly was the ‘wrong man’ for the award in the end.
A few bright sparks
There were, albeit few, some shining stars and positive responses from the public to certain awards. Coronation Street beat Eastenders in a shock victory in the Soap and Continuing Drama category and young new actress Georgina Campbell beat off some big names to be awarded Best Actress.
The fellowship this year was awarded to Channel 4 newsreader and journalist Jon Snow. In his speech, he gave us an idea of how far journalism and TV has progressed. Maybe the BAFTA Awards could learn a thing or two from him.
To see the full list of winners, click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-32215563