Last night the 2011 BAFTA’s were held in London and featured a mix of surprise winners and those who had been predicted to take the big awards. So who were the big winners and losers of the night?
Sherlock, Any Human Heart and Misfits were all nominated in several of the drama categories and all three shows took home at least one prize, but there wasn’t one programme that clearly dominated as can often be the way at these events. It looked like Sherlock might sweep their three award nominations as they picked up Best Drama Series quickly followed by Best Supporting Actor for Martin Freeman who plays Watson in the hit BBC show and is currently taking a break from the much anticipated The Hobbit to film the second series of the crime solving drama.
Denying their clean sweep on the birthday of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the category for Best Actor beating out Benedict Cumberbatch was one of the surprises of the evening, Daniel Rigby who portrayed the much beloved British comedian Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie was the winner. This was one of the particularly tough categories that also contained British acting heavy weight and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent for his role in Any Human Heart and BAFTA newcomer Matt Smith for his performance of the Doctor in the very popular Doctor Who. I would imagine that we will see some of these actors at this award ceremony next year, particularly after Jim Broadbent’s rather stunning portrayal of an ex-journalist with Alzheimer’s disease in the BBC three part drama Exile.
Best Actress was won by Vicky McClure for her performance as troubled Frances ‘Lol’ Jenkins in This is England ’86, which Shane Meadows has adapted from his critically acclaimed film 2006 film This is England. This isn’t an easy show to watch as it is the kind of gritty drama that the UK does best but it is well worth the effort and McClure is a deserving winner of this category.
The category of Best Supporting Actress also saw one of the big upsets of the night as Misfits actress Lauren Socha who plays Kelly on the hit E4 show (the show hasn’t aired in the US yet but I would highly recommend that you get hold of the DVDs) pipping Jessie Wallace and Lynda Baron who were both nominated for the BBC single drama The Road to Coronation Street which won the Single Drama category over the joint BBC/HBO effort The Special Relationship. Also in the Supporting Actress category was Gillian Anderson who was nominated for her portrayal of Mrs Wallace Simpson in Any Human Heart, though like The Road to Coronation Street it also won for the programme, this time in the Best Serial Programme category.
In a non surprise Steve Coogan won Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for The Trip, which in an odd move has been diluted from a 6 part series to a feature film which will get a limited release in the US next month. Not entirely sure why they have opted for this conversion from a TV show to a film using the same material nor how successful it will be but at least they can now stick BAFTA winner on the films poster.
Danish crime drama The Killing which has been critically lauded in the UK and has now got a US remake that is currently airing on AMC, beat out previous winner Mad Men and other US hits Boardwalk Empire and Glee for the International prize showing that there can be some diversity in this often US dominated category.
One of the most bizarre moments of the evening was when reality programme The Only Way is Essex (cast photo, see right) won the YouTube audience award. This award differs from all the others that are presented as it is the only one voted for by the general public. The purpose of this award is to showcase the programmes that have captured the viewing audiences imaginations and that have generated conversation. A panel of entertainment journalists picked the shorlist that featured the eclectic mix of Downton Abbey, The Killing (the original Danish version), Miranda, Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Sherlock and the winner The Only Way is Essex. The bizarre nature of this was akin to if the Jersey Shore cast ended up fist pumping their way to the Emmy Awards stage and was met with some amazing reactions to the other TV folks in the room, with Martin Freeman’s (acted?) grimace highlighting the mood. The shrieking and hoisting of dresses to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions from the women of this show only compounded the surreal nature of the moment. Like Jersey Shore this reality show has featured prominently in discussion regarding the state of TV and heavily in tabloids, so whether it’s for good or bad it’s place in this category and win were maybe much deserved.
What do you think of these winners? Are you a fan of any shows from across the pond?
For a full list of the winners and those nominated head here.