The best of British filmmaking and slivers of Hollywood gathered at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night for the 72nd British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards – or the BAFTAs as it’s more commonly known. The annual event is the slightly more tame or – dare we say it – duller counterpart to rowdy awards shows such as the Golden Globes, but the 2019 edition brought with it a handful of pop-culture moments nonetheless. Below, we bring you the five that are worth knowing.
Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley returned to host the BAFTAs, but her opening speech was no laughing matter – literally. Her multiple attempts at humor were nothing short of cringeworthy, while her Ku Klux Klan joke was met with abject silence in the audience and serious backlash on Twitter.
The star quotient of the ceremony was taken up a couple of notches as Prince William – who is President of BAFTA – was joined by Kate Middleton at the Royal Albert Hall. Not only were they the official guests of honor, but the audience also stood respectfully as they made their way to their seats. This marks their third attendance in a row at the awards ceremony.
Her voice was shaky, she walked on stage carrying several scraps of paper instead of a formal acceptance speech, and she cracked jokes about getting drunk – that’s officially how Olivia Colman (who won Leading Actress for her role in The Favourite) became the highlight of the evening. Naturally, the audience greeted her hilarious speech with rapturous applause.
Rami Malek was awarded Leading Actor for his depiction of Freddie Mercury and, like the Golden Globes earlier this year, made absolutely no mention of Bryan Singer in his acceptance speech. The Bohemian Rhapsody director is currently facing multiple allegations of sexual assault, making headlines recently after BAFTA revoked his nomination within Bohemian Rhapsody’s wider Outstanding British Film nomination.
Moment of Honesty
British-Guyanese actress Letitia Wright is responsible for the most honest, raw, and refreshing acceptance speech we’ve seen in a while. Picking up the EE Rising Star Award, she revealed that she nearly quit acting due to her struggles with depression, thanking “God, my belief, my faith, my family, and an e-mail from BAFTA” for the fact that she persisted.