The 2021 British Academy Television Awards kicked off on Sunday night, with stars from shows including Small Axe and The Crown battling it out for hte top prizes.
Richard Ayoade took to the stage as host for the occasion at London’s Television Centre, with a selection of stars donning masks to be seated in the socially-distanced audience.
Several of the year’s biggest TV moments were also celebrated, with Diversity’s controversial BLM-inspired routine on Britain’s Got Talent, which sparked 24,500 complaints to Ofcom, featured in the must-see moment category.
Here it is! The 2021 British Academy Television Awards kicked off on Sunday night, with stars from shows including Small Axe and The Crown battling it out for hte top prizes
One of the award show’s more moving moments came from Rakie Ayola for her performance in the drama Anthony, which was based on the racially-charged murder of teen Anthony Walker.
In a touching speech she said: ‘If you think you know someone who feels all they have is to take the life of another, do what you can because the one reason we wanted Gillian’s story to be told is that she thourhg people might watch it and think about it for someone to get away.’
BAFTA TV Awards 2021: Nominations
GANGS OF LONDON
I HATE SUZIE
SAVE ME TOO
JOHN BOYEGA – Small Axe
JOSH O’CONNOR – The Crown
PAAPA ESSIEDU – I May Destroy You
PAUL MESCAL – Normal People
SHAUN PARKES – Small Axe
WALEED ZUAITER – Baghdad Central
BILLIE PIPER – I Hate Suzie
DAISY EDGAR-JONES – Normal People
HAYLEY SQUIRES – Adult Material
JODIE COMER – Killing Eve
LETITIA WRIGHT – Small Axe
MICHAELA COEL – I May Destroy You
KUNAL NAYYAR – Criminal: UK
MALACHI KIRBY – Small Axe – WINNER
MICHAEL SHEEN – Quiz
MICHEAL WARD – Small Axe
RUPERT EVERETT – Adult Material
TOBIAS MENZIES – The Crown
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – The Crown
LEILA FARZAD – I Hate Suzie
RAKIE AYOLA – Anthony – WINNER
SIENA KELLY – Adult Material
SOPHIE OKONEDO – Criminal: UK
WERUCHE OPIA – I May Destroy You
COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME
CHARLIE BROOKER’S ANTIVIRAL WIPE
ROB & ROMESH VS Jack Shillaker
THE BIG NARSTIE SHOW
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
AIMEE LOU WOOD – Sex Education
DAISY HAGGARD – Breeders
DAISY MAY COOPER – This Country
EMMA MACKEY – Sex Education
GBEMISOLA IKUMELO – Famalam
MAE MARTIN – Feel Good
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
CHARLIE COOPER – This Country
GUZ KHAN – Man Like Mobeen
JOSEPH GILGUN – Brassic
NCUTI GATWA – Sex Education
PAUL RITTER – Friday Night Dinner
REECE SHEARSMITH – Inside No.9
I MAY DESTROY YOU
AMERICA’S WAR ON ABORTION (EXPOSURE)
ITALY’S FRONTLINE: A DOCTOR’S DIARY
THE BATTLE FOR HONG KONG (DISPATCHES)
THE CYPRUS PAPERS UNDERCOVER (AL JAZEERA INVESTIGATIONS)
JIMMY MCGOVERN’S MOVING ON
RICHARD OSMAN’S HOUSE OF GAMES
THE GREAT HOUSE GIVEAWAY
ADAM HILLS – The Last Leg
BRADLEY WALSH – Beat the Chasers
CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN – Strictly Come Dancing
DAVID MITCHELL – Would I Lie to You? At Christmas
GRAHAM NORTON – The Graham Norton Show
ROMESH RANGANATHAN – The Ranganation – WINNER
ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY
LIFE & RHYMES – WINNER
STRICTLY COME DANCING
THE MASKED SINGER
CRIME & PUNISHMENT
LOSING IT: OUR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY
ONCE UPON A TIME IN IRAQ
BIG ZUU’S BIG EATS
LONG LOST FAMILY: BORN WITHOUT TRACE – WINNER
MORTIMER AND WHITEHOUSE: GONE FISHING
THE REPAIR SHOP
BBC NEWS AT TEN: PRIME MINISTER ADMITTED TO INTENSIVE CARE
CHANNEL 4 NEWS: DETERRING DEMOCRACY
NEWSNIGHT: COVID CARE CRISIS
SKY NEWS: INSIDE IDLIB
REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL
MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS
RACE ACROSS THE WORLD
THE SCHOOL THAT TRIED TO END RACISM
THE WRITE OFFS
BBW (ON THE EDGE)
SITTING IN LIMBO
THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN
SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA: THE GAY PURGE (STORYVILLE)
LIFE DRAWING LIVE!
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE
THE THIRD DAY: AUTUMN Production Team
INSIDE NO. 9 – WINNER
MAN LIKE MOBEEN
SHORT FORM PROGRAMME
DISABLED NOT DEFEATED: THE ROCK BANS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES – DELTA 7
THE MAIN PART
THEY SAW THE SUN FIRST
AMERICAN MURDER: THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR
ANTON FERDINAND: FOOTBALL, RACISM & ME
LOCKED IN: BREAKING THE SILENCE (STORYVILLE)
VIRGIN MEDIA’S MUST-SEE MOMENT (voted for by the public)
BRIDGERTON – Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown
BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT – Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020
EASTENDERS – Gray kills Chantelle
GOGGLEBOX – Reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference
NIGELLA’S COOK, EAT, REPEAT – Mee-cro-wah-vay
THE MANDALORIAN – Luke Skywalker arrives
After It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander kicked off the show, the first award for Entertainment Performance was given to Romesh Ranganathan for his series The Ranganation, with Line Of Duty legend Adrian Dunbar taking to the stage to present the prize.
Taking to the stage in person for the ceremony, he said: ‘I really didn’t expect to win it (I mean there’s a really good chance) it was much easier doing this series as I just did it from my garage I put in less effort to be honest.’
Richard Wilson then took to the stage to give out the award for Comedy Programme to Inside No. 9, with the show’s creators vowing they’ll ‘keep going’ following the show’s sixth series.
Star Steve Pemberton, appearing via. Zoom, added: ‘This is like the c*****t episode of Gogglebox ever! We’re so thrilled and delighted to have won this award. We are so so grateful, it’s such a privilege to be able to go into people’s homes and make them laugh and cry or whatever.’
Gracing the stage! Olly Alexander commanded the stage with a performance of his song Starstruck to kick off the awards
Standing out: The It’s A Sin star was every inch the showman in his mustard jacket and matching trousers, with both featured a contrasting black snakeskin print
Rising star: Olly’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent months after earning critical acclaim for his role in It’s A Sin, with the star going onto perform with Elton John at the BRIT Awards
Ahead of this year’s ceremony, Billie Piper, Jodie Comer, Michaela Coel, and Oti Mabuse were among the select celebrities to make it onto the red carpet in person.
Pop star-turned-actress Billie, 38, wowed she arrived on the red carpet in a black tuxedo dress, which was given a dramatic touch with a single puffy pink sleeve, which descended into a matching bow and train.
With one half of her dress covered in sequins, the star – who has been nominated for her turn in I Hate Suzie – toted a clutch bag, while she opted to accessorise with a glittering statement necklace.
Meanwhile, fellow nominee Jodie, 38, kept things simple yet elegant in a navy sleeveless top with matching high-waisted trousers, which she gave a summery touch with open-toe heels.
While her ensemble was simple, the Killing Eve star added bold jewellery, including an open choker and colourful earrings as she posed up a storm for photographers gathered on the red carpet.
Also nominated on the night, acclaimed actress and screenwriter Michaela, 33, looked incredible in a flowing backless gown and with a statement red cuff sleeve detail.
Elegant: Fellow nominee Jodie kept things simple yet elegant in a navy sleeveless top with matching high-waisted trousers
Bold jewellery: While her ensemble was simple, she added bold jewellery, including an open choker and colourful earrings
Strike a pose: Nominated for her critically-acclaimed turn in Killing Eve, the star gleefully posed up a storm for photographers
Michaela, nominated for hit show I May Destroy You – which she wrote and starred in – looked sensational as she slicked back her raven tresses and accentuated her features with bold lipstick.
With her dress featuring a peephole descending the length of much of her torso, the star added a selection of gold accessories to her gown, including a chunky chain necklace and some statement rings.
Strictly Come Dancing star Oti, 30, looked sensational as she stepped out in a deeply plunging cream gown, which boasted a daring thigh-high slit.
Standing tall in a pair of silver strappy heels, the South African beauty’s dress of choice perfectly hugged and flattered her enviably toned frame as she posed up a storm for photographers.
Eye-catching: Michaela Coel looked sensational as she made her way down the red carpet in a flowing black backless gown
Contrasting touch: The I May Destroy You star’s dramatic gown was given a contrasting touch with a red cuff sleeve detail
Golden girl: With her dress featuring a peephole descending the length of much of her torso, the star added a selection of gold accessories to her gown, including a chunky chain necklace and some statement rings
Radiant: The actress looked sensational as she slicked back her raven tresses and accentuated her features with bold lipstick
With a pair of dazzling drop earrings complementing her stunning ensemble, the TV personality wore her honey brown tresses in a playful bob, while her good looks were highlighted with a palette of glossy makeup.
She was joined on the red carpet by Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman, who stood out on the red carpet in a dramatic black poncho dress, which enveloped her frame.
Claudia’s dress was fringed with a series of shimmering silver tassels, adding a contrasting touch to her look, which also included a pair of vertiginous black heels.
Toting a black envelope clutch bag, the TV personality wore her signature raven locks in a straight sleek style with a long fringe, while a generous application of makeup highlighted her looks.
Glamorous: Oti stepped out in truly glamorous style for the occasion as she hit the red carpet well ahead of the ceremony
Black to basics: The stars were joined on the red carpet by Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman, who stood out on the red carpet in a dramatic black poncho dress, which enveloped her frame
Helena Bonham Carter looked fun and flirty as she arrived on the red carpet in a white layered sleeveless gown, which was decorated with an array of black polka dots.
Wearing her chestnut brown locks in a half-updo, the 55-year-old The Crown star bucked convention by adding a pair of sunglasses to her accessories, which included hoop earrings.
She was joined on the red carpet by her beau Rye Holmboe, who cut a dapper figure in a classic black tuxedo.
Also in attendance was AJ Odudu, who stunned as she stepped out in a red feathered one-shoulder gown, which boasted a backless feature.
Dapper gent: She was joined on the red carpet by her beau Rye Holmboe, who cut a dapper figure in a classic black tuxedo
Gown: The actress proudly displayed her gown in all its dramatic form as she posed up a storm for red carpet photographers
Beautiful: The BAFTA Awards will make history on Sunday as stars who weren’t able to attend the event are beamed onto the red carpet in hologram form
Say cheese: The actress posed up a storm on the carpet before the star-studded event with fellow actor Paapa Essiedu, 31
Glitzy: She wore a unique dress which was covered in jewels, including the collar around her neck
Happy: Paapa wore a gold chain around his neck and a pair chunky brown shoes as he posed with Letitia
This year, BAFTA beamed celebrities that can’t attend onto the red carpet as holograms.
And ceremony hosts Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope introduced the hologram guests to those actually at the socially distanced ceremony.
Of her red carpet role, Vick revealed last week: ‘If you’re anything like me, over the last year your WhatsApp groups will have been nonstop about a recent episode or moment in the latest TV drama, documentary, reality or even cooking show.
‘It’s made me fall in love with TV all over again, and it’s because of this that I think that the Virgin Media BAFTAs feels extra special this year.
All things bright and beautiful: Bridgerton actress Emma Coughlan wowed as she hit the red carpet in a flowing orange gown
Captivating red carpet look: The Derry Girls star’s gown featured a sheer chiffon overlay at the neckline and puffy mid-sleeves
Purple reign: The screen star complemented her eye-catching look with vibrant violet eyeshadow and dazzling hoop earrings
Taking the plunge: Actress Cush Jumbo wowed as she hit the red carpet in a deeply plunging shimmering black gown
Making waves: The screen star wore her golden locks in soft waves with a long fringe, while she kept her makeup natural
‘To be able to chat directly with the TV fans who have voted for their favourite Must-See Moment nominee and connect them to their favourite stars via holograms live on the red carpet will be a unique, once in a lifetime experience.
‘I’m so excited to bring a bit of this magic to the fans at home, it’s going to be an emotional one.’
COVID-19 restrictions meant TV fans couldn’t be in attendance on the red carpet as usual this year and some nominees were unable to attend because of filming bubbles.
All content was captured by a live stream camera and to enable everyone at home to see the action unfold from the comfort of their living room.
Beauty: The actress, 28, stunned in a figure-hugging black gown, featuring white puffed shoulders
Busy: Lydia’s turn in It’s A Sin sees her with a whopping four acting projects line up for the coming year
Stunning: She swept her raven locks tightly back from her smiling features which were expertly made-up with a clean palette of cosmetics
Host with the most: The Chase’s Bradley Walsh looked dapper in a black tuxedo as he arrived with his glamorous wife Donna
LBD: The ceremony’s hosts for the evening, (L-R) Vick Hope and Stacey Dooley posed in black gowns of differing lengths
Television break: Ellie and Izzi Warner took a break from watching TV for Gogglebox to hit the red carpet in stylish dresses
Members of the public watched a livestream of the red carpet and be a part of the glamour by visiting Virgin’s website from noon on Sunday.
They also chose from a selection of digital red carpet outfits to help them get into the spirit of the Awards and get ready carpet ready.
If selected, they were beamed onto the red carpet and even asked a question to their favourite celeb with a video of the interaction being sent to the fan after.
Several of the year’s biggest TV moments were celebrated on Sunday, with Diversity’s controversial BLM-inspired routine on Britain’s Got Talent, which sparked 24,500 complaints to Ofcom, featured in the must-see moment category.
Flawless: AJ Odudu looked stunning as she stepped out on the red carpet in a red feathered one-shoulder gown at the show
Turning heads: The TV presenter, 33, looked sensational as she posed in the statement ruby gown and white stilettos
Chic: The presenter wore her raven tresses in a sleek bob, which she tucked behind her ears as she beamed for photographers
Beautiful: AJ oozed glamour and looked radiant in the jewel toned ensemble and opted for a natural makeup look
Understated: AJ let her statement outfit speak for itself as she kept her hair and makeup looks subtle
Upbeat: Zawe Ashton looked sweet as she twirled onto the red carpet in a playful cartoon print maxi dress at the BAFTAs
All smiles: The Fresh Meat actress beamed as she worked her angles for the cameras in the dusty pink gown with a large bow
Twirling: Gbemisola Ikumelo showed off the beauty of her patterned dress in all its glory as she twirled on the red carpet
The category, which is voted for by the public, saw nods to Penelope being revealed as Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton and when Luke Skywalker appearing in the climax of The Mandalorian’s second season.
However it’s Small Axe which lead this year’s nominations with 15 nods.
The BBC One anthology film series, directed by Sir Steve McQueen, picked up six TV nominations and nine in the craft categories, including a nod for the Mini-Series gong alongside Normal People, Adult Material and I May Destroy You.
Small Axe – which features five films that tell stories about lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s – also picked up two Leading Actor nominations with John Boyega and Shaun Parkes both receiving nods.
Stunning: Aimee Lou Wood, 26, wowed in a flowing white dress with exquisite floral detailing on the red carpet as she arrived
80s inspired: The floral pattern continued down the rest of the garment and the ends of the dress hung just above the ground
Making history: The BAFTA Awards will make history on Sunday as stars who weren’t able to attend the event are beamed onto the red carpet in hologram form
Flawless: Her makeup was heavy and she opted for lipstick with a dark pink tinge, tying in with the flowers and her large pendant earrings
Exciting: ceremony hosts Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope will introduce the hologram guests to those actually at the socially distanced ceremony
Wow! Jessica Plummer ensured she left a lasting impression as she arrived at the ceremony in a showstopping silver dress
Stunning: The EastEnders actress, 28, put on a very leggy display in a ruffled silver mini skirt, which she styled with a matching strappy top
Panache: Rupaul’s Drag Race UK stars (L-R) Bimini Bon Boulash, Lawrence Chaney and Awhora arrived in typically glam style
Letitia Wright, who also starred in the series, was up for the Leading Actress prize, and she will face competition from Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie), Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Hayley Squires (Adult Material), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) and Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You).
Elsewhere, I May Destroy You star Paapa Essiedu was against John and Shaun for the Leading Actor award, as well as Normal People actor Paul Mescal, Baghdad Central’s Waleed Zuaiter, and The Crown’s Josh O’Connor.
The Crown received 10 nominations – four for TV and six for the craft categories – including a nod for the Drama Series accolade alongside I Hate Suzie, Save Me Too and Gangs of London.
Other nods included This Country, Man Like Mobeen, Inside No. 9, and Ghosts for the Scripted Comedy prize, and siblings and This Country creators Daisy May and Charlie Cooper received nominations for the Female and Male Performance in a Comedy Programme gongs, respectively.
The ceremony was hosted by Richard Ayoade, while Stacey and Vick took charge of the red carpet presenting.
Happy: Daisy May Cooper, 34, made her appearance at the 2021 British Academy Television Awards a family affair, as she joined her uncle Trevor (far left) and father Paul on the red carpet
Dapper lading man: Screen heartthrob Paul Mescal arrived at the star-studded awards ceremony looking dapper on Sunday
Nominee: The Normal People star is up for a Leading Actor gong at the awards this year, after his stand-out turn in the role of Connell Waldron last summer
All smiles: Paul was seen arriving at the ceremony in West London, waving to bystanders. He looked suave in his ensemble
Stiff competition: He is up against I May Destroy You star Paapa Essiedu, Baghdad Central’s Waleed Zuaiter, The Crown’s Josh O’Connor, and Small Axe actors John Boyega and Shaun Parkes
Totally nailed it: The dashing actor added a silver nail lapel pin to the ensemble for a touch of flair
Suits: Alexis Ffrench went for a patterned suit, while TV star Tom Allen donned a classic tux as he shielded under an umbrella
Contenders: Diversity dancers Jordan and Ashley Banjo looked dapper as they posed together ahead of vying for a trophy
Bold look: Guz Khan (left) went for a bold patterned paisley look as he posed on the expansive red carpet with Arslan Ashraf
In sync: Mae Martin and Joe Hampson held hands on the red carpet as they posed in suits that complemented one another’s
Delight: Actor Richard Wilson was a delightful addition to the red carpet as he arrived in a black tux and white running shoes