LONDON – Sunday’s annual awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts initially seemed to promise an exciting night but turned out to be the poorer, British equivalent of the Oscars.
BAFTA host, British actor Richard E Grant, began with a joke regarding train strikes in the UK saying, ‘What could be more British than a delayed train?’
Grant’s humor seemed well-rehearsed, but at times the silence from the audience was painful.
British TV personality Alison Hammond served as a great co-host providing both humor and a great outfit in a dazzling black dress.
To make matters worse, Hamilton actress Ariana DeBose followed with a cringe-worthy musical performance. The response – confusion and panic on celebrities’ faces – was so entertaining, I couldn’t help but laugh.
The BAFTAs were initially amusing but as time progressed, I found myself going on my phone as a distraction from the lame jokes on screen.
It’s amazing how many times an Everything Everywhere All At Once joke could be made in only two hours.
For the award show to be in its 76th year, you would think it had good funding, but the theater space seemed low-budget and more like a replica of a school assembly hall.
Many celebrities were snubbed. Actor Angela Bassett, for example, deserved to win supporting actress for her powerful role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
But “Sex Education” actress Emma Mackey’s win for the Rising Star Award felt justified.
Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared at the awards, but seemed out of place in the sea of film industry celebrities.
I enjoyed certain jokes such as a comedic take on the distinction between British vs American Sign Language.
Actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Anya Taylor Joy also served as a comedic duo. Their joke on celebrities sharing the same Netflix account was funny for its absurdity and relevance to the streaming service’s new rule on sharing accounts.
Singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading’s brilliant electric guitar perfectly accompanied rapper Little Simz in their performance at the awards show.
Overall, the BAFTAs felt excruciatingly long, yet I found the show terribly funny.
Anjola Fashawe is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.