The stars are out to shine in Covent Garden
The Oscars may be more in-your-face, but when it comes to understated glamour with a classy edge, the British Academy Film Awards (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm) – or Baftas, to you and us – win hands down. We're now well into the awards season, with the National Television, Golden Globes and Screen Actors having already happened; the aforementioned Oscars are just around the corner too.
But for now, it's London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden that grabs our attention. That's where Stephen Fry will be hosting the 66th Bafta ceremony from, surrounded by A-listers from across the globe who gaze at him in awe while wondering if they will be taking home one of the coveted Bafta masks.
"Hard as it may be for some characteristically sceptical Britons to believe, the Baftas have real kudos, reputation and cachet all over the world of filmmaking,” says Fry. “I, old as I am, never cease to be shamelessly glamorised by the sight of so many legendary names who come every year as nominees and presenters.”
The only man who knows for sure that he'll be adding one of the famous trophies to his mantelpiece is Sidney Poitier, the Bahamas-raised actor who became the first AfricanAmerican to win the Best Actor Oscar when he received the trophy for his performance in 1963’s Lilies of the Field.
Despite holding American citizenship, the Bahamas was a British colony at the time of Poitier’s birth, and he claims he still holds the nation close to his heart. He was also knighted by the Queen in 1974.
The costumier Angels will also pick up an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema.
"I'm delighted that BAFTA is honouring the costumiers Angels? in its 175th year,” reveals Pippa Harris, chair of Bafta’s film committee. “It's extraordinary to think that the company has been in existence longer than BAFTA or indeed cinema itself."
The destination of the rest of the awards are, of course, a mystery, but what we can tell you is that Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and Carol leads the way with nine nominations each.
They are closely followed by The Revenant, which features in eight categories, while Mad Max: Fury Road has seven.
Among the Brits in the running are Julie Walters, a nominee for Brooklyn in the Supporting Actress category, as is Kate Winslet for her role in Steve Jobs.
Awards Kate Winslet is among the nominees.