The stars are out to shine in Covent Gar­den

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

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.

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