Baftas 2021 to go ahead without a live audience

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: BAFTA winner Renee Zellweger and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak at the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 2, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gilbert - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
BAFTA winner Renee Zellweger and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak at the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 (Jeff Gilbert - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Bafta film awards will take place in April without a live audience, it has been confirmed.

The British Academy’s annual ceremony has already been pushed back from February 14 to April 11, in line with the postponement of the Oscars, before indoor entertainment venues are due to reopen in May under the Government’s road map out of lockdown.

The awards show, held at the Royal Albert Hall in recent years, is usually a star-studded affair, with Hollywood A-listers jetting in from the US for the occasion and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge frequently in attendance.

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Amanda Berry, chief executive of Bafta, told the PA news agency the “ingredients” of the ceremony are still being worked out.

Amanda Berry poses for photographers upon arrival at the British Academy Television Craft Awards in London, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Amanda Berry at the British Academy Television Craft Awards in London, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

She added: “There is still a lot of work to do but it’s really exciting because, when you are forced to do something in a different way, it challenges you to think, ‘OK, we are creative bunch, how can we do this?’

“So I’m actually really excited about what we are going to be doing.”

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The largely virtual Golden Globes was recently hosted from Los Angeles and New York with a small, socially distanced audience of first responders and essential workers wearing masks.

However, Ms Berry said that will not be the case at the Baftas, adding: “Sadly no, that is not allowed in these times.”

The film academy has announced the nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, the only gong voted for by the public.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: (L to R) George MacKay, Taika Waititi, winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay award for
George MacKay, Taika Waititi, winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay award for "Jojo Rabbit", and Dean-Charles Chapman during the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

The five-strong list is made up of Rocks actress Bukky Bakray, County Lines star Conrad Khan, One Night In Miami’s Kingsley Ben-Adir, Saint Maud star Morfydd Clark and His House actor Ṣọpe Dirisu.

Ms Berry said: “What a five we have got this year, it is such a range of performances, but what cuts through them all is incredible talent, and watching the announcement today and seeing the faces of those that have been nominated, you can see how much it means.

“The film industry is a tough industry to get into, every day at Bafta we are trying to find and support the next generation of talent.”

Public voting for the EE Rising Star Award is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the ceremony on 11 April.

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