Settle down with the beverage of your choice and toast the great and good of British TV.
Yes, it’s time for the annual backslapping ceremony to take place, and although productions were hit by ongoing Covid-19-related conditions, it’s still safe to say that 2021 provided viewers with some amazing programmes, performances and moments.
While production teams have often needed to be inventive to guarantee that rules and regulations were observed at all times, Bafta itself has undergone some changes, including increasing the number of nominees in certain categories, ensuring diversity is recognised and rewarding eco-friendly working practices.
“The television industry has continued to innovate and creatively thrive during the challenges of the last year,” explains Sara Putt, deputy chair of Bafta and chair of the Bafta Television Committee. “TV has once again proven its unique value in keeping audiences entertained and informed.
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“Each year we consult with the industry and review our rules and eligibility criteria to ensure our awards not only reflect an evolving global industry but also help drive positive change.”
Although the majority of the winners are chosen by Bafta members, the Must-See Moment is voted for by the public, with clips from An Audience with Adele, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, It’s a Sin, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Squid Game and Strictly Come Dancing all in the running.
“We are delighted to be revealing the six moments which truly showcase the very best and most-talked about programmes of 2021, demonstrating what Bafta is about: excellence and inspiration,” says Putt. “I am so excited to see what the public choose to be their Must-See Moment winner, in what is sure to be a close contest.”
Some trophies have already been given out during the Bafta TV Craft Awards ceremony, which was presented by Mel Giedroyc a fortnight ago, but the main event takes place this evening at London’s Royal Festival Hall, where Richard Ayoade takes charge of the proceedings.
Shows expected to do well include It’s A Sin, Russell T Davies’ mini-series about a group of friends confronted by the Aids crisis in the 1980s. It’s up for six awards this evening, including nods for cast members Olly Alexander, Lydia West, David Carlyle, Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells. If at least one of them doesn’t win it will be a major shock.
The show itself is in the running in the Mini-Series category, but it faces stiff opposition from Landscapers, Stephen and Time.
Drama Series should be a hotly contested affair too, with Manhunt: The Night Stalker, Vigil, Unforgotten and In My Skin receiving lots of plaudits; the latter picked up the writing gong at the Craft Awards for Kayleigh Llewellyn, whose own life inspired the story, so that’s perhaps the favourite.
We’ll all have our own opinions on who and what should come out on top. Whether we agree with the winners remains to be seen, but whatever happens, the event offers us all a couple of hours of top-class glamour in which we can lose ourselves for a while.