Bafta Awards 1993 – tape 1442

More Bafta awards, this time from 1993. The show opens with Jill Dando interviewing the celebs as they arrive, which is a step up from Martyn Lewis, who had done it in previous years.

The show opens with a big dance number that’s been ruthlessly excised from this recording. I can’t tell if it was a manual edit on my part, but it’s very abrupt, so I’m guessing it probably was. Although I can’t imagine why.

Host for this evening is Griff Rhys Jones, on his own for once. Or is he? Because this year the ceremony has a transatlantic ceremony in Los Angeles hosted by Mel Smith. This is one of the better introductory monologues (or dialogues) I’ve seen, as it pokes fun almost entirely at the producers and executives. Also, watch out for Alan Parker in LA laughing at the Dixon of Dock Green gag while his American compatriots just look bemused.

Things go swimmingly for a while, although once again, winners aren’t allowed to make speeches, unless they’re in LA, which seems unfair. And then Mel Gibson comes on to announce Best Supporting Actress. It doesn’t go well, to the extent that he omits the final nomination, a second nomination for Miranda Richardson, this time in Damage. Then he waits for the VT to roll, gets impatient, starts to open the envelope and has to be stopped by Griff Rhys Jones so they can play the clips of the nominated performances.

I hesitate to suggest what might have been going on here, but given Mel Gibson’s future trajectory, it’s easy to speculate.

Best Light Entertainment Programme was between Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, Whose Line is it Anyway, Have I got News for You and Noel’s House Party. And the winner is Noel’s House Party. It was the Ant & Dec of its time. Except that people seem to like Ant & Dec.

Best Factual Series was won by a young Adam Curtis for Pandora’s Box.

Adam Curtis Pandora's Box

Curtis also won a second award, for originality.

Absolutely Fabulous wins best sitcom – nice of Bafta to misspell Bob Spiers’ name.

Bob Spiers Name

If was lovely to see Joanna Lumley win for Best Light Entertainment performance. It was also nice to see that three out of four nominated performances were women.

This really is an interminable event. The presenters of the ‘important’ awards like the Alan Clarke or the Richard Dimbleby have to come down the back stairs and walk all the way down the catwalk to the lectern in the centre of the room. Maureen Lipman ran out of applause because she was the first presenter to use the centre, and she had to gesture to the audience to keep them clapping. It also adds precious seconds to the whole broadcast. The music cues that usher in the presenters are already long. Thank goodness Mel and Griff do occasionally have some good material.

Kenneth Branagh wins the Michael Balcon award. He and Emma Thompson are still together at this point, and they made such a lovely couple.

The Fellowship tis year went to Sydney Samuelson, who gave a very long speech about the parlous state of the UK industry, and called for government help and simplified tax incentives for film production. It was like the Bafta speech equivalent of The Phantom Menace.

The final award was a Bafta Special award, and went to Maggie Smith – well deserved.

All in all, it felt like a very long ceremony – the VT segments took a long time to play in, and a lot of the cues were slow, which all added to the feeling that the show was long and slow. And at almost three hours, it was. You can see why they decided to split the Film and TV into separate ceremonies, as it was all getting a bit unwieldy.

After the show, there’s a BBC ‘Aren’t we great’ promo featuring Smith and Jones.

Then a tiny piece of the news, and the recording stops.

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