Awards ceremonies win no awards from me, so I didn’t watch the Baftas on TV last night, and anyway we were out for a curry with friends.
A glance at my phone after the meal brought up two pieces of information: a tweet lamenting the lack of a win for the BBC’s Blue Planet II; and a message from an Airbnb guess asking if he’d left his iPod (turned out be had; more texts followed asking about his work pass and rail pass, yes again times two).
Award ceremonies often throw up anomalies, as the owner of this ledge discovered two years ago when emerging empty-handed from a glitzy ceremony at the UK Blog Awards. I know how David Attenborough must feel, even if a remarkable wildlife documentary series and a little blog hardly compare.
Blue Planet II was offered some compensation, winning the ‘Must See Moment’ prize, as voted for by viewers, for the scene showing a mother pilot whale refusing to let go of her dead calf. The series lost out to another BBC documentary, about the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (unseen by these eyes, so no further opinion is offered).
One theme of the awards was that the newly mighty Netflix did not fare as well as expected in a night that mostly belonged to the BBC, with an entertainment programme gong going to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent (only seen by these eyes by accident).
Claire Foy again missed out in the lead actress award for Netflix series The Crown (never seen that), with the award going to Molly Windsor for the BBC sexual abuse drama Three Girls (regretted not seeing that).
Award ceremonies do sometimes chime with your own tastes, and this long-time Peaky Blinders fan was pleased to see the Birmingham gangster epic win best drama. Pleased, too, that Sean Bean won lead actor for his role in the BBC drama Broken – a heart-wrenching turn from an actor who stepped fully away from the shadow of self-parody that sometimes lies over his performances.
Peaky Blinders saw off competition from two dramas that were highly rated on the viewing sofa: Channel 4’s comic-book adaptation End of the F***ing World and the BBC’s Line Of Duty.
Never seen the comedy winner, the BBC’s This Country, so can’t comment on that. Toby Jones won an award for male performance in a comedy programme for his role in The Detectorists – his first Bafta and a popular award, reportedly. As waffled about previously on this ledge, Mackenzie Crooks’ comedy about metal detecting and male bonding remains a delight as twinkly as the treasure they so rarely found.
Talking of comedy, the BBC transatlantic sitcom Episodes has just ended with a pitch-perfect episode wrapping things up with a clever twist. That self-satirising vehicle for Matt LeBlanc held to the road as impressively as his presenting turn on Top Gear. The snappy interplay between LeBlanc and his British friends/opponents Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan was delightful to the last.
But a win for Peaky Blinders? Yes, I can live with that.