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Joe Lycett admitted his outfit was “boil in a bag”
By Noor Nanji
Culture reporter

There were tears, there were surprises, there were a fair few parasols – as the Bafta TV awards took place on the hottest day of the year so far.

The ceremony is now over and we know all the winners and losers.

The final seasons of Happy Valley and Top Boy scooped up multiple awards on the night, while there were also special prizes for Baroness Floella Benjamin and daytime TV star Lorraine Kelly.

Here are six other highlights from this year’s ceremony.

1. ‘Boil in a bag’ outfits

Many of the celebrities wore loose fitting outfits, as they tried to keep cool with the sun beating down on London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Not so Joe Lycett. The comedian arrived dressed as Queen Elizabeth I, in a white cape and gown with a ruff around his neck.

Lycett did carry two different types of fan on the red carpet, one manual and one battery-powered, as temperatures soared.

But that wasn’t enough to keep him cool. “It’s boil in a bag,” he said of his silver ensemble.

He also liberally applied sun cream, not only to himself but also to the TV critic Scott Bryan on the red carpet. “It was very surreal but to be honest, I’m not sunburnt now so I’m very happy,” Bryan later remarked.

Lycett later won best entertainment performance for his Channel 4 show Late Night Lycett.

The comedian came on stage and promptly declared: “I lost a bet, I’m so hot and I need a piss.”

He added: “Thanks to my mum and dad, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.”

2. Matthew Perry remembered

Perry was a fan favourite as Chandler Bing in Friends

There were rumours that the five remaining Friends would reunite at the Emmy Awards earlier this year to pay tribute to their late co-star Matthew Perry.

That never materialised. There was also criticism after Perry was omitted from the memorial section of the Bafta Film Awards in February – although that was probably deliberate, as he was primarily known for his work in television.

But on Sunday night, the actor – who died aged 54 last year – was remembered during the ceremony. Some of his most memorable scenes from Friends were played on the screen to the audience.

The In Memoriam segment also included tributes to talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson, Strictly Come Dancing professional Robin Windsor, journalist Emily Morgan, newsreader George Alagiah and Hairy Biker Dave Myers.

3. A mixed reaction to the hosts

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan hosted the ceremony for the second time

It was a busy night for comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, who not only presented the awards ceremony but also scooped a win of their own for their show Rob and Romesh VS.

They opened by issuing instructions to the gathered celebrities about any acceptance speeches.

“Producers, you can come up to the stage if you must, but please stand at the back and let the famous people talk,” Ranganathan said.

“To the actors, it’s impossible to ‘fall in love with a script’ – you read it, you liked it and thought it would make you some money.”

The duo also took aim at former prime minister Liz Truss, NHS waiting times and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the night.

But while some viewers enjoyed the jokes, others were less than impressed, calling them “total cringe” and “awkward”.

“The silences after each joke are excruciating,” wrote one social media user. Ouch.

4. No shortage of political statements

Brian Cox presented an award on the night

A number of stars used the red carpet as an opportunity to make political statements.

Brian Cox, who starred as Logan Roy in Succession, wore a red pin with a hand on it, a symbol that is seen as calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Scottish actor lost out in the best actor category to Timothy Spall, who won for his role in The Sixth Commandment.

But he did take to the stage during the evening to present a special award to Lorraine Kelly to mark her 40 years on TV.

Steve Coogan, who was nominated for his portrayal of serial sex offender Jimmy Savile in BBC drama The Reckoning, also wore the red pin.

He also lost out to Spall. But speaking earlier on the red carpet, he told the PA news agency that his Bafta nomination felt like a “vindication” of his decision to take on the risky role.

Khalid Abdalla, who starred as Princess Diana’s late boyfriend Dodi Fayed in The Crown, also wore the red pin.

Arriving for photos on the red carpet, the 43-year-old actor held up his hand on which he had written, “Stop arming Israel”.

In his other hand, he carried 14,000 red sequins, which represented children who have been killed in Gaza, he said on X (formerly known as Twitter).

5. Losers drink, anyone?

All eyes were on Hannah Waddingham after she lost out to Strictly

Actress Hannah Waddingham, 49, won hearts after the way she reacted to losing on the night.

Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas was in the running for the best entertainment award, but lost out to Strictly Come Dancing.

After the camera panned to her following the announcement, Waddingham was seen smiling before lifting a bracelet – which was also a small flask – and taking a sip. She then raised it again, signalling “cheers”.

On X, fans were delighted, with one calling her an “icon” for drinking out of her bracelet.

“Hannah Waddingham’s reaction to losing to Strictly was just amazing,” one said.

The star emerged victorious later in the night, when the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 won the award for best live event coverage.

Waddingham, who co-hosted the event last year in Liverpool, joined others who had been involved in the song contest on stage to accept the award.

6. ‘The UK will win Eurovision one day’

The winning team accepting the live event coverage award for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

So this last one might feel like a sore point, after the UK came 18th in last night’s Eurovision Song Contest 2024.

But speaking to the BBC after Eurovision 2023 won the Bafta for best live event coverage, commentator Scott Mills and executive producer Andrew Cartmell were optimistic about the country’s future prospects.

They didn’t want to dwell on the null audience points, with Mills saying Alexander was a “world class performer” and has “nothing to be embarrassed about”.

After having won a Bafta, they remain optimistic that the UK will place top at Eurovision one day. They said it “going to happen” and that we will get there one day.

Now that’s something I’ll drink to.

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