Surprise wins, surprise snubs: TV BAFTAs 2020

Harriet Metcalfe gives an overview of the virtual BAFTA 2020 awards

Harriet Metcalfe
21st August 2020
Credit: BAFTA on Youtube
Despite, well, pretty much everything stopping because of coronavirus- the BAFTAs have still been running their, of course.

Comedy categories bring up no surprises; Taskmaster won for the best comedy entertainment programme, The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan for entertainment performance and Strictly Come Dancing for the best entertainment programme (although how they'll do that socially distanced, I have no idea). But I've said it before, and I'll say it again- it would be nice to see more women getting nominated in these categories. All these performances are, of course, incredibly well-deserving of the awards, yet there's an evident lack of women in comedy either being given the chance to have their own show (that in turn, could be nominated) - or being noticed by the awarding academy.

As surprises go, this year's BAFTAs was full of them

Naomi Ackie in The End of the F***ing World. Credit: IMDb

Channel 4's The End of the F***ing World picked up two awards; beating out The Crown, Gentleman Jack and Girl/Haji in the drama series category. Naomi Ackie also won best supporting actress within the series against Helen Behan, Helena Bonham Carter and Jasmine Jobson. For a more 'off-the-beaten' track series, perhaps outside the 'perfectionist' and air-brushed series of years gone by, its recognition by the BAFTAs feels like a positive shift in tone for awards.

As surprises go, this year's BAFTAs was full of them. BBC Two's Race Across The World claimed victory, whilst Celebrity Gogglebox and RuPaul's Drag Race were somehow left behind. As was Harry's Heroes: The Full English, but honestly I had to Google what that was even about (football, as it turns out.) Scripted comedy was also a close category, with Catastrophe, Derry Girls and Fleabag all rightfully receiving nominations, but Stath Lets Flats ultimately got the award, perhaps proving once and for all that landlords just have to win.

Sian Clifford was rightly rewarded for her performance in Fleabag

Sian Clifford in Fleabag.
Credit: IMDb, Kevin Baker

More unsurprisingly, Channel 4's Leaving Neverland took best factual series, and Ava DuVernay's When They See Us won in probably the most competitive category-International- beating Euphoria, Succession and Unbelievable. Sian Clifford was rightly rewarded for her performance in Fleabag (despite Phoebe Waller-Bridge being nominated as well), although Jodie Comer missed out on leading actress for Killing Eve, Glenda Jackson took first place for Elizabeth is Missing.

All in all, it's been a funny year for BAFTA. With people relying on the arts now more than ever during the lockdown, it's so important the hard work of those in the industry is still recognised (*cough cough and a sideways glance at the Oscars*). Unfortunately, the results have been just a bit 'meh' this year...but it's 2020, so of course they were.

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AUTHOR: Harriet Metcalfe
English Literature BA student. Loves film, TV, books and coffee. Thinks "Thor: The Dark World" gets too much hate. Twitter: @hattiemetcalfe

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