BAFTA Awards 2023: A fanboy host, family members and even a Spice Girl – everything you need to know about the ceremony | Ents & Arts News

It’s time for London to get the Hollywood treatment, with the good and the bad of the film world in town for this year’s BAFTAs.

All Quiet On The Western Front, The Banshees Of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Elvis and Tar are the films everyone is talking about ahead of this year’s ceremony, but of course there’s always more to the show than the Best Picture award.

Here are a few things to look out for beforehand BAFTA ceremony.

Famous spotting

Cate Blanchett accepts the award for Best Actress for Tar at the 2023 Critics' Choice Awards in Los Angeles.  Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello
Cate Blanchett, pictured at the Critics’ Choice Awards earlier in 2023, is a favorite for best actress. Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello

Organizers said this year’s awards are shaping up to be one of the most popular on record, which hopefully means it’s a good year for A-list bingo.

Among the nominees confirmed to attend are – drum roll please – Ana de Armas, Angela BassettAustin Butler, Baz Luhrmann, Bill Nye, Brendan FraserBrendan Gleeson, Carey Mulligan, Cate Blanchett, Colin FarrellEddie Redmayne, Emma Thompson, Jamie Lee CurtisMichelle Yeoh, Paul Mescal, Sam Mendes, Viola Davisand loads more.

Plus, there are the award presenters, with Ana Taylor-Joy, Ariana DeBose, Brian Cox, Catherine-Zeta-Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Eugene Levy, Geri Halliwell Horner, Jamie Dornan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Julianne Moore, Lashana Lynch. Lily James, Martin Freeman, Rami Malek, Rege Jean Page, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sophie Turner, Taron Egerton and more will appear.

There are also royalties, thanks to the Prince and Princess of Wales.

And let’s not forget the host, Richard E Grantwhich will be assisted by Alison Hammond who will present from the new BAFTA Studio area.

Move out

The BAFTA Film Awards have moved to Southbank's Royal Festival Hall for 2023. Photo: BAFTA/Morley von Sternberg
Photo: BAFTA/Morley von Sternberg

The BAFTA ceremony has been held at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the past few years, but this year it moves to the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Center – the same venue as the BAFTA TV and Games Awards.

“The move will see the BAFTA program its most ambitious and accessible night to date, enhanced by a refreshed production and format,” the organization said when it announced the move.

Don’t expect a roast from ‘fanboy’ Grant

BAFTA award-winning actor, presenter, writer and presenter Richard E Grant.  Photo: BAFTA/Charlie Clift
Photo: BAFTA/Charlie Clift

Speaking of Grant, the 65-year-old actor takes over hosting duties from Australian star Rebel Wilson, who hosted the ceremony in 2022.

“I’ll sing like Billy Crystal, dance like Fred Astaire, funnier than Bob Hope, prettier than Joanna Lumley,” he said. But he jokes: “I have no idea. It’s very hard to see yourself from the outside.”

Wilson cracked some risqué jokes about the Royal Family, Vladimir Putin, the gender pay gap, her flop Cats and her own weight loss during her appearance on stage last year. Known for his roles in Withnail & I, Gosford Park, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Can You Ever Forgive Me? – for which he was nominated for a BAFTA and an Oscar – Grant said the humor might be a little different.

His own nominations in 2019 saw the actor become one of the stars of the awards season that year, thanks to his shamelessly excited videos and social media posts. “[Organisers] I have to know that I’m going to be a celebratory person and not someone who’s going to be there to roast other actors, so hopefully, that will work, I don’t know yet,” she said before the ceremony.

Grant also said he is “surprised” to be in the company of other past hosts, including Stephen Fry and Graham Norton – and that he is “such a fan” of his fellow countrymen that he considered it an “incredible privilege” to meet BAFTA nominees.

Some of the shows will be live for the first time

The 2023 BAFTA Awards take place on February 19.  Photo: BAFTA/Marc Hoberman
Photo: BAFTA/Marc Hoberman

Unlike other award shows, the BAFTA ceremony has always been recorded in the past just hours before it goes on air.

This year is somewhat different. While most of the ceremony will be broadcast on delay, the final four categories will be televised live for the first time in BAFTA history.

Let’s hope the celebs are on their best behavior, eh?

It’s clearly on Grant’s mind, as he said that instead of thinking about who will win these final awards, he’ll be hoping there are no stingers on live TV.

As if that would ever happen at an A-list movie awards show watched by millions…

The bookies’ favourites

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell reunite in The Banshees of Inisherinin.  Photo: 20th Century Studios
Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo: 20th Century Studios

All Quiet On The Western Front leads the nominations with 14, but The Banshees of Inisherin is favorite to win the top prize, for best film, according to bookies such as Betfair and William Hill. Banshees star Farrell is favorite to take the best actor gong.

In the category of best actress, it seems that the award will go either to Blanchett for her performance in Tar, or to Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once. And Everything Everywhere directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – aka The Daniels – are the ones who win in the directing category.

How to watch

Everything Everywhere Simultaneously.  Photo: A24
Everything Everywhere Simultaneously. Photo: A24

The ceremony will be broadcast from 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer. Sky News will have live coverage from the red carpet beforehand and throughout the ceremony before the program itself begins – follow our live blog here from around 2.30pm.

All Best Actor nominees are first

Brendan Fraser in Whale.  Photo: A24
Brendan Fraser in Whale. Photo: A24

This year has been a big year for first-time actor nominees at all the film awards – the Oscars as well as the BAFTAs – but in the best actor category, every nominee is a first-timer.

Here’s a reminder of the shortlist:

• Austin Butler – Elvis
• Colin Farrell The Banshees of Inisherin
• Brendan Fraser – The Whale
• Daryl McCormack – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
• Paul Mescal – Aftersun
• Bill Nighy – Living

Yes, even the veteran Nighy has never been nominated before. And it’s quite an impressive achievement for the likes of Mescal, just three years after releasing his groundbreaking series, Normal People. and for McCormack, who is also nominated for this year’s BAFTA Rising Star Award.

Fraser has received standing ovations at film festivals for his performance as an obese teacher in The Whale, and Butler’s performance has also received praise – but it seems Farrell is the one to beat.

Read more:
The full list of candidates
How to watch all the big movies

In total, 14 of the 24 featured acting categories are first-time nominees, with de Armas, Danielle Deadwyler, Hong Chau, Kerry Condon and Ke Huy Qua among the newcomers.

Tribute to the Queen

Helen Mirren won the Oscar for her portrayal of the monarch in The Queen, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family in the days after Princess Diana's death.  Picture: Granada Screen (2005) Ltd/ Pathe Renn Productions/ Sky UK
Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her performance in The Queen. Photo: Granada Screen (2005) Ltd/ Pathe Renn Productions/Sky UK

Who better to lead BAFTA’s tribute to the Queen than Dame Helen Mirren, who has played the monarch both on screen and on stage throughout her career.

The veteran actress, 77, won an Oscar and a BAFTA for her portrayal of the king in the 2006 biographical drama The Queen.

The Queen has had a close association with BAFTAs spanning 50 years, during which she attended many events and also supported the organisation’s initiatives.

In April 2013, the monarch received an honorary BAFTA from Sir Kenneth Branagh at Windsor Castle, for her “tireless support” of the industry.

William and Kate on the guest list

Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, and Prince William arrive at the British Academy Film Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (Photo: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Photo: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

In other royal news, William and Kate will be among those attending the ceremony – their first appearance at the show in three years.

The Prince of Wales has been chairman of BAFTA since 2010.

The royal couple will attend the ceremony before meeting the winners and nominees for the Rising Star Awards.

Blue Ribbon Tributes

The Swimmers.  (L to R) Nathalie Issa as Yusra Mardini, Manal Issa as Sara Mardini in The Swimmers.  Cr.  Laura Radford/Netflix © 2022
The Swimmers (L to R): Nathalie Issa as Yusra Mardini, Manal Issa as Sara Mardini. Photo: Laura Radford/Netflix

Blanchett, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Yusra Mardini, who are goodwill ambassadors for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are set to be among the artists wearing a blue ribbon to show support for refugees and those displaced by war and other events such as the Turkey-Syria earthquake last year.

A spokesperson for the organization said: “The human themes of displacement, separation and loss are present in many of the films nominated this awards season, including The Swimmers (based on the story of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Goodwill Ambassador Refugees Yusra Mardini and her sister, Sara Mardini) Bad Ax and Marcel The Shell.

“Through effective storytelling, these films can help erode prejudices and misunderstandings, offer new perspectives, and help build compassion…

“Using the #WithRefugees blue ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety, anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

Little Simz is expected to perform

Little Simz is the winner of the 2022 Mercury Prize at the Eventim Apollo in London.

London-born rapper Little Simz will be performing on the show and has said she is “thrilled and honoured” to be taking part.

The star’s 2021 album Some I Might Be Introvert saw her win the Mobo, Ivor Novello and Brit Awards – plus the coveted Mercury Prize.

The musician also has a starring role in the BAFTA-winning series Top Boy.

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