Bafta TV Awards champion diversity as Michaela Coel triumphs for I May Destroy You

Bafta TV Awards champion diversity as Michaela Coel triumphs for I May Destroy You

Bafta TV Awards champion diversity as Michaela Coel triumphs for I May Destroy You

Bafta TV Awards champion diversity as Michaela Coel triumphs for I May Destroy You

After a lukewarm start, the Bafta TV Awards managed to liven up in time to see stars including Michaela Coel and Paul Mescal win some of the top prizes.

In a night that championed diversity in the arts, Coel’s awards recognition for her work on the acclaimed BBC series I May Destroy You seemed long overdue. The show won the award for Best Mini-Series, while Coel was also honoured as Best Actress.

In her Best Actress acceptance speech, Coel emphasised the importance of intimacy coordinators in helping to make the shooting of sex scenes on TV shows and in film a safe and comfortable environment.

Her view is one that has been shared by this year’s Best Actor winner, Paul Mescal, who was recognised for his performance in the BBC drama, Normal People.

The Irish actor was visibly nervous as he accepted his award, stumbling a little as he thanked his fellow cast members, producers, agent and his parents.

“What a bastard,” presenter Richard Ayoade joked as Mescal made his exit, to laughter from the small audience who were attending the ceremony in person.

Earlier in the night, dance troupe Diversity accepted the Must-See Moment award, which is voted for by the viewing public, for their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

Troupe leader Ashley Banjo gave a moving acceptance speech in which he thanked those who supported him and the other members of Diversity while they were inundated by racist abuse over the performance.

He also acknowledged the trolls themselves for showing “exactly why this performance and this moment was necessary”.

“It was a dark time but that support made a difference and in a way I have to say thank you to the people who complained, the people who put all that abuse out there online,” he said.

“You showed the truth. You showed exactly why this performance and this moment was necessary. But for all those people, take a look… This is what change looks like, and I am so proud to be standing here.”

He concluded: “For me, this is about not representing the minority. It felt like we weren’t at the time, but standing here now, this represents the majority, so thank you all so much. Let’s keep having those difficult conversations, let’s keep standing up for what’s right regardless of the colour of our skin and we will achieve that equality.”

Ashley Banjo makes a speech on behalf of Diversity

(BBC)

There were some surprises. Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood looked stunned to win for Female in a Comedy Programme, beating tough competition from the likes of Feel Good’s Mae Martin and This Country’s Daisy May Cooper. Malachi Kirby impressed with his performance in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe, beating veterans including Michael Sheen, Rupert Everett and Tobias Menzies to win Supporting Actor.

See the full list of winners here.


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