Your 2021 BAFTA TV Awards Recap

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It was another night of celebrations last Sunday, as the very best of British television was recognised at the 2021 BAFTA TV awards.

The outstanding BBC/HBO drama series I May Destroy You received some long overdue recognition, with creator, writer, producer, star and co-director Michaela Coel winning both Best Actress and Best Mini-Series, following her previous wins for Best Writer and Best Director at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards in April. Thanking intimacy co-ordinator Ita O’Brien, Coel noted how it was now easier to “make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power, without being exploited or abused in the process”.

Read our review of I May Destroy You here.

Michaela Coel won Best Actress and Best Mini=Series

Normal People leading man and Twitter heartthrob Paul Mescal received Best Actor, thanking co-star and “best friend” Daisy Edgar-Jones (nominated for Best Actress), and later celebrated his win with Feel Good star Mae Martin, Derry Girls and Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan, and self-confessed musical idol Phoebe Bridgers. The Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment went to Diversity’s Britain’s Got Talent performance that reflected the Black Lives Matter movement, with Ashley Banjo thanking the 30,000 viewers who complained to Ofcom for showing “why this moment was necessary”.

Read our review of Normal People here.

Paul Mescal took home the Best Actor award

Sex Education fan-favourite Aimee Lou-Wood took home the award for Best Female Comedy Performance, while This Country’s Charlie Cooper won Best Male Comedy Performance for the final series. Sunday night also featured some of the most diverse acting wins seen in recent years, including Small Axe’s Malachi Kirby and Anthony’s Rakie Ayola for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, and Romesh Ranganathan taking home Best Entertainment Performance.

Read our reviews of Small Axe‘s Mangrove here.

It was also truly an actor-auteur’s night, with Lennie James’ Save Me Too taking home Best Drama Series and Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s Inside No. 9 winning Best Scripted Comedy. BBC One’s Sitting in Limbo was awarded Best Single Drama, while BBC Two’s Once Upon A Time in Iraq took home Best Factual Series. Casualty, having reflected the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since returning to our screens, won Best Soap or Continuing Drama, but Netflix smash-hit The Crown and the critically acclaimed I Hate Suzie both lost out on their numerous nominations.

Read our review of Once Upon A Time in Iraq here.

What were your highlights of the night? Did your favourites win? Let us know in the comments!

Words by James Nash


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