July 30, 2020
With farewell bows from Fleabag and Catastrophe, plus some landmark political and sporting events, the panels face some knotty decisions
The awards given by the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (Baftas) for excellence in TV are a fixture in the cultural calendar, awarded in some form for the past 65 years. But the presentation on Friday will be unusual.
Although this is an annual ceremony, it is 16 months since the last one, due to the disruption of life by the coronavirus. The pandemic also means that all of the nominees and winners who attend the ceremony, hosted remotely by Richard Ayoade, will be on video link. Yet, as the eligibility period was 1 Jan 2019 to 21 Dec 2019, Covid-19, which dominates our existence at the moment, was not directly reflected in any contending content. And the other most generally influential public event – the killing of George Floyd – occurred after the votes were cast, so jurors will not have been affected by the Black Lives Matter protests, although they will have been conscious of the protests over lack of diversity in this year’s Bafta film awards in January.