Why the BAFTAs are the best

Here are six reasons why this awards ceremony beats all the other contenders

Before the gongs are handed out this year, let us remind you why this night is such a winner

2018 EE British Academy Film Awards, Sunday 18 February, 9pm, BBC One/HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

Out of the way, Oscars. See you later, SAGs. Goodbye, Golden Globes. If there’s one awards evening that does it better than the rest, it’s definitely the BAFTAs.
 

This year’s ceremony is showing on Sunday 18 February, and it’s all shaping up to be a blockbuster of a night inside London’s historic Royal Albert Hall. Whether you choose to join in and wear a tuxedo or ballgown on your sofa is up to you.

 

Some truly outstanding movies are vying for Best Film (Dunkirk, The Shape Of Water, Call Me By Your Name), while the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) and Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) are among the stars hoping to receive nods in the acting categories.

 

But the appeal of the BAFTAs doesn’t just rest with the A-list nominees or the fantastic films that are going for glory. There’s so much more to this most special of nights, as we take a closer look at here…

 

1. J-Lum is presenting

Joanna Lumley

News that Stephen Fry would be stepping down as presenter of the ceremony would normally have been enough to make us shed a tear. But his replacement ain’t half bad. Step forward, the one and only Joanna Lumley! Expect perfect diction, witty asides and class oozing from the very pores of one of our most brilliant screen talents when she takes the helm this year. It’s going to be a blast, darling.
 

2. British talent gets a special nod

BAFTA knows how to give praise when it’s due. With the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, the powers that be are able to shine a deserving light on the rising stars of British cinema. Among this year’s nominees are Lucy Cohen (director, Kingdom Of Us), Gareth Tunley (writer/director/producer, The Ghoul) and Johnny Harris (writer/producer, Jawbone). Don’t it make you feel proud?
 

3. As do British movies

Paddington 2

British talent is given further recognition at the ceremony with the award for Outstanding British Film. Nominees this year include World War II drama Darkest Hour, the un-bear-lievably brilliant Paddington 2, and critically acclaimed black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. What do you mean, that’s not a British film? It was co-produced by UK companies Blueprint Pictures, Film4 Productions and Cutting Edge Group, don’t you know…
 

4. The time it’s on

Don’t get us wrong, we love the Oscars. Love ’em to bits. But if you want to watch the ceremony live you’ve got to get through five litres of black coffee just to make it to the end, before feeling like a zombie the next day. You won’t have any such problems watching the BAFTAs. Broadcast at the respectable time of 9pm on a Sunday evening, it’s the perfect way to end the weekend.

 

5. The decision-making process is suitably intense

Think the good people at BAFTA sit around for five minutes before deciding who wins what award? You couldn’t be more wrong.
 

“Enormous care is taken by everyone involved to choose and vote super-carefully," BAFTA film committee chair Marc Samuelson tells Virgin TV Edit. "People watch an unbelievable number of films before deciding on their vote. They try to see everything in the cinema rather than just on DVD, and the juries (where that’s the process) debate for hours in minute detail and really think carefully about their decisions.”

 

6. The surprise guests

David Beckham

Tom Cruise. Mick Jagger. David Beckham. No, this isn’t a list of people we’d like to invite to our dream dinner party. Rather, these are just some of the stars who have gamely stepped on stage to hand out BAFTAs in recent years. But who’s going to pop up on the podium this time? You’ll have to tune in on Sunday 18 February to find out...

 

Buy and pre-order BAFTA nominated films from the Virgin Media Store!

Wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to this year’s BAFTA nominees? Now’s your chance to watch some of the contenders, thanks to the Virgin Media Store. From Dunkirk to Paddington 2, buy and pre-order a whole host of amazing titles in the BAFTA Nominees 2018 Collection.

 

Still getting acquainted with the new Virgin Media Store? Want to know what it's all about? Find out more here!

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