Jared Harris in Chernobyl
Jared Harris in Chernobyl Image Credit: HBO

It was an audience-free affair at this year’s BAFTA TV Awards, with a toned down ceremony that soldiered on minus the red carpet or the glitzy bright lights that shine on its celebrities.

Yet, the BAFTA TV Awards did keep its humour in check even as Jared Harris walked away (figuratively of course) with the Leading Actor prize for ‘Chernobyl’, while 84-year-old Glenda Jackson won Leading Actress for BBC Ones’s ‘Elizabeth is Missing’.

“You’ve ruined my losing streak!” joked Harris as he was announced as the winner, beaming his way into the ceremony.

During his acceptance speech, Harris, however mentioned that he was never the first choice to play the lead in the HBO show, with Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis being their first pick. “I was second to Daniel Day-Lewis, I mean that’s an incredible slot to be in. I’ll take his cast-offs all day long,” Harris was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Jackson, meanwhile, was ‘stunned’ that she won and beat out ‘Killing Eve’s’ Jodie Comer in the process.

“Oh my word... I’m absolutely stunned,” the actress said via video-link on accepting her award. “Thank you very much indeed, it was a privilege to do this show.”

Jackson plays Maud, a woman with dementia searching for her missing friend, in the 2019 drama based on a novel by author Emma Healey.

Naomi Ackie took home the Supporting Actress gong for ‘The End Of The [expletive] World’, which also won the Best Drama Series. The British actress dedicated her prize to her father and late mother, adding: “This makes lockdown so much better.”

Netflix also had another win with Will Sharpe winning Supporting Actor for ‘Giri/Haji’.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was named best entertainment programme for the second time, while Ava DuVernay also won the second BAFTA of her career for ‘When They See Us’, the US crime drama series based on the true story of the Central Park Five, in the International category.

Mo Gilligan took home the Entertainment Award for ‘The Lateish Show’, and the Feature trophy was handed to ‘The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan’. The Best Factual Series went to the Michael Jackson documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’.

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Actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal maintain social distancing at the audience free BAFTAs Image Credit: AP

Edging out ‘Fleabag’, the Best Scripted Series Comedy was won by Channel 4’s ‘Stath Let Flats’, which also saw lead star Jamie Demetriou win best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme. The best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme was won by ‘Fleabag’s Sian Clifford.

‘Luther’ star Idris Elba hailed the ‘diversity’ at the BAFTAs this year while being handed a Special Award by his co-star Ruth Wilson. The 47-year-old actor thanked the Academy for “finally recognising” him.