Olivia Colman was the star of the show at this year”s Baftas, picking up two awards on the night. “Turns out it does mean a lot,” she said after accepting her first trophy as best supporting actress for Accused.
After a year of critical acclaim for her performance in Broadchurch, Olivia was also named best comedy actress for Twenty Twelve, beating co-star Jessica Hynes, Miranda Hart for Miranda and Julia Davis for Hunderby. “I”m not even the funniest one in our programme,” the humble star said.
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In a breathless first speech in the Royal Festival Hall, she thanked her husband Ed, her first drama teacher, and her parents for babysitting so she could attend.
“If my kids are watching, it looked like I said a bad word, but I didn”t; I said “fudge”,” she joked.
Earlier in the night, her Twenty Twelve co-star Hugh Bonneville described Olivia as the “Dame Judy Dench of our generation”. She has the “phenomenal ability to be utterly spontaneous in every role she plays”, he added, with the “natural gift of being loved by everyone she works with”.
Olivia and Hugh took to the stage together when Twenty Twelve was named best situation comedy.
Last Tango in Halifax took home best drama series and the London 2012 Paralypic Games won best sport and live event.
A tearful Sheridan Smith won best lead actress for Mrs Biggs, based on the true story of the wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs. Visibly shocked, she thanked the team behind the show, apologising for her tears after beating stiff competition from Sienna Miller, Rebecca Hall and Anne Reid to win the award.
Ben Whishaw received the leading actor award for his performance as Richard III in four-part series The Hollow Crown, while Simon Russell Beale was named supporting actor for his portrayal of Falstaff in Henry IV Part 2.
Host Graham Norton won best entertainment programme for his chat show and Alan Carr took best entertainment performance.
Made in Chelsea won best reality and constructed factual drama. Accepting the award, Francis Boulle said he hadn”t realised it was possible to win a BAFTA “for being posh”.
EastEnders took home best soap, while Steve Coogan won best male in a comedy for Welcome to the Places of My Life.
The sought-after Radio Times Audience Award was won by Game of Thrones, which beat Homeland, Call The Midwife, the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake-Off. The latter did pick up the award for best feature.
Clare Balding was also honoured at the star-studded event with a special award for her career so far. The “national treasure” paid tearful tribute to her “home team”; her mum, dad and partner Alice.
“I am extremely aware that this would not have happened if it wasn”t for the magic of last summer,” she said. “That incredible positive energy that made us believe we could do anything and we did.”
The prestigious Bafta fellowship was this year awarded to Michael Palin. Accepting the honour from his proud Monty Python co-star and close friend Terry Jones, the star, 70, said, “This is a fantastic honour for which I feel deeply unworthy. It is an award for thoroughly enjoying myself for the last 48 years.”