This year’s BAFTA Television Awards, given out last night, were truly an outstanding act. A working class act, viz.
The acting categories were dominated by those whose backgrounds could not be taken away from the privileged upbringings of the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Damien Lewis, Dominic West, Eddie Redmayne, and Hugh Laurie, all of whom went to Eaton or Harrow. .
It is hardly the fault of these fine actors – who deserve every success that comes their way – that they were born in comfortable circumstances.
No one has control over one’s own birth and as far as I know, having affluent parents has not yet been declared a criminal offense.
Nevertheless, there is a widespread belief in the UK that “posh” people find it easier to go somewhere like Rada and that once they graduate, they are always offered all the best roles.
It is not so clear. In fact, the annual fee for RADA is the same as for any UK university, so the challenges facing aspiring actors from working-class backgrounds are no different than those faced by any bright, ambitious young working class who Looking for third place. -Level education and career in your chosen field.
If anything it is the decline of repertory companies that begin a path into an acting career for those who have not attended acting school, which has done the most to reduce the opportunities available to young actors from all backgrounds.
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Nevertheless, the BAFTAs were a resounding rebuttal of the notion that a successful acting career is now the preserve of the privileged elite of the middle and upper classes. No one is listening to Jodie Comer accepting her second Best Actress BAFTA for Outstanding help The purest working class might mistake their natural accent for anything other than Liverpool.
The same goes for his fellow Mercedes and help co-starring Stephen Graham, who was nominated for lead actor for that drama and supporting actor for a mini-series time.
Graham was raised by his mother and stepfather in Kirkby, which is historically one of the most deprived areas of Lancashire and is the definition of “humble beginnings”. Yet he deservedly rose to the top of his profession and became one of the most popular and critically acclaimed actors of his generation.
Graham didn’t live the night, but another working-class actor, his time Co-star Sean Bean selected Best Lead Actor.
Bean’s family was so attached to their Yorkshire community that they chose to live in their council house, even though their father had established a successful business that employed 50 people.
Talent, not background, is all that matters in acting, which is why no one should award Best Supporting Actor to Matthew McFadden (a drama teacher and the privately educated son of an oil engineer) for his stellar performance. will not give Succession.
Or deny Kathy Tyson (a social worker and a barrister’s daughter) her Best Supporting Actress award. help.
Unfortunately, the 2022 BAFTA Television Awards will be remembered not for a celebration of his stellar performance, but for a colossal, blatant injustice. It’s a sin Russell T Davies’ brilliant mini-series about a group of young gay men and their friends affected by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. It is incorrectly reported elsewhere that it failed to win a single BAFTA; In fact, it won two earlier this year for directing and editing at separate BAFTA Crafts Awards.
But many people (me included) thought it was a shoo-in for best mini-series, one of its seven nominations last night. In the event, it won nothing on the night.
Instead, the prize went to the above. time, Written by Jimmy McGovern (another working class guy made well). time was excellent, but it was also fairly traditional drama.
It’s a sin What was turned down by a sneaky BBC and ITV before Channel 4 swooped in was a daredevil.
It dared to celebrate the joys of being young, gay and free before the darkness of AIDS fell.
It was sad and funny, heartbreaking yet life-affirming. In other words, a real TV landmark that will be remembered for years.