Baftas 2023: the big moments from Kerry Condon thanking her horses to Emma Thompson’s party advice

Cate Blanchett poses with the award for Leading Actress for Tar in the press room at the 76th British Academy Film Awards  (PA)
Cate Blanchett poses with the award for Leading Actress for Tar in the press room at the 76th British Academy Film Awards (PA)

Joke’s on the presenters

Despite looking pleased as punch to be up on the stage, Richard E Grant’s presenting style was oddly joke-light. Barring the obvious dig at Will Smith – “Nobody on my watch gets slapped tonight” – most of the gags were left up to those giving out the awards.

Standouts included the inspired gag by CODA star Troy Kotsur using a sausage-finger glove to reference one best picture nominee, Everything Everywhere All At Once, before cutting off one of the fingers in reference to another, The Banshees of Inisherin. Jamie Lee Curtis also cheekily joked that “all showbusiness people use the same Netflix account” before pretending to hand out the password.

Michelle Yeoh (PA)
Michelle Yeoh (PA)

Special mention must also be made of Jamie Dornan, who kicked off his speech by awkwardly waving into the crowd. “Hi. Hello Michelle. Michelle Yeoh and I just made a movie together,” he said, “and I really recommend doing that, if you get the opportunity.” Crossing our fingers.

The award that never was

There was only one gaffe on the night, but it was a biggie: BAFTA had to speedily edit out a blooper where (due to a translation error) Carey Mulligan was incorrectly announced as having won the Best Supporting Actress award. To gasps from the crowd, it was hastily amended – the real winner was Kerry Condon. Whoops.

The best of the speeches

Some of the evening’s most heart-warming moments came from its big winners. Barry Keoghan, picking up the award for Best Supporting Actor, dedicated his BAFTA to “the kids that are dreaming to be something from the area that I came from”, while his co-star, Kerry Condon, thanked her horses and dog.

Kerry Condon, winner of best supporting actress (Dave Benett)
Kerry Condon, winner of best supporting actress (Dave Benett)

Charlotte Wells, who won Outstanding British Debut for her film Aftersun, gave a lovely, emotional speech and rounded it off with a dedication to her mum. “This one’s for you,” she said holding up the award. “Literally, because I overpacked.”

Dame Helen Mirren also led tributes to the Queen and said BAFTA wouldn’t have been what it was today “without her loyal support.” She added that following the coronation in 1953, “she was unquestionably the nation’s leading lady but as mysterious as a silent filmstar.”

Spare a thought for the Navalny team, too: despite winning Best Documentary, Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, who features in the film about the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was not present. Last week, he alleged he and his family had been banned from the ceremony for safety reasons; director Daniel Roher dedicated the award to him, “our Bulgarian nerd with a laptop,” adding that the world “must not be afraid to stand against authoritarianism in all its forms.”

Emma Thompson’s wise words

Emma Thompson always makes everything better, and it was no different when she was interviewed by Grant’s co-presenter Alison Hammond behind the scenes. She took the chance to offer Austin Butler some sage advice, including not getting too drunk before the ceremony. “If you need to throw up, make sure it’s under a seat,” she told him. “And if you win, don’t leave your statue at Annabel’s [a private members club], which is easily done.”

Austin Butler (Dave Benett)
Austin Butler (Dave Benett)