Home Estate Planning Inside Bafta 2024: how the awards ceremony takes over London

Inside Bafta 2024: how the awards ceremony takes over London

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London’s ritziest restaurants and hotels get booked up months, perhaps years, ahead of time: The Bafta 2024 Awards showcase London as its best, but take months of organising

Cillian Murphy humbly accepting his Best Actor gong for Oppenheimer by saying “holy moly, oh boy” is only the tip of the iceberg. When the Bafta Awards come into town the entertainment industry takes over London for the weekend – away from the glamour of the red carpet there are a million administerial challenges to getting one of the biggest global shows in entertainment on the road.

Firstly, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling need somewhere to sleep. Rooms at the best hotels in London, including Claridge’s, the Covent Garden Hotel, Soho Hotel and The Connaught are booked by publicists months ahead of the ceremony to ensure the Hollywood set get the standard they require. There aren’t many hotels that epitomise London luxury to the highest standard, so it’s a fight to book the best rooms at the most exquisite places.

It’s not about knowing where to eat – it’s about knowing where to get photographed going to eat

Lines of perfectly gleaming silver Mercedes saloons line up outside of them and groups of fans gather on street corners, sometimes waiting all night to spot the Americans flying in at weird times ahead of the ceremony. Celebrities will typically fly in just the day before the ceremony and leave the Monday following, so it’s a speedy trip and every minute is taken into consideration on the itinerary.

Competing film companies blow budgets at the best restaurants in town to make sure their talent is seen in front of the right paparazzi lenses. Scott’s, The Ivy and J Sheekey are popular, but it’s not really about knowing where to eat: it’s about knowing where to get photographed going in to eat.

Talking of getting photographed, those with stamina – and a craving for coverage – will stumble down the stairs into Annabel’s in Mayfair after dinner where the expensive sound system and evocative tropical-themed furniture encourages hedonism until the very small hours. It’s a shame none of us can see what’s actually going on down there without a membership, as the public are very rarely allowed in.

Car hire companies and security firms across London will be booked out years in advance, and those wanting tables anywhere decent without a million followers on social media will struggle.

And this is all before the actual ceremony on Sunday.

On Sunday, basically every hair and make-up artist in London turns up early in the morning to hotel rooms to begin dressing the actors for the red carpet. Nominated talent will rarely leave their hotels before the ceremony – they’ll go through a rigorous hair and make up and dressing session for up to six hours before leaving for the show around the late afternoon.

The ceremony itself, at the Royal Opera House, shuts down large swathes of the Southbank as the event was this year hosted at the Southbank Centre. Fans queue overnight from Saturday to get a front row spot and a chance to meet the actors for autographs and selfies.

On Sunday night after the awards, the official after party takes place at Grosvenor House on Park Lane, a years-long planning effort by Bafta to celebrate the year’s winners and nominees.

Then the proper Bafta 2024 parties begin: a number of unofficial after parties, sometimes hosted by film companies, sometimes by actors or philanthropists, take place across London. They might be at 180 The Strand or Groucho Club or The Nomad Hotel or a privately rented loft in Shoreditch.

It’s the weekend when Hollywood comes to London and those wanting to be seen to impress will spend like it’s their last night on Earth.

Bafta 2024: Who won?

Oppenheimer walked away with the biggest win this year, taking seven gongs including Best Film and Best Actor for Cillian Murphy‘s impression of J Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb.

Elsewhere Emma Stone’s Poor Things did well, taking a haul of five awards including Best Actress for Stone.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers and Robert Downey Jr took the gone for Best Supporting Actor for Oppenheimer.

Away from the awards the big surprise of the night was Michael J Fox`’s appearance. The 62-year-old, who has had Parkinson’s Disease for over 30 years, received a standing ovation as he presented the Best Film gong and read out the nominees.

Read more: Good BAFTA, Bad BAFTA: Whose Oscar Race Is Heating Up?

Read more: BAFTA teams up with Addison Lee for electric entrance to awards

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