Sunday, 13 February 2011

My coverage of the red carpet at the Orange BAFTAs [Feature]

When receiving an email asking whether I wanted to attend the red carpet event for the BAFTAs, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. When the official invitation came through, I think the words “I’m going to the BAFTAs” were repeated several times, causing much annoyance to my friends. 
Here’s what happened on the night:
After arriving early in the very wet, windy and cold London, I headed straight for the very posh hotel “The Strand” and was greeted by the other bloggers who would be joining me right in the heart of the red carpet. We were there to tweet about what happened and to live blog. Once given our passes, we were sent to The Royal Opera House to take our places.
But before actually getting to the “pen” as the promoters like to call it, we had to walk the red carpet. Surrounded by cameras, fans and photographers, us humble bloggers who were wrapped up as best we could be for a black tie event, walked quickly to our spot. (You tend to find writers aren’t so comfortable in front of the camera, but walking the red carpet was quite a highlight for me)
Once we were placed, the action began. We saw Kimberly Walsh, Claudia Winkleman, Rachel Steven, Edith Bowman and Steve Jones all setting up, getting ready to present the show for various different audiences. Mark Kermode was also among them, but took the time to come speak to us. He told us he really wanted Made in Dagenham to win best British film, even though he knew The King’s Speech would clean up. 
After watching a few unknown faces walk down in some very suggestible clothing, the real stars that drew the screaming crowds started to turn up. Rupert Grint arrived nice and early and was snapped up by the press almost immediately. His ginger hair stood out in the crowd, and when the fans spotted him, chants of his name began, along with the lyrics “Ron Weasley” to the famous Youtube video.
Tim Burton looked surprisingly smart for his usually casual look and was soaked up in the crowd’s affection. We then saw the likes of Kevin Spacey, Minnie Driver, Dominic Cooper and James McAvoy all wave to the adoring screams. Cooper in particular seemed to not shy away from having his photo taken by the hormonal teen girls. 
Surprisingly it was Jesse Eisenberg that struct most popular with the fans. As he was going from one interviewer to the other, he ignored the loud yells of his name. But once he’d finishes, he shyly made his way over telling the crowd to “calm down”. After posing for numerous digital cameras, he strolled back to the carpet, leaving some to claim “oh my god, I love him so much”. 
But then, just when we thought a reception couldn’t get any better, a faint cry said “There’s Andrew!” and it all kicked off. Anticipation rose as he came closer and closer centre of the carpet, and when he finally greeted fans, he was genuinely lovely as always. Just to wind them up even more so, he waited a few minutes, came back and stood by the fans, went to walk over but paused, causing them to scream, then he smiled his smile and allowed even more autographs to be signed. At that point I fell in love with him, but that’s another story...
After this we were greeted with the uber cool Samuel L Jackson waving, Aaron Johnson and his partner looking loved up as ever, Emma Stone wanting so desperately to talk to the crowd but having to do interviews, Gemma Arterton smiling graciously, and a timid Jessica Alba not really knowing whether to approach the mental screamers or not. Eventually she gave in and signed very few pieces of paper. 
I looked over in the distance of the arrival area on the red carpet and thought I could see Paul McCartney. What I actually saw was a great looking McCartney talking to the main man himself, Colin Firth. What a duo to have together on the red carpet, ay? They signed and took photos very quickly as at this point, the stars were being rushed to be inside for the main event. 
After the last few unfamiliar faces made their way inside the magical room, we were  allowed to leave the pen. But what was most unsettling was the fact we’d all been standing in the freezing cold for so long, our feet were frozen and numb causing us all to walk back down the red carpet not so elegantly. I’m not going to complain though - Getting to attend one of Britain’s greatest award ceremonies turned out to be as fun, exciting and crazy as I’d imagined. 

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