It’s BAFTA Night 2007!

and the stars are on the red carpet...

It's BAFTA Night 2007!

by Willow Green |
Published on

Awards, awards, awards. This time of year, they are everywhere. At ceremony after ceremony, throughout the land, gongs are polished, red carpet is swept and spotlights are moved into position, as we await the arrival of some of cinema’s brightest stars. Tonight, all eyes in the movie world were locked onto the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Yes, it’s BAFTA night and **Empire **was positioned on the red-carpet frontline, ready to guide you through the biggest night in the British film calendar. And as the sound from the jittering crowds began to rise, security personnel stepped into place and the first car door opened…

Hooray for Peter Morgan - the first attendee to brave the legions of press and photographers that flanked a fully red-carpeted Bow Street. And what a year it's been for the writer. Not only did he pen the award-eating The Queen, but his script for **The Last King Of Scotland **has also brought in a slew of critical plaudits and several Best Actor nominations for the towering Forest Whitaker. "I'm running on a diet of red bull at the moment", revealed the writer. "It's mad. I think this is something that I'll look back on and enjoy retrospectively. It's a bit hard to take it all in at the moment." It's been an extraordinary year for British cinema and tonight's BAFTA ceremony is the pinnacle of what has been a very lucrative, world-conquering twelve months. The Queen, Venus, The Last King Of Scotland, **United 93 **and, lest we forget, **Casino Royale **have all been highlighted throughout the awards season.

"I was talking to Stephen Frears the other day", said Richard Griffiths as he made his way into the Opera House, "and he said he'd been to see three amazing British films in one week - The Queen, Venus and The History Boys. Three films, all British, all coming from the same tradition. And five years ago they said British cinema was dead. It's wonderful and this kind of success can only bring more rewards to our industry". Mr. Bond himself also had a few words to impart: "In any situation it would be wonderful, but this is particularly fantastic. I think we made a great movie and it's equally great that everyone involved with the film is getting nominated. I'm very, very happy."

Of course, it's not all about us Brits. If there is one movie that has come straight out of leftfield and taken the film world by storm, it's Little Miss Sunshine. And as the red carpet begins to turn into a scrum of flailing cables, flustered presenters and screaming fans, (the very) Little Miss Sunshine herself appeared. "I'm sooooo excited!" enthused Best Supporting Actress nominee, Abigail Breslin, " and this is my first time in London, so I've been sightseeing. I've been to Big Ben, the Tower Of London and Westminster Abbey!" Marvellous stuff. Her co-star Toni Collette was also rather pleased to be back in the Big Smoke: "I'm just really glad to be here with my mates, but I hope I don't win ...I haven't thought of anything to say!".

As nominees Penelope Cruz, Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker scuttle past the press at a lightening pace, it's left to a very dapper looking Simon Pegg to give his views on BAFTA night 2007: "This bit is terrifying", said Pegg, who will later be presenting the award for Best Original Screenplay: "I'd like to see Helen Mirren win Best Actress. I just came out of that film...sorry I just got my arse pinched...it was such a sensitive performance". Considering she has picked up every award under the sun for her performance in The Queen, Mirren is the clear favourite to take home what would be her first BAFTA film award. Joining her in the sacred triumvirate of leading British actresses are Dame Judi Dench and Kate Winslet. "It's rather overwhelming", revealed Dench. "I'm a betting woman, so I would put my money on Helen."

"I don't think it's my year, but I'm very happy to be nominated", said a very hurried Winslet: "I've also just realised that I'm the only person left on the red carpet".

And with that final sign off from the lovely actress, the red carpet empties, microphones are turned off, and **Empire **pegs it through the Covent Garden piazza to watch the real action unfurl inside. Tonight marks the sixtieth anniversary of the BAFTAs and with the nominees seated, the champagne chilled and Jonathan Ross heading for the podium, everything is set for what will surely be one of the starriest shows of the year.

**BAFTA 2007 Blog

Click here** to read our minute-by-minute account of this year's ceremony.

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