Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The BAFTAs; or London and Back Again - Part 1

A few months ago,when I heard the date of the BAFTAs Film awards, I decided that it would a great adventure to go and join the throng of fans on the red carpet. I know people that have done this for the TV BAFTAs but lets face it... film is more my thing.

I had no idea who would be attending when I made this decision, although of course, I was hoping that Michael Sheen would attend, as I knew he had presented an award the previous year. Shortly after, the 'long list' of nominees was released, and I could barely contain my excitement to discover his name was listed. However, disappointment abounded when the 'short list' was finally released, and his name was sadly omitted.
Oh well - the train tickets were bought, time booked off work, and the hotel reserved. I hoped that he would still attend, but never the less, there would be plenty of other actors for me to ogle.

A few days prior to the event, I discovered that the day we were due to travel to London, James Purefoy would be appearing at the Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue, for a signing to promote his latest movie Solomon Kane.

It was an opportunity too good to miss. Mr Madnad had already expressed a desire to go to Forbidden Planet, which I hadnt objected too but wasnt quiet as excited as him, but this news made the whole idea sound far more tempting.

When we arrived there was only a small queue, so we tagged ourselves onto the end. Would you believe it - 10 mins after we joined the queue, a guy came along and stuck a camera in our faces. 'EEK!' I cried, and immediately declined the kind offer to say a few words about Solomon Kane. Mr Madnad however, was willing to give it a go.

Yes, he is the guy with the red hair.

That excitement over, we continued to await our turn to see the Purejoy (as he is known in our house).

My copy of the Official Movie companion held tightly in my sweaty little mits, I finally got to the front of the queue. I sheepishly handed it over to James, who signed it with a smile, and kindly agreed when I asked if I could take a picture. He put on his best 'smoulder', as you can see from the picture below. Ladies, I dont know what it is that he has, but it exudes off him in bucket loads.  It certainly had me dumbstruck. Desperate to say something quick, and witty, I only managed to mumble a thank you and shuffled off. Naturally, the further away from Forbidden Planet, the more ideas I had. 'Oh, I should have said... ' etc etc.

london baftas 2010

We had a good browse around the book section, and manage to walk out with only 3 books - which for us, was pretty good.

We checked into the hotel and had a couple of hours taking it easy reading in our room, then went out for a walk and to grab some dinner. Our hotel was not far from Russell Square so there was plenty of restaurants around but in the end we plumped for something reasonably familiar and went with Pizza Express.

After dinner we headed to a nearby pub and stopped off for a drink. We didnt exactly paint the town red, but we had gotten up pretty early that morning, and knew that we had a long day tomorrow and so decided an early night was probably a good idea.

The hotel we had chosen was based on location, and cheapness. After the first few hours on a bed that had the thinnest mattress and was sat on floorboards that sloped upwards, and listening to the traffic that sounded like it was only a foot away, driving by the single glazed windows, I decided that it had been a bad move. At 6:30am, after a sleepless night for the both of us, we got up and dragged our tired asses down to the Theatre Royal to collect our wristbands.

We got there just before 8am and was surprised at the number of people already queuing, in fact several were in tents and sleeping bags - quite obviously having been there ALL NIGHT!!! I admit, I was concerned that we would not get a wristband, but we joined the end regardless, and stood there waiting... and of course, it started to rain.  Once the queue started moving, we only had to wait about another 45 mins before we got ours...... aaaaannnd relax.  The friendly security guards gave us our numbered wristband, and directed is to return at about 1:30pm, and that they would not be allowing us access to the red carpet until 3pm, so we had a few hours to kill.

By this time, the rain was pretty heavy, so we walked up to Covent Garden where we got a lovely breakfast at Tuttons. We spent the next few hours looking around the Garden, and hopping in and out of coffee bars, and pubs to dry off and get warm.

At the appointed time, we returned to the Theatre Royal, and commenced queueing ... again. At 3pm they started letting us up to the barriers in number order. Unfortunately, there were 250 people ahead of us, so we didnt get a front row spot as I had hoped. To make matters worse we seemed to be surrounded by autograph hounds, the kind that get celebrity autographs just to sell on - make a quick buck. They guarded their positions fiercely, and basically made it impossible for genuinely interested fans to get close to their heroes.

Mr Madnad and I tried to remain as positive as we could, and waited for another hour or so, before the first star arrived.

To Be Continued in Part 2.


  1. Ace blog. Wish I was there. Wait a second I was!

  2. Shame the hotel and the weather let you down, but the journey was totally worth it for that smouldering pic. Oh my! He shall be forever known as Purejoy for me now.


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