Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Bafta viewers divided over Graham Norton’s jokes

Graham Norton (Matt Crossick/PA)
Graham Norton (Matt Crossick/PA)

Graham Norton divided Bafta viewers with a biting opening monologue that took aim at the diversity controversy surrounding the awards.

There has been disappointment that no female directors were recognised for the seventh year in a row at the film awards, and that the actors nominated for gongs were all white.

Delivering his speech at the show on Sunday, Norton referred to the issue of “white male privilege” and had a pop at the film Joker, which led with 11 nominations.

He said: “Well 2019 though, what a year in film.

“I think it will be remembered as a year when white men finally broke through.

“Yeah, they did it! What am I talking about? We did it. High five, high five!

“There’s been a chat about the old white male privilege and you can sort of see why, 11 nominations for Joker, which is essentially the story of a white man who makes himself even whiter.”

Praising the movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, he said: “It takes a nostalgic look back at the Hollywood of 50 years ago and what we saw was a misogynistic, male-dominated industry resistant to change.

“Taking a nostalgic look back at 50 years ago…”

Starting his speech, Norton said he was “not going to be mean to anyone”, adding: “Because you might know, in my other job I’m a chat show host, which means apparently I have never seen a film I didn’t really enjoy…”

He then took a thinly veiled dig at the much-maligned film Cats, insisting he loved it and thought it was “brilliant”, and threw a couple of jabs at The Irishman, which he said went “on and on”.

Norton told the crowd that when the film was released on Netflix, director Martin Scorsese had implored people not to watch it on their phones.

“Didn’t really need to worry, I mean whose battery lasts that long?” he quipped.

Graham Norton
Graham Norton (Matt Crossick/PA)

The star drew laughs when he thanked the US contingent for coming all the way to the UK because “it takes ages to sail across the Atlantic”, and joked about Bafta asking attendees to make sustainable clothing choices.

“A huge thank you must be made to all our American friends for making the effort to come here tonight because I know it takes ages to sail across the Atlantic, doesn’t it? You did, didn’t you?” he said.

“Thank you for caring.

“This year Bafta have asked us to make sustainable fashion choices (old clothes). I have.

“Fun fact, this jacket is older than Florence Pugh. I’m not even joking, it really is.”

Norton went on: “And so many young nominees tonight, it’s fantastic. Not just Florence, there’s Jessie Buckley, Taron Egerton, Saoirse Ronan.

Florence Pugh
Florence Pugh (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I look at you guys and I can’t help but think, ‘Oh, if only I had been born 30 years earlier, I’d be dead now and not eaten away by bitterness and jealousy’.”

Viewers tuning in to the show were divided over Norton’s jokes, with some saying he fell “flat”.

One person posted a message on Twitter saying they had had “more laughs at a funeral”, while another said: “Norton is dying on his feet. Embarrassing.”

“Graham Norton’s jokes are falling flat as day-old lemonade,” tweeted another, while others suggested Ricky Gervais might have done a better job.

“5 minutes in and listening to Graham Norton reminds you that Ricky Gervais is the real thing,” posted one person.

“I don’t find graham norton funny and neither do any of the audience at the Royal Albert Hall,” tweeted another.

However, others were in stitches at Norton’s gags.

“Graham Norton is hilarious,” tweeted one fan, while another said: “Graham Norton is such a good choice to host the #BAFTAs.”

Another said the star’s monologue was “very funny”.

The ceremony took place at the Royal Albert Hall.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]