Ok so apologies for this being a few days after the fact! I've spent the last few days trying to find photos of me at the baftas to no avail. Life is so hard. In any case, this will be very long and extremely detailed, but I promise to stop talking about the baftas after this post.
Alright, so I couldn't sleep the night before- eventually I fell asleep at 7am, waking up hours later to rush into London for the first of my (complimentary!) appointments to change from looking like I'd had just 4 hours sleep to looking like a bonafide person-who-is-legitimately-at-the-Baftas. On the tube I started feeling really nervous. I actually thought I was going to puke, which I've never done out of nerves in my life. I concentrated on how I was breathing so I didn't hyperventilate, and once out in the air, I felt much less like I was about to pass out. I tubed to Knightsbridge and schlubbed up the stairs- the Mandarin Oriental is SO fancy, they have about 20 doormen and 5 spas, and fancy little sofas with poufy cushions everywhere. the Bafta stuff was all on one floor, which, when I got there was teeming with busy looking people in various states of being tarted up.
The first thing was makeup, which a nice gay fellow from Australia called Chris did. He was later to do makeup for Jaime Winstone (who I was secretly ecstatic that she didn't win for Dead Set, a zombie Big Brother show that was reportedly very good but which I felt slighted by due to our thing also involving zombies, and also because we went to the same primary school). He gave me a lip gloss! Score. The whole suite had been decorated with MAC stuff, a whole black wall with MAC written all over it, huge full length mirrors, about 20 makeup people all in black and looking pristine.
Then I went back down to the 'bafta-lounge', a room full of people I felt I awkardly recognised, yet didn't exactly know. ie, I know for sure I have watched them in something on TV at some point in the past. They were all tiny. I chatted to a reporter lady from Heat magazine who was very nice. People were making small talk and I realised that everyone there getting all this makeup and hair done was in pretty much the same boat- not really around friends but being in the same situation as one another, and nervous, like starting university where you form alliances with random people based purely on sitting next to them. It was surreal but not unpleasant. I got changed into my awesome dress, then sat for a while thinking how hungry I was but unsure of how to get some food. I talked to a lovely woman who's name I don't know, and who I did not see later in the evening. I wish I knew who she was!
Eventually it was time to get my hair done, where I sat next to a woman who seemed very arch and somewhat luvvie-ish, I felt kind of out of my depth, as the show she produces she said has won everything else it's been nominated for. Any time anyone asked me what I was doing there I was all 'urrrm, I'm Bryony, from Bryony Makes a Zombie Movie? Its in the new category: 'Interactive'. Yeah... don't worry'. People just kind of looked confused. The hairdressing people were nice! And they took my address and said they are going to send the products used on my hair today. I wanted more stuff!! So my hair lady said she used a bunch more things than she really did which they added to the list so now I get some free hair stuff :D
Crap I just deleted a bunch of stuff I wrote here. Shitsticks. Well, after the hair, I got a taxi, which I've never done before in London due to being a pauper, the taxi driver was kind of a grumpy cliche, then I got to the BFI bar where I had scotch on the rocks, which was exactly the right thing to have, then walked up the red carpet. There were lots of random people there, lots of fancy proper photographers, and a bunch of news crews, none of which gave a shit about me. I took a photo with Lizo Mzimba, a news reporter guy, despite his producer lady telling me to fuck off (in so many words). Despite that, Lizo said it was ok! And here is the photographic proof:
Alas, my arm in this photo is approximately the size of his torso. C'est la vie!
There was a massive pose zone at the end of the red carpet, which I was urged to go onto by the peeps I was with, but ditheringly chickened out of, and as I was pondering over it, we were shunted into the building by a large officious looking man (who I think at the end of the night may have been the same fellow who refused to allow us to exit the building with stolen bottles of wine. Some people!)
I think I may regret my lack of decision at that point for a long time to come. Anyway, we took our own photos and probably looked like dorks:
I found out after the whole evening that there was a youtube reporter there. Well, thankyou so much youtube, for not letting me know anything about that whatsoever, that was a really dick move on your part. Good one.
Anyway, I was trying to find a photo of me on the red carpet (or anywhere in the Baftas) to no avail, though in this photo one of the people I was with is in the background:
Mighty impressive, I think you will agree!
So we go inside. It was weird. There was free champagne being doled out, so I had some. Everyone was sort of milling around. We just sort of stood there, drinking and chatting, looking at people and wondering if they were famous, and occasionally being awestruck by actual 'celebrities' like Jonathon Ross (shorter and fatter than I had imagined), Dr Who (exactly as you would imagine he would look), Tamara Beckwith (about 9 feet tall), etc etc.
We got told over the loudspeaker to go to the auditorium (where I saw Brian Wilson play last summer!) where we sat in seats, looking at the rather grand stage
Those two chaps standing up? Jonathan Ross and David Tennant! my photos from this point on are quite terribly blurry, as I was trying to covertly take them without anyone noticing. Here's another masterpiece:
Here's the stage:
The show started and I turned off my phone. Then I turned it on again after about 5 minutes, as I realised I couldn't possibly not tweet the whole thing. Also, it was a bit boring, and the three glasses of champagne I had so far had were steadily filling up my bladder, and twittering took my mind off it a little.
As our category was going to be in the 'also presented tonight' thing at the end, we didn't know when our category would be called, which meant I had to wait, desperate for the toilet, for about 90 minutes. During that time, the detatchable straps on my dress decided to detach themselves, and I had to get one of the BMAZM entourage to fix it for me twice. Eventually the category was called, people laughed at the edited recap thing of the show! I felt right then like 'maybe we have won. I'm actually going to go on stage at the baftas and get a bafta. oh my god. this is actually happening.' As I was thinking this, I realised my left dress strap had once again come undone and I was suddenly in a huge panic as to what on earth I should do about it- I couldn't go on stage with only one strap!! Ohh my godd what should I do!?? I determined that I would have to either take them both off as we trundled down to the stage, or state into the microphone that my dress strap had fallen off, to the huge audience of special people. But then the horrible judges from Masterchef opened the golden envelope and announced that the winner is......
Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies online.
Honestly, my first feeling was intense relief. I wouldn't have to stand up infront of all these people and announce that I couldn't dress myself properly. But then came crushing disappointment, a feeling of 'this is so unfair!!!!' and relief that I could finally make Gary Lineker and the guy from The Wire move so I could go and do a wee atlast, and fix my stupid straps.
I peed, I returned, made the famous people and their unfamous counterparts move out of the way, and watched the rest of the show. I don't really remember much of the awards itself, other than thinking Helen Mirren really is superhumanly perfect and that her dress was my favourite of the night, some young dramaschool girls won one of the awards and I thought how unfair it was that they would get extra free things when they were clearly so priveledged already. Being surprised that the Wire guys were not American but English. Being glad that David Mitchell had won a Bafta, being bored by a few of the long speeches that were, to be fair, extremely boring, being astounded that Wallander could win anything, let alone a bafta (have you seen that show?! It is just the worst thing in the world) being annoyed that if Wallander could win something, why the fuck couldn't we!? Being sad that I hadn't gone onto the red carpet pose zone...
In any case, eventually it finished, and we all went down and ate. For some reason there was a meal that I thought was pretty nice, though as I hadn't eaten anything except for three tiny canapes and a complimentary chocolate bar, I could have eaten cardboard quite happily. Famous people walked by our table, I wanted very much to talk to some of them, but was too intimidated, and didn't want to inconvenience them or be a tourist. The whole thing did feel like a strange sort of safari- an outsider let into this weird little world, things to see but not really be a part of. Experienced through the eyes of an outsider, to report back when they were safely back home in their own world, in my case, the internet! I twittered the whole thing, it seemed the only logical thing anyone could do. I tried to twitter at Stephen Fry, Alan Carr, Jonathan Ross, but all to no avail. As if they would bother to check twitter at the baftas.
After the meal (starter: smoked salmon, main: braised beef (delicious), dessert: weird jelly stuff that made me feel pretty sick), there was a... party? The closest thing it resembled was a wedding reception: free drinks, cheesy (yet actually excellent selection of) music, people milling around and just drinking more and more, occasionally talking to other people and commiserating with one another about losses, or congratulating one another on wins. Graham Norton was one of the few recognisable faces that stuck around, I wanted to talk to him but had no clue what to say, so I did not. Two of the male dancers from Strictly Come Dancing were there, they looked unreal.
The bar had a selection of free drinks, three different cocktails: a blue one which was vile, a peach one which was nice, and a moscow mule. I think I had 4. Eventually, after realising David Mitchell (from Peep Show (and other good things)) was still there, quietly talking to some people at one of the tables, I decided to bite the bullet and talk to him, reasoning that I would likely never again be in anything like this sort of situation. I explained that we had been nominated for an award but had not won one, and would it be possible to borrow his one and take a photo with it. He kindly obliged, and I am now his biggest fan in the whole entire world. He also told me how he'd prevously been nominated for things and not won them, and the night of not winning becomes a strange 'I didn't win' night, but the next day you're happy you atleast got nominated, it's just the night-of that feels weird. He was so nice!! I guess I had expected him to just be standoffish and "oh another peon *sigh*" but that he took the time to talk to me, when I was probably drunk off my ass and making him pretend to award me a bafta, makes me beyond grateful.
This is me being pretend-awarded with the bafta
I do really worry that I was like Homer Simpson when he gets really drunk and embarrasses himself infront of a bunch of dinner guests, but in his own perception, was an excellent host, causing much hilarity with his smooth 'fly in an icecube' and other lame jokes. Perhaps I did, perhaps I didn't. In any event..
This is a life long dream realised:
At the end, we stole some wine, sneaked out and drank it next to the river. It seemed a fitting end to such a surreal evening. My taxi home cost almost £50, the next day my housemate reminded me that I really need to pay the rent and bills, the cat pooed in the living room, I did some washing, I put photos on facebook. Today I went to the pub and watched the football, a game that ended with a 0-0 score.
Everything is exactly the same as it always was.