TV & Movies

Emma Thompson’s ‘96 BAFTA Speech Is Hilarious & Adorable

Plus, 9 other iconic moments from the awards.

by Sophie McEvoy
London April 9th 1996. Emma Thompson at the BAFTA awards (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images

The 2021 BAFTA awards will look a little different this year. For the first time ever, the awards ceremony will be split across two nights on April 10 and 11, and will feature musical performances and star presenters, as well as the usual awards being given out. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve taken a look back at some of the most memorable BAFTA award moments in history.

Whether it’s inspirational acceptance speeches, full movements or tongue in cheek moments on stage, the history of BAFTA is one full of entertainment and importance. Take for example, 2018, where the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements dominated the red carpet and on-stage speeches, for good reason.

Then there were the iconic speeches by Helena Bonham Carter in 2011, Michaela Coel in 2016, and Olivia Coleman in 2019, amongst others. We can’t forget the funny, cheeky moments involving Meryl Streep and Colin Firth, as well as Julie Walters and Michael Caine, way back in 1984.

If you want to re-live some of these great moments, take a look at the list below, which features videos and snaps of every moment, so you can prep yourself for the BAFTA 2021 awards at the weekend.

Meryl Streep & Colin Firth’s Cinderella Moment

First Meryl Streep didn’t know what to do with her purse, then she lost her shoe walking up to the stage. Thankfully Colin Firth was on hand and helped his Mamma Mia! co-star put her shoe back on in what can only be described as a Cinderella moment.

The Time’s Up Movement

The 2018 BAFTAs were dominated by the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, with the majority of attendees wearing black and Time’s Up badges to honour the occasion. The movements against sexual harassment and abuse (within the industry and beyond) were often referred to in several important speeches of the night, and by host Joanna Lumley who started the night by acknowledging the "determination to eradicate the abuse of women the world over.”

Olivia Colman’s 2019 Speech

Any time Olivia Colman makes a speech, you know it’s going to be side-splitting. In this gem of a moment, Colman is astonished at the size of the theatre, she gives thanks to the producers of The Favourite (“obvs”), and declares that she and her friends “are going to get so pissed later!”

Jack Nicholson On Set For One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Not only did Jack Nicholson win a BAFTA for his work in The Last Detail and Chinatown, but the legendary actor accepted the award on the set of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

In costume with an additional bow tie, Nicholson accepted the award alongside Louise Fletcher and Danny DeVito.

Parasite’s Win

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite rightfully swept the 2020 award season, including the BAFTAs. Written and directed by Joon-ho, the film won two awards including Best Original Screenplay.

“I didn’t expect this award at all because this script was written in a foreign language,” he said in his acceptance speech. “So thank you to BAFTA for showing so much love for this film.

Michaela Coel’s 2016 Speech

Michaela Coel won best female performance in a comedy for her role in E4’s Chewing Gum in 2016, and her inspiring speech stayed with many after the evening itself. In it, she said that she had advice for “anyone who looks a bit like me, or feels like they don’t fit in.”

“You are beautiful, embrace it, you are intelligent, embrace it, you are powerful, embrace it,” she added.

Emma Thompson Fangirls Kate Winslet

Sense and Sensibility did pretty well at the 1996 BAFTA’s, especially for Emma Thompson who won two awards for her writing and acting roles.

Like Colman, her speech was unsurprisingly hilarious and included a whole lot of admiration for her co-star Kate Winslet of whom she was “very fond of despite her youth, talent, and beauty”.

Daniel Kaluuya’s 2018 Speech

In 2018, Daniel Kaluuya attended his first ever BAFTAs ceremony, and while he was there he won the EE Rising Star award. As well as giving a shout out to his fellow nominees and the people responsible for arts funding in the UK, he also made a special mention for his mum.

"I'd like to thank my mum," he said to the audience. "My mum is the reason... Mum? You're the reason why I started, you're the reason why I'm here, and you're the reason why I keep going. Do you understand?"

"Thank you for everything. This award... This is yours. Yours,” he finished.

Helena Bonham Carter’s 2011 Speech

“You know what, I’m so used to losing it’s quite a strange feeling to win.” Carter won for Best Supporting Actress in The Kings Speech, and tbh, she should have won another BAFTA for her speech as well.

From thanking the royal family as “they’ve done wonders” for her career to saying Geoffrey Rush should have won Leading Actress instead, it’s full of typical Helena Bonham Carter humour and is one memorable speech.

Julie Walters’ Love For Michael Caine

Presented by none other than Audrey Hepburn, Michael Caine and Dustin Hoffman won the Leading Actor award in 1984 in a tie. Caine won for his work on Educating Rita, while Hoffman won for his role in Tootsie.

Once Cain made it to the podium, his Educating Rita co-star Julie Walters couldn’t help but cheer once the applause had stopped, prompting Caine to thank her before accepting the award.