Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Baftas glory for King's Speech

Colin Firth with the Best Actor award for his role in The King's Speech
Helena Bonham Carter with the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in The King's Speech
Emma Watson and JK Rowling with the Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema award for the Harry Potter films

Colin Firth was crowned the country's Leading Actor as The King's Speech swept the board at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (Baftas).

The tale of stuttering monarch King George VI scooped seven awards on the night at the Royal Opera House in London.

Speaking as he picked up the Leading Actor award for the second year running, he joked: "I like coming here, thank you Bafta."

Referring to his role in the Abba-inspired Mamma Mia!, Firth thanked his family for "remaining so steady whether they are dealing with a dancing queen or a sometime king".

Speaking backstage, he joked he had "plenty of shelf space" for the awards he has won for the role as the king, and said he was looking forward to the Oscars where he is heavily tipped to win Best Actor.

He said: "There is immense excitement, there is no lack of excitement but it is very hard to talk about something that hasn't happened."

Asked about reports the film had been given royal approval by the Queen, he said: "It would mean an enormous amount if that were to be the case. Even if the person you were playing had a living daughter who wasn't the Queen it would be important."

He also paid tribute to his co-stars, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, who won awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

The film also picked up awards for Best Film, Original Music, Outstanding British Film and Original Screenplay for its writer, David Seidler.

Natalie Portman won the Leading Actress award for her role as a ballet dancer in Black Swan, while the event ended with a standing ovation for veteran actor Sir Christopher Lee who accepted the Bafta Fellowship from Tim Burton.

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