The 72nd annual Emmy Awards have now taken place, with the ceremony going virtual as the coronavirus pandemic rumbles on.
Presented by Jimmy Kimmel in an empty auditorium, the stars up for awards on the big night appeared via video link.
While this approach has not been so successful in recent awards shows (the 2020 Baftas were particularly lacklustre), the first virtual Emmys managed to strike a balance between being Covid-friendly and still being fairly entertaining.
It was an exciting night for television, with Succession and Watchmen among the big hitters of the evening.
But as with every ceremony, there’s always one or two surprises that leave us stunned; here are just some of the talking points from the ceremony.
The Covid-19 references came thick and fast
Naturally, the virtual ceremony was always going to feature a few nods to the big C.
Elsewhere Jason Sudeikis presented the award for best comedy series while apparently undergoing a coronavirus test live on air.
“I think you dented my brain,” he said after the nurse took a deep swab of his nose.
Aniston wasn’t just making waves as a part-time firefighter at the Emmys – the actor also set tongues wagging when she held an impromptu mini-Friends reunion.
Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow joined Aniston at her house, alongside Jason Bateman, as Aniston was nominated for Best Actress.
While Aniston was superb as Alex Levy in Apple’s The Morning Show, she was up against some huge names – and failed to take the gong…
Zendaya makes history…
Yes, Aniston, along with Olivia Colman, Laura Linney, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer were up for the Best Actress in a Drama Series – but the acting heavyweights were beaten by teen favourite, the hugely talented Zendaya: making her the youngest recipient of the award ever.
Genuinely overjoyed at having won the award, a tearful Zendaya offered tribute to her fellow nominees, before going on to stand with those who were currently protesting.
…As did Schitt’s Creek
Moira got her Emmy! The Canadian comedy, which follows a rich family that finds themselves short of cash, swept the board for comedy with the show bagging all seven awards available – including Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. Schitt’s Creek is currently the only comedy or drama show to have achieved this feat. Impressive.
Politicians got a roasting
President Trump hasn’t been a popular character at any awards shows since he got elected, and his current handling of the coronavirus pandemic was particularly criticised. After Succession took the top prize as Best Drama, British creator Jesse Armstrong accepted the award from London describing it as “such a very nice moment and it’s very sad not to be with the cast and some of the crew”.
Armstrong’s speech was interrupted by a phone ringing. He then listed a number of “un-thank yous” and targeted Donald Trump and Boris Johnson for their respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
Regina King proved just why she is acting royalty
Taking the Best Actress in a Limited Series gong for her role in Watchmen, King used her outfit to make an important statement.
She wore a T-shirt featuring the face of Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead in her home by police in March.
King used her acceptance speech to remind viewers of the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential race, noting that it would be “remiss not to” mention the election and urging them to “have a voting plan.”
Stars made their own red carpet
While some celebrities (Jameela Jamil) decided to give dressing up a miss – choosing to watch the ceremony in their pyjamas, others went all out to recreate a traditional red carpet.
Tracee Ellis Ross decided to improvise, setting up a makeshift red carpet in her garden ahead of the awards ceremony, complete with fake paparazzi.
Additional reporting from PA