Performing a song that he wrote for the show, the 44-year-old opened the virtual ceremony on a satirical note - complete with a few backup singers.
Teased by the Baftas as a “lockdown anthem,” Minchin managed to hit on all of the most relatable aspects of quarantine while injecting a bit of humour into the whole situation during his piano ballad.
After joking about Hollywood’s love for zombie films not seeming all that far off these days, Minchin sarcastically pointed out that a pandemic couldn’t stop the annual award show.
“No one’s stronger than an artist in a crisis,” he sang. “Come hell or high water, pandemic or disorder, we will stand up to give each other prizes,” Minchin joked.
The comedian also touched on the existential crisis that many fellow actors might be feeling with the cancellation of in-person events, asking, “There’s no one to applaud me, who am I?”
‘𝘛𝘰 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘴, 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥. 𝘐’𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥'@TimMinchin opens the #VirginMediaBAFTAs with an epic anthem for the times! pic.twitter.com/ktRBljNfgH— BAFTA (@BAFTA)July 31, 2020
Minchin also addressed the shift from nominees sporting designer gowns at red carpet events to sitting at home watching their awards in their best loungewear. “Tell me, who is the designer of your tracksuit?” he sang, adding, “Let’s get through these awards and get back to our real jobs, signing virtuous petitions in our Ugg boots.”
But don’t worry, he made fun of himself, too. “To all you clever nominees, I hope you’re very very pleased. I’m not bitter that my show wasn’t nominated,” sang Minchin, whose well-received series, Upright, was left off the list of nominees.
That didn’t seem to matter to Minchin all that much, as he pointed out towards the end of his song, “Remember, whether you lost or won, it doesn’t matter because the planet’s almost dead.”
Minchin performed his song via video, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which initially delayed the Virgin Media TV Baftas. The resulting ceremony held on July 31 didn’t include the typical red carpet, and in keeping with the socially-distant awards, the Baftas winners accepted their awards virtually.