TV audience for Baftas drops by half a million

The TV audience for the Baftas dropped by half a million compared with last year, overnight figures show.

Sunday night’s British Academy Film Awards drew an average of 3.5 million viewers and a peak of 4.1 million when it aired on BBC One.

The Joanna Lumley-hosted ceremony had an audience share of 20.7% when it aired between 9pm and 11pm.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 – Press Room – London
Olivia Colman won the leading actress prize at the Baftas (Ian West/PA)

Last year’s event, Lumley’s debut as host, averaged four million viewers and peaked at 4.6 million.

The glittering film awards had previously been presented by Stephen Fry, whose final time hosting in 2017 had drawn an average of 3.9 million viewers.

The awards, which saw The Favourite take seven of the prizes, was broadcast later than the actual ceremony, which took place from about 7pm.

Lumley drew mixed reviews from viewers for her jokes throughout the ceremony, including her opening monologue, in which she quipped about the Ku Klux Klan while referring to nominated film BlacKkKlansman.

Olivia Colman took the leading actress award for her role as Queen Anne in period drama The Favourite, which was also named outstanding British film and the best supporting actress in Rachel Weisz.

Other winners included Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which won the best film accolade, and Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek, who took the leading actor gong.

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