When will they learn?

Posted by · 3:55 pm · January 14th, 2009

In the gloomiest piece of awards-related news I’ve heard this week, it turns out that this year’s BAFTA awards will be hosted, once again, by the smug talent vacuum that is Jonathan Ross. (“Who?” I hear you American readers asking. Answer: you’re better off not knowing.)

I understand that BAFTA hasn’t the budget or the resources to compete with the Academy Awards when it comes to putting on a show. However, if they want to be a truly international ceremony — as they claim they are — it might be worth hiring a host who can potentially draw an international audience.

You know, someone who is actually known outside of Britain. Someone who has a halfway credible industry profile. Someone who is actually funny. Not that I’m not naming names, of course.

Chances are Ross will perform no better and no worse this year than he has previously. (Which is to say, he’ll be as reliably excruciating as always.) But in a year when the Oscars have really upped the ante in their choice of host, BAFTA’s resistance to change is all the more embarrassing.


→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 1-14-2009 at 4:00 pm

    Matthew said...

    I’ve actually always kind of liked Jonathan Ross…

  • 2 1-14-2009 at 4:33 pm

    Simone said...

    Jonathan won’t be so bad, he apparently did well enough in the past for BAFTA. Besides, this is the British awards, and I kind of like that they have a British host that is well known to them, their home base audience. Every award show doesn’t have to cater to us Americans.

  • 3 1-14-2009 at 4:37 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, I’m British and I can’t bear him, Simone. I just think it’s possible to have a host with a British flavour AND international appeal.

  • 4 1-14-2009 at 4:45 pm

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    I’m almost surprised that the Sachs debacle didn’t hurt his getting the job this year. But I’m pleased that it didn’t.

    Ross should be out of work for being incredibly unfunny, not for some cheesy prank call he made.

  • 5 1-14-2009 at 4:49 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Exactly, Harmonica. I didn’t even mention the idiotic Sachs/Brand affair because it’s so, well, not worth mentioning.

  • 6 1-14-2009 at 5:01 pm

    Adrianna said...

    Didn’t Stephen Fry act as BAFTA host one year? I heard he was great, and loved the comments I read. I was jealous the Oscars didn’t have someone of that calibre that year. Unless I’m remembering it wrong..

  • 7 1-14-2009 at 5:22 pm

    Josh said...

    As an American reader, I’m offended! Why, I’ve heard of Jonathan Ross…thanks to that unnamed suggested host of yours and his podcast. And, really, wouldn’t every awards show be better off with Ricky Gervais as host?

  • 8 1-14-2009 at 5:39 pm

    D. said...

    While it’s unmportant to me if the host is well-known outside of the UK, I find Wossie nauseatingly unfunny, uncharming and an awkwardly unpleasant presence. I know he’s not much-loved (due to having hosted almost everything on TV), but I’d like to see Jimmy Carr, or perhaps Gervais, but paired with Stephen Merchant (the same way I felt Poehler and Fey or even Stewart and Colbert would work well at the Oscars). Russell Brand I don’t hate, but he’s hardly appropriate, especially after he bombed so embarassingly at the Video Music Awards. How about Elton and Lily Allen, but this time just get them both pissed an hour earlier, and just let them catfight the evening away? Fun for all.

  • 9 1-14-2009 at 5:42 pm

    D. said...

    And also, Stephen Fry, who’s hosted in the past (most recently in 2006, if I’m not mistaken) is a perfect choice: uniquely humourous, charming and elegantly reserved.

  • 10 1-14-2009 at 6:48 pm

    Vance said...

    Agreed. Stephen Fry is an charming, effortlessly funny guy and was a great host.

    What about Gervais? He’s funny, British and famous across the pond to boot.

  • 11 1-14-2009 at 7:13 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    The UK really is an alternate universe.

  • 12 1-14-2009 at 7:41 pm

    Simone said...

    I adore Stephen Fry, I wish he were the host this year. Maybe Jonathan was under contract for a couple turns eh? Hopefully next year there will be a new and wide appealing face as host for the BAFTAs.

  • 13 1-14-2009 at 7:46 pm

    James D. said...

    How are the Oscars upping the ante? Do people like Hugh Jackman?

  • 14 1-14-2009 at 7:56 pm

    Matthew said...

    I do kind of like, as I mentioned, Jonathan Ross, but Stephen Fry or Ricky Gervais would certainly be far better. And that whole thing with Brand was absolutely ridiculous. Terribly stupid of them.

  • 15 1-14-2009 at 11:35 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    James: We don’t really know yet, do we? But they’re taking a risk, and that’s a lot more than BAFTA is doing.

  • 16 1-14-2009 at 11:50 pm

    adam said...

    I can’t stand Ricky or Jonathan. To me they are just two peas in a pod.

    I’d rather have the setup like Golden Globes. No host – straight into the awards.

  • 17 1-15-2009 at 2:45 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Ricky Gervais seems like the most logical contender.
    I used to love Ross’s live Oscar coverage when the BBC still had the broadcast live. Geez, where are good times?

  • 18 1-15-2009 at 3:36 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Where are the good times, you ask?

    Satellite TV bought ’em all.

  • 19 1-15-2009 at 4:55 am

    Chris said...

    I hate Jonathan Ross with a passion.
    If they really want to choose a random TV presenter who doesn’t have a clue about the film industry, they should at least take Simon Amstell. Because, although I’m sure he doesn’t know anything about films, at least he’s sort of funny.

    But yeah, Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais would have been the obvious choices.

  • 20 1-15-2009 at 5:03 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Simon Amstell! Fucking genius.

    However, instead of hosting, I think his skills would be best put to use by having him do a celeb-terrorizing red-carpet show — something akin to what he did at the Brit Awards back in the Popworld days. I would SO watch that.

    Anyway, he may not know anything about films, but then, neither does Jonathan Ross.

  • 21 8-05-2014 at 5:59 am

    Tete said...

    Internet Explorer 7.0 Windows XPUser Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)Internet Explorer 7.0 Windows XPSorry to say it but I just dont find anything Ricky Gervais does as funny. Infact I view him as an over-bearing self ossesbed twat of a bloke, rather like Russell Brand infact, but less vain. The man is completely unfunny, and is still making a living off the back of that dance he did on the Office, which was also unfunny.Sorry Gervais fans, but I just dont rate the shows he stars in oa0the material he writes. And the clip of his new film is also humourless. I have a gag reflex , oh look a dog breathing in my face, *Gag gag!* Hysterical stuff not. I remember seeing Gervais try to ad-lib along with thea0comedy genius that is John Cleese at an award bash, and he wasa0made to look totally out of his depth by a true master of comedy.a0 Infact just how this guy isa0percieved as a master of the currenta0British comedy scene is a mystery to me. Either that or its a sada0indication of just how poor the quality of our comedy has become.