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Television Awards Opening Speech in 2014

19 May 2014

Watch BAFTA's Chairman John Willis' address the audience at the Television Awards in 2014.

Academy Chairman John Willis opened proceedings at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards with an address to the audience of nominees & guests. Watch his speech in full below.

The Chairman's Message

Read John Willis' welcome message to guests attending the awards ceremony. This message was featured in the official Television Awards brochure presented to all attendees on the night.

It’s the content that counts, and tonight’s ceremony highlights an irresistible combination of talent, craftsmanship and teamwork that has delivered the most watchable television in years.

Celebrating the very best programmes and performances of the past year, the nominations cover the full spectrum that British television delivers – a truly diverse range of programming that has been made available to us in so many ways.

These achievements inspire the next generation of talented young people to consider a career in television and with BAFTA’s year-round support, we can keep our industry ‘best in class’. Visit to find out how we’re identifying and supporting the potential stars of tomorrow and what you can do to ‘Give Something Back’.

Among the awards presented this evening we will recognise two of the biggest names in British television. The Special Award will be presented to one of our national treasures: Cilla Black OBE has been entertaining millions for more than 50 years with her unmistakable charm, personable warmth and genuine talent for her craft; she is an icon and an inspiration.

The Fellowship is the highest honour the Academy bestows, and the worthy recipient this year is one of our brightest stars of the small screen (and big), Julie Walters CBE. Endlessly captivating and a master of so many genres and forms, which have already won her five BAFTA performance awards, Julie is one the most talented actors in the world and nobody is more deserving of this honour.

Thank you to the BAFTA juries, the Television Committee and its Chairman, Andrew Newman, and to the BAFTA staff, led by Amanda Berry and Kevin Price. We welcome the return of Arqiva, our title sponsor, and the Radio Times, sponsor of the Audience Award.

Have a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

John Willis
Chairman of the Academy

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