You are here

New details revealed for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2020

24 July 2020
Event: Virgin Media British Academy Television AwardsDate: Sunday 12 May 2019Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, LondonHost: Graham Norton-Area: Branding & Set-UpBAFTA/Thomas Alexander

Multi-award winning comedian, actor, writer & musician Tim Minchin will be making a special musical performance on Friday 31 July, BBC One, 19:00 BST

Tom Allen confirmed as host for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Pre-Show live on BAFTAs social channels from 18:00 BST

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced that Tim Minchin will be opening and closing this year’s star-studded Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2020 with a special musical performance. 

The internationally-acclaimed comedian, musician, actor and writer will open the show with an original track specially composed for the event, and will close with a performance of ‘Carry You’, which he composed for his TV series ‘Upright’. 

Tim Minchin said: “I would very much like to be in a lovely theatre in beautiful London, dressed in an on-loan tuxedo, trying to stay sober enough to remember the lyrics I last-minute wrote for the opening of UK telly’s night of nights. As it is, I’ve pre recorded the song from Sydney in the 25-yr old tux I had in my closet, and I remembered the words fine because we filmed it in the morning, and neither the pandemic nor the high quality of affordable Australian wines have as yet driven me to AM drinking. (I’m incredibly honoured to have been asked and am excited to see how the whole thing is put together, given how very hard the BAFTAs folk have worked to make it special.)” 

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time ever, the prestigious ceremony will take place behind closed doors - filmed at Television Centre - and will air on BBC One at 19:00 BST on Friday 31 July. Hosted by Richard Ayoade, the brand-new format promises to be a riveting show and will feature a range of exciting guest appearances. With Chernobyl, Fleabag, The Crown, Giri/Haji and The Virtues all leading the way with three nominations each, who will the big winners be on the night?

Ahead of the BBC One show, comedian Tom Allen is also announced today as host of the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Pre-Show, which will stream live on BAFTA’s social channels (YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) from 18:00 BST, leading up to the main event. Taking the place of the traditional red carpet programme, the show will feature interviews with nominees and celebrity guest presenters in-studio and via video link-up, including Jodie Comer, Stephen Graham, Mo Gilligan, Callum Turner, Glenda Jackson and Jamie Demetriou, among others. 

Tom Allen said: “I’m delighted to be bringing you behind-the-scenes interviews at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Pre-Show and can’t wait to help you celebrate this year’s wonderful TV talent before the big night. I bet BAFTA provide nice crisps too.”

Clare Brown, Director of BAFTA Production said: “We’re thrilled to have Tim Minchin  performing two of his compositions during the ceremony, one written exclusively for the TV Awards, a ceremony that may look very different this year but will be as brilliantly entertaining as always. We’re also delighted to have Tom Allen hosting the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Pre-Show, which will feature chats with many of our nominees and other guests as the excitement builds ahead of the ceremony itself.”

Tune in to the to the Virgin Media BAFTAs on Friday 31 July from 19.00 BST on BBC One, and join the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Pre-Show live streamed from 18:00 BST on BAFTAs social channels  (Youtube, Twitter and Facebook). 


Notes to Editors:

The full nominations for this year’s awards can be found here

Photography is available at

Tom Allen Bio: 

Tom Allen is a comedian, writer and actor. He started as a stand up at the age of 22 and went on to win both So You Think You’re Funny in Edinburgh and the BBC New Comedy Awards in the same year. Tom has made appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, The John Bishop Show and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.  He currently co-hosts Bake Off: The Professionals and hosts The Apprentice: You’re Fired. As an actor, Tom has also guest starred in Comedy Central’s Threesome, BBC’s Sensitive Skin with Joanna Lumley and Fear of Fanny with Mark Gatiss and Julia Davis.

Tim Minchin Bio:

Best known for his musical comedy, Minchin has toured internationally and has had sell-out and critically acclaimed shows. Tim is also an acclaimed writer and wrote the music and lyrics to Matilda the Musical (2011), which won seven Olivier Awards including Best Musical as well as multiple Tony awards and a Grammy nomination. Tim also worked on the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day which, after its success and acclaimed limited run at The Old Vic in London, moved to the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway in the Spring of 2017. Tim’s latest work Upright, for which he wrote the story, music and lyrics and also stars in, is currently being shown on Sky Atlantic in the UK and then on Fox in Australia.


For further information, please contact: 

Amanda Hearn, Publicity Director - Television at Multitude Media:

M: 07950 803 771

E: [email protected]

Will Wood, Managing Director, Multitude Media:

M: 07817 014 515

E: [email protected]

Nora Dunne, Publicist, Multitude Media:
M: 07380 854 382
E: [email protected] 


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit