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New details revealed for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021

1 June 2021
  • Years & Years’ Olly Alexander to open prestigious ceremony with new track ‘Starstruck’
  • Nominees attending in person include Michaela Coel, Jodie Comer, Paul Mescal, Graham Norton and Billie Piper with others joining via video call 
  • Richard Ayoade to host the ceremony and Tom Allen and AJ Odudu will host the ‘Virgin Media BAFTAs: Back to the Red Carpet’ Show, to be broadcast via Facebook Live
  • Guest presenters include Bill Bailey, Daisy May Cooper, Adrian Dunbar, Maya Jama, Oti Mabuse and Lydia West

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today revealed further details for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021, with multi-award winning singer and actor Olly Alexander of Years & Years kicking off proceedings with an exclusive opening performance.

Alexander, who recently starred in Russell T Davies’ critically-acclaimed series It’s A Sin, will open the ceremony on Sunday 6 June with a performance of his new track ‘Starstruck’, and will also present an award with co-star of the Channel 4 series Lydia West.

Olly Alexander said: “I’m so excited to be performing Starstruck at the Bafta TV Awards this year! We’re performing outside next to the red carpet so I’m looking forward to serenading the stars as they arrive. I’m also going to be reunited with the love of my life, Lydia West, and presenting an award, it’s going to be such a good night!!”

BAFTA have also confirmed that, in line with strict Covid-19 protocol, a number of nominees will be able to attend the ceremony at Television Centre in London, with remaining nominees attending digitally. Nominees for Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Entertainment Performance, Male Performance in a Comedy, Female Performance in a Comedy and the Virgin Media Must-See Moment will be joined by a host of exciting guest presenters including Zawe Ashton, Bill Bailey, Rob Beckett, Nicola Coughlin, Adrian Dunbar, Maya Jama, Cush Jumbo, Oti Mabuse, Rose Matafeo, Golda Rosheuvel and Lydia West, who will be presenting alongside Olly Alexander. Other guest presenters will attend via video call, including Jamie Demetriou, Catherine O’Hara, Tommy Jessop, Jon Snow, Bob Mortimer with Paul Whitehouse and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Meanwhile, pianist Alexis Ffrench will also perform ‘Blue Bird’ as a special musical tribute during a moment of reflection. 

Comedian Tom Allen and presenter AJ Odudu will host the Virgin Media BAFTAs Back to the Red Carpet Show, which will stream exclusively on Facebook and offer unrivalled access as proceedings get underway. Given ongoing restrictions, the Virgin Media BAFTAs red carpet will be closed to the public, but Allen and Odudu will have interviews with nominees and guest presenters in attendance, bringing fans at home closer to their favourite stars of the small screen.

Tom Allen said: “I’m honoured to be bringing the excitement of the BAFTA red carpet to everyone at home. To be working alongside the truly fantastic and utterly glamorous AJ Odudu is a dream come true. It’ll be wonderful to see the nation’s best loved entertainers ...interviewing the nominees for this year’s awards.”

AJ Odudu said: “I am so excited to be hosting the 2021 Virgin Media TV BAFTA’s Back to the Red Carpet show with my talented friend Tom Allen. It is, without a doubt, one of the iconic events in the television and awards calendar so I am honoured to be a part of it. The talent within the nominees list is exceptional and shows just how wonderful the world of television is in Britain. Especially during 2020, when television of all genres was so vitally important, to so many, for so many different reasons.”

Emma Baehr, Executive Director of Awards and Content, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate the television industry which has kept us all informed and entertained during what has been a difficult time for so many and delighted to have a number of the nominees attending the Virgin Media BAFTAs in person once again. The wonderfully talented Olly Alexander will kick off this special evening with a live performance from the red carpet and we look forward to television fans across the nation joining us in this night of celebration.”

The Virgin Media BAFTAs is the highlight of the television calendar, with Small Axe leading the way with 15 nominations, followed by The Crown (10 nominations), I May Destroy You (eight nominations), Normal People (seven nominations), Sex Education (six nominations), Adult Material and I Hate Suzie (five nominations each) and four nominations apiece for This Country, Once Upon a Time in Iraq and Strictly Come Dancing. As previously announced, the ceremony will again be hosted by presenter, comedian, writer, actor and director, Richard Ayoade. 

The Virgin Media BAFTAs will be going live Back to the Red Carpet where our in-person attendees will join hosts Tom Allen and AJ Odudu on our Facebook show from 13:00 BST on

Follow @BAFTA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all of the latest updates, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from the 2021#VirginMediaBAFTAs

The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will take place on Sunday 6 June on BBC One at 19:00 BST. 

Notes to Editors:

Due to strict Covid-19 protocol, there will be no media on the Virgin Media BAFTAs red carpet, nor any public access.

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

Photography is available at   


For more information, please contact:

Amanda Hearn - Multitude Media

E: [email protected]

M: 07950 803 771

Will Wood - Multitude Media 

E: [email protected] 

M: 07817 014 515


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

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