On Sunday 8th October I attended the 26th British Academy Cymru Awards ceremony, which honours excellence in performance and production within film, games and television in Wales.
My night kicked off in the press pit where I had the pleasure to welcome celebrities and British Academy Cymru Awards guests.
The Hayes, Cardiff was busy! Fans ready for pictures and autographs with celebrities, the press pit was filled with eager journalists. As a fairly new kid on the scene I felt a little overwhelmed surrounded by the microphones and recording devices that other reporters and journalists had with them.
I was not going to let it stop me, I was there for a reason.
As most of my readers are aware I encourage the performing arts; I often attend youth group performances and my 5 year old son attends a drama class at the Sherman Theatre. I fully believe that the youth of today will be the future of film and TV, lets support this!
It’s not always possible for some children to attend private drama lessons, it may not be possible for them to attend a once a week dance group. With this in mind I wonder if schools could be doing more to encourage the performing arts?
I wanted to interview some well known celebrities and ask their advice on the performing arts both in schools and private.
‘Is it important for schools to encourage a child’s talent? Some children are not academic and is performing arts a way in which to help children grow and become more confident?’
I had a 5 minute chat with Welsh actor, writer and director Tom Cullen. He is best known for his role in the award-winning independent film Weekend and as Viscount Gillingham in the television series Downton Abbey.
Tom attended Llanishen High School, Cardiff. Unlike the school I attended the school did not have a drama studio. When asked should schools be encouraging children to take part in performing arts he said that he felt it was an essential part of life, it helps children grow and develop. He believed that the performing arts is a great way to boost a child’s confidence and we should all be encouraging it in schools and at home.
I then had the privilege to interview Welsh film actor, Steffan Rhodri. Best known for portraying Dave Coaches on Gavin & Stacey and as Reg Cattermole in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I.
When asked should schools and the community do more to encourage children into the performing arts he said, for him growing up in Swansea, he was able to attend West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company (WGYT) with Michael Sheen.
The West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company gave him a chance to develop and grow as an actor and he was very grateful of that. He said that youth theatres offer children a chance to become developed and more confident over time. Youth theatre groups are a great gateway into theatre and film, we should be encouraging this.
On the red carpet I caught up with Elizabeth Humfrey, known professionally as Betsy. Betsy is a Welsh singer from Pembrokeshire. She is signed to Warner Bros worldwide, and was signed to Columbia Records in the US and Canada prior to May 2017.
Betsy attended the British Academy Cymru Awards this year to perform one of her latest tracks. She was fantastic! Such a beautiful, friendly person.
After talking with Betsy I saw a familiar face walk down the red carpet…Connie!! Connie Fisher and I have met previously, I have participated in a BBC documentary due to air early next year.
With celebrities and British Academy Cymru Awards attendees taking their seats inside the St Davids Hall, Cardiff it was time for me to make my way in. Walking down the red carpet was a moment I will never forget.
More pictures from the red carpet – (c) BAFTA Cymru / Shutterstock
Once inside we took our seats in the packed out auditorium.
The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 1 presenter, Huw Stephens, where presenters included actresses Alexandra Roach and Vicky McClure and actors Tom Cullen and Peter Capaldi.
28 Awards were presented during the ceremony in front of an audience of 1000 guests and others joining via a live stream. For more information on the awards and winners please click HERE
With the awards over we headed to the Radisson Blu where an after party fit for a Queen awaited us.
Red carpet arrival into the Radisson Blu, we were then ushered to the first floor dedicated to the biggest celebration of creative media talent of the year.
The four hour party offered entertainment from the Rhys Taylor swing band; special sets from DJ Snooze; a casino and games room with Tiny Rebel beers; a Villa Maria and Champagne Taittinger lounge; and gin cocktails from Welsh distillery Da Mhile.
To celebrate the return of the Games Award to the British Academy Cymru Awards ceremony for the first time in six years, partners Sugar Creative created a special game for party attendees to play with virtual reality headsets.
My husbands highlight of the night was the casino and games room.
If drinking or the games room was not ‘your thing’ Hotel Chocolat provided the guests with enough chocolate to make Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory look disappointing. The beautifully displayed luxury chocolate was a hit with all the guests. Hotel Chocolat provided bags so you could take your treats home (winner with my kids!)
Radisson Blu’s head chef also created a special buffet for guests with Welsh ingredients. The food was fantastic!
The buffet included –
- Lamb Koftas with garlic yoghurt & fresh mint
- Honey and mustard sausage rolls with red onion marmalade
- Halloumi and mushroom skewers with pesto and fresh chilli
- Smoked Pork Collar with couscous and lime yoghurt
- Crostini with crushed avocado & prawn salad
- Feta chesse salad with olives, sun blushed tomato and pearl barley
I was particularly fond of the Astipasti Skewers with bocconcini, grilled vegetables & Chimichurri chicken.
With our tummy’s satisfied we took to the dance floor and danced the night away.
Sharing a dance with Ian ‘H’ Watkins was the highlight of my evening! And holding a British Academy Cymru Awards was fantastic!
A great experience and a night I will never forget.
Next stop for me – Mind Media Awards from Leicester Square
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