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Bafta TV Awards 2019: Eight things we learned

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Media captionHighlights from the 2019 Bafta TV Awards

Winning Eve might be a more appropriate title for the BBC’s hit drama after the Bafta TV Awards on Sunday.

There were wins in some of the night’s biggest categories for Killing Eve, including best drama series and best actress for Jodie Comer.

I’m A Celebrity and Britain’s Got Talent were among the other winners in what has been a strong year for British television.

“Just sitting [in the audience] watching these incredible programmes makes me realise that we really should… get a telly,” joked Jessica Hynes during her own acceptance speech for female comedy performance.

Here are eight things we learned backstage at the ceremony.

1. Graham Norton bossed the opening monologue

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Every year, the television industry keeps its antennas crossed that the TV Baftas won’t fall on the same weekend as Eurovision, so that Graham Norton is available to host.

After last year’s clash, Norton returned to fronting the Bafta ceremony and delivered a killer opening sequence true to form. His best jokes included:

  • “We now have a female host of Question Time, an all-female line-up on Newsnight. It’s not only great for equality, but it saves the BBC a fortune.”
  • “Every week on The Great British Bake Off, a Baker gets kicked out. This week it was Danny. Literally a show stopper.”
  • “The Bros documentary really was must-see television. A lot of people have argued about which one emerged with the most dignity. I would say on balance it was probably the bassist, Craig, who declined to take part.”
  • “Everyone loved Line of Duty. The interviews were incredible. A more forensically detailed interrogation of times, dates and mobile phone data hasn’t been seen since that time Seann Walsh got home late from Strictly practice.”

2. Jodie Comer has a surprising link to Line of Duty

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Awards ceremonies always leave the biggest category of the night to the very end. The Oscars with best picture, for example.

So it was telling that Bafta considered best actress the tastiest category of the night this year, leaving it to the very end.

“Women are fashionable at the moment, so it’s just great to be associated with them,” joked Steve Coogan as he introduced it.

Sandra Oh and Keeley Hawes were among the nominees in this one, but it was Jodie Comer who triumphed.

“It’s just a dream, I’m very emotional, I think I blubbered my way through [my acceptance speech],” Comer said backstage.

In her speech, she thanked Line of Duty star (and fellow Liverpudlian) Stephen Graham, adding: “If I didn’t owe you a pint before, I certainly do now.”

Many viewers didn’t realise the two had a connection, but it was Graham who encouraged his agent Jane Epstein to take on Comer after they worked together on BBC mini-series Good Cop, describing her as an “extreme talent”.

3. David Walliams wants X Factor to die

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David Walliams brought mum Kathleen to the ceremony

“Thank you for that seated ovation. You’re so thrilled for us, I can feel it,” joked David Walliams as he entered the press room to an admittedly half-hearted round of applause.

He was fresh from accepting the prize for best entertainment on behalf of Britain’s Got Talent.

And by the sounds of it, Walliams is very happy where he is – although he is considering Simon Cowell’s offer to take part in Celebrity X Factor later this year.

“Well, I think if I can kill that format forever by appearing on it, I’d very much like to,” Walliams said, speaking on behalf of the nation.

“I cannot sing a note so I’d fit in very well… I would love to be on that stage, doing a duet with Wagner.”

4. Villanelle may have been loosely based on Scary Spice

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge has become just about the hottest property in entertainment in the last year.

In addition to adapting Killing Eve for the small screen, the second season of her hugely popular comedy Fleabag has just concluded, and she is set to co-write the next James Bond film.

“I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m not going to talk about Bond tonight, I’m just going to talk about Killing Eve,” she said backstage – a signal to journalists not to ask about anything 007.

So instead, she ended up discussing her love of the Spice Girls and their impact on her writing. Particularly her favourite, Scary Spice.

“It was because she was scary, a bit like Villanelle, perhaps I’ve never let Scary go,” she explained.

“She was wild, she was out there, she didn’t care about what people thought about her. She was just really cool. And wore trousers.”

5. Huw Edwards probably isn’t going to do Strictly Come Dancing after all

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Planning for this year’s Strictly is well under way, with DJ Chris Evans having already announced his candidacy.

BBC News host Huw Edwards has also been in the frame – having told Radio 2’s Steve Wright earlier this year he would consider taking part.

But having had time to ponder it, Edwards appears to have decided against following in the footsteps of fellow news figures such as Jeremy Vine and John Sargeant.

“I’ve not been asked to do it,” Edwards says.

But if he was? “I’d have a conversation about it. But in all honestly it’s a difficult thing to do in my day-to-day job.

“Combining that with being the BBCs chief news anchor, that would be quite difficult. In future, when my professional life might be in a different shape, I’d consider it.”

6. Daisy May Cooper trashed the red carpet

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Media captionThis Country star’s bin bag Bafta dress explained

Jaws were dropping on the red carpet for the likes of Keeley Hawes and Jodie Comer, each of whom wore stunning gowns.

But it was This Country star Daisy May Cooper who caught the most attention, with her bin bag ensemble.

It was so extravagant it wouldn’t have looked out of place at last week’s Met Gala.

How much did it cost? “About five quid,” she laughed, adding it was made by her mum.

But, Cooper explained, she chose this year to donate the money she would have spent on a dress to a food bank charity.

7. Mack (stuck in) the knife

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Lee Mack, who won best entertainment performance for Would I Lie To You?, delivered one of the night’s highlights, poking fun at both his co-stars and Bafta’s own sponsor in his speech.

“Right, I’ll keep it brief because I know we just want to go for dinner now,” he began.

“Especially this year, because there’s no chocolate under the seat. Are we still on BBC One, or is it Channel 5 now?”

He continued: “Thanks for this, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but on the off-chance that we do get to come back next year, is there any chance you couldn’t do it on the same day as the final Premier League game?

“I’m only kidding, I couldn’t have watched it anyway because I’ve got [Bafta sponsor] Virgin Media and the reception is terrible.”

Paying tribute to his co-stars Rob Brydon and David Mitchell, he joked: “It’s bad enough I get paid more than them, but this is going to kill them.”

8. Dec the halls with lots of Baftas

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Love Island won the prize for best reality and constructed factual last year, but bizarrely wasn’t even nominated this year despite having its biggest series yet in 2018.

Instead, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! took home the prize, in a year that saw Holly Willoughby replace Ant McPartlin as a co-presenter on the show.

“Holly came in and did a fantastic job, she loved it and we loved having her there,” Dec said backstage.

“It was a tough year. Personally and professionally. But I just went out and tried to do my best, keep the shows warm for him when he was ready to come back, so I tried to deliver as best I could.

“And thankfully,” he laughed, “they both won Baftas tonight, so how cool am I?!”

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Newspaper headlines: Prince Andrews ‘squirms’ in ‘bombshell’ interview

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Newspaper headlines: Prince Andrews ‘squirms’ in ‘bombshell’ interview


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The Observer is one of several papers to lead with Prince Andrew’s “bombshell” interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, which was broadcast on Saturday evening. The paper focuses on the alibi which the Duke of York gave when asked about Virginia Giuffre’s claim he had sex with her when she was a teenager. The duke said on the night of the alleged encounter, he was at home after a visit to Pizza Express. The paper describes the prince’s account of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein as “sometimes rambling and contradictory”.

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The Mail on Sunday focuses on some of the reaction from viewers, many of whom it says were shocked by Prince Andrew’s apparent “total lack of empathy” for Epstein’s victims. The newspaper says the prince was “humiliated” in the “disastrous” TV interview. The duke “looked deeply uncomfortable” during the grilling, the paper adds.

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The Sunday Mirror’s headline refers to part of Prince Andrew’s interview where he was asked about Virginia Giuffre’s description of dancing with the prince, saying he sweated profusely and she went on to have a bath. The duke – the Queen’s third child – said he “couldn’t sweat” at that time because of a medical condition.

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The Sunday Express carries a large picture of Prince Andrew on its front page, alongside the main points from the interview, which it calls “amazing”. But the paper’s main story is on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s nationalisation plans which the paper reports could pose a risk to millions of private pensions.

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The Sunday Telegraph also carries a picture of Prince Andrew, but its main story is on the election. It has interviewed Boris Johnson – his first newspaper interview of the campaign – who has claimed that every Conservative parliamentary candidate has personally pledged to back his Brexit deal in the Commons. The paper says the “highly unusual decision” is designed to help convince Leave supporters that the Tories will deliver Brexit.

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Sunday’s Daily Star leads with the forecast of more rain from the Met Office, warning of “flood chaos” over the festive period. The weather experts have told emergency services and councils to prepare for more rain than normal over the coming months, the paper says.

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The Sunday People leads with an interview with a woman who says she was attacked by a serial rapist who had previously been imprisoned in his home country of Romania for two almost identical rapes, the paper says, before he came into Britain.

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The Sunday Times’s top story is on a year-long investigation, carried out with BBC Panorama, which found military commanders have been accused of covering up evidence of British soldiers’ involvement in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said extensive investigations into allegations had been carried out, and no decision had been taken to prosecute any of the cases. Meanwhile, the paper has seen a leak of the parliamentary report into Russian interference, which found meddling by Russia may have had an impact on the Brexit referendum but the effect was “unquantifiable”.

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New Micro 3D Printing Technology Wins Prestigious NZ Engineering Award

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Long-time Slashdot reader ClarkMills quotes New Zealand’s Innovation Agency:

New 3D printing technology creating highly detailed objects, smaller than a strand of human hair, has won the 2019 ENVI Engineering Innovation Award (Engineering New Zealand Awards). Micromaker3D, powered by breakthrough Laminated Resin Printing (LRP), makes it easy and more accessible to create detailed submillimetre structures for applications such as sensors, wearables, point-of-care diagnostics, micro-robotics or aerospace components…. LRP enables the printing of submillimetre structures with complex geometries of up to 100 per cent density, in extraordinary low-layer thicknesses and with imaging speeds as quick as one second per layer independent of complexity or density…

The judges saw MicroMaker3D as a gamechanger and believe it will spark many other innovations… The ENVI Engineering Innovation Award category is described as: “A breathtakingly clever engineering project or product that has solved an age-old problem or shifted from the ‘always done this way’ mentality….”

Callaghan Innovation is working to take the technology global, from the development and demonstration phase to commercial reality…
Lead engineer Neil Glasson points out that while a human hair is about 100 microns in width, “we’re looking at five-micron resolution.”

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Quantum Computer Made From Photons Achieves New Record

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Slashdot reader hackingbear shared this article from Scientific American:

In the race to create a quantum computer that can outperform a classical one, a method using particles of light (photons) has taken a promising step forward. Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu, both at the University of Science and Technology of China, and their colleagues improved a quantum computing technique called boson sampling to achieve a record 14 detected photons in its final results. Previous experiments were capped at only five detected photons. The increase in the number of the particles is small, but it amounts to a 6.5-billion-fold gain in “state space,” or the number of ways in which a computer system can be configured. The larger the state space, the less likely a classical computer can perform the same calculation.

The result was reported in a paper posted at the preprint server arXiv.org on October 22 and has yet to be peer-reviewed. But if it is confirmed, it would be an important milestone in the race for quantum-computational supremacy — a fuzzy goalpost defined as the point where quantum computers outpace their best classical counterparts…. Pan and Lu argue in their paper that their technique is another possible route toward quantum supremacy… Part of the trouble is its limited utility. “A universal computer can solve any different type of problem,” says Jonathan Dowling, a theoretical physicist at Louisiana State University, who was not involved with the research. “This can only solve one.” But solving just one problem faster than a classical computer would count as a demonstration of quantum-computational supremacy…

Over the past few weeks, the race for quantum computational supremacy has reached a breakneck pace. Google’s quantum computer performed an operation that its scientists claim would take a classical computer 10,000 years in just 200 seconds. IBM researchers, who are also working on a quantum computer, have expressed doubts, suggesting a classical computer could solve that problem in under three days… “Quantum supremacy is like a horse race where you don’t know how fast your horse is, you don’t know how fast anybody else’s horse is, and some of the horses are goats,” Jonathan Dowling, a theoretical physicist at Louisiana State University, says. But this result, he clarifies, is not a goat.

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