Man about town: Rubbing shoulders with the stars at the BAFTAs

This was a particularly good year for big names in the audience

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The Independent Online

Having a job that takes you to the best parties, premieres and awards shows can give you a blasé attitude to even the most glittering and exciting of events.

But I still love the BAFTAs or, to give them their full title, the EE British Academy Film Awards.

I even loved standing on the freezing cold red carpet as the rain, sleet and eventually snow, lashed down. I realised that you had to be a real actress like Dame Helen Mirren to playfully swirl your dress in front of the cameras and look as though the weather wasn’t bothering you.

And despite the views of a handful of readers who had “never heard” of some of the stars there, this was a particularly good year. With an interesting selection of films and some of the biggest and most-talked about names from the film-world there, it shows that Hollywood still takes the awards seriously.

At one event I also got a chance to chat to actor of the moment (and, intimidatingly, a world’s sexiest man award winner) Bradley Cooper. And at a late-night post-awards party I shared a dancefloor with Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. I say “shared a dancefloor”, but I was doing more rubber-necking than dancing.

The following day, Samuel L. Jackson (yes, I am really in full name-dropping mode now) pointed out the other reason the Baftas was a success: there was no overly-dominant winner.

“I thought the distribution of the awards was quite interesting. Everyone who was nominated for best film got something,” he told me at the launch of his Shooting Stars golf tournament at the London HQ of Moët & Chandon. “So it was kind of great in that way. You know you take your time to dress up and come to those things, everybody should get something.”

The next night, there was an event from the other end of the film spectrum, held, appropriately, at the Regent Street Cinema, the birthplace of British cinema. It was the premiere of the first six short films made via the Nokia Collabor8te programme, which since the demise of the Film Council, claims to be the only scheme to fund up-and-coming filmmakers in the UK. Although not major Hollywood stars, they had some high profile supporters such as Rankin and This is England actress Vicky McClure, and from the first six, we may hopefully see the next generation of Bafta-winners.