The star-studded BAFTA TV Awards 2022 took place on Sunday night, with comedian and IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade taking to the stage to host the awards for the third time.
Richard, 44, wasted no time in making fun of the now-infamous incident when Hollywood actor Will Smith, 53, slapped comedian Chris Rock, 57, across the face as the latter hosted the Oscars in March.
The jaw-dropping moment sent shockwaves around the world when Chris made a “GI Jane” joke about Will’s wife, Jada-Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, before Will stormed the stage and slapped him in the face, and shouted: “Keep my wife’s name out your f*****g mouth” twice.
Referencing the incident at the 75th BAFTA TV Awards on Sunday, Richard said: “In 1955 there were only six categories, there was barely enough time to get up from your seat and slap someone before the whole ceremony would be over.”
The audience laughed at the quip, before Richard said: “But do not worry your overly-filmed heads, I’m not going to use your faces as punchlines or punchbags – you’ve suffered enough.
“No one works harder than us, apart from people in other professions,”
He continued: “I’m putting in a couple of hours today, I’m exhausted,”
TV stars flocked to the red carpet for the first BAFTA TV Awards to be held with an audience since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The awards ceremony celebrated television craft and television programmes broadcast in the UK in 2021.
Nationally-loved presenting duo, Ant & Dec, lead the winners as they scooped the gong for Best Entertainment Programme, for their hit ITV show, Saturday Night Takeaway.
The night’s other winners included: Channel 4’s Gogglebox, which won the award for Best Reality and Constructed Factual; Big Zuu's Big Eats which won the award for Best Features; and Coronation Street which scooped the Best Soap and Continual Drama gong.
Will Smith has been laying low since the Oscar's incident, after he publicly apologised to Chris Rock, writing on social media: I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,
“I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be”.
Although Will was allowed to keep his Academy Award for Best Actor in the film King Richard, he has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for ten years after the Chris Rock slapping incident.
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