1959

Stepping Out: Awards introduce a dinner and dance
The dinner and after-party are a staple of most BAFTA awards ceremonies, but that hasn’t always been the case. During the first ten years, the British Film Academy (as it was then) actually hosted their awards as part of a film gala premiere – So Long at the Fair and A Town Like Alice among them.

In 1952, it was agreed that a dinner would be a more suitable environment in which to present the awards, rather than a premiere over which the Academy had no control. This desire to host the awards independently and provide a dinner and dance for guests was eventually realised at The Savoy Hotel on 18 March 1959, and has continued ever since, giving guests a chance to socialise, celebrate (and commiserate) in a relaxed environment.

Among the London venues to have hosted a BAFTA dinner and after-party are the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dorchester, Royal Festival Hall, Tobacco Dock, Roundhouse and Natural History Museum.

Main pic: British Actress and Actor winners Irene Worth and Trevor Howard at the first ever awards dinner and dance in 1959. Worth won that night for her performance in Orders To Kill, and Howard for his performance in The Key.



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British Actress and Actor winners Irene Worth and Trevor Howard at the first ever awards dinner and dance in 1959.

Video: A look behind the scenes in preparing dinner for 2000 guests (extract from the 2014 Countdown to the Awards online series).