BAFTA suspends special awards for first time ever in the wake of Noel Clarke scandal ahead of TV ceremony

BAFTA has suspended special awards for the first time ever in the wake of the Noel Clarke scandal ahead of the TV ceremony.

Sunday night will see the Bafta TV awards take place in London, but it has been revealed it will not honour any stars with a Fellowship or Special Award.

This is the first time in 50 years that such honours are not given out, and it comes after the organisation faced huge criticism for awarding Noel Clarke an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award in April.

Noel, 45, was given the award despite the organisation knowing he was being investigated for multiple sexual harassment claims.

His award was then suspended 19 days later after The Guardian ran an extensive report on the allegations against Noel, and it lead to calls for senior members of Bafta to resign.

The Mirror reports the organisation wrote to its members last week and said it was "reviewing" the selection protocols it uses for the special individual awards.

The message said: "We wanted to let you know that while we review the processes behind selecting the awards that are ‘in the gift of the Academy’- the Special Awards and Fellowships – we have temporarily paused these kinds of awards and they will not feature in Sunday's ceremony.”

The last person to receive a Bafta Fellowship award was presenter Joan Bakewell in 2019.

The year before that it was journalist Kate Adie and in 2017 it went to Joanna Lumley.

Meanwhile, Idris Elba was given a Special Award during last year's ceremony for his contribution to TV and film.

Other past recipients of the Special Award has included Cilla Black, Delia Smith and Clare Balding.

Sunday's ceremony will take place at London's TV Centre but due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions there won't be a star-studded red carpet or a live audience.

The British Academy Television Awards air on Sunday, June 6 at 7pm on BBC One.

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