On The Carpet

It’s red carpet season in London. Celebrities, also known as movie stars, dress designerly and walk along the red carpet to answer endless and inane questions about their movies and their co-stars and their spouses and partners and directors and friends and why they think their movies should win awards and what their movies mean and if they seek enlightenment through the art form they support and who dressed them.

Film premieres take place all year round in London, and this week has also seen a swathe of awards ceremonies in the capital. On Sunday night, London played host to the Bafta Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and last night the music awards ceremony, the Brit Awards 2011, took place at the O2 Arena in North Greenwich.

As was expected, The King’s Speech garnered most of the big Bafta awards, including best actor, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best film and best original screenplay. It was nominated for 14 awards and won seven. The darling Colin Firth, who won the best actor award for the second year in a row (in 2010 he won one for A Single Man), said “I like coming here.”

The director, producer and screenwriter describe the film as “a little film”, one they never thought would attract the worldwide attention it has. David Seidler, writer of the original screenplay for The King’s Speech, won a Bafta for his screenplay. As a child, Seidler battled with a stammer and, listening to King George VI speak on radio, he thought that if the King could overcome a stammer, there was hope for him too. I like stories like that.

Last night’s Brit Awards 2011 honoured many young and not so young members of the music industry. A young south London rapper, known as Tinie Tempah, won two Brits, while Take That – recently rejoined by Robbie Williams – collected their first Brit Award for Best British Group. Robbie walked away with his 17th.

A young fringe-flicking Canadian received a Brit Award for International Breakthrough Act of the Year. He declined to show off his Michael Jackson skills in the pre-show interview, claiming that he couldn’t moonwalk “on the carpet”.  The moves had to be seen to bieber-lieved.

Canadian band, Arcade Fire, also walked away with two Brit Awards for Best International Group and Best International Album.

We’ve stood by the red carpet for film premieres a few times since we’ve been in London. The first time we were lucky enough to be penned in, up close and personal, with uninterrupted views of this:

The less glamorous view of the red carpet

Imagine being close enough to see the red carpet being fitted? Kind of takes the glamour out of the event. A couple standing near us asked if they could have the carpet off-cuts. Seriously?

Knee pads are clearly a health and safety requirement

But this is really why we stood and watched the red carpet being set up:

The man of the moment. Or as I like to call him "The Georgeous"

I think the guy standing behind the star of “The Fantastic Mr Fox” was thinking, “OMG! I can’t believe I’m standing this close to George Clooney!”

We also saw Sir Ben Kingsley:

Ever the elegant and serene professional. He pretended not to hear the guy next to me call him a "sexy beast".

And Bill Murray:

Henna'd hands reach out for his autograph but Mr Murray was only there to shake hands.

As we speak, London is ordering miles more red carpet to welcome the sporting elite and the spectating elite (you clearly have to be elite to afford the ticket prices I’m reading about) to the London Olympics in 2012. 527 days to go and counting. Danny Boyle, director of movies such as Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, Sunshine (I don’t know that movie but I love the title!) and 127 Days, will be directing the opening ceremony. Will we see a field full of brightly coloured anoraks doing Bollywood moves and avoiding the chasm? I can hardly wait.

Sunshine signing off for today!


32 thoughts on “On The Carpet

  1. What FUN to be standing at the Red Carpet! How close will the Olympics be to London? And let’s not forget the impending royal wedding. Oh how I would love to be there for that, standing and cheering with the rabble.

    1. Oh, I forgot about the wedding, Renee! How could I?
      The Olympics will be held in London – the Olympic village is in Stratford (east London), which is about 20 minutes away from where we live. Greenwich Park is host to all the equestrian events. There are other venues around the UK, but the bulk of the activity will be in London.

  2. Very exciting to be up close and personal with the elite. My daughter was at a red carpet premiere in Nashville, for….Elizabethtown (?) or something, can’t remember, now. She got to see Orlando Bloom, her favorite, at the time. I did finally get to see The King’s Speech. It is a great movie! And, may I just say, I love Colin Firth.

    1. It is fun, Darlene! I saw such a funny episode of “Extras” (do you get that in the States, with Ricky Gervais?) where Ricky’s character and his friend, Maggie (Ashley Jensen) are extras in a movie Orlando Bloom is starring in. Maggie is totally underwhelmed by Orlando Bloom and he spends the whole programme trying to impress her and get her attention, and dissing Johnny Depp in the process. It’s hilarious! Orlando Bloom is great.
      I’m so glad you saw the King’s Speech and enjoyed it. And I’m totally with you about Colin Firth …

  3. Sunshine! I love your photos! I almost clapped when I saw your photo of Bill Murray. He is my very favorite performer ever all all time, the end.

    What a life you lead, Ms. Sunshine. I know London has its days, but I really think it suits you.

  4. Oh, Sunshine, you’re in the perfect place for all these interesting things! Now that you’ve whetted our appetites for them, you’re going to have to keep us all up to date on the Olympics and the Prince’s wedding, too — see what you’ve got yourself into?! Your photos are great — makes me feel almost like I was there with you!

    1. London is an amazing place for an adventure, I tell you! I’ll accept the job to keep you updated … there’s so much hype here about both the Olympics and the Royal Wedding.
      Glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Love that actor! 🙂
    Personally, I would much rather watch men put the red carpet together than the actors walk upon it…there’s something VERY attractive about a man putting in an honest day’s work…you know?

    fun post!

    1. Ben Kingsley is lovely – a real gentleman. I’m sure he would have preferred to hear you call him a sexy beast, rather than the dude standing next to me! But then you would still be wolf-whistling the carpet guys, right? 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the post, jane!

  6. What a fun article Sunshine. I am a closet “wish-l-was-at-the-red-carpet” girl! Would have loved to be there! I used to be a borderline groupie after all the concerts and Westend shows l saw when l was in the UK. Had my photo taken with Jason Donovan, Shane Ritchie, Bruce Willis and a few others!! London is absolutely the most awesome city for fun and adventure – glad you are enjoying every moment of it! Thanks for sharing and making me smile xxxx

  7. Now I’m going to tell everyone that I know someone who saw George Clooney up close and personal. That’s only two degrees of separation. Take that, Kevin Bacon.
    PS – I lived in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. We’ll have to talk!

    1. Thanks, Vickie! Your daughter will have so much to photograph – I’m sure she’ll have fun while she’s here! We’ve seen some blue sky and sunshine over the last few days, which makes such a difference.

  8. Hello Sunshine
    I found you through Plane Janers Journey. Pleased to meet you. What great photos you have. Nice looking hunks too. I will look around your blog and see what else is happening over there.
    Have a lovely day!
    Oh, and how could you forget the wedding? 🙂

    1. Hi barb, pleased to meet you too! I know, how COULD I forget the wedding … only when I was writing the post, that is. But still – oops.
      Welcome to my blog, and please feel free to look around – thanks for coming by!

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