Bafta Film Awards 2021: Hugely diverse nominations list unveiled

The Bafta Film Awards have unveiled a highly diverse nominations list, with 16 of the 24 acting nominees this year coming from ethnic minority groups.

Nomadland and Rocks lead the nominations for the 2021 ceremony, with seven nominations apiece.

The Father, Mank, Minari and Promising Young Woman all score six nods each.

Four women are nominated in the best director category, including Chloe Zhao for Nomadland. She won the same award at the Golden Globes last week.

But the biggest surprise is in the acting categories. Not one actor of colour was nominated last year, so the British Academy had faced pressure to diversify this year’s nominees.

That has resulted in a significant swing, with Daniel Kaluuya, Riz Ahmed, Dominique Fishback, Tahar Rahim and Bukky Bakray among the 16 nominees from ethnic minority backgrounds in the acting categories.

But many of the predicted nominees missed out, including Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Olivia Colman, Glenn Close and Gary Oldman.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony without a live audience on 11 April.

7 nominations – Nomadland, Rocks

6 – The Father, Mank, Minari, Promising Young Woman

5 – The Dig, The Mauritanian

4 – Another Round, Calm With Horses, Judas and the Black Messiah, News of the World, Sound of Metal

3 – The Trial of the Chicago 7, His House, Soul, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Last year’s nominations sparked criticism over the all-white acting nominees and lack of female directors.

This year, four of the six nominees in each of the acting categories are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Meanwhile, four of the nominated directors are women, while three are also nominated for best film not in the English language.

The Telegraph’s film critic Robbie Collin said: “Umm, wow – this is the wildest slate of Bafta directing nominees I think I’ve ever seen. When I and others were moaning last year about voters unthinkingly defaulting to the obvious choices, this was basically the dream alternative scenario.”

Fellow critic Rhianna Dhillon tweeted: “I am so pumped to go on the news tonight and NOT have the same old chat about diversity! Look at that director shortlist! Look at those acting categories!”

Bafta’s nominations list is out of step with those of other ceremonies this awards season, but that was welcomed by some.

“The Brits went their own path this year,” tweeted film critic Doug Jamieson. “They clearly couldn’t care less about the Oscar race. That’s fabulous. Every awards show should have this mentality. You do you, Bafta.”

Matt Neglia, host of the Next Best Picture podcast, agreed: “Happy to see Bafta recognize some of their own films for a change instead of predicting the Oscars.”

Big changes were made this year including the introduction of a longlist system in a bid to increase viewership of all the submitted films.

Following a seven-month review into the lack of diversity last year, Bafta introduced more than 120 changes to its voting, membership and campaigning processes.

They include the introduction of a new longlist round of voting, the expansion of the outstanding British film field to 10 nominations, and increasing all four acting categories and best director to six nominees in an attempt to ensure greater diversity.

Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar said: “After last year’s nominations, we started the BAFTA Review process with the intention of levelling the playing field and introduced a range of measures to ensure that all entered films were seen by our members and judged on merit.

“We hope today you can see some of those changes reflected in the breadth and depth of those nominated and we congratulate all our nominees.”

Film committee chair Marc Samuelson added: “One of the key issues raised time and time again… was that too much deserving work was not being seen. The changes we are implementing are designed to ensure these films are seen and judged on merit alone.”

The new first-round longlist voting system was introduced to encourage the 6,500 Bafta members to watch a wider range of films. Members vote to decide the nominations from hundreds of films up for consideration.

Supermarkets warn pet boom causing food pouch shortages

UK supermarkets have warned of a shortage of some dog and cat food products following an “unprecedented” rise in pet ownership during lockdown.

Sainsbury’s has apologised after running out of dog and cat food pouches due to a “national shortage”, although tinned and dry food are unaffected.

Morrisons said it might not have “full availability for several months”, but said it had enough stock for customers.

It is understood Tesco has also seen strong demand for cat food in pouches.

Sainsbury’s said it was trying to resolve the issue but warned it would be “ongoing” in 2021.

It is blaming higher than usual demand for pouches after more pets were bought during lockdown.

Morrisons also said that there had been “an unprecedented rise in pet ownership across the UK” and it was seeing an “increase in demand”.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: “We’re working closely with our suppliers who are investing in increasing their capacity and we may not have full availability for several months.”

But the supermarket added that there was no need for people to start panic-buying pet food.

“We do have enough stock to support all our customers and their new pets and so there is no need for people to buy more than they need.”

Tesco is also believed to be working closely with suppliers to meet the needs of customers’ pets.

Helen Warren-Piper, general manager of Mars Petcare UK, which makes Pedigree and Whiskas, said: “We recognise retailers are experiencing unusual demand for pet food during lockdown.

“We have made significant investment into our manufacturing network – including investment in our UK Melton pet food plant.”

Pet food maker Purina said the UK market had “changed significantly” during the pandemic.

“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our products, including cat food pouches where we have seen sales growth for our Felix and Gourmet brands at almost three times that of the market,” it said.

“We have been working hard to meet this additional demand and are producing more pet food – including pouches – than ever before.”

However, it added that consumers might find that some of its products “are not consistently available in their normal place of purchase”.

Analysis By Jonathan Josephs, business reporter, BBC News

Millions more of us have got used to cats, dogs and other pets yelping for food. Even before another surge during November’s second lockdown more than two million Britons had taken on new pets. That should have been good news for the profits of pet food manufacturers but it’s an industry that was already manufacturing at close to capacity.

It’s not just the UK where demand for pet food is simply outstripping supply, but across Europe too; shortages are the inevitable results. Some owners have taken to feeding their animals other products, and that may have to be a growing trend.

There are also bigger global issues at play, with concerns that increased demand for wheat and grain in China could cause shortages of some ingredients in the supply chain.

One industry source said there has also been “more of a crunch because of Brexit” and the disruption that’s caused with hauliers paperwork at UK borders.

Despite the financial constraints many people are facing the pet-care industry is regarded as recession-proof. It can take a lot of time and money to increase factory capacity but pet-food makers might have to do just that because after all; a dog is for life, not just for lockdown.

Pet owners reacted with humour and dismay on Twitter.

Some said Sainsbury’s should have provided more information about the shortage when it emailed its customers about the issue.

The journalist Owen Jones said his cat was less than impressed.

There has been a well documented rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, with retail chain Pets at Home reporting strong sales and profits last year.

In November, it said that animals had been a “lifesaver” during lockdown, helping people through a period of “social loneliness”.

The firm not only saw stronger demand for pets, but also related services such as its Vets at Home business.

Shoppers panic bought pet food during the first national lockdown in 2020 but there have been no reports of similar trends since then.

Sarah Everard: Police and dogs search drains in missing woman case

Police searching for missing woman Sarah Everard have been delving into drains on the south London street she was last seen.

Ms Everard, 33, was captured by a doorbell camera on the A205 Poynders Road in Clapham at about 21:30 GMT on Wednesday.

Officers were seen lifting drainage grilles and using sniffer dogs outside the nearby Oaklands Estate and gardens.

Detectives say they are “keeping an open mind” about her disappearance.

Friends and relatives have issued appeals on social media to help find the marketing manager who vanished on her walk home to Brixton after visiting a friend’s flat in Leathwaite Road, Clapham Junction.

Her family have said it is out of character for her to disappear.

Women living in the area near where she vanished told reporters they had been warned by police to be extra vigilant but Scotland Yard said no official advice was being given to local residents, but it would remind them of “normal personal safety advice”.

Investigators are not currently linking the disappearance to reports of women being followed in surrounding areas.

Ms Everard, who is originally from York and attended Durham University, was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern, and turquoise and orange trainers. She is thought to have been wearing green earphones and a white beanie hat.

Detectives have urged people to check any dashcam or doorbell cameras for sightings of her, particularly along these roads:

Nurses are well-paid for the job, says health minister

A health minister has defended the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff in England, saying “nurses are well-paid for the job”.

Lord Bethell praised the “heroics” of health workers during the pandemic, but said they had secure jobs that many people would “envy”.

He was responding to opposition calls for the government to rethink its “miserly” 1% pay offer.

Labour peer Lord McNicol said it was a “kick in the teeth” for NHS workers.

Lib Dem peer Lord Willis said it amounted to a pay cut – and the government should instead give staff a “substantial bonus” before negotiating a “fair” pay deal.

Lord Bethell insisted it was not a pay cut, but added: “There are millions of people out of work out of the back of this pandemic.

“There are lots of people who have had an extremely tough time and who face a period of unemployment. Nurses are well-paid for the job. They have a secure job and they have other benefits.

“There are many people in this country who look upon professional jobs within the NHS with some envy and we shouldn’t forget the fact that some public sector jobs are, in fact, extremely well-paid.”

Lord Bethell rejected claims the pay proposal would harm recruitment, saying nursing was still a very “attractive” career option, and there were “more important reasons” for wanting to work in the NHS than pay.

Ministers will make their final decision on NHS pay for 2021/22 in May, after an independent panel makes it final recommendation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also defended the 1% rise, saying it was as much as the government could afford “at the present time” and NHS staff had been exempted from a public sector pay freeze.

Nurses have described the offer as “insulting”, with unions threatening strike action and warning that the “pitiful” rise may lead staff to quit their jobs – worsening staffing issues in the health service.

Earlier, the head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens confirmed that he had budgeted for a 2.1% pay rise for this year, but that had changed in light of the pandemic.

He added: “You would expect the head of the health service to want to see properly rewarded NHS staff, particularly given everything that the service has been through over the course of the last year.

“And so I think the right way to resolve this is the path the government has actually set out, which is to ask the independent pay review bodies to look at all of the evidence.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The head of the NHS has confirmed what we already knew: the Conservatives have broken their promise to the NHS and are cutting nurses’ pay.”

He told an audience at the IPPR think tank that the 1% pay award was “morally obnoxious” and was “only going to exacerbate the under-staffing issues we have in the NHS”.

Some Conservative MPs are calling for a one-off bonus, of the kind offered to NHS staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as a “thank you” for their efforts during the pandemic.

Asked about this idea, Sir Simon said: “That’s a discussion to be had in the round, whether that or whether underlying other action is the right approach, obviously we can see the attractions of that but that might not be the only answer.”

The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is run by the devolved administrations.

The Scottish government has announced that 2021-22 pay negotiations will be delayed until the summer – staff have been given an “interim” pay rise of 1%, which will form part of the new settlement.

NHS workers in Northern Ireland were promised a one-off £500 “special recognition” payment in January; and the Welsh government has said it will not set a “ceiling” of 1% on NHS pay rises for 2021-22.

Jake Glover-Brown: M1 death crash driver left UK after hit-and-run

A driver who hit and killed a man as he attempted to walk across a motorway fled the country after the crash, an inquest has heard.

Jake Glover-Brown, 25, was hit on the M1 near Barnsley in 2019.

He “died instantaneously”, Sheffield Coroners’ Court heard, and driver Lukas Kandrac abandoned the vehicle and took a flight to Slovakia.

When he returned to the UK he told police he had “panicked”. He was later charged with failing to stop.

The inquest heard Mr Glover-Brown, a dental technician from Barnsley, had been drinking with a friend on 18 October but they had parted company at about 23:30 BST.

PC Richard Thorley told the hearing there was “no evidence he had deliberately hurt himself” at the time of the crash about 25 minutes later.

He said police couldn’t “explain where he had gone or what his intention was” before he got on to the northbound carriageway near Junction 35A.

Kandrac’s girlfriend, who was a passenger in the vehicle was first to return to the UK, PC Thorley said, and told officers the couple had been driving to Halifax.

PC Thorley said she told officers she had seen something in the road and had “screamed” to the driver to stop.

The driver, who returned to the UK later, said he was not aware of anything in the road until his girlfriend screamed “but it was too late to do anything”, he added.

PC Thorley said the driver told police he had “panicked” and fled the scene, asking family members to collect him nearby before arranging flights out of the UK.

Assistant Coroner Tanyka Rawden concluded Mr Glover-Brown had died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash.

The court heard Kandrac, 24, from Sheffield, was charged with failing to stop after an accident and, in February, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Five other people arrested in connection with the crash were released with no further action.

Brexit: Lord Frost accuses EU of ill will over UK exit

The UK’s lead Brexit minister has called on the EU to “shake off any remaining ill will” over the UK’s decision to leave the organisation.

Lord Frost said the EU’s previous threat to block vaccine exports had “significantly undermined” post-Brexit measures in Northern Ireland.

He insisted the UK’s unilateral move to extend grace periods on border checks was legal under the Brexit trade deal.

The EU disputes this, and is preparing to launch a legal challenge.

The UK has said it will delay new checks on goods arriving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, agreed as part of the UK’s withdrawal deal.

EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has called it a “violation” of the part of the deal relating to Northern Ireland and said legal action was imminent.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Frost insisted the delayed border checks was a “temporary” measure justified to implement the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Cabinet Office minister added that the measures were justified by the “fragile” situation in Northern Ireland.

“They are about protecting the everyday lives of people in Northern Ireland, making sure they can receive parcels and buy the usual groceries from the supermarket.

“Without this threat of disruption, we can continue our discussions with the EU to resolve difficulties arising from the Protocol constructively,” he added.

Northern Ireland has remained a part of the EU’s single market for goods, so products arriving from Great Britain have to undergo EU import procedures.

Both sides agreed the arrangement as part of the Brexit withdrawal deal, to avoid the need for border checks between NI and the Republic of Ireland.

But it has led to disruption to some food supplies and online deliveries from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, increasing tensions with the EU.

Earlier this week, the UK extended a grace period on new checks on food products from the end of March to October, without the prior agreement of the EU.

It then delayed the introduction of similar checks on parcels, which had been due to come in on 1 April, until the same month.

The logistics industry had said it was not ready to deal with that volume of new administration. The grace periods mean procedures will not yet be fully applied.

Lord Frost, who negotiated the UK’s Brexit trade deal with the EU, said he wanted to work with the EU towards “common goals” after the UK formally cut legal ties at the end of the Brexit transition earlier this year.

“I hope they will shake off any remaining ill will towards us for leaving, and instead build a friendly relationship, between sovereign equals,” he added.

But Labour has said the UK’s actions risk “plunging Northern Ireland into further instability”.

The party’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Louise Haigh said it could mark out the region as “the arena for wider UK-EU conflict for years to come”.

And Lord Frost has been accused by a former senior civil servant of “burning trust” with the EU by “playing hard ball” over the protocol.

Philip Rycroft, who led the Department for Exiting the EU between 2017 and 2019, told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour while there were issues around the protocol it was the “least-worst option” and had to be made to work.

“Traders simply aren’t ready to do the things that are required on the protocol, not least because the government spent the best part of last year saying to them they wouldn’t have to do anything, despite knowing full well that all of these checks would have to come in,” he said.

“Extending those grace periods is not an unreasonable thing to ask for,” he added.

“But the way that David Frost has gone about this, to tell the Commission he was unilaterally extending without doing his opposite number in the Commission the courtesy of picking up the phone, suggests that they’re still playing games around Brexit.

“It is so important to the peace process in Northern Ireland that this protocol is able to work and that’s going to require a huge amount of goodwill and trust on both sides.”

Whats the roadmap for lifting lockdown?

The first step in easing England’s lockdown has begun, with millions of children returning to school.

All restrictions will be lifted by 21 June at the earliest, as part of a four stage “roadmap” based on certain conditions being met, such as a successful vaccine rollout.

Scotland has announced it is targeting 26 April to re-open restaurants and non-essential shops, while Northern Ireland and Wales will outline their plans in the coming weeks.

Stage one is in two parts:

8 March

29 March

No earlier than 12 April:

No earlier than 17 May:

No earlier than 21 June:

Each stage will be a minimum of five weeks apart. Four conditions must be met at each stage before proceeding to the next one:

Read the current lockdown rules:

Changes in Scotland are subject to certain conditions being met.

From 22 February:

From 15 March:

5 April:

19 April:

26 April: (if priority groups one to nine have been offered the vaccine):

In Wales, four people from a maximum of two households can now meet outdoors for exercise.

“It does mean exercise, not socialising,” announced First Minister Mark Drakeford.

He also said weddings and civil ceremonies could resume from 1 March.

Children aged three to seven have returned to school. It’s hoped older primary age groups – and secondary school pupils preparing for exams – will return on Monday 15 March.

The next review of Wales lockdown rules is due around 12 March.

Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown until 1 April, with a review of current measures on 18 March.

Primary school children in years 1-3 are due to return on 8 March, and secondary school pupils in years 12-14 on 22 March. But First Minister Arlene Foster has said she hopes the Stormont executive can “revisit” that timetable.

Liverpool FC: Domestic abuse victim photos used in sick football post

A domestic abuse survivor whose photo was used alongside the Liverpool FC manager in a “sickening” social media post has said it made her relive her ordeal.

Photos of several abuse victims were posted on Facebook next to a picture of Jurgen Klopp with the caption “beaten at home throughout lockdown”.

Katie Walker, whose image was used, said it was “extremely traumatic”.

Merseyside Police condemned “making fun” of “this abhorrent abuse”.

The image was widely shared on social media following Liverpool’s Premier League defeat to Fulham at the weekend.

“It is just a picture to these people sharing it but to us it is our lives. It is extremely traumatic,” said Ms Walker, who lives in Liverpool.

“To see that it is being made a joke of in the name of football has brought back all those feelings of shame and anxiety.”

Ms Walker, who has set up the charity Katie Cares to help support survivors, also called on football clubs to condemn the post, which she called “sickening”.

Amna Abdullatif, from Women’s Aid, said the post “empowers abusers while simultaneously disempowering victims”.

“Jokes or [so-called] banter about domestic abuse and other forms of violence highlight a toxic culture where abuse of women is tolerated,” she said.

“It also sadly conflates domestic violence with football fans.”

She said women who spoke out about domestic abuse “do so against a difficult backdrop and using images of abused women creates more hurdles for those abused not to report abusers”.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said no criminal offence had been committed but called the post “hugely disrespectful and upsetting to anyone who has suffered domestic abuse”.

He said domestic violence was “abhorrent abuse and to make fun of this in such a way is demeaning and unhelpful and I urge people to think twice before sharing such images”.

Supermarkets warn of pet food pouch shortages

UK supermarkets have warned of a shortage of some dog and cat food products following an “unprecedented” rise in pet ownership during lockdown.

Sainsbury’s has apologised to customers after running out of dog and cat food pouches due to a “national shortage”.

Morrisons said it might not have “full availability for several months”, but added that it has enough stock for its customers.

It is understood Tesco has also seen strong demand for cat food in pouches.

Sainsbury’s said it was trying to resolve the issue but warned it would be “ongoing” in 2021, although tinned and dry food are unaffected.

It is blaming higher than usual demand for pouches after more pets were bought during lockdown.

Morrisons also said that there had been “an unprecedented rise in pet ownership across the UK” and it was seeing an “increase in demand”.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: “We’re working closely with our suppliers who are investing in increasing their capacity and we may not have full availability for several months.”

But the supermarket added that there was no need for people to start panic-buying pet food.

“We do have enough stock to support all our customers and their new pets and so there is no need for people to buy more than they need.”

Tesco is also believed to be working closely with suppliers to meet the needs of customers’ pets.

Helen Warren-Piper, general manager of Mars Petcare UK, which makes Pedigree and Whiskas, said: “We recognise retailers are experiencing unusual demand for pet food during lockdown.

“We have made significant investment into our manufacturing network – including investment in our UK Melton pet food plant.”

Pet owners reacted with humour and dismay on Twitter.

Some said Sainsbury’s should have provided more information about the shortage in its email to customers.

The journalist Owen Jones said his cat was less than impressed.

There has been a well documented rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, with retail chain Pets at Home reporting strong sales and profits last year.

In November, it said that animals had been a “lifesaver” during lockdown, helping people through a period of “social loneliness”.

The firm not only saw stronger demand for pets, but also related services such as its Vets at Home business.

Shoppers panic bought pet food during the first national lockdown in 2020 but there have been no reports of similar trends since then.

OECD: Prospects brighter for global economy

A leading international agency has upgraded its forecasts for global and British economic growth this year and next.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the world economy is likely to expand by 5.6% in 2021.

The figure for the UK is 5.1% followed by 4.7% next year.

The report does however suggest a risk of lasting costs from the pandemic in some countries, including the UK.

The significantly brighter outlook reflects the deployment of effective vaccines.

There was also a contribution from economic stimulus measures in the US, including those President Biden’s administration is seeking to have approved by Congress.

There is a particularly substantial upgrade for the US national forecast for this year. The report says there are likely to be welcome spill-overs in major US trading partners.

The global economy is now likely to reach pre-pandemic levels of activity by the middle of this year, the report suggests.

But that does not mean the pandemic related damage will have been reversed by then. Without the health crisis the economy would have been expected to grow throughout the last year.

The report looks at what it now expects for the final quarter of 2022 compared with the projections it made before the pandemic, in November 2019.

Of the G20 major economies only two, the US and Turkey, are predicted to beat that previous projection.

The shortfall is very substantial for some emerging economies, notably India, Indonesia and South Africa.

Among the developed economies, the largest shortfall on this measure is for Spain, followed by the UK, at more than 4%.

There are, inevitably, some risks associated with the improved outlook the prior describes.

The OECD’s chief economist, Laurence Boone, said the pace of vaccinations around the world was not fast enough to consolidate the recovery.

The agency also mentions the possibility of new virus variants as a risk to economic prospects.

The report sets out some striking information about how the pattern of economic activity has changed during pandemic.

In a selection of developed economies, online sales in the last quarter of 2020 had increased from a year earlier by more than 20% in all, and by more than 60% in Britain and Canada. It was a very different story for total retail sales, so this was a sign of changing patterns of consumer behaviour.

Total sales did increase in a few countries, but only by single figure percentages and in two (Spain and Italy) there was a fall.

Job opportunities posted online also showed the impact of the health crisis. There were increases for healthcare and production (industrial jobs), but large declines in some service industries notably catering. However, all sectors showed some rebound from the even deeper declines that occurred last April.

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