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Sunday 24 September 2017

Firth expected to reign at Baftas

Colin Firth is favourite to win the best actor award at the Baftas
Colin Firth is favourite to win the best actor award at the Baftas

The final preparations for the Baftas are under way, with more than 1,000 canapes being prepared, 540 magnums of champagne being put on ice and some of the biggest names in showbusiness getting ready to walk the red carpet.

All eyes will be on Colin Firth, with The King's Speech expected to reign supreme after topping the nominations list for the film awards.

The story of King George VI's attempt to overcome his stutter is in the running for the most coveted prizes, including best film and director as well as actor for Firth.

His co-stars, Geoffrey Rush, who plays the monarch's speech therapist, and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, are nominated in the supporting actor and actress categories.

The film's 14 nominations follow disappointment at the Golden Globes, where the royal drama, directed by Briton Tom Hooper, took only one of the seven awards it was contending for - Firth won best actor.

But none of the Bafta nominees go away empty-handed. They all get a gift bag stuffed full of top of the range goodies including a limited edition Anya Hindmarch bag, a designer scarf, champagne truffles and beauty products.

They also get a bottle of vodka and champagne to toast their success - or drown their sorrows as appropriate.

Black Swan, a psychological thriller set in the world of ballet, is just behind The King's Speech with 12 nominations, including best film, best director for Darren Aronofsky and best actress for Natalie Portman.

One of Portman's rivals is 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld - the US teenager who won a key part in the Coen brothers western True Grit after an open casting call.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) are also up for best actress.

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