BAFTA boards the Muppet train

Hey, remember when Eddie Murphy stepped down as Oscar host and some clever folks suggested hiring The Muppets for the gig? And remember how pretty much everyone with a beating heart loved that idea? And remember how #MuppetOscars trended on Twitter for a while? Remember how it inevitably didn’t happen? And remember how we didn’t mind too much, because we’d at least get a great Muppets performance on one of the Best Original Song nominees? And remember how the fun-free music branch quashed that idea by nominating the one song from “The Muppets” not performed by The Muppets? Remember? Oh, what a time.

Well, our fuzzy friends may have been short-changed by the Academy, but Miss Piggy, at the very least,  is getting due recompense across the pond from BAFTA: the porcine prima donna has been hired to host the official red carpet coverage for the British Academy’s ceremony on Sunday evening, interviewing the nominees and assorted celebrities as they arrive and presumably showing off her fashion expertise.

And I have to say: good move, BAFTA. I’d obviously prefer Miss Piggy, along with heir cohorts, to take on full ceremony hosting duties — though in that regard, the show’s organizers have at least taken a step in the right direction by replacing the excruciating Jonathan Ross with the far wittier and more affable Stephen Fry, who successfully emceed the show from 2001 to 2006. But I can’t think of a better way to brighten up the eternally dreary who-are-you-wearing routine of red carpet coverage than giving it the Muppet treatment.

Couldn’t US networks follow this example? The dim, featureless automatons who host red carpet events on E! and the like seem to be a universally unloved scourge of the season. (I particularly relished the hapless pair at the SAG Awards who, on facing Malcolm McDowell and a selection of other cameo players from “The Artist,” proceeded to ask him what it’s like working with Woody Allen. McDowell’s pricelessly polite response: “I imagine it’s very nice.”)

Seriously, Giuliana Rancic or Miss Piggy? Ryan Seacrest or Kermit the Frog? Is this even a question? Until #MuppetOscars can become a reality, someone should at least make this happen.

Excerpted press release: 

Ceremony sponsors Orange today announced that, in her own words, “international star, role model and diva,” – the fabulous Miss Piggy – is set to put her unique questions to the great and the good of the international movie scene at this weekend”s Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony as the host of its Orange BAFTA red carpet show with Miss Piggy.

Miss Piggy needs no introduction; star of film, TV and the upcoming Disney movie ‘The Muppets” released nationwide on February 10th, she has been a pop culture icon known for her wit, charm and for having a certain frog on her arm. In a UK first she will be anchoring the Orange BAFTA red carpet show with Miss Piggy” from the ceremony, conducting interviews and analysis with the leading lights of the movie industry; from the huge array of home-grown talent as well as many famous faces flying in from around the globe, in her own inimitable style.

The glittering awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 12 February at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London just two days after ‘The Muppets” goes on general release across the UK.

Miss Piggy commented on her role: “Imagine the likes of Clooney, Dujardin, Fassbender, Oldman and Pitt achieving the very pinnacle of their careers by getting a chance to speak with the one and only moi-Miss Piggy! Naturally, I will be asking questions that only moi would dare to ask. So live your dreams vicariously through me and tune in Monday 13th February to see lots of MOI on the red carpet with my fellow A-List actors. I can hardly wait…and neither can they!”

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at Orange, said: “We couldn”t be more delighted that an icon of Miss Piggy”s stature has agreed to host our red carpet show from this year”s BAFTA”s. Having her there is very exciting for us and we can”t wait to see what great interviews she gets on the night.” 

For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.

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