Jonathan Pryce and Ruth Wilson scoop acting prizes at Welsh Bafta awards

Jonathan Pryce and Ruth Wilson scooped the top acting prizes at the 2020 BAFTA Cymru Awards.

The Welsh awards ceremony, which was pre-recorded and broadcast online on Sunday night due to the pandemic, was hosted by One Show presenter Alex Jones, with 22 awards presented throughout the evening.

Hollywood directors James Cameron, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, John Landis, and Mimi Leder also made appearances to honour art director and production designer Les Dilley, who received the Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television Award.

Pontypridd-born Dilley, who won an Oscar for Star Wars in 1978 and for Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, has worked on films including The Three Musketeers (1973), Superman (1978), Alien (1979), and Never Say Never Again (1983).

The British Academy Film Awards Nominees’ Party – London
The British Academy Film Awards Nominees’ Party – London

Catherine Zeta-Jones announced Pryce as winner of the best actor category for his portrayal of Pope Francis in The Two Popes, beating co-star and fellow Welshman Sir Anthony Hopkins, who played the aging Pope Benedict XVI.

Pryce later praised the Pope for his recent endorsement of same-sex civil unions, describing the pontiff as a “great politician”.

He told the PA news agency: “There are many wonderful things about Pope Francis – wonderful things that made want to portray him.

“The film shows the dark side of him as well as the lighter side. But I think what is one of the things that this proves is what a great politician he is.

“He was in there to be a reformer, and he’s constantly had a lot of opposition from within the Vatican.

“He’s cleverly took his time. I think if he went in, tried to throw all the furniture out and say ‘I’m going to completely change things’ at the beginning, I think he would have met a lot more opposition than he has done now.”

Pryce joked he would be phoning co-star Sir Anthony following the ceremony to tell him he had lost.

He said: “I’m very pleased. I’m going to be phoning Tony just to tell him he’d lost. No, I’ll be telling him I’d won.

“We get on really well. We had a wonderful time working together and we’ve kept in touch. I’m very fond of him and I respect him enormously.”

His Dark Materials Premiere – London
His Dark Materials Premiere – London

The best actress award was won by His Dark Materials star Wilson, who paid tribute to the “extraordinary” author Sir Philip Pullman for writing the fantasy trilogy of novels which have been adapted for BBC One and HBO.

Suzie Lavelle (photography and lighting) and Joel Collins (production designer) also won for their work on the television series.

Elsewhere, Channel 4 News won the news and current affairs category for its coverage of the flooding which struck the south Wales valleys in February this year.

The presenter award was shared by Emma Walford and Trystan Ellis-Morris for Prosiect Pum Mil, while BBC Three coming-of-age comedy In My Skin received two awards, with director: fiction going to Lucy Forbes, and writer to Kayleigh Llewellyn.

Female practitioners dominated the 10 craft categories, with Sian Jenkins winning for costume design for Eternal Beauty, and Rebecca Trotman winning the editing award for her work on Doctor Who: Ascension of the Cyberman.

The 2020 Breakthrough recipient was Lisa Walters for her role as producer of On The Edge: Adulting.