Firth, Portman win Bafta gongs

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Colin Firth was named best leading man at the Baftas

Colin Firth and Natalie Portman picked up top acting honours at the Bafta film awards, which were dominated by British film The King’s Speech.

The film’s leading man Colin picked up the Leading Actor award for the second year running, for his portrayal of King George VI, and joked: “I like coming here, thank you Bafta.”

He also thanked director Tom Hooper, praising his “thorough, surprising and effective” ways of working and his family for “remaining so steady whether they are dealing with a dancing queen or a sometime king”.

Natalie Portman won the Leading Actress award for her role as a ballet dancer in Black Swan.

The film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, accepted the award on her behalf, saying: “She is by far the most committed, dedicated, focused actor I have ever worked with.”

The King’s Speech then picked up the Best Film award to rapturous applause with producer Gareth Unwin telling the audience: “This is a childhood ambition that has come true tonight.”

Tom Hooper missed out on The Best Director prize, which was awarded to David Fincher for The Social Network and the film’s stars, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, accepted it on his behalf.

Helena Bonham Carter received the Supporting Actress prize at the Bafta film awards for her role in The King’s Speech. After receiving her gong, she said: “I’m so used to losing it feels quite strange to win.”

She went on to warn her children “It’s not about the winning” and added: “I think I should thank the Royal family frankly because they’ve done wonders for my career.”

The King’s Speech also received the Outstanding British Film award, and picked up the Supporting Actor award for Geoffrey Rush, who plays speech therapist Lionel Logue, and the award for Original Screenplay.

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