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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 13:08 GMT
'Frank' sold soapy carpet to Bafta
Flame retardant chemicals are being blamed for the foam
Flame retardant chemicals are being blamed for the foam
The soapy red carpet which greeted some of Hollywood's top talent at the Bafta's was bought from someone called Frank years ago, according to reports.

Stars including Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench saw their shoes ruined after torrential rain turned the carpet into foam in London's Leicester Square on Sunday night.

I think it's the years of greasy flattery given to actors which is finally bubbling up

Stephen Fry
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported the carpet was bought some time ago, but Bafta's organisers refused to comment on the story.

Flame retardant chemicals which reacted with the torrential rain were blamed for the soapy entrance.

US star Kevin Spacey, who was presenting an award, joked that Dame Judi Dench's shoes had been ruined and she was holding organisers responsible.

Kate Winslet had to have her shoes cleaned
Kate Winslet had to have her shoes cleaned
Fry replied: "I think it's the years of greasy flattery given to actors which is finally bubbling up."

The carpet has reportedly been destroyed.

Fry, who also hosted last year's awards, has reportedly come under criticism from a Labour politician.

The actor and writer had an innuendo-filled script and he also said a four-letter word at the end of the ceremony.

It was broadcast on BBC One between 2000 GMT and 2200 GMT, when an edited version of the programme was shown.

The Daily Mail reported that Gerald Kaufman, chairman of the parliamentary culture and sport select committee, said the BBC should have checked Fry's script before the show's transmission.


He was quoted as saying: "There is just too much of this sort of thing going out before the watershed and it's just not necessary.

"This was a live broadcast and the BBC should have taken steps to make sure they knew what they were broadcasting."

The Broadcasting Standards Commission said they had received only two complaints up until Monday evening.

A spokeswoman told BBC News Online that they would "look" at complaints and would act if they "fell within our remit".

According to unofficial overnight viewing figures, more than five million viewers tuned into the show, with a peak of just over six million by the end of the programme.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The handful of complaints we have had is a tiny proportion of that audience and almost as many people rang to praise Stephen Fry's performance."

The big winner of the night was Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, won with five awards, including best film and best director for Peter Jackson.

The BBC's Rosie Millard
"It was the wettest possible evening for the awards ceremony"
Was Harry Potter snubbed by Bafta?



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