Entertainment

Killing Eve and Clangers dazzle William at new Bafta exhibition

The duke was handed a box with the bedtime attire created for actress Jodie Comer's Killing Eve character, the unhinged hit-woman Villanelle.

The Duke of Cambridge was given a chilling memento after opening Bafta’s new exhibition celebrating award-winning films, television and games – pyjamas made for Killing Eve’s assassin.

William was handed a box with the bedtime attire created for actress Jodie Comer’s character, the unhinged hit-woman Villanelle, by the hit BBC show’s producer Sally Woodward Gentle and costume designer Phoebe de Gaye.

On display were costumes from Killing Eve, ranging from Villanelle’s pink Molly Goddard dress teamed with a black pair of boots to her eye-catching suit by Dries Van Noten.

In a lighter moment, William chatted to Dan Postgate, the writer behind the revival of the stop-animation children’s show The Clangers, originally created by his father Oliver Postgate.

Mr Postgate gave the duke a hand-knitted Clanger and the royal quipped: “I’ve made enough clangers, so this will go down extremely well.”

After touring the exhibition, which featured other productions including the film 12 Years A Slave and meeting its star Chiwetel Ejiofor, the duke gave short speech.

Royal visit to BAFTA Piccadilly – London
William meets actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

He said: “I am pleased I had the opportunity to meet some of the fantastic British talent who were instrumental in creating the iconic works on display in the exhibition.

“It’s safe to say that I felt quite under-dressed when stood in front of those Killing Eve costumes!”

Ms Woodward Gentle said: “We gave him a pair of Villanelle’s pyjamas from season two. They are the ones with the cartoon all over them. She wears them in episodes one and two – they are a little boy’s pyjamas which she nicks, and she wears.

“They have got ‘Kapow!’ And cartoony stuff all over them.”

For the hit-show several pairs of pyjamas were made in small, medium and large, with the duke being presented with a medium.

“They are meant to be worn quite small,” said Ms Woodward Gentle. “But they are adult-sized. We had them made up especially for the show. We had a few made up, and that’s the last pair left.”

Royal visit to BAFTA Piccadilly – London
William met teams from several popular shows (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Ms Woodward Gentle and the show’s costumer designer Phoebe de Gaye said he told them he was a fan of the show.

“Apparently he has watched it all,” said Ms Woodward Gentle. “We didn’t test him, but he did say it was quite a final ending to series two. So at least he watched the last three minutes of the last episode.

“He said he loved it. He talked about the dark humour of it, and Jodie (Comer) and Sandra (Oh), how amazing they both are. And he talked about the humour you can get through the costumes, which is what Phoebe is so clever at.”

Ms de Gaye said: “He said he didn’t quite get it to start with, but then he got into it.”

The costume designer praised William’s dress sense, and said “how dapper he was looking” and that his appearance was “fabulous”.

The duke also saw scripts, storyboards and costumes from other productions, including from The Clangers, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year and was relaunched in 2015 on CBeebies.

Royal visit to BAFTA Piccadilly – London
William with a Clanger model (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Dan Postgate’s father created a series of much-loved children’s programmes from Ivor The Engine to Bagpuss with Peter Firmin, whose daughter Emily Firmin also chatted to William as he talked about the slow process of creating the animation.

William also met Chiwetel Ejiofor, who won a Best Actor Bafta for his performance in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave.

The actor said: “We were talking about Bafta, and how incredible an institution it is, and how excited I have been through my career to work with Bafta.”

The duke not only opened the exhibition but also its venue Bafta Piccadilly, which is next to Bafta’s original home which is undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Royal visit to BAFTA Piccadilly – London
The Behind The Screens exhibition is hosted by Bafta (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

And he met some of the recipients of the Prince William Scholarships in Film, Games and Television, including Christopher Schlechte-Bond and Gordon Napier, who told him how the Bafta scheme had changed their lives.

Mr Schlechte-Bond said: “I was unable to afford the second year of my masters, as a composer this scholarship has given me the opportunity to create my own film along with Gordon called Amna, where Gordon directed it.

“The scholarship and working with Bafta gave us the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals where you can mix among worlds.”

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