Poignant reason Richard E Grant wore two watches to present BAFTAs

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Richard E Grant, 65, joined Alison Hammond, 48, on the BAFTA stage on Sunday, expertly presenting the awards show in a dashing white suit. Viewers were quick to point out online that the actor had paired his outfit with a watch on each wrist, one for the UK and one for Eswatini.

As Richard and Alison took to the BAFTA stage, viewers at home were quick to point out peculiarities and awkward moments throughout the award show.

Many of these were aimed at the Swazi-English actor and his stylings for the evening, featuring black trousers, a white suit jacket, white shirt and quaint white bow tie.

On Twitter, one fan questioned: “Why is Richard E Grant dressed as a chef?” while many others took aim at the star’s two watches peeping out from under the white sleeves.

This combination is a new look for the star, showing appreciation for both the country he came from and the one that sprouted his career.

Richard is a dual citizen of the UK and Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, and set the watches to include both time zones.

However, the watch set to Eswatini time also holds some heartbreaking sentimental values for the star.

The watch was gifted to the actor decades ago by his father, Henrik Esterhuysen, who died from lung cancer when Richard was just 24.

At 25, Richard moved to Britain and soon catapulted to fame with his breakout role in Withnail And I.

Richard previously lamented that his father’s premature death, while the actor was still in university, meant he never got to see his son flourish in his discipline.

According to the Daily Mail, the actor said: “It is a recurring regret that he never lived to see me succeed beyond university and drama.”

On Sunday, the watches and Richard were on display as the actor held the stage for most of the awards show.

Richard presented the awards, performances and special guests while This Morning star Alison took control of the behind the scenes interviews at the star-studded affair.

Fans on social media praised the actor, saying “I can’t seem to get enough of him” and with one hoping “you get the job next year too”, while some did note the 65-year-old seemed visibly nervous on stage.

Viewers had less positive reviews for Alison, claiming her backstage segments were too “disjointed” and became “annoying” as the night went on.

One shared: “These Alison Hammond interviews suck all energy out of the BAFTAs show. Format just doesn’t work.”

Another begged: “Please no more Alison Hammond. With absolutely meaningless drivel. I mean, where is the relevant conversation about the winners so far.”

Others branded the media personality’s interviews as a “shambles” and “cringeworthy”, but some spoke up in Alison’s defense.

Similar requests poured in for Alison to stay on the BAFTA presenting gig for next year, and one even campaigned for the presenter to host Eurovision.

Later in the evening, as Alison joined her co-host on stage to present together, fan reactions quickly turned.

Fans labelled the pair a “dream team” as Richard’s “nerves” seemed to dissipate and Alison was branded “a natural” on stage. 

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