FOR a show claiming to celebrate the best of British TV, this week’s Baftas do was pretty dull viewing for those of us at home on our sofas.

We seem to have adopted the American approach to showbiz awards ceremonies, turning them into rather dry, worthy affairs.

I used to enjoy the Baftas, mainly for the clips. Now they hardly show any decent clips because too many self-promoting luvvies presenting the awards (why are they always in pairs?) hog camera time with their scripted blurb.

The vibe this year was gender empowerment. Yes, there’s still a way to go in terms of equality in the industry, but given how some female winners were banging on at the ceremony, you’d think we’d only just been granted the Vote.

We owe much to the likes of Dame Joan Bakewell, winner of this year’s Bafta Fellowship, who was breaking ground in TV over half a century ago. It’s not perfect (what is?) but we’ve made a lot of strides since then so surely, today, women should be able to accept and present awards without making such a fuss about being female.

It was quite a refreshing moment when Steve Coogan, presenting the Best Actress award, pricked some of the po-faced pomposity of the Baftas by quipping: “Women are quite fashionable at the moment”...”scroll down autocue”...”female empowerment, blah blah blah”... “humbled and privileged nah, nah nah” then simply presented the prize.

I think the thorniest issue in that industry is class, not gender. With the exception of Jodie Comer, Steve Pemberton and Lee Mack, I barely heard a regional accent among this year’s Bafta winners.

Woman-of-the-moment Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of hit comedy Fleabag and writer of multi Bafta-winning Killing Eve, is highly talented but she’s also posh and privately educated, as is Benedict Cumberbatch, who won Best Actor. I’d say most people who took to the stage to receive awards on Sunday night were white and middle-class. All too often, when I read interviews with successful actors and actresses it turns out that they’re the offspring of other successful actors and actress, or writers/producers/directors, and consequently grew up in privileged, well connected Londoncentric circles. With that kind of background come contacts, opportunities and a sense of confidence and entitlement that can get you all the way to the Baftas.

Life was nothing like that for a shy girl on Buttershaw estate, one of eight siblings growing up in a council house in the 1970s. It was a teacher who noticed a spark of potential in Andrea Dunbar’s writing at school. With his encouragement, she wrote a play, aged 15, which ended up on a New York stage.

Lisa Holdsworth, who has written a play about Andrea, which opens in Bradford this month ahead of a tour, says she’d probably go un-noticed today. “If there was a young talent like that in Bradford now, would it be spotted? With so much emphasis on SATs and exam results, I think the answer is no,” said Lisa. “A girl like Andrea wouldn’t have chance to shine in that environment.”

Nearly 30 years after her death, Andrea’s legacy lives on. But she wouldn’t have got anywhere without that initial support from school, which led to the opportunities, connections and financial means to develop her raw talent.

There was much celebration of high-profile, kickass, self-assured women at this week’s Baftas. But there still aren’t many young women like Andrea who make it onto the red carpet.

* "BY becoming a Dementia Friend, you're doing something very simple," Michael Skelton told me this week. "It may be that when you're standing behind someone struggling to count their change in the supermarket, instead of tutting and looking at your watch, you're more patient - because they might be showing signs of dementia."

Michael is chairman of Dementia Friendly Baildon, which helps its local community to be more aware of dementia, and provides information for those living with the condition and their carers. From Saturday the group is holding a series of events for Dementia Action Week.

Dementia will affect most of us in some way. We can learn a lot from this small group, which is making a big difference.

* TAKING an exam in neurophysics would be easier than trying to understand all the sing-offs leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest. The second of this week's semi-final is today, ahead of Saturday's 'grand final', and the running order is down to something called a Semi-Final Allocation Draw, with each of the 'Big Five' and host country Israel eligible to vote. No, I don't get it either.

All I know is the UK doesn't stand a chance. No-one likes us. Never again will the nation taste sweet victory like the 1981 Bucks Fizz win. So why do we keep entering the daft thing?