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Oscars ceremony adds London venue for UK-based nominees

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image captionLeft-right: Sacha Baron Cohen, Carey Mulligan and Riz Ahmed are all nominated

British stars will be able to take part in this year’s Oscars from a venue in London if they can’t get to LA, after organisers said Zoom wasn’t an option.

Eight of this year’s 20 acting nominees are Brits, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Carey Mulligan and Riz Ahmed.

After the nominations were announced, those in the running were asked to attend the event in person on 25 April.

Los Angeles is the main location, but organisers have now added the London hub after concerns about travel.

International nominees will also be able to appear from other satellite link locations. Show producers are still hoping not to use Zoom, but may relax their stance if anyone can’t get to the broadcast locations.

Most guests will be at LA’s main railway hub, Union Station, which will become a venue for the 93rd Academy Awards. Part of the show will also take place at the ceremony’s normal home, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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image captionThe 93rd Academy Awards are due to take place on 25 April

Daniel Kaluuya, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Vanessa Kirby and Gary Oldman will also carry British hopes for the acting awards.

Other UK hopefuls include singer Celeste, who is nominated for best song; and Aardman Animations’ A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, which is up for best animated film.

Details of the new location in London – where it will be the early hours of 26 April when the ceremony takes place – have not yet been revealed.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, Bulgarian Borat star Maria Bakalova and South Korean actress Youn Yuh-Jung are among this year’s other international nominees.

A letter sent to nominees earlier this month said no alternative arrangements would be made for anyone unable to attend in person “because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about travelling” during the pandemic.

“We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts,” show producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins wrote.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which oversees the Oscars, has previously promised an “intimate” ceremony carried out under strict Covid-19 precautions.

Producers have said the event would include on-site safety teams, with testing capability.

This year’s logistical headaches come at the same time as growing questions over the appeal of award ceremonies in modern-day culture, with TV viewing figures falling to an all-time low for last year’s Oscars ceremony.

The pandemic has also shifted their relevance for some. On Monday, best supporting actor nominee LaKeith Stanfield reportedly responded to the speculation about the ceremony by writing in a now deleted Instagram post: “No one cares lmao. Real stuff is happening. Who cares about awards.”

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