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Richard E Grant makes a dig at Will Smith for Chris Rock slap during opening monologue at BAFTAS

Richard E Grant makes a dig at Will Smith for Chris Rock slap during opening monologue at BAFTAS

That's a little awkward...

Richard E Grant made quite a splash at this year's BAFTAs, jumping right in with a dig at Will Smith's Oscar slap in his opening monologue.

The presenter, who co-hosted with Alison Hammond, opened the star-studded show with a throwback to last year's biggest awards season moment.

Explaining why people should stick around for the full awards show, he promised that there'll be no slaps if he had anything to do with it.

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Richard urged viewers to head out to the cinema right away to catch all of this year's fantastic films - though not right away, as he wanted to give his hosting gig a fair shot.

Selling himself as the perfect host, he joked: 'Nobody on my watch gets slapped tonight' before slapping himself on either side of the face.

And if it wasn't clear, Richard was, of course, referring to last year's jaw-dropping Oscars moment when Will Smith climbed onto the stage to slap host Chris Rock.

The comedian had been set to read the nominees for the next award when he made a little jab at Smith's wife Jada, suggesting she looked like 'GI Jane'.

Smith clearly didn't take kindly to the joke as he walked onto the stage and shockingly slapped Rock before calmly walking back to his seat.

"Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me," Rock told the audience, trying to keep a brave face.

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Will famously yelled up to Chris: "Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth."

It was a genuinely shocking, though undeniably iconic moment, but it ideally won't happen again.

As long as Richard's got the stage, that is.

Earlier in the show, Richard appeared in a pre-recorded sketch, where he asked Only Murders In The Building star Steve Martin for advice on hosting.

Steve told him that the most important rule was to 'show up in the Bat Mobile', which Richard somehow pulled off.

Pulling up to the Royal Festival Hall in the armoured car, the actor swooped in in a white cape.

Apologising for his late arrival, he said: 'What could be more British than a delayed train?'

The top nominees of the night are All Quiet on the Western Front, with 14 nominations, The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All At Once, with 10 nominations.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Celebrity, Chris Rock, TV and Film, Will Smith, BAFTAs