How Should I Feel?

02/05/2016 16:21 | Updated 06 May 2016

It was such a bizarre morning. We all tuned in to the 7:30am live feed from BAFTA headquarters, ready for Dermot O'Leary and Georgina Campbell to not read our names out, and then, well, they didn't read our name out, so that was that and after all it was what I fully expected. I tweeted my congratulations to the names that had been read out and prepared to get on with the rest of the day - my 'it was just nice that the BBC put Life After Suicide forward' face fully fixed in place.

I grabbed a quick shower. When I got back to the bedroom my phone and laptop screens started to light up like Blackpool Illuminations! Twitter notifications, emails, Facebook messages all came flooding in. Then, the big one! The landline started ringing, and that's when you know that it's serious! No one ever calls our landline...unless it's important, and I have to say usually bad news.

I raced downstairs and picked it up:

"Congratulations Angela! It's fantastic news to see that your film has been nominated for a BAFTA!"

"Oh I'm really sorry", I said, "I think you must be mistaken. Dermot didn't read our name out, so thanks for the congratulations, but actually we're not in."

I repeated this refrain for the next half an hour.

In frustration at my "Thanks, but Dermot didn't read our name out" response, friends and journalists started sending me screen grabs of the official BAFTA press release...and there it was: Life After Suicide, shortlisted for the Single Documentary category! It transpired that not all BAFTA categories had been read out during the live feed. Who knew?!


As the news started to sink in I realised that I actually didn't know how to feel. On the one hand the unthinkable had actually happened. The most revered TV institution had seen fit to recognise our documentary, to list it amongst only four films by people like Louis Theroux and Adam Curtis - people who I'd invite as my fantasy dinner party guests. I felt delighted for all involved and proud of the team and all our generous contributors.

On the other hand I felt the sharpness, the pain and trauma that was at the source of my story and those who had spoken to me so candidly, describing their bereavement by suicide.

I felt grateful for the opportunity that our BAFTA nomination offered: an opportunity to continue to challenge the stigma that so many of us feel; the opportunity to highlight the issues raised in our film again.

As I started to tell people about our nomination I started to feel excited about actually going to the BAFTAs, about the dress, about the hair, about the other people hat we'd meet...and then I stopped myself! What right did I have to feel excited? Our nomination was for a film about the most vulnerable time of our lives, about the loss of my partner, the father of my beautiful boys! What right did I have to be excited about that?

As I left the house to go to my first meeting of what had started as an emotional rollercoaster of a day, as many others since we lost Mark have been, the jumble of emotions stayed with me. I drove away from the house and my mind turned to the mundane task of driving and thinking ahead to all that the day would bring...and that's when it just all spilled over. I pulled the car over and the tears just flowed just like they had in those early days after the shock and numbness had worn off.

With a week to go until it's '...and the winner is...' time I still don't know how to feel. My dress and shoes are sorted, I know how I'm having my hair but I still don't know if I'm allowed to be excited. Our collective achievement feels like more than cause for celebration, but I think the only way to describe this whole experience is bitter sweet.

So, when and if you see a glimpse of me walking up the famous red carpet on Sunday, you'll know what's actually going on in the pit of my stomach, the mixed emotions, the confusion, but above all the pride I'll be feeling at representing all of those who've stood in my shoes, red carpet or not!

The BAFTA Awards 2016 will be shown on BBC1 at 8pm on Sunday 8th May