Emmys: Billy Porter and stars of The Crown hit red carpet

Pose star Billy Porter (left) and British actor Josh O'Connor.
Pose star Billy Porter (left) and British actor Josh O'Connor.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS, AFP) - Pose star Billy Porter and British actor Josh O'Connor were among the early arrivals in Los Angeles for the Emmy Awards on Sunday (Sept 19) on a night where The Crown and comedy Ted Lass are expected to dominate the annual ceremony for the top television shows.

Porter, who has become a style icon for his daring choices, chose all black with big ruffled sleeves and a huge diamond necklace.

Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer wore a blue suit, while Gillian Anderson, nominated for playing former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, walked a separate red carpet in London where much of the British talent is gathered.

O'Connor, who is a leading contender for a best actor Emmy for his performance as a young Prince Charles in The Crown, sported a flower-shaped bow tie.

Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of acclaimed chess drama The Queen's Gambit, stunned in a backless slinky butter-colored Dior gown paired with a dramatic bright yellow shawl that descended in a long train.

The Crown star Emma Corrin also wore butter yellow – she attended the London satellite watch party in a strapless floor-length Miu Miu gown, long fingerless gloves and bonnet.

Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday's ceremony to move to an outdoor tent, with a reduced guest list. Vaccinations, testing and masks are mandatory when celebrities are not on camera.

The Crown is widely expected to clinch its first best drama series Emmy, as well as trophies for the actors who played Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and a young Princess Diana (newcomer Emma Corrin).

Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, the Emmy winner for best supporting actress in a comedy, wore a one-shoulder peach Christian Siriano gown to collect her statuette.

Catherine Zeta-Jones looked elegant in a strapless wine-coloured gown with a high slit and perfectly coordinated shoes – the epitome of Tinseltown chic, with Emmy nominee and husband Michael Douglas on her arm.

Ted Lasso, about a lovable American coach played by Jason Sudeikis navigating the idiosyncrasies of English soccer and society, is also expected to take home multiple awards for its mostly British cast after winning hearts with its optimism and sugary treats.

"We don't just have front-runners this year, we have runaway front-runners in most of the races," said Tom O'Neil, founder of awards website Goldderby.com.

The Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy and The Crown star Emma Corrin. PHOTOS: REUTERS

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones with Emmy nominee and husband Michael Douglas during the Emmy Awards on Sept 19, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

A best drama series win for The Crown would mark a milestone for Netflix, while Apple TV+ would enter streaming's big league with a comedy series win for Ted Lasso.

Other leading best drama series contenders include dystopian saga The Handmaid's Tale, sci-fi favourite The Mandalorian featuring the lovable Baby Yoda and period romance Bridgerton.

The closest contest on Sunday is for limited series, which produced contenders ranging from harrowing British rape drama I May Destroy You to Kate Winslet's downtrodden detective in Mare Of Easttown, and innovative superhero dramedy WandaVision on Disney+.

The Television Academy, whose members choose the winners, is known for pulling surprises.

Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer wore a blue suit, while Gillian Anderson walked a separate red carpet in London. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

Porter and MJ Rodriguez of FX drama, Pose, won plaudits for their turns in the emotional final season of the series about New York's underground drag culture in the 1980s that features a large cast of LGBTQ performers. Pose is also a best drama series nominee.

If Rodriguez wins on Sunday, she would become the first transgender woman to win a best actress Emmy.

One of television's most popular shows - 1990s comedy Friends - could make an Emmys comeback.

The Friends reunion special that saw the six main actors reminisce earlier this year about their days playing 20Something New Yorkers is competing against the filmed version of Broadway musical Hamilton for best variety special.