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Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Nominations are in for this year’s BAFTA TV Awards, which will be held on Sunday 18 May, and as you’d expect, they make a compelling case for the current strength of British television.

First—and most interesting for fans of the golden age of cinema—is the news that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are both nominated in their respective leading actor categories. Or rather, Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West are nominated for pretending to be Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the BBC’s single drama Burton & Taylor (which aired on BBC AMERICA stateside). Helena faces a particularly strong challenge however, as Olivia Colman is also nominated in the leading actress category for her work in Broadchurch, while West faces 24-year-old In the Flesh star Luke Newberry in the leading actor field.

Two Doctor Who specials have received nominations; one for Mark Gatiss’ heart-warming biopic of the show’s early days, An Adventure In Space And Time, which is up for best single drama, and Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor is up for a Radio Times Audience Award. This is the only category that is decided by a public vote (which opens today). It faces stiff competition from British favorites such as Broadchurch and The Great British Bake-Off as well as the internationally beloved Breaking Bad.

As well as nods for leading actress and the audience award, Broadchurch is nominated in the drama series category, and David Bradley gets the nod as a potential best supporting actor. He’s up against Ripper Street’s Jerome Flynn and Rory Kinnear (Southcliffe), so for him awards night is going to be as tense as, well, Broadchurch itself.

Other notable nominations for Anglophenian eyes include nominations for Graham Norton the man (entertainment performance) and The Graham Norton Show (comedy & comedy entertainment programme). Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker have to fight it out in the supporting actress category for Last Tango in Halifax, just like the bickering sisters in the show itself.

And there’s a binary stand-off happening in the male performance in a comedy programme list, as the four nominations are carved up between The IT Crowd (Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd) and The Wrong Mans (James Corden and Mathew Baynton).

And as a final recommendation, should you be looking for a gritty substitute for Broadchurch, now it has finished, the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe has received four nominations: best mini-series, leading actor (Sean Harris), supporting actress (Shirley Henderson) and supporting actor (Rory Kinnear). So if you can find it, give it a go.

Here are the nominations in full:

Leading Actor
Jamie Dornan, The Fall
Sean Harris, Southcliffe
Luke Newberry, In The Flesh
Dominic West, Burton and Taylor

Leading Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Olivia Colman, Broadchurch
Kerrie Hayes, The Mill
Maxine Peake, The Village

Supporting Actor
David Bradley, Broadchurch
Jerome Flynn, Ripper Street
Nico Mirallegro, The Village
Rory Kinnear, Southcliffe

Supporting Actress
Shirley Henderson, Southcliffe
Sarah Lancashire, Last Tango in Halifax
Claire Rushbrook, My Mad Fat Diary
Nicola Walker, Last Tango in Halifax

Entertainment Performance
Ant and Dec, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Charlie Brooker, 10 O’Clock Live
Sarah Millican, The Sarah Millican Television Programme
Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show

Female Performance in a Comedy Programme
Frances de la Tour, Vicious
Kerry Howard, Him & Her: The Wedding 
Doon Mackichan Plebs
Katherine Parkinson, The IT Crowd 

Male Performance in a Comedy Programme
Richard Ayoade, The IT Crowd
Matthew Baynton, The Wrong Mans
James Corden, The Wrong Mans
Chris O’Dowd, The IT Crowd

Single Drama
An Adventure in Space and Time
Black Mirror: Be Right Back
The Wipers Times

Mini Series
The Fall
The Great Train Robbery
In the Flesh

Drama Series
My Mad Fat Diary
Top of the Lake
The Village

Soap & Continuing Drama
Coronation Street
Holby City

Breaking Bad
House of Cards
The Returned

Factual Series
Educating Yorkshire

Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS in a Day
The Route Masters: Running London’s Roads

Specialist Factual
David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive
Martin Luther King: The March
Richard III: The King in the Car Park
Story of the Jews

Single Documentary
28 Up South Africa
The Day Kennedy Died
The Murder Trial
The Unspeakable Crime: Rape

The Choir: Sing While You Work
Grand Designs
The Great British Bake Off
Long Lost Family

Reality and Constructed Factual
The Big Reunion
Dragons’ Den
The Undateables

Current Affairs
The Cruel Cut
Dispatches – The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs
Dispatches – North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State 
Dispatches – Syria: Across the Line 

News Coverage
Channel 4 News
ITV News at Ten: Woolwich Attacks
The Dale Cregan Verdict: BBC North West Tonight Special
The Lee Rigby Trial: ITV Granada Reports

Sport & Live Event
Bollywood Carmen Live
Glastonbury 2013
The Ashes 2013 – 1st Test
Wimbledon Men’s Final

Entertainment Programme 
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Derren Brown: the Great Art Robbery
Dynamo: Magician Impossible
Strictly Come Dancing

Comedy & Comedy Entertainment Programme
The Graham Norton Show
A League of Their Own
The Revolution Will Be Televised
Would I Lie To You?

Situation Comedy
Count Arthur Strong
Him & Her: the Wedding
The IT Crowd
Toast of London

Radio Times Audience Award 
Breaking Bad
Doctor Who: Day of ther Doctor
Educating Yorkshire
The Great British Bake Off

See more: 
Olivia Colman Is The Queen Of The BAFTAs
BAFTA Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Doctor Who’
James Bond And The Argonauts: The 2013 BAFTAs
BAFTAs 2014: A Whole Lotta ‘Gravity,’ And Chiwetel Ejiofor Is The Best Actor In The World

Read More
By Fraser McAlpine