Bafta TV nominations: Snubs and surprises
Chernobyl leads the field at this year’s Bafta Television Awards, with 14 nominations.
The Sky Atlantic miniseries, which was heavily praised by critics, was based on the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
It becomes one of the most-nominated shows in the ceremony’s history, tying with the 14 nominations Killing Eve received last year.
Netflix’s Royal drama The Crown has seven nominations in total.
Other nominees at this year’s ceremony include Fleabag and Giri/Haji – which receive six nominations each.
The top Bafta TV nominees
- Chernobyl – 14
- The Crown – 7
- Fleabag – 6
- Giri / Haji – 6
- Bafta TV Awards: The nominations in full
The Virtues, Killing Eve, Sex Education and Top Boy have also been recognised.
Chernobyl has three nominations for the main awards and 11 for Bafta’s Craft Awards, which were revealed together.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jamie Demetriou are the most-nominated individuals this year, with three nods each.
Chat show host Graham Norton and Famalam star Gbemisola Ikumelo have two individual nominations each.
The nominees for the Must See Moment category were announced earlier this week, with nods for Game of Thrones, Line of Duty and Love Island.
We’ve been digging a bit deeper into this year’s nominations list, and here are a few things we noticed:
1. Age ain’t nothing but a number
At least, certainly not for Glenda Jackson.
She is nominated for leading actress at the age of 84, for her performance in Elizabeth Is Missing.
Coincidentally, Jackson’s last nomination at the Bafta TV awards was in 1972, for the similarly-titled (but totally unrelated) Elizabeth R, a series based on Queen Elizabeth I.
Dame Thora Hird was nominated for a Bafta aged 89 back in 2000 for the drama Lost for Words, and Dame Maggie Smith was nominated for Downton Abbey at the age of 77.
Elizabeth Is Missing was Jackson’s first TV role in 27 years. She stepped away from acting in 1992 to pursue a career in politics, becoming a Labour MP, retiring in 2015.
Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones and Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer are also nominated for leading actress, along with Samantha Morton for her performance in I Am Kirsty.
The best actor nominees include Callum Turner, Jared Harris and Takehiro Hira, while Stephen Graham is recognised for his work in The Virtues.
- KILLING EVE: Watch Jodie Comer’s Bafta-nominated performance
- FLEABAG: Stream every episode now
2. Being cancelled is no barrier
Some TV shows in the running this year have been cancelled in the time it’s taken the nominations to come out.
BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer is up for best entertainment programme, despite being pulled after its recent second series.
Its first series in January 2019 (the one nominated), was presented by Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo, and saw amateur dancers compete to impress judges Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison.
An episode of BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme about knife crime is nominated in the news coverage category.
Earlier this year, the BBC announced the programme was ending as part of a plan to save £80m in BBC News over four years.
However, director general Lord Hall has said he hopes the programme’s journalism “will find a home on the news channel and elsewhere around the BBC”.
A Newsnight special in which Prince Andrew was interviewed by Emily Maitlis is also nominated for news coverage.
Other nominees in the category include ITV News coverage of the general election results in December and Sky News coverage of the Hong Kong protests.
3. Some major names missed out
With just four nominee slots available in each category, it’s inevitable that some major actors and TV shows won’t be recognised.
Andrew Scott, who captivated Fleabag’s viewers as the “Hot Priest”, misses out on an acting nomination.
While The Crown is heavily nominated at the ceremony, Olivia Colman does not receive a nomination for her portrayal of The Queen.
Claire Foy was previously nominated for playing the same role earlier in the series, but Vanessa Kirby – who played Princess Margaret – is the only person to have won an acting award for The Crown.
Two of the year’s most-watched programmes, Line of Duty and the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, are nominated only in the Must See Moment category.
- What was the must-see TV moment of the year?
Years and Years, one of the best-reviewed (but least-watched) series of 2019, doesn’t feature in this year’s list, and nor does BBC Three documentary Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, which scooped a National Television Award in January.
Peaky Blinders, Britain’s Got Talent and The Great British Bake Off, have been recognised at the ceremony in the past but are not nominated this year.
4. Diversity has improved
While the Bafta TV Awards have never been embroiled in a diversity crisis, their sister awards ceremony certainly has.
Earlier this year, the Bafta Film Awards were criticised for only having white acting nominees (including two for Margot Robbie in the same category).
At this year’s TV awards, there are BAME nominations in most acting categories, including Takehiro Hira (Giri/Haji), Naomi Ackie (The End of the F***ing World), Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy), Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education), Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen) and Gbemisola Ikumelo (Famalam).
Away from acting, Mo Gilligan is recognised for entertainment performance, while two different shows fronted by Romesh Ranganathan are nominated – one in the features category and the other in comedy entertainment.
Bafta said there is a 22% increase of nominees of colour across the performance categories this year, compared with 2019.
So, when is the ceremony?
This year’s ceremony will be broadcast from behind closed doors after being delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard Ayoade will host from a closed studio and winners will give acceptance speeches virtually.
The winners will be announced on 31 July, with the ceremony broadcast on BBC One.
In a statement, actor, presenter and writer Ayoade joked: “I am as surprised as you are that this is still going ahead.”
Bafta’s Craft Awards, meanwhile, which celebrate behind-the-scenes achievements, will be streamed on 17 July, hosted by fellow comic actor Stephen Mangan.
Categories such as writing, sound, editing and production design will be handed out at the Craft Awards, while prizes for acting and best overall series will be announced at the Bafta TV Awards.
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