Mark Rylance, Claire Foy, Suranne Jones, Timothy Spall, Aidan Turner, Ben Whishaw, Julia Davis and Nicola Walker are among the top acting names shortlisted for this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, chosen by journalists who write about TV and radio. Peter Kay, Graham Norton, Simon Schama and Russell T Davies have been nominated in other categories.
The 42nd annual BPG awards, sponsored by online streaming service Now TV, will be presented next month at a lunch in central London.
The BBC2 drama, Wolf Hall – starring Rylance and Foy and written by Peter Straughan from the novel by Hilary Mantel – leads the way with four nominations, including Best Drama Series. In that category, it is up against Doctor Foster (BBC One), Fortitude (Sky Atlantic) and Humans (C4).
Rylance is nominated as Best Actor for his role as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, alongside Timothy Spall (Enfield Haunting, on Sky Living), Aidan Turner (Poldark/And Then There Were None, BBC One), Ben Whishaw (London Spy, BBC Two).
Foy is nominated as Best Actress with Gemma Chan (Humans, C4), Julia Davis (Hunderby, Sky Atlantic) Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, BBC One) and Nicola Walker (River, BBC One/Unforgotten, ITV). Straughan is nominated for the Writer’s Award alongside Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster), Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, C4) and Simon Donald (Fortitude).
The Best Single Drama award will be contested by An Inspector Calls (BBC One), The Dresser (BBC Two) and The Vote – Live from Donmar Warehouse (More 4).
The BPG Awards – given only for work commissioned in the UK – are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers.
The Awards lunch, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 11th 2016, will be sponsored for the first time by online streaming service Now TV. The event will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives.
Sky Atlantic’s documentary about Scientologists, Going Clear, has been nominated as Best Single Documentary, alongside Love You To Death: A Year of Domestic Violence (BBC Two), My Son the Jihadi (C4) and Professor Green: Suicide and Me (BBC Three).
Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man (Gold) is nominated for Best Documentary Series, with Inside The Commons (BBC Two), Face of Britain by Simon Schama (BBC Two) and The Murder Detectives (C4).
In the Best Entertainment/Factual Entertainment category, First Dates (C4) is up against The Great British Bake Off and the Graham Norton Show (both BBC One) and Wild Things (Sky1). The Best Comedy award will be contested by Car Share (BBC One), Catastrophe (C4), Detectorists (BBC Four) and Hunderby (Sky Atlantic).
This year the BPG is recognising the growing importance of programmes commissioned for showing online first, instead of on a broadcast channel. Our new Made for Online (Digital First) award will be contested by two Amazon Prime commissions, The Man in the High Castle and Ripper Street, and two from BBC iPlayer – Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake and Car Share.
The new award replaces the Multichannel Award – instead of which, one non-PSB programme or performer is voted onto every shortlist.
The annual BPG award for innovation in broadcasting will this year be contested by BT TV for its UHD Channel, ITV’s The Sound of Music Live, More 4’s The Vote – Live from Donmar Warehouse and Russell T Davies, for the multiplatform series: Cucumber, Banana and Tofu (C4, E4 and All 4).
The Breakthrough Award – for someone who attained a new level of success in 2015 – will be between Gemma Chan (Humans) Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum), Sian Gibson (Car Share) and Aidan Turner (Poldark/And Then There Were None).