The Netflix drama series The Crown leads the nominations at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, chosen by journalists who write about TV and radio. Its stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith, who play Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, have been nominated in the acting categories, Peter Morgan is shortlisted for best writer, and the series is nominated as the best ‘online first or streaming’ programme.
The 43rd annual BPG awards, sponsored this year for the first time by Virgin TV, will be presented next month at a lunch in central London. The company said: “Virgin TV are delighted to be sponsoring the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2017. Together we’re brilliantly bringing together the TV people love.”
Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty, The Missing, The Durrells), Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) and Andrea Riseborough (National Treasure, The Witness for the Prosecution) will compete against Foy for the best actress award. Robbie Coltrane (National Treasure), Hugh Laurie (The Night Manager) and James Norton (War and Peace, Happy Valley and Grantchester) are shortlisted with Smith for best actor.
Morgan will compete with Jack Thorne (National Treasure, C4), Phoebe Waller Bridge (Fleabag, BBC Three) and Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, To Walk Invisible, BBC One) for the Writer’s Award.
Line of Duty (BBC Two), The Night Manager and War and Peace (both BBC One) and The Tunnel – Sabotage (Sky Atlantic) are shortlisted for best TV drama series. Four BBC One plays – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Damilola Our Loved Boy, The Witness for the Prosecution and To Walk Invisible – will compete with Sky 1’s The Last Dragonslayer for the best single drama award.
Two BBC Two documentaries by Louis Theroux – Drinking to Oblivion and Savile – have been nominated as Best Single Documentary, alongside Hillsborough (BBC Two) and The Fall – Zola Budd and Mary Decker (Sky Atlantic).
Exodus: Our Journey to Europe and Inside Obama’s White House (both BBC Two) are nominated for Best Documentary Series, with Planet Earth II (BBC One) and Richard E Grant on Ealing Comedies (Gold).
In the Best Entertainment/Factual Entertainment category, The Great British Bake Off, The Graham Norton Show and Strictly Come Dancing (all BBC One) will be competing with Taskmaster (Dave). The Best Comedy award will be contested by Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters (Sky Atlantic) and Motherland, Mum and Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle (all BBC Two).
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 17th 2017, will be sponsored for the first time by Virgin Media. The event will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives.
The BPG is again recognising the growing importance of programmes commissioned for streaming or showing online first, instead of on a broadcast channel. The Best Online First/Streaming award will be contested by The Crown and Black Mirror (both Netflix), Adam Curtis: HyperNormalisation (BBC iPlayer) and Fleabag (BBC Three).
The Best of Multichannel (non-PSB) Award will go to one of the five non-PSB programmes shortlisted in drama, documentaries, comedy and entertainment.
The nominations for the annual BPG award for innovation in broadcasting are Exodus: Our Journey to Europe (BBC Two) – for innovative use of crowd-sourced content to tell a compelling story; Walter Presents – for bringing the best of subtitled drama to a wider on-demand audience, for free; and Facebook Live – for bringing the capacity to create and watch live video-streaming to mass audiences.