Quirky comedies Detectorists and Inside No. 9 go head to head in the shortlists for this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards, chosen by esteemed TV and radio journalists. Both series have been nominated as Best Comedy with writer-performers Mackenzie Crook (Detectorists, BBC Four), Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton (Inside No. 9, BBC Two) also shortlisted for the Best Writer award. They are joined on the shortlist by Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty) and Peter Morgan (The Crown).
The BPG Awards – which are for work commissioned in the UK and screened in 2017 – are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers. The 44th annual BPG awards, sponsored by Virgin TV, will be held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 16th 2018.
Stunning performances from Hayley Atwell (Howard’s End, BBC One), Claire Foy (The Crown), Thandie Newton (Line of Duty, BBC One), Maxine Peake (Three Girls, BBC One) and Emily Watson (Apple Tree Yard, Little Women, BBC One) see these leading ladies competing for the prestigious Best Actress award.
Detectorists also sees a Best Actor nomination for Toby Jones, who’ll be competing with Sean Bean (Broken, BBC One), Babou Ceesay (Guerrilla, Sky Atlantic), Matt Smith (The Crown, Netflix), and Mark Bonnar, who is nominated for four performances in Unforgotten (ITV), Eric, Ernie and Me (BBC Four), Apple Tree Yard (BBC One) and Catastrophe (Channel 4).
Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders (both BBC Two), The State (C4) and Tin Star (Sky Atlantic) are shortlisted for best TV drama series. Eric, Ernie and Me, Little Women and Three Girls will compete with Sky 1’s Delicious 2 for the Best Single Drama/Mini-series award.
Two BBC Two documentaries – Chris Packham: Aspergers and Me and Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution – have been nominated as Best Single Documentary, alongside Idris Elba: Fighter (Discovery) and Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds (Channel 4).
Blue Planet II (BBC One), Hospital (BBC Two), Rock and Roll (Sky Arts) and Trump: An American Dream (Channel 4) are shortlisted for Best Documentary Series.
In the Best Entertainment/Factual Entertainment category, three previous winners – The Great British Bake Off (now on Channel Four), The Graham Norton Show and Strictly Come Dancing (both BBC One) – will be competing with Taskmaster (Dave). The Best Comedy award will be contested by Detectorists (BBC Four), Inside No. 9 (BBC Two), Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC iPlayer, BBC One) and The Trip to Spain (Sky Atlantic).
The BPG is again recognising the growing importance of programmes commissioned for streaming or showing online first, instead of on a broadcast channel, with The Best Online First/Streaming award.This year it will be contested by The Crown and Black Mirror (both Netflix), End of the F***ing World (ALL4, Channel 4 and Netflix) and People Just Do Nothing (BBC Three).
The Best of Multichannel (non-PSB) Award will go to one of the four non-PSB programmes shortlisted in drama, documentaries, comedy and entertainment.
The nominations for the annual BPG award for innovation in broadcasting are: Albert – the free online tool for calculating a production’s carbon footprint; BBC Three – for showcasing new comedy talent; and Channel 4 – for recent innovations in championing diversity both on and off screen.
The 44th annual BPG awards, sponsored by Virgin TV, will be presented at an awards lunch held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 16th 2018. The event will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives. The Company said: “Virgin TV is delighted to be sponsoring the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2018. Together we’re celebrating the TV people love.”