Two dramas – the BBC One series Life on Mars and Channel 4’s Longford – lead the nominations for this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, with four nominations each. The BPG awards are voted for by those who write about TV and radio – correspondents, critics and previewers.
Life on Mars has been nominated for best drama series, best actor (twice – John Simm and Philip Glenister) and the writer’s award (Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah). Longford is nominated for best single drama, best actor (Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford), best actress (Samantha Morton as Myra Hindley) and the writer’s award (Peter Morgan).
Oscar winner Helen Mirren is nominated for best actress for her performance as DCI Jane Tennyson in ITV1’s Prime Suspect: The Final Act, which is also nominated as best single drama.
BBC One’s Jane Eyre also receives two nominations, for best drama series and best actress (Ruth Wilson). The other nominee for best actress is Sue Johnston (Waking The Dead, The Street and The Royle Family), while Michael Sheen will compete for the best actor award, for his performances in Fantabulosa, HG Wells: War with the World, and Ancient Rome.
The Royle Family: Queen of Sheba, an hour-long special on BBC One, has been nominated for the comedy/entertainment award. It’s up against BBC One’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, which cast Connie Fisher as the lead in The Sound of Music, and BBC Two’s That Mitchell and Webb Look.
Stephen Poliakoff is nominated for the writer’s award, for Friends and Crocodiles and for Gideon’s Daughter, which is nominated as best single drama (both BBC One). It will compete with ITV1’s See No Evil: The Moors Murders, as well as Longford and Prime Suspect. BBC Two’s The Line of Beauty – from the book by Alan Hollinghurst – is nominated as best drama series, against Jane Eyre and Life on Mars.
Jeremy Paxman and Simon Schama have each been nominated for two awards. Both are nominated for best non-acting performer, pitted against Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.
Paxman’s edition of Who Do You Think You Are? is nominated as best single documentary/ factual programme. It’s up against Paul Watson’s Rain in My Heart, about alcoholism, and Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (both BBC Two).
Schama’s The Power of Art is nominated as best documentary/factual series, against BBC One’s Planet Earth and BBC Two’s The Choir.
Planet Earth has also been nominated for the Innovation award, for its pioneering use of digital filming and production techniques. In that category, YouTube has been nominated for changing the way we watch TV and the Sky+ box for “reaching consumer critical mass”.
The shortlist for radio broadcaster of the year consists of John Humphrys, Paddy O’Connell and Sandi Toksvig (all Radio 4) and Jeremy Vine of Radio 2. The nominations for radio programme of the year are Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, Clare In the Community and Down The Line and Radio 2’s Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan.
The winners will be announced at the BPG Awards lunch at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Friday March 23, 2007, together with the multichannel award and the Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. The event is sponsored by Turner Broadcasting System Europe, itself a leading provider of TV programming. Winners will be informed in advance and places at the lunch are by invitation only.
The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than a hundred members – all journalists who specialise in writing and broadcasting about television, radio and the media in general. They include media correspondents, reviewers, previewers and feature writers from the major national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals. Details of previous BPG Awards winners can be found at www.broadcastingpressguild.org/awards.
The full list of nominations is:
Best Single Drama
Gideon’s Daughter (BBC One)
Longford (Channel 4)
Prime Suspect: The Final Act (ITV1)
See No Evil: The Moors Murders (ITV1)
Best Drama Series
Jane Eyre (BBC One)
Life on Mars (BBC One)
The Line of Beauty (BBC Two)
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria (BBC One)
Royle Family: Queen of Sheba (BBC One)
That Mitchell & Webb Look (BBC Two)
Best Single Documentary/Factual Programme
Rain in My Heart (BBC Two)
Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (BBC Two)
Who Do You Think You Are? Jeremy Paxman (BBC Two)
Best Documentary/Factual Series
Planet Earth (BBC One)
Simon Schama: The Power of Art (BBC Two)
The Choir (BBC Two)
Jim Broadbent (Longford, The Street)
Philip Glenister (Life on Mars)
Michael Sheen (Fantabulosa, HG Wells: War with the World, Ancient Rome)
John Simm (Life on Mars)
Sue Johnston (The Street, Waking The Dead)
Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect)
Samantha Morton (Longford)
Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre)
Best Performer in Non-acting Role
Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan, Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars)
Peter Morgan (Longford)
Stephen Poliakoff (Friends & Crocodiles, Gideon’s Daughter)
Radio Broadcaster of the Year
Radio Programme of the Year
Clare in the Community
Down The Line
Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan
Gloria’s Greats (Biography Channel)
The Hogfather (Sky One)
Wogan: Now and Then (UKTV Gold)
Planet Earth – pioneering film and production techniques
Sky Plus Box – reaching critical consumer mass
YouTube – changing the way we watch television