Shortlist for 35th BPG Television and Radio Awards

turner-reverse-2007Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant and Ben Whishaw have been shortlisted for the Best Actor award in the 35th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, to be presented next month at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Branagh has been nominated for his role as Kurt Wallander, the Swedish detective in the Wallander series. Tennant is named for two roles, as the Doctor in Doctor Who and the British astronomer Arthur Eddington in the single drama Einstein and Eddington. Ben Whishaw is nominated for playing Ben Coulter in the five-part series Criminal Justice.

The highly-prized BPG awards are selected by journalists who write about TV and radio – correspondents, critics and previewers. Previous Best Actor winners include Sir Alec Guinness, Albert Finney, Charles Dance, Robert Hardy, Tim Pigott-Smith, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Eccleston, Philip Glenister and Colin Firth (see for more details.)

In the Best Actress category, Andrea Riseborough is nominated for lead roles in two productions – Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley and The Devil’s Whore. She’ll compete with Gemma Arterton (Tess), Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey, Little Dorrit and Tess) and Julie Walters for Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story.

Three BBC Four dramas will compete for the best single drama award: The Curse of Steptoe; Hughie Green, Most Sincerely; and Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley. The other contenders are Einstein & Eddington (BBC Two) and The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (BBC One).

The drama series shortlist is dominated by BBC One, which has Criminal Justice, Little Dorrit and Wallander competing with Channel 4’s The Devil’s Whore.

In the writer’s category, Andrew Davies is nominated for three dramas: Little Dorrrit, Sense & Sensibility and Affinity. Peter Moffatt is nominated for two productions, Criminal Justice and Sense & Sensibility.  Peter Flannery is named for The Devil’s Whore, and Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin are nominated for the comedy series, Outnumbered.
Outnumbered is also in contention for the best comedy/entertainment award, competing against Gavin & Stacey, Harry Hill’s TV Burp and Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Jamie Oliver is up against Sir Alan Sugar, as Jamie’s Ministry of Food vies with The Apprentice for the factual entertainment award. The other two contenders are Dragons’ Den and The Choir: Boys Don’t Sing.
Robert Peston (BBC News) will compete with John Sergeant (Strictly Come Dancing), Stephen Fry (QI and Stephen Fry in America) and Cheryl Cole (The X Factor, ITV) in the best non-acting performer category.

Simon Schama (The American Future) will compete with Boris Johnson (After Rome: Holy War and Conquest) and Ross Kemp in Afghanistan in the best documentary/factual series category. The other contenders are Amazon with Bruce Parry and The Genius of Charles Darwin.

The single documentary award will be a contest between Arena: The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector; Michael Portillo: Death of a School Friend; My Street; and Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

The shortlist for radio broadcaster of the year consists of Evan Davis (Today, The Bottom Line, BBC Radio 4), Eddie Mair (PM, BBC Radio 4), Colin Murray (BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live); Ed Stourton (Today and other programmes, BBC Radio 4) and Kirsty Young (Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4).

The nominations for radio programme of the year are Adam and Joe (BBC 6Music); Front Row (BBC Radio 4); In Our Time (BBC Radio 4); Late Junction (BBC Radio 3); Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie (BBC Radio 2).

The winners will be announced at the BPG Awards lunch at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Friday March 27, 2009, together with the multichannel award, the innovation award and the Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting.

The Awards are sponsored for the third year running by Turner Broadcasting, which delivers some of the world’s most successful and well-known news and entertainment brands – CNN, Cartoon Network, CN Too, Boomerang, Cartoonito, TCM (Turner Classic Movies), and Adult Swim.

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 national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and websites. Details of previous BPG Awards winners can be found at

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 020 8624 9052

The full list of nominations is:
Best Single Drama
The Curse of Steptoe (BBC Four)
Einstein & Eddington (BBC Two)
Hughie Green, Most Sincerely (BBC Four)
Margaret Thatcher: the Long Walk to Finchley (BBC Four)
The No1 Ladies Detective Agency (BBC One)

Best Drama Series
Criminal Justice (BBC One)
The Devil’s Whore (C4)
Little Dorrit (BBC One)
Wallander (BBC One)

Best Single Documentary/Factual Programme
Arena: The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector (BBC Two)
Michael Portillo: Death of a School Friend (BBC Two)
My Street (C4)
Pedigree Dogs Exposed (BBC One)

Best Documentary/Factual Series
Amazon with Bruce Parry (BBC Two)
The American Future: A History by Simon Schama (BBC Two)
Boris Johnson’s After Rome: Holy War and Conquest (BBC Two)
The Genius of Charles Darwin (C4)
Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (Sky 1)

Best Comedy/Entertainment
Gavin and Stacey (BBC One)
Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1)
Outnumbered (BBC One)
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (BBC One)

Best Factual Entertainment
The Apprentice (BBC One)
The Choir: Boys Don’t Sing (BBC Two)
Dragons’ Den (BBC Two)
Jamie’s Ministry of Food (C4)

Best Multichannel Programme
Dead Set (E4)
Hughie Green, Most Sincerely (BBC Four)
Margaret Thatcher: the Long Walk to Finchley (BBC Four)
Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (Sky 1)

Best Actor
Kenneth Branagh for Wallander (BBC One)
David Tennant for Doctor Who (BBC One) and Einstein & Eddington (BBC Two)
Ben Whishaw for Criminal Justice (BBC One)

Best Actress
Gemma Arterton for Tess (BBC One)
Ruth Jones for Gavin & Stacey, Little Dorrit, & Tess (all BBC One) Andrea Riseborough for Margaret Thatcher: the Long Walk to Finchley (BBC Four) & The Devil’s Whore (C4)
Julie Walters for Filth: the Mary Whitehouse Story (BBC Four)

Best Performer in Non-acting Role
Cheryl Cole for The X Factor (ITV1)
Stephen Fry for Stephen Fry in America (BBC One) and QI (BBC Two)
Robert Peston for BBC News
John Sergeant for Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)

Writer’s Award
Andrew Davies for Little Dorrit and Sense & Sensibility (BBC One), Affinity (ITV1)
Peter Flannery for The Devil’s Whore (C4)
Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin for Outnumbered (BBC One) Peter Moffat for Criminal Justice (BBC One) and Einstein & Eddington (BBC Two)

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
Evan Davis (BBC Radio 4)
Eddie Mair (BBC Radio 4)
Colin Murray (BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live)
Ed Stourton (BBC Radio 4)
Kirsty Young (BBC Radio 4)

Radio Programme of the Year
Adam and Joe (BBC 6Music)
Front Row (BBC Radio 4)
In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)
Late Junction (BBC Radio 3)
Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie (BBC Radio 2)


  1. […] will be announced on Friday 27th March at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. For more on the award, visit BPG’s website, The Guardian and C21 […]

  2. […] highly-prized Broadcasting Press Guild awards are selected by journalists who write about TV and radio – correspondents, critics and […]