Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2018 – Television nominations

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 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.”  For more information about Virgin TV visit

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992


Notes to editors:

  1. The winners will be announced at the 44th BPG Awards lunch in the beautifully restored Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 16th 2018, sponsored by Virgin TV. The Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting, which is in the gift of the BPG Executive Committee, will also be presented. Winners will be informed in advance and places at the lunch are by invitation only.
  2. Virgin TV is part of Virgin Media, which offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline. Its interactive TV service brings live programmes, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games in a set-top box, as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones. It launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland. Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company, connecting over 22 million customers through operations in 12 countries across Europe.
  3. The shortlists for Radio Broadcaster of the Year and Radio Programme of the Year will be announced in a week’s time.
  4. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than a hundred members. They are journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and websites.
  5. Previous BPG Best Actress winners include Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Gillian Anderson, Vanessa Redgrave, Maxine Peake, Anne-Marie Duff, Dame Diana Rigg, Zoe Wanamaker, Gina McKee, Dame Julie Walters, Olivia Colman, Sheridan Smith, Keeley Hawes and Juliet Stevenson.
  6. The BPG Best Actor award has previously been awarded to Sir Mark Rylance, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Colin Firth, Sir Alec Guinness, Albert Finney, Charles Dance, Robert Hardy, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Ecclestone, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Robbie Coltrane and Dominic West among others (see more details and photos at

The full list of nominations is:

Best Single Drama /Mini-series

Delicious 2 (Sky 1)

Eric, Ernie and Me (BBC Four)

Little Women (BBC One)

Three Girls (BBC One)  


Best Drama Series

Line of Duty (BBC One)

Peaky Blinders (BBC Two)

The State (Channel 4)

Tin Star (Sky Atlantic)


Best Single Documentary/Mini-series

Chris Packham: Aspergers and Me (BBC Two)

Idris Elba: Fighter (Discovery)

Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds (Channel 4)

Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution (BBC Two)


Best Documentary Series

Blue Planet II (BBC One)

Hospital (BBC Two)

Rock and Roll (Sky Arts)

Trump: An American Dream (Channel 4)


Best Online First /Streaming

Black Mirror (Netflix)

End of the F***ing World (All 4, Channel 4)

People Just Do Nothing (BBC Three)

The Crown (Netflix)


Best Comedy

Detectorists (BBC Four)

Inside No. 9 (BBC Two)

Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC iPlayer, BBC One)

The Trip To Spain (Sky Atlantic)


Best Entertainment/Factual

The Great British Bake-Off (Channel 4)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)

Taskmaster (Dave)

The Graham Norton Show (BBC One)


Best of Multichannel

Rock and Roll (Sky Arts)

Taskmaster (Dave)

Tin Star (Sky Atlantic)

The Trip to Spain (Sky Atlantic)


Best Actress

Hayley Atwell, Howard’s End   

Claire Foy, The Crown            

Thandie Newton, Line of Duty

Maxine Peake, Three Girls

Emily Watson, Little Women/Apple Tree Yard


Best Actor

Sean Bean, Broken

Mark Bonnar, Unforgotten/Eric, Ernie and Me/Catastrophe/Apple Tree Yard

Babou Ceesay, Guerrilla

Toby Jones, Detectorists

Matt Smith, The Crown


Writer’s Award

Mackenzie Crook, Detectorists

Jed Mercurio, Line of Duty

Peter Morgan, The Crown

Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton, Inside No 9


BPG Innovation in Broadcasting

Albert – the free online tool for calculating a production’s carbon footprint

BBC Three – for showcasing new comedy talent

Channel 4 – for new advances in championing diversity both on and off screen


Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992