BAFTA TV Nominations 2013: The Good, the Bad, the What Were They Thinking?

Nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) TV Awards were announced this morning and, for the second year in a row, the list of nominees features a combination of great performances and truly bizarre omissions that makes one wonder whether the nomination process boils down to drawing names from a hat.

Leading the field this year were Olympic-themed comedy Twenty Twelve, Alfred Hitchcock biopic The Girl and drama Last Tango in Halifax, which all picked up four nominations apiece. The 2012 London Olympics also fared well, taking 3 out of 4 nominations in the “Sporting and Live Event” category, and Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder Opening Ceremonies will also compete for the Audience Award.

Some of these nominations are spot-on: it’s lovely to see Last Tango in Halifax getting nominated; both because of its unconventional love story and the fact that stars Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid are fantastic. Twenty Twelve was hysterical. Ben Whishaw did amazing things with a traditionally under-performed Richard II in The Hollow Crown. Boyle surely deserves every award he’s about to win for his stunning work on the Olympics. Even though I thought The Girl was boring, Toby Jones is always a capable performer.

And yet, much like 2012, there are just some really weird picks and obvious snubs. 

First, there’s the little business of no nominations for Downton Abbey. At all. Not even for Dame Maggie Smith, who has won virtually every award available since she started playing the Dowager Countess. Ratings darling Call the Midwife is only up for the popular-choice vote Audience Award. Um, what?

Period drama Parade’s End – which has racked up a variety of critical awards of late – did score multiple BAFTA nominations, including Best Mini-Series and a Leading Actress nod for Rebecca Hall. However, her co-star Benedict Cumberbatch was inexplicably snubbed in the Lead Actor category, which makes absolutely no sense at all.

Also, there was no love for any of the actors involved in Ripper Street or Scott and Bailey, even though both series are up for Best Drama? These systems, I do not undersand them.  

The full list of nominations is as follows:

Leading Actor
Ben Whishaw - Richard II (The Hollow Crown)
Derek Jacobi - Last Tango in Halifax
Sean Bean - Accused ('Tracie's Story')
Toby Jones - The Girl

Leading Actress
Anne Reid - Last Tango in Halifax
Rebecca Hall - Parade's End
Sheridan Smith - Mrs Biggs
Sienna Miller - The Girl

Supporting Actor
Peter Capaldi - The Hour
Stephen Graham - Accused ('Tracie's Story')
Harry Lloyd – The Fear
Simon Russell Beale - Henry IV, Part 2 (The Hollow Crown) 

Supporting Actress
Anastasia Hille - The Fear
Imelda Staunton - The Girl
Olivia Colman - Accused ('Mo's Story')
Sarah Lancashire - Last Tango in Halifax

Entertainment Performance
Alan Carr - Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Ant and Dec - I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Graham Norton - The Graham Norton Show
Sarah Millican - The Sarah Millican Show

Female Performance In A Comedy Programme
Jessica Hynes - Twenty Twelve
Julia Davis – Hunderby
Miranda Hart – Miranda
Olivia Colman - Twenty Twelve  

Male Performance In A Comedy Programme
Greg Davies – Cuckoo
Hugh Bonneville - Twenty Twelve
Peter Capaldi - The Thick of It
Steve Coogan - Welcome to the Places of My Life

Single Drama
The Girl
Richard II (The Hollow Crown)

Mrs Biggs
Parade's End
Room at the Top

Drama Series
Last Tango in Halifax
Ripper Street
Scott and Bailey

Soap and Continuing Drama
Coronation Street

International Programme
The Bridge
Game of Thrones

Factual Series
24 Hours in A&E
Great Ormond Street

Make Bradford British
Our War

Specialist Factual
All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry
The Plane Crash
The Plot to Bring Down
Britain's Planes
The Secret History of Our Streets

Single Documentary
7/7: One Day in London
Baka: A Cry from the Rainforest
Lucian Freud: Painted Life
Nina Conti – A Ventriloquist's Story: Her Master's Voice

Bank of Dave
Grand Designs
The Great British Bake Off
Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs

Reality And Constructed Factual
Bank of Dave
Grand Designs
The Great British Bake Off
Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs

Current Affairs
Britain's Hidden Housing Crisis 
The Other Side of Jimmy Savile 
The Shame of the Catholic Church 
What Killed Arafat? 

News Coverage
BBC News at Ten: Syria
Channel 4 News: Battle for Homs
ITV/Granada Reports: Hillsborough – The Truth at Last

Sport And Live Event
The London 2012 Olympics: 'Super Saturday' BBC Sport/BBC1
The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: 'Isle of Wonder' Done & Dusted/BBC1
The London 2012 Paralympic Games C4
Wimbledon 2012 – Men's Final BBC Sport/BBC1

Entertainment Programme
Dynamo: Magician Impossible Watch
The Graham Norton Show
Have I Got News For You
A League of Their Own

Comedy Programme
Cardinal Burns
Mr Stink
The Revolution Will Be Televised
Welcome to the Places of My Life

Situation Comedy
The Thick of It
Twenty Twelve

What do you think of all this? Let’s discuss the picks and snubs in the comments. The awards ceremony is scheduled for May 12. 



Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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