Friday 18 October 2019

Killing Eve leads TV Bafta nominations

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s drama has bagged 14 nods, while Ant and Dec have been nominated for entertainment performance.

Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, in season two of Killing Eve (Aimee Spinks/BBC America)
Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, in season two of Killing Eve (Aimee Spinks/BBC America)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

TV drama Killing Eve dominates this year’s Bafta nominations.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s drama, starring Jodie Comer as a psychopathic killer and Sandra Oh as an MI5 operative, has bagged 14 nominations for the TV awards.

Fellow BBC drama A Very English Scandal, about politician Jeremy Thorpe’s downfall, is also high in the nominations list with 12.

Ant and Dec have been nominated for best entertainment performance for Saturday Night Takeaway, despite Ant stepping down from presenting the show following his arrest for drink-driving.

Ant and Dec (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The ITV show is also in the running for best entertainment programme, alongside Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, while X Factor has been snubbed.

BBC thriller Bodyguard has five nominations and is up for drama series, alongside Killing Eve, Save Me and Informer.

But Bodyguard star Richard Madden is not on the list for leading actor, while his co-star Keeley Hawes is up for best actress.

Keeley Hawes (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Instead, Benedict Cumberbatch is in the running for best actor for his role in  Patrick Melrose, the Sky Atlantic drama which has six nominations.

Hugh Grant is nominated for A Very English Scandal, and Chance Perdomo (Killed By My Debt) and Lucian Msamati (Kiri) complete the list.

The best actress nominees are Killing Eve stars Oh and Comer, Hawes for Bodyguard and Ruth Wilson for Mrs Wilson.

Music documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops is in the running for three gongs.

The Great British Bake Off, on Channel 4, is in the features category.

Bafta chairwoman Dame Pippa Harris praised Killing Eve for its “chutzpah” and the fact that it is “in memory, the highest number (of nominations) for a single show”.

She told the Press Association: “I think the two central performances, you can’t get away from the fact that Jodie and Sandra just burst on to people’s screens and we all just fell in love with them.

“But also the chutzpah of the show, the way it was directed, the way it was written, the blend of drama and high-octane thriller, with comedy, very black comedy of course, but with comedy. I think people watched it because they didn’t know what was going to happen next, they were going with all the twists and turns and (were) never sure where their sympathies should lie.”

Asked if she thought audiences found it refreshing to see a female protagonist being “bad”, she said: “I think that is still quite a rare thing to see on screen, we’re perfectly used to seeing men behaving badly on screen, killing people and being assassins, but it’s not something we’ve seen women do, or very rarely seen women do and I think people like that.”

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said: “I’d like to congratulate all of today’s Bafta nominees.

“In an exceptionally strong year for the television industry we’re proud to be championing original British content and talent across every single genre.

“With our dramas garnering multiple nominations and a strong showing for our comedy, entertainment, sport and factual programmes it’s been a great year for the BBC’s programmes. A big thank you and congratulations to all the exceptional talent we work with.”

The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards take place in London on May 12.

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