Tuesday 25 September 2018

The Crown star Claire Foy to bring Time’s Up to TV Baftas after pay row

It was revealed she was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith.

Claire Foy starred in The Crown (Ian West/PA)
Claire Foy starred in The Crown (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Claire Foy, Hayley Atwell and Jodie Whittaker are among the stars who will represent the Time’s Up movement at the Bafta television awards.

They will be joined by other high profile women including Catastrophe star Sharon Horgan, Peaky Blinders actress Charlotte Riley and Three Girls actress Molly Windsor in protesting against sexual harassment and inequality.

The Crown star Foy, who is nominated in the leading actress category for the second year in a row, was at the centre of a gender pay gap row earlier this year when it was revealed she was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith.

Broadchurch’s Whittaker is one of the stars who will be joined by real-life women championing issues portrayed in the nominated shows.

She will be accompanied by Tracey Parsons from the Dorset Rape Crisis Centre, with whom she worked on the last series of the hit ITV drama, in which she played a rape counsellor.

Three Girls director Philippa Lowthorpe and producer Sue Hogg will be joined by Maggie Oliver, the former detective who investigated the Rochdale child sex abuse case and who resigned in order to speak out about how it was handled.

Catching A Killer director Anna Hall will bring Jo Beverley, the sister of Natalie Hemming, whose murder by her ex-partner was documented in the programme.

The ceremony will give nominees and guests the chance to highlight issues of inequality, such as the gender pay gap and lack of diversity on and off screen.

In an open letter to TV commissioners in February, more than 70 women said British drama was “overwhelmingly written by men”.

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain will soon publish a report on the challenges facing female writers and figures revealed to Time’s Up which show that between 2001 and 2016, only 18% of TV programmes were written by predominantly female writing teams.

The same report will also show that of more than 200 working writers questioned, only 5% agreed that “the way writers are hired, and scripts are commissioned, is fair and free from discrimination”.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is among the awards contenders at the awards ceremony, which Declan Donnelly looks set to attend without his presenting partner.

The show is up for best entertainment programme at Sunday’s awards, alongside Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice, also on ITV, and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (BBC One).

It was nominated for the coveted gong days after Donnelly hosted the variety programme alone, following McPartlin’s car crash.

The TV star stepped back from his presenting commitments when he was charged with drink-driving last month.

McPartlin was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit.

The British Academy Television Awards nominations are for shows which aired last year, meaning Saturday Night Takeaway is in the running for the series which the duo hosted together.

Awards will also be given out in categories including drama, leading actor and actress and soap.

Foy is joined in the leading actress category by Molly Windsor (Three Girls), Sinead Keenan (Little Boy Blue) and Thandie Newton (Line Of Duty).

Netflix’s The Crown also has nods for supporting actress (Vanessa Kirby) and drama series.

The late Tim Pigott-Smith, who died last year, is up for leading actor for his role in controversial royal drama King Charles III.

Jack Rowan (Born To Kill), Joe Cole (Hang The DJ/Black Mirror) and Sean Bean (Broken) also have nods in the category.

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British Academy Television Awards

Line Of Duty (BBC One), Peaky Blinders (BBC Two), and The End Of The F***ing World (All4) are up alongside The Crown for drama series.

Along with The Crown, Black Mirror, Line Of Duty and Three Girls have three nominations.

Crime drama Line Of Duty is also up for the Virgin Must See Moment, for Huntley’s narrow escape.

It will take on moments in Blue Planet II, Game Of Thrones, Love Island, Doctor Who and One Love Manchester for the prize.

Casualty, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks will be vying for the soap/continuing drama award. However, EastEnders missed out on a nomination in the category.

The Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards, hosted by Sue Perkins, will be held at the Royal Festival Hall on May 13 and will be broadcast on BBC One.

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