10 things to look out for at Bafta TV awards

Left-right: Ant and Dec, Sir David Attenborough, Kem Cetinay and Amber DaviesImage copyrightGetty Images/PA
Image caption Left-right: Ant and Dec, Sir David Attenborough and Love Island’s Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies

Stars of the small screen are getting ready to find out whether they have won one of this year’s Bafta TV Awards.

The accolades will be handed out at a ceremony hosted by Sue Perkins at the Royal Festival Hall in London later.

Police thriller Line of Duty has the most nominations, with a total of four.

10 things to look out for at Bafta TV awards
10 things to look out for at Bafta TV awards

Other nominees include Blue Planet II, Black Mirror and Love Island, while Ant and Dec are tipped to win for Saturday Night Takeaway, despite Ant’s absence from two recent episodes.

Here are 10 things to look out for:

1. Will Ant and Dec win a Bafta (and will they both be there)?

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The duo are odds-on bookies’ favourites to scoop best entertainment programme for Saturday Night Takeaway for the fourth time in five years.

Ant’s recently admitted drink driving and went into treatment for “alcohol issues”, which meant Dec had to finish the series solo. But Sunday’s Baftas are for programmes shown last year – so those upheavals shouldn’t affect the result.

Ant said in March he was taking “time off for the foreseeable future”. Dec’s name is on the official list of attendees, but Ant’s isn’t.

2. Can Black Mirror strike gold?

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Black Mirror – Charlie Brooker’s Netflix series of visions of life with tech that’s gone too far – has never won at the main Baftas ceremony.

That could be rectified this year – the show’s fourth season has three nominations, including best single drama for dating fantasy Hang The DJ.

Hang The DJ’s Joe Cole, who played Frank, is up for best lead actor, while Jimmi Simpson, who played the bullying boss/subservient crew member Walton in USS Callister, is up for best supporting actor.

Nothing for the series’ many excellent women though.

3. A Love Island-flavoured night

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It was one of the biggest TV hits of last year, so don’t be surprised to see Kem, Camilla and co clamber on stage to accept at least one of the two awards they’re up for.

It’s surely the frontrunner for the reality and constructed factual award (although Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds might pip it), and Stormzy’s surprise appearance is up for the must-see moment.

And Love Island narrator Iain Stirling will be providing a live commentary throughout the ceremony.

4. Blue Planet II to swim off with a Bafta

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If you want to tick off one winner already, it’s surely got to be Blue Planet II in the specialist factual category.

It’s also nominated for the must-see moment, for the scene showing a mother pilot whale refusing to let go of her dead calf, which Sir David Attenborough gravely told us may have been poisoned by milk contaminated with plastics and other pollutants.

Blue Planet II was the most-watched programme of 2017 but has also made the biggest impact, far beyond the world of TV.

Sir David is on the guest list, and another Bafta for his collection would make a nice belated 92nd birthday present.

5. Sandi is nominated (but not for Bake Off)

Image copyrightBBC/Fremantle Media/Talkback

The Great British Bake Off – which had been nominated for the best feature prize for the last six years – is absent from the nominations this year.

Its snub follows its successful move from the BBC to Channel 4. There is room in the features category for Antiques Roadshow and Cruising with Jane McDonald, though.

Bake Off co-host Sandi Toksvig is nominated – but for presenting QI. And former Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins will be there, as host.

6. Can Emmerdale win the battle of the soaps?

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Emmerdale won the soap and continuing drama prize last year, and followed that with triumphs at the British Soap Awards and National TV Awards.

Can it continue its winning streak? 2016’s winner EastEnders isn’t even nominated this year, edged out in favour of Casualty.

Emmerdale will face strong competition from both Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, the latter of which won the Broadcast Award for best soap earlier this year.

7. Line of Duty vs The Crown

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It was a strong year for drama and it will be fascinating to see which series comes out on top – The Crown, Line of Duty and Three Girls each have three or more nominations.

In the best actress category, it’s probably a close call between Line of Duty’s Thandie Newton and Claire Foy for The Crown.

Broken, Little Boy Blue, Hang the DJ and King Charles III all have two nominations each.

Peaky Blinders has just the one, but it’s in the big category – best drama series – and it wouldn’t be a total shock to see it pull off its first Bafta win.

8. This Country is a comedy contender

Image caption Daisy May Cooper stars in This Country alongside her brother Charlie, who plays her cousin

This Country is one of the best new comedies and is nominated for best scripted comedy and best female performance in a comedy programme for Daisy May Cooper.

Catastrophe is the only other comedy programme with two nominations – in the same two categories, with Sharon Horgan going up against Cooper for best female performance.

9. Posthumous honour for Tim Pigott-Smith?

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The 70-year-old actor died 13 months ago, before his performance in the title role in Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III was screened on BBC Two.

That earned him a posthumous Bafta nomination in the best actor category.

Not only would a win be a fitting honour for the late star, but an award (or two) for the one-off drama – which imagines the inner workings of the royal family – would be fun a week before the royal wedding.

10. Honours for Kate Adie and John Motson

Image caption Adie reporting from near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989

We already know veteran journalist Kate Adie will receive the Bafta Fellowship.

Jane Lush, chair of Bafta, said: “Kate Adie is a truly ground-breaking news journalist, being one of a very small number of women working to report the news from hostile environments around the world.”

Meanwhile, retiring football commentator John Motson will get to lift his own trophy – the Bafta Special Award.

The Bafta TV Awards take place at 19:00 BST on Sunday, and will be shown on BBC One from 20:00.

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