By Kelly O'BrienReporter
The second instalment of the 2015 Irish Film and Television Awards is fast approaching, and a list of final nominees including Chris O’Dowd, Deirdre O’Kane and Brendan O’Carroll, has just been announced.
This is the first year the IFTAs has been split into two events. The hugely popular Film and Drama awards were held earlier this year, attracting star names such as Sean Bean, Amy Huberman, Andrew Scott, Amanda Byram and Aidan Gillen, to name a few.
The upcoming instalment, the Television Awards, will be held later this month at a ceremony in the ballroom of Dublin’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
In the most high-profile categories, Moone Boy, The Savage Eye, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Irish Pictorial Weekly do battle for best comedy show while Ireland AM, The Voice of Ireland, The Imelda May Show and 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy are in contention for best entertainment programme.
Actor Chris O’Dowd tweeted his delighted at being nominated, and also extended congratulations to some of the other nominees. “Big congrats to all the marvellous Moone Boy messers on the 5 @IFTA nominations! Also air kisses to @ManOnBridgeDoc and @PuffinRock folk,” he wrote.
Mrs Brown’s Boys received two nominations while Fair City received four and Moone Boy racked up five.
But it was TV3’s new soap, Red Rock, which received the highest number of award nominations, listed in seven categories including Ireland’s best TV soap, best actor, best actress, best writer and best director.
The show, launched on January 7, was the first new Irish soap in the last 20 years.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Red Rock has received seven IFTA nominations. It’s been an incredible year,” said series producer Gareth Philips.
“Red Rock has defined TV3 as a channel which champions home production and Irish talent and we look forward to many more years of entertaining viewers,” said director of content Lynda McQuaid.
While it’s a two-horse race for the title of Ireland’s best soap, as Red Rock prepares to do battle with Fair City, other categories have a higher number of contenders.
In terms of best male performance, Red Rock actor Sean Mahon will go up against Brendan O’Carroll from Mrs Brown’s Boys, Chris O’Dowd from Moone Boy, Enda Oates from Fair City and Andy Quirke from Damo and Ivor.
For best female performance, Red Rock actress Cathy Belton is up against co-star Jane McGrath, Deirdre O’Kane from Moone Boy, Martina Stanley from Fair City and Sharon Horgan from Catastrophe.
Other nominees include RTÉ’s The Zoo for best factual programme, Bressie’s Teenage Kicks is up for best reality show while Conor McGregor’s The Notorious is in contention for best sports production.
Next week, the IFTAs will announce who will host the upcoming ceremony, following in the footsteps of Simon Delaney, Laura Whitmore and Caroline Morahan, while a special lifetime achievement recipient will also be named.
The ceremony take place on October 22 with the event broadcast on TV3 on October 25.
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