Rea, Norton, O'Briain, West, Mrs Brown’s Boys all up for Baftas

A TV drama about serial killer Fred West headed the shortlist for the TV Baftas today with nominations for four awards.

A TV drama about serial killer Fred West headed the shortlist for the TV Baftas today with nominations for four awards.

ITV1’s 'Appropriate Adult's haul of nods includes best actor for Dominic West, who played the murderer, and best actress for Emily Watson, as well as best supporting actress and best mini series.

BBC1 hit 'Sherlock' and Channel 4’s gritty 'This Is England ’88' have three nominations apiece for the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, which take place on May 27.

'Sherlock's nominations throw up a battle against good and evil with both Watson (Martin Freeman) and Moriarty (Andrew Scott) battling for best supporting actor.

Simon Cowell’s hugely popular shows 'Britain’s Got Talent' and 'The X Factor' have failed to make it on to the shortlist for best entertainment programme. Instead it will be fought out between Harry Hill’s 'TV Burp', 'Derren Brown: The Experiments', Michael McIntyre’s 'Christmas Comedy Roadshow' and 'Celebrity Juice', starring Keith Lemon.

Alongside West, the best actor nominees are 'Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, John Simm ('Exile') and Joseph Gilgun ('This Is England ’88').

Last year’s best actress, Vicky McClure, is nominated once more for her continuing portrayal of Lol in the 'This Is England' dramas. She faces Romola Garai for 'The Crimson Petal And The White', Nadine Marshall for 'Random' and Watson for 'Appropriate Adult'.

Screen veteran Maggie Smith – who has already picked up five Baftas over her career – is up for the supporting actress title for 'Downton Abbey', alongside Anna Chancellor ('The Hour'), Monica Dolan ('Appropriate Adult') and Miranda Hart ('Call The Midwife').

The other supporting actor nominees competing with Scott and last year's winner Freeman are Stephen Rea for his sinister role in 'The Shadowline' and Joseph Mawle for 'Birdsong'.

Ceremony host Dara O’Briain is up for best comedy performance against Graham Norton, Alan Carr and a past two-time winner for the category, Harry Hill.

The top sitcom title will be fought for by 'Rev', 'Mrs Brown’s Boys', 'Friday Night Dinner' and 'Fresh Meat', while the top comedy programme prize sees Charlie Brooker’s 2011 Wipe, 'Comic Strip: The Hunt for Tony Blair', 'The Cricklewood Greats' and Stewart Lee’s 'Comedy Vehicle' battle it out.

Aiming to take the prize for best drama series are 'Misfits', 'Spooks', 'The Fades' and 'Scott And Bailey'.

'Appropriate Adult', 'The Crimson Petal And The White', 'This Is England ’88' and 'Top Boy' are all nominated for top mini series.

A new category for “reality and constructed factual” programmes sees 'An Idiot Abroad', 'Don’t Tell The Bride', 'Made In Chelsea' and 'Young Apprentice' competing for the award. But the winner of last year’s audience award, 'The Only Way Is Essex', fails to make the grade.

British TV’s new-found love of Scandinavian crime is evident in the international category with two Danish programmes, 'The Killing' and 'Borgen', battling it out with Australia’s 'The Slap' and US series 'Modern Family'.

Jennifer Saunders earns her first Bafta nomination since 1992 with her role in 'Absolutely Fabulous' winning her a place on the female comedy performance shortlist against Tamsin Greig, Ruth Jones and Olivia Colman.

'Coronation Street' and 'EastEnders' face 'Holby City' and 'Shameless' in the soap and continuing drama section.

The awards are being staged in London's Royal Festival Hall.

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