0 Love It
Save it

TV Baftas 2013: who will win?

As British telly's biggest night returns, we take a closer look at who'll be winning big and who'll be left doing the old awkward clap-and-grin

Leading actor
The nomineesSean Bean, ‘Accused: Tracie's Story’ (BBC1)Derek Jacobi, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (BBC1)Toby Jones, ‘The Girl’ (BBC2)Ben Whishaw, ‘The Hollow Crown: Richard II’ (BBC2) Awards panels love a good physical transformation, and this year has two doozies. Bean was superb, cast startlingly against type as a transvestite. But Jones lifted an otherwise slightly flat retelling of the Hitchcock-Hedren story, mesmerisingly capturing the unsavoury mischief, technical brilliance and deep personal unhappiness of the Master. Anthony Hopkins’s take in ‘Hitchcock’ looked like caricature by contrast. Whishaw, too, was wonderful, but expect ‘The Hollow Crown’ to sweep up elsewhere in compensation. Who will win?Sean Bean Who should win?Toby Jones Who’s missing?Tom Hiddleston was superb as Prince Harry-turned-King Henry in ‘The Hollow Crown. Cumberbatch overkill may have done for his chances in ‘Parade’s End’, but what about Oli Lansley’s stunning turn as Kenny Everett in ‘Best Possible Taste’? One too many transformations, perhaps.
Leading actress
The nominees:Rebecca Hall, ‘Parade’s End’ (BBC2)Sienna Miller, ‘The Girl’ (BBC2)Anne Reid, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (BBC1)Sheridan Smith, ‘Mrs Biggs’ (ITV) Awards panels also love a bit of mental illness, so that should make Rebecca Hall’s fragile, empathetic portrayal of the bipolar society girl Sylvia Tietjens a shoo-in. But we’d favour Anne Reid’s equally nuanced and considerably less glamorous work in BBC1’s unexpected love-in-later-life smash. Who will win?Rebecca Hall Who should win?Anne Reid Who’s missing?Chloe Sevigny was fearless in Sky Atlantic’s curious ‘Hit and Miss’, Hayley Atwell lit up William Boyd’s espionage thriller ‘Restless’ and the perenially undersung Helen McCrory carried ITV’s flawed romantic psychodrama ‘Leaving’. A great year for meaty female roles.
Supporting actor
The nominees:Peter Capaldi, ‘The Hour’ (BBC2)Stephen Graham, ‘Accused: Tracie's Story’ (BBC1)Harry Lloyd, ‘The Fear’ (C4)Simon Russell Beale, ‘The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2’ (BBC2) Theatre-goers have waited years to see Simon Russell Beale do Falstaff – but he did it on television first, and his masterpiece of wounded bonhomie didn’t disappoint. But Harry Lloyd certainly looks like one to watch, and Peter Capaldi’s long-bereaved newsman in ‘The Hour’ was a fine-tuned showcase for his abilities in straight drama. Who will win?Simon Russell Beale Who should win?Simon Russell Beale Who’s missing?Lennie James took a cliché – the crooked copper – and made us fall in love with it all over again in BBC2’s bizarrely overlooked police thriller ‘Line of Duty’.
Supporting actress
The nominees:Olivia Colman, ‘Accused: Mo’s Story’ (BBC1)Anastasia Hille, ‘The Fear’ (C4)Sarah Lancashire, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (BBC1)Imelda Staunton, ‘The Girl’ (BBC2) With Colman at the forefront of our minds post-‘Broadchurch’, she looks a strong contender provided her remarkable double nomination (also for ‘Female Performance in a Comedy Programme’ in ‘Twenty Twelve’) doesn’t work against her. But we wouldn’t begrudge Imelda Staunton a win for another study in buttoned-up pathos as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma. Hard to see Lancashire or Hille getting a look-in against these two heavyweights. Who will win?Imelda Staunton Who should win?Olivia Colman Who’s missing?Anna Chancellor is unfortunate to miss out for ‘The Hour’, and we’d suggest Carla Krome deserved a nod for her lacerating major league debut in Sky Atlantic ‘Hit and Miss’.
Single drama
The nominees:‘Everyday’ (C4)‘The Girl’ (BBC2)‘Murder’ (BBC2)‘The Hollow Crown: Richard II’ (BBC2) Blimey. Having suggested the single drama might be in decline last year, we take it back. ‘Murder’ was a deeply unsettling chamber piece, while any of the four films in ‘The Hollow Crown’ series could have been rewarded for reinventing the Shakespeare TV play so imaginatively. But for delivering so powerfully on a potentially gimmicky concept, Michael Winterbottom’s ‘Everyday’, following a family headed by John Simm’s prison inmate and Shirley Hederson’s long-suffering mother over five years, would be a worthy winner. Who will win?‘The Hollow Crown: Richard II’ (BBC2). Who should win?‘Everyday’ (C4). Who’s missing? Some may mourn the absence of pre-Paralympic charmer ‘The Best of Men’, but the class and character of this quartet are hard to argue with.
The nominees:‘Accused’ (BBC1)‘Mrs Biggs’ (ITV)‘Parade's End’ (BBC2)‘Room at the Top’ (BBC4) A fairly weak line-up – taken as a whole, ‘Accused’ was flawed, while ‘Mrs Biggs’ sometimes bordered on stolid – should see BBC2’s understated prestige affair ‘Parade’s End’ come out on top. But a triumph for ‘Room at the Top’ – long delayed, but well worth the wait – might just prompt a rethink over BBC4 canning its drama output. Well, we can dream. Who will win?‘Parade's End’ Who should win?‘Room at the Top’ Who’s missing?A few big hitters sank without trace this year (pun intended, ‘Titanic’), although the excellent heist thriller ‘Inside Men’ could have sat comfortably in this company. And what of Jed Mercurio’s fantastic ‘Line of Duty’, the standout police drama of last year and ignored in every category?
Drama series
The nominees:‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (BBC1)‘Ripper Street’ (BBC1)‘Scott and Bailey’ (ITV)‘Silk’ (BBC1) As middlebrow as it comes, but this line-up paints a pretty accurate picture of the current state of popular drama. Of the two newcomers, ‘Ripper Street’ looked good but lacked depth; it was ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ that sprung a real surprise, blindsiding plenty of critics who initially wrote it off as trite nonsense. One recommission and four Bafta nominations later, they must be feeling rather foolish. Who will win?‘Last Tango in Halifax’. Who should win?‘Last Tango in Halifax’ Who’s missing?No surprise to see ‘Downton’ missing out as it sailed over the shark, Shirley Maclaine and all. ‘The Hour’, however, was much improved second time around and should have made the cut.
Comedy programme
The nominees:‘Cardinal Burns’ (E4)‘Mr Stink’ (BBC1)‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ (BBC3)‘Welcome to the Places of My Life’ (Sky Atlantic) Truly great sketch shows are thin on the ground, so ‘Cardinal Burns’ deserves all the praise and awards it has garnered so far. But did anyone predict the return of Alan Partridge would be quite as ‘Spiceworld’ as it was? Even if the film bombs (and we fervently hope it doesn’t), we’ll always have the country rambles, treading water and ‘flying Aids’ of ‘Welcome to the Places of my Life’. Who will win?‘Cardinal Burns’ Who should win?‘Welcome to the Places of My Life’ Who’s missing?You’ve got a bit of everything here: the resurgent icon, the inventive sketch show, the satirical prank show and the kidscom. So this looks like a pretty fair selection to us.
Situation comedy
The nominees:‘Episodes’ (BBC2)‘Hunderby’ (Sky Atlantic)‘The Thick of It’ (BBC4)‘Twenty Twelve’ (BBC2) For services rendered, we’d expect Armando Iannucci’s era-defining series to take the gong just as it takes the final curtain. And that’s without mentioning its uncanny prescience as the political landscape appeared to follow its lead. But curdled Du Maurier romp ‘Hunderby’ will run it close, with Julia Davis roaring back into view at the head of Sky’s increasingly formidable comedy cavalry. Who will win?‘The Thick of It’ Who should win?‘The Thick of It’ Who’s missing?What is ‘Episodes’ doing here ahead of ‘Moone Boy’? Or ‘Fresh Meat’? Or ‘Walking and Talking’? Or ‘Him and Her’? We could go on – it’s been a fine year for British sitcoms not involving Matt LeBlanc.
Specialist factual
The nominees:‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’ (C4)‘The Plane Crash’ (C4)‘The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes’ (C4)‘The Secret History of Our Streets’ (BBC2) For our money, a straight shootout between two superb pieces of social history with a social conscience. But ‘The Secret History…’ didn’t quite have the consistency of Perry’s series, nor its charisma or sense of emotional investment: Perry is a true TV natural. A close-run thing, though. Who will win?‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’ Who should win?‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’ Who’s missing?‘Punk Britannia’ was a return to that strand’s best form, while James Fox’s ‘A History of Art in Three Colours’ made an awkward concept really work, offering a genuinely new perspective on familiar works.
We now have the full list of nominations for this year's TV Baftas, which take place at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12 2013 (and are televised at 8pm on BBC1 the same night). It reflects another excellent year in British television, with critic-pleasing dramas ('The Hollow Crown', 'Parade's End') nestling alongside popular smashes ('Scott and Bailey', 'The Great British Bake Off'), and an unusual but deserved double for Olivia Colman, nominated this year for both comic and dramatic roles.

Plenty of categories are too close to call – but Time Out TV Editor Gabriel Tate has done it anyway, rashly predicting who will take home the awards. We’ve also paid tribute to a few deserving unfortunates who have been overlooked. Let us know what you think in the comments below.