BAFTA TV Awards: The shows in the running for an award - and the ones worth binge watching

·12-min read

Choosing a TV series to dedicate your time to can be a difficult decision, even if we have had more hours for binge watching than ever in the last year or so.

Some of the best shows of the 2020-21 season are up for gongs at the BAFTA TV Awards this evening - and if you've not watched them yet, there's always time to catch up.

While some of the bigger shows released in the past few months, such as Line Of Duty and It's A Sin, aren't eligible for this year's awards (expect to see them in 2022), others including The Crown, I May Destroy You and Normal People are all in the running.

And here are some of the other shows up for awards which you might have missed.

I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic

Billie Piper is on incredible form in this funny, awkward, messy story of a child star whose fame is on the wane. Enter a leak of nudes on the internet though and she suddenly finds herself very much in the spotlight once again, for all the wrong reasons. And who better than Piper, who found fame with the release of her first single at just 15, to play the role? The actress is brilliant as self-centred, irresponsible Suzie, showing us everything, from masturbation to drugs to diarrhoea. The series is the work of Piper's Secret Diary Of A Call Girl writer and friend Lucy Prebble, and is nominated for best drama, best actress (Piper) and best supporting actress for Leila Farzad, who plays Suzie's manager; Georgi Banks-Davies, who directed most of the eight episodes, has already been named the winner of the emerging talent (fiction) award.

Anthony - BBC One

In July 2005, black teenager Anthony Walker was murdered by two white men in an unprovoked racist attack in a park in Liverpool, aged just 18. Many viewers were moved to tears when this drama about his killing aired in the summer of 2020, telling the story of how a talented young man's life might have turned out; the relationships, career and successes, lost. Written by Jimmy McGovern (Accused, The Street), Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso) stars as Anthony, while Rakie Ayola (Been So Long, Twelfth Night) is in the running for the best supporting actress BAFTA for her portrayal of his mother, Gee Walker, who supported the show.

Adult Material - Channel 4

A drama delving into the porn industry from the perspective of poster girl Jolene Dollar (Hayley Squires - I, Daniel Blake), a hard worker who juggles her on-set persona with motherhood and home life. Tackling the seediness of the industry while avoiding cliches, it's up for best mini-series as well as leading actress for Squires, supporting actor for Rupert Everett, who plays a sinister porn producer, and supporting actress for Siena Kelly, who plays newbie Amy.

Small Axe - BBC One

Steve McQueen's landmark anthology is personal and powerful, a five-part TV film series exploring different stories set between the late 60s and early 80s and exploring black British identity. Coming after the 2020 summer of real-life protests against racial injustice, its themes resonate. It is the BAFTA frontrunner - up for 15 awards in total with five BAFTA Craft Awards already in the bag, and is also up for best mini-series. Letitia Wright, John Boyega, Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby and Micheal Ward are all up for acting awards.

Famalam - BBC3

A sharp sketch show starring primarily black British actors and comedians, Famalam released its third series in 2020 - so there's plenty to catch up on if it's not already on your radar. A Nigerian prince no one emails back, a misunderstood superhero and a leading witch doctor are just some of the characters you'll meet. Gbemisola Ikumelo is up for best female performance in a comedy programme.

Criminal: UK - Netflix

If you like a whodunnit thriller, this is an innovative take on the police procedural. Criminal is pretty much one room, one suspect and the detectives opposite, and each episode features a different case, a new person in the frame. The series stars Katherine Kelly, Lee Ingleby, Rochenda Sandall and Shubham Saraf, with different guest stars - including Kit Harington, Sharon Horgan and David Tennant - playing the ones facing the questions. For its second series, Sophie Okonedo and Kunal Nayyar are up for supporting gongs. But did they do it? You can catch up on both seasons to find out.

Quiz - ITV

As was the case for the story of the real-life Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? "Coughing Major" back in 2001, millions were glued to this dramatisation when it aired in the summer. Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford played Charles and Diana Ingram, but its Michael Sheen, who took on the role of host Chris Tarrant, who is nominated for an award, for best supporting actor. There's stiff competition for best mini-series but its perhaps a little surprising to see this one left out.

Breeders - Sky One

It feels like everyone has been watching the third series of Motherland recently, but if you're after another take on parenting then Breeders is worth a try. Focusing on one family dynamic, it's darker and angrier than the adventures of Julia and co in Motherland, but will no doubt strike a chord with sleep-deprived parents everywhere. Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard star as Paul and Ally, mum and dad to Luke and Ava. Haggard is up for the BAFTA for best female performance in a comedy programme.

Baghdad Central - Channel 4

Following the US invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein, former police inspector Muhsin al Khafaji, played by Waleed Zuaiter (London Has Fallen, Sex And The City 2) has lost virtually everything and is searching for his missing estranged elder daughter. It's a tense, six-part thriller which also isn't afraid to explore the uncomfortable questions about the responsibility of the West in the Middle East.


Drama Series
Gangs Of London - Sky Atlantic
I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic
Save Me Too - Sky Atlantic
The Crown - Netflix

Comedy Entertainment Programme
Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe - BBC2
Rob & Romesh Vs - Sky One
The Big Narstie Show - Channel 4
The Ranganation - BBC2

Entertainment Performance
Adam Hills, The Last Leg - Channel 4
Bradley Walsh, Beat The Chasers - ITV
Claudia Winkleman, Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1
David Mitchell, Would I Lie To You? At Christmas - BBC1
Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show - BBC1
Romesh Ranganathan, The Ranganation - BBC2

Entertainment Programme
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - ITV
Life & Rhymes - Sky Arts
Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1
The Masked Singer - ITV

Factual Series
Crime & Punishment - Channel 4
Hospital - BBC2
Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency - Channel 4
Once Upon A Time In Iraq - BBC2

Big Zuu's Big Eats - Dave
Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace - ITV
Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - BBC2
The Repair Shop - BBC1

Leading Actress
Billie Piper, I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic
Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People - BBC3
Hayley Squires, Adult Material - Channel 4
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve - BBC1
Letitia Wright, Small Axe - BBC1
Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You - BBC1

Female Performance In A Comedy Programme
Aimee Lou Wood, Sex Education - Netflix
Daisy Haggard, Breeders - Sky One
Daisy May Cooper, This Country - BBC3
Emma Mackey, Sex Education - Netflix
Gbemisola Ikumelo, Famalam - BBC3
Mae Martin, Feel Good - Channel 4

Leading Actor
John Boyega, Small Axe - BBC1
Josh O'Connor, The Crown - Netflix
Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You - BBC1
Paul Mescal, Normal People - BBC3
Shaun Parkes, Small Axe - BBC1
Waleed Zuaiter, Baghdad Central - Channel 4

News Coverage
BBC News At Ten: Prime Minister Admitted To Intensive Care - BBC1
Channel 4 News: Deterring Democracy - Channel 4
Newsnight: Covid Care Crisis - BBC Two
Sky News: Inside Idlib - Sky News

Little America - Apple TV+
Lovecraft Country - Sky Atlantic
Unorthodox - Netflix
Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville) - BBC4

Adult Material - Channel 4
I May Destroy You - BBC1
Normal People - BBC3
Small Axe - BBC1

Live Event
Life Drawing Live! - BBC4
Springwatch 2020 - BBC2
The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance - BBC1
The Third Day: Autumn - Sky Atlantic

Reality & Constructed Factual
Masterchef: The Professionals - BBC1
Race Across The World - BBC2
The School That Tried To End Racism - Channel 4
The Write Offs - Channel 4

Supporting Actor
Kunal Nayyar, Criminal: UK - Netflix
Malachi Kirby, Small Axe - BBC1
Michael Sheen, Quiz - ITV
Micheal Ward, Small Axe - BBC1
Rupert Everett, Adult Material - Channel 4
Tobias Menzies, The Crown - Netflix

Male Performance In A Comedy Programme
Charlie Cooper, This Country - BBC3
Guz Khan, Man Like Mobeen - BBC3
Joseph Gilgun, Brassic - Sky One
Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education - Netflix
Paul Ritter, Friday Night Dinner - Channel 4
Reece Shearsmith, Inside No 9 - BBC2

Scripted Comedy
Ghosts - BBC1
Inside No 9 - BBC2
Man Like Mobeen Production Team - Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC Three
This Country - BBC3

Short Form Programme
Criptales - BBC4
Disabled Not Defeated: The Rock Band With Learning Disabilities - Vice/Noisey
The Main Part - BBC iPlayer
They Saw The Sun First - Red Bull TV

Single Drama
Anthony - BBC1
BBW (On The Edge) - Channel 4
Sitting In Limbo - BBC1
The Windermere Children - BBC2

Soap & Continuing Drama
Casualty - BBC1
Coronation Street - ITV
EastEnders - BBC1
Hollyoaks - Channel 4

Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown - Netflix
Leila Farzad, I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic
Rakie Ayola, Anthony - BBC1
Siena Kelly, Adult Material - Channel 4
Sophie Okenedo, Criminal: UK - Netflix
Weruche Opia, I May Destroy You - BBC1

Current Affairs
America's War On Abortion (Exposure) - ITV
Italy's Frontline: A Doctor's Diary - BBC2
The Battle For Hong Kong (Dispatches) - Channel 4
The Cyprus Papers Undercover (Al Jazeera Investigations) - Al Jazeera Media Network/Al Jazeera English

Jimmy McGovern's Moving On - BBC1
Richard Osman's House Of Games - BBC2
The Chase - ITV
The Great House Giveaway - Channel 4

Virgin Media's Must-See Moment (voted for by the public)
Bridgerton, Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown - Netflix
Britain's Got Talent, Diversity perform routine inspired by events of 2020 - ITV
EastEnders, Gray kills Chantelle - BBC1
Gogglebox, reactions to Boris Johnson's press conference - Channel 4
Nigella's Cook, Eat, Repeat, Mee-Cro-Wah-Vay - BBC2
The Mandalorian, Luke Skywalker arrives - Disney+

Bahrain Grand Prix - Sky Sports
England v France: The Final Of Autumn Nations Cup - Amazon Prime Video
England v West Indies Test Cricket - Sky Sports
London Marathon 2020 - BBC

Specialist Factual
Extinction: The Facts - BBC1
Putin: A Russian Spy Story - Channel 4
The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty - BBC2
The Surgeon's Cut - Netflix

Single Documentary
American Murder: The Family Next Door - Netflix
Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me - BBC1
Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville) - BBC4
Surviving Covid - Channel 4


Costume Design - Jacqueline Durran, Small Axe - BBC1
Rosa Dias, Sex Education - Netflix
James Keast, Belgravia - ITV
Amy Roberts, The Crown - Netflix

Emerging Talent: Fiction - Georgi Banks-Davies (director), I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic
Harry Tulley (dubbing mixer), Anthony - BBC1
Stephen S Thompson (writer), Sitting In Limbo - BBC1
William Stefan Smith (director), On The Edge: BBW - Channel 4

Emerging Talent: Factual - Marian Mohamed (director) Defending Digga D - BBC3
Ashley Francis-Roy (shooting producer/director) Damilola: The Boy Next Door & The Real EastEnders - Channel 4
Jessica Kelly (director) The Schools That Chain Boys, and Silicon Valley's Online Slave Market - BBC
Kandise Abiola (producer) Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story - YouTube

Director: Factual - Teresa Griffiths, Lee Miller: A Life On The Front Line - BBC2
Xavier Alford, Locked In: Breaking The Silence - BBC4
James Bluemel, Once Upon A Time In Iraq - BBC2
Deeyah Khan, America's War On Abortion - ITV

Director: Fiction - Michaela Coel and Sam Miller, I May Destroy You - BBC1
Lenny Abrahamson, Normal People - BBC3
Benjamin Caron, The Crown (episode 3) - Netflix
Steve McQueen, Small Axe - BBC1

Director: Multi-Camera - Marcus Viner, Eno's Drive & Live: La Bohème - Somethin' Else - Sky Arts
Bridget Caldwell, The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance - BBC1
Ken Burton, Rugby League Challenge Cup Final - BBC1
Nikki Parsons, Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1

Editing: Factual - Claire Guillon, Lee Miller: A Life On The Front Line - BBC2
Adam Finch, Putin: A Russian Spy Story - Channel 4
Anna Price, Once Upon A Time In Iraq (episode 3) - BBC2
Will Grayburn, Once Upon A Time In Iraq (episode 2) - BBC2

Editing: Fiction - Editing team, I May Destroy You - BBC1
Chris Dickens and Steve McQueen, Small Axe - BBC1
Nathan Nugent, Normal People (episode 5) - BBC3
Pia Di Ciaula, Quiz - ITV

Entertainment Craft Team - Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - ITV
Last Night Of The Proms - BBC1
Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1
I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! - ITV

Make Up & Hair Design - Jojo Williams, Small Axe - BBC1
Bethany Swan, I May Destroy You - BBC1
Cate Hall, The Crown - Netflix
Louise Coles, Sarah Nuth, Lorraine Glynn and Erin Ayanian, The Great - Starzplay

Photography: Factual - Johnny Shipley, Drone Camera Team and John Livesey, The Great Mountain Sheep Gather - BBC4
Richard Kirby, Sue Gibson, Max Kölbl and Robert Hollingworth, Tiny World - Apple Tv+
Tim Cragg, Fear City: New York vs The Mafia - Netflix
Will Edwards and Michael O'Halloran, Marina Abramović Takes Over TV - Sky Arts

Photography & Lighting: Fiction - Shabier Kirchner, Small Axe - BBC1
Ed Rutherford, Little Birds - Sky Atlantic
Rob Hardy, Devs - BBC2
Suzie Lavelle, Normal People - BBC3

Original Music - Harry Escott, Roadkill - BBC1
Cristobal Tapia De Veer, The Third Day (episode 3) - Sky Atlantic
H Scott Salinas, Baghdad Central - Channel 4
Martin Phipps, The Crown - Netflix

Production Design - Helen Scott, Small Axe - BBC1
Joel Collins, His Dark Materials - BBC1
Matt Gant and Megan Bosaw, Gangs Of London - Sky Atlantic
Samantha Harley and Alexandra Slade, Sex Education - Netflix

Scripted Casting - Gary Davy, Small Axe - BBC1
Kate Rhodes James, Baghdad Central - Channel 4
Lauren Evans, Sex Education - Netflix
Shaheen Baig, The Third Day - Sky Atlantic

Sound: Factual - Formula 1: Drive To Survive - Netflix
Earth At Night In Colour - Apple TV+
Hitsville: The Making Of Motown - Sky Documentaries
Springwatch 2020 - BBC2

Sound: Fiction - His Dark Materials (episode 7) - BBC1
Normal People - BBC3
Small Axe - BBC1
The Crown - Netflix

Special, Visual & Graphic Effects - His Dark Materials - BBC1
The Crown - Netflix
War Of The Worlds - Fox
Cursed - Netflix

Titles & Graphic Identity - Fear City: New York vs The Mafia - Netflix
Devs - BBC2
Dracula - BBC1
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail Of The Curious Mouse - Sky One

Writer: Comedy - Sophie Willan, Alma's Not Normal - BBC2
Charlie Brooker, Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe - BBC2
Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, This Country - BBC3
Writing team, Ghosts - BBC1

Writer: Drama - Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You - BBC1
Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen, Small Axe - BBC1
Lucy Kirkwood, Adult Material - Channel 4
Lucy Prebble, I Hate Suzie - Sky Atlantic

The Virgin Media BAFTA Television Awards ceremony airs at 7pm on Sunday 6 June on BBC One.