The 68th Emmy Awards: Cumberbatch v Elba v Hiddleston

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Forget the fight for who might eventually take over the role of James Bond - there’s a Battle of the Brits* on its way in the 68th Emmy Awards.

While Benedict Cumberbatch thinks it’s unlikely he’d ever be considered for the iconic spy role (perhaps we can have him as a villain instead) fellow thesps Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston remain among the favourites to succeed Daniel Craig. All three are nominated for the Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie award and will find out on September 18 who takes the crown.

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Cumberbatch, as sociopathic detective Sherlock Holmes, is nominated following the one off Sherlock special, The Abominable Bride. The reboot of Conan Doyle’s most famous character has turned Cumberbatch into a global superstar, while his recent celebrated television appearance as Richard III introduced Shakespeare to a whole new generation.

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Idris Elba was better known to US audiences than British ones, with his role as astute drug dealer Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell in crime drama series The Wire making his name across the pond. The actor’s critically acclaimed portrayal of the emotionally impulsive Luther now sees him firmly fixed at the top of the A-List.

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The enigmatic Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager was Hiddleston’s first serial TV role on British television since his heady days as Magnus Martinsson in Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander. He also starred in the first tetralogy of The Hollow Crown, as Prince Hal/Henry V in 2012, and in the title role of Coriolanus, live from the National Theatre in 2014.

Good friends in the real world, all three actors have now turned up in the Marvel Universe, with Cumberbatch joining the cast as Dr. Strange, giving us the tantalising proposition of him pitching up on screen with Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, who plays US government civil servant Everett Ross.

Elba, who plays Asgard’s Gatekeeper, Heimdall, and Hiddleston as recurring goodie/baddie/he’s just misunderstood Loki, have been with the franchise since its early days. It’s the role of the trickster God that brought Hiddleston to a much wider audience and won him the South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award in 2013; he’s been busy ever since.

The Night Manager itself is nominated for the Limited Series category, while Olivia Colman gets the nod for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her gritty portrayal of Angela Burr. Hugh Laurie is nominated for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his charmingly evil Richard Roper.

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Also nominated - Downton Abbey, in the Outstanding Drama category, alongside Game of Thrones, The Americans, Better Call Saul, Homeland, House of Cards and Mr. Robot.

The Julian Fellowes creation has won a slew of TV awards, including 11 Emmys and 3 Golden Globes but faces an almighty crop of now legendary shows - Mr. Robot has already picked up numerous awards in only its first season. Dame Maggie Smith is nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category.

Game of Thrones received 23 nominations, including Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actresses for Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams and Lena Headey, while HBO secured a whopping 94 overall. Which begs the question, how many categories? I thought I’d look them up and list them but my glasses broke so …here’s a link to the official Emmy website. You’re welcome.

*Other actors from elsewhere are also eligible for this award.

Picture credits: BBC

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