'Harry Potter' stars dominate BAFTA TV nominations
Although Daniel Radcliffe was snubbed two years ago by the BAFTA TV Awards -- the British equivalent of the Emmy Awards -- for his performance in the telefilm "My Boy Jack," six of his older "Harry Potter" co-stars are contending in top races at this year's kudos.
Leading that list is Julie Walters, the on-screen mother of Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), who competes with herself in the best actress race. All four of the nominated performances are for real-life roles -- Walters as politico Mo Mowlam in "Mo" and assisted suicide advocate Anne Turner in "A Short Stay in Switzerland"; Helena Boham Carter -- the dastardly Bellatrix LeStrange in "Harry Potter" -- as beloved children's author Enid Blyton in "Enid"; and Sophie Okonedo as Winnie Mandela in "Mrs. Mandela." Both of Walters' works contend for best single program against "Five Minutes of Heaven" with Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt and Samantha Morton's directorial debut, "The Unloved."
Three of the four nominees for best actor, also a catch-all category that includes performances in one-offs, minis and series, are "Harry Potter" stars. Kenneth Branagh -- who played vain professor Gilderoy Lockhart -- was snubbed last year for the first season of "Wallander," which earned him an Emmy nomination, but contends for the second season of the mystery series. Brendan Gleeson -- who plays Phoenix member Alastor Moody -- won an Emmy last year for his BAFTA-nominated performance as Winston Churchill in "Into the Storm." John Hurt -- who was wand merchant Mr. Ollivander -- won the BAFTA 34 years ago for his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in "The Naked Civil Servant" and contends again for the sequel "An Englishman in New York." Rounding out the race is David Oyelowo for "Small Island," which vies for best serial against "Occupation," "Red Riding" and "Unforgiven."
Okonedo is also contending in the supporting actress race for the miniseries "Criminal Justice" against Rebecca Hall ("Red Riding 1974"), Lauren Socha ("The Unloved") and Imelda Staunton ("Cranford"), so memorable as Harry Potter's nemesis Dolores Umbridge. Supporting actor nominees are Benedict Cumberbatch ("Small Island"), Tom Hollander ("Gracie!"), Gary Lewis ("Mo") and Matthew Macfadyen ("Criminal Justice").
The reality competition series that launched Susan Boyle -- "Britain's Got Talent" -- competes with "The Graham Norton Show," "Harry Hill's TV Burp" and "Newswipe with Charlie Brooker" for best entertainment program.
The international category is all American with returning champ "Mad Men" pitted against "Family Guy," "Nurse Jackie" and "True Blood."
Photo: BAFTA statues. Credit: BAFTA