Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant and Olivia Colman compete for Radio Times TV detective award

The National Television Awards 2014 see the Sherlock and Broadchurch stars go head-to-head, plus Doctor Who's Matt Smith vies for best drama performance

Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant and Olivia Colman compete for Radio Times TV detective award
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There's stiff competition ahead for the Radio Times TV detective award...

While it's arguably been the year of Broadchurch, cop double act David Tennant and Olivia Colman - who played DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller in the ITV crime drama - are going head-to-head with Benedict Cumberbatch's ever-popular Sherlock Holmes to win the National Television Awards 2014's coveted gong. 

The trio - who adorn the cover of this week's Radio Times - will also have to beat off competition from Luther's Idris Elba, Suranne Jones (Scott & Bailey) and Bradley Walsh (Law & Order: UK) if they want to claim the prize at this year's ceremony on January 22, hosted by a dapper Dermot O'Leary. 

This year's new category is joined by old favourites with Broadchurch, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife all going head-to-head in their bid to be named best drama while drama performance sees newly-departed Doctor Matt Smith competing against Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith, Miranda Hart in Call the Midwife and Martin Clunes (Doc Martin). 

This year's best comedy shortlist consists of Derek, Miranda, Mrs Brown's Boys and The Big Bang Theory while best talent show sees the usual suspects - Britain's Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor, The Voice UK and Dancing on Ice - competing for silverware. 

Coronation Street has scored three of the best serial drama performance nominations with Julie Hesmondhalgh, Michelle Keegan and David Neilson all receiving the nod along with EastEnders' Jessie Wallace, while the two soaps are joined by Emmerdale and Hollyoaks in the best serial drama category. 

Meanwhile best newcomer will be chosen from Coronation Street's Marc Baylis (who plays Rob Donovan), Khali Best (Dexter Hartman in EastEnders), Emmerdale actress Michelle Hardwick (Vanessa Woodfield) and Anna Passey (Sienna Blake in Hollyoaks). 

In the entertainment categories, Ant & Dec are in the running for a thirteenth consecutive best presenter prize (good luck, Alan Carr, Keith Lemon, Graham Norton and Dermot O'Leary), and their two series Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm a Celebrity will go up against Celebrity Juice and The Graham Norton Show to win best entertainment programme.

The Great British Bake Off will look to cap off a stellar year by triumphing over An Idiot Abroad, Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs and Top Gear in the factual entertainment category, meanwhile the critically-acclaimed Educating Yorkshire will compete with Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald, Paul O'Grady's Working Britain and Penguins - Spy in the Huddle to win best documentary series. 

Cast your vote...

By phone: on 0901 888 2014 (calls cost no more than 26p per minute plus no more than 15p connection charge from BT landlines; other networks may be higher and mobiles will be considerably more. Calls should last no longer than seven minutes.)
Or vote free online: at

The ceremony will be broadcast from the O2 on Wednesday 22 January on ITV