Voting opens today for the Radio Times Audience Award, the only prize at this year’s Bafta Television Awards chosen by the public.
A wide-ranging shortlist, drawn up by a panel of top TV critics, features BBC1’s period drama Call the Midwife, Sky Atlantic’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones, BBC2’s cookery contest The Great British Bake Off, Channel 4’s conspiracy thriller Homeland, BBC1’s coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremony and its celebrity ballroom competition Strictly Come Dancing.
Here’s a taster of what the judges had to say about the six shows that are up for the award, followed by details of how to vote.
The Telegraph’s Chris Harvey said Call the Midwife was an “irresistible blend of nostalgia, humour and life or death drama” and that the second series “built in darker storylines and added some surprising twists” while continuing to develop its characters.
“Helen George’s Trixie and Laura Main’s Sister Bernadette really came into their own,” said Harvey, “but Pam Ferris as stern Sister Evangelina still got the best lines: ‘It’s a baby not a lubricated penguin. They don’t come sliding out to order!’”
The Guardian’s Vicky Frost said Game of Thrones was a fantasy drama that appealed to a wider audience. “I don’t even like fantasy shows: the mere glimpse of a dragon is enough to have me scrambling for the remote control,” she admitted, before calling the HBO adaptation of George RR Martin’s novels “gripping, epic, and full of great performances… with plotting and double-crossing to rival a great spy drama.”
Heat TV editor Boyd Hilton spoke in praise of The Great British Bake Off, saying it was more than just a cookery competition. “Behind the seemingly obvious format are the superbly produced subtleties of the show: the brilliant casting of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, with their own unique spin on the good cop/bad cop routine; the selection of truly fascinating competitors.
“Bake Off is a classic example of British TV at its best – smart, informative, wryly self-aware and thoroughly gripping from start to finish.”
The Times’s Mike Mulvihill said conspiracy thriller Homeland was “intelligent, gripping – and yes, a touch preposterous”, calling its British star Damian Lewis “a revelation as Nicholas Brody, the marine and former al-Quaeda captive who may-or-may-not be a terrorist” and his opposite number Claire Danes “nothing short of magnificent”.
“This was the series that got everyone talking in 2012,” said Mulvihill.
The Sun’s Leigh Holmwood backed Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony, calling it “THE television moment of the year.”
“When we look back on 2012, it’s unlikely we’ll remember who won The X Factor but the ‘Queen’ jumping out of a helicopter and that awe inspiring sight of the four Olympic rings slowly gathering over the stadium will live with us forever,” said Holmwood.
“It’s not often that a single telecast unites the whole country but it did and we should all be proud of that.”
Good Morning’s Sharon Marshall praised Strictly Come Dancing for “a stellar line-up, a peerless panel and joyous TV moments. No gimmicks, no PR stunts. Just great TV.
“Winner Louis Smith’s sublimely beautiful showdance won our hearts this year,” she added.
There’s no doubt they were six fantastic shows, each with their own claim to be crowned the Radio Times Audience Award winner at this year’s Baftas. But the final decision lies with you.
Find out more about each show with our dedicated guides, then cast your vote.
Your winner will be announced on Sunday 12 May 2013 on BBC1.
Vote now in the Radio Times Audience Award at this year’s Bafta Television Awards
The shortlist is selected from the best shows in the 12 months from February 2012