Benedict Cumberbatch takes on Peter Capaldi and Martin Freeman at the 2015 NTAs

The battle of the Sherlock actors is not the only enticing contest at next year's National Television Awards - the new Doctor is competing against his companion Jenna Coleman…

As voting opens on the National Television Awards 2015 longlist, there are more than enough mouth-watering tussles in prospect before the shortlist is announced in January.


First up is the battle of the Sherlock actors with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman joining a crowded field of fifty-plus hopefuls in the best drama performance category.

Other names in the frame include Peter Capaldi who is competing against Jenna Coleman – AKA the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald – to make the shortlist for the same award. Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire, Cilla star Sheridan Smith and Last Tango in Halifax pair Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid are also among the string of names in a particularly competitive longlist.

Another set of TV colleagues will be battling it out for the entertainment presenter prize with new Strictly Come Dancing pairing Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly among 24 nominees on the longlist. Also included is Daly’s husband Vernon Kay and Ant & Dec who have walked away with the award for the last 13 years.

Over in the drama category, Doctor Who and Sherlock are bidding for a nomination, up against Line of Duty, New Tricks, Downton Abbey and Happy Valley.

And what about the new category of TV judge, which rather turns the tables on personalities who are more used to dispensing verdicts than receiving them?

It’s another strong line-up pitting the cream of The X Factor, Strictly and Bake Off against each other. Will Simon Cowell toast Mary Berry? Can Craig Revel-Horwood pip The Voice’s Tom Jones? Or will The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar triumph in the end and tell the rest of them that they are fired?

With the NTA’s, the decision is yours.


The shortlist will be announced in January ahead of the National Television Awards, hosted by Dermot O’Leary at London’s O2 on 21 January and broadcast on ITV. Vote here