Can someone – anyone – please explain why the TV Baftas snubbed these BBC dramas?

Behemoth BBC dramas like Poldark, The Night Manager and Line of Duty should have received nominations over Netflix's The Crown, argues Alison Graham


The Night Manager, BBC1’s Sunday-night adaptation of John le Carré’s thriller, was what I as a television critic would call a “corridor-stopper”. That is, people at work would stop me in corridors to gush, “Isn’t The Night Manager fantastic!?” Yes, indeed it was.


Line of Duty (series three) was another glistening drama diamond that impeded my progress around the office as even total strangers came up to me to say, “Isn’t it good? Who do you think is the baddie?” (Answers; “yes” and “I couldn’t possibly comment.”)

And what of Poldark, lovely, lovely Poldark? A show-stopping romance full of buffeting waves and Aidan Turner in a tin bath. All three series had huge, and hugely enthusiastic audiences, and had everyone talking about a “golden age” of television.

So surely this year’s Bafta nominations list would be brimming with acknowledgements — Tom Hiddleston for best actor, definitely. Maybe a nod for Aidan Turner too? And a definite best supporting actor for Hugh Laurie, who wiped out all traces of Dr House as he shrugged on the mantle of well-mannered evil that belonged to suave arms dealer Richard Roper…

Surely, too, Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar would be crowding Laurie for a shot at the prize for (Super) Ted Hastings, righter of wrongs. And yes, of course, all three would be nominated in the best drama category because they were brilliant and successful and… er, hang on a minute.

Here are the Bafta nominations… are there some pages missing? A measly one nom for The Night Manager (best supporting actor Tom Hollander), another measly one for Line of Duty (best supporting actor Daniel Mays), and that’s your lot.

Oh, and nothing at all for Poldark (which won last year’s RT Audience Award). But loads for The Crown (including two best supporting actors)? This expensive drama went out on Netflix, which isn’t even a proper TV channel.

Oi, Bafta. Can I have a word? Your awards do is shown at primetime (8—10pm) on a major channel, BBC1. The channel that showed The Night Manager, Line of Duty and Poldark. If you’re not going to reflect the enthusiasms of BBC1’s audience (and that’s a lot of people), and instead lavish nominations on something that went out on an on-demand service, then I suggest you hold your big self-congratulatory party elsewhere. On Netflix, perhaps?


The British Academy Television Awards Sunday 8:00pm BBC1