“Last Tango in Halifax,” which was tied for most BAFTA bids at four with “The Girl” (that BBC-HBO co-production got shut out), won just one of those races but it was a biggie: Best Drama Series. It had also earned nods for three of its players — leads Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, who play lovers reunited after 50 years, and supporting actress Sarah Lancashire
However, this talented trio was edged out by 2008 champ Ben Whishaw (“Criminal Justice”) for playing “Richard II” in “The Hollow Crown,” a series of adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays; Sheridan Smith for the miniseries “Mrs. Biggs”; and Olivia Colman for an apppearance in the anthology miniseries “The Accused” respectively. Simon Russell Beale won the Supporting Actor award for playing Falstaff in “Henry IV: Part 2,” which was also part of “The Hollow Crown.”
The BAFTAs combine all performances in the drama genres, be they in one-off telefilms, miniseries (defined as two to five episodes) or series (six to 19 installments). See the full list of winners here.
The other Drama Series contenders were 19th century police drama “Ripper Street,” contemporary police procedural “Scott and Bailey” and legal drama “Silk.” None of the performers from these were nominated.
Colman also won Best Female Comedy Performance for her leading role in the satirical “Twenty Twelve,” which was named Best Situation Comedy. Also nominated for their deft work as daft members of the Olympics staff were Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes. Colman, who is best known stateside for playing Carol Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” is likely to contend again next year for her work in the smash hit police procedural “Broadchurch.”
“Murder,” by “The Killing” director Birger Larsen won Single Drama. The other nominees were “Richard II,” “The Girl” and Michael Winterbottom’s “Everyday, which was filmed over a period of five years.
Smith, a two-time Olivier winner won her first BAFTA bid for playing the wife of great train robber Ronnie Biggs. Among the others she edged out was 2010 Supporting Actress champ Rebecca Hall (“Red Riding 1974”) for the Emmy-eligible “Parade’s End.” Both of their programs were nominated for Mini-Series, but lost to “Room at the Top.”
Graham Norton, who hosted these kudos won Entertainment Programme for his self-titled talker. However, he lost Entertainment Performance to Alan Carr who hosts the talk show “Chatty Man”. Also in the running for that award were Sarah Millican for her self-titled talker, and Ant and Dec for “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!,” which lost its bid for Reality & Constructed Factual to “Made in Chelsea.”
“EastEnders” claimed Soap & Continuing Drama over “Coronation Street,” “Emmerdale” and “Shameless.”
Coverage of the Paralympics took the year’s Sport & Live Event category, over two Olympics entries — the Opening Ceremony and Super Saturday — as well as the Wimbledon 2012 Men’s Final.
“Girls” won the International category over Emmy champ “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” and the Danish/Swedish crime drama “The Bridge.” However, “Game of Thrones won the publicly-voted Radio Times Audience Award contenders over “Call the Midwife,” “The Great British Bake Off,” “Homeland,” “The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony” and “Strictly Come Dancing.”