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Bafta Nominations

28th March 2006

Noel Edmonds has completed a remarkable television comeback to secure his first Bafta nomination, 37 years after he first made his name as a DJ on Radio One.

He is shortlisted as television's best entertainer, alongside Jonathan Ross for his Friday night show, Jeremy Clarkson for Top Gear and Jack Dee for Live at the Apollo.

Launched less than six months ago, the Channel 4 game show with a top prize of £250,000 now regularly attracts more than five million viewers.

He said: "Deal or No Deal is such a fantastic success... I shudder at the recollection that when initially offered the show I actually said 'no deal'. Thank goodness I was persuaded to think again."

The BBC's lavish adaptation of Bleak House by Charles Dickens has received the most nominations. Two of its stars - Gillian Anderson, best known for The X-Files, and Anna Maxwell Martin - will battle it out in the best actress category.

Denis Lawson was nominated in the best actor section, for his portrayal of John Jarndyce, and the programme is also in the running for best drama serial.

The Queen’s Sister, a controversial drama about Princess Margaret’s life, is also nominated in the best single drama category, while Lucy Cohu is nominated for best actress for playing the title role.

Bernard Hill’s performance as David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, in A Very Social Secretary has earned him a best actor nomination.

Coronation Street and EastEnders will go head-to-head in the best continuing drama category, but there is no place for Emmerdale. Instead the soaps will compete with Casualty and Holby City.

Doctor Who, Shameless, Spooks and Bodies are nominated for best drama series. Best entertainment programme will be a contest between Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor, Have I Got News For You and Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.

BBC4 political satire The Thick Of It has three nominations - best sitcom and best comedy performance for Chris Langham and Peter Capaldi. In the best features category, The Apprentice will do battle with Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Dragon’s Den and Top Gear.

Other nominees include Extras (best sitcom and best comedy performance for Ashley Jensen), Jamie’s School Dinners (best factual series), BBC2’s Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home (best specialist factual) and Channel 4’s coverage of England’s Ashes victory (best sport).

The British Academy Television Awards take place on May 7 and will be hosted by Davina McCall, whose primetime chatshow is not among the nominees.

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