BAFTA TV Awards 2021: ‘Small Axe’, ‘I May Destroy You’, ‘The Crown’ Lead In Nominations

Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series dominates the nominations at this year’s BAFTA Television Awards, with 15 in total going to the acclaimed BBC One series.

Image via BBC One

The nominations for this year’s BAFTA Television Awards are in.

Leading with 15 nominations is Sir Steve McQueen’s BBC One series, Small Axe. The director’s critically-acclaimed five-film anthology tells the stories of resilience and triumph that the West Indian community in London lived though during the 1960s to the 1980s.

Netflix’s regal drama, The Crown, is also one of the leading shows, with 10 nods. I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s powerful show documenting the story of a woman coming to terms with an assault, is listed eight times, including Best Actress, Writer and Director for Coel herself.

“I am overwhelmed with joy to see so many people and teams that made I May Destroy You nominated this year,” Coel said in a statement, adding that she is “equally thrilled to see Small Axe, one of my favourite shows of last year, deservedly honoured. Let the celebrations begin!”

First-time nominees Shaun Parkes and John Boyega are both up for lead actor for their roles in Small Axe, along with I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu, Normal People’s Paul Mescal, Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles in TheCrown, and Baghdad Central’s Waleed Zuaiter.

Elsewhere, grime MC Big Zuu’s cooking show, Big Zuu’s Big Eats, gets a nod, as does drill rapper Digga D’s BBC Three doc, Defending Digga D.

The full list on BAFTA TV nominees are below. 

Drama Series

Gangs Of London – Sky Atlantic

I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic

Save Me Too – Sky Atlantic

The Crown – Netflix

Comedy Entertainment Programme

Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe – BBC2

Rob & Romesh Vs – Sky One

The Big Narstie Show – Channel 4

The Ranganation – BBC2

Entertainment Performance

Adam Hills, The Last Leg – Channel 4

Bradley Walsh, Beat The Chasers – ITV

Claudia Winkleman, Strictly Come Dancing – BBC1

David Mitchell, Would I Lie To You? At Christmas – BBC1

Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show – BBC1

Romesh Ranganathan, The Ranganation – BBC2

Entertainment Programme

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – ITV

Life & Rhymes – Sky Arts

Strictly Come Dancing – BBC1

The Masked Singer – ITV

Factual Series

Crime & Punishment – Channel 4

Hospital – BBC2

Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency – Channel 4

Once Upon A Time In Iraq – BBC2


Big Zuu’s Big Eats – Dave

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace – ITV

Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing – BBC2

The Repair Shop – BBC1

Leading Actress

Billie Piper, I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic

Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People – BBC3

Hayley Squires, Adult Material – Channel 4

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve – BBC1

Letitia Wright, Small Axe – BBC1

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Female Performance In A Comedy Programme

Aimee Lou Wood, Sex Education – Netflix

Daisy Haggard, Breeders – Sky One

Daisy May Cooper, This Country – BBC3

Emma Mackey, Sex Education – Netflix

Gbemisola Ikumelo, Famalam – BBC3

Mae Martin, Feel Good – Channel 4


Little America – Apple Tv+

Lovecraft Country – Sky Atlantic

Unorthodox – Netflix

Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville) – BBC4

Leading Actor

John Boyega, Small Axe – BBC1

Josh O’Connor, The Crown – Netflix

Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Paul Mescal, Normal People – BBC3

Shaun Parkes, Small Axe – BBC1

Waleed Zuaiter, Baghdad Central – Channel 4

Live Event

Life Drawing Live! – BBC4

Springwatch 2020 – BBC2

The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance – BBC1

The Third Day: Autumn – Sky Atlantic

News Coverage

BBC News At Ten: Prime Minister Admitted To Intensive Care – BBC1

Channel 4 News: Deterring Democracy – Channel 4

Newsnight: Covid Care Crisis – BBC Two

Sky News: Inside Idlib – Sky News

Male Performance In A Comedy Programme

Charlie Cooper, This Country – BBC3

Guz Khan, Man Like Mobeen – BBC3

Joseph Gilgun, Brassic – Sky One

Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education – Netflix

Paul Ritter, Friday Night Dinner – Channel 4

Reece Shearsmith, Inside No 9 – BBC2


Adult Material – Channel 4

I May Destroy You – BBC1

Normal People – BBC3

Small Axe – BBC1

Reality & Constructed Factual

Masterchef: The Professionals – BBC1

Race Across The World – BBC2

The School That Tried To End Racism – Channel 4

The Write Offs – Channel 4

Supporting Actor

Kunal Nayyar Criminal: UK – Netflix

Malachi Kirby, Small Axe – BBC1

Michael Sheen, Quiz – ITV

Micheal Ward, Small Axe – BBC1

Rupert Everett, Adult Material – Channel 4

Tobias Menzies, The Crown – Netflix

Scripted Comedy

Ghosts – BBC1

Inside No 9 – BBC2

Man Like Mobeen Production Team – Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC Three

This Country – BBC3

Short Form Programme

Criptales – BBC4

Disabled Not Defeated: The Rock Band With Learning Disabilities – Vice/Noisey

The Main Part – BBC iPlayer

They Saw The Sun First – Red Bull TV

Soap & Continuing Drama

Casualty – BBC1

Coronation Street – ITV

EastEnders – BBC1

Hollyoaks – Channel 4

Supporting Actress

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown – Netflix

Leila Farzad, I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic

Rakie Ayola Anthony – BBC1

Siena Kelly, Adult Material – Channel 4

Sophie Okonedo, Criminal: UK – Netflix

Weruche Opia, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Current Affairs

America’s War On Abortion (Exposure) – ITV

Italy’s Frontline: A Doctor’s Diary – BBC2

The Battle For Hong Kong (Dispatches) – Channel 4

The Cyprus Papers Undercover (Al Jazeera Investigations) – Al Jazeera Media Network/Al Jazeera English

Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment (voted for by the public)

Bridgerton, Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown – Netflix

Britain’s Got Talent, Diversity perform routine inspired by events of 2020 – ITV

EastEnders, Gray kills Chantelle – BBC1

Gogglebox, reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference – Channel 4

Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat, Mee-Cro-Wah-Vay – BBC2

The Mandalorian, Luke Skywalker arrives – Disney+


Bahrain Grand Prix – Sky Sports

England v France: The Final Of Autumn Nations Cup – Amazon Prime Video

England v West Indies Test Cricket – Sky Sports

London Marathon 2020 – BBC

Specialist Factual

Extinction: The Facts – BBC1

Putin: A Russian Spy Story – Channel 4

The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty – BBC2

The Surgeon’s Cut – Netflix


Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On – BBC1

Richard Osman’s House Of Games – BBC2

The Chase – ITV

The Great House Giveaway – Channel 4

Single Documentary

American Murder: The Family Next Door – Netflix

Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me – BBC1

Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville) – BBC4

Surviving Covid – Channel 4

Single Drama

Anthony – BBC1

BBW (On The Edge) – Channel 4

Sitting In Limbo – BBC1

The Windermere Children – BBC2

Costume Design

Rosa Dias, Sex Education – Netflix

Jacqueline Durran, Small Axe – BBC1

James Keast, Belgravia – ITV

Amy Roberts, The Crown – Netflix

Emerging Talent: Fiction

Georgi Banks-Davies (director), I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic

Harry Tulley (dubbing mixer), Anthony – BBC1

Stephen S Thompson (writer), Sitting In Limbo – BBC1

William Stefan Smith (director), On The Edge: BBW – Channel 4

Emerging Talent: Factual

Ashley Francis-Roy (shooting producer/director) Damilola: The Boy Next Door & The Real EastEnders – Channel 4

Jessica Kelly (director) The Schools That Chain Boys, and Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market – BBC

Kandise Abiola (producer) Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story – YouTube

Marian Mohamed (director) Defending Digga D – BBC3

Director: Factual

Xavier Alford, Locked In: Breaking The Silence – BBC4

James Bluemel, Once Upon A Time In Iraq – BBC2

Teresa Griffiths, Lee Miller: A Life On The Front Line – BBC2

Deeyah Khan, America’s War On Abortion – ITV

Director: Fiction

Lenny Abrahamson, Normal People – BBC3

Benjamin Caron, The Crown (episode 3) – Netflix

Michaela Coel and Sam Miller, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Steve McQueen, Small Axe – BBC1

Director: Multi-Camera

Bridget Caldwell, The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance – BBC1

Ken Burton, Rugby League Challenge Cup Final – BBC1

Marcus Viner, Eno’s Drive & Live: La Bohème – Somethin’ Else – Sky Arts

Nikki Parsons, Strictly Come Dancing – BBC1

Editing: Factual

Adam Finch, Putin: A Russian Spy Story – Channel 4

Anna Price, Once Upon A Time In Iraq (episode 3) – BBC2

Claire Guillon, Lee Miller: A Life On The Front Line – BBC2

Will Grayburn, Once Upon A Time In Iraq (episode 2) – BBC2

Editing: Fiction

Chris Dickens and Steve McQueen, Small Axe – BBC1

Editing team, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Nathan Nugent, Normal People (episode 5) – BBC3

Pia Di Ciaula, Quiz – ITV

Entertainment Craft Team

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – ITV

Last Night Of The Proms – BBC1

Strictly Come Dancing – BBC1

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! – ITV

Make Up & Hair Design

Bethany Swan, I May Destroy You – BBC1

Cate Hall, The Crown – Netflix

Jojo Williams, Small Axe – BBC1

Louise Coles, Sarah Nuth, Lorraine Glynn and Erin Ayanian, The Great – Starzplay

Photography: Factual

Johnny Shipley, Drone Camera Team and John Livesey, The Great Mountain Sheep Gather – BBC4

Richard Kirby, Sue Gibson, Max Kölbl and Robert Hollingworth, Tiny World – Apple Tv+

Tim Cragg, Fear City: New York vs The Mafia – Netflix

Will Edwards and Michael O’Halloran, Marina Abramović Takes Over TV – Sky Arts

Photography & Lighting: Fiction

Ed Rutherford, Little Birds – Sky Atlantic

Rob Hardy, Devs – BBC2

Shabier Kirchner, Small Axe – BBC1

Suzie Lavelle, Normal People – BBC3

Original Music

Cristobal Tapia De Veer, The Third Day (episode 3) – Sky Atlantic

H Scott Salinas, Baghdad Central – Channel 4

Harry Escott, Roadkill – BBC1

Martin Phipps, The Crown – Netflix

Production Design

Helen Scott, Small Axe – BBC1

Joel Collins, His Dark Materials – BBC1

Matt Gant and Megan Bosaw, Gangs Of London – Sky Atlantic

Samantha Harley and Alexandra Slade, Sex Education – Netflix

Scripted Casting

Gary Davy, Small Axe – BBC1

Kate Rhodes James, Baghdad Central – Channel 4

Lauren Evans, Sex Education – Netflix

Shaheen Baig, The Third Day – Sky Atlantic

Sound: Factual

Earth At Night In Colour – Apple TV+

Formula 1: Drive To Survive – Netflix

Hitsville: The Making Of Motown – Sky Documentaries

Springwatch 2020 – BBC2

Sound: Fiction

His Dark Materials (episode 7) – BBC1

Normal People – BBC3

Small Axe – BBC1

The Crown – Netflix

Special, Visual & Graphic Effects

The Crown – Netflix

War Of The Worlds – Fox

Cursed – Netflix

His Dark Materials – BBC1

Titles & Graphic Identity

Devs – BBC2

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia – Netflix

Dracula – BBC1

Roald & Beatrix: The Tail Of The Curious Mouse – Sky One

Writer: Comedy

Charlie Brooker, Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe – BBC2

Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, This Country – BBC3

Sophie Willan, Alma’s Not Normal – BBC2

Writing team, Ghosts – BBC1

Writer: Drama

Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen, Small Axe – BBC1

Lucy Kirkwood, Adult Material – Channel 4

Lucy Prebble, I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You – BBC1


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