Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ Dominates 2021 BAFTA TV Awards With 15 Nominations

The five-part series starring the likes of John Boyega and Letitia Wright leads this year’s BAFTA TV Awards by collecting a total of five nods including Best Mini-Series.

AceShowbizSteve McQueen‘s “Small Axe” series leads the shortlist at the 2021 BAFTA TV Awards with 15 nominations.

The landmark five-film BBC One series tells stories about the lives of the West Indian community in London from the 1960s to the 1980s, and sees recognition for John Boyega and Letitia Wright in the Leading Actor/Actress categories.

The drama will compete for Mini-Series alongside “Normal People“, “I May Destroy You“, and “Adult Material“, while other nominations included Michael Ward and Malachi Kirby for Supporting Actor.

The series is also up for nine craft awards, which celebrate behind-the-scenes work, including McQueen for Director: Fiction

Meanwhile, “The Crown” will compete for Drama Series, with competition including “Gangs of London” and “I Hate Suzie“. Josh O’Connor is up for Leading Actor while Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter are nominated in supporting roles.

Surprisingly, Olivia Colman was not nominated and neither was Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson.

Other big nominations come for Michaela Coel‘s “I May Destroy You”, lockdown hit “Normal People”, and “Sex Education“, with eight, seven and six nominations, respectively. And Paul Ritter gets a posthumous nod in the Male Performance in a Comedy category for his work in “Friday Night Dinner“. Elsewhere, ITV’s “The Masked Singer” will do battle to be named best Entertainment Program.

The BAFTA TV Craft Awards will be held on 24 May (21) with Gbemisola Ikumelo presenting. The main ceremony takes place on 6 June with Richard Ayoade returning to host.

The main list of BAFTA TV Awards nominations is as follows:

Comedy Entertainment Programme:

  • Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe
  • Rob & Romesh Vs
  • The Big Narstie Show
  • The Ranganation

Current Affairs:

  • America’s War on Abortion” (Exposure)
  • Italy’s Frontline: A Doctor’s Diary
  • The Battle for Hong Kong” (Dispatches)
  • The Cyprus Papers Undercover” (Al Jazeera Investigations)


  • Jimmy Mcgovern’s Moving On
  • Richard Osman’s House of Games
  • The Chase
  • The Great House Giveaway

Drama Series:

  • Gangs of London
  • I Hate Suzie
  • Save Me Too
  • The Crown

Entertainment Performance:

  • Adam Hills, “The Last Leg
  • Bradley Wals, “Beat the Chasers
  • Claudia Winkleman, “Strictly Come Dancing
  • David Mitchell, “Would I Lie to You? At Christmas
  • Graham Norton, “The Graham Norton Show
  • Romesh Ranganathan, “The Ranganation

Entertainment Programme:

  • Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
  • Life & Rhymes
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • The Masked Singer

Factual Series:

  • Crime & Punishment
  • Hospital
  • Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency
  • Once Upon a Time in Iraq


  • Big Zuu’s Big Eats
  • Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace
  • Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing
  • The Repair Shop

Female Performance in a Comedy Programme:

  • Aimee Lou Wood, “Sex Education
  • Daisy Haggard, “Breeders
  • Daisy May Cooper, “This Country
  • Emma Mackey, “Sex Education
  • Gbemisola Ikumelo, “Famalam
  • Mae Martin, “Feel Good


  • Little America
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Unorthodox
  • Welcome to Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville)

Leading Actor:

  • John Boyega, “Small Axe
  • Josh O’Connor, “The Crown
  • Paapa Essiedu, “I May Destroy You
  • Paul Mescal, “Normal People
  • Shaun Parkes, “Small Axe
  • Waleed Zuaiter, “Baghdad Central

Leading Actress:

  • Billie Piper, “I Hate Suzie
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones, “Normal People
  • Hayley Squires, “Adult Material
  • Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve
  • Letitia Wright, “Small Axe
  • Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You

Live Event:

  • Life Drawing Live!
  • Springwatch 2020
  • The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance
  • The Third Day: Autumn

Male Performance in a Comedy Programme:

  • Charlie Cooper, “This Country
  • Guz Khan, “Man Like Mobeen
  • Joseph Gilgun, “Brassic
  • Ncuti Gatwa, “Sex Education
  • Paul Ritter, “Friday Night Dinner
  • Reece Shearsmith, “Inside No 9


  • Adult Material
  • I May Destroy You
  • Normal People
  • Small Axe

News Coverage:

  • BBC News at Ten: Prime Minister Admitted to Intensive Care
  • Channel 4 News: Deterring Democracy
  • Newsnight: Covid Care Crisis
  • Sky News: Inside Idlib

Reality & Constructed Factual:

  • Masterchef: The Professionals
  • Race Across the World
  • The School That Tried to End Racism
  • The Write Offs

Scripted Comedy:

  • Ghosts
  • Inside No 9
  • Man Like Mobeen
  • This Country

Short Form Programme:

  • Criptales
  • Disabled Not Defeated: The Rock Bans With Learning Disabilities
  • The Main Part
  • They Saw The Sun First

Single Documentary:

  • American Murder: The Family Next Door
  • Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me
  • Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville)
  • Surviving Covid

Single Drama:

  • Anthony
  • BBW (On the Edge)
  • Sitting in Limbo
  • The Windermere Children

Soap & Continuing Drama:

  • Casualty
  • Coronation Street
  • EastEnders
  • Hollyoaks

Specialist Factual:

  • Extinction: The Facts
  • Putin: A Russian Spy Story
  • The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty
  • The Surgeon’s Cut


  • Bahrain Grand Prix
  • England v France: The Final of Autumn Nations Cup
  • England v West Indies Test Cricket
  • London Marathon 2020

Supporting Actor:

  • Kunal Nayyar, “Criminal: UK
  • Malachi Kirby, “Small Axe
  • Michael Sheen, “Quiz
  • Michael Ward, “Small Axe
  • Rupert Everett, “Adult Material
  • Tobias Menzies, “The Crown

Supporting Actress:

  • Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown
  • Leila Farzad, “I Hate Suzie
  • Rakie Ayola, “Anthony
  • Siena Kelly, “Adult Material
  • Sophie Okonedo, “Criminal: UK
  • Weruche Opia, “I May Destroy You

Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment (Voted for by the Public):

  • Bridgerton“, Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown
  • Britain’s Got Talent“, Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020
  • EastEnders“, Gray kills Chantelle
  • Gogglebox“, reactions to Boris Johnson‘s press conference
  • Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat“, “mee-cro-wah-vay”
  • The Mandalorian“, Luke Skywalker Arrives

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