'Small Axe' leads this year's Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards with 15 nominations.

Sir Steve McQueen

Sir Steve McQueen

The BBC One anthology film series, directed by Sir Steve McQueen, picked up six TV noms and nine in the craft categories, including a nod for the Mini-Series gong alongside 'Normal People', 'Adult Material' and 'I May Destroy You'.  

'Small Axe' - which features five films that tell stories about lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s - also picked up two Leading Actor nominations with John Boyega and Shaun Parkes both receiving nods.

Letitia Wright, who also starred in the series, is up for the Leading Actress prize, and she will face competition from Billie Piper ('I Hate Suzie'), Daisy Edgar-Jones ('Normal People'), Hayley Squires ('Adult Material'), Jodie Comer ('Killing Eve') and Michaela Coel ('I May Destroy You)'.

I May Destroy You's Paapa Essiedu will go up against John and Shaun for the Leading Actor award, as well as Normal People's Paul Mescal, Baghdad Central's Waleed Zuaiter, and The Crown's Josh O'Connor.

'The Crown' received 10 nominations - four for TV and six for the craft categories - including a nod for the Drama Series accolade alongside 'I Hate Suzie', 'Save Me Too' and 'Gangs of London'.

Other nods included 'This Country', 'Man Like Mobeen', 'Inside No. 9', and 'Ghosts' for the Scripted Comedy prize, and siblings and 'This Country' creators Daisy May and Charlie Cooper received nominations for the Female and Male Performance in a Comedy Programme gongs respectively.  

'Sex Education' stars Emma Mackey and Aimee Lou Wood will go up against Daisy for the award, as will Breeders' Daisy Haggard, Famalam's Gbemisola Ikumelo, and Mae Martin for 'Feel Good'.

The late Paul Ritter, who died of a brain tumour earlier this month aged 54, is also up for the Male Performance in a Comedy Programme accolade for his role as Martin Goodman in Channel 4's 'Friday Night Dinner'.After 'Small Axe' and 'The Crown', 'I May Destroy You' picked up a total of eight nods followed by seven for 'Normal People' and six for 'Sex Education'.

Comedian Richard Ayoade will host this year's Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards, which will air on Sunday 6th June 2021 on BBC One.

Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021 nominations:


Small Axe

Normal People

I May Destroy You

Adult Material

Comedy Entertainment Programme:

Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe

Rob & Romesh Vs

The Big Narstie Show

The Ranganation

Current Affairs:

America's War on Abortion

Italy's Frontline: A Doctor's Diary

The Battle for Hong Kong

The Cyprus Papers Undercover


Jimmy McGovern's Moving One

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 Walsh, The Chase

Claudia Winkleman, Strictly Come Dancing

David Mitchell, Would I Lie to You?

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


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


Welcome to Chechyna: The Gay Purge

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

Letita Wright, Small Axe

Michaela Cole, 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

Scripted Comedy:


Inside No. 9

Man Like Mobeen

This Country

Single Documentary:

American Murder: The Family Next Door

Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me

Locked In: Breaking The Silence

Surviving COVID

Soap and Continuing Drama:


Coronation Street



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

Sienna Kelly, Adult Material

Sophie Okonedo, Criminal UK

Weruche Opia, I May Destroy You

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