Idris Elba and Mark Rylance earn Bafta TV award nominations

Idris Elba, who is in the running to pick up a Bafta television award for his performance in Luther. Picture: PA
Idris Elba, who is in the running to pick up a Bafta television award for his performance in Luther. Picture: PA
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Idris Elba has earned his first Bafta television awards nomination.

The British actor has been nominated for his performance in the title role of the hit BBC series Luther.

He will go head-to-head in the leading actor category with London Spy’s Ben Whishaw, Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance and Stephen Graham, who is nominated for This Is England ̓90.

Rylance and Elba were also both nominated for best supporting actor at the Bafta film awards earlier this year. Rylance won and went on to win the Oscar for his performance in Bridge Of Spies.

Historical drama Wolf Hall leads this year’s nominations with a total of four nods.

Apart from Rylance’s leading actor nomination, his co-star Claire Foy is nominated for best leading actress alongside Sheridan Smith, Suranne Jones and Ruth Madeley.

In addition, the show’s Anton Lesser is recognised in the best supporting actor category.

The drama, which depicts Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in Henry VIII’s royal court, is also nominated for best drama series. It will need to fend off competition from Humans, The Last Panthers and No Offence.

Peter Kay’s Car Share and This Is England ̓90 have received three nominations each.

The Great British Bake Off received its fifth consecutive nomination. It is nominated in the features category, which it won in 2012 and 2013.

Singer Adele has received her first Bafta nomination, for the TV special Adele At The BBC.

She is up for best entertainment programme alongside Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing and the TFI Friday anniversary special.

Film and TV star Sir Ian McKellen has received his first ever Bafta TV nomination, winning a nod for supporting actor for The Dresser.

The nominations were announced at Bafta’s London headquarters in Piccadilly by X Factor host Dermot O’Leary and last year’s leading actress winner Georgina Campbell.

The actress said that the Baftas are “bridging the way” for more diversity in film and television.

Campbell won in 2015 for a break-out performance in Murdered By My Boyfriend.

On the list of nominees for this year’s television awards, the mixed-race actress said: “I think that the television Baftas and the film Baftas are kind of bridging the way for that – they really are diverse and they really are looking across the board at all kinds of talents.”

She added: “There’s still ways to go ... I feel like we’re kind of getting to this point where in the next few years things are really going to start changing.”

This year’s Oscars became the focus of a debate about diversity after all the acting nominees were white, but Bafta chairwoman Anne Morrison said the list of Bafta TV nominees was more diverse.

She said: “You’ve got a real range in diversity across ethnicity and so on, right across the board.

“There is still further to go, and in Bafta we are very hot on diversity, we have big new talent programmes to try and make sure that the whole industry is as diverse as possible.”