Clues Point to Cumberbatch in BATFA TV Awards


The annual BAFTA TV Awards are on the horizon again, and the bookmakers have opened their betting books with odds on all the major awards. The showbiz bash will take place on Sunday the 10th of May in London, and all of the big TV stars of last year will be making their way up the red carpet to celebrate a year of British TV.

One of the biggest names to grace that red carpet will be Benedict Cumberbatch, who is hot favourite to win the gong for Best Actor for his appearances in the TV drama, Sherlock. This is his sixth BAFTA nomination, and his third for his role as Sherlock. He’s been unsuccessful on the last two occasions, so he’ll be hoping to make it third time lucky this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the Nominees and odds in each category:

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock –  +100  with William Hill and Betfair

James Nesbitt – The Missing –  +250  with LadbrokesBetvictor and Bet365

Toby Jones – Marvellous –  +400  with William HillBetvictor and Bet365

James Watkins – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies –  +700  with Bet365 and Betvictor

Despite those two previous nominations and subsequent disappointments, this is really looking like it could be Benedict Cumberbatch’s year. The third series of Sherlock aired in 2014 and it has become the most watched UK TV drama since 2001. The series has also been sold to over 200 territories worldwide, and has been nominated for a raft of awards since the first series was broadcast in 2010. It has been given nods of approval in the BAFTA’s, Emmy’s and Golden Globes, winning a number of awards across several different categories. Cumberbatch himself has had a fantastic year, and was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his performance in The Imitation Game, and it could be time for the Academy to recognise his achievements.

James Nesbitt provides the most realistic danger, receiving his nomination for his role as Tony Hughes in The Missing. The eight-part drama follows the story of a family who’s five-year old son went missing while holidaying in France, and the years Nesbitt’s character spent searching to try and find him. It has received critical acclaim and has been broadcast both in the UK and the US.

Best Actress

The nominations for Best Actress include Keeley Hawes for her role in Line of Duty, Georgina Campbell for Murdered by My Boyfriend, Sarah Lancashire for Happy Valley, and Sheridan Smith for her performance as Cilla in the TV drama of the same name.

Sheridan Smith looks to have this one well and truly sewn up, and she’s trading as short as  -600  in places. The biographical three-part series was shown in September 2014, and received rave reviews, as did Sheridan for her role as the titular character. The series, and her performance were so popular that both Cilla Black and Sheridan Smith entered the top 40 singles chart, and that says a great deal about the show’s popularity. If heavily-odds on favourites are your thing, Smith looks like an absolute shoe-in for Best Actress.

Sheridan Smith – Cilla –  -300  with LadbrokesWilliam Hill and Betfair

Best Entertainment Programme

The runners and riders in the Best Entertainment category are far more closely matched, so here are the nominees and the odds for this one:

Strictly Come Dancing –  +110  with Betfair

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway –  +125  with William Hill

Dynamo: Mission Impossible –  +1000  with William HillBetvictor and Bet365

The Voice –  +1000  with BetfairBetvictor and Bet365

Strictly Come Dancing and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway are finely balanced in the betting, but the loveable Geordie Duo have drifted from an initial  -200  in places, and the smart money could be on Strictly scooping the award. Ant and Dec took a BAFTA Award last year for Best Entertainment Performance, and there’s always the chance the Academy will look elsewhere this year in the main entertainment category. Strictly has gone from a concept to household name, and it is becoming ingrained in British culture. It would be no surprise to see it’s long-term popularity rewarded.

Best Comedy Actor

We’ve got a short-priced favourite in this section as well, and not surprisingly, it’s Brendan O’Carroll for his cross-dressing turn in Mrs Brown’s Boys. Despite being derided by the critics, the comedy show has become a huge hit for the BBC, and is one of the UK’s most watched comedy shows. The other nominees in this category are Matt Berry for Toast of London, Hugh Boneville for W1A, and Tom Hollander for Rev, but it’s hard to look past the Irish funnyman for this one.

Brendan O’Carroll – Mrs Brown’s Boys –  -250  with Ladbrokes

Best Continuing Drama

Best Continuing Drama, or Best Soap to you and I, is always a hotly-contested award, and the casts of the various nominees will be out in full. As with all of the awards there are four nominees, but this one is usually a two-horse race between Eastenders and Coronation Street. The other nominations are Hollyoaks and Casualty, but they are both big outsiders.

Eastenders –  -225  with Ladbrokes and William Hill

Coronation Street –  +275  with Betvictor

Casualty –  +1000  with Betvictor

Hollyoaks –  +1400  with William Hill and Betvictor

We think Eastenders might just have the edge in this particular award, and although a short price, it’s just about tempting enough for us to get involved. The saga of who killed Lucy Beale gripped the nation, and despite repeating a well-worn story-line, Eastenders did what it does best and dragged out the suspense in expert fashion. Bookmakers were even taking bets on who committed the murder, and the show also came up trumps with a live episode. Coronation Street has offered little in response this year, and this could be a one-way road to Eastenders.

Tips Summary

Bafta TV Awards, Sunday 10th May 2015

Best Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock –  +100  with William Hill and Betfair

Best Entertainment Programme – Strictly Come Dancing –  +110  with Betfair

Best Continuing Drama – Eastenders –  -225  with Ladbrokes and William Hill

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