Skip to main content

BAFTA category spotlight: Day 4

BAFTA category spotlight: Day 4

We’re previewing the Leading Actress and Leading Actor nominees with Rylan Clark-Neal, Emily Atack and Caitlin Moran!

By Virgin TV Edit

Hosted by Richard Ayoade, the 2020 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will be held this Friday (31 July) to recognise the best on the box across 26 categories. Whether they’ve been behind the scenes or in front of the camera, top talent has been entertaining the nation for the past 12 months – and now’s the time to celebrate that!  


The Leading Actress and Leading Actor categories are a pretty BIG deal, and wow, what a line-up. We do not envy the BAFTA members who were tasked with choosing the winners. In Chernobyl, Jared Harris memorised a 24-page monologue for the courtroom scene, so he gets an A for effort alone. Then we have Stephen “everything-I-touch-turns-to-gold” Graham, who paired with Shane Meadows for the fifth time for The Virtues, a beautiful, devastating watch.

For Leading Actress, will Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer take home the award for another year in a row or will Glenda Jackson scoop the gong for Elizabeth Is Missing to mark her first television role in 27 years?

We caught up with Rylan, Emily and Caitlin on video chat to discuss all the nominees. Watch our video below…

Here’s what our panel said about the nominees…

Leading Actress

Glenda Jackson – Elizabeth Is Missing

Rylan Clark-Neal: It’s a real heartfelt piece actually, the fact that she’s suffering with dementia and she’s looking for her friend Elizabeth, and I think a lot of people at home would resonate with that character.

Jodie Comer – Killing Eve

Emily Atack: I mean, it’s a masterclass. It’s the dream role to play. She’s sexy, glamourous, she’s a psycho. You find yourself going, “Why have I got a crush on a murderous psychopath?”

Samantha Morton – I Am Kirsty

Caitlin Moran: Another characteristically hard-hitting role from Samantha Morton. In I Am Kirsty, she played a single mother struggling to pay the bills, who debates whether or not she should take up sex work in order to pay those bills.

Suranne Jones – Gentleman Jack

RCN: Then you’ve got Suranne Jones for Gentleman Jack. I mean, Gentleman Jack was a fantastic piece of telly, but I just adore Suranne Jones.


CM: Suranne Jones read huge parts of the diaries that had been missing for almost a century and you can see this information feeding into her role.

Leading Actor

Callum Turner – The Capture

RCN: It almost reminded me a little bit of Orwell and 1984, the Big Brother sort of concept, where CCTV plays a massive part in all of this. Big Brother is always watching you, but not everything is always as it seems.

Jared Harris – Chernobyl

CM: He turned out one of the greatest roles of this year. He’s a man who has watched a nuclear power station explode and now needs to solve the mystery slash crime of: how has it happened and how can you stop everyone in the world dying?

Stephen Graham – The Virtues

CM: When you’ve got a powerhouse actor with the kind of talent and range that Stephen Graham has got, all you want to do is see him put together with a Shane Meadows script and watch the sparks fly, and The Virtues was no exception.


EA: It’s the fifth time he’s partnered up with Shane Meadows and it’s just another masterpiece.

Takehiro Hira – Giri/Haji

CM: Takehiro Hira from Giri/Haji was only in his second ever English-speaking role and his first ever British production. After the reception that he got in this, I would imagine we’ll be seeing him on our screens a lot more.


View the full list of nominees here



When is the 2020 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards on TV?


The 2020 Virgin Media BAFTAs airs on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) at 7pm on Friday 31 July. It is also available for 30 days in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.

You might also like

TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.

HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.

Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.

Interviews: Any opinions expressed in interviews are those of the interview subject and not those of Virgin Media.

Image credit: Giri/Haji @ Sister Pictures - Photographer: Ludovic Robert