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Olympic satire races against dramas in top British TV awards

Actor Hugh Bonneville and his wife Lulu Evans arrive at the NBC Universal after-party following the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in Bever
Actor Hugh Bonneville and his wife Lulu Evans arrive at the NBC Universal after-party following the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in Bever

LONDON (Reuters) - A television satire that lampooned organizers of the 2012 London Olympics was in a head-to-head race against two dramas as the most nominated shows in Britain's top TV awards on Tuesday.

The satire "Twenty Twelve" received four nominations in the British Academy Television Awards as did the Hitchcock drama "The Girl" and romantic series "Last Tango in Halifax".

Three actors from "Twenty Twelve" were competing for best performance in a comedy program - Jessica Hynes, Olivia Colman, and Hugh Bonneville - while the show on public broadcaster BBC was also nominated for best Situation Comedy.

The Olympic opening ceremony aired on BBC1 was also nominated for an award, in the Sport and Live Event category, alongside the Olympics Super Saturday on BBC1, Channel Four's Paralympic cover and Wimbledon's Men's Final broadcast by BBC1.

Actors from the most nominated drama series were competing for the top acting awards handed out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' (BAFTA) in its annual TV prizes.

Tony Jones from "The Girl" shown on BBC2 was up against Derek Jacobi from "Last Tango in Halifax" on BBC1 for Leading Acting.

The four-man field also included Ben Whishaw, best known as the gadget guy Q in the James Bond movie "Skyfall," for his portrayal of Richard II on BBC2, and Sean Bean for playing the transvestite Tracie in "Accused" on BBC1.

Sienna Miller in "The Girl" was competing against Anne Reid from "Last Tango in Halifax", Rebecca Hall from period drama "Parade's End" and Sheridan Smith from "Mrs Biggs" about the wife of the great train robber Ronnie Biggs for Leading Actress.

The International Award was a contest between the Danish crime drama "The Bridge" on BBC4, the post 9/11 psychological drama "Homeland" on Channel 4, and Sky's fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" and New York quirky comedy "Girls".

An ITV expose about the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile who, posthumously, was found to have carried out sex crimes on an unprecedented scale over six decades, was nominated for best Current Affairs show.

Also competing in this category was a Panorama special about Britain's hidden housing crisis, a documentary called "The Shame of the Catholic Church" on BBC2 and the second nomination for Arab news channel Al Jazeera's "What Killed Arafat?"

Among the leading channels, BBC2 led the field with a total of 26 nominations, followed by BBC1 with 22, Channel 4 with 16, and ITV with 10.

The BAFTA TV awards, sponsored by Arqiva, will be announced on May 12.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, editing by Paul Casciato)

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