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Wednesday, 4 April, 2001, 23:31 GMT 00:31 UK
Comics fight for Bafta honours
Caroline Aherne with Craig Cash in the BBC1 comedy The Royle Family
Caroline Aherne directs and stars in The Royle Family
Comic actor-directors Caroline Aherne and Chris Morris will be up against each other when the Bafta Craft awards are held later this month.

They are both nominated in the best new director for a fiction programme category.

Channel 4 drama Longitude
Longitude: Record-breaking nominations
Channel 4's Longitude and BBC Two's Gormenghast go head-to-head in six of the 14 categories, with Longitude nominated for a record-breaking eight awards.

The awards recognise behind-the-scenes work on British television and there are categories for everything from costume and make-up to writing and producing.

Aherne is nominated for directing the hit comedy The Royle Family, which she also co-writes and stars in.

She is also known for her role as spoof chat show host Mrs Merton.

Morris is named in the same category for directing the controversial black comedy Jam, in which he starred.

Chris Morris's Jam
"Unacceptable": Jam caused a stir
Jam caused an outcry when it was aired on Channel 4. It was described as "unacceptable" because of sketches involving abortion, dead children and people with special needs.

But it proved an underground success. Morris had previously been responsible for spoof current affairs shows Brass Eye and The Day Today.

Longitude, a dramatic serialisation of Dava Sobel's book starring Jeremy Irons, has beaten the previous record of seven nominations.

Produced by Granada, it is nominated in visual effects, sound, production design, editing and costume categories.

Rival

It was recently named as best single drama at the Broadcasting Press Guild awards.

Brideshead Revisited and Jewel In The Crown had shared the record for most nominations with seven each.

Longitude's nearest rival this year is BBC Two's Gormenghast, with six nominations.

Three programmes have been nominated three times each - Channel 4's Anna Karenina, ITV's Britain At War In Colour and BBC One's Clocking Off.

The head of Bafta's television craft committee, Hilary Bevan Jones, said: "These awards were established to recognise the exceptional quality of British television craft people. We want to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to our industry."

The award ceremony will be hosted by television personality Liza Tarbuck at the Sadler's Wells theatre, London, on 22 April.

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See also:

03 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Royles move to America
30 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
BBC wins six broadcast awards
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Royal honour for TV's first family
22 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Serial killer spoof to be screened
17 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Aherne in awards heckling row
20 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Best of British battle for Emmys
04 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Channel 4 comedy 'unacceptable'
15 May 00 | Entertainment
A Royle night at the Baftas
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