Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Published at 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
TV stars prepare for battle
Lily, John Joe, David and Thora bid for awards
Rising soap star Joe Absolom could walk away with one of the top titles at next week's National Television Awards.
The 20-year-old actor, who plays wrongly-jailed Matthew Rose in BBC One's EastEnders, has been nominated in the Most Popular Actor category for the awards.
Robson Green and Coronation Street's Steven Arnold (Ashley Peacock) are also shortlisted.
Thaw and Jason have both scooped the title before. Thaw is the defending titleholder, while Jason won it in 1997.
Absolom has already picked up the Best Soap Actor award for his emotionally-charged performance in EastEnders at last month's TV Quick magazine awards.
Meanwhile, Thaw and Jason will also square up against each other in the Popular Drama category. Thaw's acclaimed ITV film Goodnight Mister Tom is lined up against Jason's A Touch Of Frost
The ever popular Michael Barrymore has three nominations this year, standing him in good stead to continue his winning streak with titles in each of the past four years.
He is shortlisted for Most Popular Entertainment Presenter and for his shows Strike It Rich (Most Popular Quiz) and My Kind Of Music (Most Popular Entertainment Programme).
Goodnight Sweetheart's Nicholas Lyndhurst is the only male nominated in the Most Popular Comedy Performer category. He's up against Pauline Quirke, Dawn French and Victoria Wood.
The Most Promising Newcomer category could see another EastEnders win.
The soap's Tamzin Outhwaite (Melanie) and Jack Ryder (Jamie) are up against other young stars including Emmerdale's Samatha Giles and Naomi Radcliffe of Coronation Street.
Kim Turberville, executive producer, said: "More than 500,000 viewers took the trouble to vote this year, so it really is a celebration of television at its most popular."
Newscaster Trevor McDonald will host the awards at London's Royal Albert Hall on 26 October.
Nominations for 1999's National Television Awards
Most Popular Actress - Lisa Riley, Pam Ferris, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Amanda Burton, Thora Hird
Most Popular Newcomer - Jack Ryder, Alan Halsall, Samantha Giles, Tamzin Outhwaite, Naomi Radcliffe
Most Popular Comedy Performer - Nicholas Lyndhurst, Pauline Quirke, Dawn French, Victoria Wood
Most Popular Entertainment Programme - An Audience With ... The Bee Gees, Michael Barrymore's My Kind Of Music, Stars In Their Eyes, Jim Davidson's Generation Game
Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme - Changing Rooms, Antiques Roadshow, Animal Hospital, Ground Force
Most Popular Entertainment Presenter - Johnny Vaughan, Lily Savage, Michael Barrymore, Jim Davidson.
Most Popular Documentary - Airport, Children's Hospital, Eye Of The Storm, Vets In Practice
Most Popular Actor - Robson Green, David Jason, Joe Absolom, John Thaw, Steven Arnold
Most Popular Talk Show - Des O'Connor Tonight, So Graham Norton, Parkinson, The Frank Skinner Show
Most Popular Drama - The Bill, Where The Heart Is, Goodnight Mister Tom, A Touch Of Frost.
Most Popular Serial Drama - Brookside, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders
Most Popular Quiz - Have I Got News For You, Michael Barrymore's Strike It Rich, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, They Think It's All Over
Most Popular Daytime - Ready Steady Cook, This Morning, Countdown, Pet Rescue
Most Popular Comedy - Men Behaving Badly, Friends, Birds Of a Feather, Last Of The Summer Wine
Most Popular Advert - Levi's (Flat Eric), Rolo (Skippy), Tesco (Dotty on bus), Budweiser (alligator)
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