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Tuesday, October 26, 1999 Published at 09:32 GMT 10:32 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 the National Television Awards on Tuesday.

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.

[ image: Defending champion: Morse star John Thaw]
Defending champion: Morse star John Thaw
He's lined up against Inspector Morse star John Thaw, who'll be battling fellow sleuth David Jason from A Touch of Frost in the same category.

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

[ image: Actress Thora Hird: Still acting in her eighties]
Actress Thora Hird: Still acting in her eighties
TV veteran Dame Thora Hird is up for Most Popular Actress, against last year's victor Amanda Burton.

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.

[ image: Michael Barrymore's hoping to win again]
Michael Barrymore's hoping to win again
Big Breakfast star Johnny Vaughan is shortlisted as Most Popular Entertainment Presenter, together with Barrymore, Jim Davidson and Lily Savage.

[ image: Actress Thora Hird: Still acting in her eighties]
Actress Thora Hird: Still acting in her eighties
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.

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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