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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Stars attend Bafta award ceremony
Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson is nominated for the best actress award
The cream of British TV talent are in central London for the British Academy Television Awards ceremony.

Bleak House's Gillian Anderson - who is nominated for the best actress award - was among many TV stars who graced the red carpet.

Deal Or No Deal host Noel Edmonds, actor David Jason and Little Britain's Matt Lucas are also at the event.

The ceremony, hosted by Davina McCall, is being held at London's Grosvenor House hotel.

The BBC's Bleak House is leading the nominations with four nods.

The series is up for best drama serial, with Anderson and Anna Maxwell Martin nominated for best actress and Denis Lawson competing for best actor.

Ashley Jensen

Anderson, who played Lady Deadlock, said she always knew Bleak House was going to be a success.

"I think I knew from the moment I started working on it. I could tell that everything was really high quality.

"The creators believed very strongly in what they were doing and fortunately they were right."

David Jason, wearing a paisley-patterned bow tie, told the BBC News website that Bleak House was "good", but faced stiff competition from other "high standard" dramas.

Comeback king Edmonds, who is nominated for best entertainment performance, said he was thrilled to be at the ceremony and was cheered by fans who lined the red carpet.

He said: "Deal Or No Deal's success has taken everyone by surprise, and you won't talk to anyone tonight happier than me.

LEADING BAFTA NOMINEES
Four nominations:
Bleak House
Three nominations:
The Thick of It
Two nominations:
The Catherine Tate Show, Coast, Dispatches, Extras, The Government Inspector, The Queen's Sister, Shameless, Top Gear

"Whatever happens I'm so thrilled. I've had a great six months."

Extras star Ashley Jensen, who is nominated for best comedy performance, told the BBC News website: "This is all very new to me so my heart is pounding in my chest."

Other arrivals include comedian Rory Bremner, Carol Voderman, Sir Alan Sugar, Hugh Laurie, Esther Rantzen, and Catherine Tate, who walked up the red carpet aided by a crutch.

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson said: "I love events like these. I bring my own beer and everyone else can have the champagne."

TV chef Gordon Ramsey, whose Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, is up for best feature, arrived with his wife Tana.

He said: "I'm very happy to be nominated up against Alan Sugar, although his temper is worse than mine."

Noel Edmonds
Edmonds arrived with three glamorous guests

ITV has just seven of the 76 nominations. The BBC has 47 and Channel 4 has 20, while Five and Sky have one each.

Political comedy The Thick of It has three nominations, with The Catherine Tate Show and Extras getting two each.

Extras, Ricky Gervais' follow-up to The Office, is also up for best sitcom, along with Peep Show and The Worst Week of My Life.

Gervais said: "[The crowd] are all shouting 'Ricky, Ricky' - it's like being in a scene from EastEnders.

"It's still nice to be nominated and it was great winning all of those awards."

Doctor Who, which returned to BBC One last year, is shortlisted in the best drama series category and sent a dalek along to patrol the red carpet.

Kacey Ainsworth
EastEnder Kacey Ainsworth is one of many soap stars at the ceremony

The nomination, its first Bafta nod since 1977, will see it compete with Bodies, Shameless and Spooks.

Soap operas Coronation Street and EastEnders are both up for best continuing drama, along with Holby City and Casualty.

Saturday night rivals The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing are among the nominees for the Lew Grade entertainment programme award.

The X-Factor judge Simon Cowell, who spent several minutes signing autographs, said being nominated was "a big deal".

Channel 4 programme Jamie's School Dinners, which saw Jamie Oliver raise the issue of pupils' meals, is among the factual series nominees.

Oliver, who arrived with wife Jules, said he was "very proud" of the series.

He added: "I think we deserve to be nominated and the Bafta would mean a lot to many of my team who worked on the programme."




SEE ALSO:
Bleak House leads Bafta nominees
27 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Bafta TV Awards 2006: The shortlist
27 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
The highs and lows of the TV year
05 May 06 |  Entertainment
Bleak House's 'terrific' cast hailed
28 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Bleak House wins TV drama award
15 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Bleak House finale tops ratings
17 Dec 05 |  Entertainment


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