Manchester Evening News
The Diary by Dianne Bourne
28 September 2011
Bumper year for RTS TV awards as MediaCity makes its mark on the north west
With the BBC’s ongoing move of departments to MediaCity in Salford, this year’s North West Royal Television Society Awards is shaping up to be the biggest ever.
So who better to host this year’s glittering red carpet awards bash than BBC Breakfast’s very own Bill Turnbull, one of the most high profile names set to move up to join colleagues in Salford in the new year.
Bill will be the host with the most at the event, which rewards news, entertainment and factual programmes created here in the north west.
Organisers say the arrival of MediaCity to the region has rather raised the bar, with the competition set to be tighter than ever after a record number of entries.
There are 21 categories with submissions from individuals, production companies and broadcasters, with the nominations revealed yesterday.
And one showbiz category that rather caught The Diary’s eye is the eagerly-anticipated Best Performance in a Continuing Drama gong – that this year includes a real-life soap couple doing battle. For Hollyoaks stars Claire Cooper and Emmett J Scanlan have both been nominated for their soap roles as Jacqui McQueen and scheming Brendan Brady.
Claire told The Diary: “Firstly as we both share in the same passion it is an absolute honour to be nominated. I can’t think of a better actor to be up against, so even if Emmett does win I’ll be over the moon and proud to have that award on our mantelpiece!”
Emmett, bless him, said he hopes Claire wins over him though.
He said: “I really am truly honoured to be nominated, the people of Britain have welcomed me in into their homes with open arms and for that I’m utterly humbled. But I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than Claire. And no one as hard working.
“Then again she paid me to say that… I’m kidding. Bring it home, Cooper!”
The Best Performance in a Comedy category looks to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated, with EastEnder Jo Joyner nominated for her role in Candy Cabs up against Shameless favourite Tina Malone, comedy star Johnny Vegas for Ideal and Joel Fry for White Van Man.
Meanwhile Corrie has been rewarded for its 50th anniversary storylines – with the tram crash and live episode nominated for two production gongs, with the soap also nominated as Best Continuing Drama as well as for Best Entertainment Programme.
But it may face stiff competition for that particular gong from the south – as hit reality show The Only Way Is Essex also makes the nomination list as it is produced by Liverpool-based media company Lime Pictures.
The Best Performance in a Single Drama will also be close to call, with David Tennant nominated for Single Father, Christopher Eccleston for Accused, John Simm for Exile and Suranne Jones for Scott and Bailey.
Alex Connock, chair of RTS North West, said he was delighted with the calibre of this year’s entries.
He said: “This was always going to be a big year in the north west, as the BBC starts to move into MediaCityUK.
“But what’s really exciting is that there are so many other developments – a growth in the number of entries overall, really strong performance by indies, great contributions from well beyond Salford and Manchester. So it promises to be a great awards evening.”
The red carpet bash takes place on 19 November 2011.