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Cork Lives
Cork actor Cillian Murphy, who is up for a National Television Awards in teh UK on January 22.
Cork actor Cillian Murphy, who is up for a National Television Awards in teh UK on January 22.
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Cillian Murphy in running for top TV drama honour

AN assassin, a bodyguard, a soldier and a time travelling doctor... they all stand in the way of Cork actor Cillian Murphy and a top TV award next week.

Murphy, aged 42, has been nominated in the Best Drama Performance category of the National Television Awards (NTAs) on Tuesday, January 22 for his role in acclaimed gangster series Peaky Blinders.

But, in a strong year for TV drama, he will face tough opposition from Bodyguard star Richard Madden, Doctor Who actress Jodie Whittaker, Jodie Comer, the assassin in Killing Eve, and Michelle Keegan, star of military drama Our Girl.

Madden picked up a surprise Golden Globe earlier this month for his portrayal of David Budd in the BBC series, and will be fancied to win the British NTA award.

The awards ceremony will be hosted at London’s O2 by Dermot O’Leary on Tuesday and televised on ITV that night at 7.30pm and on Virgin Media 1 on Friday at 9pm.

A celebration of UK television’s best-loved shows and stars, the awards, now in their 24th year, are decided by viewers.

Love Island winners Jack and Dani are set to host the backstage and Red Carpet segments.

The biggest surprise in the nominations list this year was that Ant and Dec received yet another nod for Best TV Presenter — despite Ant McPartlin being absent from the screen for the majority of 2018 after his drink-driving crash. The Geordie duo are aiming to extend their winning streak in the category to an astonishing 17 years and this year are up against Holly Willoughby — who partnered Ant in last year’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! — Phillip Schofield, our own Graham Norton, and Bradley Walsh.

Bodyguard will be fancied to win the the Best New Drama category, but faces stiff competition from the likes of globe-trotting cat-and-mouse thriller Killing Eve, brooding fantasy fable A Discovery of Witches, Girlfriends, and emotive thriller The Cry.

Love Island is up for the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, along with Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and The Graham Norton Show.

Meanwhile, the winner of Love Island, Dani Dyer will no doubt be rooting for her dad, Danny Dyer, who’s up for a Serial Drama Performance award for his role as Mick Carter in EastEnders.

The award for Best Serial Drama — or Best Soap to the rest of us — is always a tough call, and the category was won last year by Emmerdale.

The Talent Show Tropy is between Dancing On Ice, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice UK, The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.