Actress shortlisted for 'Cranford'

LONDON — British thesp Judi Dench has notched up another first by receiving a record-breaking 24th BAFTA nomination.

The British star is nominated in the best actress category for her role in BBC costume saga “Cranford” — her 12th BAFTA TV nomination — where she will compete against fellow “Cranford” star Eileen Atkins.

Dench and Atkins are up against first-time nominee Kierston Wareing for “It’s a Free World” and previous winner Gina McKee, who has received her third nomination, this time for her role in BBC1’s “The Street.”

“Cranford,” a big fall hit for BBC1, is the most nominated show in this year’s TV awards, which will take place at the London Palladium April 20.

The serial has also been selected for the drama serial prize, where it will compete against “Murphy’s Law,” “Five Days” and “Britz.”

Additionally, “Cranford” is nominated for the Sky+ Audience Award, the only BAFTA TV award voted for by the public.

The other shows selected for the audience award are: “The Apprentice,” “Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain,” “Britain’s Got Talent,” “Gavin & Stacey” and “Strictly Come Dancing.”

In the actor category, Antony Sher wins his first ever nomination, for “Primo.” He is up against three first-time nominees: Andrew Garfield for “Boy A,” Tom Hardy for “Stuart: A Life Backwards” and Matthew Macfadyen for “Secret Life.”

“Family Guy” is nominated alongside “My Name Is Earl,” “Californication” and “Heroes” for the international award.

High concept show “Life On Mars,” last year’s audience award winner and drama series nominee, is again nominated in the latter category.

It will compete with E4’s teen skein “Skins.” BBC2’s “Rome” and last year’s winner “The Street.”

In the sitcom category, three cult comedies, “Peep Show,” “The Thick of It” and “The IT Crowd” are nominated together with ITV1’s “Benidorm.”

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