Archive for April, 2011

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2011 BAFTA TV Nominations

For the last few months, we have been running a poll on this fansite :

Should Nicola Walker be nominated for a BAFTA* for her exemplary work in Spooks Series 9?

  • 92% of you said, Yes, absolutely!
  • 7% of you said, No, it was good work, but not good enough for a BAFTA yet.
  • 1% asked, What’s a BAFTA?

(A big THANK YOU to everyone who cast a vote in this Poll!)

The 2011 BAFTA Television Awards nominees were announced on 26 April 2011. Nicola was not named as one of the nominees. There could be several reasons for this :

  • No entry was submitted for consideration by or on behalf of Nicola for Spooks Series 9
  • An entry was submitted for consideration by or on behalf of Nicola but it did not make the shortlist in the relevant category announced today.

To be up for consideration for a BAFTA in the performance category, an entry must be submitted by the actor/actress in question, or someone on his/her behalf, such as a Director or the production company. Whilst it is possible for a BAFTA member to originate the nomination process, this is rarely done, except perhaps in the case of the Fellowship (i.e. Lifetime Achievement) Award. These nominations are not generated by fans. For Nicola, she would have been eligible for a nomination in either the Lead Actress or Supporting Actress categories for Spooks Series 9. Unlike the Emmy Awards in the US, the TV BAFTAs do not have a category which rewards excellence as a guest performer in either a Drama or Comedy series. So Nicola’s guest appearances in Luther and Being Human would not have been eligible for consideration. As for her guest appearance in Law & Order : UK, that episode was broadcast in the UK on 21 March 2011, i.e. after the deadline was closed on 28 February 2011, so even if there was a category for guest performances, it would not have been eligible for consideration.

Although the BAFTA rules say that there is no entry fee for the performance categories (there is a small fee payable for submitting entries in the production categories), performers and production companies must still incur considerable expense in mounting a BAFTA campaign, from the production of copies of the submitted episodes to the BAFTA voters for consideration, meeting and greeting the voters to solicit votes, to attending the actual ceremony, dressed to the nines.

Whilst it would have been nice if Nicola did receive a nomination for her work in Spooks Series 9, we have to remember that there are many, many talented British actors and actresses who have never been nominated, or have been nominated but didn’t win an award. As long as Nicola continues to be gainfully employed, us fans would be happy for the chance to watch her on screen or listen to her dulcet tones via audio programmes.

To understand more about the BAFTA nomination and voting process, you can download a copy of the Rules and Guidelines for the British Academy Television Awards HERE.

You can view a full list of the nominees HERE.

The winners will be announced at a gala event to be held on 22nd May 2011. This event is usually televised live on British TV on the day.

*BAFTA stands for British Academy of Film and Television Arts

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LiveJournal pages

It has just been brought to our attention that a Nicola Walker fan has set up a new LiveJournal page titled nicola_walker, sub-titled Bonkers but Brilliant. We do not have a problem with any fan of Nicola’s setting up any number of LiveJournal pages in order to celebrate Nicola’s work in a way which that fan feels necessary or appropriate, but we do object to such a deliberate attempt to pass-off this new LiveJournal page as having anything to do with this fansite.

This fansite has been known as “Bonkers but Brilliant” since it was first set up in 2006 by another fan. At that time, the webmaster also set up a LiveJournal page titled nicolawalker, sub-titled Bonkers but Brilliant. When we took over the administration of the fansite in September 2010 and subsequently its re-design, we made an editorial decision to mothball the LiveJournal page for a number of reasons :

  • there has not been a whole lot of activities on the LiveJournal page for some time
  • the new format of the fansite allowed us to post more detailed entries regarding Nicola’s work, so that it was no longer necessary to use LiveJournal for this purpose
  • the new format of the fansite also allowed fans to log comments, again, duplicating a similar function on LiveJournal

Recently, the fan in question logged an entry on our Nicola LiveJournal page which contained links to her own, personal, LiveJournal page where she had posted a number of entries which set out her comments on various aspects of Nicola’s work. We made a collective decision to delete that post as we felt that it was an unfair way of diverting traffic to this fan’s own, personal LiveJournal page. If you wish to comment on Nicola’s work, why not do it either on this fansite, or on our Nicola LiveJournal page direct? If you have already set up a personal LiveJournal page, why not publicize that page using your own methods, instead of taking advantage of our member list?

Understandably, our deletion of that post has enraged the fan in question. Instead of taking this up with the Editor on this fansite, the fan in question sent a very, very rudely worded private message to one of our contributions via one of the Spooks forums. As far as we were concerned, this was a very childish act and we chose not to respond. Until now.

We are just one group of Nicola Walker fans who wish to celebrate Nicola’s work on the internet. Other fans are absolutely free to undertake similar activities in any form they can think of. Be creative. Be inventive. We do object, however, most strenuously, if people try to pass off their efforts as being in any way associated with this fansite by using “Bonkers but Brilliant” as the title of their LiveJournal or Facebook page. If, as this particular fan has already stressed in her very rude private message, we are such a despicable lot, why does she still want to ride on our coat-tails?

It is not our intention to pick a fight with any Nicola Walker fan (which is why we are disabling Comments for this Post). We have chosen to maintain a dignified silence in all this, till now. We just want other fans to know that we have nothing to do with the new LiveJournal Nicola Walker page. We would also urge that particular fan to change her new LiveJournal page to something other than “Bonkers but Brilliant”.

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3

London Evening Standard article

In a short article titled, “Up-and-Coming Character Actors to Watch”, published on 5 April 2011, the London Evening Standard rounded up a list of 5 character actors/actresses which they have labelled as “up-and-coming” and “to watch”. For the convenience of Nicola fans, we quote below what the paper had to say about Nicola :

Nicola Walker
Walker, 40, best known for her long-running role as Ruth in the BBC’s Spooks, has a wonderful knack of providing the quiet, beating heart of whatever drama she’s in. Ruth, the still centre of an office of MI5 mayhem, is a case in point, as is her recent turn as lovelorn Rachel in Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings at the National.

The other character actors covered in this article were :

Pip Carter
Bryony Hannah
Anna Maxwell Martin
Russell Tovey

Nicola last shared the stage with Pip Carter in Gethsemane (2008-2009). Nicola recently worked with Russell Tovey in Being Human (episode titled The Longest Day). Although Anna Maxwell Martin has not yet worked with Nicola, she does have a (somewhat tenuous) connection with Nicola in that Anna was recently seen on TV as the female lead in South Riding, a TV mini series in which Peter Firth also had a small but important role. Certain fans have expressed the view that Anna’s role in South Riding should have or could have been done by Nicola. This is no more than these fans’ hope for a perpetuation of the “Ruth and Harry” characters from Spooks, which is not only an unnecessary pigeon holing of Nicola’s enormous talents but also dismissive of the skills of Anna Maxwell Martin, an equally capable actress in her own right.

Anna Maxwell Martin is often mistaken for Nicola. Some fans think that they two must be somehow related. They are not. Please see our comments on this subject in this Fun Fact.

We are not sure whether Nicola should be labelled as “up-and-coming”, given that she has had lead roles on TV, comedy (Chalk) and drama (Touching Evil), in the past. But on the grounds that any publicity is good publicity, we still want to thank the London Evening Standard for including Nicola in this list! :D

Update : 7 April 2011

We have received a number of requests from fans of the other actors named in this list, so for everyone’s convenience, we will quote below what was said in the article about these other actors :

Pip Carter

Quietly making a name for himself as a recurrent cast member of headline National Theatre productions (Never So Good, David Hare’s Gethsemane), Carter, 26, recently provided the perfect foil to Matt Smith’s flamboyant Christopher Isherwood as a wryly world-weary yet quietly smitten WH Auden in the BBC’s Christopher and His Kind.

Bryony Hannah

Many would contest that it is the diminutive Hannah who is the real star of current stage hit The Children’s House, rather than headline names Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss. Her scheming schoolgirl Mary is another of the compelling children that 27-year-old Hannah has become known for, after notable work at the National in Earthquakes in London and War Horse.

Anna Maxwell Martin

Her angular beauty might not quite fit the Hollywood mould, but Maxwell Martin, 32, has surprised and delighted with her professional choices ever since her BAFTA-winning work in the BBC’s Bleak House (2005). Her turn as a progressive headmistress in the recent television adaptation of South Riding showcased her at her passionate, questing best.

Russell Tovey

The personable Tovey, 29, first garnered public attention and affection as sports-mad Rudge, one of Alan Bennett’s iconic original History Boys, a role he played at the National, on Broadway and on film. Now he’s wooing BBC3 audiences as flat-sharing werewolf George in the popular supernatural drama Being Human.

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