Bafta nod for Merchant

...but not Gervais

Stephen Merchant has been nominated for a Bafta for Extras – while co-star and co-creator Ricky Gervais has been overlooked.

The 6ft 7in comic has been shortlisted for best comedy performance for his role in the Christmas special – in the only nod the much-acclaimed programme received.

The programme itself did not feature in the list for best comedy or best sitcom, where the likes of Fonejacker, Benidorm and Russell Brand’s Ponderland were shortlisted.

Merchant and Gervais’s have fostered a jokey rivalry over their awards, since Merchant won the best actor prize at the 2006 British Comedy Awards over his co-star.

For the Bafta comedy performance award, Merchant is up against Peter Capaldi for The Thick Of It, James Corden for Gavin And Stacey and David Mitchell for Peep Show – where again only one half of a comic partnership is honoured.

Gavin And Stacey is also up for Programme of the Year – the only comedy show in a field that also includes The Apprentice, Andrew Marr’s History Of Modern Britain, Cranford, Strictly Come Dancing and Britain’s Got Talent.

These last two shows are also up for best entertainment programme, alongside Have I Got News For You and Harry Hill’s TV Burp.

Hill is shortlisted for best entertainment performance, alongside Simon Amstell for Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins for The Friday Night Project and Stephen Fry for QI.

The nominees for best sitcom are: Benidorm, The IT Crowd, Peep Show and The Thick Of It.

And for best comedy: The Armstrong & Miller Show, Fonejacker, Benidorm and Russell Brand’s Ponderland and Star Stories. All four shows are first-time Bafta nominees.

Comedies also fared well in the international category, with nominations for Family Guy, My Name Is Earl and the comedy-drama Californication, as well as Heroes.

The winners will be announced on April 20.

Published: 18 Mar 2008

Today's comedy-on demand picks


The comic return to his beloved Resonance FM for a new live late night show. Running four nights a week at midnight till the end of August, details are typically scant - but it kicks off tonight.

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... including a streaming stand-up show from Judah Friedlander and the new low budget British comedy movie Uncle Ted.

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