Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ snags more BAFTA TV Award nominations than ‘The Crown’

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Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News
·6 min read
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Is there a changing of the guard when it comes to this year’s BAFTA Awards?

Steve McQueen’s landmark streaming series “Small Axe” garnered more nominations than any other show for the 2021 BAFTA TV and BAFTA TV Craft, including “The Crown.”

The BBC/Amazon anthology series landed 15 nominations for the British equivalent to the Emmy Awards, besting the Netflix most beloved Buckingham Palace drama, which garnered 10.

Michaela Coel’s groundbreaking “I May Destroy You” scored eight nominations, closely followed by “Normal People” with seven and “Sex Education” with six.

Academy Award-nominated Tony Award winner Sophie Okonedo was also nominated in the best supporting actress category for her work in the popular procedural series “Criminal: UK.”

“Small Axe,” starring “Star Wars” star John Boyega, Malachi Kirby, British theater veteran Shaun Parkes, Micheal Ward and “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright, is an anthology series about the lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Helmed by the “12 Years A Slave” director, the series was comprised of five films (“Mangrove,” “Lovers Rock,” “Red, White and Blue,” “Alex Wheatle” and “Education”) that rolled out on Amazon last fall to critical acclaim.

The London native, who is of Grenadian and Trinidadian heritage, has created provocative fare such as “Shame” and “Widows” but “Small Axe” has struck a particular chord with fans, internationally.

“Every day I get letters from people … from all parts of the world,” McQueen recently revealed to Jami Ganz of The Daily News. “It’s kind of crazy. I’ve never had that before. So, there’s been a really cathartic response to the films and I’m humbled by it. I mean that’s the power of art. That can be the power of art, to revalue a history that had been forgotten.”

The BAFTA TV awards ceremony is set to take place June 6, while the craft awards will be streamed on BAFTA’s social channels May 24.

See the main BAFTA TV and BAFTA TV Craft nominees for 2021 below.

BAFTA TV nominations

MINI-SERIES

“Adult Material”

“I May Destroy You”

“Normal People”

“Small Axe”

DRAMA SERIES

“Gangs Of London”

“I Hate Suzie”

“Save Me Too”

“The Crown”

LEADING ACTOR

John Boyega, “Small Axe”

Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Paapa Essiedu, “I May Destroy You”

Paul Mescal, “Normal People”

Shaun Parkes, “Small Axe”

Waleed Zuaiter, “Baghdad Central”

LEADING ACTRESS

Billie Piper, “I Hate Suzie”

Daisy Edgar-Jones, “Normal People”

Hayley Squires, “Adult Material”

Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”

Letitia Wright, “Small Axe”

Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Kunal Nayyar, “Criminal: UK”

Malachi Kirby, “Small Axe”

Michael Sheen, “Quiz”

Micheal Ward, “Small Axe”

Rupert Everett, “Adult Material”

Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Helena Bonham Carter, "The Crown"

Leila Farzad, “I Hate Suzie”

Rakie Ayola, “Anthony”

Siena Kelly, “Adult Material”

Sophie Okonedo, “Criminal: UK”

Weruche Opia, “I May Destroy You”

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

“Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe”

“Rob & Romesh Vs”

“The Big Narstie Show”

“The Ranganation Production”

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

Charlie Cooper, “This Country”

Guz Khan, “Man Like Mobeen”

Joseph Gilgun, “Brassic”

Ncuti Gatwa, “Sex Education”

Paul Ritter, “Friday Night Dinner”

Reece Shearsmith, “Inside No. 9”

FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

Aimee Lou Wood, “Sex Education”

Daisy Haggard, “Breeders”

Daisy May Cooper, “This Country”

Emma Mackey, “Sex Education”

Gbemisola Ikumelo, “Famalam”

Mae Martin, “Feel Good”

SCRIPTED COMEDY

“Ghosts”

“Inside No. 9”

“Man Like Mobeen”

“This Country "

INTERNATIONAL

“Little America”

“Lovecraft Country”

“Unorthodox”

“Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville)”

SINGLE DRAMA

“Anthony”

“BBW (On The Edge)”

“Sitting In Limbo”

“The Windermere Children”

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY

“American Murder: The Family Next Door”

“Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me”

“Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville)”

“Surviving COVID”

REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL

“Masterchef: The Professionals”

“Race Across The World”

“The School That Tried To End Racism”

“The Write Offs "

LIVE EVENT

“Life Drawing Live!”

“Springwatch 2020”

“The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance”

“The Third Day: Autumn”

VIRGIN MEDIA’S MUST-SEE MOMENT (AS VOTED FOR BY THE PUBLIC):

“Bridgerton”: Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown

“Britain’s Got Talent”: Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020

“EastEnders”: Gary kills Chantelle

“Gogglebox”: Reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference

“Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat”: Mee-cro-wah-vay

“The Mandalorian”: Luke Skywalker arrives

BAFTA TV Craft nominations

EMERGING TALENT: FICTION

Georgi Banks-Davies (Director), “I Hate Suzie”

Harry Tulley (Dubbing Mixer), “Anthony”

Stephen S. Thompson (Writer), “Sitting in Limbo”

William Stefan Smith (Director), “On the Edge: BBW”

EMERGING TALENT: FACTUAL

Ashley Francis-Roy (Shooting Producer/Director) “Damilola: The Boy Next Door & The Real Eastenders"

Jessica Kelly (Director) “The Schools that Chain Boys & Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market”

Kandise Abiola (Producer) “Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story”

Marian Mohamed (Director) “Defending Digga D”

COSTUME DESIGN

Rosa Dias, “Sex Education”

Jacqueline Durran, “Small Axe”

James Keast, “Belgravia”

Amy Roberts, “The Crown”

WRITER: COMEDY

Charlie Brooker, “Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe”

Daisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, “This Country”

Sophie Willan, “Alma’s Not Normal”

Writing Team, “Ghosts”

WRITER: DRAMA

Alastair Siddons, Steve Mcqueen, “Small Axe”

Lucy Kirkwood, “Adult Material”

Lucy Prebble, “I Hate Suzie”

Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”

DIRECTOR: FACTUAL

Xavier Alford, “Locked in: Breaking the Silence (Storyville)”

James Bluemel, “Once Upon a Time in Iraq”

Teresa Griffiths, Lee Miller – “A Life on the Front Line”

Deeyah Khan, “America’s War on Abortion (Exposure)”

DIRECTOR: FICTION

Lenny Abrahamson, “Normal People”

Benjamin Caron, “The Crown (episode three)”

Michaela Coel, Sam Miller, “I May Destroy You”

Steve McQueen, “Small Axe”

EDITING: FICTION

Chris Dickens, Steve McQueen, “Small Axe”

Editing Team, “I May Destroy You”

Nathan Nugent, “Normal People (episode 5)”

Pia Di Ciaula, “Quiz”

MAKE UP & HAIR DESIGN

Bethany Swan, “I May Destroy You”

Cate Hall, “The Crown”

Jojo Williams, “Small Axe”

Louise Coles, Sarah Nuth, Lorraine Glynn, Erin Ayanian, “The Great”

ORIGINAL MUSIC

Cristobal Tapia De Veer, “The Third Day (episode three)”

Scott Salinas, “Baghdad Central”

Harry Escott, “Roadkill”

Martin Phipps, “The Crown”

PHOTOGRAPHY & LIGHTING

Ed Rutherford, “Little Birds”

Rob Hardy, “Devs”

Shabier Kirchner, “Small Axe”

Suzie Lavelle, “Normal People”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Helen Scott, “Small Axe”

Joel Collins, “His Dark Materials "

Matt Gant, Megan Bosaw, “Gangs Of London”

Samantha Harley, Alexandra Slade, “Sex Education”

SCRIPTED CASTING

Gary Davy, “Small Axe”

Kate Rhodes James, “Baghdad Central”

Lauren Evans, “Sex Education”

Shaheen Baig, “The Third Day”

SOUND: FICTION

Jon Thomas, Gareth Bull, James Ridgway, Dillon Bennett, Eilam Hoffman, “His Dark Materials (episode seven)”

Niall O’sullivan, Steve Fanagan, Niall Brady, “Normal People”

Paul Cotterell, James Harrison, Ronald Bailey, “Small Axe”

Sound Team, “The Crown”

SPECIAL, VISUAL & GRAPHIC EFFECTS

Ben Turner, Reece Ewing, Chris Reynolds, Asa Shoul, Framestore, Untold Studios, “The Crown”

Michael Illingworth, Oliver Milburn, Danny Hargreaves, Oliver Ogneux, Laura Usaite, Pedrom Dadgostar, “War Of The Worlds”

Milk Visual Effects, Dneg Tv, Freefolk, Goodbye Kansas Studios, Greg Fisher, Dave Houghton, “Cursed”

Russell Dodgson, James Whitlam, Jean-Clement Soret, Robert Harrington, Dan May, Brian Fisher, “His Dark Materials”