David Tennant nominated for Broadcasting Press Guild awards

Image above: David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen

David Tennant is up for Best Actor award in the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2021.

The 47th annual Television, Streaming and Audio awards – for work commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2020 – will take place as a virtual event on 12 March 2021. The winners are chosen independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers.

Three BBC dramas – Normal PeopleSmall Axe and I May Destroy You – lead the nominations for this year’s awards, alongside two ITV dramas, Des and Quiz.

David Tennant, Chiswick’s most famous actor in residence, has been nominated for Best Actor in Des and Staged. Des is also nominated as Best Drama.


Image above: David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen, and Jason Watkins as his biographer, Brian Masters. ITV


Des is the story of serial killer Dennis Nielson and is the ninth in the sequence of ITV miniseries about British serial killers, which has included This is Personal: the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, Shipman, The Brides in the Bath and See No Evil: the Moors Murders. The latest in the sequence, broadcast in January, was The Pembrokeshire Murders.

Dennis Nilsen killed up to 15 vulnerable young men between 1978 and 1983. He preyed on gay men, homeless men, drug addicts or anyone who was a bit lonely.

Lucy Mangan, writing in the Guardian, described Des as ‘a sensitive, finely worked drama showing the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist’.

Writing in the Radio Times, Thomas Ling described David Tennant’s portrayal of Nielson as ‘one of the best performances in an impeccable career’, saying he is ‘both believable and captivating as Dennis Nilsen in every scene’.

Image above: David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Staged


Staged is the comedy David Tennant filmed with Michael Sheen during the pandemic, using video conferencing technology.  The series premiered on 10 June 2020 on BBC One. A second series was broadcast on BBC One starting on 4 January 2021.

In the first series the two actors play fictionalised versions of themselves, trying to rehearse a performance of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author during lockdown, while the underconfident director, Simon, struggles to keep control of the production.

The second series follows the “real” Michael and David following the success of the first series of Staged. Simon begins work on an American remake of the first series but Michael and David are not asked to reprise their roles.

David’s actor wife Georgia also has a main part in the series. A whole host of stars, such as Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L Jackson, Judi Dench, Michael Palin, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Bonneville, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Cate Blanchett have made guest appearances.

Staged will be shown in museums as proof of how mad it all got at the start of the 2020s’ wrote Joel Golby in the Guardian.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Prime Minister announces phased easing of lockdown

See also: Stirling Rd recycling centre closure “makes no sense” says councillor

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.