Cate Blanchett and Eddie Redmayne lead the pack as this year’s Bafta nominations are announced.

Eddie Redmayne is aiming for a Bafta double after being nominated for Best Actor for The Danish Girl – twelve months after winning the same prize for The Theory of Everything.

However, Redmayne faces stiff competition from the likes of Bryan Cranston, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender.

Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett is up for Best Actress for her critically-acclaimed role in lesbian love story Carol, pitting her against Alicia Vikander, – who stars alongside Redmayne for The Danish Girl – Saoirse Ronan and Brie Larson.

Also nominated is Dame Maggie Smith, nominated for her role in The Lady In The Van – written by prestigious gay playwright Alan Bennett.

Carol – which is up for a total of nine gongs – is also nominated for Best Film, alongside Bridge of Spies, The Big Short, The Revenant and Spotlight, about a newspaper investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Danish Girl – in which Redmayne plays transgender pioneer Lili Elbe – is named on the shortlist for Outstanding British Film.

Vikander – who has won universal praise for her role as Gerda Wegener in the biopic – is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in sci-fi thriller Ex Machina.

She faces Kate Winslet – who recently took part in a stunning androgynous photo shoot – nominated for her role in Steve Jobs.

Tom Hooper, the director of The Danish Girl, has said that he cast Redmayne in the lead role because of the actor’s ‘gender fluidity’.

He then went on to say that he hopes the casting of Redmayne in the role will highlight the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

Redmayne has been very outspoken on the subject of transgender issues since his casting, saying that it is “shocking” that trans issues haven’t improved much since Lili Elbe and calling for people to become more educated on trans issues.