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Gay period drama Against The Law lands BAFTA nomination

Nick Duffy April 4, 2018

Gay drama Against The Law has been nominated for a BAFTA television award.

The one-off BBC drama, which starred Daniel Mays, Mark Edel-Hunt and Mark Gatiss, portrayed the famous battle over anti-gay laws which sparked calls to decriminalise homosexuality.

It was today nominated for a BAFTA TV award in the one-off drama category, facing competition from an episode of Netflix anthology series Black Mirror, play adaptation King Charles III, and drama series Murdered for Being Different.

In the 1950s, the founder of the National Motor Museum Lord Montagu was notoriously convicted and later imprisoned for “consensual homosexual offences” along with two others – journalist Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers.

The case sparked the movement that a decade later finally succeeded in decriminalising homosexuality for consenting adults in England and Wales, in 1967.

The scandal and subsequent gay rights battles led by Wildeblood was the centre of the BBC Two drama.

The drama previously won a Special Award at the 2017 PinkNews Awards.

Speaking to Metro about the drama, Mays said: “It was a massive challenge to take this part on, and it demands lots of focus and concentration.

“It was a very, sort of, draining and emotional part to play, so when you got to that point, I felt really prepared. I had said yes to it so I had a lot of preparation time.

“It’s a monumental moment that he admits he’s a homosexual at that point, one of the first gay men to actually do that in a court of law which obviously took immense bravery, and he tries to fight his case and stand his ground, but he’s tied into knots by the lawyer. All that sort of disintegrates really.”

He added: “The only way I can describe the whole shoot was like my head being plunged under a bucket of water.

“Sometimes when you act in these dramas you have like a couple of days off in between and the whole thing is spaced out, but with it being ten days it just lent itself – and obviously you’re in every single scene – it was a wonderful experience, because you don’t really have time to think because you’re onto the next huge scene.”

Also landing a BAFTA nomination was QI host Sandi Toksvig, who was nominated in the entertainment performance category, up against Graham Norton.

The full list of nominees is below.

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME
MURDER IN SUCCESSVILLE Andy Brereton, Avril Spary, James De Frond, Laurence Rickard – Shiny Button Productions / BBC Three
TASKMASTER Andy Cartwright, Andy Devonshire, Alex Horne – Avalon / Dave
THE LAST LEG Production Team – Open Mike Productions / Channel 4
WOULD I LIE TO YOU? Peter Holmes, Rachel Ablett, Ruth Phillips, Adam Copeland – Zeppotron / BBC One

CURRENT AFFAIRS
RAPED: MY STORY Production Team – Lambent Productions / Channel 5
SYRIA’S DISAPPEARED: THE CASE AGAINST ASSAD (DISPATCHES) Sara Afshar, Nicola Cutcher, Callum Macrae – Afshar Films / Channel 4
UNDERCOVER: BRITAIN’S IMMIGRATION SECRETS (PANORAMA) Karen Wightman, Joe Plomin, Callum Tulley, Gary Beelders – BBC Current Affairs / BBC One
WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY (EXPOSURE) Deeyah Khan, Darin Prindle, Andrew Smith, Melanie Quigley – Fuuse Films / ITV

DRAMA SERIES
LINE OF DUTY Production Team – World Productions / BBC One
PEAKY BLINDERS Production Team – Caryn Mandabach Productions / Tiger Aspect Productions / BBC Two
THE CROWN Production Team – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix
THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD Production Team – Clerkenwell Films / All 4

ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE
ADAM HILLS The Last Leg – Open Mike Productions / Channel 4
GRAHAM NORTON The Graham Norton Show – So Television / BBC One
MICHAEL McINTYRE Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – Hungry McBear / BBC One
SANDI TOKSVIG QI – QI Ltd / Talkback Thames – BBC Two

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME (i)
ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY Pete Ogden, Saul Fearnley, Diego Rincon, Andy Milligan – ITV Studios / Mitre Television / ITV
BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT Amelia Brown, Lee McNicholas, Richard Holloway, Charlie Irwin – Thames / Syco / ITV
MICHAEL McINTYRE’S BIG SHOW Dan Baldwin, Claire Horton, Christian Fletcher, Michael McIntyre – Hungry McBear / BBC One
THE VOICE UK Production Team – ITV Studios / Talpa / ITV

FACTUAL SERIES
AMBULANCE Jo Hughes, Bruce Fletcher, Kirsty Cunningham, Simon Ford – Dragonfly / BBC One
CATCHING A KILLER Anna Hall, Jezza Neumann, Erica Gornall, Brian Woods – True Vision / Channel 4
DRUGSLAND Sacha Mirzoeff, Xavier Alford, Bart Corpe, Simon Ford – BBC Studios / BBC Three
HOSPITAL Production Team – Label1 / BBC Two

FEATURES
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Simon Shaw, Julia Foot, Robert Murphy, Sophie Wogden – BBC Studios / Unscripted Productions / BBC One
CRUISING WITH JANE McDONALD Production Team – Elephant House Studios / Channel 5
NO MORE BOYS AND GIRLS: CAN OUR KIDS GO GENDER FREE? Javid Abdelmoneim, Helen Veale, Jeremy Daldry, Sam Palmer – Outline Productions / BBC Two
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE ZOO Production Team – Blast! Films / Channel 4

FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN Motherland – Delightful Industries / Merman / BBC Two
DAISY MAY COOPER This Country – BBC Studios / BBC Three
SHARON HORGAN Catastrophe – Avalon Television / Merman / Birdbath Productions / Channel 4
SIAN GIBSON Peter Kay’s Car Share – Goodnight Vienna Productions / BBC One

INTERNATIONAL
BIG LITTLE LIES Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Bruna Papandrea, Per Saari – HBO / David E. Kelley Productions / Pacific Standard / Blossom Films / Sky Atlantic
FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN Ryan Murphy, Dede Gardner, Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall – Fox 21 Television Studios / BBC Two
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Kari Skogland – MGM / Channel 4
THE VIETNAM WAR Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Geoffrey C. Ward , Sarah Botstein – BBC / Florentine Films / BBC Four

LEADING ACTOR
JACK ROWAN Born to Kill – World Productions / Channel 4
JOE COLE Hang the DJ (Black Mirror) – House of Tomorrow / Netflix
SEAN BEAN Broken – LA Productions / BBC One
TIM PIGOTT-SMITH King Charles III – Drama Republic / BBC Two

LEADING ACTRESS
CLAIRE FOY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix
MOLLY WINDSOR Three Girls – BBC Studios / Studio Lambert / BBC One
SINEAD KEENAN Little Boy Blue – ITV Studios / ITV
THANDIE NEWTON Line of Duty – World Productions / BBC One

LIVE EVENT
ITV NEWS ELECTION 2017 LIVE: THE RESULTS Production Team – ITN / ITV
ONE LOVE MANCHESTER Production Team – BBC Studios / SB Projects / BBC One
WILD ALASKA LIVE Adam White, James Morgan, Roger Webb, Vanessa Coates – BBC Studios / BBC Natural History Unit / PBS / BBC One
WORLD WAR ONE REMEMBERED: PASSCHENDAELE Production Team – BBC Studios / BBC Two

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
ASIM CHAUDHRY People Just Do Nothing – Roughcut TV / BBC Three
ROB BRYDON The Trip to Spain – Revolution Films / Baby Cow Productions / Small Man Productions / Sky Atlantic
SAMSON KAYO Famalam – BBC Studios / BBC Two
TOBY JONES Detectorists – Channel X North / Treasure Trove Productions / Lola Entertainment / BBC Four

MINI-SERIES
HOWARDS END Kenneth Lonergan, Hettie Macdonald, Laura Hastings-Smith, Sophie Gardiner – Playground Entertainment / BBC One
THE MOORSIDE Neil McKay, Paul Whittington, Ken Horn, Jeff Pope – ITV Studios / BBC One
THE STATE Peter Kosminsky, Steve Clark-Hall, Liza Marshall, Kris Thykier – Archery Pictures / Stonehenge Films / Channel 4
THREE GIRLS Nicole Taylor, Philippa Lowthorpe, Susan Hogg, Simon Lewis – BBC Studios / Studio Lambert / BBC One

NEWS COVERAGE
THE BATTLE FOR MOSUL (SKY NEWS) Production Team – Sky News
THE GRENFELL TOWER FIRE (CHANNEL 4 NEWS) Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Jackie Long, Cathy Newman, Ben de Pear – ITN / Channel 4
THE GRENFELL TOWER FIRE (ITV NEWS AT TEN) Production Team – ITN / ITV
THE ROHINGYA CRISIS (SKY NEWS) Production Team – Sky News

REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL
CELEBRITY HUNTED Production Team – Shine TV / Channel 4
LOVE ISLAND Production Team – ITV Studios / Motion Content Group / ITV2
OLD PEOPLE’S HOME FOR 4 YEAR OLDS Trish Powell, Murray Boland, Benjamin Leigh, Belle Borgeaud – CPL Productions / Channel 4
THE REAL FULL MONTY Nick Bullen, Kevin Mundye, Daniela Neumann, Will Yapp – Spun Gold TV / ITV

SCRIPTED COMEDY
CATASTROPHE Sharon Horgan, Rob Delaney, Ben Taylor, Jack Bayles – Avalon Television / Merman / Birdbath Productions / Channel 4
CHEWING GUM Production Team – Retort / E4
THIS COUNTRY Daisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, Tom George, Simon Mayhew-Archer – BBC Studios / BBC Three
TIMEWASTERS Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Josh Cole, George Kane – Big Talk Productions / ITV2

SHORT FORM PROGRAMME
BRITAIN’S FORGOTTEN MEN Production Team – BBC Three / BBC Three
EATING WITH MY EX Production Team – Shotglass Media / BBC Three
MORGANA ROBINSON’S SUMMER Production Team – Merman / Sky Arts
PLS LIKE Tom Kingsley, Rupert Majendie, Olly Cambridge, Liam Williams – BBC Three / BBC Three

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY (ii)
CHRIS PACKHAM: ASPERGER’S AND ME Charlie Russell, Lizzie Kempton, Tom Barry, Will Grayburn – Raw TV / BBC Two
LOUIS THEROUX, TALKING TO ANOREXIA Louis Theroux, Ellena Wood, Simon McMahon, Peter Dale – BBC Studios / BBC Two
ONE DEADLY WEEKEND IN AMERICA Sanjay Singhal, Ursula Macfarlane, Jon Alwen, Sarah Hunt – Voltage TV Productions / BBC Three
RIO FERDINAND: BEING MUM AND DAD Rio Ferdinand, Grant Best, Matt Smith, Martin Thompson – Only The Best Productions / BBC One

SINGLE DRAMA
AGAINST THE LAW Aysha Rafaele, Scott Bassett, Fergus O’Brien, Brian Fillis – BBC Studios / BBC Two
HANG THE DJ (BLACK MIRROR) Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones, Tim Van Patten, Nick Pitt – House of Tomorrow / Netflix
KING CHARLES III Mike Bartlett, Greg Brenman, Rupert Goold, Simon Maloney – Drama Republic / BBC Two
MURDERED FOR BEING DIFFERENT Aysha Rafaele, Scott Bassett, Paul Andrew Williams, Nick Leather – BBC Studios / BBC Three

SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA
CASUALTY Production Team – BBC Studios / BBC One
CORONATION STREET Production Team – ITV Studios / ITV
EMMERDALE Production Team – ITV Studios / ITV
HOLLYOAKS Bryan Kirkwood, Emily Gascoyne, Vikki Tennant, Colette Chard – Lime Pictures / Channel 4

SPECIALIST FACTUAL (iii)
BASQUIAT – RAGE TO RICHES David Shulman, Janet Lee – BBC Studios / BBC Two
BLITZ: THE BOMBS THAT CHANGED BRITAIN Production Team – Wall to Wall Media / BBC Two
BLUE PLANET II Production Team – BBC Studios / BBC Natural History Unit / BBC One
ELIZABETH I’S SECRET AGENTS Chris Durlacher, Bernadette Ross, Julian Jones, Claire Guillon – 72 Films / BBC Two

SPORT
ANTHONY JOSHUA v. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO Adam Smith, Ed Robinson, Sara Chenery, Jennie Blackmore – Sky Sports / Sky Sports Box Office
SIX NATIONS: WALES v. ENGLAND Production Team – BBC Sport / BBC One
THE GRAND NATIONAL Paul McNamara, Richard Willoughby, Amy Lewin, Tony Cahalane – ITV Sport / ITV
UEFA WOMEN’S EURO SEMI-FINAL: ENGLAND V. NETHERLANDS Sunil Patel, Mark Cole, Kay Satterley, Ian Finch – Whisper Films / Channel 4

SUPPORTING ACTOR
ADRIAN DUNBAR Line of Duty – World Productions / BBC One
ANUPAM KHER The Boy with the Topknot – Kudos / Parti Productions / BBC Two
BRÍAN F. O’BYRNE Little Boy Blue – ITV Studios / ITV
JIMMI SIMPSON USS Callister (Black Mirror) – House of Tomorrow / Netflix

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ANNA FRIEL Broken – LA Productions / BBC One
JULIE HESMONDHALGH Broadchurch – Kudos / Imaginary Friends / Sister Pictures / ITV
LIV HILL Three Girls – BBC Studios / Studio Lambert / BBC One
VANESSA KIRBY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix

VIRGIN TV’S MUST-SEE MOMENT
BLUE PLANET II Mother Pilot Whale Grieves – BBC Studios / BBC Natural History Unit / BBC One
DOCTOR WHO The Thirteenth Doctor Revealed – BBC Studios / BBC One
GAME OF THRONES Viserion is Killed by the Night King – HBO Programming / Bighead, Littlehead / Television 360 / Sky Atlantic
LINE OF DUTY Huntley’s Narrow Escape – World Productions / BBC One
LOVE ISLAND Stormzy Makes a Surprise Appearance – ITV Studios / Motion Content Group – ITV
ONE LOVE MANCHESTER Ariana Grande Sings ‘One Last Time’ – BBC Studios / SB Projects / BBC One

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