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The Fall and Gillian Anderson cop nominations at National Television Awards

BY MAUREEN COLEMAN

BELFAST-based crime thriller The Fall has been nominated in two categories at this year's National Television Awards.

The gripping cat-and-mouse series, starring former X Files actress Gillian Anderson and Co Down actor Jamie Dornan, is in the running for Best Drama.

Anderson, who played DCI Stella Gibson in the BBC2 thriller, is also nominated in new category, Best Detective.

The Best Drama award is one of the most coveted at the NTAs but is also the toughest to win, with numerous contenders up for the gong.

The Fall goes head-to-head with the likes of Broadchurch, Downton Abbey, Luther, Endeavour, Vera, Homeland and Call The Midwife.

Anderson, who portrayed a steely English detective on secondment to the PSNI from the Met, is up against David Suchet (Poirot), David Tennant (Broadchurch), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Shaun Evans (Endeavour).

Stars of the hit series, which has been recommissioned for a second season, took to Twitter to express their delight.

Belfast actor Gerard McCarthy, who played solicitor Kevin McSwain, posted: "Delighted to see the Fall nominated for Best Drama at the NTAs. Please vote for us." While Bronagh Waugh, who played the unsuspecting wife of serial killer Paul Spector (Dornan), wrote: "Fantastic."

The Fall, written by Allan Cubitt, gave BBC2 its highest ratings drama launch in eight years. Filmed around Belfast last year, it starred a strong Northern Irish cast including Ian McElhinney, John Lynch, Seainin Brennan, Niamh McGrady and Frank McCusker.

In the comedy category, Blandings takes on Mrs Brown's Boys, Miranda and new series Big School for the gong.

Blandings, based on the celebrated stories by PG Wodehouse, was filmed in Co Fermanagh last year and starred Jennifer Saunders, Timothy Spall and David Walliams.

And Christine Bleakley, from Newtownards, Co Down, is nominated for best entertainment presenter.

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