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Mo Mowlam TV drama leads the way at the Baftas

A Channel 4 drama about the late politician Mo Mowlam leads the nominations at this year Bafta 2010 television awards.

The film Mo — with Julie Walters in the lead role — is in the running for Best Single Drama. Walters is also up for Leading Actress for her portrayal of the former Northern Ireland Secretary of State.

And Gary Lewis, who played her political confidante Adam Ingram in the drama, rounds off a hat-trick of nominations with a nomination in the best Supporting Actor category.

Mo was filmed in Northern Ireland and revisits not only the contribution Mowlam played to the landmark signing of the Good Friday Agreement, but examines her personal battle with a brain tumour.

Also up for awards are the BBC dramas Five Minutes Of Heaven and Occupation, both of which were filmed in Belfast.

Five Minutes Of Heaven starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt tells the story of a man who comes face-to-face with his brother’s killer. It has been nominated for Best Drama. Iraq war story Occupation, which also stars Nesbitt as a soldier struggling to cope with life post-Basra, is in the running for Best Drama Serial.

And Belfast man Kenneth Branagh is hoping to win the Leading Actor Bafta for his portrayal of an introspective Swedish detective in Wallander.

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Small Island, which is based on Andrea Levy’s prize-winning novel and which was also filmed on location in parts of Northern Ireland, is up for Drama Serial against Occupation. Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, has welcomed the nominations.

He said: “Northern Ireland Screen has had a bumper year of high-quality television drama, with several of the Bafta-nominated productions already picking up other high profile awards including at the Sundance Film Festival, the Royal Television Society, the Prix Europa and the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

“We are absolutely delighted at the strong showing in the television Bafta nominations of productions made in Northern Ireland with funding through the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.”

The awards event will be held at London’s Palladium on Sunday, June 6.

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