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Elba and Ejiofor lead Globes charge

Actors Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor lead the charge for British success at the Golden Globes with two nominations each.

Elba, who rose to fame as ruthless drug dealer Stringer Bell in US drama The Wire, is nominated for best actor in a motion picture for his performance as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

He is also recognised in the best actor in a mini-series or TV movie category for his role as the troubled detective in the BBC's Luther.

Ejiofor is nominated in the same category for another BBC drama - Dancing On The Edge - while his role in Steve McQueen's epic 12 Years A Slave gets him a nod for best actor in a motion picture.

The awards, organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), are seen as a pointer for who will challenge for Oscars honours in March.

Ejiofor said: " It is such a huge honour to be nominated for two Golden Globes and I would like to thank the members of the HFPA for this incredible recognition. The response to 12 Years A Slave and Dancing On The Edge from the public and media alike has been overwhelming and I am so very grateful. To have been a part of these amazing projects was a gift in itself, that the HFPA have responded in this way, truly means so much."

The film, based on the true story of New Yorker Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery as an adult, is tied with crime caper American Hustle for the most nominations with seven each.

Among its nominations are best motion picture drama, best original score, best motion picture screenplay and best supporting actor for Michael Fassbender.

McQueen is nominated for best director alongside Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron, American Hustle's David O Russell, Nebraska's Alexander Payne and Paul Greengrass for piracy drama Captain Phillips.

The shortlist for best actor is completed by Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hanks and Robert Redford.

The nominees for best actress in a motion picture drama reads like a roll call of UK acting talent with nods for Emma Thompson in Saving Mr Banks, Kate Winslet in Labor Day and Dame Judi Dench for Philomena.

UK-based Cate Blanchett is also nominated for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and Sandra Bullock is recognised for Gravity.

Winslet said she was "extremely surprised and absolutely thrilled" to be nominated.

The other nominees for best motion picture drama are Gravity, Captain Phillips, Rush and Philomena.

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan also picked up a nomination with writing partner Jeff Pope for their work on Philomena - the true story of Philomena Lee's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption in 1950s Ireland.

Sally Hawkins' performance in Blue Jasmine sees her nominated for best supporting actress in a motion picture along with Hollywood A-listers Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence.

She said she was "surprised and truly honoured" and "delighted" for her co-star Blanchett.

The other nominees for best actor in a mini-series or TV movie are Matt Damon and Michael Douglas for the Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra and Al Pacino gets a nod for his portrayal of jailed music producer Phil Spector.

Michael Sheen's performance in Masters Of Sex is shortlisted for best actor in a TV series drama along with Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, James Spader, Liev Schreiber and House Of Cards star Kevin Spacey.

Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in BBC4's Burton And Taylor sees her nominated for best actress in a mini-series or TV movie along with White Queen star Rebecca Ferguson.

Also nominated are Jessica Lange, Dame Helen Mirren and Elisabeth Moss for Top Of The Lake.

Three of the five nominees for best m ini-series or movie are from the BBC with Dancing On The Edge, Top Of The Lake and White Queen all recognised.

White Queen star Janet McTeer and Dancing On The Edge's Jacqueline Bisset are among the nominees for best s upporting actress in a s eries, mini-series or movie.

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said: " BBC Drama's ten nominations in today's Golden Globes reinforces our international reputation and position as the very best producers of drama both at home and across the pond."

ITV's Downton Abbey is also recognised with a nomination for best TV series drama along with Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, Masters Of Sex and the US remake of 1980s political thriller House Of Cards.

Coldplay are nominated for original song for Atlas, which featured in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, along with Ordinary Love by U2 from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

Also nominated is Justin Timberlake for Please Mr Kennedy which he co-wrote with the Coen Brothers for their folk film Inside Llewyn Davis.

The awards are on January 12.

Elba said: "I'm truly humbled and honoured to be acknowledged for two projects that, though very different from one another, are both extremely personal and special to me.

"Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press for your support, and I would also like to give a special thank you to Mr Mandela, who will be forever missed."

Bookmakers immediately made Ejiofor the favourite to be named best actor, with William Hill offering odds of 6-4 ahead of McConaughey at 11-4 and Elba at 4-1.

12 Years A Slave is 5-4 favourite to be named best picture drama and Cate Blanchett is 6-4 favourite to win best actress.


From Belfast Telegraph