The nominations have been announced for this year’s Royal Television Society Programme Awards and two programmes directed by NFTS alumni – Derry Girls directed by Michael Lennox and Black Mirror: USS Callister directed by Toby Haynes - are up for ‘Best Scripted Comedy’ and ‘Best Single Drama’ respectively.

In total, an impressive 31 NFTS alumni are credited on 13 programmes nominated across 9 categories!

Channel 4’s Derry Girls is a sitcom set in DerryNorthern Ireland, in the 1990s follows the lives of Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland) and their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) and Michelle's English cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn), as they navigate their teens in Derry during the Troubles. Michael Lennox directed both the first and second series which is on air now.

Black Mirror: USS Callister is the feature-length season-four opening sci-fi space epic, which follows Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons), a reclusive but gifted programmer and co-founder of a popular massive multiplayer online game. A further six NFTS alumni are credited including DoP, Stephan Pehrsson, Foley Editor, Dario Swade, Boom Operator, Kyle Pickford, Compositors, Saruta Pisanwalerd and Bas Chatmaleerat and Floor Runner, Misia Pawlowska.

Other nominated programmes with NFTS credits include:

‘Best Single Drama’

All three programmes nominated in this category benefit from NFTS alumni involvement including Black Mirror: USS Callister (see above), Killed by My Debt and Mother’s Day, both of which benefit from music by NFTS Composing MA alumnus Roger Goula

‘Best Single Documentary’

Channel Four drama-documentary Married to a Paedophile is nominated for ‘Best Single Documentary’ with NFTS Location Sound for Film and TV Diploma alumnus Andy Paddon on the crew as Drama Sound Recordist and NFTS Production Management Diploma alumnus Kieran Nolan Jones as Production Assistant.

‘Best Drama Series’

Nominated for the ‘Best Drama Series’ is the BBC1’s Killing Eve which credits NFTS Cinematography MA alumnus Tim Palmer as Director of Photography, NFTS Production Design MA alumnus Kristian Milsted as Production Designer and NFTS Production Design MA alumni Thalia Ecclestone and Alexandra Toomey as Art Directors.


The ‘Mini-Series’ category includes both the 3-part drama A Very English Scandal (Boom Operator Joanna Vale) and the BBC 4-parter The Cry (Editor Alastair Reid)

‘Best Soap’ and ‘Continuing Drama’

Amongst the nominees for the ‘Best Soap’ and ‘Continuing Drama’ are Casualty and Coronation Street which have both had several NFTS alumni on their writing and directing teams over the past year including writers Laura Poliakoff and Jessica O’Kane (NFTS Screenwriting MA alumni) and directors Matthew Evans and Roberto Bangura (NFTS Directing Fiction MA alumni) on Casualty and directors Diana Patrick, Suri Krishnamma and Gill Wilkinson; all NFTS Directing Fiction MA alumni on Coronation Street.

‘Best History’

BBC4 series The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story is nominated in the ‘Best History’ category, crediting both Jessica Jones and Tim Morrish (NFTS Composing MA alumni) as composers.


‘Daytime Programme award’

Nominated for the ‘Daytime Programme award’ is series one of the recent Broadcast award-winning BBC1 series Murder, Mystery and My Family, which was produced by NFTS Directing and Producing Television Entertainment MA alumna Lorna Hartnett, shot by NFTS Cinematography MA alumnus Andrew Alderslade and credits NFTS Production Design MA alumna Eléonore Cremonese as Production Designer.

‘Best Formatted Popular Factual’

NFTS Editing MA alumnus Doug Bryson is credited as Editor on Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing which is nominated in the ‘Best Formatted Popular Factual’ category.


‘Best Scripted Comedy’

In addition to Derry Girls, BBC4 series The Detectorists is nominated for the ‘Best Scripted Comedy’ award which credits Location Recording for Film and TV Diploma alumna Joanna Andrews as Boom Operator.

The RTS Programme Awards span all the genres of television programming, from soaps to history, children's fiction to comedy performance. The Royal Television Society Programme Awards takes place at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane on Tuesday 19th March.