12 APRIL 2007

Nearly eight million viewers tuned in on Tuesday night for the final episode of Life On Mars to find out whether DI Sam Tyler was mad, in a coma or back in time. And now John Simm has reaped the rewards of his journey back to 1973 after being nominated in the best actor category at the Bafta awards.

The hit series also received a nod for best drama and audience award, although John's talented co-star Philip Glenister, whose character Gene Hunt is famed for his macho policing techniques and one-liners, lost out on a mention. He'll have another chance at Bafta glory though, as he's the star of next year's sequel Ashes To Ashes.

Victoria Wood, meanwhile, will be celebrating after earning a record 12th Bafta nomination for best actress in Housewife 49, a drama she wrote and starred in about a real-life Lancashire housewife's wartime diaries. The 53-year-old comedian has only won once, in 1986, for best light entertainment performance with An Audience With Victoria Wood.

She is up against The Virgin Queen's Anne-Marie Duff, Samantha Morton for Longford - a drama about the moors murders which leads the nominations with four nods - and Ruth Wilson for Jane Eyre. Businessman Alan Sugar and fiery chef Gordon Ramsey are up against each other in the features award category for their programmes The Apprentice and The F Word, while others battling it out include Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in the comedy performance category for Extras.

Ever popular Dawn French is also nominated for her comedy role in The Vicar Of Dibley while the hit series' Christmas special is up for the audience award - the only one to be voted for by the public. Best entertainment performance is being fought out between Ant and Dec for their Saturday Night Takeaway, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton and Jonathan Ross.

The Baftas award ceremony takes place at the London Palladium on May 20.

Photo: ©
Life On Mars, which ended this week, is nominated for three Baftas, including best actor for John. His co-star Philip, who plays Gene Hunt, lost out on a nod, howeverPhoto: © BBC
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Popular Geordie duo Ant and Dec are hoping for glory in the entertainment performance category for their ITV show Saturday Night TakeawayPhoto: © ITV
Photo: ©
Victoria, who this week spent three days working in Asda supermarket's bakery in preparation for an ad campaign, has earned a record 12th nomination for her performance in Housewife 49. The drama, which she wrote, also won a nod in the single drama categoryPhoto: © PA

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