Extras battles Borat for South Bank Show prize

Liz Thomas

BBC hit series Extras will do battle with The Royle Family and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat character to take home this year’s comedy accolade at the South Bank Show Awards.

The ceremony, now in its 11th year, also sees Peter Morgan’s acclaimed play Frost/Nixon take on popular national production The Overwhelming and this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit Black Watch in the theatre category. Morgan also penned The Queen, which starred Helen Mirren, which is nominated for best film.

After years of criticism over its quality, ITV1 drama seems to have turned a corner with two nominations in the genre. Controversial Myra Hindley drama See No Evil: The Moors Murders, and Prime Suspect – the Final Act, both feature alongside Channel 4′s Bradford Riots, penned by Neil Biswas.

Biswas is also a contender in the Arts Council England Decibel Award, as is Doctor Who star and Kidulthood creator Noel Clarke and writing company Pentabus. This accolade aims to recognise work that contributes to the development and promotion of black and asian arts.

This year’s dance nominations are awarded to companies rather than individual choreographers. They are the Richard Alston Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Theatre under the direction of Javier De Frutos, and The Royal Ballet for their programme Chroma/The Four Temperaments/DVG.

The ceremony will be held on January 23 at London’s Savoy Hotel before being transmitted on ITV1 on January 28.

Host Melvyn Bragg said: “Across the waterfront, in music, theatre, acting, writing, painting, dance and film, the British are enjoying quite wonderful success. This awards ceremony uniquely celebrates and honours that. The arts are an area in which we truly have a world class story to tell. And we tell it at the South Bank Show Awards.”

The full nominations are:



  • The Queen
  • United 93
  • Red Road


Classical Music

  • Charles MacKerras and Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra for Beethoven Cycle
  • Halle/BBC Philharmonic/Royal Northern College of Music for Shostakovich, His Heroes and Comrades
  • Simon Holt for Witness to a Snow Miracle (Violin Concertos)


  • Arctic Monkeys for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not
  • Amy Winehouse for Back to Black
  • Jarvis Cocker for Jarvis



  • Howard J Jacobson for Kalooki Nights
  • Edward St Aubyn for Mother’s Milk
  • Jon McGregor for So Many Ways to Begin


  • Extras (BBC2)
  • Borat: Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (20th Century Fox)
  • The Royle Family – the Queen of Sheba (BBC1)

Visual Arts

  • Grayson Perry for The Charms of Lincolnshire
  • Gilbert and George for Sonofagod Pictures – Was Jesus Hetrosexual?
  • Time Noble and Sue Webster for Polymorphous Perverse

TV Drama

Arts Council England Decibel Award

  • Pentabus for White Open Spaces
  • Noel Clarke for Kidulthood
  • Neil Biswas for Bradford Riots

Outstanding Achievement Award

  • To be announced on the day
  • The South Bank Show Awards/The Times Breakthrough Award

    • Alison Balsom for Classical Music
    • Andrew Kennedy for Opera
    • Connie Fisher for Theatre
    • Jane Harris for Literature
    • Rafi Gavron for Film
    • David Oyelowo for TV Drama
    • Archie Bronson Outfit for Pop
    • Simon Amstell for Comedy
    • Jamie Shovlin for Visual Art
    • Jonathan Goddard for Dance
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