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Battle of the detectives: Sherlock Holmes v The Killing's Sarah Lund at National Television Awards 2014


Television’s top detectives are to go head to head for the title of “best detective” at next year’s National Television Awards.

The likes of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Sarah Lund from The Killing and the sleuths from hit series Broadchurch, are among a longlist of 26 names who will compete for the prize, which is voted for by the viewers.

Organisers say that the category has been introduced to recognise the huge rise in popularity of crime drama on British television over the past few years.

Also looking like it will be hotly contested it the Drama Performance category, with four actors on Downton Abbey, Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Carter all longlisted. The Village (John Simm and Maxine Peake) and The White Queen (Rebecca Ferguson and Max Irons) both have two entries.

The 19 NTAs will take place on January 22, and organisers are expecting in excess of five million votes. One of the safest bets in television awards in recent years has been the Entertainment Presenter category, which Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (aka Ant & Dec) have won for the past 12 years. Their competition this year includes Alan Carr, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Dermot O'Leary, who would be in for an awkward moment as he is hosting the awards.

To vote visit www.nationaltvawards.com before October 11