A retro-chic take on cops-and-robbers dramas, a trawl through John Peel's albums and a portrayal of the late Princess Margaret are among a record number of British television programmes nominated for this year's International Emmy Awards.
Britain has 17 of the 36 programmes on the shortlist announced yesterday, more than any other country. Germany and Brazil received five nominations each - a record for both countries. The awards, presented at a ceremony in New York next month, do not include the US.
The shortlist reflects favourably on the diversity of British television, with both the BBC and the independent sector well represented. One ITV drama, Vincent, starring Ray Winstone as a private investigator, is nominated twice.
A surprise nomination was Channel Four's The IT Crowd, up against Little Britain in the comedy section. Written by Father Ted-creator Graham Linehan it was well-received but not a huge hit. A second series of the show - nominated for a Rose D'Or this year - has been commissioned.
More predictably, the BBC's Life on Mars, a critical and commercial hit which featured John Simm as a detective mysteriously transported back in time to the 1970s and forced to work with a group of Sweeney-era colleagues, is in competition with Vincent and two shows from Brazil for the best drama award. Earlier this week it was announced that the second series, which is due to be broadcast early next year, will be the last.
Two British documentaries about popular music are nominated for the best arts programme.John Peel's Record Box was an insight into the small box of favourite albums of the late and much-loved broadcaster while Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music, was a critically acclaimed six-part history of the genre first shown on BBC 4.
Ray Winstone is nominated for best actor in Vincent, where he is up against Bernard Hill, for his portrayal of David Blunkett in C4's comedy-drama A Very Social Secretary.
In the best actress section, Lucy Cohu is nominated for her depiction of Princess Margaret in The Queen's Sister, as is Imelda Staunton from My Family and Other Animals.
Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Supernanny, which made a star in the US out of nanny Jo Frost, go head to head in the entertainment section.
John Peel's Record Box;
Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music
Bernard Hill, A Very Social Secretary;
Ray Winstone, Vincent
Lucy Cohu, The Queen's Sister;
Imelda Staunton, My Family and Other Animals
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE PROGRAMMES
Johnny and the Bomb; Sugar Rush
9/11 The Falling Man; Hiroshima
The IT Crowd
Life on Mars;
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares;
The Virgin Queen