20/02/2014 05:57 GMT | Updated 22/04/2014 06:59 BST

Sex Box Loses Out to Gogglebox at BPG Awards

The Broadcasting Press Guild prepares to celebrate stellar year for British TV.

When we assembled a table-full of television critics and asked them to agree on the best shows of 2013 for this year's Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, we knew it would be an opinionated affair. That's the thing about telly, it tends to get people animated.

Take a real stinker for example. Channel 4's provocative coital experiment Sex Box failed to set pulses racing and was described as an "all new low for television". Who could have uttered such a withering remark? Step forward Steph Parker, the star of another of Channel 4's shows - the irresistible, breakout hit Gogglebox.

Where Gogglebox differed from lesser shows is it united our committee of critics and is unsurprisingly, a nominee at the 40th annual Discovery Channel-sponsored BPG Awards, which takes place next month.

But that was just one show. The committee, which I chaired, (@Jake_Kanter) had to whittle down the entire roster of TV programmes from last year to voteable lists for the 100-plus members of the BPG. Lucky we had a top team of critical talent, including the Independent's Ellen E Jones (@MsEllenEJones), the Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson (@beccanicholson) and the Times' Andrew Billen (@andrewbillen).

There may not have been an Olympics to unite the nation last year, but who can forget Musharaf Asghar's King's Speech moment in Channel 4's Educating Yorkshire (a nominee in the BPG's Best Documentary category) or when Frances Quinn proved she can do both style and substance on BBC2's The Great British Bake Off (a BPG nominee in Best Factual Entertainment)?

Channel 4's overall ratings may have stuttered in 2013, but the channel has nominations in six of the TV categories. C4 scooped up all four nominations for Best Single Documentary, stretching from the bizarre Dogging Tales to the fascinating The Murder Trail. Also on the list is surprise package Richard III: King in the Car Park and the powerful Syria: Across the Lines, which vividly depicted the human struggle of civil war.

Best Drama Series was probably the toughest category for the critics. It was a stellar year for the scripted stuff and detective dramas topped the list, from ITV's David Tennant and Olivia Colman smash Broadchurch to Gillian Anderson in The Fall. And who can forget the haunting Top of the Lake, written by Jane Campion and starring Elisabeth Moss.

Elsewhere, Sky 1 brought us the bonkers family comedy Yonderland and Chiwetel

Ejiofor's turn in BBC2's Dancing on the Edge was nearly as eye-catching as his 12 Years a Slave performance (which earlier this week won him a BAFTA).

The final TV Nominations are published today and the final vote - deciding the ultimate victors - will be announced on Friday 28 March at an invite-only winners' lunch.

The BPG Awards is different from other television gong-giving ceremonies because we involve the entire membership, voting across these two separate rounds. But it all starts with our dedicated critics committee, which also included freelance writer Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) and HuffpostUK's very own Caroline Frost (@frostalicus).

The proceedings have a neat symmetry because TV itself is democracy in action - the difference is that the audience votes with their remotes, while the BPG members tick boxes on an e-ballot. What nominees on our list get your seal of approval?

BPG nominations in full:

Best Single Drama

Black Mirror: Be Right Back (Channel 4)

Burton and Taylor (BBC Four)

The Wipers Times (BBC Two)

Best Drama Series

Broadchurch (ITV)

The Fall (BBC Two)

Top of the Lake (BBC Two)

Best Single Documentary

Dogging Tales (Channel 4)

The Murder Trial (Channel 4)

Richard III: The King in the Car Park (Channel 4)

Syria: Across the Lines (Channel 4)

Best Documentary Series

The Call Centre (BBC Three)

Educating Yorkshire (Channel 4)

The Story of the Jews (BBC Two)

Best Entertainment/Comedy

Ambassadors (BBC Two)

Fresh Meat (Channel 4)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)

Toast (Channel 4)

Best Multichannel Programme

Crackanory (Dave)

Shaun Ryder on UFOs (History)

The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic)

Yonderland (Sky 1)

Best Factual Entertainment

Gogglebox (Channel 4)

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs (ITV)

The Great British Bake Off, series 4 (BBC Two)

Best Actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the Edge (BBC Two)

Rory Kinnear - Southcliffe (Channel 4)

Peter Mullen - Top of the Lake (BBC Two)

David Tennant - Broadchurch (ITV)

Best Actress

Gillian Anderson - The Fall (BBC Two)

Olivia Colman - Broadchurch (ITV)

Elizabeth Moss - Top of the Lake (BBC Two)

Maxine Peake - The Village (BBC One)

Best Writer

Jane Campion - Top of the Lake (BBC Two)

Chris Chibnall - Broadchurch (ITV)

Allan Cubitt - The Fall (BBC Two)

Sally Wainwright - Last Tango in Halifax (BBC One)

Breakthrough Award

BT Sport

Jamie Dornan (The Fall)

Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary)

Innovation Award



Sky Television

The BPG Awards take place on Friday 28 March 2014 and are sponsored by Discovery Channel.