David Bowie, Broadchurch, and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa are amongst The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2014 nominees, revealed this week.

The Sky Arts gong show is the only awards ceremony to celebrate the UK’s towering achievements across all genres of the arts.

The awards are one of the world’s most respected arts awards, celebrating the best of British culture and achievement across visual art, theatre, opera, dance, comedy, classical music, pop, TV drama, literature and film. Melvyn Bragg will once again act as editor and master of ceremonies at the event on Tuesday 27th January at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

The shortlist for 2014 honours a wide range of phenomenal artistic achievement, and marks the fourth consecutive year the awards have been broadcast on Sky Arts 1 HD. This year sees a strong list of established artists pitted against their industry’s young talents; such as the Royal Opera House up against Welsh National Youth Opera, and the legendary David Bowie facing Disclosure and The Arctic Monkeys in the pop category.

Two nominees have received double nominations this year: Steve Coogan for the Film and Comedy awards, with Philomena and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa respectively and BBC Two, which leads the way with two nominations for the TV Drama award, The Fall and Top of the Lake – alongside ITV’s critically acclaimed thriller Broadchurch.

In a strongly contested year for comedy, Sky Arts’ own satire series Psychobitches, staring Rebecca Front together with an ensemble cast of comedians portraying historical figures in therapy, competes against stand-up artist Bridget Christie and her alternative comedy A Bic for Her. Bridget’s performance received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Soho Theatre. Steve Coogan’s film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa completes the category and marks the third consecutive year Coogan has been nominated for the comedy award for his ubiquitous Alan Partridge character.

The nominees for the film award are a well-deserved nod to the UK film industry excellence in the genre of social-realism. Clio Barnard’s supercharged tale of a teen scrap scavenger The Selfish Giant, is nominated against Steve Coogan’s Philomena, starring Judi Dench in a real-life story of a woman whose baby was sold by nuns for adoption. Le Week-End, Roger Michell’s relationship drama set in Paris, staring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, completes the line-up.

David Bowie’s The Next Day, his 24th studio album which broke pre-sale records and saw his return to music after a 10 year hiatus, and Arctic Monkeys fifth and most successful studio album to date, AM go up against the debut studio album Settle from electronic music duo Disclosure. Settle achieved No1 in the iTunes UK album charts within 12 hours of its release and the duo credit Kate Bush, who made a rare public appearance at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2012, as an influence on their work.

Once again, the list of nominees for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards shows that the UK arts landscape is as vibrant as ever. It’s vital to honour the excellence of artists, performers, musicians and authors especially at this time, and we’re very glad that we can do this. – Melvyn Bragg.

The 2014 South Bank Sky Arts award itself will be designed by the legendary pop artist Sir Peter Blake, who famously co-created the album sleeve for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Classical Music

·         The Rest Is Noise, Various Artists, Southbank Centre

·         Songs from the Same Earth, Harrison Birtwistle, The Britten Festival, Aldeburgh Festival

·         Totentanz, Thomas Ades, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall


·         Psychobitches – Sky Arts

·         Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – Baby Cow

·         Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her – Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Soho Theatre


·         Atamos, Wayne McGregor, Random Dance

·         Dracula, Mark Bruce

·         Le Corsaire, English National Ballet


·         Le Week-End

·         The Selfish Giant

·         Philomena


·         Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

·         The Kills, Richard House

·         Marriage Material, Sathnam Sanghera


·         Written on Skin,  Royal Opera House

·         Paul Bunyan, Welsh National Youth Opera

·         Grimes on the Beach, Aldeburgh Festival

Pop Music

·         David Bowie, The Next Day

·         Arctic Monkeys, AM

·         Disclosure, Settle


·         Othello, National Theatre

·         Let The Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland by arrangement with Marla Rubin Productions Ltd and Bill Kenwright, in association with Dundee Rep Theatre

·         Chimerica, Headlong and Almeida Theatre co-production, produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions

TV Drama

·         Broadchurch, ITV

·         The Fall, BBC Two

·         Top of the Lake, BBC Two

Visual Art

·         Katie Paterson, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and as part of Tipping Point, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

·         Michael Landy: Saints Alive, The National Gallery

·         Sarah Lucas: Situation, Whitechapel Gallery

Times Breakthrough

·         Classical: Anna Clyne

·         Comedy: Nick Helm

·         Dance: Alexander Whitley

·         Film: Jack O’Connell

·         Literature: Evie Wyld

·         Opera: Alessandro Talevi

·         Pop Music: King Krule

·         Theatre: Cush Jumbo

·         TV Drama: Zawe Ashton

·         Visual Art: Oscar Murillo

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