Matt Smith has been nominated for the British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Actor for his performance as the Eleventh Doctor in the 2010 series of Doctor Who - the first time in the programme's history that one of its leads has been nominated for this prestigious award. He is up against Benedict Cumberbatch (for BBC One's Sherlock, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss), former Comic Relief Doctor Jim Broadbent (for Channel 4's Any Human Heart) and Daniel Rigby (for BBC Two biopic Eric and Ernie).
The BAFTA Awards are the most prestigious awards given in the British television industry, analogous to the Primetime Emmy Awards in the United States. The winners of most of the categories, including the one in which Smith is nominated, are decided by a jury of industry experts. Doctor Who last triumphed at the main ceremony in 2006, when the first season of the new series, starring Christopher Eccleston, won the Best Drama Series category, and the programme also took home the viewer-voted Audience Award, and Russell T Davies was given the honorary Dennis Potter Award for achievement in television writing. The 2008 series, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, was also nominated for the Best Drama Series category at the 2009 awards, but lost out to BBC One's British version of Wallander.
The series and its personnel have, however, won several awards at the BAFTA Cymru and BAFTA Craft Awards ceremonies since Doctor Who returned to the screens in 2005, including the Best Writer Award for Steven Moffat in 2008. The winners of this year's main BAFTA Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday 22nd May, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. BBC News has a report on the nominations.