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BAFTA announces timeline and rule changes for Television & Television Craft Awards 2020

8 October 2019

London, 8 October 2019: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today published the official rules and guidelines for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and the British Academy Television Craft Awards and a timeline of the key dates in 2020.

BAFTA’s Television Committee undertakes a review of the rules and guidelines each year in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders across the industry. This process allows BAFTA to adjust its criteria to ensure the awards reflect the ever-changing industry.

Following their successful introduction to the Film Awards this year, BAFTA will pilot the introduction of the BFI Diversity Standards for all UK production categories at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards. In consultation with the industry, BAFTA aims to introduce these fully for the 2021 Awards.

BAFTA’s commitment to promoting and increasing diversity and inclusion in the industry remains key to its mission into 2020 and beyond. BAFTA’s committees and jury chairs are currently being offered independent unconscious bias training ahead of the 2020 awards season. BAFTA is continuing to identify ways to lead change within the film, games and television industries, and will be making further announcements in the coming months.

Amanda Berry OBE, CEO at BAFTA, said: “Working in close consultation with the BFI and the wider television industry, we are delighted to be piloting the introduction of the BFI Diversity Standards, with the plan to fully introduce diversity standards for 2021. Our aim is to bring the industry together to improve diversity and inclusion through sharing best practice, encouraging collaboration, driving change and, ultimately, to become more inclusive.”

In other rule changes, UK programmes will no longer be required to premiere in the UK to be eligible for UK production categories, enabling the very best British creators and content to be recognised by BAFTA regardless of where the show is first transmitted. Programmes whose first transmission occurs outside the UK will qualify, but must be broadcast to UK audiences within the calendar year. Programmes will be eligible for UK categories if they are initiated and developed in the UK and have creative control residing within the UK and/or a UK broadcaster has primary editorial control. Those programmes which do not qualify for UK production categories will still be eligible for consideration in the International category.

As previously announced, BAFTA will be introducing a Casting award in the Television Craft Awards. The new award will recognise achievements in the craft of casting and its importance in television. A Casting award will also be introduced to the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2020, marking the first time BAFTA has simultaneously introduced a category.

Regarding the change to eligibility around the territory of a programme’s first transmission, Hannah Wyatt, Chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee, said: “BAFTA is committed to rewarding British productions that can be enjoyed by British audiences. We are always looking to reflect the ever-changing industry, ensuring our rules remain fit for purpose. As we see British creative talent and productions increasingly capturing global audiences, we feel now in the right time to make this adjustment.”

The British Academy Television Craft Awards will take place on Sunday 26 April 2020, returning to The Brewery in London for a 10th year. The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will take place in London on Sunday 17 May at the Royal Festival Hall, with nominations for both Awards to be announced on Thursday 26 March. The 2020 timeline is available in full at

Regarding the introduction of the Casting award, which was announced earlier this year, Shaheen Baig, Casting Director (Peaky Blinders, Three Girls, Black Mirror), said: “I am delighted to see BAFTA recognising casting talent across the television industry. The award will help promote a deeper understanding of the vital role casting plays in television production, not only through championing representation on-screen but also in nurturing and discovering new talent.”



Tuesday 08 October                     Entries open

Friday 22 November                      Entries close for programmes broadcast up to end of November  


Friday 03 January                          Entries close for programmes broadcast in December

Thursday 26 March                        Nominations announced

Sunday 26 April                               British Academy Television Craft Awards

Sunday 17 May                               Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards

For further information, please contact:

Sophie Dudhill, Press Officer

T 020 7292 5863

E [email protected]  

Notes to editors

  • The BFI Diversity Standards are an industry wide initiative for adoption by the film and television sector. The Standards criteria is a flexible framework which encourages equality of opportunity and address under-representation in the screen industries. They focus on disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation (as they pertain to the Equality Act 2010) and also seek to ensure that people from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds and those from outside London and the South East are better represented.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit