Help us be queens of small screen...

Fingers crossed:  Nikki Sanderson at last year's NTA Awards and Below, Jenna Coleman at the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards
Fingers crossed: Nikki Sanderson at last year's NTA Awards and Below, Jenna Coleman at the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards

Blackpool’s leading ladies Nikki Sanderson and Jenna Coleman are calling for locals to back their bid to be crowned queens of the small screen at this year’s National TV Awards.

The Fylde coast stars will be on the red carpet later this month as the NTAs return to London’s O2 Arena.

Jenna Coleman at the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House, London.

Jenna Coleman at the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House, London.

Blackpool-born Nikki has picked up a series of awards and nominations during the past year for her role as domestic abuse victim Maxine Minniver in Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks. And now she’s up for the big one, the coveted Serial Drama Performance, won last year by Julie Hesmondhalgh, for her portrayal of character Hayley Cropper’s terminal cancer battle.

Nikki, who grew up in Bispham, will be up against Walford landlord and landlady Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright, who play EastEnders’ Mick and Linda Carter, currently battling to stay together after Linda was raped by Mick’s nephew Dean.

Also up for the title is Emmerdale actress Verity Rushworth, who returned to the soap screen last March, as Donna Windsor-Dingle, for just a five-month stint, culminating in her 
suicide in August.

The hard-hitting abuse storyline has seen Nikki, 30, win much praise, as bubbly Maxine’s life was turned upside down by her abusive partner Patrick Blake, played by Jeremy Sheffield.

In October, she was named best actress at the Inside Soap Awards, and the previous month she narrowly missed out on the same title at the TV Choice Awards – both events saw the abuse plot recognised with nominations, too.

Nikki said: “The nomination for best serial drama performance at this year’s National Television Awards is definitely a highlight of my career. I am so honoured and grateful to be in this position and thankful to 
everyone who thought I was worthy. To say I am excited is an understatement.”

Also flying the flag for the Fylde is Jenna Coleman who will be back at the O2 as part of the 20th anniversary of the awards, hoping to retain the title of best drama with Doctor Who.

Rivalry in this category is fierce, with internationally acclaimed Downton Abbey and Sherlock, as well as 2014 biopic Cilla all with their eyes on the prize.

Former Arnold School headgirl Jenna, 28, courted controversy during the recent series of Doctor Who, as she refused to confirm or deny rumours her character Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s assistant, would be leaving the show.

A spokesman for the NTAs said: “The votes are in, the viewers have spoken and as the shortlist for the 20th National Television Awards is revealed, the final round of voting opens today. And two of Blackpool’s leading ladies, Nikki Sanderson and Jenna Coleman, find themselves nominated in this year’s shortlist.

“It’s time to get behind the local girls because if you want to see them win, you need to vote.”

X Factor host Dermot O’Leary will present the awards on Wednesday, January 21, with voting running until the day. Vote free online at nationaltvawards.com, or call 0901 888 2015 - costing no more than 26p per minute from BT landlines plus no more than 16p connection charge.  

Calls from other networks may be higher and from mobiles will be a lot more.