Extras stars face Bafta battle

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Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are to go head-to-head for the best comedy performance at this year's Bafta television awards.

The comedy pair are also up against Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley) and Liz Smith (The Royle Family: Queen of Sheba) for the award.

BBC1's hit drama Life on Mars, which reached its second series finale last night, looks set for success with nominations for the Pioneer audience award and best drama series.

John Simm, who played detective inspector Sam Tyler in the show, is given the nod for best actor. Also nominated are Jim Broadbent (Longford) Andy Serkis (Longford) and Michael Sheen (Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!).

There are no surprises in the continuing drama category; soap heavyweights Casualty, Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale are in the running.

US series dominate the international category, with Entourage, House, Lost and My Name Is Earl all given the nod.

Public participation programmes Dancing On Ice, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and The X Factor are up against Derren Brown: The Heist for best entertainment programme.

Ant and Dec, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton and Jonathan Ross are competing for the best entertainment award.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the London Palladium on May 20th 2007.

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