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The Stage 100 :: TV Ten

The Stage 100, our much-lauded list of the top movers and shakers in the world of theatre and light entertainment, has long been an integral part of the paper’s pages over the festive season. This year, for the first time we’ve also decided to tip our hats to the great and the good of broadcasting in a separate Top 10.

Squeezing the wealth of British talent into a Top 10 is no mean task. Our choices are below, and of course we expect that many will not agree the final shortlist. Use the link below to let us know what you think!

Don't agree with our choices? Nominate someone! »

Our Top 10

1) Russell T Davies
Hats off to Davies – the clear winner of this year’s poll. The man has achieved the almost impossible and transformed Doctor Who for a cynical 21st-century audience and made them fall in love with it again. He wrestled Saturday nights out of the hands of Ant and Dec and revitalised family drama. The Christmas special has gone down a treat and fans will soon be salivating over series two. The triumphant return of the Time Lord and the gloriously camp Casanova to boot, has cemented Davies' position at the head of the holy trinity of British scriptwriters [alongside Paul Abbot and Jimmy McGovern].
2) Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly
In all honesty, what would ITV do without this Geordie duo? The pair are currently unbeatable as presenters go and whatever they touch – be it celebrity golf or rehashed gameshows from yesteryear – turns to gold. While for many shows the reality cookie is rapidly crumbling, the continued success of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is testament to their effortless popularity. Barely in their thirties, these two have given the network something to shout about in what has been a tumultuous 50th anniversary year.
3) Simon Cowell
A brand all in himself – this man has his fingers in all sorts of pies. From music management to television production, Cowell is seemingly going from strength to strength. His award-winning X Factor remains a ratings juggernaut, he has just signed a new five-year output deal with the US television network Fox and music label SonyBMG and along with his new talent shows for ITV, he has also signed an exclusive agreement as a performer with the network until 2008.
4) Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
Following on from The Office was always going to be a tough challenge but these two did it with gusto this year. Sticking with BBC2 as their natural home, Extras opened with strong ratings and a string of Hollywood A-listers – a trend set to continue with more sparkle in series two. Gervais and Merchant have all the makings of a classic comedy partnership.
5) Nigel Stafford-Clark/Andrew Davies
It has been a great autumn for drama on BBC1 but the adaptation of Dickens’ classic Bleak House has been an unequivocal success. While the series has benefited from an all-star cast and clever scheduling, huge praise must go to the show’s producer Stafford-Clark and writer Andrew “period drama” Davies for bringing Dickens back to a mainstream audience.
6) David Tennant
The cheeky Scotsman has had a tremendous year, creeping slowly but relentlessly into popular consciousness with one quirky primetime show after another. First up was the rather odd singing detective in BBC1’s Potteresque comic thriller Blackpool, then came the charismatic Casanova on BBC3. More recently he switched over to ITV1 for a stint as a deranged stalker in Secret Smile before jumping into the Tardis for the Corporation’s Christmas special. His transformation into the tenth Time Lord has made the nation sit up, take notice and ask, “Christopher who?”
7) Hilary Bevan Jones/Paul Abbott
As independent production houses go, you don’t get much better pedigree than Tightrope Pictures. It is headed by leading drama producer Bevan Jones, whose credits include State of Play and To the Ends of the Earth, and Shameless creator Abbott. Both have had a stellar 2005 with the former being picked as the first female chair of Bafta in the organisation’s 60-year history, while the latter has scooped almost every award going for his screenwriting.
8) Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong
These two have been around for a while – think radio comedy and Channel 4’s hit show Smack the Pony – but the pace is starting to quicken. The pair have had their hands in some of the best British comedies of the year. They created the absolutely brilliant Peep Show, now in its third series, and co-wrote BBC4’s political satire The Thick of It. And if that wasn’t enough, next up they are penning Ant and Dec’s new sitcom.
9) David Mitchell and Robert Webb
Both as writers and performers Mitchell and Webb have been slowly but surely upping their profile. Of course there’s Peep Show and stints on various comedy panel programmes but the pair have also bagged a pilot show for BBC2. The move will see them follow in the hallowed footsteps of Little Britain and Dead Ringers, with their Radio 4 series That Mitchell and Webb Sound set for television transformation in 2006.
10) Vanessa Whitburn
This year the long-serving editor of The Archers has come close to achieving the public service Holy Grail – simultaneously boosting the show’s ratings with populist storylines, attracting a new generation of listeners, while also tackling difficult issues such as Alzheimer’s and rape.

Don't agree with our choices? Nominate someone! »

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