The 11th Irish Film and Television Awards take place tomorrow night in Dublin and is all set to be a star studded event. There's even rumours Kevin Spacey will be there! They are only rumours however, but no smoke without fire and all that. Plenty more will be along though, including Steve Coogan, Jeremy Irons, even President Michael D. Higgins himself will be there - he will receive an Honorary Award in recognition of his Outstanding Contribution to the Irish Film & Television Industry .
A wealth of other Irish talent will be attending the event too, with the likes of the cast of Love/Hate, Brendan Gleeson and son Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and his beard, Jamie Dornan and HIS beard. In fact the epic beards that will probably be on this red carpet should really get a category to themselves really shouldn't they?
They don't however (this year), but there is great competition in the actual IFTA categories. The nominations for TV drama are proof of this;
Game of Thrones
Quirke - Elegy For April
You may be wondering why HBO's Game of Thrones is in there, but it's because a lot of it is filmed here with an Irish crew, which makes it ours. ALL OURS. Truth be told, that show should probably clinch it, but we can't imagine anyone other than Love/Hate walking away with this one, can you?
TV actor in a lead role nominations are as follows;
Gabriel Byrne - Quirke - Elegy For April
Jamie Dornan - The Fall
Chris O'Dowd - Moone Boy
Tom Vaughan Lawlor - Love/Hate 4
Yera yeah, Nidgey all the way and all that, but did you watch The Fall? Dornan played a blinder - he is absolutely terrifying as the family man serial killer, and as Graham Norton said, he somehow made the term 'Sexy serial killer' an actual thing. This guy is on the cusp of Hollywood super stardom given that he will star in the much anticipated 50 Shades of Grey flick next year. My guess is IFTA will want to get in there first, by giving this fella the well-deserved gong.
TV actress in a leading role nominations are;
Eva Birthistle - Amber
Charlie Murphy - Love/Hate 4
Mary Murray - Love/Hate 4
Deirdre O'Kane - Moone Boy
While again, it would look like the law of averages might point to Love/Hate here, but call me MAD, I think Deirdre O' Kane has got this. Her role in Moone Boy has had everyone in stitches, and it seems this year that show has just taken off with many singing its praises from the roof tops. This won't have gone unnoticed by the IFTA powers that be, and seeing as Chris O'Dowd will have missed out to Dornan in the actor category... (Yes, I realise I'm making predictions off of predictions here.)
Other TV categories include, 'Best Entertainment Programme';
Irish Pictorial Weekly Series 2
Late Late Show
Mrs Browns Boy's
Should we just give Brendan O'Carroll the award NOW?
Sports programme nominees are;
Páidí Ó Sé - Rí an Pharóiste
R.O.G: The Ronan O'Gara Documentary
We Got Game
Again, ROG would you like the IFTA now or on the night?
Besides TV of course, there will be plenty of movie stuff going on with Byzantium, Calvary, Run & Jump, The Sea and The Stag all up for nomination in Best Film. This one is actually quite hard to predict. ALL these films did very well this year. My gut says The Stag though. Hopefully Amy Huberman will be there to collect, and she won't be about to go into labour this year either! (She gave birth the morning after she attended last year's IFTA's).
International film nominees are 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street. I very much doubt anyone other than Philomena herself will be collecting the IFTA on this one, along with Coogan, but then again, Fassbender will also be in the audience there somewhere.
The event this year is moving away from its Convention Centre setting of the past few years, and back into its original home at DoubleTree by Hilton, Burlington Road for what will be a round table gala, how very Golden Globe-sey of them.
Simon Delaney will be returning to present this year, and he will joined by the very talented Laura Whitmore on the night too. These pair really are pros, which means hopefully the on stage banter won't seem too forced.
Us folk here at entertainment.ie have sent the Karate Kid of photographers to nab all the best snaps from the night, so be sure to check back in with us on Saturday and Sunday for all the pics, as well as of course the list of winners. Which will be pretty much what I said there, tenner bets, any takers?
You can watch the awards on RTE One at 9.45pm on Saturday.