Karen McGann: 'excited and shocked'

A BBC arts producer and director is one of several Irish people to be nominated for next week's Bafta awards in London.

Karen McGann joins actor Brendan Gleeson, ITV journalist Bill Neely, Belfast actor Kenneth Branagh and playwright Frank McGuinness on the nominations list. McGann has been nominated for The Art of Russia, a BBC4 documentary which has been nominated in the Specialist Factual category of the awards.

The producer, who is originally from Co Longford, said she was "excited and shocked" at the nomination.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out I had been nominated – it was a very surreal moment. Especially as we were an extremely low-budget production and we are up against much bigger programmes.

"This kind of makes us the underdogs, so I don't harbour any realistic expectations of winning, though it would be amazing. It's also pretty nice to be one of the few Irish people, up there with Brendan Gleeson, to be nominated."

The awards will be hosted by Graham Norton and the ceremony will take place next Sunday in London. Well-known nominees include Helena Bonham Carter, Ant and Dec, Stephen Fry and Harry Hill.

McGann's documentary, one of a three-part series, sees art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tell the story of Russian art from its roots in Byzantium to the masterpieces of Andrei Rublev. She is now beginning preparations for The Art of Germany, which she will start shooting in two weeks' time.