'Dr Who' stars Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper have been nominated for top acting honours at this year's British National Television Awards.

Eccleston, who quit as the Doctor after just one series, is up for best actor and faces competition from the likes of 'EastEnders' Shane Richie and 'Coronation Street's' Bradley Walsh.

Piper, who played his sidekick Rose, is up against Zoe Lucker from 'Footballers' Wives', Patsy Kensit from 'Emmerdale', 'EastEnders' star Jessie Wallace and Corrie's Kate Ford in the battle for best actress.

The longlist for the awards was announced today and the public can vote for their favourites. Organisers have introduced a new category this year - most popular expert on TV.

The list of contenders includes Sir Alan Sugar, Gordon Ramsay, Simon Cowell, Jamie Oliver, Gillian McKeith, Trinny and Susannah, and 'Location Location Location's' Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer.

Surprise entry on the most popular entertainment presenter list is Kelly Brook, who was panned by critics for her performance on 'Celebrity Love Island'.

She is up against co-host Patrick Kielty, Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall, Vernon Kay and his wife Tess Daly - the first time a husband and wife have been pitted against one another.

'Coronation Street's' Antony Cotton, who plays camp factory worker Sean Tully, is up for best newcomer, alongside Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Slater in 'EastEnders'.

In the reality TV category, usual suspects 'Big Brother' and 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' face tough competition from 'The Apprentice'.

Most popular soap will go to either 'Coronation Street', 'EastEnders', 'Emmerdale', 'Hollyoaks' or 'Home and Away'.

The awards will be held in October.