The short lists for the annual awards – usually seen as a indicator for the Academy Awards – have Steven Spielberg's Lincoln leading nominations with seven, including best drama, best director for Spielberg and acting nods for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.
McGregor, short-listed for the best actor in a musical or comedy film for his role in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is joined by fellow Brit Damian Lewis, short- listed for his portrayal of Nicholas Brody in Homeland. Lewis, who also appeared in Band of Brothers, is nominated in the best actor in a television drama series category alongside Mad Men's Jon Hamm and Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi.
His Homeland co-star, Claire Danes, faces competition from Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery for best actress in a TV drama series. Downton is also nominated for the best TVdrama series along with US shows including Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad and Homeland.
The BBC's Episodes is nominated for best TV comedy series.
Dame Helen Mirren is shortlisted for best actress in a dramatic film for Hitchcock, while Rachel Weisz is nominated for The Deep Blue Sea.
Singer Adele's James Bond theme, Skyfall, is nominated for best original song in a motion picture. The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held in Los Angeles on January 13.
It was also revealed that Touch The Sky, from the animated film Brave, sung by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis and written by Alex Mandel, is in the long list for the Oscars Best Song category.