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Bafta TV Awards 2011 | reviews, news & interviews

Bafta TV Awards 2011

Bafta TV Awards 2011

No delight for Downton, but Essex girls strike it rich

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, stars of BBC One's Bafta-pleasing 'Sherlock'

Crikey, no gongs whatsoever for ITV1's Downton Abbey, but you can't grumble about Sherlock lifting the Best Drama Series award at last night's Baftas. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss's ingenious update of Conan Doyle for BBC One was one of 2010's telly highlights, and you might have thought it would have earned the Leading Actor award for Benedict Cumberbatch. But no, that one went not to Cumberbatch, nor to Matt Smith for Doctor Who (BBC One) nor Jim Broadbent for Any Human Heart (Channel 4), but to Daniel Rigby (pictured below) for his portrayal of Eric Morecambe in BBC Two's Eric and Ernie.

However, Martin Freeman snuck in to pinch the Supporting Actor accolade for his edgy portrayal of Dr Watson to Cumberbatch's Holmes, beating the likes of Brendan Coyle (nominated for Downton Abbey) and Robert Sheehan from E4's "asbo superhero" series Misfits in the process. Cumberbatch seemed delighted merely to be part of a winning team. "It's validation for what we have been doing," he said. "We went in with confidence but to come out with an award is wonderful." Let alone two.

Daniel_Rigby_cropIn other gongtastic news from the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Vicky McClure was adjudged Best Leading Actress for her work in This is England '86 (Channel 4), elbowing aside Anna Maxwell Martin (South Riding, BBC One) and Juliet Stevenson in Accused (BBC One), while Loren Socha got the nod for Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Kelly in Misfits. Both Lynda Baron and Jessie Wallace had been her co-nominees in the Supporting Actress slot for The Road to Coronation Street, though there was some consolation for them when the show itself won Single Drama.

In the Drama Serial (as opposed to Series) slot, Any Human Heart beat Mad Dogs, The Sinking of the Laconia and The Promise to the finishing tape, while Nordic crime saga The Killing trampled all over Boardwalk Empire (Sky Atlantic), Mad Men (BBC Four) and E4's very lovely Glee to score in the International category. "Thank you, Denmark - first bacon, now The Killing," remarked Graham Norton, who won Best Entertainment Performance for The Graham Norton Show (BBC One).

Essex_girls_trimOther comics strolling off with mantelpiece-fillers were Jo Brand (Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for BBC Four's Getting On) and Steve Coogan (Male Perfomance in a Comedy Programme for The Trip, BBC Two). Rev, which stars Tom Hollander as the titular cleric, won in Situation Comedy, and Harry and Paul was declared Best Comedy Programme, though the eponymous Messrs Enfield and Whitehouse had been so sure they wouldn't win that they didn't turn up.

Possibly most sensational of all was the triumph of ITV2's pseudo-reality drama The Only Way is Essex in the YouTube Audience Prize, the only award voted for by the public (Essex girls Sam, Amy, Lauren and Lydia, pictured above). "There's no way I thought we were going to win," said TOWIE's Mark Wright. "I'm still in shock."

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