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Best of British celebrate at the Emmy awards.

Byline: By Ruth Barnett

America is often seen as the home of television, but British stars were celebrating yesterday after enjoying a very successful night at this year's Emmy awards.

Ricky Gervais, Dame Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons and Richard Curtis all walked away with awards, while BBC drama The Girl In The Cafe picked up three, and Channel 4's Elizabeth I scooped nine, more than any other show.

The 58th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, are considered the "Oscars" of the television world.

Dame Helen won the outstanding lead actress accolade for the title role in Elizabeth I, and Irons won outstanding supporting actor for his portrayal of Elizabeth's confidant, the Earl of Leicester.

At the ceremony, Dame Helen, aged 61, said: "Without the writing we can't do it, especially us women.

"Every one of these great performances by these great actresses in this category were revealed to us by some wonderful writing.

"Women are 50 per cent of the world's population, maybe more.

"And I know there are many, many more brilliant performances by women of all ages and all races waiting to be revealed by some great writing so let's look forward to that."

The US version of The Office won outstanding comedy series, honouring Gervais and his writing partner, Stephen Merchant, who are executive producers.

The Girl In The Cafe was a resounding success for the BBC, which produced the movie with HBO films and Tightrope Pictures.

Kelly Macdonald, known for her roles in Trainspotting and Gosford Park, picked up the outstanding actress gong for the part of Gina.

The programme also won best made-for-television movie, and its scriptwriter Richard Curtis - famous for penning Love, Actually, and Notting Hill - picked up the award for outstanding writing.

Elizabeth I, made by Channel 4 and HBO, also won best mini-series and best directing.

Famous US stars were also recognised at the ceremony. Kiefer Sutherland picked up the outstanding actor gong for cult hit 24, and Gwyneth Pal-trow's mother, the actor Blythe Danner, won outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for Huff.

The BBC also picked up awards for Bleak House, Dancing With The Stars, Rome, and Before The Dinosaur at the 58th Annual Creative Arts Prime Time Emmy awards, held on August 19.

Jana Bennett, the director of BBC Vision, said she wanted to "congratulate and thank everyone involved" with the Girl In The Cafe after its success. She said: "Many congratulations to Richard Curtis, Kelly Macdonald and the entire cast and crew. The Girl In The Cafe is a funny and poignant love story with a powerful humanitarian message. The BBC is proud to be acknowledged at such a prestigious ceremony."

Francis Hopkinson, senior commissioning editor for Channel 4 drama, said: "Channel 4 is extremely proud of Elizabeth I, and it is fantastic to have the quality of drama and Helen's magnificent performance acknowledged in the US through such a strong showing at the Emmys.

The winners

Drama Series: 24

Comedy Series: The Office

Mini-series: Elizabeth I

Variety, Music or Comedy n Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Made for TV Movie: The Girl in the Cafe

Reality-Competition Programme: The Amazing Race

Actor, Drama Series: Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Actor, Mini-series or Movie: Andre Braugher, Thief

Actress, Drama Series: Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Actress, Comedy Series: Julia n Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine

Actress, Mini-series or Movie: Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Alan Alda, The West Wing

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jeremy Piven, Entourage

Supporting Actor, Mini-series or Movie: Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth I

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Blythe Danner, Huff

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Supporting Actress, Mini-series or a Movie: Kelly Macdonald, The Girl in the Cafe

Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Programme: Barry Manilow, Barry Manilow: Music and Passion

Directing for a Drama Series: 24: 7am - 8am

Directing for a Comedy Series: My Name Is Earl: Pilot

Directing for a Mini-series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Elizabeth I

Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Programme: 78th Annual Academy Awards

Writing for a Drama Series: The Sopranos: Members Only

Writing for a Comedy Series: My Name Is Earl: Pilot

Writing for a Mini-series, Movie or Dramatic Special: The Girl in the Cafe

Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Programme: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

CAPTION(S):

Helen Mirren heads for the stage to accept the award for outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or a film for her work on Elizabeth I Pictures, CHRIS CARLSON, Associated Press' Kelly Macdonald with her award for outstanding supporting actress' Ricky Gervais: US version of TV hit The Office - named outstanding comedy series' Helen Mirren with Jeremy Irons, honoured for their parts in Elizabeth 1
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 29, 2006
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