Kate Winslet and Downton Abbey honoured at Emmy Awards

A good night for homegrown talent at the 63rd annual American television ceremony

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It was a fine evening for British talent in Los Angeles last night, as Kate Winslet and Downton Abbey walked away victorious from the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Winslet was named best actress in a mini-series or movie, for playing a mother during the Great Depression in HBO’s Mildred Pierce. The 35-year-old was presented with the award by fellow British actor, Hugh Laurie.

She used the opportunity to make a suitably gushing speech: “Mildred Pierce was capable of great acts of love as a mother. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do with your life, you will never stop needing your mum. And I will never stop needing mine, so thanks Mum.”

Guy Pearce, who co-starred in Mildred Pierce, received the best supporting actor prize.  He joked in his own acceptance speech: “I got to have sex with Kate Winslet many, many times.”

ITV period drama Downton Abbey, which returned to British screens for a second run last night, received four awards.

The programme, written by Julian Fellowes, won the best miniseries or movie gong and garnered a best supporting actress award for Maggie Smith. 

Fellowes himself was also honoured for outstanding writing in a mini-series, movie or dramatic special.

Accepting his award, he said: “This is really a David and Goliath story, except in this case Goliath was wonderful – some wonderful shows that we were up against, and it seems perfectly extraordinary that we’ve won.

“None of us know what’s going to be a hit. We make these shows, we hope for the best, but we don’t know why sometimes it comes right, and this evening is such a marvellous moment in all our lives because this evening it came right.”

Brian Percival earnt Downton a fourth Emmy for his work as a director on three episodes of the first series.

The coveted best TV drama series award went to period advertising drama Mad Men for the fourth successive year.

For a full list of winners click here

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Watch highlights of the Emmy Awards tonight at 10pm on 5USA.