Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire wins Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards

Jenna Coleman, Sarah Lancashire, Tom Hiddleston and Cillian Murphy all competed for the coveted prize

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Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire has taken home the coveted prize for Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards, seeing off competition from Jenna Coleman, Tom Hiddleston and Cillian Murphy.

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The category – one of the night’s most fiercely contested – marks a stellar year for drama with three of the four nominations given to BBC series.

Two entries on the shortlist were for new dramas as Jenna Coleman earned a nomination for ITV’s Victoria and Tom Hiddleston – who won a Golden Globe earlier this month – picked up a nod for John le Carré series The Night Manager. 

Cillian Murphy’s inclusion marks another stellar run of Peaky Blinders which shocked viewers with several jaw-dropping twists, while Sarah Lancashire wowed viewers with a second masterful turn as copper Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. 

2017’s National Television Awards saw an extra drama category added to the shortlist, with viewers also able to vote for their favourite period drama, as well as the year’s best drama.

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Hosted by Dermot O’Leary, the awards – the only TV ceremony voted for by the public – took place at London’s O2 Arena in Greenwich. 

Everything you need to know about the National Television Awards 2017