National Television Awards 2013: Downton Abbey beats Doctor Who, Sherlock and Merlin to top prize

Julian Fellowes' drama was crowned the cream of the year's TV drama at the annual awards ceremony


Not everyone was happy with the shock departure of Dan Stevens, aka Matthew Crawley, in last year’s Christmas episode, but Downton Abbey must be doing something right, having claimed the Best Drama gong at the viewer-voted National Television Awards for the second year running.


Julian Fellowes’ period drama beat Merlin to the prize and also made it an award-free night for Sherlock and Doctor Who after their stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith missed out in the Best Drama Performance category to Colin Morgan.


Phyllis Logan, who plays Mrs Hughes in the ITV series, accepted the award, saying “To be in such exhalted company as the other nominees is doubly exhalting”. She also praised Fellowes for “capturing the imagination of you all, and everyone around the world”.