Netflix’s big British drama The Crown may have lost out in the race for Best TV Drama, but it was still a big night for UK talent at the 2017 Emmy Awards.
British actor Riz Ahmed won Best Actor in a limited series for his starring role in HBO’s The Night Of, beating fellow Brits Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor in the prestigious category.
He also became the first male actor of Asian descent to win an Emmy for acting.
In the press room afterwards, he said, “In terms of US and the UK, I’m really proud to be a Londoner. I’m really proud to be from the UK. I’m also really aware that actors of colour often have more opportunity in the US, but I think ultimately now we see that TV in particular is a global medium.
“People are streaming shows or watching them all around the world. Hopefully we’ll see a globalisation of our storytelling.”
Black Mirror co-showrunner Charlie Brooker took home two awards: Best Writing and Best TV Movie for Netflix episode San Junipero.
“I have heard 2017 described as being trapped, like being trapped in one long unending Black Mirror episode,” he said after collecting his Best TV Movie Emmy. “But I like to think if I had written it, it wouldn’t be quite so on the nose with all the Nazis and hate.”
He continued, “San Junipero was a story about love – and love will defeat hate, love will win – but it might need a bit of help.
“Maybe, if all the beautiful people in this auditorium could start to physically make love with each other – or yourselves – on the count of three, this world would be a far better place. Three, two, one, go!”
British comedian John Oliver won two awards as well for his US show Last Week Tonight: Best Writing for a Variety Series and Best Variety Talk Series.
On the red carpet he told BBC News that there was no reason why a show like his could not work in the UK.
“It’s a mystery in the UK: they constantly say they want a UK version of The Daily Show. Now for that you need a UK version of Jon Stewart and that’s a high bar, but you don’t necessarily need to have someone that great.
“There are a lot of talented people in the UK but you really need to get behind it.”