Winslet and Downton Abbey make Emmys big night for UK

Actress Kate Winslet holds her Emmy award for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or a movie "Mildred Pierce" at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES) (EMMYS-BACKSTAGE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Actress Kate Winslet holds her Emmy award for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or a movie "Mildred Pierce" at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES) (EMMYS-BACKSTAGE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
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Kate Winslet and Downton Abbey were among the big winners at the Emmy Awards, making it a successful night for British TV talent.

Winslet was honoured for her lead actress role in Mildred Pierce, while ITV’s hit period drama picked up four gongs, including best mini-series and a best supporting actress award for Dame Maggie Smith.

Julian Fellowes accepts the award for outstanding writing for a mini-series

Julian Fellowes accepts the award for outstanding writing for a mini-series

Dressed in a glamorous red gown, an emotional Winslet dedicated the award she won to her mother, and said: “I didn’t think we were going to win anything.”

Her co-star, Guy Pearce, was named outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or movie, beating Britain’s Tom Wilkinson to the prize.

The 63rd Primetime Emmys ceremony saw Mad Men win its fourth consecutive best drama series award, while Modern Family claimed its second best comedy trophy.

Downton Abbey, which launched its second series in the UK last night, was also honoured for its writing and directing, with gongs for Julian Fellowes and Brian Percival.

Writer Julian Fellowes called the success of the show a “David and Goliath story”, and said: “I would like to thank you, the American industry. Ten years ago you kick-started my second career with an Oscar, tonight you have nurtured it.”

Winslet, who already has an Oscar and a Grammy, beat stars including Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern and Upstairs Downstairs veteran Jean Marsh to her trophy.

There was disappointment however, for Hugh Laurie, who lost out to Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights in the lead actor in a drama series category.

Scottish stars Kelly MacDonald, of Boardwalk Empire, and Alan Cumming, of The Good Wife, also went away empty-handed.

British actor Idris Elba, who stars in Luther, lost out to Barry Pepper of The Kennedys for lead actor in a mini-series or movie, and Cat Deeley missed out in the reality show host category.

Fellow Briton Tom Wilkinson, who was nominated for The Kennedys, lost out to Mildred Pierce actor Guy Pearce in the supporting actor in a mini-series category.

Other notable wins included Martin Scorsese, who was honoured for directing drama series Boardwalk Empire and Julianna Margulies, who was named best lead actress in a drama series for The Good Wife.

The show in Los Angeles kicked off on a controversial note after a comedy routine about the British phone hacking scandal was cut from the US broadcast.

Alex Baldwin was to be part of an opening video for the ceremony, broadcast on Fox, which is owned by News Corp, the parent company of News International.

But the actor tweeted before the ceremony that the network had killed his joke about the hacking furore involving the now defunct News of the World.

Fox said it believed it was inappropriate to make light of an issue being taken very seriously by the company.