Damien Lewis Shines as Homeland Dominates Emmys

Damian Lewis and Dame Maggie Smith were among the British successes at last night’s 2012 Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

Lewis won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in Homeland, where he stars as an ex American soldier who is suspected of being an al-Qaeda agent.

“I’m one of those pesky Brits, I apologise,â€? said strawberry blonde Lewis, who beat off fellow Brit Hugh Bonneville, Hollywood royalty Steve Buscemi and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm to claim the prize.

“I don’t really believe in judging art, but I thought I’d show up just in case. What an extraordinary honour to be in a category with these golden actors setting a gold standard in acting in a golden age of TV.â€?

Dame Maggie Smith won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey, seeing off competition that included her co-star Joanna Froggatt and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.

Julian Fellowes’ acclaimed nobles n’ serfs period piece had been up for 16 nominations, though Dame Maggie claimed its only award.

British comedy genius Armando Iannucci’s Veep just missed out on the Outstanding Comedy Series, but its star, Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, did pick up the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

A host of Brits missed out on Emmys glory. Woe-is-me posho Benedict Cumberbatch and Tim from The Office, missed out in their categories of Outstanding Lead Actor, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini-series or a Movie, respectively, for their performances in the BBC’s Sherlock.

There was disappointment too for Downton Abbey actors Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter, who both missed out on the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Emma Thompson, nominated for The Song of Lunch, was beaten to the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-series or a Movie by Julianne Moore, who won the prize for her portrayal of hockey mom Sarah Palin in Game Change.

They shouldn’t feel too disheartened however, as groundbreaking vérité documentary series Peter Andre: The Next Chapter was overlooked in every category.