Steven Moffat and Mark Gattiss’s Conan-Doyle reboot Sherlock claimed victory over the highly fancied Downton Abbey in the prestigious ‘Best Drama’ category at last night’s BAFTAs. Martin Freeman also won a personal award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Holmes’ assistant Dr Watson.
The show’s lead Benedict Cumberbatch lost out to Daniel Rigby, who played Eric Morecambe in Victoria Wood’s comic biopic Eric and Ernie.
Freeman was quick to describe the importance of the relationship between himself and Cumberbatch after the ceremony, describing Sherlock as “Not just a love story – these two people who love and need each other in a slightly dysfunctional relationship, but in a relationship that works,” he said.
“It’s just terrific,” added Cumberbatch. “It’s validation for what we have been doing, we went in with confidence but to come out with an award is wonderful.”
Other winners included The Only Way Is Essex, which romped to victory in the publicly voted YouTube Audience Award and Flying With Monsters, David Attenborough’s 3D Sky1 documentary which won the specialist factual prize.
“I couldn’t believe this would come to me at this stage in my career,” said Attenborough. “3D has a lot of problems – the cameras are huge and that’s quite a hard problem to solve – so to get it on air and now to win this is a dream come true.”
Attenborough, who is making another two 3D documentaries for Sky, added: “I never said I wanted to retire – as long as people want me to stand up and carry on doing these things I will do, I assure you.”
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The Bafta winners
Leading actor: Daniel Rigby, Eric And Ernie
Leading actress: Vicky McClure, This Is England ’86
Supporting actor: Martin Freeman, Sherlock
Supporting actress: Lauren Socha, Misfits
Entertainment performance: Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show
Female performance in a comedy programme: Jo Brand, Getting On
Male performance in a comedy programme: Steve Coogan, The Trip
Single drama: The Road to Coronation Street
Drama series: Sherlock
Drama serial: Any Human Heart
Continuing drama: EastEnders
International: The Killing
Factual series: Welcome to Lagos
Specialist factual: Flying Monsters 3D
Single documentary: Between Life And Death
Features: Hugh’s Fish Fight
Current affairs: Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children, BBC4
News coverage: ITV News At Ten: The Cumbria Murders
Sport: Formula One, The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
New media: Wallace And Gromit’s World of Invention
Entertainment programme: The Cube
Comedy programme: Harry and Paul
Situation comedy: Rev
Bafta special award: Peter Bennett-Jones
YouTube audience award: The Only Way Is Essex
Bafta fellowship: Sir Trevor McDonald