UK talent celebrated at Emmys and beyond

Television took centre stage last night as Los Angeles hosted the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, one of the most prestigious events honouring those working in TV. The ceremony was a testament to the major role the UK now plays in high-end television, with British programmes and talent picking up an abundance of awards and nominations.

Sherlock shines

The night’s outstanding British winner was Hartswood Films/BBC’s Sherlock, which shoots in both London and Cardiff, taking full advantage of the UK’s many diverse locations.

British Writer and Creator Steven Moffat collected the series’ award for Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special – reinforcing the UK’s reputation for creative talent. Sherlock’s acting talent was also celebrated: Martin Freeman picked up the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie while Benedict Cumberbatch was presented with the award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie, one of four British nominees for the award along with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba and Freeman, nominated for his role in FX’s Fargo.

Steven Moffat © Getty Images

But it wasn’t just the UK’s actors and writers who triumphed. Production talent was celebrated at the 66th Creative Arts Emmy Awards, held a week before last night’s event.

HBO’s universally acclaimed Game of Thrones, based in Northern Ireland, picked up several awards at the ceremony. UK Costume Designer Michele Clapton was honoured with the Outstanding Costumes for a Series award, while the show’s British Art Director Paul Ghiradini was recognised by the award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series.

Sherlock enjoyed further success, receiving a number of awards including Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie, presented to UK Cinematographer Neville Kidd.

Cause to celebrate

The British Film Commission marked yesterday’s ceremony by partnering with BAFTA to hold the TV Tea Party on Saturday to celebrate the UK’s considerable contribution to television. The event was attended by a host of British talent, including star of Downton Abbey Michelle Dockery, who was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award, along with fellow UK nominees Minnie Driver and Armando Iannucci.

Michelle Dockery © Getty Images

Beyond the Emmys, the UK continues to play a leading role in high-end television. Recently released UK-produced shows include critically acclaimed BBC/Sundance production The Honourable Woman, Starz/Sony Pictures Television/Left Bank’s Outlander, and the explosive return of Jack Bauer in Twentieth Century Fox Television’s 24: Live Another Day. With new series of Game of Thrones and Masterpiece Theatre/Carnival’s Downton Abbey also airing this year, it looks likely that the UK will once again be a strong contender when awards season next rolls round.