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Olivia Colman double winner at TV BAFTAs

One of the stars of the Olympic sitcom Twenty Twelve, Olivia Colman, has surprised many, including herself, by taking two of the top honours at this year’s TV BAFTA awards.

At a glittering ceremony, at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, Colman first set foot on the stage as part of the Twenty Twelve team as they collected the award for the Best Sitcom.

Moments later, for the very next award, she was called back to the stage to accept the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the drama The Accused. “Turns out it does mean a lot,” she joked, as she held the trophy aloft.

“I’m sorry.” she laughed, as she returned to the podium to collect the prize for the Best Actress in a Comedy, beating her Twenty Twelve co-star Jessica Hynes, among others. “This is fortuitous,” she added, as an afterthought, realising that on her previous trip to the stage, she’d forgotten to thank her director in The Accused. “This is just a really lovely evening,” she smiled as she returned to her seat.

The Best Actress in a Drama went to Sheridan Smith for Mrs Biggs, and Best Actor in a Drama was Ben Whishaw in Richard II, The Hollow Crown. Best Actor in a Comedy was Steve Coogan, as he revisited Alan Partridge in Welcome to the Places of My Life, beating Twenty Twelve’s Hugh Bonneville. Simon Russell Beale’s performance as Henry IV won him the Best Supporting Actor trophy.

Last Tango In Halifax won the Best Drama series and there were also wins in their categories for EastEnders, Made in Chelsea and Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympic Games, which beat the BBC’s Olympic coverage to the Sports Event BAFTA.

The host of the awards ceremony, Graham Norton, was himself a winner; his chat show was voted the Best Entertainment Programme, but he was beaten to the Best Entertainment Performance by Alan Carr.

As the two-hour ceremony drew to a close, what’s billed as the main award of the night – but was previously announced – brought one of Britain’s best-loved TV personalities to the stage. Michael Palin was presented with the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship by one of his closest friends in the industry, his fellow Python, a croaky-voiced Terry Jones. Thanking him for his kind words, he joked that it sounded like they might have been his last, as the emotion of the occasion got to Jones. Reflecting on nearly five decades of entertaining audiences as a comic performer and travel persenter, he remarked how lucky he was to be “accepting a Fellowship for thoroughly enjoying myself for the last forty eight years.”

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