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'Downton Abbey' Loses Out as 'Sherlock' Wins Big at the BAFTAs

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 23rd 2011 6:12AM
Martin FreemanIt was a mixed bag for PBS last night at the BAFTA TV Awards in London as 'Sherlock' took home two trophies, but 'Downton Abbey' left empty-handed.

'Sherlock' won the coveted Best Drama Series Award, and Martin Freeman ('The Hobbit') won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Doctor Watson in the modern take on the 'Sherlock Holmes' mysteries.

However, Freeman's co-star Benedict Cumberbatch lost out in the Best Actor category to Daniel Rigby ('Flyboys') for his role as legendary British comedian Eric Morecambe in 'Eric & Ernie.' Rigby also beat out fan favorite, 'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith.

'Downton Abbey' was nominated for three major awards -- Best Drama Series, Best Supporting Actor and The Audience Award -- but failed to win any of them.

'Sherlock' creators Steven Moffat ('Doctor Who') and Mark Gatiss ('League of Gentlemen') decribed winning Best Drama Series as "a fantastic surprise." Backstage, Moffat credited his wife, producer Sue Vertue ('Mr. Bean,' 'Coupling') with getting the project off the ground: "For two-and-a-half-years [Mark and I] just talked about it and I casually mentioned it to my wife ... and she leapt at it."

Accepting his award from 'ER' and 'Doctor Who' star Alex Kingston, Martin Freeman joked that "I really, really, really did expect it." He went on to thank the "fantastic" Cumberbatch and said that "It's very fashionable to pretend you don't care about this stuff, I'm chuffed. ... Thank you very much."

Freeman also let slip some tantalising casting news backstage when he announced that his 'Sherlock' co-star Cumberbatch will be joining him in Peter Jackson's movie version of 'The Hobbit.' Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins in the fantasy epic, which is currently shooting in New Zealand.

When quizzed about it, Cumberbatch was tightlipped: "I can't say at the moment, thank you very much." Oops! Freeman sighed later: "I knew I was a sort of a big mouth but I didn't realise to what extent I was a big mouth, and I've just ruined everything. ... I might not actually go back to a job -- they might have just sacked me."

Ceremony host Graham Norton found himself pulling double duty when he won Best Entertainment Performance for his BBC America talk show 'The Graham Norton Show.' Norton thanked the "family" who've worked on the show for 13 years and joked that, "This is incredible -- we used to win these years ago and I'd forgotten how nice it is."

In the International Award category, U.S. shows 'Glee,' 'Mad Men' and 'Boardwalk Empire' lost out to the original Danish version of AMC's new drama, 'The Killing.'

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Sherlock was a great show, but not better than the fab Downton Abbey. Can't wait for the second season.

June 19 2011 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


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May 23 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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