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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 10:03 GMT
British TV's Emmy glory
The Smack the Pony team
The Smack the Pony team win for the second year
It was a night of triumph for British television abroad on Monday as four homegrown programmes walked off with coveted International Emmy awards.

At the 28th annual event at New York's Sheraton Hotel, honours went to the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN.

In England Ali G is massive, huge and much more popular than us so although we won last year we thought we would never win it twice

Sally Phillips from Smack the Pony

But there was at least one upset for British talent. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's Da Ali G Show was denied the popular arts trophy by sketch show Smack the Pony.

It is the second year in a row the Channel 4 programme has won the award for the best popular arts show.

Even so, the triumph over Ali G came as a shock to Sally Phillips, one of the stars of the all-female show.

"In England Ali G is massive, huge and much more popular than us so although we won last year we thought we would never win it twice," she said.

In New York, BBC correspondent Tom Brook commented that "street-talking" Ali G would appeal to a US judging panel.

Sacha Cohen as Ali G
Sacha Cohen as Ali G is popular but not immediately understandable in the US

But he added that Smack the Pony most probably won the day because its visual humour is more widely understood.

The BBC won the award in the performing arts category for its film Gloriana - made with Illuminations productions.

This was followed by another BBC honour - shared with independent outfit Kudos - for children's show The Magician's House.

The award for outstanding news coverage went to ITN journalist Mark Austin and cameraman Andy Rex for their coverage of the floods in Mozambique.

Austin said: "This was a story that unfolded before our very eyes and that's quite rare.

"It was certainly dramatic footage and the most important thing is that it had an impact and people suddenly awoke to what was happening."

The International Emmys award prizes for productions from outside the US, as opposed to the domestic Emmy awards.

Producers of the children's show the Magician's House
Producers of the children's show The Magician's House accept their award

As well as the prestige of the a nomination or a win at the ceremony, it can also help establish a lucrative foothold in the American market.

Other top Emmys for international programming went to the Netherlands, which won the drama prize for black comedy All Stars.

The documentary category was won by Israel's Kapo, based on trials held in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s of Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The arts documentary prize went to France for The Jazzman from the Gulag, about the life of Eddie Rosner, a German-born jazz musician of Polish Jewish descent who was dubbed the "white Louis Armstrong".

International Emmy winners:

All Stars: VARA/M+B Film (Netherlands)

Gloriana, a film: Illuminations for the BBC (UK)

Smack the Pony II - programme 1: Talkback for Channel 4 (UK)

The Mozambique Floods: ITN (UK)

Kapo: A Set Productions Film in Association with RAI 3 and Spiegel TV (Israel)

The Jazzman from the Gulag: France 3/Ideale Audience (France)

The Magician's House: Kudos Productions/Forefront for the BBC (UK)

See also:

20 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Best of British battle for Emmys
04 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Ali G takes top TV award
03 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Ali G's festive cheer
11 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Racism rap for Ali G
14 Jun 00 | Business
Pearson TV buys TalkBack
23 Nov 99 | Entertainment
UK shows in Emmys haul
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