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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK
Gervais triumphs at Baftas
Ricky Gervais
Gervais has had a remarkable 12 months
Actor and writer Ricky Gervais stole the limelight at the Baftas on Sunday, winning two awards, repeating his double success of last year.

The Office's writer and star won the Bafta for best comedy performance and the BBC series was voted best sitcom.

Albert Finney, who was not present at the ceremony, repeated his win at the international Emmys in taking the best actor prize for his role as Churchill in The Gathering Storm.

Julie Walters won the best actress prize for her role in BBC Two's Murder, looking at the impact of a child killing on a family.

In the battle of the Have I Got News For You stars, Paul Merton beat the former programme host Angus Deayton to the best entertainment performance title.

Highlight

Picking up his second prize, Gervais joked: "Winning two is a downer. You liked me when I won one but not two."

Paul Merton

Walters, picking up her best actress award, said: "Oh Bafta... you shouldn't have. No you should have."

The big loser of the night was comedy chat show, The Kumars at Number 42, which failed to win anything despite three nominations.

The awards are the highlight of the British TV calendar, attracting the cream of the profession.

HAVE YOUR SAY
The usual appearance by the usual suspects
Charles, England

Celebrity guests at the event included Hollywood actress Minnie Driver, Bafta president Richard Attenborough, Sir Ian McKellen and Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart.

An emotional David Jason was presented with a Bafta fellowship by Ronnie Barker, who worked with the star in sitcom Open All Hours.

"Granville, you've done it," Barker said, referring to the actor's role in the sitcom in which they appeared together.

"He is a superb comic actor and a great dramatic one," he added.

"I am very moved and very honoured to be in this position," said a tearful Jason.

Storyline

Coronation Street won the battle of the soaps, capping an impressive year for the ITV programme.

Brian Capron, who played serial killer Richard Hillman in the soap's key storyline, said: "I look at some of the writing and think I would never get as good as that in the future."

Julie Walters
Julie Walters was honoured for her role in Murder
Reality TV won recognition from the academy - I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here won the award for best entertainment programme or series.

The BBC won two out of the three drama awards.

The best single drama award went to BBC Two's Conspiracy, about the Nazi's plans for the final solution.

BBC One's spy drama Spooks won for best drama series while the best drama serial Bafta award went to Shackleton, the story of the intrepid adventurer.

The Bafta for best comedy programme or series went to BBC One's Alistair McGowan's Big Impression.

For the second year running, Channel 4's Faking It, in which ordinary people are thrown into professions they have no background in, took the best features prize.

It beat shows such as chef Jamie Oliver's series Jamie's Kitchen.

In the news, sport and current affairs categories the wins were split between the BBC, Sky News and Channel 4.

Sky won the best news coverage award for its reports on the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The BBC's coverage of the Commonwealth Games won for the best sports coverage while Channel 4 won the best current affairs award for Young, Nazi and Proud.




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