Tuesday, March 30, 1999 Published at 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Dame Thora takes top award
Dame Thora Hird with Ray Winstone at the RTS Awards
Dame Thora Hird is celebrating after being named Television Actress of the Year for her performances in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads series.
The Royal Television Society gave Dame Thora, 87, a standing ovation at its annual awards ceremony in London after the jury commended "her rich combination of humour and pathos" in the BBC programme.
Sitting in her seat as those around her applauded, Dame Thora said: "I bet I am the oldest in this room. Eighty-seven, not bad eh?"
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough was named Presenter of the Year for Life of Birds on BBC One.
The awards ceremony's host, talk show presenter Trisha Goddard, joked: "That's an understandably popular choice - a mature television presenter getting an award for chasing birds."
Father Ted star remembered
Speaking for the judges, Sir Jeremy Isaacs said: "Believable but surreal, warm but edgy, funny but sometimes serious, this was a truly brilliant series."
ITV's drama A Life For A Life took two awards with both actor Tony Maudsley and writer Peter Berry praised.
BBC Two's Asian comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me was named team performance of the year while the best entertainment series gong went to the hit ITV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, praised as a "real television event".
Host Chris Tarrant couldn't resist a dig at the BBC over the programme's spectacular success, quipping: "I spent a brief period at the BBC, and I am delighted to be stuffing them completely."
But BBC shows dominated the awards - with eight awards going to BBC Two programmes, seven to BBC One and three to regional productions, with ITV picking up just four prizes. Channel 4 won three.
Other awards included:
TV and Radio