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Wednesday, 28 April, 1999, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
UK blossoms at Golden Rose awards
BBC2's League of Gentlemen
Top of the League: BBC Two's latest comedy hit
UK television programmes have dominated the international Golden Rose of Montreux television awards in Switzerland.

The top prize went to the surreal BBC Two comedy series, The League of Gentlemen.

Featuring the daily lives of 60 characters - all acted by three performers - the comedy has had just one series on television, after being transferred from BBC Radio 4.

UK producers also won an unprecedented four out of six Silver Rose categories at Tuesday's awards.

Father Ted
Father Ted's award follows the death of star Dermot Morgan (left)
Channel 4's Father Ted and ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won Silver Roses for best comedy and game show.

BBC One's Whatever You Want, presented by Gaby Roslin, won an award for best variety show while UK-produced show Nobody Does It Better: The Music Of James Bond won an award for best music programme.

BBC One's Kiss Me Kate and Channel 4's In Exile gained special mentions, and commedienne Victoria Wood won the press prize for her BBC One sitcom Dinnerladies.

The jury, drawn from four continents, praised the "professionalism and originality" of the British productions.

The wins were hailed as a boost for the UK's hopes in the television export market, which have been criticised by UK Culture Secretary Chris Smith in recent weeks.

Victoria Wood
Ms Wood's award followed news of a second Dinnerladies series
Only the arts and comedy Silver Roses were left for other countries.

The special award of the city of Montreux went to American show A Hymn For Alvin Ailey, a documentary about the New York choreographer, made by Thirteen/WNET.

The comedy Silver Rose went to German programme Das Einzig Wahre Magazin (The Only Real Programme), which was the top winner in a language other than English.

The US comedy series Third Rock from the Sun and the Canadian variety show Diva and the Maestro both won Bronze Roses.

A third of all the entries in this year's competition came from the UK, while half of the remainder came from other English-speaking countries.

The BBC's Torin Douglas: "Britain has always done well at Montreux but this is unprecedented"
See also:

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