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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 10:07 GMT
Bleak House wins TV drama award
Johnny Vegas in Bleak House
Johnny Vegas starred in the BBC's Bleak House
Charles Dickens' adaptation Bleak House has emerged as the winner of the best drama serial at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards held in London.

Andrew Davies won best writer for his work on the BBC series, which starred Gillian Anderson and Johnny Vegas.

ITV's Emmerdale won best soap, beating Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Comedy star Catherine Tate won two awards, including best entertainment show, beating The X Factor and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

She also picked up best comedy performance over Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

The judges praised Tate as a "multi-talented performer who has quickly established herself as an A-list comedienne."

An Emmerdale spokesperson said of the soap's win: "We are all absolutely thrilled that Emmerdale has received this recognition after what has been another fantastic year for the show."

The RTS jury said the winning soap, which has enjoyed a resurgence of late, was "consistently excellent and had real heart".

Hit game show Deal Or No Deal won Channel 4 the best daytime programme, while the BBC's The Thick of It won best sitcom or comedy drama award.

The BBC was rewarded with 12 awards on the night, while Channel 4 collected nine and ITV had five.

International hit

BBC Three drama Bodies won best drama series, beating Doctor Who and the second series of Shameless, which won the award last year.

David Threlfall
David Threlfall won best actor for Shameless
GMTV host Lorraine Kelly won best presenter, while Paul O'Grady won best entertainment performance for his ITV1 show, which ended when he defected to Channel 4.

The judges said The Paul O'Grady show had put "daytime schedules on the entertainment map, and in doing so sparked one of the great talent battles of the year".

The best international series went to Weeds, which is shown on Sky One, ahead of Desperate Housewives and Lost.

Weeds is about a widowed mother-of-two, played by Mary Louise Parker, who begins selling marijuana in order to maintain her lifestyle.

The best actress award went to Lesley Sharpe for Afterlife and the best actor award was won by David Threlfall for Shameless and The Queen's Sister.

Jamie Oliver's Channel 4 crusade against poor-quality school dinners was voted best documentary series by the RTS.

It was praised by the judges as "a real rarity - a ratings winner which is already having a wide and lasting impact far beyond television. Public service television at its best."

An outstanding contribution to TV award was given to the BBC's head of comedy Jon Plowman, whose producing credits include French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous, My Hero and Little Britain.

RTS awards: Main winners
15 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Bleak House will 'break TV mould'
27 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Shameless triumphs at RTS awards
16 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Emmerdale tops ITV 50th ratings
23 Sep 05 |  Entertainment

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