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Wednesday, 22 March, 2000, 10:33 GMT
Dame Thora's awards double
Lost For Words
Dame Thora Hird with Pete Postlethwaite in Lost For Words
Veteran actress Dame Thora Hird scooped a top acting prize for the second year running at the prestigious Royal Television Society awards.

The 88-year-old was named best actress for her role in the Yorkshire Television drama Lost For Words, about a woman who loses her powers of speech.
Dame Thora Hird
Dame Thora with her prize
Last year she won the same prize for her part in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads for the BBC.

Dame Thora, who was in a wheelchair for the event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, said: "I feel very proud. I've won all sorts of things now.

"I felt rotten I couldn't go up and collect it myself because I'm in my chair but my leg's a bit bad today."

She added that she had no plans to retire from acting yet.

I've got a sign next to my bed that says, 'Don't stop doing things because you're old - you're only old if you stop doing them.'

Dame Thora Hird
"My brain's still working. I've got a sign next to my bed that says, 'Don't stop doing things because you're old - you're only old if you stop doing them.'"

Best actor was Michael Gambon for his role in BBC One's Wives And Daughters. He was unable to make it to the ceremony, as was Johnny Vaughan, named as best presenter for his work on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast.

The judges praised him for being "the engine which starts the show". He beat Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant and investigative journalist Donal Macintyre to the prize, but missed the awards because of his early start.

Jamie Oliver and Caroline Aherne
Winners: Jamie Oliver with Caroline Aherne
BBC One's The Royle Family missed out on the best sitcom honour to BBC Two's People Like Us - but the programme's stars Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash won the writers' award.

Impressionist Rory Bremner won best television performance, while The Naked Chef's Jamie Oliver won best on-screen newcomer for the BBC Two show.

He surprised the audience at the usually-sober event by bounding onto the stage to kiss the RTS president, the former Channel 4 and Royal Opera House head Sir Jeremy Isaacs, on both cheeks.

BBC triumph

BBC programmes took many of the most prestigious awards, including Warriors (best drama), The Cops (drama series) and Shooting The Past (drama serial). Walking With Dinosaurs won best team production.

Channel 4 received the primetime features prize for The 1900 House, while Psychos writer David Wolstencroft won the best newcomer award for off-screen talent.

Apart from Lost For Words, ITV's only other major prize was for the children's show SM:TV Live.

Full list of winners:

Single drama - Warriors (BBC One).
Drama series - The Cops (BBC Two).
Drama serial - Shooting The Past (BBC Two).
Team Production - Walking With Dinosaurs (BBC One).
Network Newcomer Behind The Screen - David Wolstencroft (writer of Psychos, Channel 4).
Network Newcomer On Screen - Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef, BBC Two)
Actor - Michael Gambon (Wives and Daughters, BBC One).
Actress - Dame Thora Hird (Lost For Words, Yorkshire Television).
Regional Programme - Nuts and Bolts (HTV).
Regional Documentary - Sinners and Losers (Scottish Television).
Regional Presenter - Roy Noble (Common Ground/The Shed, BBC Wales).
Presenter - Johnny Vaughan (The Big Breakfast, Channel 4).
Television Performance - Rory Bremner (Bremner, Bird & Fortune, Channel 4).
Writer's Award - Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash (The Royle Family, BBC One).
Entertainment - The League of Gentlemen (BBC Two).
Situation Comedy and Comedy Drama - People Like Us (BBC Two).
Children's Drama - See How They Run (BBC One).
Children's Entertainment - SM:TV Live (ITV Network).
Children's Factual - Nick News (Nickleodeon UK)
Documentary series - The Decision (Channel 4).
Documentary strand - Horizon (BBC Two).
Single Documentary - Malcolm and Barbara: A Love Story (Granada Television).
Features Primetime - 1900 House (Channel 4).
Features Daytime - Show Me the Money (Channel 4).
Arts - This is Modern Art (Channel 4).
Cyril Bennett Judges' Award - director Peter Symes
RTS Gold Medal - BSkyB, for its work in pioneering multi-channel TV in the UK.

See also:

22 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Thora flies the flag
30 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Dame Thora takes top award
08 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Tarrant up for top TV prize
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