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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 08:13 GMT
The Bill wins soap award battle
The Bill
The Bill beat Coronation Street and Holby City to the soap award

The Bill has come out top in the battle of the soaps at the Royal Television Society Awards.

The ITV1 show beat off competition from Coronation Street and Holby City in the soap and continuing drama category.

BBC Three's The Mighty Boosh won best sitcom, with BBC Two quiz show QI, presented by Stephen Fry, winning the entertainment award.

Eamonn Holmes, who hosted the London ceremony, said QI was "old-fashioned" but "part of the zeitgeist".

Its like building a watch, an elaborate sort of intricate watch, but we've done it now and they can tell the time
Noel Fielding on The Mighty Boosh

Speaking after the awards, Noel Fielding, who plays Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh, told BBC News: "It's taken about 10 years for people to get their heads around it, which we knew would happen, so it's a slow build.

"Its like building a watch, an elaborate sort of intricate watch, but we've done it now and they can tell the time."

Other comedy winners were duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who picked up the comedy performance award for Channel 4's Peep Show.

Harry Hill picked up best entertainment performance for TV Burp, in which he pokes fun at the week's most bizarre TV clips.

The judges described Hill as someone who had moved his ITV1 show "from the edge to the heart of the schedule".

James May and Richard Hammond
Actually Hammond and I were only here because we were told to be
James May

The BBC's Andrew Marr won two awards - best history programme and best presenter for his History of Modern Britain.

BBC Two car show Top Gear won the features and lifestyle series award, with presenters James May and Richard Hammond picking up the award without frontman Jeremy Clarkson.

"Actually Hammond and I were only here because we were told to be," said May.

Hammond added: "We would like to say, because it's a rare opportunity, thank you very much."

The best actor gong went to Matthew Macfadyen for his portrayal of a paedophile in one-off Channel 4 drama Secret Life.

Best actress went to Sally Hawkins for her lead role in ITV's Jane Austen adaptation, Persuasion.

Lifetime achievement

Channel 4 successes on the night included Meet The Natives, which took the formatted documentary award.

If there is one award that one values in television, it is the first one, it is this one
Sir David Attenborough

You're Not Splitting Up My Family won the observational documentary award and Come Dine With Me beat ITV1's Loose Women to take the best daytime programme award.

Wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough, meanwhile, picked up the lifetime achievement award.

Accepting his award in a pre-recorded video clip, Sir David said: "When I joined the BBC 56 years ago, there was only one professional television organisation in this country, I imagine in the world, and that of course was this one.

"If there is one award that one values in television, it is the first one, it is this one."



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