Victoria enjoys a dramatic victory

Serious role secures Wood's Bafta record

Serious role secures Wood's Bafta record

Victoria Wood was a double winner and Casualty trounced its soap rivals on a night of surprises at the TV Baftas last night.

Life On Mars was snubbed by the judges - it had been hotly tipped to scoop Best Drama Series and Best Actor for John Simm but ended up with neither, although it did win the only award of the night voted by viewers.

Casualty beat Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale to the award for Best Continuing Drama, the BBC hospital show's first Bafta in its 21-year history.

Wood was crowned Best Actress for Second World War drama Housewife, 49 - triumphing over Samantha Morton (Longford), Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen) and Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre).

The 54-year-old comedienne also picked up the Best Single Drama award for Housewife, 49, which she wrote and starred in.

Based on the real-life diaries of Lancashire housewife Nella Last, the ITV drama showcased Wood's serious acting talents. She has won five previous Baftas, all for her comedy performances.

The double win took her all-time Bafta tally to seven - matched last night by Ricky Gervais, who won Best Comedy Performance for Extras.

Gervais pipped co-star Stephen Merchant to the title - sweet revenge after Merchant beat him at last year's British Comedy Awards.

Jim Broadbent beat John Simm to the Best Actor prize for his performance in Channel 4's Longford, in which he played the prison reform campaigner who befriended Moors Murderer Myra Hindley.

Gritty Northern drama The Street was named Best Drama Series. Jonathan Ross picked up his third Bafta, winning Best Entertainment Performance for Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.

The British Academy Television Awards were hosted by Graham Norton from the London Palladium and broadcast on BBC1.

The Royle Family Christmas special, Queen of Sheba, was named Best Sitcom.

The X Factor won Best Entertainment Programme for the second year running while former EastEnder Ross Kemp scooped the award for Best Factual Series with his Sky One show Ross Kemp On Gangs.

See No Evil: The Moors Murders, ITV1's dramatisation of Britain's most notorious child killings, won Best Drama Serial.

There were also wins for That Mitchell & Webb Look (Best Comedy Programme) and Entourage (Best International Series).

All the awards were voted by the Bafta Academy except for the Pioneer Audience Award, which was chosen by the public.

BBC1's time-travelling cop drama Life On Mars was the winner.

The BBC was the big winner of the night, with nine awards to ITV's seven. Channel 4 won two prizes, as did Sky One.

Richard Curtis, creator of The Vicar of Dibley and movie hits Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, received the Academy Fellowship.

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