LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - Cult Danish crime drama “The Killing” triumphed over U.S. hits “Boardwalk Empire,” “Mad Men” and “Glee” to win the international award at the British Academy International Television Awards Sunday night.
The low-budget Danish-language slow-burning thriller starring Sofie Grabol was voted the best international series to air last year in the U.K., after being acquired by BBC digital channel BBC4 for a fraction of the cost of its glossier U.S. rivals.
In the best actor category another outsider, Daniel Rigby, won over Benedict Cumberbatch’s BBC1 modern reinvention of Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock” as well as audience favorite Matt Smith, who had been nominated for “Doctor Who,” to take home the gong for his performance in the BBC2 biopic “Eric & Ernie” about British comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
Best supporting actor went to “Sherlock”‘s Martin Freeman, who played Dr. Watson, while the Steven Moffat-penned drama was also named best drama series, beating ITV1’s “Downton Abbey.”
The best actress award was taken by Vicky McClure, who beat Anna Maxwell Martin and Juliet Stevenson, for her performance in punk coming of age drama “This Is England 86.” Lauren Socha won the best supporting actress award for “Misfits.”
Sky’s high-tech epic “Flying Monsters 3D,” narrated by longtime BBC natural history expert David Attenborough, won the specialist factual category, making Sky the first broadcaster to win a television BAFTA for a 3D show.
Elsewhere, “The Cube” was named best entertainment program, while Channel 4 drama “Any Human Heart” was named best drama serial.
In the documentary categories, the BBC’s “Welcome to Lagos,” about life in the Nigerian capital, was named best single documentary, while undercover documentary “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” was recognized as the best current affairs program.
Ceremony host Graham Norton took home the entertainment performance award for his chat show, while cult reality show “The Only Way Is Essex” beat “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings,” “Downton Abbey,” “The Killing” and “Sherlock” to win the YouTube audience award.
Lifetime recognition awards were presented to Tiger Aspect founder Peter Bennett-Jones and veteran ITN news anchor Trevor MacDonald.
Editing by Chris Michaud