Homeland's Damian Lewis and Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith fly the flag for Britain at Emmy Awards
09:37 GMT, 24 September 2012
British actor Damian Lewis has won an Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his performance in Homeland.
It was one of the surprise upsets of the evening, with Lewis beating out hot favourites Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Mad Men's Jon Hamm.
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Surprise winner: Damian Lewis accepts the award for best actor in a drama series for his role in Homeland
In a more predictable development, Dame
Maggie Smith picked up a statue for her portrayal of the grand Dowager
Countess of Grantham in the hit series Downton Abbey.
'I'm one of those pesky Brits, I apologise,' said Lewis, after he climbed on stage to accept his award.
'I don't really believe in judging art, but I thought I'd show up just in case.'
Lewis, who plays U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in Homeland, was joined at the awards night by his wife Helen McCrory, who dazzled on the red carpet in an elegant floor-length cream gown.
We did it! Award winner Damian poses up with co-star Claire Danes and their awards on the red carpet
Well deserved: Actress Claire Danes award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series made it a clean sweep in the top drama categories
'What an extraordinary honour to be in a category with these golden actors setting a gold standard in acting in a golden age of TV,' Lewis said.
'The cast that I work with who are delightful and enjoyable to dine with but especially to the two ladies who've suffered me the most, Claire Danes and Marina Baccarin. You're both beautiful and it's enjoyable working with you, every minute of it.
But Lewis saved 'the biggest thank you of all to the leading lady of my life Helen McCrory, I adore you darling, thank you for being here'.
Yes ladies, he's taken: Lewis was accompanied to the awards ceremony by his wife Helen McCrory
EMMY AWARDS 2012… AND THE WINNERS ARE
Drama Series: Homeland, Showtime
Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Actor, Drama Series: Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Writing, Drama Series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Homeland, Showtime
Directing, Drama Series: Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Comedy Series: Modern Family, ABC
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family, ABC
Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men, CBS
Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K, Louie, FX Networks
Directing, Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, Modern Family, ABC
Miniseries or Movie: Game Change, HBO
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, Game Change, HBO
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story, FX Networks
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys, History
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys, History
Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Jay Roach, Game Change, HBO
Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Danny Strong, Game Change, HBO
Host, Reality-Competition Program: Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars, ABC
Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race, CBS
Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Writing for a Variety Special: Louis C.K., Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre, FX Networks
Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards, CBS
Irresistible cast: Lewis stands with Homeland cast members, including Claire Danes, who won best actress
He continued: 'My two children at home thought daddy had been nominated for an Emma.
'Well, Manon and Gulliver, Daddy just won an Emma.'
At press interviews backstage, Lewis joked with reporters that he and his pregnant Homeland co-star Claire Danes, who won the award for best actress, were planning to celebrate in a very special way.
Winning role: Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody returns home eight years after going missing in Iraq
He said: 'We're going to go away to a romantic island together, just for the weekend.
'When that baby is a ginger, you guys are going to have a field day.'
Accepting Homeland's award for best drama, executive producer Alex Gansa praised its 'irresistible' lead actor.
Winner: Dame Maggie Smith won the award for best supporting actress for her role in Downton Abbey
The other Brit winners was Dame Maggie, who did not attend the awards, was honoured for her performance as the dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey.
She saw off competition from her co-star Joanna Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, to win the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series.
Froggatt was there to represent the female servants from Downton Abbey, looking glamorous in a floor-length nude-coloured Vivienne Westwood gown, her blonde hair curled softly around her shoulders.
Friendly fire: Downton Abbey's Joanna Froggat, who plays Anna, lost out to Dame Maggie for best supporting
British representation: Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey, dazzled in blue satin
Her co-star Michelle Dockery, who played the role of Lady Mary Crawley on the hit series, also travelled to Los Angeles for the event.
The 30-year-old actress wore a custom-made Louis Vuittion blue satin gown with her hair swept up elegantly in a bun.
Scottish comedian and writer Armando Iannucci got a special mention from Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Upstairs downstairs: Several cast members and producers of Downton Abbey travelled to LA for the awards
Iannucci's new US show, Veep, missed out
on the award for Outstanding Comedy Series but its star Louis-Dreyfus did take home the gong for Outstanding Lead Actress In A
But there was disappointment for a host of other Brits up for awards.
Downton Abbey actors Brendan Coyle, who plays valet John Bates, and Jim Carter, who plays the butler Carson, both missed out on Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.
Brit boys: Comedian Ricky Gervais, with partner Jane Fallon, was presenting an award, while Hugh Dancy escorted his wife Claire
Primary colours: TV presenter Cat Deeley looked lovely in a red asymmetrical fishtail gown (left) while The Good Wife actress Archie Panjabi opted for strapless blue
BBC's Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman also lost out on Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Mini-series Or A Movie respectively.
Screen veteran Emma Thompson, who was nominated for her performance in The Song of Lunch, was beaten to the award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Mini-series Or A Movie by Hollywood actress Julianne Moore, who won the prize for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in Game Change.
The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air on 5USA at 10pm on Monday 24th September.
VIDEO: Homeland clinches big Drama prizes at 2012 Emmy Awards
VIDEO: Maggie Smith takes Emmy for Downton Abbey