The Thick Of It dominates Baftas

Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi with their awards

Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi with their awards

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Satire The Thick Of It has triumphed at the TV Baftas, winning three prizes, including best sitcom.

Awards also went to stars Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi, who plays vitriolic spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.

TV presenters Ant and Dec took home their first ever Bafta, for series nine of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

"I don't know what the hell we did wrong for the first eight series," joked Declan Donnelly.

Ant McPartlin added: "You feed a couple of kangaroo testicles to a glamour model and you get a Bafta."

Highlights of the Bafta ceremony

Childhood memories

The duo went on to share another prize when Britain's Got Talent was named best entertainment show at the ceremony.

Its creator, Simon Cowell, also took home a special award for "outstanding contribution" and "development of new talent".

"This is a genuine honour," said the TV judge, a night after crowning acrobatic gymnasts Spelbound the winners of this year's Britain's Got Talent.

"To put this into perspective, on a personal level, one of my happiest memories as a kid was my dad coming back with a TV set and watching the one programme in colour.

"So standing here tonight getting this award for making TV shows is the happiest feeling of my life."

The Thick Of It began life on BBC Four, but transferred to BBC Two for its third series earlier this year.

BAFTA TV AWARDS: MAIN WINNERS

Julie Walters
  • Best actor - Kenneth Branagh (Wallander)
  • Best actress - Julie Walters (Mo - pictured)
  • Best comedy programme - The Armstrong & Miller Show
  • Best sitcom - The Thick Of It
  • Best entertainment performance - Ant and Dec
  • Best entertainment programme - Britain's Got Talent
  • Best drama series - Misfits
  • Best continuing drama - EastEnders

The fly-on-the-wall mockumentary focuses on the operations of a fictional government department, constantly terrorised by a foul-mouthed Downing Street spin doctor.

Accepting the best sitcom prize, creator Armando Iannucci thanked Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who went into alliance with the Conservatives after the general election ended in a hung parliament, "for completely destroying our plans for the next series".

The political theme continued as Julie Walters won best actress for her portrayal of politician Mo Mowlam in Channel 4 biopic, Mo.

"Oh, Bafta," cooed Walters from the stage. "Well, you shouldn't have."

Walters paid tribute to her fellow nominees, singling out her Harry Potter co-star "the gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter who, of course, I killed a couple of weeks ago with my wand".

EastEnders win

Best actor went to Kenneth Branagh, for Wallander, but the actor was unable to attend the ceremony.

His victory meant that John Hurt failed to pick up his second Bafta for playing flamboyant writer Quentin Crisp.

But he will not have been too upset by his loss. "If I win a prize, I'm delighted for that evening. Then, the next morning, I get on with it," he told the BBC on the red carpet.

EastEnders won best continuing drama, beating The Bill, Casualty and Coronation Street.

Stars and nominees talk on the Baftas red carpet

Producer Diederick Santer said: "Receiving this in our 25th year is the icing on the cake."

Other prizes went to The Armstrong & Miller Show, named best comedy series, and Channel 4's Misfits, which won best drama series.

Channel 4's raucous sixth form comedy The Inbetweeners won the audience award, the only prize of the night to be voted for by viewers.

Melvyn Bragg was also rewarded for his contribution to television.

Before the ceremony, Lord Bragg said he was "very honoured" and a "bit surprised" to be given the Bafta fellowship, the organisation's highest accolade.

The ceremony, at the London Palladium, was hosted by Graham Norton.

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