Olympic cauldron wins South Bank award

Olympic cauldron The cauldron took centre stage in the Olympic stadium at the 2012 London games

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The Olympic Cauldron has been honoured at this year's South Bank Sky Arts Awards, winning the visual arts prize.

The centrepiece of the London Olympics, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, beat the Olympic Velodrome and Turner-Prize nominated artist Paul Noble.

James Bond film Skyfall triumphed over The Imposter and Berberian Sound Studio to take best film, while Jessie Ware picked up the pop music prize.

Melvyn Bragg hosted the 17th annual awards at a ceremony in London.

Celebrating the best of British culture, the awards cover 12 categories including comedy, literature, theatre and dance.

Skyfall producer Barbara Broccoli said it was "an honour" to win the best film award, adding she planned to keep Daniel Craig on as 007 as long as possible.

Michael J Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Mark Strong Mark Strong (right) presented producers Michael J Wilson and Barbara Broccoli with the Film Award for Skyfall

"I'm not letting Daniel Craig go anywhere - he's staying right here," she said backstage.

The producer added she was "devastated" director Sam Mendes had decided to leave the franchise, although she she hoped "we will get him back" in the future.

For the first time ever, all three nominees for best TV drama were BBC Two productions.

Richard E Grant presented the prize to Parade's End - Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Ford Maddox Ford's books about a love triangle set against the backdrop of the First World War.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, the series saw off competition from the thriller Line of Duty and The Hollow Crown, the BBC's dramatization of Shakespeare's history plays, produced by Sam Mendes.

"I'm very proud of what we did, the other two dramas in the category were excellent dramas," Cumberbatch said.

Tom Hiddleston and Tim Minchin Tim Minchin presented Tom Hiddleston with the breakthrough award

Other awards went to BBC Two's Olympic satire Twenty Twelve, starring Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes, which won best comedy.

The National Theatre won the theatre award for its production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, while the dance prize went to the Scottish Ballet for A Streetcar Named Desire.

And Booker and Costa-prize winner Hilary Mantel won the literary award for her best-selling novel, Bring Up The Bodies, beating former Booker rival Will Self and debut novelist, Kerry Hudson.

Award-winning actress Julie Walters was honoured with the outstanding achievement award for her "extraordinary career" that has spanned almost 40 years.

Walters, 63, who gained international recognition for her role in Educating Rita in 1983, was presented with her prize by long-time collaborator, Victoria Wood.

The actress dedicated her award to the "wonderful people I've worked with", including her agent, friends, family and her husband who was not able to attend the ceremony as he was "snowed in" on their farm.

"I couldn't do what I wanted to do without him," she said.

Comedian Tim Minchin, who wrote the songs for last year's South Bank theatre prize winner, Matilda, presented this year's breakthrough award to actor Tom Hiddleston.

As well as film roles in Thor and The Avengers, the 32-year-old played Captain Nicholls in Steven Spielberg's World War I film War Horse in 2011.

Lord Bragg said: "2012 was a truly extraordinary year for this country, not only in sporting endeavours but across the arts.

"This list of most deserving winners is testament to the richness of artistic talent we have at work today and I am delighted that we able to celebrate and honour them as they deserve."

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Sky Arts 1 HD on 14 March.

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