Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh has scooped best serial drama performance at the National TV Awards.
A recent storyline involved her character Hayley Cropper's diagnosis with terminal cancer and suicide.
The soap beat rivals EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks to win serial drama for the second year in a row.
Presenting duo Ant and Dec won a special surprise landmark award, presented by Philip Schofield with a message from princes William and Harry.
It followed the pair's 13th win in a row in the entertainment presenter category, as they saw off competition from Graham Norton, Alan Carr, Keith Lemon and Dermot O'Leary.
Doctor Who took two awards - best drama and drama performance for outgoing Doctor Matt Smith.
This year's record-breaking 50th anniversary special was among Smith's final appearances on the show, with Peter Capaldi taking over as the regenerated Doctor.
Smith beat Miranda Hart, Dame Maggie Smith and Martin Clunes to take the prize, although his award was collected by writer Steven Moffat and co-star Jenna Coleman.
"Sadly Matt cannot be with us tonight because he is slaughtering people on stage in the West End," said Moffat, referring to Smith's role in musical American Psycho.
"It's not in the script, he's just cross," Moffat joked.
I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! presented by Ant and Dec took the entertainment programme prize, beating their own show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Celebrity Juice and The Graham Norton Show.
The Geordie presenters, who took a "selfie" portrait of themselves and the audience while on stage to collect their landmark award, later revealed their shock at being honoured for their 25 years in television.
"Words can't describe how we feel tonight," said Ant McPartlin backstage.
"We genuinely had no idea this was going to happen; didn't have a clue our mams had been flown down and had their makeup done and done an interview."
Stars including Simon Cowell, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Robbie Williams and Alan Shearer had also recorded messages for the pair.
"We came back here tonight because this was the 13th year we'd been nominated for entertainment presenter award, and that was good enough for us," added Declan Donnelly.
"We would happily have jumped on the bus and gone home then. But then to be given the landmark as well was just quite overwhelming."
Educating Yorkshire won documentary series and Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs beat The Great British Bake Off, Top Gear and An Idiot Abroad to take the factual entertainment award.
Strictly Come Dancing won the talent show category for a second year, beating ratings rival X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Dancing on Ice and The Voice UK.
The ceremony featured a performance from recent Strictly winner Abbey Clancey, who took the floor for a dance routine that saw the show's male dancers and judges Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli fighting to be her partner.
X Factor was also represented, with 2013 winner Sam Bailey opening the show with a duet with Michael Bolton, before she later gave a solo performance of The Power of Love.
Coronation Street's Hesmondhalgh brought co-star and fellow nominee David Neilson, who plays Roy Cropper her on-screen husband, on stage to collect her award and said the cast were "so proud" of the recent right-to-die storyline.
She told the audience: "We said that if either of us were lucky enough to get this tonight, we'd come up together because there ain't no Hayley without Roy and there ain't no Roy without Hayley."
A peak of 10.2 million people watched Hayley take her own life during Monday's emotional double episode.
"I think at the end of my life when it's all flashing in front of me, this week will feature quite heavily to be honest, it has been the most incredible week of my life," Hesmondhalgh revealed backstage.
Sherlock won in a new TV detective category that pitted Benedict Cumberbatch against stars including Luther's Idris Elba and two Broadchurch stars, Olivia Colman and David Tennant.
In a video message Cumberbatch said he wished he could have picked it up in person.
"I'm over the moon, I can't tell you what this means," he said. "This is a vote by the public and you are the people that have made [Sherlock] the success of what it is."
Mrs Brown's Boys triumphed in the comedy category for a second year. Brendan O'Carroll's sitcom beat Derek, Miranda and The Big Bang Theory to take the prize, and the Irish comedian thanked fans for voting for them.
"It looks like our Twitter campaign, our advertising campaign and our threats paid off," O'Carroll joked.
The cast of EastEnders, who arrived together in a customised red double decker bus, took one prize in the newcomer category, for Khali Best who plays Dexter Hartman.
The night's other winners, which were all voted for by the public, included This Morning which won the daytime category.
"Four in a row is unbelievable," said a shocked Philip Schofield. "Thank you to the This Morning viewers who are such a brilliant, loyal family."