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Bafta TV Awards 2010: The Thick of It takes three top prizes

The Thick of It

Story by Jack Foley

POLITICAL satire The Thick Of It has emerged as the big winner at the 2010 Bafta TV Awards, scooping a total of three prizes.

The BBC show was named best sitcom, while its stars Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi, who plays vitriolic spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, also picked up prizes.

The Thick Of It, created by Armando Iannucci, began life on BBC Four but transferred to BBC Two for its third series earlier this year following the success and critical acclaim of its spin-off movie, In The Loop.

A fly-on-the-wall mockumentary, the series focuses on the operations of a fictional government department whose every move is ruthlessly scrutinised (and criticised) by foul-mouthed Downing Street spin doctor Tucker.

Accepting the best sitcom prize, 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”.

Wins for Walters and Branagh

In what proved to be a good night for politically-driven dramas, Channel 4’s biopic Mo also emerged victorious when its star, Julie Walters, won best actress for her portrayal of politician Mo Mowlam.

The delighted screen veteran cooed: “Oh, Bafta!” She then added: “Well, you shouldn’t have.”

Walters then went on to pay tribute to her fellow nominees, singling out her Harry Potter co-star “the gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter”, for her performance in Enid.

Walter’s triumph makes her the most decorated actress in the history of Bafta, with seven trophies to her name.

Kenneth Branagh, meanwhile, was named best actor for the second year running, for his performance in BBC drama Wallander.

His victory came at the expense of John Hurt, who had been widely tipped to triumph for his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York.

Branagh was not able to attend the ceremony to collect his prize.

Britain’s Got Talent and Ant & Dec

This year’s Baftas ceremony was held at the London Palladium on Sunday, June 6, 2010, and was hosted by Graham Norton.

Further top prizes went to TV presenters Ant and Dec, who took home their first ever Bafta for series nine of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and then repeated the success with another trophy for Britain’s Got Talent, which was named best entertainment show.

That show’s creator, Simon Cowell, was also recognised with a special award for “outstanding contribution” and “development of new talent”.

Commenting on his prize, Cowell said: “This is a genuine honour. 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.”

EastEnders won best continuing series, beating The Bill, Casualty and Coronation Street, while The Armstrong & Miller Show was named best comedy series.

Channel 4’s Misfits won best drama series, while its sixth form comedy The Inbetweeners took 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.

See the winners in full