Box it in

UK wins five International Emmys as Gaga drops in

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 23 Nov 2011, 8:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:16 AM

The United Kingdom won five International Emmy Awards on Monday as American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe received an honorary prize presented by Lady Gaga, who made a surprise appearance.

The alternative Emmys, which honour television produced outside the United States, extended their reach at its 39th annual awards.

While the United Kingdom dominated, winning five of 10 competitive categories including best actress for Julie Walters and best actor for Christopher Eccleston, it was not a sweep as in recent years when it won as many as eight awards.

Belgium, Chile, Portugal, Canada and Sweden each won one award, with Chile winning its first-ever Emmy, for children’s programming for What Is Your Dream?

Belgium won best comedy series for Benidorm B*stards, a hidden camera show in which elderly people play tricks on younger folk.

The UK series Accused, which chronicles the stories of suspects awaiting trial verdicts, was named best drama.

Eccleston won for his role on Accused while Walters triumphed for her performance as British Labour MP Mo Mowlam. Neither was on hand to accept their awards.

But the show got an injection of Hollywood glamour when Gaga took to the stage in an unannounced appearance to present the Founders Award to Lythgoe, who also executive produces So You Think You Can Dance, calling him her favourite executive in the business.

“He has always helped to nurture and foster my ideas no matter how crazy or demographic-unfriendly they may have been,” said Gaga, who appeared on last season’s Idol finals. “He always spoke poetically about the pursuit of widening the boundaries of love and acceptance in TV.”

Lythgoe returned the warmth, saying that Gaga, who wore a relatively understated black gown and sported a long blonde wig and dark glasses, “Certainly is, for my money, the most creatively talented woman in show business right now.”

Among other honours, Sweden’s Millennium, a crime-solving drama that pairs an investigative journalist with an anti-social female computer hacker, won best TV movie or miniseries, while Canada won for its documentary, Life With Murder, about a man accused of murdering his sister.

The arts programming and non-scripted, or reality, Emmys were both won by the UK’s Twenty Twenty Television for the opera-world set Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne, and The World’s Strictest Parents, in which wild teenagers are sent to live with families run by strict parents.

Subhash Chandra, the media magnate behind India’s Essel Group of companies and Founder of ZEE TV, India’s first Hindi satellite channel, received the Directorate Award.

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