Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes picks up special Emmy award


Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes was the toast of the International Emmys when he was presented with the honorary Founders Award.

He received the trophy from one of the show's stars, Elizabeth McGovern, who played Countess of Grantham Lady Cora Crawley in the hit ITV period drama.

McGovern was joined by the programme's executive producer Gareth Neame to hand over the prize.

More than eight million fans tuned in for the finale of Downton Abbey last month. The show will conclude with a special on Christmas Day.

The UK led the nominations at the awards ceremony at the Hilton in New York but was defeated in all but one category, marking an end to Britain's past dominance at the show, created to honour excellence in television programming outside the US.

Britain's only win came in the non-scripted entertainment category for Sky documentary 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy, produced by UK companies Burning Bright Productions and Brown Bread Productions.

The show follows thrill-seeking Irish TV presenter Baz Ashmawy as he cajoles his 71-year-old mother into doing daredevil stunts such as skydiving and alligator wrangling.

This year 40 nominees from 19 countries were competing in 10 categories.

France was the big winner of the night, taking home three awards, led by the hit crime thriller Engrenages (Spiral) which won for best drama series.

Brazil received two Emmys, while the best actor award went to Maarten Heijmans of the Netherlands for Ramses, which chronicles the rise and fall of the popular Dutch singer and actor Ramses Shaffy.

Norway's Anneke von der Lippe won the best actress Emmy for Eyewitness, in which she plays a police chief in a small town caught in the middle of a murder investigation.

Engrenages, which airs on BBC Four in the UK under the translated name of Spiral, has been nominated for an International Emmy before, but won for its fifth season in which detectives try to unravel the double-murder of a mother and child as they plunge into a world of organised crime, drugs and girl gangs.

The other French winners were Illustre & Inconnu: Comment Jacques Jaujard A Sauve Le Louvre (The Man Who Saved The Louvre), which won for arts programming, and Soldat Blanc (White Soldier), which won for best TV movie or mini-series.

During the ceremony Hollywood star Michael Douglas presented the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award to Richard Plepler, chairman and chief executive of HBO.