Sherdian Smith beats Benedict Cumberbatch to win Best Drama Performance at NTAs

The actress thanked the singer for 'letting us have her story'

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Despite legions of adoring Benedict Cumberbatch fans, Sherdian Smith has beaten the Sherlock actor to take Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards.

The 33-year-old won the accolade – which is voted for by the public – for her performance in ITV’s three-part drama Cilla, also beating the Downton Dowager Maggie Smith and The Last Tango in Halifax’s Sarah Lancashire.

Smith, who originally missed her name being called after arriving late to the ceremony, said: “My mum’s livid I was late, she wanted to be on camera when I went up.


“I didn’t think I was going to win with that amazing shortlist….Benedict….Sarah Lancashire…I’m gobsmacked.

“This just means the world so thank you to everybody who voted for me. I wouldn’t have this if Cilla hadn’t let us have her story.

“I love doing real life, factual dramas. People who can research, get inside the head and heart so I’d love to do more. If I had bigger boobs I could have done Dolly Parton!”