Tough screen star Sean Bean's portrayal of a cross-dressing teacher tonight landed him a best actor title at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards - one of two prizes for courtroom drama The Accused.
The actor, who has played numerous gritty roles and made his name in the Napoleonic drama Sharpe, wore a mini-skirt, make-up and a blonde wig for the gripping performance.
Olivia Colman was named best actress at the respected awards bash for her performance in the same BBC1 series.
There was also a double win for BBC1's Sherlock, which was named best drama series and its creator Steven Moffatt was named best drama writer.
And last summer's sporting achievements were recognised with a string of awards. The BBC's coverage of the Olympics was named best live event, while Clare Balding landed the prize for best presenter for her work on London 2012.
Film-maker Danny Boyle picked up one of the two honorary judges' awards for his work on creating the opening ceremony. They paid tribute to the man who "masterminded the most surprising, dazzling, original night of television of the year".
Channel 4's Paralympics coverage took the other judges' award and BBC2's spoof series about preparations for the Olympics, Twenty Twelve, helped Jessica Hynes to the best comedy performance prize.
David Gordon, the BBC supremo who oversaw the corporation's Olympics coverage, was given a lifetime achievement award.
Bean beat Line Of Duty star Lennie James and Oliver Lansley, who played DJ Kenny Everett in the biopic Best Possible Taste, to collect the actor title.
Judges said of his role: "The winner's performance was fresh and intelligent with real heart, and was both accessible and totally convincing."
Ant and Dec took the best entertainment performance prize for a third consecutive year for their role as hosts of ITV's I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!, while ITV2's Celebrity Juice was named best entertainment show.
Coronation Street - which this week was rocked by a fireball engulfing the Rovers Return - was named best soap for a second year on the run.
BBC1 crime thriller Good Cop took the best drama serial title, and BBC2's Richard II, part of the Hollow Crown trilogy which starred Ben Whishaw as the King, was best single drama.
The awards were held at London's Grosvenor House in a ceremony hosted by comic Jo Brand.
Full list of winners:
Actress: Olivia Colman - Accused II (BBC1)
Actor: Sean Bean - Accused II (BBC1)
Arts: Lucian Freud - Painted Life (BBC2)
Children's drama: Wolfblood (CBBC)
Children's programme: Room On The Broom (BBC1)
Comedy performance: Jessica Hynes - Twenty Twelve (BBC2)
Daytime programme: Remembrance Week (BBC1)
Documentary series: Protecting Our Children (BBC2)
Drama serial: Good Cop (BBC1)
Drama series: Sherlock (BBC1)
Entertainment: Celebrity Juice (ITV2)
Entertainment performance: Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly - I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV)
History: The Secret History Of Our Streets (BBC2)
International: Girls (Sky Atlantic)
Live event: London Olympics 2012 (BBC)
Nations and regions programme: The Bank Of Dave (Channel 4)
Popular factual and features: Long Lost Family (ITV)
Presenter: Clare Balding - The Olympics (BBC)
Science and natural history: Operation Iceberg (BBC2)
Scripted comedy: Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life (Sky Atlantic)
Single documentary: 7/7: One Day In London (BBC2)
Single drama: The Hollow Crown: Richard II (BBC2)
Soap and continuing drama: Coronation Street (ITV)
Writer - Comedy: The Thick Of It (BBC2)
Writer - Drama: Steven Moffat - Sherlock (BBC1)
Judges' award - Channel 4's coverage of the London Paralympics 2012
Judges' award - Danny Boyle
Lifetime achievement award - Dave Gordon (BBC sport)