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British TV shows scoop Emmy awards in US

British television productions won a string of International Emmy awards in New York last night, picking up seven top honours.

Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent shared the best actor award for his role in the BBC's The Street, which was also named best drama series at the ceremony at the Hilton New York hotel.

Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive scooped best documentary as BBC actors and productions left with six awards, including best arts programming, best non-scripted entertainment and best comedy series.

The 35th International Emmys recognised excellence in TV programming produced outside the US.

Former US vice president Al Gore was also honoured for his role in launching the cable/satellite channel Current TV and his efforts to sound the alarm over global warming.

Broadbent, who was nominated for his role as an embittered pensioner in the BBC's The Street, shared the best actor honour with Dutch actor Pierre Bokma.

The Street, which follows the lives of different residents of one street, was named best drama series.

In Fry's documentary, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, the comedian/actor talks about his own and other people's experiences of living with bipolar disorder.

Simon Schama's Power of Art: Bernini, the BBC/WNET Thirteen's work about the Baroque sculptor, was named best arts programming while the BBC's How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria scooped best non-scripted entertainment series.

The BBC's Little Britain Abroad was named best comedy.

Death of a President, by Borough Films for More 4, won best TV movie/mini-series.

Directed by Gabriel Range, it centres around the fictionalised assassination of US President George Bush.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is the largest organisation of global broadcasters with more than 500 members from nearly 70 countries and over 400 companies.

After picking up his award, Fry said: "It's a lucky evening for us.

"We're lucky to have this institution, the BBC, and that's helped generations of people (in television)."

Gore, who received the Founders Award from Oscar winner Robert De Niro, said the future of democracy depended "to a surprising degree on democratising television".

"Television has had the greatest potential for educating and informing of any medium in the history of communications," he said.

British actress Victoria Wood was nominated for her role in the drama Housewife, 49, based on the real Second World War diary of a Lancashire housewife, but the award went to France's Muriel Robin.

Following is a list of winners of the 2007 International Emmy Awards as presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences"

Arts programming: "Simon Schama's Power of Art: Bernini" (United Kingdom).

Best performance by an actor (tie): Pierre Bokma for "The Chosen One," (Netherlands) and Jim Broadbent for "The Street" (United Kingdom).

Best performance by an actress: Muriel Robin for "Marie Besnard - The Poisoner" (France).

Best children's and young people's program: "The Magic Tree" (Poland).

Best comedy series: "Little Britain Abroad" (United Kingdom).

Best drama series: "The Street" (United Kingdom).

Best documentary: "Stephen Fry - The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive" (United Kingdom).

Best non-scripted (reality) entertainment: "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" (United Kingdom).

Best TV movie/mini-series: "Death of a President" (United Kingdom).

International Children's Day of Broadcasting award: "From South to North, From East to West, Thailand ICDB-Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS" (Thailand).

Directorate award: Patrick Le Lay

Founders Award: Al Gore (Editing by Philip Barbara)