Six British television productions have won International Emmy awards. The comedy shows Drop the Dead Donkey and Absolutely Fabulous were among the winners announced at the ceremony in New York on Monday night.
Besides the win for Drop the Dead Donkey, its second Emmy in consecutive years, two other awards went to Channel 4 programmes. The Performing Arts Award went to Concerto, the series presented by Dudley Moore and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, which combined documentary and performance. The Arts Documentary Award went to Channel 4's The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, a profile produced jointly by a German and Belgian film company.
The other British awards went to the BBC drama Unnatural Pursuits (shown in Britain under the title With Two Lumps of Ice), the Simon Gray play starring Alan Bates as a writer in Los Angeles, and to We Are All Neighbours, made by Granada's documentary strand Disappearing World, on life in a Bosnian village.
A special award, the Founders Award, went to Richard Dunn, chief executive of Thames Television, earned for 'work recognised throughout the world'.
Jennifer Saunders, who wrote and stars in Absolutely Fabulous, was unable to attend the ceremony, as she was in rehearsal for a play which is opening in the West End in December. Andy Hamilton, co-writer of Drop the Dead Donkey, which tied with Absolutely Fabulous in the popular arts category, also missed the occasion. 'I heard when I got in this morning,' he said. 'Denise O'Donoghue (executive producer) rang from New York at 5am their time. I haven't heard from Guy (Jenkin, co-writer) yet; I guess he's still out on the razz.'
The American Emmys were presented earlier this year.
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