British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the star of the Emmys, taking home three prizes for comedy Fleabag, with Game Of Thrones also a big winner.
Fleabag was named best comedy, while star Waller-Bridge picked up the gongs for lead actress and outstanding writing in the category.
Fantasy epic Game Of Thrones, which had an all-time high 32 nominations for its eighth and final series, was named outstanding drama, winning the ceremony’s main award for the fourth time to go out on a high. Star Peter Dinklage also won the prize for best supporting actor for the fourth time.
Chernobyl, a huge hit earlier this year, was named best limited series at the ceremony, as well as winning the awards for directing and writing, while other big winners included Jodie Comer and Pose star Billy Porter, who made history as the first openly gay man to win a best drama series acting Emmy. But it was Waller-Bridge who was the unexpected star of the show, with Fleabag winning ahead of favourites including Veep and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
Taking to the stage in Los Angeles, Waller-Bridge thanked her “Fleabag family”, paying tribute to the “incredible cast” who “brought incredible heart to this”. Waller-Bridge added it was “reassuring” that a “dirty, pervy, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys”.
Accepting the best comedy award later on, she said: “This is getting ridiculous.” Fellow British star Comer was named best actress in a drama for her role as psychopathic assassin Villanelle in Killing Eve.
During her acceptance speech, the Liverpool-born star, 26, revealed her parents were back at home because she did not invite them, believing she would lose against stellar competition which included her Killing Eve co-star Sandra Oh.
“I was not expecting to get up on this stage at all,” she said. “Safe to say, Sandra, that this Killing Eve journey has been an absolute whirlwind.” Game Of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke missed out on acting gongs, but were on stage with co-stars including Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams to collect the show’s best drama award.
The stars of the show spoke about how much its 10-year run meant to them. Turner, who played Sansa Stark, said: “I think all of us agree how amazing the entire last season was for us. We had no idea how it would end, who would betray whom and who would end up with the prize.”
Arya Stark actress Maisie Williams said: “As much as we wish the show could have gone on forever, our time had come. And tonight is a chance to, once again, thank all of those who watched. This all started in the demented mind of George RR Martin,” said Game of Thrones producer David Benioff, thanking the author of the books which inspired the series. Billy Porter, 50, was tearful as he collected his award on stage. “God bless you all,” he said. “The category is love. I’m so overjoyed and so overwhelmed to have lived to see this day.”
The Emmys is the biggest awards night in US television, honouring the best series of the year at a ceremony in Los Angeles.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel picked up the first prize of the night, with Tony Shalhoub winning outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. It was Shalhoub’s fourth Emmys win, and Maisel soon won again, with Alex Borstein picking up best supporting actress in a comedy series. She won in a category also containing UK stars of Fleabag, Olivia Colman and Sian Clifford.
In the other main acting prizes of the night, Bill Hader was named best lead actor in a comedy series, for his role in Barry, while Julia Garner took home the supporting actress in a drama series prize, for Ozark.
In the limited series categories, British star Ben Whishaw picked up the award for best supporting actor, for his role in A Very English Scandal.
Jharrel Jerome was named best lead actor in a limited series, for When They See Us, Michelle Williams was named best lead actress, for Fosse/Verdon, and Patricia Arquette was named best supporting actress for Escape At Dannemora.
Other winners included RuPaul’s Drag Race, which was named outstanding reality competition; Saturday Night Live, outstanding variety sketch series, and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, outstanding television movie.
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