NEW YORK (Reuters) - Television veteran David Frost received an honorary International Emmy on Monday at the annual awards for TV produced outside the United States, with five of the prizes going to Britain and Brazil winning its first Emmy.
Frost was presented with the Founders Award by fellow journalist Barbara Walters, who praised him as "the best interviewer there is. And he makes it look so easy."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared on videotape to laud Frost, who has interviewed many of the world's top leaders and personalities, for his "remarkable" and "unique" insight.
As in recent years, British programing dominated the 37th annual awards, with Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw taking the acting honors.
Walters won for her role as Dr. Anne Turner in the real-life story of assisted suicide "A Short Stay in Switzerland," while Whishaw was named best actor for the BBC's "Criminal Justice" series. Both were working elsewhere and unable to accept in person.
Best arts programing went to "The Mona Lisa Curse," which explored the world of contemporary art, while "Dustbin Baby" won for children's and young people's programing.
The awards were spread more evenly this year, with Denmark, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil all victorious.
Japan's "Hoshi Shinichi's Short Shorts," based on the writer's offbeat tales, was named best comedy, while the Danish Broadcasting Corp's "The Protectors," about Denmark's intelligence service, won best drama series.
Best TV movie or miniseries went to Germany's "The Wolves of Berlin," about post-war youth gangs, and the Dutch series "The Phone," in which contestants who answer a ringing public telephone embark on an adventure to win prizes, won for best non-scripted or reality programing.
Brazil won best telenovela, its first International Emmy, for "India - A Love Story," about woman's romance with an "untouchable."
"The Ascent of Money," a British production about the ties between historical events and world finance, won the documentary prize.
The Directorate Award was presented to Markus Schaechter, director-general of ZDF, by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, for his leadership of the German channel.
Presenters at the ceremony, hosted by British comic and TV host Graham Norton, included "Sopranos" star Edie Falco, musician Moby and journalist Paula Zahn.
Editing by John O'Callaghan