U.K. wins five International Emmys as Gaga drops in

Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:44am EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United Kingdom won five International Emmy Awards on Monday as "American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe received an honorary prize presented by Lady Gaga, who made a surprise appearance.

The Emmys, which honor television produced outside the United States, extended their reach at its 39th annual awards.

While the United Kingdom dominated, winning five of 10 competitive categories including best actress for Julie Walters and best actor for Christopher Eccleston, it was not a sweep as in recent years when it won as many as eight awards.

Belgium, Chile, Portugal, Canada and Sweden each won one award, with Chile winning its first-ever Emmy, for children's programing for "What Is Your Dream?"

Belgium won best comedy series for "Benidorm Bastards," a hidden camera show in which elderly people play tricks on younger folk.

The U.K. series "Accused," which chronicles the stories of suspects awaiting trial verdicts, was named best drama.

Eccleston won for his role on "Accused" while Walters triumphed for her performance as British Labour MP Mo Mowlam. Neither was on hand to accept their awards.

But the show got an injection of Hollywood glamour when Gaga took to the stage in an unannounced appearance to present the Founders Award to Lythgoe, who also executive produces "So You Think You Can Dance," calling him her favorite executive in the business.   Continued...