Subdued Baftas toast BBC

Hird, Courteney win acting nods

LONDON — The BBC ruled the roost at Sunday night’s Bafta television awards, but the wins came in an atmosphere dampened by the slaying two weeks ago of Jill Dando, the BBC presenter who had been skedded to co-host the event.

This was left to veteran BBC chatter Michael Parkinson, who also picked up a win for light entertainment performance.

Other popular winners were 87-year-old Thora Hird, who took best actress for the BBC’s “Waiting for the Telegram,” and Tom Courteney, who finished first among the male acting pack for “A Rather English Marriage,” another BBC offering. “Marriage” also won for single drama.

The ITV network earned honors in light entertainment with the hugely popular quiz show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” On a more serious front, ITV also won for more serious fare, the documentary “After Lockerbie.”

Channel 4 emerged triumphant for the third consecutive year, with the sitcom “Father Ted” capturing best comedy. Dermot Morgan, who played the show’s hero and died last year, won best comedy performance.

Arguably the biggest blow to ITV was the BBC’s “Eastenders” winning best soap over “Coronation Street.” This year marked the debut of the sudser award.

The winners:

Actress: Thora Hird, “Waiting for the Telegram” (BBC)

Actor: Tom Courtenay, “A Rather English Marriage” (BBC)

Single Drama: “A Rather English Marriage” (BBC)

Drama Series: “Cops” (BBC)

Drama Serial: “Our Mutual Friend” (BBC)

Feature: “Back to the Floor” (BBC)

Soap: “Eastenders” (BBC)

Light Entertainment: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” (ITV)

Light Entertainment performance: Michael Parkinson, “Parkinson” (BBC)

Comedy: “Father Ted” (C4)

Comedy Performance: Dermot Morgan, “Father Ted” (C4)

Factual Series: “The Human Body” (BBC)

Arts: “The Brian Epstein Story” (BBC)

Documentary: “After Lockerbie” (ITV)

News & Current Affairs: “Inside the Animal Liberation Front” (C4)