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Atkins wins BAFTA TV prize

Channel 4 nabs eight awards

Seasoned British thesp Eileen Atkins has clinched her first BAFTA TV award.

The kudos were presented Sunday at a starry ceremony held at the London Palladium.

Atkins won the prize despite competing head-to-head with her smallscreen sister Judi Dench, who was also nominated for her appearance in the BBC1 costume drama “Cranford.” Atkins was last nominated some 39 years ago.

But “Cranford,” one of the tentpole shows of BBC1’s fall season, failed to win the drama serial award, which instead went to Channel 4’s “Britz.” The contemporary story of two young British Muslims in post-9/11 Blighty was made by TV drama documentary helmer Peter Kosminsky.

Iraq war drama “Mark of Cain,” also shown by Channel 4, took the single drama prize.

It was a good night for Channel 4, the U.K. hybrid pubcaster, which drew eight BAFTA TV nods — enough to equal the success of the BBC, whose programs usually score with BAFTA TV juries.

The web’s success will do it no harm in its campaign to persuade British policymakers that it should receive a subsidy from the public purse.

Meanwhile, the actor prize went to Andrew Garfield for his portrayal of a juvenile child-killer in “Boy A,” another Channel 4 show.

The cult BBC boy-meets-girl sitcom “Gavin and Stacey” drew two kudos: James Corden (who also co-write the laffer) won the comedy performance prize, while the show itself nabbed the Sky + aud nod.

Channel 4’s “Peep Show” grabbed the sitcom prize, while ITV1 comedy star Harry Hill pocketed two kudos — for entertainment program, beating “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Britain’s Got Talent, and entertainment performance.

“Heroes,” a big hit for BBC2 in the U.K., took the international nod, beating out competish from “Californication,” “Family Guy” and “My Name Is Earl.”

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