Sarah Lancashire told the audience ‘I can’t breathe’ as she was awarded the leading actress prize at the Bafta TV Awards.
The actress was given the honour for Happy Valley, beating The Crown’s Claire Foy, meaning the big budget royal drama was completely shut out of the prizes.
Paying tribute to her co-stars, she added: “Gosh, I even want to thank Nicola Walker and she’s not in it.
“The phenomenally, scarily talented Sally Wainwright (the show’s creator), Sally, you are the most brilliant producer and extraordinary director and extraordinary writer, I thank God you can’t act.”
Addressing Claire, who appeared to have tears in her eyes, she said: “Claire Foy, you have given me the best 10 hours under a duvet that I have ever had, thank you.”
Before Sarah was announced as the winner, host Sue Perkins introduced the leading actress category and said the requirement for it was “being paid just under the same amount as the leading actor”.
Arriving on stage to present the gong, James Nesbitt said he was wearing a badge supporting Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA).
He added: “For one female role there are three male roles. As the father of two girls, that should change.”
Dame Joan Collins presented the entertainment programme prize to Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway while Thandie Newton handed the leading actor prize to Murdered By My Father star Adeel Akhtar.
Picking up his prize, he said: “I had to play a character who isolated himself from the best part of himself because he was scared.
“That isolation compounded itself and became destructive and he lost his compassion and his kindness.”
Sky Sports’ coverage of The Open won the sport Bafta while Damilola, Our Loved Boy star Wunmi Mosaku won the supporting actress prize, which she dedicated to the memory of the schoolboy and his mother.
Elsewhere, Who Do You Think You Are? triumphed over The Great British Bake Off for the features prize while People Just Do Nothing beat Fleabag, Flowers and Camping for the scripted comedy award.
Here is a list of winners:
Comedy & Comedy Entertainment Programme
Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe Production Team – House of Tomorrow/BBC2
Teenage Prison Abuse Exposed (Panorama) Production Team – BBC Productions/BBC1
Happy Valley Sally Wainwright, Juliet Charlesworth, Nicola Shindler, Neasa Hardiman – Red Production Company/BBC One
Michael McIntyre, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – Hungry McBear/BBC1
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Production Team – ITV Studios/Mitre Television/ITV
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe Production Team – Keo Films/The Open University/BBC Two
Who Do You Think You Are? Colette Flight, Sarah Feltes, Anna Kirkwood, Helen Nixon – Wall to Wall Media/BBC1
Female Performance In A Comedy Programme
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag – Two Brothers Pictures/BBC Three
The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson – Fox 21 Television Studios/Fx Productions/BBC Two
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Production Team – ITV Studios/Spun Gold Television/ITV
Male Performance In A Comedy Programme
Steve Coogan, Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle – Baby Cow Productions/Sky Atlantic
National Treasure George Ormond, Marc Munden, Jack Thorne, John Chapman – The Forge/Channel 4
Victoria Derbyshire: Footballers’ Abuse Victoria Derbyshire, Louisa Compton, Jo Adnitt – BBC News/BBC2
Reality & Constructed Factual
Muslims Like Us Kieran Smith, Nicholas Packer, Oliver Manley, Mobeen Azhar – Love Productions/BBC2
People Just Do Nothing Production Team – Roughcut TV/BBC Three
Hillsborough Production Team – Very Much So Productions/Passion Pictures/BBC Two
Damilola, Our Loved Boy Levi David Addai, Euros Lyn, Susan Horth, Colin Barr – Minnow Films/BBC1
Soap & Continuing Drama
Emmerdale Production Team – ITV Studios/ITV
Planet Earth II Michael Gunton, Tom Hugh-Jones, Elizabeth White, Sir David Attenborough – BBC Studios/BBC Natural History Unit/BBC America/Zdf/France Television/BBC One
The Open Production Team – Sky Sports/European Tour Productions/Sky Sports 1
Tom Hollander, The Night Manager – The Ink Factory/Demarest/Character Seven/BBC1
Wunmi Mosaku, Damilola, Our Loved Boy – Minnow Films/BBC1
Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment
Planet Earth II: Snakes Vs Iguana Chase – BBC Studios/BBC Natural History Unit/BBC America/ZDF/France Television/BBC1sion/BBC1
FROM: What’s On TV, our sister site