Miranda Hart wins best actress prize at National Television Awards

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Downton Abbey has been named best drama at this year’s National Television Awards, which also saw Miranda Hart scoop an acting prize for her performance in Call the Midwife.

ITV drama Downton Abbey won the best drama category for the second year running, beating Doctor Who, Merlin and Sherlock.

Hart won the best actress in a drama category, beating Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, Scott and Bailey’s Suranne Jones and Sheridan Smith, who was up for Mrs Biggs.

The prize for best actor in a drama went to Merlin’s Colin Morgan. He was competing against Benedict Cumberbatch, who was up for Sherlock, Daniel Mays, who had been nominated for Mrs Biggs, and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith.

The serial drama award was won by Coronation Street for the second year in a row, while Strictly Come Dancing was crowned best talent show.

Mrs Brown’s Boys won the sitcom section, beating The Big Bang Theory, Benidorm and Absolutely Fabulous.

At the awards, which are voted for by the public, Joanna Lumley won a special recognition award for her career in television.