Dame Maggie Smith scoops yet another Emmy

Dame Maggie Smith triumphed for Britain at the Emmys – but got into a spot of trouble for not attending once again.

The Downton Abbey actress stayed away from the Los Angeles ceremony, where she won a best supporting actress gong for her role as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the hit period drama.

Her rivals included Game Of Thrones stars Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams, but the 81-year-old went on to land another Emmy for her bulging trophy cabinet – her third for her Downton role alone.

Host Jimmy Kimmel joked during his opening monologue that the veteran actress should have made an effort to be at the Emmys, having not attended in previous years either.

“If you want an Emmy you better hop on a plane right now and get your Dowager Count-ass over here,” he joked.

When her name was announced as winner, he walked on to the stage to take Dame Maggie’s trophy, saying: “No, no, no, no, no. We’re not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it’ll be in the lost and found.”

British comedian John Oliver, who made his name on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, won outstanding variety talk show for satirical programme Last Week Tonight.

He beat big names including James Corden, Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon to the gong.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, the much-anticipated Victorian era-set special featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which left some viewers puzzled when it was broadcast on New Year’s Day, received the television movie award.

Benedict had been nominated for his acting role in the special, but went away without the award.

Sherlock writer Steven Moffat took The Great British Bake Off controversy to a US audience when he received the award, saying: “Thank you to the BBC, who we love above all bakery. British people will get that.”

Tom Hiddleston left without an award after being nominated for his role in The Night Manager, the thriller based on the John le Carre novel.

But the British-US miniseries did scoop a directing gong, for Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier.

The BBC welcomed the wins for Sherlock and The Night Manager.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “Huge congratulations to Sherlock and Susanne Bier, the director of The Night Manager, for their outstanding Emmy wins.

“It’s a testament to the sheer quality and excellence of their work.”

Sue Vertue, executive producer for Hartswood Films, said: “Sherlock is a passion project so the work is its own reward – but it’s nice that there are other rewards too. We are so glad to know that people enjoy the show almost as much as we enjoy making it.”

Game Of Thrones, based on George RR Martin’s novels, has scooped a record-breaking 38 wins at the event in Los Angeles.

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