British talent triumphed at the Emmy awards last night with Kate Winslet (above) and Downton Abbey emerging as the big winners.

 Winslet won an Emmy for her highly acclaimed title role in Mildred

Pierce, playing a mother in the Great Depression.

The 35-year-old actress she paid tribute to her own mother while accepting the award. She had filmed the five part mini-series in the wake of her own marriage break

up from director Sam Mendes.

Winslet, clad in a full length red gown by designer Elie Saab, was

presented with the award for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or

movie, by fellow British actor Hugh Laurie.

Downton Abbey collected a total of four Emmys including best miniseries or

movie, and a supporting actress award for Dame Maggie Smith, who was not at

the ceremony.

Writer Julian Fellowes said: "This is really a David and Goliath story, except

in this case Goliath was wonderful, some wonderful shows that we were up

against, and it seems perfectly extraordinary that we've won.

“None of us know what's going to be a hit, we make these shows, we hope for

the best, but we don't know why sometimes it comes right and this evening is

such a marvellous moment in all our lives because this evening it came


US series Mad Men, set in the set in the world of advertising half a century ago, won

the Emmy for best TV drama series for the fourth straight year.

Laurie, the star of medical drama House, lost out to Kyle Chandler of Friday

Night Lights in the lead actor in a drama series category.