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British swamp Emmys shortlist

By Robert Dex

A housemaid will take on a blue-blooded dowager in the battle for a prestigious TV honour after Downton Abbey led the British pack at the Emmy Awards nominations.

Joanne Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award along with her ITV co-star Maggie Smith who plays the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham.

There were also nods for BBC1's Sherlock with its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie respectively.

Also nominated are Britons Clive Owen and Idris Elba for roles in Hemingway and Gellhorn, and Luther, respectively.

Country house drama Downton Abbey is up against hit shows including Homeland and Game of Thrones for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy.

Armando Iannucci's new US show, Veep, is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series

Mad Men, the period drama set in the world of advertising, leads the field with 17 nominations.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on September 23.

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