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Branagh and Friel among winners of International Emmy Awards

Kenneth Branagh won the International Emmy for Best Actor, while Anna Friel won the Best Actress trophy at the 2017 International Emmy Awards gala in New York.

Branagh and Friel were among 11 winning performers and programmes spanning eight countries: the UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Turkey and the United States.

The awards are presented annually by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which represents more than 60 countries and 500 companies from all sectors of TV, including internet and mobile technology.

The evening was hosted by Iranian-American comedian-actor Maz Jobrani, who co-stars on the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts.

"The International Emmys are like the World Cup of TV," Jobrani cracked, "and like the World Cup a lot of Americans don't know it's happening."

Presenters included Kevin McKidd from Grey's Anatomy, talk-show veteran Larry King, Freddy Rodriguez and Melissa Villasenor from Saturday Night Live.

Branagh won for his role as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in the popular BBC drama series Wallander, which has won an American following on public television's Masterpiece.

Friel was awarded for her performance as Sergeant Marcella Backland in the British series Marcella.

In addition, the Emmy Directorate Award was presented to Emilio Azcarraga Jean, head of Grupo Televisa, the world's largest Spanish-language content provider as well as Mexico's largest broadcaster and pay-TV provider.

Not present was Kevin Spacey, who had been announced as the 2017 recipient of the International Emmy Founders Award. His award was rescinded last month after allegations of past sexual misconduct became public.

"The Academy felt that, in light of recent events, we could not present the award to him," Academy chief executive Bruce L Paisner told the room in his opening remarks.

AP

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