British acting talent was celebrated last night at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, with two Brits bringing home gongs.

Dame Maggie Smith won best supporting actress for her role in ITV1's Downton Abbey, whilst Damien Lewis won for his role in Homeland.

Damien Lewis won the outstanding actor in a drama series for his role as US Solider Nicholas Brody. His award kicked off a golden night for the series, which beat Downton Abbey, Mad Men and others to win the best drama Emmy.

Actress Clare Danes with her outstanding actress in a drama series Emmy Credit: Reuters

Lewis's co-star Claire Danes won the award for outstanding actress in a drama series for her portrayal of FBI agent Carrie Mathison, beating competition from Downton's Michelle Dockery.

Lucy Liu arrives for the Emmy Awards Credit: Reuters

Despite being nominated for a total of nine awards Dame Maggie Smith picked up Downton Abbey's only award of the evening.

Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellows and his wife Emma. Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Julianne Morre won outstanding lead actress for playing Sarah Palin in the TV movie Game Change. Accepting her award she said:

I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down.

Julianne Moore won outstanding lead actress Credit: Reuters

Armando Iannucci didn't pick up a gong for his sitcom Veep, which lost to US sitcom Modern Family, but leading lady Julia-Louis Dreyfus picked up the award for outstanding leading actress in a comedy series. Veep has been recommissioned for a second season.

Julia-Louis Dreyfus with her Emmy Credit: Reuters

Cat Keeley attended the glitzy ceremony with Irish funny man Patrick Kielty. She was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding reality show host, but was beaten by Dancing with the Stards host Tom Bergeron.

Presenter Cat Deeley Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ricky Gervais presented the award for Directing in a Variety special.

Ricky Gervais and partner Jane Fallon. Credit: Reuters