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Downton Abbey leads UK Emmy nominations

A humble 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.

Joanne Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

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.

Cumberbatch is nominated in a strong field including Woody Harrelson, Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.

Also nominated are fellow Brits Clive Owen and Idris Elba for their roles in Hemingway and Gellhorn and Luther respectively.

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