Brian Cox's star rises after double win at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards

Cosmologist wins best performer in a non-acting role and his Wonders of the Solar System named best documentary series

Musician turned cosmologist Professor Brian Cox has confirmed his status as one of the hottest properties in television with a double win at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

Cox, whose Wonders of the Universe will come to an end this weekend, was named best performer in a non-acting role while his earlier BBC2 hit, Wonders of the Solar System, was named best documentary series. It follows a double win for Cox at the Royal Television Society awards earlier this month.

ITV1's drama series Downton Abbey and Channel 4's Mo Mowlam biopic Mo were also double winners at the awards held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on Friday.

And there was a prize for actor Graham Seed, who played Nigel Pargetter in the Archers for 27 years before his character fell to his death from a roof in a controversial storyline to mark the soap's 60th birthday at the start of 2010.

Downton Abbey beat BBC1's Sherlock to be named best drama series of 2010, with its creator Julian Fellowes picking up the writer's award. But there was some consolation for Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who won the best actor prize.

Julie Walters was named best actress for her title role in Mo, which was also named best single drama.

Miranda Hart, a multiple award-winner at the Royal Television Society and British Comedy Awards for her BBC2 sitcom Miranda picked up yet another gong, winning best comedy show.

Last year's Channel 4's Cutting Edge documentary My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – since turned into a hit series – won best single documentary, while BBC1's The Apprentice won the best factual entertainment prize.

The innovation award went to the 2010 leader election television debates, while the multichannel gong went to Gold's Fry and Laurie: Reunited.

Coronation Street creator Tony Warren picked up the Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting to mark the soap's 50th anniversary at the end of 2010.

Former Archers' cast member Seed was named radio broadcaster of the year, the first time an actor has won the award, with BBC Radio 4's Ed Reardon's Week winning the best radio programme prize.

Now in their 37th year and voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio, the awards are sponsored by Dave, part of UKTV.

Broadcasting Press Guild awards: the winners

Best single drama


(An ITV Studios production for Channel 4)

Best drama series

Downton Abbey

(A Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production for ITV1)

Best single documentary

Cutting Edge: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

(A Firecracker Films production for Cutting Edge on Channel 4)

Best documentary series

Wonders of the Solar System

(A BBC Factual London and Science Channel co-production for BBC Two)

Best comedy


(A BBC Comedy production for BBC Two)

Best factual entertainment

The Apprentice

(A TalkbackThames production for BBC One)

Best multichannel programme

Fry and Laurie: Reunited

(A Tiger Aspect production for GOLD)

Best actor

Benedict Cumberbatch

(Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, for BBC One)

Best actress

Julie Walters

(Mo Mowlam in Mo, for Channel 4)

Best TV performer in a non-acting role

Professor Brian Cox for Wonders of the Solar System

(A BBC Factual London and Science Channel co-production for BBC Two)

Writer's award

Julian Fellowes

(Downton Abbey, a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production for ITV1)

Radio broadcaster of the year

Graham Seed

(Nigel Pargetter in The Archers, a BBC Radio production for BBC Radio 4)

Radio programme of the year

Ed Reardon's Week

(A BBC Radio production for BBC Radio 4)

Innovation award

The 2010 Leader Election Debates on Television (BBC, ITV & Sky)

Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting

Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street

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John Plunkett

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