Kate Winslet and Downton Abbey were among the big winners at the Emmy Awards, making it a successful night for British TV talent.

ITV1’s hit period drama – which launched its second series in the UK on Sunday night – picked up four gongs, including best mini-series and a best supporting actress award for Dame Maggie Smith.

Downton Abbey was also honoured for its writing and directing, with gongs for Julian Fellowes (pictured) and Brian Percival.

Writer Julian called the success of the show a “David and Goliath story”, and said: “I would like to thank you, the American industry.

“Ten years ago you kick-started my second career with an Oscar, tonight you have nurtured it.”

Meanwhile, Titanic actress Kate was honoured for her lead actress role in mini-series Mildred Pierce, beating the likes of Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern and Upstairs Downstairs veteran Jean Marsh to her trophy.

Dressed in a glamorous red gown, Kate dedicated the award to her mother, saying: “I didn’t think we were going to win anything.”

The 63rd Primetime Emmys ceremony in Los Angeles saw Mad Men win its fourth consecutive best drama series award, while Modern Family claimed its second best comedy trophy.

There was disappointment however for Hugh Laurie, who lost out to Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights in the lead actor in a drama series category.

Scottish stars Kelly MacDonald, of Boardwalk Empire, and Alan Cumming, of The Good Wife, also went away empty-handed.

British actor Idris Elba, who stars in Luther, lost out to Barry Pepper of The Kennedys for lead actor in a mini-series or movie, and Cat Deeley missed out in the reality show host category.

Fellow Briton Tom Wilkinson, who was nominated for The Kennedys, lost out to Mildred Pierce actor Guy Pearce in the supporting actor in a mini-series category.

Other notable wins included Martin Scorsese, who was honoured for directing drama series Boardwalk Empire and Julianna Margulies, who was named best lead actress in a drama series for The Good Wife.