The BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit has been among the winners at the Emmy Awards.

The annual event recognising success in the US television industry got under way at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

In the pre-televised segment of the show Little Dorrit picked up a handful of trophies, including those for art direction, costumes and cinematography. Later, it won the best mini-series prize, while Dearbhla Walsh (pictured) won for outstanding directing of a mini-series and Andrew Davis won for penning the script for the BBC series.

Accepting the best miniseries award, executive producer Anne Pivcevic said: “We are thrilled that Little Dorrit has gone down so well this side of the Atlantic.”

Meanwhile, Irish actor Brendan Gleeson took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or movie for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the biopic Into The Storm, prevailing over a short list that included Sir Ian McKellen, Kenneth Branagh and Kiefer Sutherland.

Accepting the award, Gleeson said: “Now there’s a turn-up for the books.”

The joint BBC/HBO venture House of Saddam then yielded success with a best supporting actress in a mini-series or movie award going to Iranian-born Shohreh Aghdashloo.

Alec Baldwin won the Emmy for lead actor in a comedy series. It was his second success in a row for the role of ambitious television executive Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock.

The 61st Emmy Awards had opened with a glitzy song routine by host Neil Patrick Harris. The former Doogie Howser MD star wasted no time before making jokes at rapper Kanye West’s expense. The hip-hop star was forced to apologise after ruining singer Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at last week’s MTV video music awards.

“Here’s hoping Kanye West likes 30 Rock,” the host quipped in reference to the Tina Fey sitcom which was up for 22 Emmys.