Keira Knightley's Atonement and comedian Ricky Gervais' television show Extras were honoured at last night's Golden Globe ceremony in Hollywood.

Instead of the traditional star-studded event, the honours for the year's best in film and television were announced at a press conference as showbusiness personalities boycotted the ceremony to express support for striking Hollywood writers. None of the stars nominated in various categories were present and there were no acceptance speeches or glitzy parties during the telecast either.

In the best motion picture drama category Atonement held off stiff competition from American Gangster, Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood to take the prize. There was another British victory on the night as Ricky Gervais' television show Extras was deemed the best TV comedy series ahead of 30 Rock, Californication, Entourage and Pushing Daisies.

The big winner on the night was Tim Burton's musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street which was selected as the year's best comedy with Johnny Depp being given the best actor in a comedy or musical award for his role in the film.

Julia Christie won in the best actress in a motion picture drama category for her performance in Away From Her as she edged out competition from Keira Knightley, Jodie Foster and Angelina Jolie. The best actor in a drama gong went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance in There Will Be Blood.

In an upset on the night, Marion Cotillard's performance in La Vie En Rose was deemed the best in a comedy or musical. Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd and Ellen Page in Juno were seen as the favourites for the prize.

Another surprise winner was in the best director category as Gladiator director Ridley Scott, Atonement film maker Joe Wright and the creator of Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton, lost out to Julian Schnabel's film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

In other awards, Ratatouille edged out The Simpsons Movie and Bee Movie to the best animated film prize while The Diving Bell and the Butterfly took the honours in the best foreign language film category.

The Golden Globes have traditionally been a good pointer towards winners at Hollywood's biggest night, the Oscars, which is scheduled to take place on February 24th.

14/01/2008 06:09:13