Actor Kenneth Branagh's TV exploits in Wallander have won him the best actor gong at today's Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

The Shakespearian specialist may have wowed audiences with his version of Hamlet, but it was for a different Scandinavian role that he will receive his award later today.

Playing Swedish detective Wallander in the three-part BBC1 series has resulted in Branagh receiving his first major TV acting award in the UK.

Previous winners include Colin Firth, Sir Alec Guinness, Michael Gambon and David Suchet.

The best actress award will be handed to Andrea Riseborough for two roles: her spirited performance as the Iron Lady in Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley and her lead in Channel 4's adaptation of The Devil's Whore.

These won the best single drama and best series drama awards respectively.

Elsewhere, Sir David Frost will receive an early birthday present through the Harvey Lee award for outstanding achievement.

The 69-year-old – who is 70 next month – won the gong after the Guild had his exploits flagged up to it by Frost/Nixon.

It "served as a reminder just how much he has brought to the television business", they said.

"First as a presenter and interviewer, who managed to combine entertainment with hard-hitting exposes, and later interviewing any world leader who is anybody… and also as one of the founders of two ground-breaking commercial TV companies, London Weekend and TV-am."

27/03/2009 10:01:32