Stephen Colbert praised ''diversity in television'' during his opening monologue at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday (17.09.17).

The 53-year-old talk show host highlighted the importance of the ''diverse group of nominees'' as he presented the annual ceremony - which honours the best of the year's television programming - which was held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

In his opening monologue, he said: ''This has been a great era for diversity in television. In fact, for the third year in a row this is the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history.

''That's impressive. I did not know you could applaud while patting yourself on the back at the same time. Well done. Lovely job. And there's so many talented African-American nominees. Jeffrey Wright. Viola Davis. Samira Wiley. Uzo Aduba. Anthony Anderson from ABC's 'Black-ish'.''

And the 'Late Show with Stephen Colbert' host also took a moment to send his heartfelt thanks to the first responders who have ''been working tirelessly'' since the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, which struck the states of Texas and Florida respectively.

He said: ''While we're thanking people, nobody deserves more thanks right now than our first responders.

''They have been working tirelessly following the disasters in Texas and Florida. And we have to thank also the friends who showed up with the food. The neighbours with boats, the nuns with chain saws, the complete strangers who stepped up to help rebuild. And if you haven't donated to hurricane relief yet, you still can by going to handinhand2017.com and giving generously.''

Stephen then turned his attention to controversial US President Donald Trump, as he said that whilst his speech was not intended to be political, he couldn't avoid ''the biggest TV story this year.''

The star slammed Trump - who has previously been nominated for a number of Emmy Awards for his work on 'Celebrity Apprentice' but never won one - for claiming the ceremony was ''rigged''.

He said: ''And we all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump. Because he was nominated multiple times for 'Celebrity Apprentice' but he never won. Why didn't you give him an Emmy? I tell you this. If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn't have run for president. So in a way this is all your fault.

''And he never forgave you and he never will. The president has complained repeatedly that the Emmys are rigged.

''He even went after the host a few years back tweeting, 'That Seth Meyers is hosting the Emmy Awards is a total joke. He is very awkward with almost no talent. Marbles in his mouth.' Wow, marbles in his mouth. That's harsh. That's quite an accusation, any response, Seth?''

The camera then cut to fellow late night show host Seth Meyers - who hosted the Emmys back in 2014 - in the audience with marbles falling out of his mouth, eliciting roars of laughter from the star studded audience.

Although Stephen claimed the speech wouldn't be too political, he even enlisted the help of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to mock the infamous ''alternative facts'' comment he made in reference to the size of the crowd at President Trump's inauguration.

Sean, who was rolled out onto the stage on a podium, said: ''This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world.''

Stephen then joked the comments ''soothed [his] fragile ego'', before welcoming the first award presenter of the evening, actress Melissa McCarthy, to the stage.