The Bill has picked up the award for best soap and continuing drama at the Royal Television Society Awards.

The jury at the awards said the ITV police show "reflected the best of powerful contemporary drama – strong storyline, consistent scripts and good characters".

A lifetime achievement award was handed to Sir David Attenborough at the ceremony for his contribution to broadcasting and the conservation of nature.

Accepting the award Sir David said: "When I joined the BBC 56 years ago, there was only one professional television organisation in this country, I imagine in the world, and that of course was this one.

"If there is one award that one values in television, it is the first one, it is this one."

The BBC picked up a number of awards during the evening, with BBC Three's The Might Boosh winning the award for best sitcom.

BBC Two's quiz show QI, presented by Stephen Fry won the best entertainment category and Top Gear won the features and lifestyle series award.

Andrew Marr won two awards for best history programme and best presenter for his series History of Modern Britain.

In the acting categories, Matthew MacFadyen won best actor for his performance as a paedophile in the Channel 4 shows Secret Life.

Sally Hawkins picked up the award for best actress for her role in ITV's Persuasion, a Jane Austin adaptation.

Best comedy performance went to David Mitchell and Robert Webb for Channel 4's Peep Show.

And Harry Hill was awarded best entertainment performance for TV Burp.

Come Dine With Me was declared the best daytime show and Channel 4's Meet the Natives won the formatted documentary award.

20/03/2008 11:08:48