British babes Joanne Froggatt and Ruth Wilson aim for Oscar glory

Actresses Joanne Froggatt and Ruth Wilson upset the odds and beat off big names to win illustrious gongs for their television performances at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. It capped a strong year for homegrown TV and acting talent. This is truly one industry in which our export trade is thriving. Now the glamorous duo are tipped for Oscar success.

Froggatt, 34, who plays Downton Abbey’s head housemaid Anna Bates, saw off heavy-hitters Kathy Bates and Allison Janney to be named Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama and make the Grantham family proud. If Mr Bates didn’t have such a limp, there might well be a spring in his step today.

The costume drama’s hard-hitting rape-and-murder storyline has added a darker, deeper note to Julian Fellowes’s ensemble period piece and demonstrated Froggatt’s full range. In here acceptance speech, the Yorkshire-born actress spoke movingly about receiving letters from rape survivors “who just wanted to be heard”. Well, platforms don’t get much higher profile than this one.

Wilson, who turns 33 tomorrow, also triumphed over established American A-listers to lift the Best Actress in a TV Drama prize – pipping Claire Danes, Viola Davis, Julianna Margulies and Robin Wright. Her performance in sleeper hit The Affair, as one of the participants in the titular infidelity, has been subtle, sophisticated and heart-wrenching, with Wilson playing a waitress recovering from the death of her child.

An alumnus of LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), Wilson was nominated nine years ago for her first major role, in the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Eyre. Reader, she finally won.

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