British actor Colin Firth was celebrating today after he was named best actor at the Golden Globes.
Firth was handed the accolade for his portrayal of a stammering King George VI in The King's Speech, solidifying his chances of an Oscar nomination later this month.
Firth's countryman Christian Bale took home the supporting-actor Golden Globe for his role in The Fighter at the star-studded awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
British hopes had been pinned on The King's Speech, which tells the story of the unlikely relationship between the monarch and an Australian speech therapist who helps him cope with his stammer.
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The monarchy saga was nominated in seven categories, but it was only Firth who took the plaudits in the category of best actor in a movie drama.
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Accepting his award, Firth referred to his age and said: "To get to this stage of your life with your dignity and judgment intact can be somewhat precarious. Sometimes all you need is a bit of gentle reassurance to keep you on track but right now this (the award) is all that stands between me and a Harley Davidson."
Elsewhere, Natalie Portman scooped best actress in a movie drama for the ballet-themed film, Black Swan.
Hollywood veteran Annette Bening took the prize for best actress in a musical or comedy, for her performance in the lesbian-family tale The Kids Are All Right.
David Fincher won the directing prize for the Facebook drama The Social Network, one of four awards for the film. Best animated film went to Toy Story 3.
Glee was also a big winner, taking home best TV musical or comedy as well as two supporting actor prizes.
The Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), are often seen as a guide to later Oscar success and many pundits have tipped Firth to win an Academy Award later this year.
His co-star Helena Bonham Carter, who missed out on the best supporting actress award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, said she expected the father-of-three to win an Oscar.
Before the ceremony she said: "I've had a Golden Globe nomination before and then didn't get an Oscar nomination. But I presume Colin will get one, and I presume Colin will win."
Some of the biggest stars from film and television descended on the
Beverly Hilton Hotel for the ceremony, presented by Ricky Gervais.
The 49-year-old, who presented the show for the second year running, caused some controversy with his cutting humour that targeted some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
"It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking," Gervais began his opening monologue, sipping from a glass of what looked like beer. "Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast."
The comic also took a jibe at an unnamed Scientologist's sexuality.
Alec Baldwin was seen wiping a tear from his eye at Gervais'
wisecracks, while Robert De Niro, who was handed a lifetime achievement award, dissolved in laughter.
British nominees who missed out on an award included Hugh Laurie for his role as grumpy doctor Gregory House in the television drama House and Idris Elba for his role in the BBC detective drama Luther.
Former Lovejoy star Ian McShane was also nominated for his part in the mini-series Pillars Of The Earth.
Among the guests at the awards ceremony were Michael Douglas, who attended the awards with wife Catherine Zeta Jones, after beating throat cancer.
The 66-year-old actor, who presented an award, told E! News he was feeling much better: "As of last week the tumour has gone. This type of cancer doesn't usually come back. I'm so happy to be (here), it's our first time out in months and months and to be able to have this day cancer-free is pretty special."