A stunned Phoebe Waller-Bridge said “this is getting ridiculous” as Fleabag capped an all-conquering night at the Emmys.
The quirky British sitcom swept all before it at the biggest night in US television, winning ahead of well-fancied favourites including HBO’s Veep and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
Fleabag was widely considered the outsider of the three, with many tipping the TV academy to recognise Veep’s final season in the category of outstanding comedy series.
While that award was a shock, the biggest upset came about two hours earlier, when the star-studded audience inside Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater had a collective intake of breath when the winner of the outstanding comedy actress was called.
Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus had made the prize her own, winning six times for her portrayal of politician Selina Meyer.
She was out of the running last year after undergoing treatment for cancer and many thought her win, and the chance to go out on a high, was nailed on.
However, it was Waller-Bridge’s name that was called. The Londoner also won a prize for writing the second season of Fleabag. Harry Bradbeer won an Emmy for directing an episode of the show.
Accepting the gong for outstanding comedy series, Waller-Bridge, 34, said: “This is just getting ridiculous. Fleabag started as a one-woman show at the Edinburgh festival in 2014. The journey has been absolutely mental to get here. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s been involved.”
The chance to earn five awards on the night was missed when Sian Clifford and Olivia Colman lost in the supporting actress category.
Fleabag features Waller-Bridge as a young woman living in London who provides the audience with outrageous and intimate details of her bedroom antics.
It premiered in 2016 to critical acclaim, but was overlooked at the Emmys, not even scoring a single nomination.
Season two arrived earlier this year and centred on the relationship between Fleabag and “hot priest” Andrew Scott.