Selling Houses Australia tops 8th ASTRA Awards

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Andrew Winter and the LifeStyle Channel sweep the Pay TV Awards in Sydney.

It's official, Selling Houses Australia is the country's favourite local production on Pay TV.

At last night's ASTRA Awards, the LifeStyle Channel swept the prize pool, nabbing four trophies for the real estate show along with the top award as Channel of the Year.

Selling Houses Australia picked up Most Outstanding Lifestyle Program and the viewer-voted Favourite Program award for the second year in a row. The second viewer's choice award Favourite Personality went to host Andrew Winter, who also took the Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter award.

A humbled Winter was left speechless by the haul, admitting he is just a "Pommy" who loves real estate. Winter also admitted he preferred making the show in Australia despite six seasons completed in the UK.

Showcase came away with three awards as Tangle stars Ben Mendelsohn and Justine Clarke were awarded Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Male and Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Female. The Best New Talent award, which is a new category this year, went to Satisfaction's Camille Keenan.

In something of an evening upset, Tangle was denied the top Drama award with UKTV's two-part thriller False Witness awarded the Most Outstanding Drama.

The Weather Channel was also triumphant, winning in two categories for Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage and Most Outstanding Documentary. Both were driven by coverage of the Black Saturday bushfires. The MAX and Channel [V] co-produced Sound Relief, a charity event for the bushfires and floods, won Most Outstanding Music Program or Coverage

FOX8's Australia's Next Top Model took the award for Most Outstanding Light Entertainment Program, which it also won in 2007. Nickelodeon's Camp Orange: The Final Frontier took the award for Most Outstanding Children's Program or Event.

Elsewhere, Sky News' Kieran Gilbert was awarded Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist, an honour which last year went to host David Speers. Most Outstanding Use of Innovation in Programming went to In the Womb: Extreme Animals on National Geographic Channel.

The awards ceremony held at Sydney's State Theatre was certainly a stylish affair, following some criticism of the rowdy 2009 event in which speeches veered off-script. This year was a black-tie theatre-style event that breezed through 17 awards in a little over 90 minutes. No marathon awards here.

Host David Speers proved popular with the mostly Foxtel/Austar audience, following an extraordinary day's work covering the day's political events for SKY News. He still managed to front up and deliver a polished show, including playing the trumpet at the end of the night.

Click here for more pictures from the 2010 ASTRA Awards.

Highlights can be seen at 6:30pm Saturday night on Arena.

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