Bradley, who is best known for playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films, joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1971 and is President of Stratford’s Second Thoughts drama group.

He said on the night: “Thank you ITV for commissioning the programme… and to a wonderful cast and crew for such a memorable time, and of course to Chris Chibnall for creating a piece of work that seems to have captured the imagination of so many people.”

The established stage actor, who won a Laurence Olivier Award in 1991 for his supporting role in King Lear, added: “My agent Ruth sent me a replica of this [Bafta figurine] in chocolate, and now finally I can take it down from the mantelpiece and eat it. This is a great honour, thank you very much.”

Olivia Colman, who played DS Ellie Miller, the local police officer thrust into a murder investigation about her son’s best friend, was awarded her third Bafta in two years.

She was given the award for Best Actress while the show also won Best Drama Series, making Broadchurch the big winner on the night.

Writer Chris Chibnall said: “Thank you to the greatest cast I could ever hope for as a writer, some of whom are here today, and obviously the wonderful David Tennant who can’t be here. This means a lot to all of us, thank you.”