Phoebe Waller-Bridge Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This was Waller-Bridge’s first Golden Globe

The 77th Golden Globe Awards are under way in Los Angeles, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge among the early winners.

The British star was named best actress in a TV series (musical or comedy) for her BBC sitcom Fleabag.

“This really comes down to Andrew Scott,” she said, thanking her Irish co-star for bring “so much fire” to the show’s second season.

“He could have chemistry with a pebble,” she said of the actor, who played the “Hot Priest” in the show.

Fleabag went on to be named best TV series (musical or comedy) at the star-studded ceremony.

“This means a huge amount to all of us,” said Waller-Bridge, who thanked Barack Obama “for putting us on his list”.

This was a reference to a recent tweet from the former US president, in which he called Fleabag “a TV show [from 2009] that I considered as powerful as movies”.

Russell Crowe was another early winner, receiving the award for best actor in a limited series or a motion picture made for television for The Loudest Voice.

The Australian actor was not at the ceremony, instead sending a message about the devastating bush fires ravaging his homeland.

“Make no mistake, the tragedy taking place in Australia is climate change-based,” he said in a message read out by actress Jennifer Aniston.

Pierce Brosnan, whose sons Dylan and Paris are serving as this year’s Golden Globe ambassadors, also sent a message of goodwill to those affected by the fires.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ricky Gervais opened the show with a risque monologue

Ricky Gervais, hosting the event for the fifth time, kicked off proceedings with a salty monologue that poked fun at James Corden, Felicity Huffman, Martin Scorsese and others.

Yet the comedian also took Hollywood’s great and good to task for expressing political opinions while simultaneously accepting money from multinationals with questionable business practices.

Tom Hanks is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award during this year’s ceremony, which began at 01:00 GMT.

The actor was seen during the telecast looking less than impressed by Gervais’s opening monologue.

Other British winners include Brian Cox, who was named best actor in a drama series for Succession.

The Dundee-born actor offered his apologies to his fellow nominees, which included Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington and The Crown’s Tobias Menzies.

There was also success for Sir Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, who won best film song for their Rocketman composition I’m Gonna Love Me Again.

As expected, South Korean satire Parasite – winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes – was named best foreign language film.

“Just being nominated with fellow international film-makers was a huge honour,” said director Bong Joon-Ho in a speech delivered in his native Korean.

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he went on to say via his translator.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ellen DeGeneres received a special award at the ceremony

One notable surprise came in the best animated film category, where stop-motion film Missing Link beat out such hit sequels as Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4.

There was no surprise, though, when perennial Globe favourite Laura Dern was named best supporting film actress for Marriage Story.

Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the Globes is the biggest ceremony of the annual awards season outside of the Oscars.

Many of the award recipients traditionally go on to enjoy success at the Academy Awards, to be held this year on 9 February.

Television stars and shows are also recognised at the ceremony, which is being held at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

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