IRISH actor Michael Fassbender and Irish movie The Guard both lost out to the phenomenally successful silent film The Artist at last night's Bafta awards in London.
Jean Dujardin picked up the award for Leading Actor - and paid tribute to his fellow nominees in his acceptance speech, admitting that he was "very proud and shocked" to have won over "illustrious" actors like Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and George Clooney.
Dujardin admitted he was surprised to get an award in the country of "Laurence Olivier, William Webb Ellis and Benny Hill".
The Artist received the greatest number of accolades last night, winning a total of seven awards. It beat The Guard for best screenplay, and also picked up best music, best costume design, best cinematography, best director and best film.
Such was the French production's success, that Peter Straughan, the screenwriter of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, said: "I'd just like to thank The Artist for not being adapted from a book" when he picked up the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Meryl Street won best actress for her critically acclaimed performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The 62-year-old lost a black high-heeled shoe as she made her way to the stage to pick up the award, prompting Colin Firth, who was presenting the gong, to rush over and pick it up before placing it on her foot. "That couldn't be worse," she exclaimed.
Meanwhile, the only gong voted for by the viewing public - The Rising Star Award - was given to Kidulthood actor Adam Deacon ahead of Irish actor Chris O'Dowd.
Deacon, who said the award was "surreal", added: "It's not just a win for me, it's a win for the underdog."
Best Documentary went to the makers of Senna, about the late Formula One driver Ayrton Senna.