NEW YORK (AFP) - Britain walked away with five International Emmy Awards on Monday, including for best performances, while Brazil joined the television elite for the first time at a gala ceremony in New York. British entries led the pack, with best actor performance going to Ben Whishaw for his role as Ben Coulter in Criminal Justice, and best actress won by Julie Walters for playing Dr Anne Turner in A Short Stay in Switzerland. British TV programs also cornered the International Emmy statues in the arts programming, children and young People, and documentary categories. Brazil, whose list of nominations was second only to that of British entries, made history with a first ever award for the telenovela India A Love Story. Awards also went to previous Emmy winning countries Denmark, which won the drama series category for The Protectors; Japan in comedy for Hoshi Shinichis Short Shorts; The Netherlands in non-scripted with The Phone; and Germany in TV movie mini-series with The Wolves of Berlin. All the nominated programs and performances are a true inspiration for all of us in the industry and for audiences worldwide, said International Emmy Academy president and CEO Bruce Paisner. The awards event at the New York Hilton was hosted by British TV presenter and comedian Graham Norton, with awards presented by celebrities including US interview veteran Barbara Walters and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger. A special International Emmy Founders Award was given to British television legend Sir David Frost, while Markus Schachter, director general of Germanys national public television channel, ZDF, was honoured with the International Emmy Directorate Award. In his long career Frost pioneered television political satire and is the only person to have interviewed all seven British Prime Ministers serving between 1964 and 2009 and the seven US presidents in office between 1969 and 2008. Forty-one nominees from 17 countries were competing in 10 categories at the 37th annual awards, including a first time nomination for Thailand in the children and young people category for Lharn Phoo Koo E-Joo. Britain led the nominations pack with nine, followed by Brazil with five, and then Germany, Mexico and the Philippines. The International Emmys, world televisions equivalent of the Oscars barring programming from the United States takes place over six months with three rounds of judging by 600 judges in 50 countries.