, won the most popular factual programme prize at the British television awards, beating Sir David Attenborough's
The future of Top Gear, the BBC2 TV motoring series, was in doubt after one of its presenters, Richard Hammond suffered brain injuries in a 280mph jet crash recently.
Accepting the award, Hammond's co-presenter, Jeremony Clarkson, said: "I told you if one of us had a car accident we'd win this."
Clarkson said Hammond had been advised not to go in front of the flashbulbs at the awards.
The awards were voted for by 2.18 million viewers and attracted the cream of television talent to the Albert Hall in London last night.
Charlie Clements bagged the newcomer award for his role in EastEnders while The X Factor scooped the entertainment programme award. Billie Piper was adjudged the best actress for her role in Doctor Who.
Sir David Attenborough won the lifetime achievement award, which was presented by Terri Irwin, wife of Steve, the Australian naturalist who was killed by a stingray.
Wearing her Australian Zoo brown uniform, and holding back tears, she told the audience that Sir David had been a wonderful inspiration to her husband.
Sir David was also honoured in a specially filmed tribute by the Duke of Edinburgh, in which he said that nobody had done more to promote the understanding of life on earth.