The cast and crew of "Les Miserables" (From left) actor Eddie Redmayne, director Tom Hooper, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and producer Debra Hayward celebrate their win for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical backstage at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, January 13, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

There were lots of surprises at the 70th Golden Globe Awards, which were beamed live on Sunday from Beverly Hills, California.

Most of the big names in TV and film gathered in tuxedos and ballroom gowns to pay tribute to the top achievers in the industries.

The showcase was so grand even former US president Bill Clinton paid the prestigious ceremony a visit.

Nine-time Grammy winner Adele was visibly shocked to win the Best Original Song prize for her song Skyfall, which is the theme song for the Bond movie of the same name.

While The Newsroom and Boardwalk Empire were strong contenders in the Best TV Drama Series category, it was Homeland that came up trumps.

Any nominations list that features Meryl Streep usually ends with her clinching the award – it’s already an honour for the other nominees to be mentioned in the same category as her. But since it was a night of surprises, Streep walked away with nothing. She did, however, face some stiff competition in the Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical category, facing off against the esteemed likes of dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, as well as Emily Blunt and Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook and after accepting her award joked about scooping it from Streep.

Kevin Costner gave a melancholic speech about his first Golden Globe win in 1991 for Dances with Wolves when nobody really knew him. This time he got the nod for Best Actor in a Drama Series for Hatfield & McCoy.

Master writer and director Quentin Tarantino won Best Screenplay for Django Unchained, which wasn’t much of a surprise.

But then Don Cheadle sprung a surprise by beating out the incredibly talented collection of Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin, Louis CK and Matt LeBlanc to win the Best Performance in a Television Series: Musical or Comedy award for House of Lies.

Best Actress in a TV Series Drama was clinched by Homeland’s Claire Danes. She was up against Connie Britton, Glenn Close, Michelle Dockery and Julianna Margulies.

Action-film relics Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone staged a surprise when they swopped ham-fisted acting for jokes, trading on their bad accents as they presented the Best Foreign Language Film award to Amour (Austria).

Animation geeks were watching curiously during the Best Animated Feature Film segment where Brave, the favourite, stole the prize. There was some stiff competition in this category, with Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians all worthy of the crown.

Then Ben Affleck won against all odds, beating out the heavyweight nominations list of highly respected filmmakers Tarantino, Ang Lee, Katherine Bigelow and Steven Spielberg to win Best Director: Motion Picture for Argo.

In a double stroke of good fortune Affleck’s Iran hostage drama Argo also picked up the coveted prize for Best Motion Picture: Drama.

In the Best Series: Comedy Musical category, Girls was the shock winner, beating established favou-rites The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.

Speaking of comedy, Hugh Jackman had the last laugh in a category you’d normally expect Jack Black to reign in. Jackman picked up the Best Performance: Musical or Comedy award for his turn in Les Misérables, which also won Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy.

To our credit, we did at least predict that Daniel-Day Lewis would get the Best Performance in a Motion Picture: Drama award (for Lincoln), beating the likes of Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Joaquin Phoenix and John Hawkes.

All these surprises added up to an entertaining show, which was well put together and made for great TV. Next stop: the Oscars.