SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Running Man star Lee Kwang Soo nabbed a top prize at this year's SBS Entertainment Awards on Sunday.
He took home the Top Excellence Award for his performance on popular variety programme Running Man, which has been plagued with controversy lately over the alleged dismissal of two of its cast members, Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Gook.
The production team announced later that the two would stay on until the show's February finale.
On Sunday, all six cast members of the show were at the awards ceremony.
Lee delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech, thanking those who "worked hard to defend Running Man."
2016 SBS Entertainment Awards winners
Shin Dong Yup
Male Rookie Award
Yoo Byung Jae, Kangnam
Female Rookie Award
Lee Yeon Soo, Gong Seung Yeon, TWICE's Jungyeon
Radio DJ Award
Park So Hyun
Best Couple Award
Kim Kwang Kyu & Kim Wan Sun, Park Hyung Il & Park Soon Ja
Best Friend Award
Variety Scene Stealer Award
Choi Sung Kook, Jo Se Ho
Writer Award (Variety)
Yook So Young (Ugly Duckling)
Writer Award (Documentary)
Park Jin Ah (Curious Story Y, The Its Know, Animal Farm)
Writer Award (Radio)
Lee Jae Kook (Kim Chang Ryul's Old School)
Park Soo Hong, Kim Joon Hyun
Baek Jong Won
Mobile Icon Award
Yang Se Hyung
Kim Min Seok, Kim Hwan, AOA's Seolhyun
This Year's Program (Variety)
This Year's Program (Documentary)
The Its Know
This Year's Star
Excellence Award (Comedy)
Kim Jin Gon, Kim Jung Hwan
Excellence Award (Talk Show)
Jun Hyun Moo, Sung Dae Hyun
Excellence Award (Variety)
Seo Jang Hoon
Top Excellence Award (Comedy)
Hong Yoon Hwa
Top Excellence Award (Talk Show)
Kim Gun Mo
Top Excellence Award (Variety)
Lee Kwang Soo
"To Ji Suk Jin, who taught me about life and entertainment, to Yoo Jae Seok, who made me the person I am today, to Kim Jong Gook, my mentor, to Haha, whom I love like family, to Song Ji Hyo, who is like my real sister, and to Gary, Song Joong Ki and Lizzy. I love you all so much," Lee said, listing each of his team-mates.
Pictures showed Song shedding tears.
Fans were left wondering why Running Man, which has been airing on SBS for almost seven years, reaped only one prize.
In response, SBS, in a statement on Instagram, explained that the Running Man cast had asked not to be given any prizes as they wanted to keep a low profile during the awards show.
"For this reason, Running Man was only given one award," the statement added.
The night's Grand Prize was handed to comedian-TV host Shin Dong Yup for his work on Mom's Diary - My Ugly Duckling, a reality show spotlighting celebrities and their mothers.
The show, launched in July, boasted a viewership of over 10 per cent on Friday nights.