Inside the National Television Awards: Ant and Dec claim their 22nd gong as they beat Alison Hammond to Best Presenter, Happy Valley scoops TWO prizes and This Morning is BOOED on a night of tears and triumph at the O2
Beneath the lights of London’s O2 Arena, it was Ant and Dec who claimed their 22nd NTA at the annual ceremony following a successful return to the Australian jungle with ITV1 juggernaut I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The pair claimed the award ahead of the much fancied Hammond, notably selected ahead of her This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby in the category for Best Presenter.
The co-hosts – who were also competing with Martin Lewis, Claudia Winkleman and Bradley Walsh – admitted they were “more nervous than ever” before going into the event on Tuesday evening, but were just as “humbled and grateful” to receive the honour as they had ever been.
Ant said: ‘Thank you so much to the NTAs we’ve got quite a long list of thank yous, all of the shows and the people we work with, we are the luckiest two men on telly because we’ve got the best production teams and the best people to work with, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’
His presenting partner Declan Donnelly added: ‘Thank you to ITV, to Kevin and Katie and all the team at ITV for your continued support. Thank you to our fantastic management team for your support, thank you gang, you’re up in the box somewhere.
‘Thank you to our lovely wives, our beautiful children. I can’t believe that we are still getting away with this…’
Ant interrupted: Were you more nervous than ever?’
Dec agreed: ‘Ever before, hands are sticky, my heart is beating, but we are as humbled and grateful tonight as we were the first time we won, so thank you for taking the time to vote for us, we really appreciate it.’
The ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ presenters promised to keep working together for as long as possible.
Dec said: ‘We’ll see you back on telly very soon.’
Ant added: ‘We’ll keep doing it for as long as you want us to keep doing it.’
Elsewhere Danielle Harold cried as she picked up the Serial Drama Performance Award for her former role in EastEnders.
The actress appeared genuinely stunned as she made her way onto the stage after her portrayal of brain tumour victim Lola Pearce-Brown’s final days saw her scoop the accolade ahead of Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt and Coronation Street stars Charlotte Jordan and Maureen Lipman.
Accepting the award from Michelle Collins – who excitedly shouted “Yes” when she read out Danielle’s name, the actress said: ‘I literally… I really didn’t prepare anything, I thought this is the biggest, biggest, biggest shock and I can’t believe I’m standing in front of the O2.
‘I just want to say literally every single person who had an input into this storyline and the research, guys this is for you.
‘Please give money to Brain Tumour Research UK, they need it so, so much, they really do.’
She added: ‘I just want to take a minute to thank all the cast and Chris, and everyone who supported me, Julia Crampsie who brought me into the show, guys I love you so much without your support I couldn’t do this, thank you so much.’
Earlier in the evening, the TV Interview honour went to The Graham Norton Show but unlike category rivals Louis Theroux, Piers Morgan and Chris and Rosie Ramsay, the host wasn’t at the ceremony to be able to accept the accolade in person
The Traitors won the Reality Competition prize, while the third season of ‘Happy Valley’ landed the Returning Drama honour.
The evening’s first award, the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, was presented to Gogglebox.
Happy Valley also triumphed on the night, with the show winning in the category for Returning Drama, while actress Sarah Lancashire claimed the award for best Drama Performance.
The actress saw off tough competition from her co-star James Norton, Queen Charlotte’s India Amarteifio, Vera’s Brenda Blethyn and Call The Midwife’s Judy Parfitt to claim the prize.
Collecting the award on stage, she said: ‘Thank you so much for this. I have adored every scene, every moment of Happy Valley and I know I will never forget it.
She praised creator Sally Wainwright saying that she is “what makes Happy Valley” and that you are the “luckiest actor in the world” if you are a receipt of her words.
Elsewhere This Is England actress Vicky McClure said that she was “shaking” during the Our Dementia Choir performance at the annual event.
McClure, 40, who is the founder of the choir, spoke live at the NTA’s and said: ‘I am shaking through pride that I am feeling right now to witness Our Dementia Choir playing at the O2.”
She added: ‘Our mission is to share knowledge, raise awareness and aid research to help find a cure, but also to remind everyone that with the right hearts and minds you really can change people’s lives for the better.’
Joel Dommett kicked off proceedings on Tuesday, telling the audience: ‘My wife is actually nine months pregnant, she is due basically now.’
He joked that if his partner, Hannah Cooper, goes into labour, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are on stand by to take her to the hospital.
Gogglebox took home the first award of the night, The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award.
The reality TV series beat The Masked Singer and Ant and Dec, who were nominated for two of their shows, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Saturday Night Takeaway.