Earlier this evening the UK’s National Television Awards kicked off with a very Doctor Who start in which Matt Smith dons his Alter Ego to help the NTA Host Dermot O’Leary get to the awards ceremony.
Of course with the Doctor nothing is straightforward as we bump into numerous well known UK TV Celebs along the way with the likes of Ant & Dec and Bruce Forsyth.
The latter of which is 100s of years in the future, to which Dermot says, “Are you still alive!?”
The NTA’s of course are the awards voted for by the British Public for excellence in television, and is held every year at the O2 Arena in London. These awards are given out mostly to what we call terrestrial television, which would translate in the USA to what you guys call Network Television.
However, a new category has been added to this years awards for Digital programming. The show kicked off with a performance from X-Factor 2009 finalist Stacy Solomon, which was quickly followed up with a duet between Solomon and former Happy Monday’s frontman Shaun Ryder.
The first award was for Best Comedy and was presented by comedian and comedy writer Ruth Jones, who for those that don’t know already is half of the team that wrote the popular "Gavin and Stacy."
The nominations were: The Michael Mcintyre Comedy Roadshow (BBC), Harry Hills TV Burps (Which was getting old for me years ago)(ITV), Benidorm (ITV), Outnumbered (BBC). The winner was Benidorm, which was a much deserved win for this show in my opinion, because it brings a bit of that old classic cheeky "Carry On" films brand of humour to it.
The show centres on a group of holiday makers in Spain, and is perhaps one of the funniest shows on British Television at the moment.
Next up was the award for ‘Most Popular Program,’ and given that Big Brother was in the nominations only shows that popular doesn’t always mean good.
This award was given out by Holly Willoughby and Alesha Dixon and the nominations were: QI (BBC), I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV), Big Brother (Channel 4) and Mock The Week (BBC).
The award went to I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! which I shall be renaming to I’m A Viewer Get Me Out Of Here!
Accepting the award was the irrepressible Stacy Solomon and 2010 winner of the show Solomon was helped by Shaun Ryder.
Personally I don’t think it deserved to win. Would rather have had QI or Mock The Week win. At least those shows were intelligently entertaining as opposed to just rehab for the waning careers of Z - List celebs.
Next up was ‘Most Popular Newcomer’ and the award was presented by the ever smooth Matt Di Angelo from the hit BBC drama Hustle.
The nominations were: Paula Lane ‘Coronation Street’ (ITV), Olga Fedori ‘Holby City’ (BBC), Ricky Norwood “Eastenders’ (BBC) and Marc Silkock ‘Emerdale’ (ITV) The win went to Ricky Norwood, which means nothing to me because "EastEnders" doesn’t exist in my universe.
Though judging by his acceptance speech. He could have used some help from Kate Winslet on how it’s done. I’d have really liked to have seen Olga Fedori win this for her role in Holby. She’s hilarious in that show.
Next up was the award for ‘Best Television Drama,’ The award was presented by the leader of the extraordinary Chilean miners, who delivered the nominations in Spanish. The nominations were: Doctor Who (BBC), Shameless (Channel 4), Waterloo Road (BBC) and Sherlock (BBC).
The win went "Waterloo Road," which was a nice break from "Doctor Who" winning the award, but I really think "Sherlock" deserved the win. Noticeably absent from the nominations were shows such as "Luther" and "Whitechapel."
Next up was a new award called ‘The Digital Choice Award’ for best satellite or cable show. This award was given out by Rufus Sewell. The nominations were: Peter Andre: The Next Chapter, Glee and The Inbetweeners.
Picking up the win was "The Inbetweeners", which kicked "Glee" to the curb. This only goes to show that the UK Television public knows what they’re doing or perhaps like the rest of us they’re finally over "Glee."
Up next was the award for ‘Best Serial Drama Performance’ these were given out by the irritatingly campy Louis Spence, who proceeded to dance around the the proceedings before getting to the nominations.
The nominations were: Katherine Kelly ‘Coronation Street’ (ITV), Steve McFadden ‘Eastenders’ (BBC), Lacy Turner ‘Eastenders’ (BBC) and Danny Miller ‘Emerdale’ (ITV).
The win went to Lacy Turner for her role in "EastEnders." Turner took to the stage and thanked the viewers for their ongoing support during the six years that she was a part of the show.
Turner can now been seen every Sunday in the new series of "Being Human" in which she plays the role of Lia. The next award was for ‘Best Entertainment Presenter,’ which was a strange one due to the fact that host Dermot O’Leary was one of the nominees.
Called to the stage to give out this award was Jonathan Ross, who did his usual routine of cracking a few gags to great affect before getting on with the proceedings.
The nominations were: Dermot O’Leary for X-Factor (ITV), Paul O’Grady (ITV), Ant & Dec for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV) and Davina McCall for Big Brother (Channel 4) The win went to Ant & Dec for their cheeky humour on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! The two have taken the win for the tenth year in a row. Picking up the award for them was Simon Cowell.
Another new award was given out and this one was for ‘Most Popular Topical Magazine Program’ and called in to give this award out was International Cricketer and Vice England Captain Alistair Cooke. The nominations were: BBC Breakfast, This Morning (ITV) and Loose Women (ITV)
The Award went to This Morning and the shows hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Scholfield picked up the much deserved award for the show. I have to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief that "Loose Women" didn’t win. They’d never have stopped yapping about in on their show, which makes a point of discussing nothing for a whole hour. Yes not so much topical as idiotical.
Next up was the award for ‘Most Popular Factual Program,’ but before that award was given out. The audience was treated to a performance from 2010 X-Factor winner Matt Cardle, who sang his hit single ‘When We Collide.’ Brought on to present the award for ‘Most Popular Factual Program’ was former Member Of Parliament Anne Widdecombe.
The nominations were: Top Gear (BBC), Celebrity Master Chef (BBC), Junior Apprentice (BBC) and Who Do You Think You Are (BBC) The win went to Top Gear, which was a much deserved win for not only being factual but for also having a playful and often edgy sense of humour, which is rare for a BBC show.
Coming on to accept the award was Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson. Who gave us some witty banter. Clarkson thanked the audience by pointing out that the show hasn’t really been all that factual in recent year, but has been more about three middle-aged men falling over.
James May added his thank you to the three young women who helped them tuck their microphones down their pants. At which point Clarkson said he was fired, and will never get a job on country file.
This playful banter was all aimed squarely at the expense of Richard Keys and Andy Grey, who got caught out last weekend for making misogynistic remarks at the expense of a female referee, who was officiating a soccer match that they were doing the commentary on. Which is a story that’s been all over the newspapers here.
Next up was the Award for ‘Best Talent Show’ which was presented by a randomly selected member of the audience as chosen by last year's audience member to present the award and Dermot O’Leary. Selected to present the award were two sisters from the audience called Abbey and Lauren.
The nominees were: X-Factor (ITV), Britons Got Talent (ITV), Dancing On Ice (ITV) and Strictly Come Dancing (BBC). The win went to The X-Factor, which if I’m totally honest was the predictable choice given that it rules the ratings roost every winter and is never really off the top spot.
Accepting the award was Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell and last year's winner Matt Cardle, who all thanked the massive team behind the scenes who make the series possible.
Cowell made a special gesture of presenting the award to a lady who has been working on the show since it started, who’d won a difficult battle against cancer while still working on the show. The next award was for ‘Best Drama Performance,’ which was presented by Jim Carter aka Mr. Carson from the hit drama ‘Downton Abbey,’ which was too late to qualify for selection.
The nominees were: Matt Smith for Doctor Who (BBC), Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock (BBC), David Jason for A Touch Of Frost (ITV) and Philip Glenister for Ashes To Ashes (BBC).
The win went to David Jason for the long running police drama ‘A Touch of Frost’ which aired its final series last year. I’d obviously liked to have seen anyone of the other three nominees win the award but at the same time I feel it is great that David Jason continues to get recognition for his work. I never watched "A Touch Of Frost" myself, but enjoyed David Jason in his comedy roles such as Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses, which had the NTA’s been around back then would have won for best comedy.
Next up was the for ‘The Special Recognition Award’ which was awarded by Stephen Fry, who won the award last year. The winner was Bruce Forsyth for a career, which has spanned 68 years. This was a much deserved if not long overdue award given that Bruce has been very much a part of peak time television in the UK since the 1950s and has hosted popular game shows such as "Play Your Cards Right," "The Generation Game" and currently hosts "Strictly Come Dancing."
Bruce was obviously very touched by the award, but still found time to joke and say, ‘I think it is now time to announce my retirement, but am not bloody going to.’
The final award to be given out was for best ‘Serial Drama’ in other words, the best Soap Opera. The award was voted on during the evenings show via a phone poll by the viewing public and giving out the award was Stacy Solomon.
The nominees were: Coronation Street (ITV), EastEnders (BBC), Emmerdale (ITV) and Hollyoaks (Channel 5) The winner was "EastEnders," which was a little disappointing given the epic "Coronation" Storyline that closed out 2010 when a tram crashed into the street.
Coming up to accept the award was the whole cast, which looked a bit like a Drag Queen convention given how much make - up some of the women were wearing. During the acceptance speech one actor said he had to give credit to some great writing with a peppering of humour in it. Where’s the humour? I mean, I have not laughed since 1985.
"Coronation Street" is far more humorous even when its not trying.
In closing, much of the awards given out tonight were predictable with the exception of Best Drama, which "Doctor Who" has won several times recently and Best actor. Though he’s a good host, I’d rather someone other than Dermot O’Leary have hosted this. Jonathan Ross or Ricky Gervais who at the very least would have raked some of these people over the coals and brought them down to earth a bit.
For me the whole show seemed to drag a little, unlike the recent Golden Globes.