Matt Smith and Karen Gillan both picked up awards for their roles in Doctor Who at last night’s National Television Awards – but ITV1’s period drama behemoth, Downton Abbey, beat the BBC show to the best drama gong.
Smith and Gillan collected the male and female best drama performance awards at the ceremony, held at London’s O2 Arena and voted for by viewers.
Gillan, who will leave the show at some point during next year’s series, said later: “I don’t regret [the decision to leave] but there is a huge part of me that is so sad to be going.
“I can say honestly I’ve had the best years of my life on this show and I’m not sure if I’ll ever have this much fun again…”
Smith, meanwhile, confused fans with apparent mixed messages about his future on the show, saying: “I’m here for the future…I have no plans to leave” before later adding: “I’ve got another year left…I’ve got a year of Who and I’ll take it from there.”
Other winners on the night included Alan Carr – who beat Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton to the best talk show gong for his Channel 4 series Chatty Man – and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, named best reality TV show ahead of The Only Way Is Essex, The Apprentice and Come Dine with Me.
Despite talk of failing ratings, and increased competition from BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, ITV1’s The X Factor triumphed in the talent show category for the third year running.
Other surprise wins included Celebrity Juice, which snatched best panel game show ahead of a BBC triumvirate of QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You, while long-running daytime show This Morning, fronted by Phillip Schofield and Celebrity Juice star Holly Willoughby, was named best factual show.
Less surprising was yet another win for I’m a Celebrity… hosts Ant and Dec in the entertainment presenter category – their 11th in a row. Earlier in the evening the pair had joined Sir Bruce Forsyth on stage for a performance of Let There Be Love.
After losing out to EastEnders for two years running, Coronation Street was named best serial drama, likely helped by a storyline that ended with the departure of popular long-running character Becky McDonald, played by Katherine Kelly. She was unable to collect her own award for best serial drama performance in person due to new West End commitments.
EastEnders’ consolation prize was a win for Jacqueline Jossa – who plays Lauren Branning – in the newcomer of the year category.
Part-improvised family comedy Outnumbered beat last year’s winner, Benidorm, and Miranda to the situation comedy crown.
See a full list of the winners at the 2012 National Television Awards