Five exciting clashes in the NTA 2016 shortlist

Titans of the telly are getting ready for the annual viewer-voted tussle, but who will come out on top? Emma Daly considers the toughest contests in the 2016 NTA line-up from Downton Abbey vs Doctor Who to EastEnders vs Corrie

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The National Television Awards are exciting not just for the nominees, but for us viewers too because we get to vote on the outcome. But there are some seriously tough match-ups among the categories this year, making it that much harder to choose.

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The 59-strong list is bursting at the seams with good television (see the full shortlist here), but among the crop there are some really tricky matches. Here’s a look at five of the hardest ones to call:

Serial drama: Coronation Street vs EastEnders

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The NTAs offer up an annual soap tussle, notably between ITV’s Coronation Street and BBC’s EastEnders (the latter the 2015 champ). This year they both presented viewers with hugely impressive live episodes, during which we learned Bobby bumped off Lucy and Kylie bludgeoned Callum on the Street. But insiders say we shouldn’t write off Emmerdale this year. Upsetting the apple cart? In soapland? Never…


Drama: Downton Abbey vs Doctor Who

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Downton Abbey was victorious against the Whovians last year and with a record-breaking final ever episode it may well add another gong to its collection this year. But, there’s an extra threat with Broadchurch’s second series in the mix, too. Let’s not even think about how the Dowager would react.


TV Presenter: Ant & Dec vs Mel and Sue

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Ant and Dec have a whopping fourteen NTA wins to their names, but there’s a new twist this year: hosts of factual shows take on those of the entertainment shows. It means fellow super duo Mel and Sue offer up weighty competition. You just know they’d have a fabulously innuendo-filled speech if they won. The ever-popular Graham Norton also threatens Ant and Dec’s clean sheet as does new nominee Rylan. But, can anyone really top the dynamic Geordie duo…? I think we’ll see a peachy fifteenth win.


Talent Show: Britain’s Got Talent vs Strictly Come Dancing

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The X Factor returns to defend its 2015 title, but I think we’ll see more of a showdown between BGT and Strictly Come Dancing this year. The Voice UK offers up stiff competition, entering its final series on the BBC as the highest-rating singing show of 2015. But after a knockout run, my money’s on the one with the Glitterball.


Everyone in Drama Performance

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Sheridan Smith (Black Work) is back to defend her 2015 title, but boy has she got some hefty competition. David Tennant is nominated after getting back on the case for Broadchurch series two. The hugely popular Aidan Turner is in the mix after bringing a brooding Poldark to Sunday nights and Suranne Jones enters the frame for her deliciously twisty turn in Doctor Foster. Shall we flip a few coins?

The NTA ceremony will air on ITV on Wednesday 20th January with Dermot O’Leary as host.

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Head to our full shortlist for information on how to vote.