It was another evening of glitz, glamour and Ant and Dec winning on Wednesday night as the National Television Awards returned. But along with the gongs for acting, presenting and TV, we’d like to award a few of our own…
Most dramatic entrance
And the award for most dramatic entrance goes to the cast of BBC medical drama Casualty, who screeched up to the red carpet, sirens screaming, in a pair of ambulances. Exciting stuff, although not everyone was impressed…
They needn’t have worried, the ambulances were pre-booked and no-one had dialled 999…
Gogglebox’s Siddiqui family collected the show’s award for best factual entertainment series and were all equally charming in their own ways. Umar thanked the audience, Baasit thanked the producers – and dad Sid went on a sweet but rambling monologue so long it threatened to make the show run late. Every time there was a slight lull in his delivery, Umar took Sid’s arm and tried to walk him off stage – and every time, Sid started up again. The producers standing behind him the whole time were good sports though, and didn’t seem to mind too much that they couldn’t get a word in edgeways.
Presenting Suranne Jones with the award for best drama performance for Doctor Foster, James Nesbitt had an agenda of his own. He cheekily levered in plug after plug for his new Sky1 show Lucky Man, and by the end even had Suranne doing it for him. Altogether now: “Watch James Nesbitt in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky1 at 9pm on Friday.”
When Doctor Foster won best new drama and the cast got up on stage to accept the award, at first it seemed as if the occasion had proved too much for star Bertie Carvel who was seen glancing around the auditorium like a man with a nervous tic. After the audience had sat through what seemed like minutes of this unexplained behaviour, co-star Suranne Jones (in a performance that never threatened to surpass the one that won her the best drama performance gong) asked what the problem was. Bertie announced that he was looking for snipers… The audience remained silent, the whole thing fell flat and at that point he may well have wished someone would shoot him.
Billy Connolly was a deserved winner of the Special Recognition award, drawing heartfelt tributes from a range of stars including last year’s honouree David Tennant and best comedy show winner Peter Kay, who even dedicated his award to Connelly and reluctantly handed over the statuette after being named and shamed by the Big Yin. What viewers may not have noticed, though, was the powerful environmentalist message written on one leg of Billy’s tartan trousers:
“We are parasites. The Earth’s parasites. We multiply rapidly and eat Mother Earth away. If Mother dies, parasites die with her. That is why we must save the Earth.”
Turns out he does serious just as well as funny.