David Walliams has been named best TV Judge at the National Television Awards, triumphing over Paul Hollywood, Simon Cowell and will.i.am.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge collected the award from former Spice Girl Geri Horner and comedian Rob Beckett, who are soon to co-host their own talent show, All Together Now on BBC1.
The category is a relatively new one at the NTAs and doesn’t get awarded every year, but this year’s shortlist was highly competitive. Walliams has previously won in 2015, while ex-Bake Off judge Mary Berry triumphed in 2017.
Cowell and Walliams took their rivalry all the way to the NTAs, as the two Britain’s Got Talent judges were up for the same award.
In fact in his acceptance speech Walliams said “I don’t look upon this as a victory for me, I look upon it as a humiliation for Simon Cowell.”
Cowell was also nominated for his work on The X Factor in the ITV-dominated category, which also includes will.i.am – whose talent show The Voice UK now airs on the same channel.
The nomination is a vindication for The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, who stuck with the show when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4. Fellow judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins all quit the entertainment show when news broke, leaving Hollywood as the only remaining member of the original line-up.
Producers paired him with Prue Leith and brought in Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig as hosts, a recipe that seems to have worked: the Bake Off’s eighth series impressed the critics and brought in impressive ratings for Channel 4.
The National Television Awards – the only TV ceremony decided by the voting public – were hosted by Dermot O’Leary and took place at London’s O2 arena.