Ant and Dec’s presenting partnership has had a turbulent year, with Ant choosing to spend the last nine months on an extended break after pleading guilty to drink driving in April.
But that hasn’t stopped viewers voting in their droves to name the pair Best Entertainment Presenters at the National Television Awards for the 18th consecutive year.
The pair had been nominated alongside Bradley Walsh, Graham Norton, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, and many had wondered whether 2019 might be the year to end their winning streak.
But when their names were called, a visibly emotional Ant told the NTA audience via video link: “This is a genuine shock, especially this year. I’m shaking.
“I really don’t feel like I can accept this award this year. The one reason we won this award this year is because of this guy,” he added, indicating Dec. “His hard work, dedication, funniness – and being the best mate there is out there.”
Dec – who was appearing alongside Ant via link from the Britain’s Got Talent auditions – added: “I’ve got him back now and now we’re back together. This year, probably more than ever, thank you to all of you who picked up the phone and voted for us.”
Ant had previously discussed the possibility of winning the category, explaining his presenting partner Dec deserved the prize.
“He’s worked his socks off this year. It’s an accolade to how hard he’s worked in tough circumstances. How good a friend he’s been to me. How much of a professional he is.”
He added to The Sun, “If we do win – and I hope people still vote – then Dec deserves it.
“Dec will have to take most of it and I’ll take a tiny bit for my few shows last year.”
The duo’s win drew mixed reactions from viewers. Many were over the moon for them…
Especially after Dec won rave reviews for his solo presenting on Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent.
But there were those who questioned whether this should have been a year when fans voted to recognise some of their fellow nominees.
Especially Holly Willoughby, who won praise from critics after stepping in for Ant on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Still, whatever you think, Piers Morgan vowed not to appear on telly for a year if the pair won. So that’s something.