BBC natural history series Blue Planet II has been given the NTAs' special Impact Award for its part in raising awareness of the deadly plastic pollution which is killing marine life and upsetting ecosystems in the world's oceans.
Narrator Sir David Attenborough, who won a Special Recognition prize at the 2006 National Television Awards, accepted the award at the ceremony held at the O2 Arena on Tuesday night.
Blue Planet II was full of undersea marvels but arguably the most striking scene was the sight of a pilot whale mother forlornly carrying her dead newborn calf, which is thought to have been poisoned by milk polluted with plastic.
It caused an outcry and had some viewers in tears when the episode aired in November.
The NTAs Impact Award is not given every year but only on special occasions – the last winner received it for something a little more frivolous: Aidan Turner in 2015, for his topless scything scenes in Poldark.