8 things we learned backstage at the National Television Awards

From David Tennant's posing to Julian Fellowes' adoration of Gogglebox, here are some secrets we picked up from the stars...

If you happened to be in Greenwich yesterday evening, you may have noticed a cloud of fake tan, hair spray, flashbulbs and selfie sticks as the celebrated stars of British – and American – television descended on London’s O2 Arena for the National Television Awards.


Sharp suits and flowing gowns were donned as they sashayed up and down the red carpet before taking their seats for the ceremony and – if they were lucky – celebrating their wins backstage. And RadioTimes.com was there for all of it, snapping them on their way in and chatting to our favourite stars behind the scenes.

Here are some secrets we learned…

1. Julian Fellowes loves Gogglebox

We grabbed a few minutes with best drama winner Julian Fellowes last night, but as he made his way out of the Radio Times area the Lord of Downton Abbey crossed paths with Gogglebox ladies Sandy and Sandra, who’d just picked up their own gong for best factual programme. And it turns out he’s a huge fan, congratulating the pair on their prize and adding, “I love your show!” Could a Downton/Gogglebox crossover be in the offing? Unlikely, but we can dream…

2. Sheridan fights back the tears

The moment you beat Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Maggie Smith to an acting prize should be a career highlight, but for Sheridan Smith it turned into a nightmare as she learned of her victory while stuck in traffic. Organisers let the Cilla star accept her award in person when she finally made it to the venue but it all got a bit much for poor Sheridan when she finally made it backstage to the winners’ press conference. Still, if anything could stem her tears it was the giant trophy she was clutching…

… and the appearance of Ant and Dec in the Radio Times booth backstage:

3. David Tennant really had no idea

How adorable was David Tennant’s shocked face as it was revealed he was the recipient of the evening’s lifetime achievement award? In a VT that featured the likes of Russell T Davies, Richard Wilson, his Broadchurch co-star Olivia Colman and, of course, his Doctor Who companions Billie Piper and Catherine Tate, we celebrated the long and varied career of Mr Tennant, much to the surprise of the man himself. Now, we know what you might be thinking… He’s an actor, he can fake all that, right? But as he stepped behind the scenes we stole a few moments with the man of the moment who was so overwhelmed he was struggling to formulate sentences. He really didn’t know.

4. But he’s a good poser!

He may have been clueless when it came to his award, but David Tennant was in the mood to strike a pose with fellow winner Keith Lemon. The pair were backstage int he Radio Times booth, throwing all sorts of shapes for the cameras after David gatecrashed our interview with the Celebrity Juice host. They even clinked their matching silver and gold trophies.

5. Keith Lemon can fit an NTA in his mouth

Yes, that happened. Posing backstage for our cameras, Mr Lemon got inventive when it came to finding his perfect solo shot. And with David no longer by his side and his National Television Award gong as his only prop, what did he do? He stuck it in his mouth (there are no words).

6. Maddy Hill finds a new tool to pick her nose with

Taking a leaf out of Keith’s book was Maddy Hill who discovered her best newcomer award was a handy tool to, well, look…

A girl after our own heart.

7. Samuel Anderson likes fancy dress

The Doctor Who actor was representing the BBC1 sci-fi series, but on the red carpet he appeared to be championing his opposition. Anderson – who played Danny Pink opposite Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman – turned up dressed as Sherlock, the super sleuth in direct competition with Doctor Who in the best drama category. An interesting choice…

8. Jimmy Bullard has bad balance


The former footballer may have finished top of the I’m a Celeb jungle pecking order, but he was bottom of the stage behind-the-scenes at the NTA winners’ press conference. Flanked by Michael Buerk, Melanie Sykes, Edwina Currie and his fellow campmates, Bullard stumbled and fell while the group were being photographed for their trophy, although he made a swift recovery, getting back on his feet and joining his fellow winners on stage.

Watch interviews with NTA winners David Tennant, Sheridan Smith, Brendan O’Carroll, Bake Off and Ant and Dec