The National Television Awards (NTAs) have concluded, with the likes of Line of Duty, I’m a Celeb, It’s a Sin and many more TV shows bagging big wins while actors like David Tennant were honoured for their performances in 2020.
If you missed the ceremony or just fancy reliving it blow-by-blow, you can check out everything as it happened below (bottom to top), or check out our full list of winners to skip the pleasantries and get to the cold hard facts.
National Television Awards full recap
And with that, I think that’s the 2021 NTAs officially closed! Unless there’s an afterparty this year, but we don’t get to go to that.
A pretty solid year all told, with plenty of great winners (It’s a Sin! Line of Duty! Tennant! Chasers! Bake Off), some solid jokes from new host Joel Dommett AND a bit where a dog disobediently did tricks onstage. All the classics, basically.
Thanks for joining us on this live blog, and thanks again to Grace and Lauren in the press room and Minnie behind-the-scenes of behind-the-scenes. We’ll be back next year when hopefully Covid-related speeches will be nothing but a distant memory.
Just realised somehow, I did my own NTAs-style speech to close out this blog. Sorry, got caught up in the general mood. And I didn’t even get a shiny blob statue to show for it. Tchah!
Here’s the full story of David Tennant’s inevitable Line of Duty villainy.
“I’d quite like to be a baddie in a Line of Duty season. That’s a big gig, isn’t it?” he said, adding: “I’m available.”
Hey, it worked for James Nesbitt…
And finally, Team Corrie are backstage! Look at all those NTAs. It’s almost brazen. Flaunting their chrome curves.
Star Sally Carman teases some storylines coming up that could rival the tram crash storyline back in 2010 for the show’s 50th anniversary. Pretty big promise! We’ll have to see how that plays out…
Dame Joan Collins herself is in the winners’ room – apparently, she wants to be in Line of Duty too! We can but dream…
In case you were wondering, the biggest NTA winner of the night was Coronation Street – read our full story about their triple crown here.
Here’s team Strictly in the winners’ area.
Nicola Roberts says she hopes the same-sex dance partnerships will continue in the series – and so far the signs are good, with Bake Off’s John Waite set to follow in her footsteps in the upcoming series.
The ceremony might be over, but backstage the catch-ups continue. And would you just look at this handsome couple!
Michael Sheen and David Tennant are talking about his win, and latter’s apparent desire for a role in Line of Duty. Keep your eyes on RadioTimes.com for the full story!
After a quick speech from the Coronation Street team Joel Dommett has to wrap things up, clearly they were overrunning a bit ahead of the ITV news at 10.
We’re here for the final award with none other than Joan Collins!
Nominations for Best Serial Drama (aka Soap) are: Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.
Backstage, the Gogglebox team have paid tribute to the cast members they’ve lost during the pandemic, some of them very recently.
Julie Malone said that the deaths of fellow cast members Andy Michael, Mary Cook, Pete McGarry and June Bernicoff over the last 18 months were “such a loss”.
“It was emotional. It’s a family, the show. It feels like such a loss to us. They’re irreplaceable,” she said.
Read the full story here.
Winner is Strictly Come Dancing! New It Takes Two host and ex-pro Janette Manrara, now rested after her performance earlier, thanks all the team for making a series in tough times.
OK, now Martin Kemp with Best Talent Show. Nominations are: Britain’s Got Talent, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Strictly Come Dancing and The Masked Singer.
Backstage, Lauren and Grace have been catching up with all the winners, including the Gogglebox and This Morning teams! Happily, Holly and Phil have tomorrow off work…
Now we’re here for the final break, then the final two awards! Almost there…
Michael Sheen riffs a little and pretends he’s accepting the award on David Tennant’s behalf. But he’s there! “I know how hard it was to hand that over,” Tennant says.
DT says to his fellow nominees: “I’m very sad you’re not up here receiving this award…though obviously not that sad, because I’m delighted.”
He thanks ITV and everyone who helped them tell the story in a way that doesn’t glorify a serial killer.
And the winner is…David Tennant!
The NTAs love DT. And who can blame them?
Now we’re rattling on to Best Drama Performance, presented by Michael Sheen. “Hello Wales!” he says. Hello Martin!
Nominees for this one are: Adrian Dunbar (Ted Hastings, Line of Duty), David Tennant (Dennis Nilsen, Des), Martin Compston (Steve Arnott, Line of Duty), Olly Alexander (Ritchie Tozer, It’s A Sin) and Vicky McClure (Kate Fleming, Line of Duty).
The winners are Ant and Dec! As Fred might say, quelle surprise.
Ant says “The first time we won an NTA Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Newcastle United qualified for the Champions’ League.” In other words, it’s been a while.
But this year is special – because it’s the 20th year in a row! There are nominees tonight younger than these two’s NTA collection.
OK, back after the ads and here for the Ant & Dec award I MEAN the Best TV Presenter Award That Literally Anyone Could Win, Not Just The Guys Who’ve Won The Last 19 Years.
Anyway, First Dates’ Fred Sirieux is there to present with his Olympian daughter, and he basically just spend his speech gassing her up. Sweet.
Nominations for this category are: Alison Hammond, Ant and Dec (aka the underdogs), Bradley Walsh, Holly Willoughby and Piers Morgan (who got a few boos in the room, presumably from the GMB team).
Philip Schofield thanks the BTS ITV team, and his “best friend” Holly Willoughby, and pays tribute to everyone for keeping them on air every day, even during the lockdowns.
Back to the main awards, and Best Daytime Show hosted by Vernon Kay. No time for clips now! They must be overrunning, Vernon certainly seems to be speeding through his spiel.
The nominees are Loose Women, The Chase, The Repair Shop and This Morning…and This Morning take it!
Martin Compston is forced to the mic. Hopefully he has more screentime than he did in Vigil.
He thanks the fans for making them the “biggest show on TV” after they started out as a tiny show on BBC2.
Now Adrian Dunbar, having some of his classical technical difficulties in his live satellite link. He says he’s absolutely “over the moon” for the award, and thanks his co-stars, Jed Mercurio and the “great British public.”
“And as Martin says, who knows? We might be back.”
I liked the bit where Steve Arnott said “Line of Duty” in the montage. Anyway, good for these guys. Here’s the full story on Line of Duty’s double win at the NTAs.
Now a Special Recognition award for Line of Duty, their second of the night (but not a big surprise). My main takeaway from this montage is that Martin Compston looks better with the beard.
Look at Jude Riordan with his little award backstage!
Honestly, this kid is too much.
An emotional Kate Garraway is in tears at the podium, and has to take a moment to collect herself.
“It was a hugely brave decision of ITV to commission this,” she says, adding that the finished film was somewhere between “grief and relief.”
“Our story is your story,” she says. “We’ve all been touched by the pandemic.”
She concludes by paying tribute to all her fellow nominees, and the people in their documentaries. Very classy.
And the winner is…Kate Garraway: Finding Derek. I found that so emotional to watch, so easy to see how it struck such a chord with audiences.
On to the next award – this is relentless! Though probably only if you’re trying to write about it all in a live blog.
Davina McCall is here to present Best Authored Documentary (aka documentary with a celebrity name in the title). Nominees are:
Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, Katie Price: Harvey and Me, Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children, Rob Burrow: My Year With MND and Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency.
Now, Best Newcomer (in a soap, specifically) presented by some Love Islanders.
Nominees are Emile John (Ethan Anderson, Emmerdale), Jude Riordan (Sam Blakeman, Coronation Street), Olivia D’Lima (Paramedic Fenisha Khatri, Casualty), Rhiannon Clements (Summer Ranger, Hollyoaks), Rose Ayling-Ellis (Frankie Lewis, EastEnders).
And it goes to 10-year-old Jude Riordan! He’s so small Joel Dommett has to lift him to the mic, but very self-assured.
“At least it wasn’t as long as the Beat the Chasers [speech]” Dommett pants afterwards.
And the winner is…Gogglebox! No surprise there, someone in the audience even called it out.
Brother-sister duo Pete and Sophie take the mic – Sophie has to stop because “the drink” has made her mind go blank.
Now Julie pops up, says she’d like to nominate it “to all the people we’ve lost” including Pete, Andy, Mary and “everyone’s favourite grandma June” now “reunited with Leon.”
Then Tom Malone grabs the mic to shout something about loving the armed forces. Quite a rollercoaster of a speech really.
That was random. Anyway, Call the Midwife’s Stephen McGann is now presenting the Factual prize. Nominees are: Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death, Gogglebox, Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip and Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs.
Alert! ALERT! There is a dog called Barley on stage at the NTAs, and now he’s doing cute tricks!
“They say never work with dogs, or Bradley Walsh.”
Winner is…Beat The Chasers!
Producer notes that Stephen Mulhern lost in that category twice, which is pretty funny. Sadly Bradley Walsh is off filming “somewhere sunny” so can’t be there, but some of the Chasers are there to accept it.
“This means so much to us…through the worst of times we have seen the best of us.” Very sweet.
Already on to the next one, Best Quiz Game Show, presented by Mastermind’s Clive Myrie.
Nominees are: Beat the Chasers, Celebrity Catchphrase, In For A Penny and Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel.
And the winner is…It’s a Sin! Amazing, very well deserved.
Russell T Davies looks happy.
Star Olly Alexander says it was the “hugest privilege of his life” to be in this.
RTD dedicates the award to “those we lost, those who lived, those who learnt” in the pandemic.
Now we’re back, ready for Best New Drama, presented by Bear Grylls. Nominations are: Bridgerton, Des, It’s A Sin and Normal People. Very strong category, this – four of my favourites from last year.
But they were all massively popular, mainstream shows so that’s probably not very interesting.
Newsflash from the press room – Martin Compston has been chatting all about the potential of Line of Duty series seven.
“The reaction to the last episode, especially, because it means people are so invested in what we’re doing. And I’ve been doing this for 10 years and the audience keeps getting bigger, people want this to come back and you know, Mr Mercurio, he does everything for a reason, so who knows?” he teased.
Backstage, Grace and Lauren have been catching up with the I’m a Celeb team (who just love standing on random slopes) – and apparently, this year the series will be longer than 2020, with a “full” seven-day offering instead of “just” six episodes a week.
“The one thing we will be doing differently this year is we will be having a full series,” Dec explained. “Last year, we went on air with the first show on the Sunday and our socials blew up and people were like, ‘I’m a Celebrity is back! That’s amazing. You’ve saved 2020.’ And then we got to the end of the first week and because of COVID protocols we took a break and did a highlight show – a story of the week – and you should have seen our socials: ‘You’ve ruined 2020!’ ‘Why would you give us a highlight show on Saturday night?’. So [we] went from heroes to zeroes.”
“So we’re not doing that again. There’ll be a show every night,” Ant added.
Love Island: Unseen Bits? Consider this a warning.
Read more about this story here.
“I’ll keep it short – it’s already interminable,” Ricky Gervais says. Still another hour and a half to go.
“I do [this] for the money…you’re the second reason, he tells the crowd.”
And the winner is…After Life!
Now we’re onto another award – Best Comedy, presented by Katherine Ryan and Tom Allen. Nominees are: After Life, Friday Night Dinner, Sex Education and The Vicar of Dibley…in lockdown.
A little sad to see Paul Ritter in the FND clip.
The cast of Line of Duty, stuck watching JLS perform their new single/greatest hits:
(Ha, sorry, that might be a bit mean).
We’re back from the ads, to be greeted by Joel Dommett with some fun initialisms (not acronyms. If you know, you know).
“OMG IRL in front of AC-12…it’s JLS!”
Personally I’d rather have the OCG, but whatever.
(They have also been talking to the I’m a Celeb/Bake Off crew, but I don’t have a snazzy picture for them, sorry. Rest assured, the goss is en route.)
We’re back in adverts. Meanwhile, backstage the cast of Line of Duty have been chatting to press including our very own Grace and Lauren.
Could there be talk of the ever-rumoured series seven? Well, keep an eye on RadioTimes.com to find out…
The winner is… Mollie Gallagher, aka Nina Lucas in Corrie. Good for her!
“I just want to dedicate this award to anyone who feels like they don’t fit the mold, or they don’t belong. You’re amazing as you are.”
Charlie Brooks is up now to present the nominations for Serial Drama Performance, which are: Billy Price (Sid Sumner, Hollyoaks), Danny Dyer (Mick Carter, EastEnders), Mollie Gallagher (Nina Lucas, Coronation Street) and Sally Carman (Abi Franklin, Coronation Street).
After a thanks from the bakers (and some technical issues) they throw to Noel, Prue, Paul and Matt in the Bake Off tent (presumably, they’re filming). Prue complains about hanging out with “these schoolboys” – but she’s sticking with them when the new series returns on 21st September.
Considering how it turned out, odd to make the big Love Island clip the scene where Jake and Liberty joyfully reunite post-Casa Amor.
Anyway, the winner is… Bake Off! Think the cameraman got confused and stuck on the wrong people there for a moment.
Nominees are: Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, Love Island, The Great British Bake Off, The Great British Sewing Bee.
Back from the adverts!
Nice for Line of Duty to win – as noted they’ve never actually won an NTA, and more generally despite its mass popularity, LoD never has much luck with actual awards.
Now, nominations for Challenge Show, presented by Pixie Lott and Danny Jones.
And the winner is…Line of Duty! Popular result in the room. And hey, shifty Buckells is there. Hope he doesn’t make off with the award.
“Line of Duty was probably our most ambitious series, and it was filmed in the middle of a pandemic” – producer pays tribute to the cast and crew, especially Tommy Jessop, who played Terry Boyle and is clearly loving the limelight.
Jed Mercurio, Adrian Dunbar and Vicky McClure couldn’t make the ceremony for LoD’s first ever NTA, but hey – I’m sure Martin Compston will let them have a look when he takes it home.
Nominees are: Call the Midwife, Line of Duty, The Crown and Unforgotten.
After a lovely Olympics montage, Adrian Dunbar’s Ted Hastings does his quote about Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey to move things along. It wasn’t that bed, Ted!
Anyway, continuing the Tokyo “2020” vibe, best returning drama award is presented now by Jason Kenny and Dame Sarah Storey.
Des, The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton The Masked Singer, It’s a Sin, Strictly…my goodness, we watched a lot of good stuff over the last 18 months or so didn’t we?
Now we’re onto the inspirational bit as the vaccines get approved AND the Friends reunion airing, the two big moments we all remember.
You know what, considering how communal watching the news, daily briefings and so on truly was, I think including them within a best TV moments montage is quite smart.
I’m Welsh, so the English football stuff remains unremarked in this live blog. Sorry!
Now, we’re onto the National Television Moments montage, where they look at the last year of big TV moments. I’m a Celeb, Normal People, Line of Duty, Emily in Paris (lol), Tiger King, The Graham Norton Show, er, The News (and clapping for your carers)…oh hey, now we’re on to the Oprah interview and Britain’s Got Talent.
This is not in order of calendar release. But at least Grogu is here.
We’re back after the first break.
You know, in 2019 I was actually at the NTAs wearing a three-piece suit, sipping champagne and enjoying canapés in a private box I was invited to, before heading to the afterparty until the small hours.
This year, I am on my sofa at home eating lukewarm fish fingers in my shorts. Oh well. Something something pandemic something.
Anyway, now Trevor McDonald is here explaining how television “united us” during COVID-19, so maybe I’m experiencing it the “proper” way this time. That’s what I’ll tell myself.
The winner is I’m a Celebrity! Cue Jungle/Castle drums.
“We can’t wait to go back and do it again this year,” Ant says of filming in Wales. Cymru am Byth!
Queen of the Jungle Giovanna thanks the viewers for showing their support during “such a strange time.”
I mean, they could have picked a better Taskmaster clip. It wasn’t even a proper task!
First award already, presented by Maya Jama – the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award – nominees are Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Taskmaster and The Graham Norton Show.
But Who. Will. Win?
Big cheer for David Tennant as Joel lists off the celebs in attendance. Anyone else thinking of the time he won that special recognition award in 2015?
Oh hey, his Strictly partner Janette is with him, how nice. Anyway, now on to the main show!
At least we know why Joel was on that scooter on the red carpet. Now, he’s joined by some Masked Singer types.
“We are here in a real room filled with real people. How good does it feel?”
Watching such a normal awards ceremony is so strange now…
Looks like the message is getting garbled as it’s passed on from celebrity to celebrity. The likes of Ant and Dec, Oti Mabuse, Simon Cowell, Mo Gilligan and so on.
“Why am I always involved in shoes where I don’t know who the singer is?” Waa-waaa.
Somehow the sketch just ended and now Strictly Come Dancing’s HRVY is sngng, so I guess it was all sorted.
In classic style, looks like we’re opening with a wacky little sketch starring new host Joel Dommett. He needs to find a nominee to do a big opening number, so is zipping around on his scooter calling up the slebs.
Fingers crossed he gets Adrian Dunbar to do a soft-shoe shuffle.
Only a couple of minutes now…
Thank you Grace, and hello readers!
My name’s Huw Fullerton, and for the next couple of hours I’ll be your guide through the NTAs live awards show as it happens. Expect big shocks, awkward speeches and emotional moments – as well as Ant & Dec almost certainly winning their category for the millionth year in a row. At this stage, it’s practically tradition.
Joel Dommett as host of the National Television Awards (ITV)6:58pm:
As the night heads towards the live ceremony that’s it from me, but I’ll be handing over to Huw to follow the winners as they’re announced. Thanks! – Grace
Ant and Dec have arrived! The TV legends are nominated for two awards tonight – including Best TV Presenter, which they’ve won 19 times in a row. So, will tonight be the 20th time for the duo?
Love Island’s Laura Whitmore is walking down the NTA red carpet while the photographers pull her for a snap. The ITV2 show is up for the Challenge Show award tonight.
The stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK series two have arrived, with finalist Lawrence Chaney, Bimini Bon Boulash and Tayce sashaying their way down the red carpet. The BBC Three show is nominated for the Talent Show award at this year’s NTAs but have they lip-synced their way to a win?
Strictly’s Janette Manrara is here ahead of her It Takes Two presenting debut. While her Strictly ballroom days may be behind her, she’s representing the BBC One show, which is up for the Talent Show award.
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard has just arrived, one of the first of the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here 2020 contestants to hit the red carpet. Will this year’s cast take away the Bruce Forsyth Award for Entertainment? We’ll have to wait and see.
Love Island runners up Toby and Chloe are here, and don’t they look stunning! They just missed out on the winning the ITV2 dating show, as Millie and Liam were announced as the 2021 winners, but will they be picking up an award tonight for the show?
The host has arrived… on a scooter! This is his first year hosting the award show, so maybe he didn’t get the memo about the dress code!
We wonder who’ll be the first to arrive tonight. We’re expecting some of the Love Island cast, as well as the show’s host Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling, with the ITV2 dating show nominated for the Best Challenge show. TV legends Ant and Dec will also be in attendance, with the pair up for best TV presenters and the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for Saturday Night Takeaway. We do know that Bradley Walsh, Alison Hammond and Piers Morgan won’t be able to make it to the event, however.
Hi everyone, I’m Grace Henry, Entertainment and Factual Editor, and I’m here at the NTAs with writer Lauren Morris. We’ll be bringing you all the latest from the red carpet as the stars arrive. Tweet us @RadioTimes if you have any burning questions about the night, otherwise stay tuned for more!
Welcome to the National Television Awards
Hello and welcome to our NTAs live blog! Over the course of the night RadioTimes.com’s TV experts will be reporting to you from inside the ceremony and keeping an eye on the live ceremony, which is set to crown the biggest stars and best TV series of the last year.
This year, hosting duties have passed to newcomer Joel Dommett, who’ll be master of ceremonies for an evening that will see the likes of Line of Duty, It’s a Sin, Des, Normal People and Unforgotten facing off for major awards alongside entertainment shows like I’m a Celebrity, Taskmaster, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and The Graham Norton Show.
And with not one, not two but three Line of Duty stars (Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar) in the running for Best Drama Performance, it’s AC-12’s award to lose – but could Olly Alexander or David Tennant cause a major upset?
Check out the full list of NTAs 2021 nominations to see who else could be in the running for glory, and stick with our blog to see who actually takes home the main prizes.
Though before all that, it’s time to head over to the red carpet to see which celebs are in attendance for this gloriously in-person (goodbye Zoom!) ceremony.
For more of the best of TV, check out our dedicated TV Guide.