The National Television Awards were back on 22 January and with so many popular programmes last year it seemed that the 2014 winners would be difficult to choose.
It comes as no surprise that power-house pair Ant and Dec won most of the awards; I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here! won Most Popular Entertainment Programme, and the Geordie two-some won the Most Popular Entertainment Presenter award and received the Landmark Award. With their win for Most Popular Entertainment Presenter marking their 13th win of the award, you’ve got to hand it to the pair; they sure do know how to keep bagging those awards. Meanwhile, the award of Most Popular Daytime Programme went to This Morning; with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield dedicating their award to ‘tequila’. Interesting.
The real tear-jerker moment of the night came from the winner of the Most Popular Documentary Series: Educating Yorkshire. It was little wonder that the Channel 4 program should win. As the nominations played on screen, the clip chosen for Educating Yorkshire was the moment where Mr Burton helped Musharaf Asghar overcome his stammer, and as the audience welled up for the second time, the winner was announced – and up came the group along with Head Mr Mitchell, to collect the award. The latter gave an impassioned speech about teaching and thanked the fans for their support; it was truly a highlight of the evening.
Perhaps the most unsurprising award winner (it’s probability was measured by how many screams were received during the clips section of this particular person) was Benedict Cumberbatch for his role as high-functioning sociopath Sherlock Holmes, in Sherlock. Cumberbatch scooped up the award for Radio Times TV Detective, fending off fierce competition from the brilliant Idris Elba (Luther) and both Olivia Colman and David Tennant from Broadchurch. Fans of Sherlock will no doubt be pleased that Cumberbatch was able to accept his award through video-link, and that everyone got a sneaky peek of him in his red swimming shorts when the camera panned down.
BBC programmes proved popular this year, with Doctor Who winning the award for Most Popular Drama and Matt Smith winning the award for Most Popular Drama Performance, which will be a fitting tribute to the star who departed the series last year, and is currently performing as Patrick Bateman in musical, American Psycho, and therefore could not accept his award in person. Fortunately, Jenna Coleman was on hand though, to accept both awards and provide some light-hearted comical relief.
But, as always with award shows, there are always some surprises, and with a programme entirely voted by viewers, there were bound to be some bizarre winners. For some reason, Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs managed to beat home-cooking favourite, The Great British Bake Off and An Idiot Abroad to win Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme. Even more disappointingly, Mrs Brown’s Boys managed to beat out serial favourite American import The Big Bang Theory and all-time funny woman Miranda, to win Most Popular Comedy – seriously?
Other winners included Strictly Come Dancing, who managed to battle off X Factor to win Most Popular Talent Show and Coronation Street, who won Most Popular Serial Drama; Julie Hesmondhalgh, aka Hayley Cropper, also won for Corrie with the Most Popular Serial Drama Performance award. Eastenders also managed to scoop one award, with Khali Best winning Most Popular Newcomer.