What was Dermot O’Leary thinking when he punched Richard Osman in the gut before making a feeble attempt at a Jaws joke? You’d never see Ant & Dec doing that, Dermot. Next time, I hope Pointless co-host Osman knocks O’Leary out cold. Now that would be funny.
Apart from Scorsese’s Bronx cheer for Lummers, Paul O’Grady and his dogs beating out the heaving
breasts yeast of the Bake Off gang was the biggest TVClaw OMG! moment of the night.
So, who else won big, and who left with a brave smile, a bottle of vodka and a desire to kick some kittens?
Serial Drama Performance: Alan Halsall, Coronation Street, Tyrone Dobbs
Much as I would have loved Adam Woodyatt to finally win some recognition for his work as Ian Beale, Halsall was a worthy winner. He paid touching tribute to his late co-star Bill Tarmey by wearing his watch to the ceremony, and told reporters backstage afterwards that, “I’m sure he’ll be having a fag on me.” So, no reunion for The Banned just yet, dammit.
Newcomer: David Witts, EastEnders, Joey Branning
An upset, as tabloid favourite Witts beat out frontrunner Natalie Gumede for the win. The reluctant pin-up was even heckled by lustful girlies in the audience when he thanked his girlfriend. Backstage he said, “I’m still in a bit of a daze. … I didn’t expect to win. I really didn’t.”
Talent Show: Strictly Come Dancing
An overjoyed Tess Daly accepted the award while the rest of the cast performed a modified Kids from Fame “I’m such a dancy, exciteable person, yay!” jump-around.
Entertainment Programme: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The jungle juggernaut continues to dominate, proving that for the viewing public there’s (almost) nothing better than watching people humiliate themselves on telly.
Comedy Panel Show: QI
Okay, so HIGNFY was bested by its own smartypants progeny. Never underestimate the esteem in which Stephen Fry is held by the British public.
Entertainment Presenter: Ant & Dec
Next time you’re watching Doctor Who or Sherlock, just remember that we have Steven Moffat to blame for Ant & Dec. Without Byker Grove they might never have been in a position to take over British light entertainment.
Situation Comedy: Mrs Brown’s Boys
There were gasps and kettles dropped aplenty when realisation dawned that Mrs B. is, in fact, a waiter in real life. Accepting the award, Brendan O’Carroll made a funny and touching speech in which he thanked family, friends and viewers. “All of you at home,” he said, “you’ve no idea, but you’ve changed all of our lives, thank you so much.”
Documentary Series: Frozen Planet
In the absence of 56 Up, the most worthy winner. Sir David Attenborough was off filming in China so national treasure Joanna Lumley accepted the award on his behalf.
Factual Entertainment: Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs
Behold, the combined power of Radio 2 listeners and drag queens as they propelled O’Grady to victory. This is the one I really didn’t see coming: The Great British Bake Off seemed like such a dead cert.
Drama: Downton Abbey
A consolation prize for Downton, which was totally ignored in the acting categories.
Drama Performance Male: Colin Morgan, Merlin
I said it might happen, and as Morgan won’t win any of the critics awards (hello, Benedict Cumberbatch, your time will come) it was fun to see him take home the NTA for his work on Merlin. Even more fun was seeing the frenzy of “Why’s Merlin talking in an Irish accent?” Tweets.
Drama Performance Female: Miranda Hart, Call the Midwife
As expected, Hart took home the gong. Well, not literally as she’s in Australia right now, but you get the picture. It was probably just as well — Dermot O’Leary may not have been able to handle having to stand next to any more tall people on-stage last night.
Daytime: Come Dine With Me
Okay, This Morning won really, but I’ve chosen to ignore that fact and pretend that CDWM did instead. Sometimes it’s essential to maintain a healthy inner fantasy life.
Serial Drama: Coronation Street
The preternaturally youthful Donny and Marie got a warm reception from the crowd as they did their best to cheerfully introduce a bunch of nominees they’d obviously never heard of. (Ant & Dec: don’t sneer — this could be you in 2o years’ time.) The cast and crew paid tribute to Corrie stalwart Bill Tarmey, a.k.a. Jack Duckworth, when they accepted the award. Producer Phil Collinson said he “was just so much a part of everybody’s life for a long time … and so I think we’d love to dedicate this to Bill.”
So, there you have it. Some upsets, some touching moments and some suspense when many of us wondered if Darcey Bussell would shove Dermot O’Leary off the stage for having almost dislocated her shoulder.
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