Belfast Telegraph

Top TV award for I'm A Celebrity

Enduring ratings hit I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! showed it is still one of the most popular shows on British TV as it was named top entertainment programme at the National Television Awards tonight.

Presenters Ant and Dec beat their own Saturday Night Takeaway to take the title for their jungle show at the ceremony staged at London's O2 Arena, a prize they also won last year.

Declan Donnelly collected the trophy flanked by many of the stars who had featured on the 2014 series including Edwina Currie and declared: "This is amazing.

"Don't they scrub up well? They still stink, but they look lovely," he said of the contestants. "We have a ridiculously good time out in Australia making the show."

The event draws many of the biggest names in TV each year for the awards which are chosen through a public vote.

Donnelly's co-host, Ant McPartlin, said: "We love working on this show. We're thrilled to bits."

Sheridan Smith landed the prize for top drama performance for her portrayal of Cilla Black in ITV series Cilla, beating figures such as Dame Maggie Smith, Sarah Lancashire and Benedict Cumberbatch.

But, due to traffic problems, the actress was unable to make it to the venue and was instead stuck in a car with her mother.

O'Leary joked: "I say it every year - hire a boat."

A new category introduced for the first time this year, for the top skills challenge show, went to The Great British Bake Off - beating the likes of MasterChef and The Apprentice.

Accepting the prize, presenter Paul Hollywood said working on the show was like "a great big family".

Ant and Dec were on stage for a second prize of the night when they collected the best entertainment presenter trophy - an award they have now won for a 14th consecutive year.

The duo looked surprise by the win, with McPartlin telling the audience: "I honestly didn't think we would win. I thought it had to come to an end and I thought it would be tonight. Thank God it wasn't.

"I honestly love what we do."

Smith eventually arrived at the venue and took to the stage more than half an hour after her prize was awarded, and claimed she had been stuck for three hours, telling guests: "I'm so sorry.

"I've got nothing prepared - I thought I stood no chance. Thank you everyone who voted. I'm going to go before I cry or swear."

EastEnders actress Maddy Hill - who plays Nancy Carter - took the best newcomer prize, beating Lee Mead, Cameron Moore and Michael Parr.

This Morning landed the best daytime show prize yet again, with presenter Ruth Langsford saying: "To win this for four consecutive years is unbelievable. Thank you so much."

Her husband and co-host Eamonn Holmes said: "This belongs to so many people - I wish I could just saw it up and give them a piece."

And addressing fellow ITV presenter Jeremy Kyle, whose daily programme was also on the shortlist, he said: "If I could I would saw a bit off and give it to you - you know where I would put that. Jezza, the public have voted."

Lenny Henry collected the landmark award on behalf of Comic Relief, the charity he co-founded with writer Richard Curtis 30 years ago and which has gone on to raise around £950 million for people in need in the UK and around the world.

But he said they needed the help of a younger generation of comics to keep the momentum going.

"I look like Idris Elba's granddad, for God's sake," he joked.

And he revealed that one of the fundraising stunts for this year's efforts will be a 24-hour dance marathon by NTA ceremony host O'Leary.

"We all know how much you love dancing," Henry told him.

BBC1 ratings hit Mrs Brown's Boys collected the comedy prize, beating shows such as Outnumbered and The Big Bang Theory.

Creator and star Brendan O' Carroll said: "Once again we've emptied half the seats in the arena. I'd like to thank Ant and Dec for not doing comedy or sitcom.

"It's not easy but we've got a great lot of people behind us, including Tommy the security man in Glasgow (where it is filmed), and without him, we couldn't make the show."

Danny Dyer took the prize for best soap actor for his portrayal of EastEnders' landlord Mick Carter, a role he has now had for a year, beating his screen wife who is played by Kellie Bright.

Picking up his trophy, the no-nonsense and often foul-mouthed actor declared : "Oi Oi O2. Don't swear, don't swear, don't swear.

"It's bittersweet really because I think Kel deserved this to be fair. she's been brilliant. So Kel, I'll have it Monday to Wednesday, you have it Thursday and Friday and I'll have it at the weekend.

Thanking the team from the Walford soap, he said: "They took me in, they embraced me and I love you for it. It's a tough gig, but I'm loving every second of it."

Dyer also thanked his three children, and explained: "Without them, I would be a tenth of the man I am today - and that doesn't say much I wanna tell you that."

Earlier the ceremony featured what was billed as a clue to the identity of the killer of EastEnders' character Lucy Beale with O'Leary opening a case which contained the sound of a music box playing the song Oh What A Beautiful Morning, which was said to be the last thing she heard.

David Walliams was awarded the prize for best TV talent show judge, beating his Britain's Got Talent colleague Simon Cowell.

But the winner was unable to attend so Cowell picked up the prize on his behalf, reading out a message from him, which said: "I don't deserve this award. I have the pleasure of sitting next to one of the most good-looking powerful men in the music business - I would like to give this award to Simon Cowell."

Cowell added: "So to everyone who didn't vote for me, thank you very much."

Celebrity Juice took the prize for best multichannel show, with host Keith Lemon picking up the prize from guest award presenter Kris Jenner.

Comic Alan Carr took the public vote for best chat show host, beating the likes of Graham Norton, Paul O'Grady and Jonathan Ross to the prize.

Ross mimed mock sobbing for the cameras as Carr, who hosts Channel 4's Chatty Man show, headed to the stage.

"I can't believe it. The competition ... Graham, I love you, Jonathan, I love you. This is so special. Thank you so much, you lot."

Although she made it from the stage without shedding a tear, Sheridan Smith was overcome with emotion as a result of her win by the time she made it backstage.

And as she was interviewed, she said: "I've got to stop crying at every ceremony."

She also said she was gutted to have been late after getting stuck in traffic, having finished work on BBC show Inside Number Nine early to attend the ceremony.

"I was crying at the back of the car. I've been filming since four so I could finish early. I got stuck in traffic. There was an oil slick or something. I got a phone call from my producer.

"My mum is livid because she really wanted to be on camera if I won. This means so much because it was voted for by the public and that's why we do it, isn't it? This means the world. I didn't think anyone would vote."

Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant was awarded the special recognition prize after being a familiar face on TV for a decade.

He picked up the award after the show featured a performance by Pixie Lott and The Proclaimers of 500 Miles, one of the actor's favourite songs and a track he once performed with his Doctor Who colleagues.

Astonished Tennant joked: "I'm so glad I didn't get stuck in traffic. This is an out-of-body experience. So much of tonight now makes sense, all those people lying to me.

"I grew up loving the telly so the fact that I get to make part of my living from it, I have to pinch myself about it. And to get prizes for it does not compute.

"TV drama is going through a golden time and just to be part of a tiny cog in that is something I'm terribly proud of.

"But I'm just a hired hand and everything I've every achieved is because talented and clever people have been talented and clever enough to give me jobs. Anyone who's ever given me a shot and anyone who's ever let me into their living room through the telly, it's a real honour and privilege to get to do that."

Channel 4 phenomenon Gogglebox took the best factual title with regular couch surfers Sandy Channer and Sandra Martin collecting the award.

Martin spluttered: "Where's the sofa? Thank you very much everyone for voting for us. It's a liberty, man, a proper liberty."

Channer said: "I just want to say thank you to the fans. This is for you guys - if you wasn't watching, we wouldn't be up here."

Period series Downton Abbey triumphed over Sherlock, Cilla and Doctor Who, and series creator Julian Fellowes admitted it was a shock to beat such a field.

He said: "To receive this award after the fifth series is the greatest compliment we could imagine. Although we're a bit surprised because of the quality of the other shows, nevertheless we are all grateful."

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