Thursday, 21 January 2010


Peter Fincham (ITV's Director of Television) and Archie Norman, the new ITV chairman, must be happy men after last night's National Television Awards 2010.

The ceremony, hosted by Dermot O'Leary at London's O2 Arena, aired on ITV1, was entertaining, convivial, and popular. Indeed, popular Entertainment is on the side of ITV this year with their stars and programmes widely awarded as the result of votes by the public.

Comedians and presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly, better known as Ant & Dec, won Most Popular Entertainment Programme for Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV). And they also won Most Popular Entertainment Presenter for the ninth consecutive year!

50 year old Coronation Street ("Corrie") won Most Popular Serial drama and viewers were given a special preview of things to come in ITV's flagship soap. Simon Cowell's triumphant The X Factor won Most Popular Talent Show vs Britain's Got Talent, another Cowell Hit franchise for ITV (one of the four nominees in the category).

The excellent lunchtime talk show Loose Women (ITV), a Brit equivalent of The View, won Most Popular Factual Programme. Corrie actor Craig Gazey won a deserved Most Popular Newcomer. Lacey Turner, from rival BBC soap Eastenders, won in the Serial Drama Performance category vs the talented Gray O'Brien (Corrie) among the nominees.

Gavin & Stacey (BBC) won Most Popular Comedy Programme - which must be a relief after Big Top. But most important, the Beeb was celebrated through two of the United Kingdom's national treasures: Doctor Who and Stephen Fry.

The NTAs honoured the end of the David Tennant/Russell T. Davies era in the Most Popular Drama category for Who, and Outstanding Drama Performance for Tennant. Stephen Fry won in the Star Travel Documentary for Stephen Fry: In America. Your humble servant must confess that the great Billy Connolly, nominated for Journey To The Edge Of The World (ITV), was his favourite. Were also nominated Joanna Lumley (who also introduced the Comedy category) for BBC's In the Land Of The Northern Lights, and Piers Morgan for ITV's Piers Morgan On... Dubai (no flying red bus in this episode).

Stephen Fry also received a Special Recognition award.

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