Today, the eagerly awaited contenders for the National Television Awards have been revealed and voting has officially opened across the UK.
The power is now in the hands of viewers, as the public vote for the TV stars and shows they love. On the 25th January 2017, stars will gather at The O2 London for a glittering extravaganza hosted by Dermot O’Leary. O’Leary himself is nominated for a hat-trick of awards, including TV Presenter.
This year sees the introduction of a brand new category, Period Drama which celebrates the huge international appeal and high production values of our home-grown historical drama. ITV’s Victoria and BBC1’s Poldark renew their Sunday night ratings rivalry by competing for the prize. From bodice-rippers to whodunits, new arrivals The Durrells, War & Peace and And Then There Were None also appear, alongside returning favourites Call The Midwife and Endeavour.
Poldark’s Aidan Turner and Victoria’s Jenna Coleman also go up against each other as television’s hottest stars are both contenders in Drama Performance – will Aidan fend off the challenge or will Jenna be crowned victorious?
In Drama, the main hopefuls boast blockbuster ratings, crowd-pleasing plots and compelling characters. Will the long-awaited Cold Feet comeback edge out stylish spy thriller The Night Manager? Crime sagas Happy Valley and Marcella could also take the prize. Or will global hit Game of Thrones slay the competition?
There’s one television phenomenon that’ll soon be looking very different: The Great British Bake Off. Will Mary, Mel and Sue’s valedictory series rise to the top in The Challenge Show category? This award acknowledges the addictive nature, talking point appeal and sheer entertainment value of reality elimination series. Also included are contests from sunnier climes I’m A Celebrity ..Get Me Out Of Here! and Love Island. Or do Britons prefer the home charms of The Great British Sewing Bee or The Apprentice?
TV Judge category hails the crucial role and cult appeal of our iconic talent show judges. Will it be BGT’s clown prince David Walliams or talent show king Simon Cowell? Bake Off stars Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry, or will Len Goodman – set to waltz off Strictly for the final time after a 12-year tenure – win in this category? Or maybe comeback kids Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne have the X Factor that voters are looking for?
Comedy sees edgy breakout hit Fleabag taking on both a rebooted Porridge and Sir David Jason’s Still Open All Hours. The coveted Talent Show prize is a clash between those schedule-dominating, ratings-grabbing entertainment juggernauts Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Will conjuring, crooning or choreography get the nation’s vote?
In TV Presenter…Mel & Sue go up against Ant & Dec, and a host of television’s best-loved star name contenders. A great summer of sport also sees Gary Lineker nominated for his Presenter duties during Euro 2016 (and for bravely fronting Match of the Day in his pants!), while Clare Balding’s gold-medal-worthy hosting of the Olympics gets a well-deserved nod. And let’s not forget Adam Hills, whose nightly editions of The Last Leg brought wit and great gags to C4’s Paralympics coverage.
In Serial Drama, EastEnders has romped to victory for the past two years. Can Coronation Street or ever-thrilling Emmerdale take back the prize? Or will Hollyoaks or one of the Aussie soaps, Home and Away or Neighbours,steal their thunder.
And the 2017 NTAs also finds on-demand services rewarded for the stand-out content that’s changing the way we view television. Binge-watch favourites Stranger Things, Making a Murderer and Transparent are all in contention for the top awards. Is this the year they steal the trophies away from prime-time main terrestrial TV?
The National Television Award shortlist will be announced in January when the final round of voting begins. Hundreds of stars and thousands of fans will join host Dermot O’Leary for the biggest night in British TV at The O2 London on the 25th January, when the results will be revealed LIVE at the National Television Awards broadcast on ITV.
Viewers can vote free online at nationaltvawards.com OR by simply calling up a voting form on 0844 646 2060. Calls cost 5p plus your network access charge. Voting closes at 11pm on Sunday 23rd October 2016.