The votes are in, the viewers have spoken and Britain’s best-loved programmes and performers are revealed in the shortlist for the 22nd National Television Awards.
Now, the final round of voting opens today and the nation must decide which shortlisted stars and shows will win a coveted trophy at the spectacular celebrations broadcast live on ITV on the 25th January 2017 from The O2 London and hosted by Dermot O’Leary.
This year sees a brand new category, Period Drama. Recognising the huge appeal of historical sagas, the award sees ITV newcomer Victoria and the BBC’s Poldark renew their Sunday night rivalry – alongside returning favourite Call The Midwife, stylish gangster epic Peaky Blinders and Netflix newcomer Stranger Things, which notches the first ever NTAs nomination for a drama on a streaming service.
Can reigning champions Ant & Dec make it an incredible 16-year winning streak and retain their TV Presenter title? Stiff competition comes from Mel & Sue for their swansong series of Bake-Off and Gary Lineker, who hosted the first Match Of The Day of the season in his underwear after promising to do so if Leicester City won the league. James Corden and Rylan Clark-Neal are also aiming to dethrone the Geordie duo.
TV Judge hails the crucial role of our iconic talent show judges and looks like one of the most closely fought awards. Strictly’s head judge Len Goodman and Bake-Off’s much-loved Mary Berry are both shortlisted for their farewell series, while BGT’s David Walliams and X Factor diva Nicole Scherzinger are pitted against their boss, talent show king Simon Cowell.
So often, the Live Magazine Show contenders become the TV talking points of the day, with the agenda set on BBC Breakfast, exclusive interviews on This Morning and Sunday Brunch, lively debate with the Loose Women and A-list guests on The One Show sofa.
Competition between programmes in the Talent Show category is a fierce three-way fight between those ratings-grabbing entertainment juggernauts Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Will conjuring, crooning or choreography help get the nod? Do the public prefer magician Richard Jones, Honey G or Ed Balls?
The Challenge Show award acknowledges the addictive nature and talking point appeal of reality elimination series. Will it be a contest from sunnier climes like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! or Love Island? Or did Britons prefer the homespun charms of MasterChef, The Apprentice or The Great British Bake-Off, in its last year on BBC One?
Serial Drama is as hotly contested as ever. EastEnders has romped to victory for the past two years but can the ITV oldie Coronation Street or the ever explosive Emmerdale or Channel 4’s Hollyoaks steal the BBC serial drama’s title?
The whole spectrum is covered in the Drama Category: Casualty celebrated its 30th birthday in spectacular style, Cold Feet returned as though it had never been away, The Night Manager brought a glossy sheen to Sunday nights, Happy Valley’s second series proved every bit as gripping as its first, while Game of Thrones solidified its position as a worldwide phenomenon. Let battle commence.
It’s an intriguing battle of the sexes in Drama Performance, with two men –The Night Manager‘s dashing leading man Tom Hiddleston and Peaky Blinders‘ ice-cool gangland boss Cillian Murphy – taking on two women in Happy Valley‘s heroic Sarah Lancashire and Jenna Coleman for her portrayal of the spirited young queen in Victoria.
The shows up for Entertainment Programme really are the best in the biz: from the family fun of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway to the irreverent antics of Celebrity Juice, from the Hollywood stars gracing The Graham Norton Show to the razor-sharp dissection of the week’s news on The Last Leg.
The contenders for Serial Drama Performance have all been through the emotional wringer this year. Lacey Turner delivered a devastating portrayal of Stacey Slater’s postpartum psychosis in EastEnders, while Coronation Street‘s Jack P Shepherd went from grieving widower to vengeful vigilante as David Platt. Two Emmerdale stars complete the shortlist: Danny Miller, who moved us to tears with Aaron’s abuse story, and Natalie J Robb excelled as grieving mum Moria Dingle.
Making an immediate splash in serial drama is no easy feat but four success stories are jostling to be named Newcomer. Duncan James moved from pop stardom to acting with aplomb to play cop-under-suspicion Ryan Knight in Hollyoaks. Faye Brookes was a feisty arrival on the Coronation Street cobbles, Lloyd Everitt wasted no time when it came to saving lives as Casualty’s new paramedic Jez Andrews and Tilly Keeper has turned heads as troublesome teen Louise Mitchell in EastEnders.
It’s Britain vs. America for the Comedy crown, with home-grown hits Benidorm and Mrs Brown’s Boys taking on two cult big hitters from the US: brainiac favourite The Big Bang Theory and Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black.
Public service came to the fore in Factual Entertainment as DIY SOS: the Big Build changed lives at Great Ormond Street Hospital, while the Tattoo Fixers helped people transform extreme inking disasters. Making a Murderer gripped on-demand fans by meticulously documenting a twisty true case of homicide, we lapped up a new series of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, plus Gogglebox continued to be the must-see start to our weekends.
Daytime would definitely be a duller place without these four nominees: our two big teatime quiz hits The Chase and Pointless, hard-hitting talk show The Jeremy Kyle Show and dinner party host-off Come Dine With Me.
The National Television Awards is the UK’s leading TV awards event, celebrating the UK’s favourite TV. The NTAs are the awards that listen to the viewing public. And it’s time for them to make their voices heard – by voting!