Every year, the great and good of the UK television industry gather for one of the most lavish award ceremonies on the calendar. The 2013 National Television Awards (NTA) is eagerly anticipated by all the nominees, TV executives and even the casual viewer who looks forward to watching it all unfold from the comfort of their living room.
What helps to make the NTA stand out from rival awards such as the BAFTAs is that the viewers at home get to decide who wins by voting online or by phone. In previous years, the big winners have usually been the ones that have proved the most popular with the public, but could this year see an exception to the rule?
Among the main contenders for some of the accolades are cheeky Geordie presenter duo Ant and Dec, who are expected to win their 12th NTA award in a row. They’re up for the Best Entertainment Presenter award for the job they’ve done on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, and they’re the favourites with Ladbrokes at just 1/4 to add yet another trophy to their mantelpiece.
Despite their popularity with fans, there’s always a possibility that they could be toppled, especially with the likes of X-Factor host Dermot O’Leary in the frame. Dermot is at 6/1 to take the Best Entertainment Presenter prize, while Keith Lemon (alter ego of comedian Leigh Francis) and Alan Carr are at 8/1 and 9/1 respectively.
According to many bookmakers, it seems that Ant and Dec are unlikely to come away from the NTAs empty-handed. “Ant and Dec are untouchable, and unfortunately for their rivals they just don’t stand a chance in this category. It also appears that the X Factor revolt is set to continue as Strictly looks set to waltz it”, said Jessica Bridge from Ladbrokes.
If you wonder why Ant and Dec are so popular, here’s why – they make everything they present including I’m A Celebrity… more fun, and don’t take themselves too seriously. Also, they manage to get something out of contestants when they leave the dreaded jungle too, which is great.
One of the other categories keeping viewers intrigued is the Best Drama award. There are so many popular dramas on our screens today, with Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Doctor Who all in the running for the big gong. Merlin is the other drama that was nominated, but is unlikely to win given the star quality that the other three possess.
The Best Talent Show category is also packed with quality. Strictly Come Dancing is the favourite, marginally ahead of Britain’s Got Talent, with the X-Factor and Dancing On Ice also in the running. Surprisingly, The Voice is also nominated for the award, but is rank outsider at 8/1 to win.
Best Serial Drama, or soap to you and me, is also likely to be close, although it’s expected that Eastenders will win. Coronation Street is likely to come second, with Emmerdale and Hollyoaks a long way behind.