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Small screen stars turn out for National Television Awards

Sir Chris Hoy, David Weir and Lord Coe [icked up the landmark award for London 2012. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire Sir Chris Hoy, David Weir and Lord Coe [icked up the landmark award for London 2012. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Thursday, January 24, 2013
6:26 AM

The stars of the small screen were at the O2 last night for the annual National Television Awards.

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Tess Daly accepts the award for Best Talent Show for Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireTess Daly accepts the award for Best Talent Show for Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos, Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy were among the guests and nominees at the event..

EastEnders stars Jacqueline Jossa and Shona McGarty and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex also posed for photographers as they arrived on the red carpet.

A landmark award for coverage of London 2012 was presented to Lord Coe, Sir Chris Hoy and David Weir.

Coronation Street picked up the award for best serial drama in its long running battle with EastEnders, and its cast remembered Bill Tarmey.

EastEnders star David Witts with his Best Newcomer Award. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireEastEnders star David Witts with his Best Newcomer Award. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Alan Halsall, who played Tarmey’s on-screen foster son Tyrone Dobbs, won the award for serial drama performance.

Accepting his award, Halsall paid tribute to Tarmey, who died last year after playing Jack Duckworth in the soap for decades, saying: “I love you pal.”

Speaking backstage, he paid further tribute to Tarmey, saying the actor would be looking down on him tonight.

He said: “I’m sure he is. He’ll be having a pint of Guinness for me. His wife asked me to wear his watch tonight so I’ve got it on. This is for him, he guided me literally from the start of my career at Coronation Street, he was such a huge, huge influence on my life like a second dad on screen.

Sir Chris Hoy with the Landmark Award. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireSir Chris Hoy with the Landmark Award. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

“He’d be laughing at this right now, he used to say, ‘none of that bloody acting’.”

The show’s producer Phil Collinson also paid tribute to Tarmey, saying: “This year we lost a stalwart of Coronation Street who was just so much a part of everybody’s life for a long time, Bill Tarmey, and so I think we’d love to dedicate this to Bill.”

The first award, for entertainment programme went to I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The second went to Sir David Attenborough’s BBC natural history show Frozen Planet which won best documentary series.

Kimberley Walsh arriving for the awards earlier. Picture: Ian West/PA WireKimberley Walsh arriving for the awards earlier. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

QI was named the best comedy panel show, beating competition including Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week.

The first big surprise of the night saw Merlin star Colin Morgan win the award for the best male drama performance, beating much-fancied rivals in Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Dr Who’s Matt Smith.

Downton Abbey was named best drama, beating shows including Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs Hughes in the show, paid tribute to writer Julian Fellowes, saying: “His imagination has captured the imagination of a lot of you all around the world.”

BGT stars Pudsey the dog and owner Ashleigh Butler. Picture: Ian West/PA WireBGT stars Pudsey the dog and owner Ashleigh Butler. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Strictly Come Dancing was named best talent show, beating ITV rival The X Factor and This Morning was named best daytime programme, with hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby accepting the award and the award for best female drama performance went to Call The Midwife star Miranda Hart.

The award for best entertainment presenter went to Ant and Dec for the 12th year running, but the Geordie duo were filming Britain’s Got Talent so accepted the gong via a live link.

Accepting the award from Simon Cowell, Ant said: “This is just ridiculous, 12 in a row.”

The award for factual entertainment went to Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs.

Pussycat Doll and I'm a Celebrity contestant Ashley Roberts was also among the guests. Picture: Ian West/PA WirePussycat Doll and I'm a Celebrity contestant Ashley Roberts was also among the guests. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

EastEnders actor David Witts, who plays Joey Branning in the BBC soap, won the newcomer award, while the audience also saw a performance by X Factor finalist Ella Henderson who sang a cover version of Cher’s Believe, before the award for situation comedy went to Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The show’s writer and star Brendan O’Carroll thanked fans of the show, which stars many of his real-life family including his wife, his sister and his daughter, and joked: “The only person that’s not in the show is my mother and that’s because she is dead.”

A special recognition award went to Joanna Lumley, with tributes being paid to the actress by her Absolutely Fabulous co-star Jennifer Saunders, Prime Minister David Cameron and film director Martin Scorsese - who cast her in this year’s Wolf Of Wall Street.

A film of tributes was played that included clips from her career in shows including Coronation Street, The New Avengers and Absolutely Fabulous, as well as a scene from the Scorsese film where she kissed Leonardo DiCaprio.

X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger arriving for the ceremony. Picture: Ian West/PA WireX-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger arriving for the ceremony. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Accepting her award, she wiped back tears and said: “I love you so much.

“This is so strange to see my life played out in front of me, I’m so touched by those things all those people said, I’m so thrilled you saw me kissing Leo.”

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