The National Television Awards are back – and so is host Joel Dommett, who successfully took charge of the ceremony in 2021 and 2022.
He says: “I’m so happy to have been asked back. There’s already been some terrific TV this year, so I can’t wait to see which shows the viewers pick as their winners.”
A lot of other people will also be intrigued to see who triumphs tonight. At a time when there’s more choice than ever when it comes to what to watch and how to watch it, the NTAs, which are voted for by the public, offer an intriguing insight into what shows and stars have really captured the audience’s hearts.
One thing the awards have confirmed time and time again is that British viewers love Ant and Dec – the duo have been named Best Presenter 21 years on the trot. They’ve a chance to make it 22 this year, as they go up against Alison Hammond, Bradley Walsh, Claudia Winkleman and money-saving expert Martin Lewis.
Another category that is likely to attract attention is Daytime. Last year, it was won by This Morning, which is nominated again but, following a scandal-hit year, can it see off the likes of The Chase, Loose Women and The Repair Shop to retain its crown?
Not all the focus is on previous winners though. There’s also the New Drama category, where Death in Paradise spin-off Beyond Paradise is battling it out with acclaimed police drama Blue Lights and the Netflix shows Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story and Wednesday.
The Traitors was undoubtedly one of the most talked about shows of the last 12 months, so it’s no surprise to see it in the new Reality Competition category, where it is going up against Love Island, Race Across the World and SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Another new award this year is TV Interview, where the in-depth Louis Theroux Interviews… and the controversial Piers Morgan Uncensored are in competition with the more light-hearted The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show and The Graham Norton Show.
There is also a clutch of fresh faces nominated for Rising Star – there’s Benjamin Chivers from Prime Video’s eerie The Devil’s Hour, Coronation Street’s Channique Sterling-Brown and Emmerdale’s Lewis Cope, as well as EastEnder Bobby Brazier, whose profile is about to get further boost from Strictly Come Dancing.
But perhaps one of the most intriguing battles this year is in the Drama Performance category, where Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire and James Norton will be going head-to-head again. Fans will know who came out on top last time they clashed on screen, but this time they’ve also got Vera’s Brenda Blethyn, Call the Midwife’s Judy Parfitt and Queen Charlotte herself, India Amarteifio, in the mix.
Meanwhile, the most emotional categories may be Authored Documentary and Factual, where the much-missed Deborah James and Paul O’Grady have been nominated for posthumous awards for Bowelbabe in Her Own Words and For the Love of Dogs respectively.
So, with drama, tears and tension, as well as laughs courtesy of Dommett, the NTAs promise to be as gripping as any of the programmes up for a gong.