Thursday, 26 January 2012

NTA Awards: And the award goes to...

Soap stars, reality TV veterans and TV personalities descended onto the 02 Arena last night for one of televisions prestigious events; the National Television Awards. The NTA’s see some of Britain’s greatest small screen stars – and many others we would rather forget – gather together to celebrate the previous year’s best TV moments.
But who are the real winners at the NTA’s? It seems that, behind the cleavage, fake tan and ball gowns is an award show that simply does not add up. If the awards last night taught me anything, it is that either the British television in this country has gone downhill, or the people who vote for these programmes are morons.
But first, there were a few winners that deserved to win. As much as it pains me to say it, Coronation Street deserved to win Most Popular Serial Drama. Finally stealing the crown from Eastenders, it seemed bittersweet for the Manchester based soap opera, who poignantly dedicated the gong to the late Betty Driver. Although I am a firm fan of Eastenders, the last year has been disastrous for the soap. Losing iconic cast members – Lacey Turner, Barbara Windsor, Pam St.Clement  - and storylines which leave viewers confused and often angry. Wins for Outnumbered and Celebrity Juice were probably earned fair and square to. And although I have not watched it, judging by the popularity of the show, Downton Abbey also deserved its award for Most Popular Drama.
But besides this, it was a night of shock and surprise, and not in a good way. Because in nearly every other category, the award was given to the wrong person, and left me confused and bewildered at the winners. Now these might be my own opinion, and yes I am slightly biased towards the BBC, but I am sure you will agree with me on some of the awards.  
For one, it was dominated by ITV programmes. A coincidence perhaps? The show was hosted by an ITV presenter, screened on ITV and the awards were presented by many ITV stars. So naturally, the awards would go to them?
Well, it is voted by the British public. A few months ago, I was sent an email – again, glistening with familiar ITV faces – and voted for who I thought deserved an award. Yet none of the people I voted for won a single award.
But anyway, it is not about whom I wanted to win; it is more about who the audience wanted to win. But looking at the nomination list, and comparing it to the actual winners, it just does not seem to add up. Despite numerous controversies last year matched by falling viewing figures, The X Factor won the Best Reality Programme gong, despite Strictly Come Dancing dominating its ITV rival. Most Popular Factual Programming – if you can call it Factual – went to This Morning, another key ITV show. Awards also went to Katherine Kelly of Corrie and I’m A Celebrity, although the latter thankfully fought off TOWIE to win, so there is some hope for the future of British Television.
Or is there? Because more ITV figureheads picked up other key awards, with three awards being solely chosen by the NTA’s, and not the audience. The Landmark Achievement Award went to comic and new BGT judge David Walliams, presumably because he has just made the landmark achievement of becoming another fool to step into the jaws of Simon Cowell. Jonathan Ross won the Special Recognition Award – celebrating his 25 years on air, minus the three months for which he was suspended. And surprise surprise, a third award went to X Factor protégé Gary Barlow, who won the Outstanding Contribution Award. Yes, the musician who contributed superbly to the X Factor this year, which saw over 3 million viewers switch off.
And at the top of the ITV award cabinet, perched next to the ten other dusty figurines, stands the Most Popular Entertainment Presenter, which went to – yep you guessed it – Ant & Dec, for the eleventh consecutive year in a row. Despite the duo presenting three shows last year which all caused controversy in the media (Britain’s Got Talent, Red or Black, I’m a Celeb), they still manage to cling on to their precious gong; even admitting they find the whole thing hilarious. Change the record already Britain, why can't these two goons be moved to Room 101? Seemed desperate enough that host Dermot O’Leary was telling his Twitter followers to vote for the pair. The fact that the host of the show is also up for an award seems wrong anyway.

What it comes down to is an award show dogged by controversy, rigged by a broadcaster who longs for approval from the British public. Although some of the awards were rightly deserved, questions remain on the others. And with only 6 million viewers watching the event, nearly half of the audience in previous years, is anyone really taking the awards seriously? Apart from the immature teens and Jeremy Kyle mums who love to vote for this kind of rubbish.

Pictures Courtesy of Wikipedia


  1. I didn't watch it, but I saw who won and I thought it was stupid.
    I agree with everything you say in this - & I hate hate hate Ant & Dec!!

  2. It just seems like a media circus, a chance for ITV to promote their 'much loved but very crap' stars. I mean, Ant & Dec are on practically everything. They have been manipulated to the extent the joke is on them now.