Strictly Come Dancing reclaimed its crown as the leading talent show as it beat The X Factor at the National Television Awards.
— BBC Strictly (@bbcstrictly) January 20, 2016
The popular BBC show was named the winner in the talent show category, which every year sees Strictly battling it out against its ITV rival.
Tess Daly (Ian West)
Strictly presenter Tess Daly said the win felt “amazing”, and thanked fans saying it “means the world to us”.
Whohooooo thank YOU so much to everyone who voted for us!! BEST night ever! Xxxxxx https://t.co/37XB9Wx39m
— Tess Daly (@TessDaly) January 20, 2016
Another hotly contested category, serial drama, was won by EastEnders.
The cast of EastEnders (ITV)
TV presenting duo Ant and Dec took home the most popular TV presenter award for the 15th year in a row.
Declan Donnelly described their win as “amazing”, adding: “On the way in tonight people said to us does it get boring… of course it doesn’t, if anything our gratitude has only grown over the years because you never know when you’re going to get it again.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who voted for us and our shows. Massively grateful. Big love to u all. D x #NTAs
— antanddec (@antanddec) January 20, 2016
His TV co-host Anthony McPartlin said: “15 years in a row… it’s getting a bit mental now, but we thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts… let’s get drunk tonight.”
American actor Dustin Hoffman flew in from the US to present comedian Billy Connolly with his special recognition award.
Dustin paid a touching tribute to Billy, known affectionately as The Big Yin.
Dustin Hoffman and Billy Connolly at the National Television Awards 2016 (Ian West)
“I’m delighted to be here tonight to pay tribute to a man whose work I’ve always admired and whose company I always enjoy,” Dustin said.
He said the essence of Billy was ‘the unique capacity to reflect human behaviour and stand it on his head’.
An emotional Billy was nearly upstaged by comedian Peter Kay who walked up on stage and handed over his award after Billy referenced the fact that Peter had dedicated his earlier win to him, but did not give him the award.
Billy said: “There’s so many people, I have to thank my management, my agency, my parents and lovely daughters, who are here.
“To Dustin for putting me in his movie, thank you all from the bottom of my heart… I’d like to particularly thank British comedians, the standard of which is rising all the time… I love you all and thank you from the very much from the bottom of my heart.”
Billy had a message written on his trousers (Ian West)
The final series of Downton Abbey won one of the night’s big categories, best drama, beating shows such as Doctor Who, Casualty and ITV’s Broadchurch.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes called the show’s win a ‘happy ending’. He said: “I love happy endings and this is a very happy ending, thank you.”
The BBC’s flagship baking show, The Great British Bake Off, took home the best challenge award, beating the likes of Bear Grylls’ Mission Survive and The Apprentice.
Poldark star Aidan Turner said he was “slightly confused” as he accepted his impact award, which references the effect he has had on audiences in the BBC show playing Ross Poldark.
Poldark star Aidan Turner (Ian West)
He referenced the scenes of him scything topless in Poldark that caused a stir, saying: “I guess the scything scenes kind of speak for themselves, there’s little to say there, but the rest of the cast, it’s such a delight to be in this show, we have such talented people.”
Doctor Foster actress Suranne Jones was celebrating a double dose of good news at the award ceremony.
Suranne Jones and husband Laurence Akers at the National Television Awards (Ian West)
The 37-year-old debuted a baby bump as she took to the stage with her fellow co-stars to collect the new drama award. She was also later named as the winner of the best drama performance award.
Umar Siddiqui, Sid Siddiqui and Baasit Siddiqui with the award for best factual entertainment show (Matt Crossick)
Father Sid of the Siddiqui family was joined by sons Baasit and Umar to accept the show’s win for factual entertainment show for the second year in the row.
In his long speech, Sid added: “Thank you to all the Gogglebox families and each and every member of them because they bring a unique and quirky sense of humour to entertain everyone.
“We are humble folk and it is an honour to be here among the cream of the British television. You can tell I’m speechless.”