Dermot O’Leary, host of Wednesday’s National Television Awards, describes what he’s looking forward to most and his TV likes and dislikes…

Is it always nerve-wracking to host such a big event?
“I’m really looking forward to it, although yes it is nerve-wracking to play to that big crowd at the O2. The crowd themselves are terrific, though. All you have to say is ‘Are you all right?’ and they go wild. It’s quite a feelgood award show, and not as sedate as the BAFTAS. There’s a certain nervousness in the audience though, as people really want to win these awards. The votes don’t always go the way you expect so you get some great shock moments, like last year the Chilean miner announcing Waterloo Road as a winner. How good is that?”

What have been your TV highlights in the past year?
“I adored Downton Abbey and I’d be gutted if Miranda didn’t win. I probably shouldn’t say that, but I love it. Further afield I’m good mates with Karl Pilkington from Idiot Abroad, so I think it’d be hilarious if he won. I also loved The Hour, Shadow Line and The Walking Dead. I watch a fair bit of TV, and record a lot, like Frozen Planet, Spy and Rev.”

And you’re up for and award too, as Best Entertainment Presenter…
“I’m up for ‘The Ant and Dec award’. That’s its unofficial name. Keith Lemon could chuck in a curveball this year, though. I don’t prepare a speech, but you do always have something in your head. I don’t know how it would work if I won. Last year I was up for it and Jonathan did the intro, this year I have no idea. I just stand to the side, do my loser’s face and then carry on. Ant and Dec always pip me, they’ve won for something like the last decade.”

Are we going to see a dance routine from you?
“I’m not doing that, I have put that to bed with The X Factor. I can assure you that it’s not going to become my ‘thing’. I always assumed it was going to be a one-off and it just escalated. It’s amazing how many people have taken it seriously. Although I did used to rehearse the dance more than anything else by the end of the series. “

What do you really think of TOWIE?
“I don’t watch it. I have mates who work on it and… it doesn’t really feature in my life. I get it and how it works, but… I loved working on Big Brother, which was all things to all people, but TOWIE… this doesn’t tick my boxes. I think it’d be great if they won, as their BAFTA speech was extraordinary. I don’t wish them any ill-will, although hilariously I had them on the table next to me at the Pride of Britain Awards and it was like taking kids to Vietnam. They are quite shielded from reality in Essex and they were confronted with how brutal the world is and their faces were a picture.”

And finally, are you scared of those Loose Women?
“You want as much personality on stage, so any winners are good. Loose Women do always make me nervous/ but only because they are going to carp on about it every year. The more strange the better, you never want a live show to go smoothly. I’m not sure who the co-presenters will be this year. How can you top the Chilean miners?”

*To vote in this year’s competition go to

The National Television Awards screens on ITV1, Wednesday 25 January, at 7.30pm. We’ll also be bringing you video and stories from the red carpet on the night