Dermot O’Leary: ‘I might be singing at the National Television Awards!’

As Dermot O’Leary gets ready to host the 2017 National Television Awards on January 25 live from London's O2, What’s On TV caught up with him for an exclusive chat about all things telly and how he might be opening the show with a song!

What have been your TV highlights this year?
It’s been another amazing year. I loved The Fall, the new series of The Walking Dead and The Missing – that whole Stockholm Syndrome subtext was brilliant. Then obviously Poldark and The Crown, which my wife’s just got me in to. Stranger Things is also brilliant, but the weird thing with Netflix is that it’s hard to tear yourself away – you have to really try to ration yourself!”

BBC1’s Poldark goes up against ITV’s Victoria in Best Period Drama award, so what’s your money on?
I enjoyed both, so I couldn’t choose between them. Normally, in years gone by you’d have a fair idea who should win, but this year I’m not so sure. But my mum is off the scale with Aidan Turner, so she’s Poldark all the way!”

You’ve said in the past that you don’t watch soaps, but do you have a favourite for the Serial Drama award?
I don’t normally get the time to watch them, but I love Corrie and EastEnders when I do – I get straight back into them! But it’s nice to cheer for an underdog and Emmerdale has had a fantastic year. I just hope the people who watch it vote!”

What about Best Drama?
“My mum doesn’t miss an episode of Casualty! But I thought Tom Hiddleston was sensational in The Night Manager and Hugh Laurie was terrific in it, too. He’s a revelation because he played such a sinister, dark character. He could be a Special Recognition award.”

Gogglebox is up for a Factual Entertainment gong again after winning last year. Do you watch it?
“Yes, it’s genius! I love how you can watch any show through Gogglebox. Leon and June are great and I love Scarlett Moffatt’s parents, too. There was a brilliant moment when they were arguing about Honey G on The X Factor and they took it so seriously!”

Tell us about the brand new Best TV Judge Award this year…
I’m really excited about it! It’s sure to go down to the wire – it’s got to be Mary Berry or Len Goodman!”

There’s a rumour you may be opening the awards ceremony with a song, so are you?
“There will be a performance at the start of the night – and I may well be a part of it!”

The National Television Awards is live on ITV, on Wednesday January 25 at 7.30pm…to vote for your favourites go to

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