National Television Awards 2014: Coronation Street, Doctor Who and Ant and Dec win big
Julie Hesmondhalgh took Serial Drama Performance for her Corrie role
Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh led the celebrations at last night's National Television Awards, after winning Best Serial Drama Performance for her performance as terminally ill Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street.
The actress picked up the award after her character Hayley took an overdose in Monday night's episode to end her fight with terminal pancreatic cancer.
The controversial storyline reignited the right-to-die debate, with Hesmondhalgh's emotional performance earning her the award over her co-star David Neilson, who plays her on-screen husband Roy.
Neilson accompanied her on stage to collect her trophy, as Hesmondhalgh told the audience: "We said that if either of us were lucky enough to get this we'd come up together because there ain't no Hayley without Roy and there ain’t no Roy without Hayley."
Neilson added that soaps have a powerful ability to "create a feeling of community".
He said: "Occasionally you get a huge reaction from a story and you realise how important these shows are because when people laugh together, cry together, you get community."
Coronation Street also won the Serial Drama award, beating competition from its closest rival EastEnders, whose stars arrived on a red double-decker bus.
Hesmondhalgh said backstage: “I’ve dedicated my award to my dad who died last year, to my husband, who is living proof that that kind of loyal, steadfast love can exist in real life as well, and also to David Neilson, who’s been the best working partner I could wish for.”
Ant & Dec were the other big winners at last night's ceremony. The duo won the Entertainment Presenter award for the 13th consecutive year, while I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! took the prize for Entertainment Programme ahead of their other hit show.
The Geordie duo were also honoured with a special Landmark award.
Host Dermot O'Leary read out a letter Prince Charles had written to the comedy duo, saying: "The warmth and empathy they show towards charitable causes, their viewers and their deep friendship towards one another are as great achievements as their countless and well-deserved awards. The nation has taken them to their hearts."
Video footage from their long career was also shown, including appearances from Robbie Williams and Simon Cowell.
Retired Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer described them as "the most famous double act from Newcastle" before Dec thanked Ant, saying: “Neither of us would be here if it wasn’t for each other”.
Matt Smith and the cast of BBC sci-fi show Doctor Who also enjoyed multiple successes. Smith, who is currently appearing in the West End’s American Psycho, won for Drama Performance, beating Miranda Hart, Martin Clunes and Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith.
The show also triumphed over Broadchurch, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife to take the Drama award.
Jenna Coleman, who plays the Time Lord’s sidekick Clara Oswald, accepted the Drama award from Brazilian model Fernanda Lima and England football manager Roy Hodgson. “Fifty years and still going strong, well done Who,” she said.
Asked whether host Sir Bruce Forsyth would be back for the next series of Strictly amid rumours of retirement, Judge Craig Revel Horwood told The Independent: "Oh Brucie will be back, it wouldn't be Strictly without Bruce would it?"
The BBC’s Mrs Brown’s Boys won the Comedy award, with writer and star Brendan O’Carroll defying negative reviews backstage.
"If you want to be a race horse, run the race," he said.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Kim Sears responds to swearing controversy with 'parental advisory' T-shirt at Andy Murray's Australian Open final
Daniel Radcliffe deemed 'not marketable' without his English accent
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign