2015 National Television Awards: Keith takes award as ‘Deirdre’ is honoured

William Roache pays tribute to Anne Kirkbride. PIC: PA
William Roache pays tribute to Anne Kirkbride. PIC: PA
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Hit TV show I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! showed it is still one of the most popular shows on British TV as it was named top entertainment programme at the National Television Awards.

Presenters Ant and Dec beat their own Saturday Night Takeaway to take the title for their jungle show at the ceremony staged at London’s O2 Arena, a prize they also won last year.

Declan Donnelly collected the trophy flanked by many of the stars who had featured on the 2014 series and declared: “This is amazing.

“Don’t they scrub up well? They still stink, but they look lovely,” he said of the contestants. “We have a ridiculously good time out in Australia making the show.”

The event draws many of the biggest names in TV each year for the awards which are chosen through a public vote.

Celebrity Juice took the prize for best multichannel show, with Leeds-born host Keith Lemon picking up the prize.

Coronation Street actor William Roache had many of the audience in tears as he gave an emotional tribute to his late on-screen wife Anne Kirkbride, who died on Monday after playing Deirdre Barlow in the ITV soap for 40 years.

He told guests: “I feel so blessed, honoured and privileged to have had those years working with Anne.

“What we’ll remember the most is the vibrant, warm-hearted, loving person who came to work each day, gave us all a hug and brightened up our lives.

“Together with Anne’s brother John and his family, David, and her Coronation Street family, and especially Beverley Callard - who was very close to Anne in her last days - we’ve been deeply touched by the outpouring of love for Anne since she passed away on Monday evening.”

His voice trembling with emotion, he said: “We share your grief and sadness at losing such a beautiful person who’ll be so greatly missed by us all.”

A new category introduced for the first time this year, for the top skills challenge show, went to The Great British Bake Off - beating the likes of MasterChef and The Apprentice. EastEnders actress Maddy Hill - who plays Nancy Carter - took the best newcomer prize.