TV preview: National Television Awards 2014

FRONTING UP: Dermot O'Leary hosts the National TV Awards.
FRONTING UP: Dermot O'Leary hosts the National TV Awards.
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Chances are, if you’ve held a remote control in your hand during the past year, you’ve tuned into a home-grown crime drama at some point.

From Scott & Bailey to Broadchurch, Luther to Law & Order: UK, and of course Steven Moffat’s inimitable modern take on Sherlock, the standards of these cop shows are higher than ever.

So high, in fact, that the powers that be at the National Television Awards have decided to create a TV Detective category - with Olivia Colman and David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Bradley Walsh and Suranne Jones nominated for the gong.

Of course, there’s still the familiar categories to be contested, and one which will be drawing most attention tonight is the Entertainment Presenter award, in which cheeky Geordie chappies Ant and Dec will be hoping to pick up their 13th consecutive title - but will it prove ‘lucky 13’ for the hosts of I’m a Celeb, Britain’s Got Talent, Saturday Night Takeaway and, well, almost everything else? Not if fellow nominees Dermot O’Leary, Keith Lemon, Alan Carr and Graham Norton get their way.

Meanwhile, ratings hit The Great British Bake Off faces tough competition from Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Top Gear and An Idiot Abroad to scoop the Factual Entertainment trophy; David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh are both nominated for Serial Drama Performance for their poignant scenes as Roy and Hayley in Coronation Street; and Educating Yorkshire will have high hopes of teaching Paul O’Grady’s Working Britain, Penguins - Spy in the Huddle, and Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald a lesson in the Documentary Series category.

Not that Sir Trevor would mind either way - he’s happy just to be nominated, and to have been able to make the programme: “I’m delighted that Inside Death Row has been nominated in the Best Documentary category at this year’s National Television Awards,” he explained.

“Making the programme was one of the most fascinating and chilling experiences of my life, and one that I will never forget.

The other titles up for grabs include Best Serial Drama, Comedy, Drama, Drama Performance, Talent Show, Daytime, Newcomer and Entertainment Programme - so there’ll be no shortage of amusing, heartfelt or tearful acceptance speeches (and even more opportunities to see losing nominees trying to hide their disappointment).


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