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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 22:10 GMT 23:10 UK
Ant and Dec win trio of TV awards
Ant and Dec
The popular duo said they felt "unworthy"
Double act Ant and Dec have scooped three prizes at this year's National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The Geordie duo picked up most popular entertainment presenter, entertainment programme for Pop Idol, as well as a special recognition award.

The National Television Awards - now in their sixth year - are voted for by the public and are widely seen as a reflection of the country's TV tastes.

David Jason also picked up both most popular comedy performer for the third year in a row, after his return to Only Fools and Horses, as well as most popular actor for A Touch of Frost.

Chris Tarrant
Chris Tarrant arriving with wife Ingrid
Ant McPartlin, 26, and Declan Donnelly, 27, were stunned to find they had won the special recognition title, following in the footsteps of stars such as Des O'Connor, John Thaw and David Jason.

The presenters were almost lost for words as they took to the stage and Donnelly said they felt "unworthy".

McPartlin said: "That's possibly the biggest surprise I've had in my life.

"I think everybody sat in the Albert Hall is as surprised as us. It is a fantastic honour. It won't sink in until next week some time."

Donnelly added: "We really are speechless - we have no speech. We had no idea this was coming tonight. I just feel really unworthy of it now."

Click here to see the National Television Award winners in full

David Jason beat off stiff competition from much-loved actor John Thaw, who died in February this year.

David Jason
Jason: A double winner
He was nominated as most popular actor for Buried Treasure.

Jason, 62, was unable to collect his prize tonight due to filming on a forthcoming edition of a Touch of Frost.

But ITV drama controller Nick Elliott, who picked up the Best Actor prize on his behalf, said Jason was honoured to be on the shortlist alongside his late friend.

Mr Elliot said: "For 20 years David and John strode both ITV and BBC popular drama and now he's gone we miss him - and I know David will too."

Big Brother and Pop Idol also picked up an award each, proving reality shows' continuing popularity with UK audiences.

Car crash

Big Brother won most popular factual programme, while ITV's talent show triumphed in the entertainment programme category.

The BBC's EastEnders scooped most popular serial drama.

Kim Medcalf, who won most popular newcomer for her performance as Sam Butcher in EastEnders, managed to get to the stage unaided weeks after a car crash in northern France left her on crutches.

Kim Medcalf
Kim Medcalf: Best day of my life

As she went to collect her award she joked: "I'm so pleased I got up those stairs with my leg.

"If you had told me a year and a half ago I'd be in EastEnders and getting this, I wouldn't have believed it.

"It's the best day in my life," she added, calling the award "the best tonic in the world".

The cast of Auf Wiedersehen Pet looked similarly stunned by their award.

The show was revived this year by the BBC, more than 15 years after it was dropped by ITV.

Actor Tim Healy said: "On behalf of everybody I'd just like to thank all the viewers - it's nice to know the world wants to see six old guys being Brits abroad."

  • EastEnders actor Gary Beadle used the awards to propose to his childhood sweetheart.

    The actor - bad boy Paul Trueman in the show - turned up in a T-shirt emblazoned with the message: "Tanya - will you marry me."

    Later, Beadle replied she had sent him "a cute text message with a aeroplane on it, saying 'yes - fly me' ".

    The National Television Award winners in full:

    Most popular actor
    David Jason

    Most popular actress
    Kacey Ainsworth (Mo - EastEnders)

    Most popular entertainment presenter
    Ant and Dec

    Most popular quiz show
    Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

    Most popular entertainment programme
    Pop Idol

    Most popular drama
    Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

    Most popular factual programme
    Big Brother

    Most popular talk show
    V Graham Norton

    Most popular comedy programme
    Cold Feet

    Most popular comedy performer
    David Jason

    Most popular daytime programme
    Bargain Hunt

    Most popular newcomer
    Kim Medcalf (Sam Butcher - EastEnders)

    Most popular serial drama

    Special recognition award
    Ant and Dec

    Return to text

  • See also:

    16 Oct 02 | TV and Radio
    16 Oct 02 | TV and Radio
    14 Jul 02 | TV and Radio
    12 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
    15 Oct 02 | TV and Radio
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