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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Royle night at TV awards
Ant and Dec arrive with their partners at the awards
Ant and Dec arrive with their partners at the awards
BBC One's The Royle Family walked off with two comedy prizes at the National TV Awards in London on Tuesday.

The show was named most popular comedy programme and its star, Ricky Tomlinson, was named most popular comedy performer.

Newcomer Jessie Wallace stars in Eastenders
"I want to be serious for 10 seconds and thank you so much. I feel so proud and privileged," he said.

David Jason, star of A Touch of Frost and Only Fools and Horses, won the award for most popular actor.

"What can I say? I am absolutely delighted," he told the gathered audience of celebrities at the Royal Albert Hall.

Click here to see the National Television Award winners in full

Ant and Dec, presenters of SMTV, beat perennial favourite Michael Barrymore, to the prize for most popular entertainment presenter.

In view of recent events and the death of my mother I do not feel on this occasion I can attend the awards

Michael Barrymore's statement
Declan Donnelly said: "I think I am going to be sick."

His co-presenter Ant McPartlin added: "It has been a fantastic couple of years. We are over the moon."

The award for most popular soap was presented by two officers from the New York city fire department, Richard Blatus and Jim Yakimovich, who were given a standing ovation for their bravery following the attacks on the US on 11 September.

BBC One's Eastenders walked off with the prize, which was collected by cast members.

Actor Michael Greco said: "It's an honour to be asked to represent this top bunch of people.

Recent troubles

"Eastenders is on a crest of a wave."

The most popular actress award went to Amanda Burton, star of BBC One's Silent Witness drama series.

Michael Barrymore won an award for most popular entertainment programme, despite his recent troubles.

The presenter, who was cautioned by police for drugs offences, was not at the ceremony to collect his award.

The awards' host Sir Trevor McDonald read out a statement from the presenter, which said: "In view of recent events and the death of my mother I do not feel on this occasion I can attend the awards."

Eastenders' Jessie Wallace scooped the prize for the most popular newcomer, beating Kacey Ainsworth, who also appears in the BBC One drama, as Mo.

'Big up'

Collecting her award, she said: "Thanks to everyone at Eastenders, especially my screen family, the Slaters."

Channel 4's Big Brother 2 won the award for most popular factual award.

David Jason
David Jason scooped the most popular actor award
Presenter Davina McCall said: "This is a very, very special award."

Thanking the programme's contestants, she added: "I want to thank Helen and Paul for keeping me on the edge of my seat and a big up to Brian."

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? won the prize for most popular quiz show, beating rival The Weakest Link.

The show won the prize for the third year running.

'Leaving present'

"Thanks above all for all the people who play the game and go through an extraordinary event," said presenter Chris Tarrant.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan collected the award for most popular daytime programme, despite having quit the ITV programme for Channel 4.

"It couldn't have been a better leaving present," said Finnigan.

ITV's Bad Girls won the award for most popular drama, beating off competition from The Bill and A&E, for the second year running.

Michael Parkinson won the award for the most popular talk show, for BBC One's Parkinson.

Presenter, comedian and singer Des O'Connor was honoured with a special achievement award, recognising more than 40 years in the industry.

The awards are voted for by the public and include categories such as most popular actor and actress, serial drama and most popular entertainment presenter.

The National Television Award winners in full:

Most popular actor
David Jason

Most popular actress
Amanda Burton

Most popular entertainment presenter
Ant and Dec

Most popular quiz show
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Most popular serial drama

Most popular entertainment programme
My Kind of Music

Most popular drama
Bad Girls

Most popular factual programme
Big Brother

Most popular talk show

Most popular comedy programme
The Royle Family

Most popular comedy performer
Ricky Tomlinson

Most popular daytime programme
This Morning

Most popular newcomer
Jessie Wallace

Special achievement award
Des O'Connor

Return to text

See also:

12 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Jason shows off daughter
23 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
In pictures: National TV Awards
09 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Top TV nomination for Barrymore
10 Oct 00 | Entertainment
TV favourites battle it out
10 Oct 00 | Entertainment
National Television Awards: The winners
23 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Behr challenges Ant and Dec
01 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's troubled life
11 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
LWT ponders Barrymore's future
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