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Wednesday, 27 October, 1999, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Thaw's double TV victory
Inspector Morse star John Thaw won a double victory this year
Actor John Thaw has walked away with two of the top titles at this year's National Television Awards.

The Inspector Morse star beat off the competition to win the Most Popular Actor award, for the second year in a row.

His acclaimed TV film Goodnight Mister Tom was also voted Most Popular Drama. Thaw was unfortunatley unable to collect either of his trophies due to a prior engagement.

But Ted Childs who worked on Goodnight Mister Tom collected it on his behalf saying: "He's very grateful to you the viewers."

Newcomer Tamzin Outhwaite gave EastEnders one award
Thaw's double win saw him allay competition from hot new hopefuls Joe Absolom from EastEnders and Steven Arnold from Coronation Street. Both came away empty handed after being tipped to win favourite actor.

But the two top soaps did not end the evening entirely disappointed. Coronation Street continued its winning run of last year to be voted Most Popular Serial Drama.

Tamzin Outhwaite - Melanie Healy in EastEnders - collected the Most Popular Newcomer title. Clearly overjoyed with her win, she said: "I'm really proud to be part of a show that is churning out great quality work consistently - that's amazing for me, I love it."

The fifth annual awards were presented by newsreader Trevor MacDonald at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Amanda Burton beat Thora Hird in the Most Popular Actress category
Among the other winners of the night was Silent Witness star Amanda Burton, who turned the tide on last year's result to win Most Popular Actress over veteran Thora Hird.

But along with 57-year-old Thaw, the rest of the old guard also put on a good show. Parkinson was named Most Popular Talk Show and presenter Michael Parkinson joked: "It's my 40th year in television this year, so it's a nice present. You have to admire my stamina if nothing else."

BBC classic Last of the Summer Wine won Most Popular Comedy, 26 years after it first began and just months after the death of star Bill Owen.

Co-star Peter Sallis collected the title on his behalf and praised both Owen and the series writer Roy Clarke. Owen's son Tom, who has now joined the cast of the programme, then took over to pay tribute to his father.

Michael Parkinson is still a favourite after 40 years
"Compo was such an integral part of Last of the Summer Wine but I'm sure he's messing around and keeping a watchful eye. He always did," he said.

"My father left me a wonderful legacy, not least of which was joining the wonderful cast and crew of the world's longest-running comedy series."

Daytime TV husband and wife team Judy Finnegan and Richard Madeley showed they are still a favourite with the viewers after 11 years.

This Morning was again named Most Popular Daytime Programme. Madeley attributed the programme's success to its closeness to the audience.

There was no mistaking the pulling power of pets when Vets In Practice won Most Popular Documentary and Animal Hospital came top in the Most Popular Factual Entertainment category.

Michael Barrymore was "choked" by his fans support
But the end of the evening belonged to ever-popular presenter Michael Barrymore. He was reduced to tears at being awarded a special recognition award, despite failing to win any of the three titles for which he was shortlisted.

Collecting his award he said: "I'm absolutely choked. I wondered why my mum was here. I thought only the good boys and girls got these things. I'm very humbled by it."

Winners of 1999's National Television Awards

Most Popular Actress - Amanda Burton

Most Popular Newcomer - Tamzin Outhwaite

Most Popular Comedy Performer - Nicholas Lyndhurst

Most Popular Entertainment Programme - Stars In Their Eyes

Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme - Animal Hospital

Most Popular Entertainment Presenter - Lily Savage

Most Popular Documentary - Vets In Practice

Most Popular Actor - John Thaw

Most Popular Talk Show - Parkinson

Most Popular Drama - Goodnight Mister Tom

Most Popular Serial Drama - Coronation Street

Most Popular Quiz - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Most Popular Daytime Programme - This Morning

Most Popular Comedy - Last Of The Summer Wine

Most Popular Advert - Tesco (Dotty on bus)

See also:

28 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Barrymore makes it four in TV awards
16 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Closing the case on Morse
06 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Square win for Eastenders
09 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Shock verdict in EastEnders trial
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