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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 22:51 GMT
Dr Who scores TV awards hat-trick
Doctor Who cast
Billie Piper (second left) left the Doctor Who cast this year
Doctor Who has scooped three prizes at the National Television Awards in a repeat of its success last year.

The BBC sci-fi drama won most popular drama, most popular actress for Billie Piper and most popular actor for David Tennant, who plays the Time Lord.

Top Gear, whose presenter Richard Hammond is recovering from an accident while filming, won the factual award.

Noel Edmonds' comeback Channel 4 show Deal Or No Deal was best daytime show, although the star could not attend.

The awards, voted for by the public, were presented at a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London, hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald.

The Duke of Edinburgh sent a video message of congratulations to the veteran presenter, Sir David Attenborough who was given a lifetime achievement award. Terri Irwin, the wife of the late conservationist Steve presented him with the award.

Big Brother's Nikki
Big Brother's Nikki was named most popular TV contender
Channel 4's Big Brother won the reality title for the third year running, beating Celebrity Big Brother, The Apprentice and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

Big Brother housemate Nikki Grahame won the new category of TV contender, beating the show's winner Pete Bennett.

'Huge success'

The hat-trick of awards for Doctor Who was a sign the show has lost none of its popularity with David Tennant taking over the lead role.

Tennant's predecessor, Christopher Eccleston, took the best actor award in 2005.

"I think if my eight-year-old self could see me at the Royal Albert Hall winning a prize for playing the doctor on telly, he would need a stiff shot of Irn-Bru," said Tennant after collecting his award from Dame Julie Andrews.

Jeremy Clarkson and James May from Top Gear

"I'm really chuffed," he added. "It's been really daunting to come into something that was such a huge success."

Jeremy Clarkson. who collected Top Gear's award, said it would cheer up his co-presenter Richard Hammond, who is recuperating after a high-speed crash in September.

"It will also cheer up the Top Gear team, who've had a pretty torrid time of it," he added.

Soap battle

EastEnders beat Coronation Street for the second year running for most popular serial drama.

Little Britain won the comedy category for the third year, beating the Catherine Tate Show, Will and Grace and My Family. The show's star, David Walliams, took a special recognition award for his charity swim across the Channel.

For the fifth year running, Ant and Dec were voted the most popular entertainment presenters.

The pair could not be at the awards because they were filming the next series of I'm A Celebrity.

They also won the quiz award for Ant and Dec's Game Show Marathon, beating Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? which has won for the past seven years.

The NTAs will be screened on ITV1 on 1 November.

Highs and lows of the TV awards
01 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
National TV Awards 2006 winners
31 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
In pictures: National TV Awards 2006
31 Oct 06 |  In Pictures
Edmonds makes TV award shortlist
16 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Doctor Who takes three TV awards
25 Oct 05 |  Entertainment


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