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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 02:35 GMT
Ant and Dec's TV awards takeaway
By Kevin Young
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

In the end, the National Television Awards, which have been held in London, could have been rebranded Ant and Dec's Wednesday Night Takeaway.

The self-styled "cheeky chappies" were honoured three times, although they were unable to attend the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall owing to filming commitments.

Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec are heading to the jungle again for I'm a Celebrity...
And while other big names also did well at the event - with Doctor Who, EastEnders and Top Gear each receiving two awards - it was Ant and Dec's live satellite link-ups from Los Angeles which aroused the most interest backstage.

Their prize for best reality show, won by I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, had been collected on their behalf by contestant Dean Gaffney.

But the pair were to appear direct from California to receive their prizes for top entertainment presenters and best entertainment show.

And word went round that they would use their acceptance speeches to mention the recent scandals involving two programmes carrying their names.

It emerged two weeks ago that Saturday Night Takeaway and Gameshow Marathon had not picked winners as randomly as advertised.

David Tennant
Tennant was named best actor while Doctor Who won the drama prize

Ant and Dec had expressed concern but stressed they were not involved in the selection process. This Halloween appearance seemed the perfect opportunity to put this particular horror show behind them.

They described how appreciative they were to the people who'd voted for them. They thanked their bosses at ITV. They paid tribute to their manager.

They reminded us it had been "quite a couple of weeks". They gushed a bit more about their viewers.

They told us they were "very, very, very grateful" for everyone's support. They gave their fans another pat on the back.

Hollywood glamour

There were other attractions at the ceremony too. Jeremy Clarkson was embarrassed about his motoring series receiving the prize for best factual programme, given "we haven't put a fact in Top Gear for five years now".

He also bemoaned a big drop in ratings between the first and second shows of the current BBC Two series, suggesting that perhaps co-star Richard Hammond could have another high-speed crash to revive audience figures.

Kym Ryder
I didn't know what to say and my mouth just lost all the saliva
Coronation Street's Kym Ryder admits her acceptance speech could have been better

"We could have them straight back up if he'd just take one for the team," Clarkson - also recipient of the special recognition prize - joked. I say joked, but you can never entirely tell.

Simon Cowell was as generous as ever after The X Factor won best talent show ahead of series including Any Dream Will Do.

He had a message for the man behind the rival show, saying: "Andrew Lloyd Webber - there's nothing wrong with losing. It's the taking part that matters."

There was a touch of Hollywood glamour from Ugly Betty star Mark Indelicato, the 13-year-old who plays Betty's younger brother Justin, who had put on his best tuxedo and seemed thrilled to be among so many fans of the Channel 4 show.

And Kym Ryder, the former Hear'Say singer and now a star of Coronation Street, revealed one of the hazards of awards shows after collecting her prize for best newcomer.

"I didn't know what to say and my mouth just lost all the saliva," she replied, when asked how her acceptance speech had gone.

But the greatest excitement of the evening was reserved for Doctor Who star David Tennant, who had picked a black velvet jacket and grey tuxedo trousers to accompany his quiff and sideburns.

It took him a full 20 minutes to negotiate the journey along the red carpet, his name being screamed in every direction, something which he admitted was "overwhelming" and "bewildering".

The insistent cries of his doting fans did not put him off, however, and he spent time signing autographs and talking to the crowd at a time when many other stars swept straight past and into the warmth of the Albert Hall.

On a night when the public had picked all of the winners, it was the Doctor who really was the people's choice.

Ant and Dec win three TV Awards
01 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Winners in full: National TV Awards
31 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
In pictures: National TV Awards 2007
01 Nov 07 |  In Pictures
In quotes: National TV Awards
01 Nov 07 |  Entertainment

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