Happy Valley: Sarah Lancashire wins big at National Television Awards

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  • By Emma Saunders
  • Entertainment reporter

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Lancashire has starred in three series of Happy Valley

BBC crime drama Happy Valley won best returning drama at the National TV awards, as its star Sarah Lancashire was honoured with two prizes.

The actress won best drama performance and was also given this year’s special recognition award, presented by Sir Ian McKellen.

Lancashire looked overwhelmed when she picked up the latter, as the audience chanted her name.

“I have been so very fortunate to spend my working life doing a job I love.”

She thanked the “enablers” who “don’t get credit”, including her family, agent and “a very vital component – you, the audience. Without you, all this would grind to a crashing halt”.

Lancashire beat her co-star James Norton to the best drama performance prize for her portrayal of no-nonsense police officer Catherine Cawood.

Brenda Blethyn (Vera), India Amarteifio (Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story) and Judy Parfitt (Call the Midwife) were also nominated.

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The pair now have a record number of NTA wins

Geordie duo Ant and Dec missed out on the Bruce Forsyth entertainment award – they had two shows up for the gong (I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway) but lost out to Gogglebox.

They did, however, keep up their record winning streak, picking up best presenter for the 22nd year running. The pair said they were the most nervous they had ever been collecting the gong on Tuesday night.

“We are the luckiest two men on telly,” Ant said.

“I can’t believe we are still getting away with this… we are as humbled and as grateful tonight as when we won it for the first time,” Dec added.

“We’ll keep doing it as long as you want us to keep doing it,” said Ant.

But it was a different story for troubled ITV show This Morning, which had been on a 12-year winning streak of its own in the daytime, live magazine and topical magazine programme categories.

The show was plunged into crisis in May when Phillip Schofield quit after admitting he lied about an affair with a colleague.

It was again nominated for best daytime programme but was beaten by The Repair Shop.

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Danielle Harold played Lola in EastEnders

The National TV awards are nominated and voted for solely by the public so all eyes were on whether the show would pick up the prize for a 13th year running.

Tribute was paid to the late Paul O’Grady, who also posthumously won the factual entertainment prize for ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs. Staff from Battersea Dogs Home – and pup Wiley – collected the award. Wiley woofed all the way through the speech, halting it at some points to the audience’s delight.

The Graham Norton show won the a new award for TV interview, beating Piers Morgan (who received a few boos from the audience), Louis Theroux and Chris and Rose Ramsey.

Danielle Harold, who played the character of Lola in EastEnders, picked up best serial drama performance. Her character bowed out earlier this year, dying from a brain tumour. Harold was handed the prize by fellow EastEnders star Michelle Collins.

The BBC One soap also won best serial drama.

In fact, it was a dominating performance overall for the BBC, which picked up 11 out of a possible 17 prizes on the night.

Word-of-mouth hit The Traitors, hosted by Claudia Winkleman, won best reality competition show. The cast of the first series accepted the award as Winkleman “was busy wearing tweed and chasing traitors” (presumably she’s filming the next series).

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Lewis Capaldi is currently in the US

Another new category – authored documentary – was won by the Netflix show Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now, in which the pop star opens up on his mental health. The star is currently taking a break from touring to protect his health after struggling through his set at Glastonbury in June.

Capaldi sent a video message to thank the public for voting, and heaped praise on his fellow nominees. He said he would have been at the ceremony but was currently in America.

Strictly Come Dancing picked up the best talent show honour, while ITV’s 1% Club, presented by comic Lee Mack, won best quiz/gameshow.

Other winners included Bobby Brazier as best newcomer. Brazier plays Freddie Slater in EastEnders. He joked that “I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”

The cast of Young Sheldon, who won best comedy, were unable to appear in person due to the ongoing actors’ strike in the US. Most of the cast of Wednesday were also unable to be there for the same reason.

  • New drama – Wednesday
  • Reality competition – The Traitors
  • Authored documentary – Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now
  • Returning drama – Happy Valley
  • Reality competition – The Traitors
  • TV presenter – Ant and Dec
  • Factual entertainment – Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs
  • Drama performance – Sarah Lancashire (Catherine Cawood) Happy Valley
  • Bruce Forsyth entertainment award – Gogglebox
  • Serial drama – EastEnders
  • TV interview – The Graham Norton Show
  • Serial drama performance – Danielle Harold (Lola Pearce-Brown) EastEnders
  • Quiz/game show – The 1% Club
  • Rising star – Bobby Brazier (Freddie Slater) EastEnders
  • Daytime – The Repair Shop
  • Comedy – Young Sheldon
  • Talent show – Strictly Come Dancing

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