ITV's period drama beats the Time Lord's adventures and Waterloo Road in ceremony at London's O2
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 January 2012 18.20 EST
ITV's hugely successful Downton Abbey has been crowned top drama at the National Television awards, beating competition from the BBC's Doctor Who and Waterloo Road.
The period drama about the Crawley family has found success on both sides of the Atlantic in a golden year for British drama. But the night was not all bad for Doctor Who, as Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, won best male drama performance and his co-star, Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), won top female performance.
Gillan, who is leaving Doctor Who in the next series, exclaimed "Oh my good Lord, this means so much to me" as she collected her award.
The X Factor was the surprise winner of the night as it was crowned best talent show for the third year running. Simon Cowell's ITV1 show won the award despite a big ratings slide and an unlikely rival in the shape of Strictly Come Dancing.
If the X Factor's win was unexpected, the award for best entertainment presenter was less so.
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly won the best entertainment presenter category for the 11th year in a row. Despite their unshakable reign, Dec exclaimed: "It feels like the first year we've won again."
ITV's I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here – which the duo front – was named best reality programme, beating The Only Way is Essex and The Apprentice.
The 17th annual National Television awards, which were staged at the O2 Arena in London and broadcast by ITV1, is based on public votes and was hosted by X Factor frontman Dermot O'Leary.
Jonathan Ross won the special recognition award – to the soundtrack of The Smiths' hit, Panic. "I'm so grateful," Ross said. "And I'm amazed, like so many of you are, that I'm still working. Thanks to all the people that've stood by me; the ones who didn't, I understand."
Alan Carr's Chatty Man faced down competition from Ross and Graham Norton to win best talk show. "I haven't won anything in ages so it's just nice to win," said the Channel 4 host. "I thought bloody Loose Women would win.
"Do you want to hear about me? Not really — it's just a load of camp fun, isn't it? I think they do loosen up with a Lambrini," he said, after the awards.
Coronation Street regained the award for best serial drama from Eastenders, after a year of headline-stealing storylines.
In the best entertainment category, Harry Hill's TV Burp lost out to Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.
"I'm thrilled," said McIntyre after the show. "I genuinely never expected this — I thought it was going to be 10 minutes of standup."
ITV1's This Morning was named best factual programme and BBC's Outnumbered trumped Miranda to winbest situation comedy. Jacqueline Jossa, 19, who plays Lauren Branning in EastEnders, won best newcomer.