Ant and Dec collect hat trick of titles at TV awards - but almost miss it due to traffic jam

Anthony 'Ant' McPartlin and Declan 'Dec' Donnelly attending the National Television Awards 2018 held at the O2 Arena, London. Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Wire.
Anthony 'Ant' McPartlin and Declan 'Dec' Donnelly attending the National Television Awards 2018 held at the O2 Arena, London. Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Wire.

Geordie television stars Ant and Dec have scooped a top prize at the National Television Awards for the 17th year in a row.

The Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin won the TV Presenter award after first collecting the Best Challenge Show award and finally the inaugural Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award at the ceremony at the O2 Arena in London.

McPartlin, who admitted he was shaking as they went up to collect the TV Presenter accolade, said: "It's been a very emotional night tonight. It's been quite a year, been quite a tough 12 months so winning this tonight really means a lot.

"I would personally like to thank all my family, all my friends, some are here tonight, I love you, thank you very much.

"Thank you to all of you for your support. It really really means the world to me, it's helped me get through it."

He recently announced his divorce from wife Lisa after 11 years, following months of speculation about their relationship.

Earlier in January, he said he was "very sad" to confirm the news, which came months after a stint in rehab for a two-year addiction to super-strength painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.

Addressing Donnelly at the ceremony, McPartlin said: "Thanks to you little guy."

Donnelly said: "It has been quite a year but this has really topped it off" adding that the win is appreciated "possibly this year more than any other".

Ant and Dec arrived at the ceremony just in the nick of time to accept the Best Challenge Show award for I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Joining the cast of 2017 onstage the jubilant pair thanked everyone for voting.

McPartlin said: "We love making I'm A Celebrity ... Get me Out Of Here! Thank you for loving it too. We want to make it forever!"

Donnelly added: "Just a huge, huge thank you to everybody who took the time to vote for us, to ITV for their continued support. But the biggest thanks is of course to the class of 2017 everybody!"

The pair nearly missed their victory speech for their first win of the night after being caught in traffic and were forced to watch the opening on an iPad.

Donnelly wrote on their joint Twitter account: "Ooh the #NTAs have started and we're in a traffic jam. We're watching it on an iPad tho. Nice opening! D."

After a fan asked how far away they were they replied: "It's taken an hour and 3/4 to do 8 miles!

"We're less than a mile away but chocka.

"Hopefully there in 5..."

Earlier they said they were "racing from film set" to the ceremony at London's O2 Arena and joked they were "hoping we get there before the end".

They face competition from The Chase host Bradley Walsh and This Morning's Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield in the best presenter category.

Introducing the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award nominees, the late entertainer's widow Lady Wilnelia invoked his memorable catchphrase.

She told the audience: "I'm so proud and honoured that this special award is named after my darling Bruce.

"I know he would have loved it because showbusiness was his life and I also know if he was here this evening he would be saying to all of you: 'It's been nice to see you, to see you nice.'"

Ant and Dec returned to the stage, winning the category with their Saturday Night Takeaway show.

McPartlin said it felt "very, very apt" to pick up the award on Tuesday evening as the duo had just begun filming a tribute to Sir Bruce.

Donnelly said they were "thrilled and proud and honoured" to collect the award on the same stage where they had performed alongside Sir Bruce at the opening of a previous NTAs.

Broadchurch won the award for best Crime Drama.

The series finale left viewers shocked when it emerged that Leo Humphries, played by Chris Mason, forced 16-year-old Michael Lucas (Deon Lee-Williams) to rape Julie Hesmondhalgh's character, Trish Winterman.

Actress Jodie Whittaker, who played Beth Latimer, dedicated the award to survivors of sexual assault.

She said: "A special thanks to the extraordinary women from Dorset Rape Crisis, Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre who inspired this story by sharing their experience and expertise with us. We'd like to dedicate this award to the survivors of sexual assault and all the brilliant people nationwide who worked to support them."

Blue Planet 2 and Sir David Attenborough won the Impact award.

Sir David said: "What we were all trying to do was to raise an issue that is of great importance not only to this country but worldwide, it's what we are doing to our planet.

"If our television programmes have helped stir the consciences of people around the world, and that we are going to do something to protect our beautiful world, then all of us will be very pleased."