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NTAs 2021: Joel Dommett kicks off the show by celebrating the return of award ceremonies

Comedian Joel Dommett kicked off the 2021 National Television Awards at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday night, celebrating the return of live in-person shows amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sure to launch the show on a light-hearted yet poignant note, Joel, 36, quipped: ‘It’s been a great year for soaps thanks to all the hand-washing!’

The broadcast kicked off with a VT of Joel frantically trying to find someone to open the show, with the likes of Simon Cowell, Oti Mabuse, Ant & Dec, Holly Willoughby and Mo Gilligan joining in for the skit. 

Gentle nod: Comedian Joel Dommett kicked off the 2021 National Television Awards at London ‘s O2 Arena on Thursday night, celebrating the return of live in-person shows amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task ended up being taken on by singer HRVY, who was joined on stage with characters from The Masked Dancer and his former Strictly Come Dancing pro Janette Manrara.

Joel also joked in his speech at he had to stay two metres away from Ant & Dec (‘not because of the pandemic, because they’ve asked me to’) and referenced the awkwardness of watching racy drama Bridgerton with his mother.

He then joked that he wouldn’t be making a gag about Ricky Gervais, who was in the audience, because ‘he’s my idol and I’m scared of him’. 

This year, more streamed shows have been nominated than ever before, with Netflix period romp Bridgerton and making the Best New Drama list while After Life and Sex Education scored slots on the Comedy list.

It’s a Sin, Des and Normal People joined Bridgerton on the New Drama short-list while Line of Duty, The Crown, Call the Midwife and Unforgotten made up the Returning Drama category.

The Drama Performance category sees Line of Duty stars Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure in contention for the prize, alongside Olly Alexander for It’s a Sin and David Tennant for Des.

Made the cut: Line of Duty, It's A Sin and Bridgerton have made the short-list for the forthcoming awards

Made the cut: Line of Duty, It’s A Sin and Bridgerton have made the short-list for the forthcoming awards

The NTAs have also announced a brand new category, Authored Documentary, which sees Kate Garraway’s moving feature, Kate Garraway: Finding Derek nominated for its warts-and-all account of her husband Derek Draper’s coronavirus battle.

Finding Derek has been short-listed alongside Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children, Katie Price: Harvey and Me, Rob Burrow: My Year with MND and Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency.

Elsewhere, The Masked Singer has been nominated for its first NTA, with the madcap singing competition facing a battle with I’m A Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Strictly Come Dancing for the Talent Show award.

Soaps Emmerdale, Coronation Street, EastEnders and Hollyoaks are up for Best Serial Drama.

Ant and Dec bagged their 20th award nomination in a row for TV Presenter, with Piers Morgan and This Morning’s Holly Willoughby and Alison Hammond also in contention as well as Bradley Walsh.

A quartet of stand-out actors are up for Serial Drama Performance, including Coronation Street’s Mollie Gallagher and Sally Carman and EastEnders’ Danny Dyer not to mention Hollyoaks’ Billy Price.

New host Joel recently admitted he is ‘honoured’ to have been selected to front the spectacle.

Nominated: It's A Sin, starring Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander (centre) is up for an award, with the actor also securing a best drama performance nod

Nominated: It’s A Sin, starring Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander (centre) is up for an award, with the actor also securing a best drama performance nod

Host with the most: The annual awards show will return to London's O2 arena on September 9th, with Joel Dommett set to host for the first time

Host with the most: The annual awards show will return to London’s O2 arena on September 9th, with Joel Dommett set to host for the first time

He said in a statement: ‘It’s a huge honour to be hosting the NTAs this year! It still feels like someone has made a wonderful error.

‘I really, really love TV and can’t wait to celebrate the best stuff from what’s been a very weird year or so.’

The comedian also joked he is hoping The Masked Singer will be successful on the night so he can present himself with a prize.

He quipped: ‘I’m also really hoping The Masked Singer wins something so I can present an award to myself. That’s a creative narcissist’s dream.’

NTA’s Executive Producer Kim Turberville added: ‘We are so excited to be back to celebrate a remarkable TV year like no other. There is a wealth of great television to recognise and we are delighted to have Joel at the helm. 

‘With his wit and natural charisma, he’ll definitely be bringing a fresh approach to this year’s awards.’

Earlier this year, it was announced the NTAs, which usually takes place in January, had been rescheduled for September 9, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kim said at the time: ‘The NTAs will return to The O2 London in September to mark the UK’s best, boldest and most beloved TV shows with a surprise-packed event – and we look forward to seeing you on the night for a celebration like no other.’

New award: The NTAs have also announced a brand new category, Authored Documentary, which sees Kate Garraway's moving feature, Kate Garraway: Finding Derek nominated for its warts-and-all account of her husband Derek Draper's coronavirus battle

New award: The NTAs have also announced a brand new category, Authored Documentary, which sees Kate Garraway’s moving feature, Kate Garraway: Finding Derek nominated for its warts-and-all account of her husband Derek Draper’s coronavirus battle

NATIONAL TELEVISION AWARDS 2021: THE NOMINEES

Challenge Show 

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins

Love Island

The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Sewing Bee

New Drama

Bridgerton

Des

It’s A Sin

Normal People

Talent Show

Britain’s Got Talent

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

Strictly Come Dancing

The Masked Singer

In the race? The Masked Singer faces stiff competition in the Talent Show category

In the race? The Masked Singer faces stiff competition in the Talent Show category

Authored Documentary

Kate Garraway: Finding Derek

Katie Price: Harvey and Me

Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children

Rob Burrow: My Year With MND

Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency

Duo: Katie Price: Harvey and Me is up for best Authored Documentary

Duo: Katie Price: Harvey and Me is up for best Authored Documentary

Returning Drama

Call the Midwife

WINNER: Line of Duty

The Crown

Unforgotten

TV Presenter

Alison Hammond

Ant and Dec

Bradley Walsh

Holly Willoughby

Piers Morgan

Factual

Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death

Gogglebox

Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs

Drama Performance

Adrian Dunbar, Ted Hastings, Line of Duty

David Tennant, Dennis Nilsen, Des

Martin Compston, Steve Arnott, Line of Duty

Olly Alexander, Ritchie Tozer, It’s A Sin

Vicky McClure, Kate Fleming, Line of Duty

 

The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

WINNER: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Taskmaster

The Graham Norton Show

Could they win? Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is up for a prize

Could they win? Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is up for a prize

Serial Drama

Coronation Street

EastEnders

Emmerdale

Hollyoaks

Serial Drama Performance

Billy Price, Sid Sumner, Hollyoaks

Danny Dyer, Mick Carter, EastEnders

Mollie Gallagher, Nina Lucas, Coronation Street

Sally Carman, Abi Franklin, Coronation Street

Quiz Game Show

Beat the Chasers

Celebrity Catchphrase

In For A Penny

Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel

Newcomer

Emile John, Ethan Anderson, Emmerdale

Jude Riordan, Sam Blakeman, Coronation Street

Olivia D’Lima, Paramedic Fenisha Khatri, Casualty

Rhiannon Clements, Summer Ranger, Hollyoaks

Rose Ayling-Ellis, Frankie Lewis, EastEnders

Good job: EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis could bag the Newcomer gong

Good job: EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis could bag the Newcomer gong

Daytime

Loose Women

The Chase

The Repair Shop

This Morning

Comedy

After Life

Friday Night Dinner

Sex Education

The Vicar of Dibley

 

 

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