Preview: The National Television Awards 2016 | Virgin Media
The National Television Awards 2016

Preview: The National Television Awards 2016Wednesday 20th January at 7.30pm on ITV (CH 103)

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Dermot O'Leary wields the very oddly shaped NTAs (they look like something snapped off a Dali sculpture), in a gala event celebrating the most popular programmes and telly moments of the year.

In a nutshell

Professional TV critics are all very well, with their well thought out opinions based on their vast and rigorous knowledge of the medium. But sometimes power has to be handed to the masses, to the ordinary people whose eyeballs make the programmes happen in the first place. That's what the NTAs are all about: a public vote. And that means only the biggest behemoth shows are battling it out while we boo and hiss at home.

It goes without saying that Aidan Turner’s topless reaping scene will be shown again, because that’s basically modern British telly’s equivalent of Darcy in a dripping wet shirt. But there’s plenty of other choice things under consideration, from the unexpectedly phenomenal Doctor Foster (Suranne Jones can seriously do no wrong) to the ambitious sci-fi epic Humans. Favourite shows like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Bake Off will also be in the running for gongs, and we’ll get to see Dustin Hoffman on stage with Billy Connolly. Which will be nice.

What's the verdict?

The phrase "people's choice" has a whiff of condescension about it, sounding dangerously close to "ordinary plebs' choice". But the NTAs really are about the great British public having their say, and it should be a sparkling night, in the heady atmosphere of the O2.

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