National Television Awards 2020: Mrs Brown beats Ricky Gervais and Fleabag

Mrs Brown's Boys has beaten Fleabag and After Life to win a fifth comedy prize at the National Television Awards.

The awards, voted for by the British public, saw Jesy Nelson, Peaky Blinders and Sir Michael Palin all collect prizes.

Ant and Dec, meanwhile, enjoyed their 19th straight NTA success as best presenters.

New awards host David Walliams also won one, which he went up to collect in his underpants.

National Television Awards: Red carpet in pictures

There were wins for the usual suspects Strictly Come Dancing, This Morning and Emmerdale too during the event at London's O2 Arena.

'One of the best things I've ever seen'

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's dark comedy, Fleabag, won big at the recent Emmys, Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, but the show was overlooked on Tuesday night in favour of Brendan O'Carroll's Saturday night sitcom, Mrs Brown's Boys.

Ricky Gervais' similarly dark comedy about a journalist who loses his wife to cancer also missed out. But O'Carroll was quick to praise it as "one of the best things I've ever seen", drawing a wave and a smile from Gervais in the crowd.

Ant and Dec won their 19th successive award for best presenter, despite having not hosted their own show, Saturday Night Takeaway, in 2019.

The nation's favourite double act admitted the ceremony was getting more tense for them as the years went by.

"We had our chat on the way in about this being the year we don't win it - then you go and do this again," joked Ant.

The pair enjoyed a second win of the night with best entertainment programme I'm a Celebrity..., which they present, and dedicated the award to those affected by the bushfires in Australia, where the programme is filmed.

David Walliams - who took over proceedings from usual host Dermot O'Leary - made his opening speech from raised up high on a wire.

The show began with a VT of him playing a strange version of himself, appearing before even stranger versions of The X Factor judges, who were also played by the host himself,

Later on, sitting bare-legged on Ant and Dec's laps, he leapt up to receive his own award for best TV Judge, for his work on Britain's Got Talent.

"When I die, as I will, this is the clip they will show - me in my pants," quipped Walliams.

'Brave and courageous'

An emotional Jesy Nelson won the award for best factual programme for Odd One Out, her documentary about cyber bullying.

"I'm so sorry, this is so overwhelming. I'm such a baby," declared the Little Mix star.

The feature was inspired by her experiences of online trolling when she first rose to fame as a youngster with the band on The X Factor.

"I want to thank every single person that was in the documentary for being so brave and courageous to tell their own story to the world," she added.

"I don't think we ever expected for this to have such an impact and I'm just so grateful that such a negative experience in my life turned into such a positive one."

Sir Michael Palin received a special recognition award and used the platform to pay tribute to "someone who taught me more about television than anyone else" - his fellow Monty Python star Terry Jones, who died last week aged 77.

"He had a skill in being very ruthless but also being charming at the same time" said Sir Michael.

NTA 2020 winners in full

Best challenge show - Great British Bake Off

Best factual programme - Odd One Out, Jesy Nelson

Best drama - Peaky Blinders

Best comedy - Mrs Brown's Boys

Best serial drama performance - Katie McGlynn, Coronation Street

Impact award - Gavin & Stacey

Best live magazine show - This Morning

Best TV judge - David Walliams

Best new drama - Chernobyl

Best TV presenter - Ant & Dec

Best Newcomer - Peter Ash, Coronation Street

Special recognition award - Sir Michael Palin

Best drama performance - Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders

Best serial drama - Emmerdale

Best talent show- Strictly Come Dancing

The Bruce Forsyth entertainment award - I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Love Island lost out to The Great British Bake Off in the best challenge show category.

Earlier on Tuesday, Caroline Flack, who stepped down from the ITV2 show following an assault charge, made a return to social media to wish the cast and crew of the dating show the best of luck.

Good Morning Britain show host Piers Morgan boycotted the awards this year because, he said, "the same people always win" and (like a stopped clock twice a day) he wasn't wrong; Emmerdale won best soap for a fourth straight year, and This Morning and Strictly Come Dancing won awards for a 10th and fifth year in a row respectively.

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