Ant and Dec to miss NTA ceremony as they compete for presenting prize

The duo will be filming Britain's Got Talent auditions when the awards ceremony is taking place.

Ant and Dec will be absent from the National Television Awards despite being nominated for the presenting award for an 18th consecutive year.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are unable to attend the awards ceremony due to a clash with Britain’s Got Talent filming.

The talent show’s judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon will also miss the glitzy event, held at London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday evening.

Britain’s Got Talent – London
The Britain’s Got Talent hosts and judges will miss the National Television Awards on Tuesday due to a scheduling clash (John Stillwell/PA)

Ant and Dec are nominated in the TV presenting category despite McPartlin largely being off screens for the majority of 2018.

He stepped down from presenting duties following his arrest for drink driving in March last year.

Donnelly fronted the final two programmes of Saturday Night Takeaway – for which they have been nominated for the NTA – on his own.

McPartlin was fined a record £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months after he crashed his car while more than twice the alcohol limit.

He returned to work last week filming the first day of auditions of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.

He and Donnelly will compete against Graham Norton, Bradley Walsh, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who stepped in to host I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! alongside Donnelly in November in McPartlin’s absence, for the presenting prize.

Saturday Night Takeaway is also in the running for the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, as is I’m A Celebrity.

Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby is nominated in the presenting category (Steve Parsons/PA)

The two programmes will face off against The Graham Norton Show, Love Island and All Round To Mrs Brown’s for the accolade.

Ratings hit Bodyguard is a contender for the best new drama gong, where it faces competition from A Discovery Of Witches, Girlfriends, Killing Eve and The Cry.

There is a battle of the sexes in the drama performance category, where three women – Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, Our Girl’s Michelle Keegan and first female Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker – take on Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy and Bodyguard’s Richard Madden.

TV judge looks set to be one of the most closely-fought categories, with talent show supremo Cowell up against his new X Factor rivals Robbie Williams and Louis Tomlinson, along with his Britain’s Got Talent co-star Walliams.

Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker is nominated in the drama performance category for Doctor Who (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The shortlist is completed by courtroom adjudicator Robert Rinder.

Doctor Who could be in for a nod in the drama category, where it is shortlisted alongside Our Girl, Peaky Blinders, Call The Midwife and Casualty.

The National Television Awards, hosted by Dermot O’Leary, will be broadcast live on ITV on January 22 from The O2, London.

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