Holly Willoughby says Jay Blades hugging This Morning team was ‘gorgeous’

Holly Willoughby (Lucy North/PA)
Holly Willoughby (Lucy North/PA)

TV presenter Holly Willoughby has said The Repair Shop’s host Jay Blades hugging the This Morning team after the BBC show broke their winning streak at the National Television Awards was “just class and gorgeous”.

The ITV morning programme lost out on the daytime prize at the ceremony in London on Tuesday evening for the first in many years as it continues to face scrutiny following Phillip Schofield’s departure from the show after he admitted to having a relationship with a younger male former colleague.

Appearing on the show the morning after the awards, Willoughby sent her congratulations to the winners and revealed why she could not drink as much at the event this year.

She said: “A huge congratulations to The Repair Shop, well done you. Jay Blades, just like a special squeeze and lots of love to him.

National Television Awards 2023 – London
Jay Blades and The Repair Shop team after winning the daytime award at the National Television Awards (Lucy North/PA)

“He ran over to us, gave us all a big cuddle which I just thought was just class and gorgeous. I actually didn’t want to let go. Good hugs Jay Blades.”

The TV presenter thanked the public for voting for the show which secured them a place on the shortlist alongside The Chase, Loose Women and The Repair Shop.

“Just to make it there was just so wonderful so thank you always for your love and support”, she added.

This Morning has previously won in the daytime, live magazine or topical magazine category every year since 2011.

Willoughby also addressed why she was not feeling worse for wear as she revealed her lilac ballgown was so tightly tied that it meant she could not go to the bathroom which forced her to limit her drinks.

She explained: “I loved my dresses last night, I loved getting dressed up all glammed and done but the problem with that dress was it was a bit wiggly so it was really tight around the old thighs.

“So I had to go for a pee in the hotel, I’m over sharing too much right now but I’m just going to tell you the truth, and I couldn’t pull it up to go for a pee and I was also so tied in tightly so nothing fell out the top, that I also couldn’t pull it down.

“So I had to go in the hotel and then that was it. That was it until I knew I was getting home from The O2. So I was like nil by mouth. I had like half a glass of Prosecco I think and that was it.”

National Television Awards 2023 – London
Holly Willoughby wore a figure hugging lilac gown for the star-studded event (Lucy North/PA)

Willoughby, who has continued to host the show in the wake of Schofield’s exit, returned to screens this week after being on summer holiday.

An external review of the facts after Schofield’s departure is currently under way, including claims that the show fostered a “toxic” bullying culture, and ITV bosses have said both Schofield and his younger lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the star quit ITV and formally apologised.

On Tuesday night, Willoughby posted a picture of herself alongside The Repair Shop’s Blades, writing: “To this gorgeous man @jaybladesmbe and the whole team at the @therepairshoptv … Hugest Congratulations!!! And what a night for the incredible Sarah Lancashire… @joeldommett thank you for a great night… See you in the morning.”

Taking to the stage at the event, held at The O2 in London, Blades snapped a picture of the moment as he noted it was a “rarity” for them to be winning the prize.

He also praised his fellow nominees at This Morning, The Chase and Loose Women, saying: “We’re the new kids on the block and I’m glad we’ve won this time. I know it won’t be a regular thing so thank you.”

On Wednesday morning, host Joel Dommett commemorated the night by posting a photo on Instagram of him suited and booted and later celebrating just in his boxers while holding an NTA trophy.

The comedian, who revealed during the show that his wife is due to give birth to their child any day now, wrote alongside the post: “What – a – night! Thanks for watching and celebrating wonderful telly @officialntas”

It was also a big night for actress Sarah Lancashire who won the best drama performance prize and the special recognition accolade, while her show Happy Valley won the returning drama category.

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, 26, won in the authored documentary category for his Netflix documentary, Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now.

He sent a video message from the US, saying: “I have to say thank you so, so, so much if you voted or even if you just watched the documentary, it genuinely means the world and it never ceases to blow me away how much this documentary has connected with people and struck a chord.”

The award show also paid tribute to the late Paul O’Grady by playing a montage of some of his career highlights, with host Dommett remembering his “kindness” coupled with a “unique sense of fun that won over audiences in an instant”.

The TV star, who died aged 67 in March, also won the factual entertainment prize for his TV show For The Love Of Dogs.

Paul O’Grady’s funeral
Paul O’Grady died earlier this year (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Geordie duo Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin cemented their run as kings of prime-time television after winning the best TV presenter prize for the 22nd consecutive time.

As the pair collected the award, Donnelly said: “We are as humbled and grateful tonight as we were when we won it for the first time.”

McPartlin added that they will continue to present “as long as you want us to”.

Reality TV series Gogglebox took home the Bruce Forsyth entertainment award, beating The Masked Singer, and Donnelly and McPartlin who were nominated for two of their shows – I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! and Saturday Night Takeaway.

BBC’s The Traitors received the award for best reality competition, and The Graham Norton Show won in the new TV interview category, beating Piers Morgan Uncensored on Talk TV, Louis Theroux Interviews… and The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show.

Eurovision 2023
The Graham Norton Show won the award in the TV interview category (Aaron Chown/PA)

Norton appeared on a video-link to collect the award, saying: “Finally, I win a National Television Award and I’m not there.”

He added: “This award, winning it means so much. Mostly it means that Ant and Dec don’t have a talk show… yet. Don’t do it to me, boys.”

Strictly Come Dancing picked up the talent show prize, EastEnders claimed the serial drama gong, while Netflix hit Wednesday, which stars Jenna Ortega as the Addams Family character Wednesday Addams, won the new drama award.

The Our Dementia Choir delivered a moving performance, with This Is England actress Vicky McClure admitting she was “shaking through pride” at witnessing the group sing at the O2.

EastEnders actor and forthcoming Strictly contestant Bobby Brazier, who is the son of TV presenter Jeff Brazier and the late Jade Goody, won the rising star award.

Fellow EastEnders star Danielle Harold was awarded the best serial drama performance prize for her portrayal of Lola Pearce-Brown who died in the show earlier this year after developing a brain tumour.