It’s the one night of the year that the 02 Arena in London has its seats filled with TV personnel and celebrities alike, writes Breda Graham.
The National Television Awards, now in its 23rd year, kicked off last night and brought with it smart suits, dazzling dresses, emotional acceptance speeches and the odd ’what have I just witnessed’ moment.
And who other to deliver one of those moments right at the very opening of the show other than Piers Morgan who descended onto the stage in a suit and tux with the large gold letters ‘PM’ draped above him.
His moment in the spotlight didn’t last too long, however, as host Dermot O’Leary took his place in getting the night started.
The first guest presenter of the night was Doctor Foster actress Suranne Jones who revealed her secret love of last year’s X Factor winners Rak-Su. The group performed for at the 02 Arena for the second time last night.
Just come off stage at the o2 second time 😁 absolutely loved it! Hope you guys enjoyed seeing us back on TV... same fun but a lil tighter on the choreo 😏thank you all for the support ❤️ NTA’s thank you for having us!!! pic.twitter.com/T5R1crTl2l— Rak-Su (@RakSuMusic) January 23, 2018
The first award of the night for Factual Entertainment Show was scooped up by Gogglebox. The award was dedicated to the late Leon and his wife June. The pair had been favourites since the show’s first series in 2013.
I just cried thinking about Leon from gogglebox— Katie Chattell (@KatieChattell) January 24, 2018
There was plenty of last year’s Love Islanders also in attendance, and given that the reality show, in which the end goal is to find love, saw each of the islanders swapping partners throughout the series, there were bound to be some awkward encounters.
One of the most evident being between Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies who recently split, but still share best friends in couple Chris Hughes and Olivia Attwood.
The exes shared the same row beside their respective besties but made sure not to sit next to each other.
Chris Hughes who took the end seat in the row was the spot of another awkward moment from the night as he decided what better to do with a wig given to him by Dermot O’Leary than to sniff it.
As you do Chris, as you do.
It wasn’t all break-ups and run-ins between the love islanders, however, as Marcel Somerville and Gabby Allen proved.
The couple have appeared to grow even more madly in love since the show ended in July after a summer of romance.
Ant and Dec scooped the award for Challenge Show for their stunt on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
The presenting duo also took home the newly named Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for Saturday Night Takeaway.
Dec dedicated the award to the late Sir Bruce on stage. "We performed with Bruce on this very stage a few years ago at the opening of the NTA’s and it’s no exaggeration to say it was one of the highlights of our career and we all miss him terribly so we are thrilled and proud and honoured to be collecting the first Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award so this one’s for you Brucie," he said.
The two later accepted the TV Presenter Award and got emotional about the win after a "tough 12 months."
Coronation Street’s Lucy Fallon broke into tears on stage as she accepted the award for Serial Drama Performance.
Children’s book author and comedian David Walliams won the award for Best Judge at the ITV ceremony, but didn’t make the usual dedications in his acceptance speech.
Instead, he boasted his win to fellow Britain’s Got Talent judge, Simon Cowell.
“I don’t look upon this as a victory for me. I look upon it as a humiliation for Simon Cowell,” he said holding the golden trophy.
It’s soothing to know that their on screen banter during Britain’s Got Talent lives on when the cameras stop rolling.
Blue Planet 2 took home the Impact Award and Sir David Attenborough said he was "privileged" to have done the voice over on the show and praised the camera crew for their hard work.
"These are the people that should be holding this but I know that they would join me in what we are all trying to do which is trying to raise this issue which is worldwide, which is what we are doing on our planet.
"If our television programmes have helped stir the consciences of people around the world then all of us would be very pleased," he said.
TV presenter Paul O’Grady was honoured with the Special Recognition Award TV for his work on Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs, and highlighting the issue of rescue dogs in the UK.
The staff at Battersea Dogs Home thanked Paul for his work on the show with a special VT.
The big award of the night - the Serial Drama award - was taken home by Emmerdale.
And just when you thought the fun ended there, those who attended the awards looked a bit worse for wear this morning as they battled through the hangovers to get on with their daily routines.
The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh appeared to be drowning in regret from the night before and even woke up to a new Instagram account, courtesy of Holly Willoughby.
Holly herself, alongside This Morning co-presenter Phillip Schofield, made it into work in one piece - or just about.
Michelle Heaton was in top form this morning, headbanging her way through the hangover with her kids.
Yup I’m crazy mummy this morning 😐😎 pic.twitter.com/FIsoycLZ1J— michelle heaton (@wonderwomanshel) January 24, 2018
A good night had all around then!