National Television Awards Introduce New Category Celebrating Celebrity-Directed Documentaries
A BOOM in celebrity-directed documentaries led the National Television Awards to create an entirely new gong.
Proving just how popular the genre has become, the long list for the Author Documentary category includes 18 shows – and none of them involve the serial winners of NTA Ant & Dec.
There will be competition from huge stars such as Davina McCall who did a doc on menopause, Sheridan Smith to become a first-time mom, and Zara McDermott investigating revenge porn.
But there will also be sibling rivalry, as footballer brothers Anton Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand are both nominated.
Former Queens Park Rangers ace Anton took a heartfelt look at his own experiences of prejudice, in Football, Racism And Me, as Rio joined his wife Kate Ferdinand and three eldest children in a powerful documentary Becoming A Stepfamily.
There will also be a bit of pressure for Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock, who is on the long list with her doc on racism.
She will be following in the footsteps of former band member Jesy Nelson whose own factual show, Odd One Out, earned her an NTA last year.
Host Joel Dommett will hand out the gongs at the ceremony at the O2 Arena in London on September 9. This is the first time the Masked Singer star has taken on the role.
Dermot O’Leary presented the awards from 2010 to 2019 and David Walliams took the reins last year. Elsewhere, the New Drama category reflects the divide between established shows and new formats.
There are 39 titles in this section – ranging from Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, about the AIDS crisis of the ’80s, to Netflix’s scorching days, Bridgerton.
Other shows in the category include Channel 5’s reboot of All Creatures Big and Small, the BBC’s edgy I May Destroy You, and ITV’s drama Quiz.
But the Returning Drama section is just as strong, with Line Of Duty from BBC1, The Crown from Netflix and Unforgotten from ITV.
Another novelty is the Quiz Game Show category, featuring The Wheel and Beat The Chasers by Michael McIntyre.
I’m glad I’m not the one to narrow this down to a shortlist. Good luck to everyone.
The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award
Dramatic serial performance
Consult the long list and vote for free online on nationaltvawards.com All votes must take place before 11 p.m. on Friday June 4, 2021
Mo’s last hurray
EASTENDERS veteran “Big Mo” Harris may be about to say goodbye to Albert Square, but he looks like he’s having a great time.
In this shot from the series, the hard-bitten Mo, played by Laila Morse, even cracks an unusual smile.
The actor announced earlier this year that she is leaving Walford after 20 years on our screens.
His last contract was coming to an end and Beeb’s bosses agreed it was a good time to write it.
But fans will be relieved to know that she won’t be killed and therefore could return.
I think she deserved a bit of a break.
Nat is not a game for nudity
NATHALIE Emmanuel says doing sex scenes in Game Of Thrones has led to clashes with directors who expect her to strip for other roles – which she refuses to do.
The actress, who played Mother of Dragons right-hand man Missandei in fantasy drama Sky, insisted she was confident saying no.
She revealed, “When I did Game Of Thrones, I accepted some nude or nudity scenes on the show.
“The perception of the other projects, when the role required nudity, was that I was just open to anything because I did it on this show.
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“What people didn’t realize is that I accepted the terms of this particular project, and that doesn’t necessarily apply to all projects.”
Nathalie, speaking on the Make It Reign podcast, added: “I’ve had people who challenged me and were like, ‘But this part demands it’, and I said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable with this level of nudity.
“I’ll make that amount or I can do it, which I think is necessary for the ‘part.”
NTA’s busiest category on the long list is Drama Performance, which has 72 names.
These include David Tennant for playing serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV’s Des, Claes Bang for the lead role in BBC’s Dracula and Gillian Anderson for his portrayal of ex-PM Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. from Netflix.