Television viewing often results in a fight for the remote in households across the country, with one person’s must see show being another one’s “most hated” programme. Christmas is a classic time when people’s viewing habits can be thrown into turmoil as they reach for the recorder to ensure that they avoid missing the latest major storyline in Corrie, while being “entertained” at a family member’s house by finishing off the turkey sandwiches and being coerced into watching Walford’s woes develop before their very eyes. Yet, when the National Television Awards’ evening bursts on to our screens later this month, the battle between the shows that attempt to attract us to their fan club will be all too evident, as they go side by side for the gongs that matter in the television industry.

Voting is already open online for the fifteen categories that awards are to be presented in on 21st January at the O2 Arena in London, and it promises to be an interesting watch as to just who and which programmes are voted the most popular by the viewing public.

As ever, the competition between the soaps in the serial drama category will offer bragging rights for the victors for the next twelve months. All of the usual suspects will feature, as Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks compete for the award. Similary, top serial drama performance is the reward for the top actor / actress in the soaps’, with no nominee from the Manchester soap this year, but both Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright in the running from Eastenders.

Top talent show pits the BBC’s ratings winner and affectionately coined “Strictly” against its nemesis on ITV, Simon Cowell’s X-Factor, with The Voice UK and Britain’s Got Talent hoping to sneak up on the outside.

Top skills talent show looks like a head to head between The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off, or business against baking. Did Alan Sugar’s “You’re Fired!” statements offer more appeal that the eloquence with which Mary Berry dissected a contestant’s lemon drizzle cake composition?

The award for top comedy could see Brendan O’Carroll’s unapologetic creation Mrs Brown’s Boys take another bow, but the equally raucous Benidorm may come into the reckoning.

Top drama could be a contest between the science fiction fans and the costume drama aficionados, with Doctor Who vying against Downton Abbey, although Sherlock and Sheridan Smith’s acutely observed vehicle Cilla are worthy of their nominations also. The drama performance award singles out individual stars, with the same shows represented except for the interesting exclusion of Peter Capaldi for his portrayal of the new “Doctor”, as Sarah Lancashire comes into the reckoning for her part in Happy Valley instead, a title that seems slightly at odds with what is a dark police drama.

Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross should contest the chat show host award, although Alan Carr’s Chatty Man show on Channel 4 has been growing in popularity over recent times. Ant & Dec should continue their success as top entertainment presenter, as their popularity shows no real sign of diminishing among the British public. They could even make it a double in the top entertainment programme category, although with (two) nominations for both Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity, they may end up effectively splitting their votes to allow Big Brother to sneak the award instead.

The categories don’t stop there though, with further awards being presented for factual, daytime, newcomer (to the soaps), multichannel and TV judge. It should be a night of glitz and glamour as the television stars battle it out for supremacy. 
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