Television viewing often results in a fight for the remotein households across the country, with one person’s must see show being anotherone’s “most hated” programme. Christmas is a classic time when people’s viewinghabits can be thrown into turmoil as they reach for the recorder to ensure thatthey 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 coercedinto watching Walford’s woes develop before their very eyes. Yet, when theNational 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 willbe all too evident, as they go side by side for the gongs that matter in thetelevision industry.

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

As ever, the competition between the soaps in the serial drama category will offerbragging rights for the victors for the next twelve months. All of the usualsuspects will feature, as CoronationStreet, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks compete for the award. Similary, top serial drama performanceis the reward for the top actor / actress in the soaps’, with no nominee fromthe Manchester soap this year, but both Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright in therunning from Eastenders.

Top talent showpits the BBC’s ratings winner and affectionately coined “Strictly” against itsnemesis on ITV, Simon Cowell’s X-Factor,with The Voice UK and Britain’s Got Talent hoping to sneakup on the outside.

Top skills talentshow looks like a head to head between TheApprentice and The Great British BakeOff, or business against baking. Did Alan Sugar’s “You’re Fired!” statementsoffer more appeal that the eloquence with which Mary Berry dissected acontestant’s lemon drizzle cake composition?

The award for top comedycould 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 dramacould 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 acutelyobserved vehicle Cilla are worthy oftheir nominations also. The drama performanceaward singles out individual stars, with the same shows represented except forthe 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 seemsslightly at odds with what is a dark police drama.

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

The categories don’tstop 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 thetelevision stars battle it out for supremacy. 
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