National Television Awards Dermot Oleary On Why Hes Happy To Lose To Ant And Dec

National Television Awards: Dermot O'Leary on why he's happy to lose to Ant and Dec

National Television Awards: Dermot O'Leary on why he's happy to lose to Ant and Dec

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Dermot O’Leary will walk out on stage to present the National Television Awards knowing he has a small hurdle to get over during the show.

He’s been nominated to win the Best Entertainment Presenter gong for the fifth time. And for the fifth time he’s pretty well certain he won’t win.

That’s because TV titans Ant and Dec have won that particular prize for 13 straight years – and neither Dermot nor anyone else thinks that their crown is about to slip.

“I know I have got precious little chance of winning if past form is anything to go by,” he says cheerfully.

“But I never really worry about winning it. That award comes a third of the way in and then I have two-thirds of a show to present.

“I never have the nerves I’d have if I was sitting in the audience. I just have to get on with it. And besides, Ant and Dec are mates and they are really, really good so you never begrudge them winning it.”

ITVNTA AwardsThe National Television Awards LIVE! with Dermot O”Leary

So what is about the Geordie duo that makes them so unbeatable?

“Speaking as a mate and a colleague,” says Dermot, “I think they have got each other and that lovely combination of being everymen.

“That is key – that you are you when you are on TV. It is such a simple rule but it is amazing how many people behave like someone else when there is a camera put in front of them.

“It is nice to get nominated but the fact you are working is the most important thing. Your happiness should not be at stake on trinkets.”

Dermot, 41, is speaking over coffee before final rehearsals for the awards ceremony at London’s O2 Arena.

He says the show always “kicks off the year with a bang” for him, but this year’s event will be tinged with sadness following the death of Corrie’s Anne Kirkbride.

“We were all really sad to hear of Anne’s passing,” says Dermot. “We know what a tight family Corrie are and how hard it will hit them and we send our condolences. We are speaking to them now about a fitting tribute.”

Chris Bull/MENAnne KirkbrideSadly missed: Anne Kirkbride

For the rest of the show, Dermot hopes for “shocks and upsets” to help make it more exciting viewing. “I get that people have to thank producers,” he says. “I would probably be like that – and you don’t want it to be like the episode of Father Ted where they go up and slag everybody off.

“I like the unpredictability of it. As long as you have prepped your script and you know where you are going next you just embrace it.

“I want people to come on stage and speak from the heart.”

The NTAs signal a return to work for Dermot. Aside from his weekly Radio 2 show, his other big gig, as
the host of The X Factor, ended before Christmas.

There was speculation at the start of the year that he might not return after he said he wanted to work on other shows. But now he seems as keen as ever to return. And by next month he is likely to have signed up for his ninth year as host.

PAEd MilibandLabour party leader Ed Miliband

“I think when I got asked before I had only just finished it,” he explains. “Of course I want to do it again, I would love to do it – we have to sit down and talk about what they want. We normally do that in February. I want to work on other shows, but it would have to be an extraordinary show for me not to want to just do it alongside X Factor. It takes up so much of your time.

“We lost to Bake Off last year in the ratings but it is still one of the biggest shows once you include people watching on catch-up.

“It always has to change. And the minute I feel bored with it will be when I know it is time to give up.”

One area of TV where Dermot would love to spread his wings is in politics.

“I’d like to do some political stuff on TV but it is difficult,” he says. “Why shouldn’t someone who works in light entertainment have a voice in politics too? I would like to do a little bit of both if I am honest – Question Time and The X Factor.

PAAnt and DecAnthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (Ant and Dec) with the Most Popular Entertainment Presenters awards they received at the National Television Awards 2005 (NTA)

“The only reason you can’t do it is because people say you can’t, which is a shame… though I wouldn’t be as good as Dimbleby anyway.”

Dermot is interested in politics as more than a career opportunity too –he has his own opinions and he wants people to get excited about the General Election this May.

Rounding on one of his friends, he says: “It is all very well Russell Brand saying don’t vote – I disagree vociferously – but politicians have to give people something to vote for.

“I hate negative campaigning. I know as opposition you have to differentiate yourself from those in power. But I want a good clean fight – people are disenchanted with politics. I love Prime Minister’s Question Time but you think, ‘God, all they do is have a go at people’. They need to credit people with some intelligence that they can understand policy.

BBCDoctor WhoDoctor Who Peter Capaldi

“If I was advising Ed Miliband I wouldn’t write another speech. When he talks off the cuff he comes across really well. When he reads a speech he doesn’t. And if you are gonna write a speech don’t memorise it – no one cares. And David Cameron – it’s a tricky one, for me they have got to stop worrying about UKIP and fight them. They all seem scared of them.

“I have voted for three parties in my life so I am definitely a floating voter” he adds.

So the NTAs, perhaps some politics and then X Factor. Throw in watching Arsenal and his radio show and there doesn’t seem that much time left for wife Dee, 36, who travels the world as an in-demand TV producer.

BBCThe Great British Bake OffJudges of The Great British Bake Off Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

Dermot, who tends to go shy at the talk of family matters, has said he wants to try for children but says there’s no rush.

“I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever. When we are ready we will be ready,” he says. However, it was only a week ago when he also said: “I definitely want kids, but I’ve got a very busy wife with a very busy life. It’s not fair for me to say, ‘I want kids now’.

PAX factorDermot O”Leary and the X-Factor judging panel of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Simon Cowell, Mel B and Louis Walsh

“I do want kids with my wife, but I want them when we both think it’s the right thing to happen.”

Dermot will be helping children from around the world in March when he takes part in Comic Relief on TV.

He is sworn to secrecy but says he has a big part this year and all will be revealed at the NTAs.

If only there was a NTA for being a hard-working good-guy, Dermot would be a shoo-in for the prize.

Watch the National Television Awards hosted by Dermot O’Leary LIVE on Wednesday from 7.30pm only on ITV.

Owen Teale as Alliser ThorneOwen Teale as Alliser Thorne in the smash-hit US series Game of Thrones

Who”s up for what at the awards

Here’s the scorecard for the’s awards show at the O2 Arena in London – all the nominations for the 2015 NTAs…

TALENT SHOW The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice UK, Strictly Come Dancing

SKILLS CHALLENGE SHOW The Apprentice, The Great British Bake Off , Come Dine With Me MasterChef

SERIAL DRAMA Emmerdale, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Hollyoaks

COMEDY Mrs Brown’s Boys, Benidorm, Outnumbered, The Big Bang Theory

DRAMA PERFORMANCE Sheridan Smith (Cilla), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley), Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

FACTUAL Top Gear, Long Lost Family, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Gogglebox

DRAMA Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Cilla, Doctor
Who 

CHAT SHOW HOST Alan Carr, Graham Norton, Paul O’Grady, Michael McIntyre, Jonathan Ross

DAYTIME The Jeremy Kyle
Show, Pointless, This Morning, The Chase

NEWCOMER Michael Parr (Emmerdale), Maddy Hill (EastEnders), Lee Mead (Casu alty), Cameron Moore (Hollyoaks)

SERIAL DRAMA PERFORMANCE Nikki Sanderson (Hollyoaks), Kellie Bright (EastEnders), Verity Rushworth (Emmerdale), Danny Dyer (EastEnders)

MULTICHANNEL The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Celebrity Juice, Geordie Shore

ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTER Ant & Dec, Bradley Walsh, Keith Lemon, Dermot O’Leary

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Through The Keyhole, Celebrity Big Brother

TV JUDGE Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Mary Berry

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