National Television Awards to ‘ban’ Ant and Dec?

It stunned ITV viewers in 1978 when the televised TV Times Awards banned presenter, and actress, Noele Gordon from their yearly gong show and now it seems Geordie actors, and presenters, Ant and Dec are to meet the same fate.

The Sun revealed today that ITV gong show the National Television Awards are planning to ban Ant and Dec – Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – from being nominated to give other more deserving performers a chance.

The presenters who host popular reality series I’m A Celebrity… and several other shows for ITV including Britain’s Got Talent have continually taken top gongs for eleven years in a row.

The newspaper claims that executives behind the award show are tired of the duo always winning the Entertainment Presenter prize. The suggestion is to drop Ant and Dec from the shortlist this autumn and instead name a top gong after the ITV personalities.

A source told The Sun, which backs the NTA’s as its readers can vote for winners via the newspaper, “Ant and Dec have taken more awards than any other show or star in the ceremony’s 17-year history… …There’s talk they will step out of the competition to give others a chance and organisers will re-brand the category The Ant And Dec Entertainment Presenter Award.”

In the 1960s and 1970s ‘the’ award to win if you worked for ITV was the televised annual TV Times Awards. In 1978 ATV presenter and soap actress Noele Gordon was ‘banned’ from the gong show after winning her first award in 1968. It was noted Gordon walked away with up to three awards in one year alone – including ITV Personality of the Year and Best Actress, like the NTA’s all voted for by the British public.

In 1979 she was the first inductee in the TV Times Hall Of Fame, especially created to avoid Gordon ever returning to the nominations. Gordon publicly announced she had decided to step down after a decade of trampling over her rivals “to give someone else a chance”. Privately she wasn’t impressed and, it seems, if the newspaper is to be believed neither may Ant and Dec.

“It will be news to them and the idea will depend on whether they want to go along with it. They might just say no, in which case the organisers can’t not let them enter.” The ITV insider told The Sun.

The idea to drop the pair stems from producers at Indigo Television. In 2008 it was revealed Ant and Dec had been given a Comedy Award in another ITV gong show, however it was rigged and should have been given to Catherine Tate.