Sarah Lancashire fights back tears during emotional speech as she’s honoured with the Special Recognition gong at the National Television Awards
Sarah Lancashire fought back tears as she was honoured with the Special Recognition Award at the 2023 National Television Awards on Tuesday night.
The actress, 58, was visibly moved as she took to the stage after Sir Ian McKellen gave her a heartwarming introduction which was followed by a compilation of her greatest works and tributes from her co-stars.
The former Coronation Street star then gave an emotional speech in which she hailed the people who she has worked with over the years, remarking she’s loved ‘every moment’ of her impressive career.
Addressing the audience following a rousing standing ovation, Sarah said: ‘You have no idea what it’s like to have so many lovely things said about you by so many people you love and admire. This gentleman [Sir Ian] in particular.
‘I have been so very fortunate to spend my working life doing a job that I love, made possible by brilliantly talented people – producers, directors, writers, actors – and I am exceptionally lucky to have enjoyed every moment of it.
‘But there are also enablers wo stand very quietly in the wings without expectation or due credit, they are my family, my husband, my children, my friends, my agent Nick, thank you.
‘And of course a very vital component in this is you, the audience.
‘Without you, all this would grind to a crashing halt. So carry on doing what you’re doing, keep watching, and we’ll keep doing what we do.
‘Thank you so much for this, it’s very special.’
This wasn’t the only time Sarah took to the stage that night as she also won the award for Drama Performance for her portrayal of Sergeant Catherine Cawood in BBC‘s Happy Valley – which also won the Returning Drama prize.
She told the crowd upon accepting the gong: ‘Thank you so much for this. I have adored every scene, every moment of Happy Valley.
‘And I know I will never forget it, nor the brilliant people that I’ve worked with, the way the BBC have supported us.’
Meanwhile, it was a night of what ifs for Alison Hammond and flagship show This Morning, but it was business as usual for Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly as the National Television Awards got underway on Tuesday evening.
Beneath the lights of London’s O2 Arena, it was Ant and Dec who claimed their 22nd NTA at the annual ceremony following a successful return to the Australian jungle with ITV1 juggernaut I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The pair claimed the award ahead of the much fancied Hammond, notably selected ahead of her This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby in the category for Best Presenter.
Meanwhile This Morning lost its best daytime show title at the as The Repair Shop claimed the prize.
It comes as the ITV morning programme, which has been on a winning streak in the daytime category for the last number of years, continues to face backlash amid the furore of the Phillip Schofield affair.
The Repair Shop host Jay Blades encouraged the crowd to cheer as the show’s team took to the stage at The O2 and took a picture of the moment as he noted it was a “rarity” for them to be winning the prize.
Ant and Dec – who were also competing with Martin Lewis, Claudia Winkleman and Bradley Walsh for Best Presenter – admitted they were “more nervous than ever” before going into the event on Tuesday evening, but were just as “humbled and grateful” to receive the honour as they had ever been.
Ant said: ‘Thank you so much to the NTAs we’ve got quite a long list of thank yous, all of the shows and the people we work with, we are the luckiest two men on telly because we’ve got the best production teams and the best people to work with, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’
His presenting partner Declan Donnelly added: ‘Thank you to ITV, to Kevin and Katie and all the team at ITV for your continued support. Thank you to our fantastic management team for your support, thank you gang, you’re up in the box somewhere.
‘Thank you to our lovely wives, our beautiful children. I can’t believe that we are still getting away with this…’
Elsewhere, Danielle Harold cried as she picked up the Serial Drama Performance prize for her former role in EastEnders.
The actress appeared genuinely stunned as she made her way onto the stage after her portrayal of brain tumour victim Lola Pearce-Brown’s final days saw her scoop the accolade ahead of Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt and Coronation Street stars Charlotte Jordan and Maureen Lipman.
Earlier in the evening, the TV Interview honour went to The Graham Norton Show but unlike category rivals Louis Theroux, Piers Morgan and Chris and Rosie Ramsay, the host wasn’t at the ceremony to be able to accept the accolade in person
The Traitors won the Reality Competition prize, while the third season of ‘Happy Valley’ landed the Returning Drama honour.
The evening’s first award, the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, was presented to Gogglebox.
Happy Valley also triumphed on the night, with the show winning in the category for Returning Drama, while actress Sarah Lancashire claimed the award for best Drama Performance.
The actress saw off tough competition from her co-star James Norton, Queen Charlotte’s India Amarteifio, Vera’s Brenda Blethyn and Call The Midwife’s Judy Parfitt to claim the prize.
Elsewhere This Is England actress Vicky McClure said that she was “shaking” during the Our Dementia Choir performance at the annual event.
McClure, 40, who is the founder of the choir, spoke live at the NTA’s and said: ‘I am shaking through pride that I am feeling right now to witness Our Dementia Choir playing at the O2.”
She added: ‘Our mission is to share knowledge, raise awareness and aid research to help find a cure, but also to remind everyone that with the right hearts and minds you really can change people’s lives for the better.’
Joel Dommett kicked off proceedings on Tuesday, telling the audience: ‘My wife is actually nine months pregnant, she is due basically now.’
He joked that if his partner, Hannah Cooper, goes into labour, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are on stand by to take her to the hospital.
Gogglebox took home the first award of the night, The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award.
The reality TV series beat The Masked Singer and Ant and Dec, who were nominated for two of their shows, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Saturday Night Takeaway.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Race Across the World
SAS: Who Dares Wins
The Traitors – WINNER
Deborah James: Bowelbabe in Her Own Words
Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now – WINNER
Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction
Rob Burrow: Living with MND
Call the Midwife
Happy Valley -WINNER
Ant & Dec – WINNER
Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs – WINNER
Sort Your Life Out
The Martin Lewis Money Show Live
Brenda Blethyn, DCI Vera Stanhope, Vera
India Amarteifio, Young Queen Charlotte, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
James Norton, Tommy Lee Royce, Happy Valley
Judy Parfitt, Sister Monica Joan, Call The Midwife
Sarah Lancashire, Catherine Cawood, Happy Valley – WINNER
The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Gogglebox – WINNER
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The Masked Singer
EastEnders – WINNER
Louis Theroux Interviews…
Piers Morgan Uncensored
The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show
The Graham Norton Show – WINNER
Serial Drama Performance
Charlotte Jordan, Daisy Midgeley, Coronation Street
Danielle Harold, Lola Pearce-Brown, EastEnders – WINNER
Dominic Brunt, Paddy Kirk, Emmerdale
Maureen Lipman, Evelyn Plummer, Coronation Street
Quiz Game Show
Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel
Richard Osman’s House Of Games
The 1% Club – WINNER
The Chase Celebrity Special
Benjamin Chivers, Isaac, The Devil’s Hour
Bobby Brazier, Freddie Slater, EastEnders – WINNER
Channique Sterling-Brown, Dee-Dee Bailey, Coronation Street
Lewis Cope, Nicky Milligan, Emmerdale
The Repair Shop – WINNER
Young Sheldon- WINNER
Britain’s Got Talent
Strictly Come Dancing – WINNER
The Great British Bake Off