The National Television Awards 2022 also celebrates wins for Ant and Dec (again) and This Morning.
King Charles III praised Emmerdale’s contribution as the soap won big at the National Television Awards (NTAs) on the eve of its 50th anniversary.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby kept their titles as king and queen of daytime telly, too, in the wake of their “queue-gate” controversy.
And money saving expert Martin Lewis criticised the government’s handling of the economy during his winner’s speech.
Elsewhere, Ant and Dec won their 21st straight best presenter trophy.
The pair missed the ceremony, though, after both catching Covid.
This year’s NTAs, voted for by the public, took place at London’s Wembley Arena, a month later than planned due to the death of the Queen.
The King was on hand via video message to give the royal approval to one of the night’s big winners, Emmerdale.
In a video recorded before his mother’s death last month, the new monarch congratulated the show on having nearly made its half century and recalled “being so old” he could remember it originally being called Emmerdale Farm.
He described the show as an “amazing British export” that had kept true to its creator’s original vision – “depicting what life is really life for those who work the land and protect our precious countryside”.
“It also stresses brilliantly something that concerns me greatly: the long-term sustainability of the way we produce our food.”
After the speech, it was announced that Mark Charnock, who stars as Marlon Dingle, had won the serial drama performance award.
“I’ve been upstaged in my life by a few queens but never by a king,” joked Boy George before presenting Emmerdale with the big final award of the night for best serial drama.
Awards show host Joel Dommett had earlier joked he was impressed Emmerdale had been going 50 years and still had “a working Dingle”.
Segments of the show marked the Queen’s death – with many stars opting for black outfits – as well as the war in Ukraine.
This Morning presenters Willoughby and Schofield were recently backed by ITV bosses after they were accused of jumping the queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state.
While accepting the award for best daytime show for a second year, Schofield said: “Don’t think we ever get complacent and please don’t think we ever take this for granted.
“This means so much to us every year, especially this year.
“We have the most amazing team. I have the best friend, we have the best boss.”
Willoughby added: “Thank you so much, this award means everything because it is voted by you, and I think This Morning has a very special relationship with you. You make our show for us, you really do.”
‘Get a grip’
Before the surprise royal guest, the UK’s Eurovision star Sam Ryder got the night going with an energetic performance of his track Space Man, and he was later followed by fellow singer Lewis Capaldi.
But in between all that, things got political when consumer champion Martin Lewis won a new category for best expert.
Referencing the cost-of-living crisis, Lewis, who expressed surprise to have beaten Sir David Attenborough to the award, noted it “has been a pretty horrible year, financially”.
“I mean, the energy crisis has been disastrous and left many people with terrible issues and mental health problems,” he said.
“I’m afraid the next year, with the mortgage problem and the knock-on to rent, is going to be pretty bad.”
“And you know what?” Lewis added. “We need somebody to get a grip on the economy and put things a little bit back.”
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, to give them their full names, won their 21st consecutive award, meaning the last time they didn’t win it was in 2000, to Michael Barrymore.
For added context, the winner of the rising star award on the night, Coronation Street’s Paddy Bevar, who plays Max Turner, wasn’t even born then.
Stephen Mulhern accepted the award on the duo’s behalf, saying: “Full respect to these guys, 21 years on the trot!” Before jokingly adding his own name to the trophy, declaring: “This baby is coming home with me.”
The winners in full:
Authored documentary – Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek
New drama – Trigger Point
Returning drama – Peaky Blinders
Drama performance – Cillian Murphy – Peaky Blinders
Serial drama – Emmerdale
Serial drama performance – Mark Charnock – Emmerdale
Rising star – Paddy Bever – Coronation Street
TV presenter – Ant & Dec
The Bruce Forsyth entertainment award – I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Talent show – Strictly Come Dancing
Talent show judge – Anton Du Beke – Strictly Come Dancing
Quiz game show – Beat the Chasers
Factual entertainment – Gogglebox
Expert – Martin Lewis – The Martin Lewis Money Show Live
Comedy – After Life
Daytime – This Morning
The award for best authored documentary went to Kate Garraway for a second year, as she continued to chronicle her family’s life as her husband Derek Draper gets treated for coronavirus.
Flanked by her daughter Darcey, she thanked the filmmakers for “making a very difficult thing easier” and dedicated the win to the nation’s carers.
“We have a care crisis in our country but we don’t have a crisis of love,” she declared.
The special recognition award went to comedian, actor and Comic Relief fundraiser Sir Lenny Henry, who was praised by stars in a video for having paved the way for other black British stars.
“These awards are so long David Beckham is still queuing to get in”, he joked, with his own nod to the royals.
Other winners on the night included After Life, Peaky Blinders and Strictly Come Dancing.