Boos for Doctor Who star as drama scoops three NTAs

Liz Thomas

Doctor Who may have scooped three National Television Awards last night but former Time Lord Christopher Eccleston has quickly fallen out of favour with the public.

The actor failed to turn up to collect his accolade for Most Popular Actor at the star-studded event held at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Although the show’s creator Russell T Davies collected the award on his behalf and read out the actor’s apology, the audience were vocal in their disappointment.

Eccleston was not the only one to receive a less than rapturous response. Tory leadership hopefuls David Davis and David Cameron were also booed as they made a guest appearance, awarding the gong for Most Popular Drama to Doctor Who, which has been credited with reviving family drama. The show beat popular US acquisition Desperate Housewives, The Bill and Bad Girls.

Billie Piper won Most Popular Actress for her role as Eccleston’s sidekick Rose. The actress will appear alongside David Tennant in the second series and Christmas special. She thanked BBC drama executives for taking a “huge gamble” on her.

EastEnders was named Most Popular Serial Drama, marking a potential change in fortunes for the show, which has been heavily criticised in the past two years. However it was the only gong the BBC1 flagship soap picked up, despite receiving six nominations.

Coronation Street’s Anthony Cotton won Most Popular Newcomer and its creator Tony Warren won a special TV landmark award for his work.

Tony Blair heaped praise on Jamie Oliver via a video message, awarding him the Special Recognition gong for his school dinners campaign. Blair said Oliver had used the power of television to change things for the better.

Chris Tarrant’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won Most Popular Quiz, while The X Factor saw off competition from Strictly Come Dancing, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to be named Most Popular Entertainment Programme. Sharon Osbourne beat Simon Cowell and Jeremy Clarkson to be named Most Popular Expert.

Little Britain won the award for comedy, Big Brother won the reality show prize and Paul O’Grady picked up the gong for daytime TV.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on ITV1 at 8pm on Wednesday, October 24.

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