Sometimes live television is a cruel mistress; from accidentally revealing the wrong winner at a live Oscars telecast through to walking on stage and slapping a comedian who made a joke. Yes, those producers have to have pretty quick fingers to cut a camera feed when it comes to award ceremonies.
Even the National Television Awards in its history have had some moments that haven’t entirely gone to plan; but isn’t that ultimately the beauty of live television? The opportunity to watch something go completely wrong, in a harmless way of course - no one needs to get hurt at all.
Much like the BRIT Awards, another awards show broadcast by ITV, anything can happen when it comes to celebrity bravado, a level of confidence that veers closely to arrogance, and let’s be honest - an absolute quantity of alcohol along what can be for many a very long evening of watching people win something you felt you believed.
But then there are the hideous wardrobe malfunctions or, in the case of a US actor who presented an award, bombing by not reading the room. Never bring politics or football talk to the National Television Awards is a cautionary lesson to anyone who might end up becoming a presenter in the future.
So what have been some of the more cringeworthy moments throughout the history of the National Television Awards, and will we see some more this evening?
What are some of the worst moments from the National Television Awards?
Judy Finnigan's wardrobe malfunction at the 2000 event became quite infamous and was widely covered in the media at the time. Judy Finnigan, a British television presenter known for her work alongside her husband Richard Madeley, was attending the NTAs when the incident occurred.
During the awards ceremony, Judy Finnigan was wearing a low-cut dress with a plunging neckline. As she and her husband were on stage to present an award, her dress slipped, exposing her bra. The incident led to some embarrassment, as it was broadcast live on television.
That Richard Madeley thought everyone was laughing because of his Ali G impression he did weeks before the event was almost as cringeworthy as the malfunction itself!
The incident involving Chris Hughes at the National Television Awards (NTAs) in 2020 occurred following the awards ceremony. Chris Hughes, a former Love Island star and the boyfriend of Jesy Nelson, who is a member of the group Little Mix, was at the NTAs with Jesy, who had won the award for Best Factual Programme for her BBC Three documentary titled "Odd One Out."
After the awards ceremony, Chris Hughes became embroiled in a violent altercation with a photographer outside the O2 arena in London in the early hours of the following morning. The photographer claimed that he had wanted to take a picture of Chris and Jesy together, but they had exited the hotel separately, which disappointed him. He used profane language under his breath, which Chris overheard and misunderstood.
Chris confronted the photographer and a physical altercation ensued, during which the photographer's camera equipment was damaged. The incident was reported to the police, and an investigation was launched.
Following the altercation, Chris Hughes issued an apology on social media, stating that he regretted his actions and that the night should have been about celebrating Jesy's award. He emphasized that his actions were in self-defence.
It all got a bit too much for former ‘Casualty’ actress Christine Stephen-Daly, who was set to present the “Best Dramatic Performance” award at the 2001 ceremony. The National Television Awards proudly announce on their website that they have only had to cut the cameras twice during a live broadcast; one time for a streaker on stage and the other time, this incident.
As the cameras cut away to show the nominees for the award, Stephen-Daly reportedly fainted on stage after presenting the nominees, leading to Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater from ‘Eastenders’) accepting the award from that year’s host, Sir Trevor McDonald.
The audience's hostility towards Danny DeVito during his presentation at the National Television Awards (NTAs) in 2019 can be attributed to a combination of factors. Firstly, DeVito's comment about his interest in football and his light-hearted remark about trying out for Arsenal's goalkeeper position appeared to be a playful jest. However, football loyalties run deep among fans in the UK, and his comment seemingly supporting Arsenal was met with boos from fans of rival clubs, reflecting the passionate and competitive nature of football fandom.
Secondly, DeVito's initial confusion and misreading of the nominations added an element of disorganization to his presentation, making it seem less polished and scripted than typical awards show moments. This unexpected deviation from the script could have contributed to the audience's unease. Despite these initial setbacks, DeVito managed to recover and present the award, but the awkwardness of the moment lingered, making it memorable for both viewers and attendees.