World of Chig   


Just The Two Of Us

Last night on the National Television Awards, a moment of pure televisual magic with Ant'n'Dec. First they picked up the Most Popular Entertainment Show award for Pop Idol. No big surprise there. Then they picked up the Most Popular Entertainment Presenter award, in a tough category, up against Graham Norton, Lily Savage and Davina McCall. Dec looked mildly stunned and they gave a humble ‘we’re not worthy speech’; “We’re speechless. No, really, we have no speech,” he explained. End of the night for them, or so we all thought.
Near the end, it’s time for the Special Recognition award. Trevor McDonald says that someone in the audience is going to be surprised. He’s speaking in the singular, but it’s all a ruse. Run VT. Cameras show Ant’n’Dec in the corner of the screen, watching what we’re all seeing on film. They are momentarily surprised, as someone they used to know from Byker Grove crops up. One of them clearly says to the other ‘it’s not us!’ and they laugh. We carry on watching the film, expecting it to be a tribute to some old person whose turn it is to get a special award from the TV industry. But then Cat Deeley is on the film, and the penny drops with us viewers AND Ant’n’Dec themselves, that it IS them. They then have to sit through bouquets (and some very funny brickbats from Simon Cowell) as TV folk like Chris Tarrant talk about them in glowing terms. Every now and again, we see Ant’n’Dec watching the film about them. They are stunned. They don’t speak to each other or their girlfriends, they just sit there open-mouthed. Dec, in particular, looks sick. Ant is white as a sheet. It is SO CLEAR they had no idea about this, it’s brilliant ambush TV. When they eventually get up on stage to accept the award, they look ruffled and truly lost for words. Ant leans into the microphone and says, “Is it after nine o’clock?” He checks his watch and then says, “Shit!”. They don’t say very much else. They could hardly speak. I was blubbing. Bless them. They deserve it.

If this hadn’t happened, I was going to go on about how boringly predictable the awards were. David bloody Jason. He wins every year. He won two last night. He doesn’t even turn up to get them these days. He even won the award which everyone thought would go posthumously to John Thaw. Superb young actors like Alex Fearns (Trevor in EastEnders) must curse the day that David Jason was born, as they’re never going to get a look-in. What’s particularly galling is that Jason hasn’t DONE ANYTHING in the last twelve months except one Christmas episode of Only Fools And Horses (which was mediocre), but still the public voted for him. Grrr.

And then it was time for the news, which started with a roll call of Britons who have been killed in Bali; names scrolling up the screen with their photos and a candle in the background. I filled up again. And I felt stupid for getting emotional over Ant’n’Dec just before, because this was real life and that was just telly. Get your priorities right Chig.

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