National Television Awards introduce new category celebrating celeb-led documentaries

A BOOM in celebrity-led documentaries has led the National Television Awards to create an entirely new gong.

Proving how popular the genre has become, the Authored Documentary category’s longlist includes a whopping 18 shows — and none of them involve serial NTA winners Ant & Dec.

There will be competition from huge stars such as Davina McCall who made a doc on going through the menopause, Sheridan Smith on becoming a first-time mum and Zara McDermott investigating revenge porn.

But there will be some sibling rivalry, too, as footballing brothers Anton Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand are both nominated.

Former Queens Park Rangers ace Anton took a heartfelt look at his own experiences of prejudice, in Football, Racism And Me, while Rio joined wife Kate Ferdinand and his three eldest children in powerful documentary Becoming A Stepfamily.

There will also be a little pressure for Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock, who is on the longlist with her doc on racism.

She will follow in the footsteps of former bandmate Jesy Nelson whose own factual show, Odd One Out, earned her an NTA last year.

Host Joel Dommett will be handing out the gongs at the ceremony, at London’s O2 Arena on September 9. It is the first time The Masked Singer star has taken on the role.

Dermot O’Leary presented the awards from 2010 to 2019 and David Walliams took the reins last year. Elsewhere, the New Drama category reflects the divide between established shows and fresh formats.

There are 39 titles in this section — varying from Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, about the Aids crisis in the Eighties, to Netflix’s steamy period romp Bridgerton.

Other shows in the category include Channel 5’s reboot of All Creatures Great And Small, the BBC’s edgy I May Destroy You, and ITV drama Quiz.

But the Returning Drama section is just as strong, with BBC1’s Line Of Duty, Netflix’s The Crown and ITV’s Unforgotten.

Another new arrival is the Quiz Game Show category, including Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel and Beat The Chasers.

I’m glad I’m not the one having to whittle this down to a shortlist. Good luck, everyone.

The categories

Challenge Show
New Drama
Talent Show
Authored Documentary
Returning Drama
TV Presenter
Drama Performance
The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award
Serial Drama
Serial Drama Performance
Quiz Game Show

View the longlist and vote free online at All votes must be in by 11pm on Friday June 4, 2021

Mo's last hurrah

EASTENDERS veteran “Big Mo” Harris may be preparing to say goodbye to Albert Square but looks to be having a whale of a time.

In this shot from the show, hard-bitten Mo, played by Laila Morse, even cracks an uncharacteristic smile.

The actor announced earlier this year that she was quitting Walford after 20 years on our screens.

Her latest contract was coming to an end and Beeb bosses agreed this was a good time to write her out.

But fans will be relieved to know she will not be killed off and so may yet return.

I reckon she has earned a bit of a break.

Nat's not game for nudity

NATHALIE Emmanuel says doing sex scenes in Game Of Thrones has led to clashes with directors who expect her to strip off for other roles – which she refuses to do.

The actress, who played The Mother of Dragons’ right-hand woman Missandei in the Sky fantasy drama, insisted she was confident saying no.

She revealed: “When I did Game Of Thrones I agreed to certain nude scenes or nudity within the show.

“The perception from other projects, when the role required nudity, was that I was just open to do anything because I did it on that one show.

“What people didn’t realise is I agreed terms for that particular project, and that doesn’t necessarily apply to all projects.”

Nathalie, speaking on the Make It Reign podcast, added: “I’ve had people challenge me and be like, ‘But this part requires that’, and I said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable doing that level of nudity.

"I will do this amount or I can do this, which I think is necessary for the part’.”


THE NTAs most packed category on the longlist is Drama Performance which runs to 72 names.

These include David Tennant for playing serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV’s Des, Claes Bang for the lead role in BBC’s Dracula and Gillian Anderson for her portrayal of ex-PM Margaret Thatcher in Netflix’s The Crown.

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