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National TV Awards 2012: Downton Abbey crowned best drama

Downton Abbey

Story by Jack Foley

DOWNTON Abbey lived up to its nickname of ‘new nation’s favourite’ by taking home the best drama prize at the 2012 National TV Awards.

The ITV period drama beat Merlin, Doctor Who and last year’s winner Waterloo Road in that category.

There was good news for Doctor Who in other areas, though, as both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan picked up two of the night’s top prizes, for best male drama performance and best drama actress respectively.

Gillan’s award comes just weeks after it was announced that she was leaving the show. Find out more

The National TV Awards, now in its 11th year, were handed out on Wednesday night (January 25, 2012) at London’s O2 Arena. All nominees and winners were determined by a public vote.

Other major prize winners on the night included Alan Carr, who won the battle of the chat show hosts after beating Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton to the best talk show prize for his Chatty Man show.

Ant and Dec won the entertainment presenter prize for the 11th year in a row. And they also picked up a second trophy when I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here won best reality programme,

The X-Factor beat the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing to best talent show, despite losing out to its rival in this year’s ratings.

In the soap categories, Katherine Kelly, who played Becky in Coronation Street, won best soap performance just two days after her character left the show, and EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa, who plays Lauren Branning, was voted best newcomer.

Coronation Street took the best serial drama prize.

See the full list of winners