Ant and Dec at NTAs: We’re friends first – the shows come after that

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly said their friendship comes before their TV shows – after winning at the National Television Awards for best TV presenter.

The duo have fronted programmes including Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Speaking in the winner’s room, Ant said the key to the pair’s on-screen chemistry is their friendship.

National Television Awards 2023 – London
Ant and Dec at the National Television Awards 2023 (Lucy North/PA)

He said: “We’re friends. That’s it. We’re friends first and foremost and the TV shows come after that, so I think at the heart of it when you watch it, you know it’s a true friendship.”

Dec said: “We’ve always said that ours is a career built on friendship, not a friendship built on a career, so I think our foundations are very, very strong in our friendship and we’ve known each other now for 31 years, I think.”

Ant added: “We met at 13. We’ve grown like any friends do who have known each other that long. We know everything about each other. We know what makes the other laugh, what annoys the other one and, yeah, we love each other.”

The pair have won best TV presenter at the NTAs continuously for 22 years.

This year they were up against The Traitors host Claudia Winkleman, The Chase’s Bradley Walsh and This Morning’s Alison Hammond and Martin Lewis.

Elsewhere, Channel 4’s Gogglebox won the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, which had gone to I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2022.

Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire not only won the special recognition award, but was also given best drama performance, while the late TV star Paul O’Grady won a posthumous award in the factual entertainment category for his show For The Love Of Dogs.