Ant and Dec thank fans for NTAs win after COVID forces them to miss show

Ant and Dec were winners at the National Television Awards. (Getty Images)
Ant and Dec were winners at the National Television Awards. (Getty Images)

Ant and Dec have thanked fans for their National Television Awards win after being forced to pull out of the ceremony because of COVID.

The I'm A Celebrity and Saturday Night Takeaway stars bagged the presenter trophy for the 21st time in a row, beating the likes of Alison Hammond, Bradley Walsh and Graham Norton.

They weren't there to pick up their gong in person after both tested positive for the coronavirus, but said the vote of confidence had made them feel a lot better.

Read more: National Television Awards 2022: The winners

"Thank you SO much for voting for us, it is always appreciated and never taken for granted," Dec wrote on Twitter. "You’ve made us feel tons better! Huge love."

Ant and Dec thanked fans after their win. (Ant and Dec Twitter)
Ant and Dec thanked fans after their win. (Ant and Dec Twitter)

Ant added: "A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. From the bottom of our (hearts) we are so so grateful. Love ya’s!"

The TV stars also had stern words for their Saturday Night Takeaway co-star Stephen Mulhern, who accepted the award on their behalf.

Taking to the stage, Mulhern joked that he was keeping the award for himself and made the crowd laugh when he ripped up the speech Ant and Dec had given him, saying he wasn't going to read "that drivel”.

Stephen Mulhern collected the award on behalf of Ant and Dec. (Doug Peters/EMPICS)
Stephen Mulhern collected the award on behalf of Ant and Dec. (Doug Peters/EMPICS)

Ant teased: "Oi Mulhern!! I’m watching you from home.

"Keep that award safe and we will see you at work soon (if you’re lucky!)."

"It took ages to write that speech!!!" added Dec.

Many fans were thrilled to see the much-loved duo take the prize for the 21st time, saying they were "brilliant" and that it was "well deserved".

But there were others who thought it was time it went to someone new.

One said it was getting "boring" and another tweeted: "Ant and Dec have won the same award for like 2/3 of my life and we’re meant to sit here and take this?!"

"We need new presenters being given a chance," said someone else.

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Ant and Dec announced earlier this week that would have the miss the awards show after getting COVID.

Tweeting a picture of their side by side positive lateral flow tests, they told fans: "Sadly, it’s true… We even get ill together!

"After feeling unwell a few days ago we both tested and we’re positive for COVID. We’re resting up at home and are so sorry we can’t be at #NTAs2022.

Read more: Ant and Dec confirm I'm A Celebrity is returning to Australia

"Best of luck everyone and get well soon to anyone else in the same boat x."

Watch: Cast of Strictly and Emmerdale enjoy wins at the NTA