“I’ll keep it short – it’s already interminable,” Ricky Gervais joked halfway through the two-and-a-half-hour long National Television Awards ceremony on Thursday night (9 September).
“I do [this] for the money… you’re the second reason,” he told the crowd, as he accepted the prize for Best Comedy for his Netflix series After Life.
Gervais beat off competition from Friday Night Dinner, Sex Education and The Vicar of Dibley to win the award.
The hit series stars Gervais as a man who contemplates suicide after his wife dies of breast cancer. Kerry Godliman plays his wife, Lisa, who appears in visions and flashbacks.
In a three-star review of season two, The Independent’s critic Ed Cumming wrote: “Ricky Gervais can do so much better than this bafflingly popular mess.”
Other big wins of the night saw Line of Duty take home the prize for Best Returning Drama – with one of its stars doing a wonderful victory dance – and I’m a Celebrity and The Great British Bake Off were also triumphant.
The 26th NTAs, the only major TV awards voted for by the public, were hosted at London’s O2 arena and presented by Joel Dommett.