What could make us more excited about the 18th National TV Awards? Its host Dermot O’Leary dressing up as the nominees…
What do the National Television Awards mean to you? Losing out to Ant & Dec! [He’s lost the Best Entertainment Presenter award to them for the past two years.]
Is it ever awkward talking to them afterwards? It should be, but they make it very relaxed and chilled. They’re very gracious winners. Even though they’re going [putting on voice], “Oh my God, we can’t believe it, we won again” and you’re there going, “Really? REALLY?”
They can’t win again. It’s your turn… Of course they’re going to win again! [Laughs.]
How would you celebrate if you did win? That’s the thing, I don’t even know what the logistics of getting the award would be.
Would you get drunk afterwards? I’d probably take the team and get quietly drunk in town.
What awards have you scooped? I’ve won two Sony awards, which is the biggest thing you can win in radio. I won GQ’s Most Stylish Man award last year, which I was over the moon about. And I won some running races when I was younger.
Is there anyone you’d like to see win an award who hasn’t yet? Clare Balding. I think she’s just so effortless. She and Gabby Logan did a great job on the Olympics.
Dermot as the Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry
Is it harder to present the NTAs or The X Factor? The NTAs are hard because they’re in a big venue. It’s a big thing and it’s a one-off. With The X Factor, you have the live shows, so the momentum, the scope, the focus is quite relentless.
Do you have any pre-show rituals? Yeah, there are always a couple of songs we play in the dressing room. Last year was David Bowie.
What’s your favourite ever NTA moment? The Chilean miner giving an award [in 2011]! He’d be up there as best presenter.
And your favourite winner’s speech? Stephen Fry – he said, “OMFG!”
What’s the worst thing that has gone wrong?
Last year the Blackwall Tunnel [the main driving route to the venue, the O2 in London] was closed and half the people who were getting an award weren’t there when the show started. So I was saying to my director, John, “Yeah, John, no one from Downton is here and Doctor Who seems to be a bit late and half of the EastEnders cast aren’t here.” It was horrible.
Eek. What do you do when something goes hideously wrong?
Oh, embrace it. It’s actually good when things go wrong, you just go with it.
The NTAs are 18 this year – what was your 18th birthday like?
Messy. I went to the Hole In The Wall pub in Colchester. I threw up when I got home – all over my A-level politics coursework. Bummer.
What was the best thing about turning 18 for you?
Not having to lie about my age in pubs. When you’re 18, you make a big deal of the fact that you can buy beer and the barman’s like, “I’ve being serving you for, like, two years?” And you’re, like, “S**t.”
Finally, how much do you love dressing up as the NTA nominees?
I love dressing up – the Dowager from Downton [in 2012] was a favourite. [Laughs.] My poor wife gets annoyed with me dressing up as women because it makes her ask herself some very uncomfortable questions!
Like why you have so many dresses in your wardrobe?