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The National TV Awards, or ‘The Ant and Dec’ Awards as they’re affectionately known in the TV industry, will be bestowed upon television’s finest at the annual awards ceremony on the 21st January. The whole event is live on ITV, and we’re looking at the betting opportunities in the various award categories.
Best Entertainment Presenter
Lovable duo Ant & Dec have taken this award for the last 12 years running, and it’s no surprise that the pair are heavily odds-on to make it ‘lucky’ 13 with another win this time around. It’s worth remembering that the awards are voted for by the public, and as long as Ant & Dec’s stock is high, they’ll continue to win this kind of popularity contest. The other nominees are Keith Lemon, Dermot O’Leary, and Bradley Walsh, but with the long-term TV partners trading at -800 it looks a foregone conclusion in this particular section.
Best Entertainment Programme
It’s a similar situation in the Best Entertainment Programme award, where the Ant & Dec presented, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, is as short as -1200 to scoop the award. With the pair’s Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway the second favourite at +800 it should be another successful night for the geordie rascals. Through the Keyhole and Celebrity Big Brother make up the field, but this is going to be another shoe-in.
The Big Bang Theory, Benidorm and Outnumbered take on the hot favourite, Mrs Brown’s Boys in this section, but again there looks little chance of an upset. The comedy was one of 2014’s most popular shows, and viewing figures vastly outweighed those of it’s competitors. For the ‘money buyers’ out there a treble on the favourites in each of the three awards above would return -303 with Skybet
Best Daytime Show
The Best Daytime TV Show is one category where there is a much more open market, and that provides the opportunity to have a bet. The nominations are as follows:
This Morning – -120 with Boylesports
Pointless and The Chase are both prime examples of daytime TV quiz shows, and both have quickly earned a cult following, as these shows tend to do. However, there should be no looking past This Morning for this award, and the quotes of -120 look decidedly generous. The ITV daytime programme presented by Phillip Schofield has scooped the award in each of the last three years, and after a sterling 2014, can be expected to follow up again this year. It’s a surprise that this market isn’t priced up similarly to some of the awards, and if it wasn’t for the success of those two quiz shows, This Morning could easily be closer to the -400 mark. Pointless and the Chase are keeping the price artificially high at the moment, and there’s value in backing This Morning to win for the fourth year in a row.
Another category that’s a little more open is that of Best Drama. Doctor Who took the award last year after Downton Abbey had won the previous two, but both are outsiders for this year’s award. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, and Sheridan Smith’s Cilla head the market, and that makes it a very interesting betting proposition.
Despite the odds it’s hard to rule out any of these top dramas, perhaps with the exception of Downton Abbey. The iconic period drama may have had its moment in the sun with two victories in this award in 2012 and 2013, and it’s popularity is on the wane to some degree. The show will still have its army of fans voting though, so its dangerous to rule it out completely. Likewise, Doctor Who, which won the award last year and has seen something of a resurgence in popularity over the last couple of years. Again, it is another show whose fans are more than just viewers, and it should garner plenty of votes.
However the top two in the betting are the (relatively) new kids on the block, and both have gone down to critical acclaim. Big stars, in Smith and Cumberbatch, big productions, and big budgets have seen these two compelling dramas hit the right note with audiences, and they look poised to oust their two ageing rivals.
Sherlock also featured Martin Freeman in the role of the detective’s sidekick Watson, and the intelligent use of graphics and camera-trickery portrayed Sherlock’s genius to the audience via his thoughts. The first of the nine episodes to have been recorded was aired in 2010, with the second series showing in 2012 and the third series in 2014. That third series became the most watched TV drama since 2001, and there are plans for a Christmas special for 2015 and a fourth series in 2016. It’s deserving of a place at the head of the market, but there could be strong competition from another excellent three-part drama in Cilla.
The biographical story of Cilla Black was told over three episodes that aired in September 2014, and earned rave reviews. Sheridan Smith starred as the famous singer and presenter, and was also praised for her brilliant performance. Such was the success of the drama, that she even entered the top 40 music charts after ITV released her cover of Cilla’s ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’. The viewing figures for each of the three episodes topped 8 million, and proved how popular the scouse singing star still is with the public. Although Sherlock has the star name of Benedict Cumberbatch attached to it, Cilla could be a surprise in this category with Sheridan Smith’s stand out performance. This could be one award that doesn’t go the way of the favourite, and Cilla is a chance worth taking at a very decent price.
National TV Awards, 21st January 2015
Best Daytime Show – This Morning – -120 with Boylesports
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