The National Television Awards exposed the fundamental flaw at the heart of western democracy

National Television Awards ITVUnlike with the Baftas or the Comedy Awards, The National Television Awards winners are decided via a vote by the British public. Five million votes were cast. That’s a number approximate to 8% of the UK who, collectively, decided to vote Joey Essex onto the stage to mindlessly utter ‘what are you saying’ repeatedly like a performing seal taught a single human phrase. Millions of the British public think that one of the greatest TV moments of 2013 was Matthew Wright forcing himself to eat animal brain and that ‘Best Detective’ is a legitimate award category. These are the things people vote for when given access to democracy. David Cameron is a product of the same system that deems I’m A Celebrity the most entertaining programme on television.

Appropriately enough for a TV show giving awards to other awful TV shows, The National Television Awards was painful to watch. It is a show in which the audience greeted the phrase ‘Death Row with Trevor McDonald’ with cheers and ‘WooHoos!’ It is a show whose hero is Danny Dyer, shouting ‘Oi, Oi, O2’ to an audience of screaming mouths.

Probably the most insulting awards category was ‘Daytime.’ British television is devalued by the existence of this category in a major awards show, a category for shows squeezed into the schedules between Murder, She Wrote repeats and government propaganda about benefit cheats. This Morning was the winner, which if nothing else at least denied Jeremy Kyle an award. Kyle is an awful human being who makes money by humiliating the lower classes on TV. His show is comfortably the worst TV programme this country has produced in decades. It isn’t bad; it is actively destructive. It uses other people’s misery for entertainment and the fact that it was nominated stripped the Television Awards of the tiny amount of credibility it was desperately clinging onto.

Dermot O’Leary stares at the camera with his dead-eyes, as if to say: western civilisation is broken beyond repair

Dermot O’Leary stares at the camera with his dead-eyes, as if to say: ‘western civilisation is broken beyond repair.’

The comedy nominees were Ricky Gervais’ maudlin and unfunny Derek; people falling over montage Miranda; The Big Bang Theory – or ‘nerd Blackface’ as it has been dismissively – hyperbolically – called; and Mrs Brown’s Boys i.e. a man in drag making innuendo-based jokes.

Other highlights from the show included: Roy Hodgson sucking all the charisma out of the room like a giant black hole of boring while standing alongside some random Brazilian eye-candy, and some audience interaction during which two of the people spoken to couldn’t mention a single TV show they liked.

These are the things which the British majority enjoy. People voted for the Television Awards nominees in publications ranging from Heat magazine to The Times. This is an accurate cross-section of UK public opinion, these people who think Keith Lemon is funny; who think Eastenders is filled with good actors. These are the same people who will vote in the European elections in a few months. Who will decide Scotland’s future in September. Who elected David Cameron, and Tony Blair, and whoever the next evil fuck to run the country is. These are your peers who will sit on your jury if you’re ever charged with a crime. They fix your teeth and operate on your tonsils. Keep this in mind the next time you get on a plane: there’s a statistical likelihood that the person flying it thinks Mrs Brown’s Boys is the best comedy on TV and that Jeremy Kyle deserves an award rather than a bullet in a kneecap.

Random notes:

  • I stopped watching at 9:50pm. Two and a half fucking hours? If there’s anything I missed – maybe they gave Utopia an award right at the end there, before honouring Black Mirror, Rectify and Limmy’s Show – then you can point it out in the comments.
  • Six of the award winners were the exact same six who won the same category last year. The National Television Awards voters, it is safe to say, are not big fans of originality.

2 thoughts on “The National Television Awards exposed the fundamental flaw at the heart of western democracy

  1. Love these reviews, they mirror my own but with some gratifying added vitriol. I agree about the daytime category, it’s like saying ‘best show in the mediocre category’, though sadly in my view that dragnet would we be much more expansive than the daytime slot.

    • 90% of the ceremony was pretty much ‘best show in the mediocre category.’ Thanks for the comments – makes me feel like I’m not just shouting into the endless void with nothing but Dermot O’Leary’s black heart for company. Cheers!

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