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Why Ant and Dec are NTA no-shows this year

ANT AND DEC won’t be at the National Television Awards despite being nominated for the presenting award for an 18th consecutive year.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly can’t be there due to a clash with Britain’s Got Talent filming.

The talent show’s judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon will also miss the glitzy bash at London’s O2 Arena tomorrow night.

Ant and Dec (pictured top at BGT filming yesterday) are nominated in the TV presenting category despite McPartlin largely being off screens for the majority of 2018. He stepped down from presenting duties following his arrest for drink driving last March.

Ant it grand to be back: McPartlin, Walliams, Dec and Cowell at a photo call for Britain’s Got Talent at the London Palladium PICTURE: PA

Dec fronted the final two programmes of Saturday Night Takeaway — for which they have been nominated for the NTA — on his own.

Ant was fined a record £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months after he crashed his car while more than twice the alcohol limit. He returned to work last week filming the first day of auditions of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The pair will compete for the prize against Graham Norton, Bradley Walsh, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who stepped in to host I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! alongside Dec in November in Ant’s absence.

Guests galore and super-size stunts: The popular pair on air with their Saturday Night Takeaway last February PICTURE: ITV/REX

Saturday Night Takeaway is also in the running for the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, as is I’m A Celebrity.

The two programmes will face off against The Graham Norton Show, Love Island and All Round To Mrs Brown’s for the accolade.

Ratings hit Bodyguard is a contender for the best new drama gong, where it faces competition from A Discovery Of Witches, Girlfriends, Killing Eve and The Cry.

In the drama performance category, Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, Our Girl’s Michelle Keegan and first female Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker take on Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy and Bodyguard’s Richard Madden.

The TV judge category looks set to be one of the most closely fought, with talent show supremo Cowell up against his new X Factor rivals Robbie Williams and Louis Tomlinson, along with his BGT co-star Walliams. The shortlist is completed by courtroom adjudicator Robert Rinder.

Doctor Who could be in for a nod in the drama category, where it is shortlisted alongside Our Girl, Peaky Blinders, Call The Midwife and Casualty.

The National Television Awards, hosted by Dermot O’Leary, will be broadcast live on ITV tomorrow.