Downton Abbey stars shine at the National Television Awards

The final series of Downton Abbey has won the prestigious National Television Award (NTA) for Best Drama beating off competition from Doctor Who, Casualty, and Broadchurch.

The cast of the long-running period drama including Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael along with writer Julian Fellowes took to the stage to collect the NTA.

Fellowes said: "You know I love happy endings and this is a very happy ending. Thank you.’

Billy Connolly was presented with his award by his friend Dustin Hoffman. Credit: PA

But a special honour was reserved for veteran comedian Billy Connolly, who was presented with a Special Recognition award for his 50-year entertainment career by Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman.

Hoffman paid a touching tribute to 72-year-old Connolly who is battling Parkinson's Disease and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.

He said the essence of Connolly was "the unique capacity to reflect human behaviour and stand it on his head".

Any and Dec joke with Boy George after receiving their awards for best presenters. Credit: PA

TV presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly won the NTA for best TV Presenter for a 15th year in a row - picking up their honour from singer and The Voice judge Boy George.

Declan Donnelly described their win as "amazing", adding: "On the way in tonight people said to us does it get boring.

"Of course it doesn't, if anything our gratitude has only grown over the years because you never know when you're going to get it again."

Bake Off winner Nadia with hosts Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. Credit: PA

The Great British Bake Off won the award for best Challenge Show ahead of Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, MasterChef and The Apprentice.

Accepting the award, Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood said: "A huge thank you ... in fact we all started crying again down on the row."

Channel 4's show Gogglebox claimed the honour of best Factual Entertainment while the NTA for best Entertainment Programme was given to 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'.

The Siddiqui family picked up the award for Gogglebox. Credit: PA

Danny Dyer won the best Serial Drama Performance for his role in EastEnders.

He was handed his award by fellow Albert Square residents Alfie and Kat Moon (Slater) - also know as Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace.

Dyer thanked his parents for "having a roll about in 1977 and conceiving me" as he gave his speech.

Danny Dyer with his award after giving the 'best speech of the night'. Credit: PA

The NTA 2016 winners in full:

  • Billy Connolly - Special Recognition Award

  • Downton Abbey - Best Drama

  • Doctor Foster - New Drama

  • Ant and Dec - TV Presenter

  • I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! - Best Entertainment programme

  • EastEnders - Serial Drama

  • Strictly Come Dancing - Talent Show

  • Danny Dyer (EastEnders) - Serial Drama Performance

  • Gogglebox - Factual Entertainment

  • Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) - Drama Performance

  • Shayne Ward (Coronation St) - Newcomer

  • The Chase - Daytime

  • The Great British Bake Off - Challenge Show

  • Peter Kay's Car Share - Best Comedy

  • This Morning - Live Magazine Show

  • Aiden Turner, Poldark - Impact/TV Moment of the Year

  • The Big Bang Theory- International