HOLDING an awards ceremony on Halloween always risks a few nightmares.
So will it be trick or treat for the millions watching the National Television Awards, live on ITV1 from 8.30pm tonight?
I’ll be backstage at London’s Royal Albert Hall, reporting on the winners as they come off stage to talk to the media in the press room.
Aside from special awards on the night, the NTAs are decided by a public vote.
You also have to realise that each award is for “Most Popular” and not “Best”.
Even so, the way the voting is organised can lead to serious omissions from the nominations’ shortlist.
It can also lead to a few seemingly surprising results on the night.
Take tonight’s Most Popular Actor category.
David Tennant (Doctor Who), Antony Cotton (Coronation Street), Charlie Clements (EastEnders) and James Sutton (Hollyoaks) are the four contenders.
Good luck to all four.
But, personally, I’d have expected to see either John Simm or Philip Glenister in the shortlist for their outstanding Life On Mars’ performances.
Life On Mars is nominated for Most Popular Drama – most of the cast will be there tonight…more in hope than anticipation.
That’s because Doctor Who is also among the nominations.
The Time Lord has a massive and well organised online fan base whose votes have secured several previous NTA wins.
Last year Coronation Street – without doubt – deserved the Most Popular Serial Drama prize.
And yet it lost out to EastEnders.
As I wrote last November, younger fans of the BBC1 soap, particularly teenage girls, were more organised via messageboards, forums, chat rooms and networking sites compared to Street viewers.
The end result was more online votes for the Albert Square residents.
Does it really matter? Probably not.
But at least keep in mind that “Most Popular” may sometimes also mean “Best Organised Fanbase”.
Will Coronation Street win tonight?
Will Sue Cleaver (Eileen Grimshaw) go home with a much deserved Most Popular Actress gong?
And will Life On Mars get the recognition it richly deserves?
If you’re reading this before midday today – Wednesday Oct 31 – you still have time to vote online here.
Sue Cleaver Red Carpet
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