Kicking off with a tongue-in-cheek performance by Bruce Forsyth and Ant and Dec, the National Television Awards went on to honour the best TV shows, presenters, actors and actresses of the last 12 months. The awards are the result of a nationwide public poll.

Doctor Who came out victorious after Smith, who plays the timelord, won Best Male Drama Performance and Gillan (above with Hugh Bonneville), who plays his assistant Amy Pond, landed Best Female.

Gillian said she had “the time of my life” making the show, saying as she accepted the award: “Oh my good Lord, this means so much to me.”

As he accepted his National Television Award, Smith said: “Most of all thank you to everyone who watches and who makes the show what it is, so best of luck thank you.”

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Doctor Who star Matt Smith poses with his NTA award

The most coveted National Television Award – Best Serial Drama – was won by Coronation Street. 

Sally Dynevor,  who plays Coronations Street’s Sally said: “We’ve had an amazing couple of years, we’ve had fantastic storylines, we’ve got a great bunch of writers.”

Period costume drama Downton Abbey won the Best Drama gong, beating of competition from Doctor Who, Merlin and Waterloo Road.

Accepting the award Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham in the drama, told the assembled audience: “To have been nominated alongside those other wonderful programmes is honour enough, so we pay tribute to our fellow nominees.”

“We have been completely overwhelmed by how the public has taken it (Downton) to their hearts.”

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Ant and Dec won their 11th consecutive awards this year

X Factor judge Gary Barlow was awarded Outstanding Contribution for his charity work which included organising the BT Comic Relief Kilimanjaro Climb and Children In Need Rocks concert.

Paying tribute to the public who have donated to his causes, Barlow said: “Secondly, all the artists, and last of all you guys out there, who always put your hands in your pockets. I know we always ask give, give, give but you always do so thank you everybody.”

X Factor did not leave empty handed, after being named  Best Talent Show prize, a prize picked up by  Tulisa and Barlow along with winners Little Mix, who also performed at the awards ceremony.

Full list of National Television Awards 2012 winners

Entertainment programme – Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow

Drama performance female – Karen Gillan, Doctor Who

 Comedy panel show – QI

Newcomer – Jacqueline Jossa

Landmark award – David Walliams

Talkshow – Alan Carr: Chatty Man

Drama performance male – Matt Smith, Doctor Who

Entertainment presenter – Ant and Dec

Serial drama performance – Katherine Kelly, Coronation Street

Reality programme – I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

Factual programme – This Morning

Drama – Downton Abbey

Talent show – The X Factor

Situation comedy – Outnumbered

Special recognition award – Jonathan Ross