Are the NTAs live? How to watch National Television Awards 2023 tonight and how long the show will last

The National Television Awards are back – and so is host Joel Dommett (Photo: ugc)
The National Television Awards are back – and so is host Joel Dommett (Photo: ugc)

The NTAs will be marked on many a telly fans calendar as essential viewing. The annual event returns to the O2 after a year at the OVO Arena, and celebs are lining up at the red carpet.

Joel Dommett is back for his third consecutive stint as host, having taken over from David Walliams in 2021.

Among the stars attending the event are Holly Willoughby, who had been rumoured to be steering clear following a tumultuous year for This Morning, and regular award winners Ant and Dec.

Holly Willoughby NTAs 2023
Holly Willoughby NTAs 2023

There’s plenty to look forward to with an hours-long awards ceremony, and Dommett is reportedly ready to dash if his pregnant wife Hannah Cooper goes into labour during the show.

This potential added bit of drama has led fans of the awards show to ask if it is really broadcast live, with so much potential for mishaps - this is everything you need to know.

Are the NTAs live?

Yes, unlike the Baftas, which are broadcast ‘as live’ but are actually pre-recorded, the entire NTA awards show airs live every year. In fact, when the awards show moved from the Royal Albert Hall to the O2 Arena in 2010, they became the first primetime TV event to be broadcast live from the venue.

This adds quite a bit of pressure to the presenters and the award nominees. Sometimes this pressure becomes all too much and attendees can find themselves in hot water for their use of colourful language.

In 2017 Nadia Sawalha was forced to defend herself after she was caught on camera during the live broadcast swearing when Loose Women lost to This Morning in the Live Magazine Show category. She had turned jokingly shouted over her shoulder to Holly and Phil ‘every f***ing year’.

In 2019 Danny Dyer went in two feet, dropping the f-bomb twice in his acceptance speech for the award of Best Serial Drama Performance for his role as Mick Carter in EastEnders. The actor said: "I'm getting all f***ing emotional, I don't know what's the matter with me, for f***'s sake", forcing host Dermot O’Leary to apologise on his behalf.

And last year Coronation Street’s Millie Gibson was spotted swearing in celebration when her co-star Paddy Bever won the best rising star award.

Another awkward that the magic of live television is responsible for is Judy Finnigan’s now-infamous wardrobe malfunction. The presenter inadvertently flashed her pink bra when accepting an award alongside her husband Richard for This Morning in 2000.

Where can you watch the National Television Awards 2023?

The NTAs will air on ITV1 from 8pm tonight (Tuesday 5 September), and will also be available to watch live on ITVX. Those not living in the UK can watch the full awards show using a VPN.

How long is the National Television Awards 2023?

The awards show is set to end around 10.30pm meaning that it will be 2.5 hours long. There will be ads as usual throughout the broadcast including for those watching on ITVX. That’s quite a stretch, but there are plenty of awards to give out in that time. This year there are 16 gongs in the offing.