Roache to lead tribute to Kirkbride

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Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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Coronation Street star William Roache will lead the tributes to Anne Kirkbride as the world of broadcasting honours the late actress at the National Television Awards.

He is due to take the stage to speak about her contribution to the show and share his memories at the ceremony, while colleagues are also expected to be in the audience at the O2 Arena in London.

As the soap’s Ken and Deirdre Barlow, they shared the screen for more than 40 years and remained friends despite the demise of their screen marriage.

Organisers of the event moved swiftly to reflect her pivotal role in the TV life of the nation in the awards event which is being screened by ITV.

Roache’s speech is expected to bring the audience to their feet and bring tears to their eyes.

Some of the biggest names in TV will attend the event and Coronation Street was already likely to have a strong presence as the show is up for the best serial drama prize.

The ITV soap already holds the title at the publicly voted awards after winning last year. Kirkbride has not previously had an individual honour at the NTAs.

Filming is expected to resume on Coronation Street today after it was suspended for a day to give the cast and crew a chance to come to terms with Kirkbride’s death.

Competing for the accolade for top drama performance tonight are Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire, as well as Sheridan Smith and her namesake Dame Maggie.

The shortlist produced a shock when Peter Capaldi failed to land an acting nomination, making it the first time the star of Doctor Who has been snubbed by the NTAs since the sci-fi show was revived by the BBC a decade ago.

Doctor Who does not miss out entirely, lining up against Sherlock, Downton and Cilla for the best drama award.

In other categories at the awards, X Factor panellists Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini go head to head as best talent judge, with Britain’s Got Talent’s David Walliams and Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry completing the list.

Bake Off is up for another prize, competing for the skills challenge award against The Apprentice, Masterchef and Come Dine With Me.

The factual programme prize will be fought by Gogglebox, Long Lost Family, Top Gear and Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs.

Regular NTA winners Ant & Dec – who have won the most popular entertainment presenter prize for 13 years running – are up for the title yet again, facing Bradley Walsh, Keith Lemon and ceremony host Dermot O’Leary.

The Geordie duo also feature twice in the best entertainment programme category with both their Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in with a chance. The category also features Through The Keyhole and Celebrity Big Brother.

The X Factor may have been unable to match the audience of Saturday night rival Strictly Come Dancing last year but it has a chance to redeem itself in the public vote as the two shows are shortlisted for best talent show along with The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent.

Christmas Day TV hit Mrs Brown’s Boys faces Benidorm, Outnumbered and The Big Bang Theory for the best comedy prize.

Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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