Dermot O'Leary has joked that he doesn't think presenting duo Ant and Dec should win any awards at this year's National Television Awards. The star-studded ceremony, which takes place next week, have seen the Geordie pair pick up the gong for Best Presenter every year since 2001. This year, they have been nominated in the category once again, going up against Graham Norton, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Bradley Walsh. "If they win it this year, we should just not do it anymore," the X Factor host told Daily Star. "If they win it, having not been on television, we may as well just chuck in the towel."
Dermot O'Leary will present this year's NTAs
He added: "With the greatest respect to the boys, I think Holly has had such a great year, and Graham." When probed more about his thought's on Ant being shortlisted, he replied: "They (Ant and Dec) made the decision that they want to put themselves up this year, so you'd have to ask him." However, shortly after the comments, Dermot was quick to clarify that he was "merely joking". He tweeted: "I wouldn't normally react to this, but... A) I said no such thing. I merely joked that if the boys win this year, we should all chuck in the towel. It was neither serious nor a 'rage'."
MORE: Declan Donnelly breaks silence following news of Ant McPartlin's BGT return
Earlier on in the week, Dermot heaped praise on Ant as he gave fans an update on his health. He told The Sunday Mirror: "Ant's a dear friend. I think he's scheduled to come back to TV this year. As long as he's happy. He just needs to be in a good place." He added: "Ant and Dec are such a staple that when I was doing a trail for I'm A Celeb I said their names instead of Holly." Dermot will be presenting the 22nd National Television Awards later this month, fans will no doubt be keen to see if Ant attends the show despite his showbiz hiatus.
WATCH: Zoe Ball takes over from Chris Evans as BBC Radio 2 breakfast show host