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Ant and Dec defend their NTA Best Presenter win following backlash

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Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have defended their Best Presenter gong, after the pair won the accolade for the 18th time in a row at the National Television Awards on Tuesday night. Some fans questioned whether Ant deserved the recognition, after he took ten months off work following his drink-driving arrest in spring 2018. Ant subsequently missed half of Saturday Night Takeaway and also dropped his presenting duties on I'm a Celebrity, returning to work in January 2019.

Following the backlash, Ant and Dec's official Twitter account retweeted a post that read: "To those of you who are hating: Ant McPartlin hosted all 6 of the @BGT audition episodes last year & 3 of the @ITVTakeaway live shows, so he is eligible & they both deserve it. #NTAs."

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Ant and Dec won Best Presenter for the 18th time in a row

Ant and Dec were unable to attend the awards as they were co-hosting Britain's Got Talent on Tuesday night. They accepted their accolade via a live feed, which saw the pair receive a standing ovation from BGT judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, and the audience at the London Palladium.

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We catch up with Gorka Marquez at the NTAs:

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The TV stars were visibly emotional as they heard their names read out, with Ant describing the win as a "genuine shock". "Thank you, this is a genuine shock, especially this year, I'm shaking," said Ant. "I really don't feel like I can accept this award this year, it has to go to this guy [pointing to Dec] for his hard work, dedication, wit and funniness and for being the best mate out there. I love you, man."

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After they embraced, Dec went on to say the pair – who have won the Best Presenter award for 18 years in a row, so much so that it's been dubbed the Ant and Dec award – don't take it for granted. The telly double celebrated by sharing a selfie on Twitter, with Dec writing: "Thank you doesn’t seem to cover it this year. We are humbled and honoured. We are so appreciative of your continued support and good wishes, they are never taken for granted. Thank u again. Now back to #BGT auditions! D x #NTAs."

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