Ant McPartlin and his sidekick Declan Donnelly won a hat-trick of prizes at Britain's National Television Awards, which are voted for by the public.

They took the award for best challenge gong show, the Bruce Forsyth Award and the best presenter award for the 17th year in a row.

In receiving the award for best presenter, McPartlin told the audience at London's O2 arena: "Thank you, I'm shaking.

"It's been quite a year, a tough 12 months, so winning this really means a lot, to my family and friends, some of who are here tonight, thanks very much," he said.

Over the last year he announced his divorce from his wife Lisa Armstrong, and he was also treated for an addiction to painkillers.

The pair also received the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award, in the first awards ceremony since the star's death last year for their Saturday Night Takeaway Show.

Forsyth's widow, Lady Wilnelia Forsyth, told the audience that she was "proud and honoured that this special award is named after my darling Bruce", adding: "I know he would have loved it because showbusiness was his life."

In getting the gong, McPartlin said: "Thank you very much, it's an honour to pick this award up and we started filming Saturday Night Takeaway today and we filmed a tribute to Bruce so this is very apt."

Earlier, during the VT that listed the nominations for the category, an unknown man ran on stage. Digital Spy reported that he appeared to be a protester as his T-shirt had the word "activism" on it and a piece of paper he was holding read "OPPRESSION OF IDEAS IS NOT FREEDOM LIKE U K MEDIA THINKS". He was bundled off and so did not make it into the broadcast version.

In other key awards, Broadchurch was named best crime drama, beating Sherlock and Line of Duty. Star of the series, Jodie Whittaker, who is also the new Dr Who, told the audience: "We'd like to dedicate this award to the survivors of sexual assault and all the brilliant people nationwide who work to protect them."

Suranne Jones
Suranne Jones with the Drama Performance award for 'Doctor Foster' during the National Television Awards 2018 at the O2 Arena. Getty

This Morning won Best Daytime Show, Lucy Fallon picked up the award for Best Serial Drama Performance for his role in Coronation Street, while David Walliams won the award for Best TV Judge.

Walliams took a friendly dig at his fellow host Simon Cowell by blowing a raspberry, and saying: "All he does is judge, he can't dance or tell jokes, he just sits there and says no to everyone".

Meanwhile, the award in the prestigious category of best drama went to Doctor Foster, whose lead actress Suranne Jones said: "It was a risk to make the second series because you loved the first so much because we didn't want to disappoint you, so it means so much that you enjoyed it".

The impact award marking the most successful series on television, went to Sir David Attenborough and the team behind Blue Planet II for sparking debate about government environmental policy and the use of plastics.

Attenborough said: "This is what we are doing to our planet and if our television programme helps stir the consciences of people round the world then all of us will be very pleased."