NTA’s host Joel Dommett has advised Alison Hammond to finally end Ant and Dec’s 20-year winning streak by taking home the gong for best presenter.
The comedian, 37, describes the This Morning host, 47, as a “force of nature” and says if anyone can beat the Geordies, it’s her.
But Joel is keen to stress that Ant and Dec, who bowed out of today’s ceremony after testing positive for Covid, are still at the peak of their powers and another win would be well deserved.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline ahead of Thursday’s ceremony, Joel said: “Alison is very popular… it could be the year for Alison that Ant and Dec’s streak breaks.
“It’s a win-win for me and I’m sure it’s for her too.
“Ant and Dec are still so good. If everyone just voted for them because they won it for 20 years, they might as well win another one, I would understand, but people don’t vote them for that. The audience votes for them because they’re still so good.”
On Alison’s hopes, he added: “But if it were to go to someone else then I would be delighted if it went to Alison – she’s a beautiful force of nature, very contagious and she always has been.
“Ever since I met her 10 years ago, she’s always been like this.
“She’s been on TV for so long and has become this main presenter in the last few years, but she was on Big Brother, I’m A Celeb, she’s had a hell of a career.”
Bradley Walsh and Graham Norton were also nominated for Best Presenter Gong, but Alison is seen as the closest competition to series winners Ant and Dec.
In 2019, Holly Willoughby was heavily endorsed to The Geordies for her efforts on This Morning and as co-host of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! alongside Dec the previous year when she filled in for Ant while he was in rehab following his drunk driving charges.
But despite being favorites at some bookmakers, Ant and Dec still took home the award.
Tonight’s ceremony, held at the OVO Arena Wembley and broadcast live on ITV from 8pm, will be Joel’s second event as host.
Viewers familiar with his work as The Masked Singer frontman will see the star in slightly toned-down attire, and he’s dismissed offers of a spray tan, saying darker skin makes his teeth look bigger – which trolls regularly point out.
Joel won’t be going to London’s bars and clubs to have fun afterwards either, just because he’s not a big drinker.
He added: “The NTA suit is a little more subdued, it’s more of a classic tuxedo with an edge. I’ve gotten so used to wearing wild suits that wearing a tuxedo will be really nice.
“I have to moderate my tan or I get tons of tweets from people saying my teeth are massive when they’re not – it’s just that I might be tanner.
“I’ll probably have a drink at the after party, but to be honest, I don’t really like alcohol.
“I’m a control freak, so I don’t enjoy drinking alcohol.
“When you’re around a lot, it’s easy to drink every night and be a stand-up comedian for so long that you could drink every night if you wanted to, but I knew I wouldn’t be where.” I am today if I drank three pints before solo performance.’
Joel’s model wife Hannah Cooper will support him from the audience and her presence will have a calming effect on the presenter, who credits much of his success to their relationship.
The TV star says he’s grateful Hannah is now recognized by fans of her couple’s Never Have I Ever podcast as someone just as funny as her comedic husband.
He said: “I don’t know if that makes us the same or different from other people but we just really like each other, we like to hang out and we have a lot of respect for each other and she helps me a lot with decisions in my career and I would be a.” very different place if they didn’t exist.
“I really like that people think they’re funny. She’s amazing and I’ve always known that since I met her, so now it’s nice that other people are starting to see that.