Will the boys win for the 18th year?

The National Television Awards are back next week – and low and behold our favourite Geordie duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are up for Best Presenter again.

Ant and Dec

Yup, the telly presenters have been picking up the gong every year since 2001, and this year they’re in the mix once more alongside the likes of Graham Norton, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Bradley Walsh.

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More: Awkward! Is Holly Willoughby set to battle it out with Ant and Dec for Best Presenter at NTAs?!

But it looks like fellow presenter Dermot O’Leary isn’t too happy about the boys’ nomination, as he’s now joked they don’t deserve a win… ouch!

Following 44-year-old Ant’s drink-driving charge back in April, the Newcastle native has been out of action for a few months while he continues to work on his recovery.

And Dermot – who will be hosting the awards – told the Press Association: ‘If they win it this year, we should just not do it anymore!

‘If they win it, having not been on television, we may as well just chuck in the towel.’

The 46-year-old went on: ‘With the greatest respect to the boys, I think Holly has had such a great year, and Graham.’

When asked about his thoughts on Ant being shortlisted – despite Holly Willoughby stepping in to replace him during this year’s I’m A Celebrity – 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.’

Before adding: ‘Aside from all this, you want to win an award, of course you do when you are nominated for it, but most people just want to see Ant get better and then come back.’

But before anyone starts thinking Dermot was throwing shade at his pals, he was quick to clarify it was all said in jest, as he later Tweeted: ‘I merely joked that if the boys win this year, we should all chuck in the towel. It was neither serious nor a “rage”.’

This comes after Piers Morgan went on an almighty rant last week, saying Ant doesn’t deserve to be nominated because he’s been ‘sitting on his backside’ all year.

The 53-year-old told Good Morning Britain viewers: ‘Congratulations to Ant McPartlin despite sitting on his backside for the entire year,’ Piers sarcastically told viewers at home.

‘No work, walk the dog, get up, go and have a walk around, and he still gets nominated for the NTA!’

He added: ‘I mean I love Ant but come on, really? Really British public? You’re going to give the award again to a guy who hasn’t done any work this year? I come in every day!’