Phillip Schofield emotionally thanks his best friend Holly Willoughby as This Morning wins at 2021 NTAs

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Phillip Schofield emotionally thanked his best friend Holly Willoughby as This Morning won at Thursday's 2021 National Television Awards at London's O2.

The presenter, 59, and his co-host, 40, took home the best Daytime gong for the ITV chat show as they delivered a heartfelt speech on stage.

Phillip commented on how "tough" the past 18 months have been amid the coronavirus pandemic as he admitted that viewers where his and Holly's "comfort blankets" and vice versa, saying: "We were all in it together.'

He continued: "So to Martin Frizell, Emma Gormley, our whole ITV team thank you for that, thank you for being there with us and also thank you to my best friend…"

To which Holly hugged him and added: "I love you. This Morning is an incredible team," as she thanked fellow hosts Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford, Alison Hammond, Dermot O'Leary and Rochelle Humes.

The star added that the votes and award means the "absolute world" to both her and Phillip, as she added: "Thank you!"

Elsewhere during the ceremony, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly won the Best Presenter gong for the 20th year in the row.

The Geordie duo, both aged 45, beat out the likes of Alison Hammond, Bradley Walsh, Holly and Piers Morgan — who were all nominated.

It comes after Ant & Dec broke a World Record in 2019 for winning the most Best Presenter gongs ever at the NTAs.

Taking to the stage, Ant said: "We were talking in the car on the way here and the first year we won an NTA, Tony Blair was the prime minister and Newcastle United qualified for the Champions League. It just goes to show how long ago it was.

"But do you know what? This one means the most. Twenty years. This is really, really special. You have no idea how special this is. Oh, I'm shaking, I'm shaking, are you? This is really, really special, you have no idea how special this is."

To which Dec added: "It's pretty overwhelming to be honest with you," as he sweetly thanked his wife Ali Astall and Ant's new wife Anne-Marie Corbett for their support.

He added: 'When you get to 20, you can’t help but stop and look back at the first time we won in 2001, and so much has changed in both our lives since then but one thing that hasn’t changed is how unbelievably grateful we are that you take time year after year to watch both of us."

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Speaking before the awards were announced, the Geordie duo told OK! on the red carpet: "It would be nice to get to 20, but you never know… everything is crossed!"

Asked how they felt about fellow nominee Piers Morgan potentially scooping the gong, they joked: "Piers? Who? Piers who? Is he the guy who used to be on TV? Yeah, think we remember him!"

It was a triumphant night for the pair as their hit ITV reality show, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, won the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award.

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