DOCTOR WHO took a hat-trick of awards at Britain's TV Oscars last night - marking a remarkable comeback for the sci-fi show.
Christopher Eccleston scooped Most Popular Actor; his co-star, Billie Piper was named Most Popular Actress; and the show itself won Most Popular Drama at the National Television Awards.
Despite quitting as the Doctor after just one series, Eccleston took the Actor gong.
Tory leadership contenders David Davis and David Cameron stunned award-goers when they turned up on stage together to present the gong for best drama. Some booed them.
Former singer Piper, who has won praise for her role as Doctor's Assistant Rose, thanked the show's director, viewers and writers. She also thanked her "lovely boyfriend", Mr E (thought to be former husband Chris Evans) and Eccleston "for being a fantastic doctor and teaching me so much". Her co-star Eccleston was not at the ceremony.
Wearing a short black figure-hugging dress, Piper said, "Thank you so much. This means so much to me, I can't even begin to tell you."
She thanked the show bosses for taking a "huge gamble".
Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies read out a note of thanks on behalf of Eccleston. It congratulated his fellow nominees adding, "I'm very sorry that I can't be there tonight. Thank you to everybody who voted for me, and to the British public for their encouragement over the last 17 years. They have always been honest with me and I'm very grateful."
He dedicated the award to a little boy who "loves Doctor Who and loves life".
EastEnders may have been going through a rough time earlier this year, but last night it was celebrating after winning the Most Popular Serial Drama category over Coronation Street.
But the Street's new star, Antony Cotton (Sean), won Most Popular Newcomer.
Sharon Osbourne beat her X Factor rival Simon Cowell to Most Popular Expert on TV, while the show itself won Most Popular Entertainment Programme.
Ant and Dec won Most Popular Entertainment Presenter for their Saturday Night Takeaway for the fifth year running. Channel 4's Big Brother took the crown for Most Popular Reality Programme, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Most Popular Quiz Programme.
Little Britain was named Most Popular Comedy Programme in the awards that are voted for by viewers, and Jamie Oliver walked away with both Most Popular Factual Programme for Jamie's School Dinners and a Special Recognition Award.