IT’S only a matter of time before Ant and Dec win the Ant and Dec Award simply for being Ant and Dec.

The ever-popular TV duo have been shortlisted in the TV presenter category at the National Television Awards for the 19th year. They won last year, despite Ant McPartlin having been off-screen for much of the time. And, with the NTAs voted for by viewers, the Geordie funsters will more than likely triumph once again at this year’s ceremony on January 28.

Is it even worth their competition turning up? Dermot O’Leary quipped that if Ant and Dec won again, we “may as well just chuck in the towel”. Quite.

Television and film awards are tediously predictable. Commiserations if you’ve ever had the misfortune to be up against Doctor Who, Simon Cowell, Danny Dyer, Ant and Dec (obvs) or anyone who stars in or wrote Fleabag or Killing Eve.

If you’re Olivia Colman or Phoebe Waller-Bridge, you’re a dead cert for pretty much every award going, especially at US ceremonies. The Americans don’t half love a posh English gal. Colman won Best Actress at this week’s Golden Globes for The Crown, but was her performance really that much to write home about? She’s not a patch on Claire Foy in the first two seasons. And yes, Phoebe Fleabag is uber talented, yada yada, but I’m tired of her smug acceptance speeches.

It’s all so cliquey! Hotch up and make room for someone else on the red carpet. What about Lisa McGee, the brilliant writer of Channel 4’s Derry Girls? Or Stefan Golaszewski, who created the beautifully nuanced and bittersweet BBC2 comedy Mum? And why are all but one of the NTA presenter nominees male? Where’s the much-overlooked Emma Willis?

There is so much acting/writing/directing/presenting talent out there, yet the same old faces win the big prizes every year - whether voted for by the public or academy members.

Bafta bosses have said it is “disappointing” and “infuriating” that this year’s film awards have all-white acting nominees and that no female directors are recognised. The big guns, with multiple nominations, include Joker, The Irishman and Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood. Acting nominees include Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie.

Despite being widely praised for her version of Little Women, there is no Best Director nod for Greta Gerwig. That category features an all-male directing line-up of Sam Mendes, Todd Phillips, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon-ho.

Marc Samuelson, chairman of Bafta’s film committee, says there are some good signs: “If you take all the nominations, it’s up to about 36 per cent female”... “maybe in another couple of years we are over 40 per cent and heading towards parity.”

But of the all-white acting nominees, he says: “It’s infuriating”...”all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end.”

Bafta’s Elevate programme supports under-represented groups in building film and TV careers, which goes some way towards tackling the diversity issue, but isn’t this just marginalising rising talent, while the big awards are reserved for the showbiz establishment, largely white and male? Green-lighting work by under-represented groups, and recognising them with mainstream awards, seems a painfully slow process.

There’s a lot of talent in TV and film beyond the likes of Ant, Dec, Olivia and Phoebe. Time to let someone else have their moment in the spotlight.

* MEAT-EATERS often rant that vegetarian and vegan food "shouldn't look like meat". Frankly, it's none of their business. I don't have a go at them for eating meat, so why should they question my decision to eat veggie sausages or mince?

This week I tried the newly-launched Greggs vegan steak bake, said to be "like the real thing". While I welcome the new meatless range, it was too mince and gravy for me - a school dinner in a pasty - so I'll stick to the Greggs vegan sausage roll.

Good to see a broader range of meat-free food on offer though. When I gave up meat, over 30 years ago, the only veggie food around was dehydrated mince or a weird sausage mix you had to roll out. Now it's never been easier to try Veganuary, or just go meat-free one day a week.

* I ONCE left my Christmas tree up until February. It's not something I'm proud of, but I really liked the glow of the twinkling lights in winter evenings, so I left the tree intact.

People are quick to put up their Christmas trees, some as early as mid-November, but once Boxing Day is over they can't wait to take them down again. Why not hang on till 12th Night? Some countries don't exchange gifts until January 6, the start of Epiphany.

I've now packed my festive decorations away, but I'm keeping the fairy lights up in my living-room. A bit of sparkle to see me through the year.