ITV axes National Movie Awards

ITV has axed the National Movie Awards and is set to delay the National Television Awards until the beginning of next year as its financial woes continue to hit programming.

The movie awards show aired for the first time in 2007, a spin-off of the annual National Television Awards, which have been running since 1995.

But last year's National Movie Awards, presented by James Nesbitt, averaged just 2.8 million viewers last September, according to unofficial overnight figures, and it has not been commissioned for a third show this year.

The National Television Awards, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and an annual fixture in the ITV1 schedule, traditionally takes place in October.

However, this year's event is set to be delayed until January 2009 as the cash-strapped broadcaster, which lost £2.7bn in 2008, struggles to balance its books.

The last National Television Awards in 2008 had an average audience of 5.3 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Both awards shows are made by independent producer Indigo Television.

An ITV spokesman said: "We never comment on long-term scheduling. We have a good relationship with Indigo and we are talking to them about future shows."

The film awards were commissioned on a year-by-year basis and the decision not to recommission the show was not understood to be related to ITV cutbacks, said a source.

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ITV axes National Movie Awards

This article was first published on guardian.co.uk at 15.19 GMT on Wednesday 25 March 2009. It was last updated at 16.18 GMT on Wednesday 25 March 2009.

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