The National Television Awards’ 25th anniversary TV special left Doctor Who fans in tears by including the moment David Tennant announced he was quitting the show.
The Scottish actor, 48, broke the news that he was giving up the role of the 10th Doctor as he accepted an award via videolink in 2008.
The surprise announcement prompted cries from the audience at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
He said: “The 2009 shows will be my last playing the Doctor. I love this part and I love this show so much but if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you will be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair. I think it is better than I don’t overstay my welcome.”
The one-off programme, narrated by Dame Julie Walters, revisited some of the annual events’ most memorable moments, such as Judy Finnigan’s live wardrobe malfunction with her bra in 2000.
But it was Tennant’s speech that prompted the strongest reaction from viewers.
One said: “David Tennant announcing that he was leaving Doctor Who at the NTAs was real heartbreak and I’m still upset over it now tbh”.
Another added: “Oh no, the moment David Tennant announced he was leaving #DoctorWho is about to be shown on this 25th celebration show for the #NTAs.
“I can feel all the emotions of that night coming back already”.
One Doctor Who fan said they remembered the moment “like yesterday”.
They said: “Oh my giddy aunt they’re about to relive the moment Tennant announced he was leaving #DoctorWho at the NTAs.
“I remember it like it was yesterday, sat in my living room with my parents – so excited he’d won, then spending the next hour in shock/tears he was going”.
Other viewers dubbed the special episode “wonderful”, but said they were not ready to relive Tennant’s exit.
They said: “This #NTAs show is wonderful but then they show David Tennant saying he’s leaving Doctor Who.”
Another of Tennant’s finest NTAs moments came in 2015 when he was honoured with a special recognition award.
He became visibly emotional as he watched actors and writers – including Catherine Tate, Billie Piper and Russell T Davies – pay tribute to him.