Dermot O'Leary has tipped Holly Willoughby or Graham Norton to win best presenter at this year's National Television Awards, and has joked that we "may as well chuck in the towel" if Ant and Dec scoop the gong.

The presenting duo have been shortlisted for best presenter, despite Ant McPartlin's screen absence after he stepped away from TV duties following his arrest for drink-driving last year.

Ant and Dec have won the best entertainment presenter gong 17 consecutive times beginning in 2001. The last time another presenter won the award was Michael Barrymore in 2000.

Speaking to the Press Association, the ceremony's host Dermot O'Leary said: "If they win it this year, we should just not do it anymore!

"If they win it, having not been on television, we may as well just chuck in the towel."

This Morning's Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, chat show host Graham Norton and The Chase's Bradley Walsh are also shortlisted this year.

O'Leary suggested who he thought should win the award.

"With the greatest respect to the boys, I think Holly has had such a great year, and Graham," he said.

Holly Willoughby stepped in as co-host for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

When asked about Ant McPartlin's thoughts on being shortlisted, O'Leary responded: "They (Ant and Dec) made the decision that they want to put themselves up this year, so you'd have to ask him."

He added: "Aside from all this, you want to win an award, of course you do when you are nominated for it, but most people just want to see Ant get better and then come back."

Dermot O'Leary says people "want to see Ant get better and then come back"

Ant stepped down from presenting Saturday Night Takeaway following his arrest for drink-driving. 

Dec hosted the live Britain's Got Talent shows solo and later fronted I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! with Willoughby instead of Ant.

The 2019 National Television Awards will take place on Tuesday January 22.