EastEnders dominates at British Soap Awards

Image caption,
EastEnders stars Lacey Turner and Scott Maslen won best actor awards

EastEnders came out on top at the British Soap Awards, scooping 10 awards to Coronation Street's three.

Its haul included best soap, best actor for Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning, and best actress for Lacey Turner - Walford's Stacey Branning.

Coronation Street's Betty Driver, 89, who plays barmaid Betty Williams, won the lifetime achievement award.

BBC One's Doctors won twice while Channel 4's Hollyoaks and ITV1's Emmerdale picked up one award each.

Accepting the best British soap prize for EastEnders from Paul O'Grady, actor Adam Woodyatt said: "I haven't prepared a speech because Babs Windsor was supposed to have been up here tonight and, unfortunately, she's not feeling well, she's at home.

"So Babs, I hope you're feeling better and you're back at work next week."

Picking up his best actor prize, Maslen, who also won sexiest male, said: "This ain't taken too seriously. It's nice. It's another doorstop."

His colleague Turner also won best dramatic performance at the ceremony at ITV Studios on London's Southbank.

Other EastEnders wins included best exit for Charlie Clements - who played Turner's on-screen husband Bradley - for his death in the soap's live episode.

The 19 February programme, which marked the soap's 25th anniversary, also won best single episode.

Larry Lamb won villain of the year, for Archie Mitchell, while the mystery over the character's death won best storyline.

Fellow EastEnder Marc Elliott, who plays Syed Masood, was named best newcomer.

Standing ovation

Coronation Street's Driver, who could not pick up her award in person because of illness, said in a recorded message she was "so excited I don't know what to say".

"I'm not very good at making speeches but I want to say thank you to everyone, especially ITV, the soap awards and the lovely Granada where I've worked for over 40 years.

"I'm not very good at this but if I keep on I'll weep."

Coronation Street's other prizes were sexiest female for Michelle Keegan, who plays Tina McIntyre, and best comedy performance for Craig Gazey, who plays Graeme Proctor.

Image caption,
Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan, left won the sexiest female award

Tribute was also paid to Maggie Jones - Weatherfield's Blanche Hunt - who died in December, aged 75.

A montage of her most memorable moments was shown before the audience gave a standing ovation.

Doctors won best performance from a young actor for Ami Metcalf, who plays Sapphire Cox, and best on-screen partnership for Jan Pearson and Christopher Walker, who play Karen and Rob Hollins.

Hollyoaks won the special scene of the year for a storyline involving a parachute jump while Emmerdale writer Bill Lyons won a special achievement award.

The awards will be shown on ITV1 on Wednesday, 19 May.

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