EastEnders dominate at British Soap Awards

EastEnders win Best British Soap, Kettle Mag
Written by Holly Wade

The British Soap Awards are the UK’s biggest annual ceremony for some of TV’s best-known and most-loved stars. Phillip Schofield was on hand to ensure the actors didn’t get into a lather as they made their speeches at the Manchester Palace Theatre earlier this week. The awards aired on Thursday night to captive audiences around the country.

A stellar year for soaps

It’s been a great year for soap drama and choosing between each one was surely a daunting task for any panel or home audience. EastEnders scooped eight awards this year, setting the (soap) bar incredibly high, following their live week episodes. After missing out to Coronation Street at the TV BAFTAs, fans were pleased to see the London-based soap claim back some of their reputation. The Outstanding Achievement Award went to screenwriter Rob Gittins, who has worked on over 200 episodes of EastEnders, including the anniversary episode, which was watched by over 20 million people earlier this year.

Soaps have bred some incredible actors over the years, from Joanna Lumley and Sarah Lancashire in Coronation Street, to Sean Maguire in EastEnders and Brookside’s Anna Friel. As a result, The Soap Awards always recognise the youngsters of the soap world who will grow up to be the stars of the future and who deal magnificently with some of the traumatic storylines thrown their way. This year’s winner was the adorable Amelia Flanagan (Emmerdale’s April Windsor) who, at the tender age of six, gave a well held together speech.

EastEnders claimed what was rightfully theirs

It was no surprise when EastEnders won the awards for Best Single Episode and Best Storyline for the Lucy Beale ‘whodunnit’ plot. The storyline intrigued audiences for a full year with its many twists and turns and the final, stand-out revelation that Lucy’s brother Bobby Beale was the murderer, performed live. There was also a nod to Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett, Ian and Jane Beale, for Best Onscreen Partnership, who were pushed to the limit during the challenge of live week.

Coronation Street and Hollyoaks also took home one award each. Corrie’s Sally Webster (Sally Dyvenor) received Best Comedy Performance and Jeremy Sheffield took Villain of the Year for his turn as the abusive Patrick Blake.

It was a family affair as Spectacular Scene of the Year went to Emmerdale for ‘Donna’s Goodbye,’ an emotional scene where the characters recorded a goodbye to her daughter, April, the winner of Best Young Performance.

For some, the surprise of the night was a well-deserved award for daytime soap Doctors. Jessica Regan won Best Newcomer for her role as doctor Niamh Donoghue whose storylines over the past year have seen some dark turns, as well as a burgeoning romance with a colleague.

Linda’s rape story received mixed reviews when it first aired last September, but actress Kellie Bright still added two more awards to EastEnders’ collection, winning both Best Dramatic Performance and Best Actress, humbly accepting the awards and congratulating fellow EastEnder, Brett, for her live week performances.

Woodyatt took his first ever Best Actor award this year for his stunning performance as Ian. Realistically, there was nobody else who could have won.

The Sexiest Male and Sexiest Female categories were scrapped this year in favour of a social impact section, highlighting the good that the soaps have done over the past year to raise awareness of certain issues. Ranging from rape to HIV plots, all of the soaps were deservedly applauded for the ways in which they help the public through their storylines.

There was a touching montage in memory of John Bardon, EastEnders’ Jim Branning, who died last September, and a speech from Corrie stalwarts William Roache and Beverley Callard as they presented a posthumous Outstanding Contribution award to Anne Kirkbride, who missed out on Best Scene for her trifle throwing.

Unsurprisingly, after the night’s events, the hotly contested award for Best British Soap was gifted to EastEnders, the public vote only 0.15% ahead of the second placed soap. The cast and creators were as humble as ever, congratulating all the other soaps for their hard work and dedication. It’s been another fantastic year in Soap Land and the rest of 2015 promises more big storylines with plenty of action to lead us to next year’s ceremony.

What did you think of this year’s Soap Awards? Leave your comments below.