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EastEnders has walked away with seven awards at the first ever Digital Spy Soap Awards.
The BBC soap took the coveted award for Best Soap, as well as Best Single Episode, for Phil and Stella’s wedding. Jo Joyner (Tanya Branning) was named Most Popular Actress ahead of Corrie’s Tina O’Brien and ‘Enders colleague Lacey Turner. Samantha Janus (Ronnie Mitchell) and Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell) were awarded Best On-Screen Partnership, while Rita also picked up the Best Newcomer gong.
"Winning these awards are lovely," said Diederick Santer, executive producer of EastEnders. "Thank you - and thanks to the DS forums for the support they've given us. From what I've seen on the forums, the members are discerning, passionate, and real soap connoisseurs. So to get approval from them is quite an achievement."
Walford legend Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) added: "The last year has been absolutely fantastic! People say 'Oh you must get complacent about these awards’, but when you get them it’s lovely, as it means that the public are watching us and loving what we are doing."
Hollyoaks bagged five gongs, including Storyline of the Year for John Paul and Craig’s affair. James Sutton (John Paul McQueen) was named Most Popular Actor. Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood said: "Soaps are all about storylines and without them there are no soaps, so it’s a huge honour to win this award - and thanks to everyone who voted."
Coronation Street bagged just one accolade, with Jack P Shepherd taking ‘Villain of the Year’ for his role as Weatherfield’s evil David Platt. Long-running cop drama The Bill was named Best Serial Drama. Despite nominations in all categories, Yorshire-based soap Emmerdale walked away empty-handed.