EastEnders was streets ahead as the big winner at tonight’s Inside Soap awards - scooping six awards.
The BBC1 show’s impressive haul included the top prize of Best Soap, and the fifth consecutive win for Lacey Turner, who stars as Walford’s Stacey Branning.
Coronation Street – soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary – landed four of the prizes.
Emmerdale’s Danny Miller had two reasons to celebrate. He picked up the gong for Best Actor for his role as Aaron Livesy, as well as Best Dramatic Performance for the emotional scenes in which Aaron admitted to Paddy that he was gay.
Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan, who plays bolshy beauty Tina McIntyre, was awarded the Sexiest Female gong for the second year running, and Best Newcomer went to EastEnders’ Ricky Norwood for his role as Arthur “Fatboy” Chubb.
Craig Gazey, who plays hapless butcher Graeme Proctor in Coronation Street, received the Funniest Performance gong, following last year’s win for the late Maggie Jones.
He said: “It’s a great honour to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, the incredible Maggie Jones. Thank you to everyone who voted for me.
“The fact it’s an award from viewers is very special. I keep my Best Newcomer Inside Soap award in the bathroom so that’s where this one will be going.”
The ITV1 soap also picked up the Best Stunt gong for the gripping siege, fire and explosion at the Underworld knicker factory.
Alison King, whose feisty character Carla Connor survived the drama, said: “The factory fire scenes were some of the hardest I’ve ever done, they took four weeks to film and we were working with fire, which was especially dangerous.
“By the end of it all we felt like a little family though. Everyone worked so hard and they definitely deserve to win something.”
Weatherfield’s Alex Bain, who plays Simon Barlow, won his second Best Young Actor gong, while Waterloo Road was named Best Drama for the first time.
It was also a joyous night for Neighbours at the bash, held in trendy north London venue Shaka Zulu.
The Australian show beat Home and Away and Doctors to be named Best Daytime Soap – a new category at the awards – while Ryan Moloney was awarded the Best Daytime Star gong for his long-running role as Jarrod “Toadie” Rebecchi.
Inside Soap editor Stephen Murphy said: “With EastEnders’ 25th anniversary and Corrie’s approaching 50th, it’s been a blockbuster year for soaps.
“Meanwhile, Emmerdale has come out fighting, with some fantastic storylines and performances. It’s wonderful to be able to reward the amazing work we’ve seen this year.”
Winners of the Inside Soap Awards 2010:
Best Actor – Danny Miller (Aaron Livesy, Emmerdale)
Best Actress – Lacey Turner (Stacey Branning, EastEnders)
Sexiest Male – Scott Maslen (Jack Branning, EastEnders)
Sexiest Female – Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre, Coronation Street)
Best Young Actor – Alex Bain (Simon Barlow, Coronation Street)
Best Newcomer – Ricky Norwood (Arthur “Fatboy” Chubb, EastEnders)
Funniest Performance – Craig Gazey (Graeme Proctor, Corrie)
Best Drama – Waterloo Road
Best Wedding – Syed Masood and Amira Shah (EastEnders)
Best Exit – Charlie Clements (Bradley Branning, EastEnders)
Best Stunt – The factory siege, fire and explosion (Corrie)
Best Dramatic Performance – Danny Miller Aaron admits the truth about his sexuality to Paddy (Emmerdale)
Best Daytime Soap – Neighbours
Best Daytime Star – Ryan Moloney (Jarrod “Toadie” Rebecchi, Neighbours)
Best Soap – EastEnders.