Coronation Street completed a remarkable return to fortune tonight after it clinched nine gongs at this year’s Soap Awards.
The hit show, which only took one award last year, walked away with the lion’s share of the prizes as its rival EastEnders was beaten to the crown of Best Soap for the first time in three years.
Actor Brian Capron, who played serial killer Richard Hillman, picked up a record five awards, the highest number won by any individual in the five year history of the ceremony.
He won Villain of the Year, Best Exit, Best Storyline, Spectacular Scene of the Year and the coveted Best Actor award.
Andrew Whyment added further success to Corrie when he won Best Comedy Performance with his portrayal of Kirk Sutherland.
Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts, won a double gong, scooping Best Dramatic Performance and Hero of the Year.
Coronation Street secured one of its biggest audiences for years when nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to see evil Richard Hillman confess to his killing spree.
Figures for the double bill, shown earlier in the year, showed 19.4 million people were watching at the peak of his emotional outpouring to long suffering wife Gail, played by Helen Worth.
Even more tuned in for the murder of hairdresser Maxine Peacock, which secured an average of 17.6 million viewers.
In the other categories EastEnders’ new arrival, Shane Ritchie, who plays Queen Vic pub manager Alfie Moon in the BBC1 soap, won the award for Sexiest Male with Jessie Wallace picking up Sexiest Female for the second year running.
EastEnders’ Kacey Ainsworth followed up her success last year by winning Best Actress for the second consecutive year for her performance as Little Mo Slater.
She becomes the first actress to win the category twice and continues EastEnders’ five year domination in the category.
Eleven-year-old Jack McMullen, who plays Josh McLoughlin in the Merseyside soap Brookside, scooped two awards as Best Newcomer and Best On-Screen Partnership with Sarah White, who plays his screen mother Bev.
Brookside won another award with actor Dean Sullivan, who plays notorious Jimmy Corkhill, honoured with a special achievement award for his 17 years on the soap.
Emmerdale picked up the award for Best Single Episode for Marlon and Trisha’s failed wedding day plans.
The Soap Awards, presented by daytime chat show duo Des O’Connor and Melanie Sykes, will be screen on Wednesday May 14 at 8pm.