A controversial 'EastEnders' storyline that left some fans unhappy at a popular character’s sudden death helped the soap win three TV awards.
The story of Danielle Jones and the revelation that she was Ronnie Mitchell’s long-lost daughter won the best soap storyline prize at the TV Quick & TV Choice awards last night.
'EastEnders' was named best soap and Lauren Crace, who played Danielle, took the acting award for best soap newcomer.
The storyline upset some Albert Square fans in April when Danielle was killed in a road accident just after telling Ronnie – played by Samantha Womack – she was her daughter.
The hour-long episode was a ratings hit, but many viewers wanted to see how the characters’ relationship as mother and daughter would develop.
At the time, the BBC defended the twist, saying the show contained all the elements of high drama associated with a great soap episode.
Across the soap divide, 'Coronation Street’s' on-screen couple Steve McDonald, played by Simon Gregson, and Becky Granger, played by Katherine Kelly, took the best soap actor and actress awards.
Gregson accepted his award with a spectacularly foul-mouthed speech which attacked the whole concept of giving prizes for acting and which earned him a standing ovation from the celebrity crowd.
Crace received her award in rather more conventional fashion, thanking the 'EastEnders' cast and crew for an “amazing eight months”.
Former Corrie star Denise Welch was named best actress for her part as teacher Steph Haydock in Waterloo Road, while best actor went to Philip Glenister for 'Ashes To Ashes'.
Ant and Dec won the inaugural TV Quick & TV Choice outstanding contribution award in recognition of their 20-year career on the small screen.
The cheeky Geordie duo also scooped the prize for best entertainment show for 'Saturday Night Takeaway'.
Ant said: “We’re absolutely chuffed to receive the TVQuick & TVChoice award for outstanding contribution; it’s a real honour. We can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 20 years – it really is the best job in the world.”
Dec said: “A massive thank you to all of our fans who have supported us over the years – here’s to the next 20.”
The pair started on TV in children’s drama Byker Grove and have starred in shows including SM:TV Live, CD:UK, Pop Idol, Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and Britain’s Got Talent.
Dec said he was proud to win the Outstanding Achievement Award after such a long working relationship with Ant.
“We met on the set of 'Byker Grove' when we were 13 years old. We are now both 34 this year,” he said.
“We have been working together for 20 years. When I first met Ant he was a right miserable get.
“It wasn’t love at first sight. Ant sent me a Fred Flintstone Christmas card that first Christmas, and it said ’Dear Dec, have a yabba dabba do Christmas’.
“Then it said ’PS do you fancy going to the Newcastle v Swindon match?’
“So that was our first date and we forged an amazing friendship from there and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
'Britain’s Got Talent' landed the award for best talent show, while 'The Apprentice' enjoyed a second year as best reality show.
There was a first-time win for Channel 4 comedy 'The Inbetweeners', which took the best comedy award.