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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 23:56 GMT 00:56 UK
Hilda Ogden wins soap star vote
Stan (Bernard Youens) and Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander)
Jean Alexander played Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street
Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden, played by Jean Alexander, has been named the UK's favourite soap star in a survey 18 years after she left the role.

Alexander, who played the character for 23 years with Bernard Youens as her husband Stan, beat EastEnders' Shane Richie as Alfie Moon into second place.

David Jason, 65, star of Only Fools and Horses and A Touch of Frost, was named favourite actor in the TV Times poll.

He also topped the sitcom list, beating The Vicar of Dibley's Dawn French.

TV Times magazine polled about 4,000 people to mark its 50th anniversary, which it shares with ITV.

Alexander, 79, said it was "unbelievable people are still so fond of Hilda".

Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson is still popular with TV viewers

"We had so many wonderful individual characters when I was in the show, Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner come to mind, so to be picked out from amongst that crew is very, very flattering," she said.

But she has not changed her views on the current state of Coronation Street. "The Street is a sink of iniquity now. Even the kids are at it," she said.

"But it's the same in all the soaps these days - the main story is sex and scandal."

Helen Mirren, 60, who will play Queen Elizabeth I in a new TV drama, won the vote for favourite actress, with Amanda Burton in second place.

And Bruce Forsyth, who has hosted Play your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing, beat Des O'Connor to be named top entertainer.

Television and radio host Michael Parkinson, who recently left BBC TV for ITV, was joint favourite TV presenter along with natural history presenter Sir David Attenborough.

Favourite theme tune

They beat Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, better known as Ant and Dec.

Daytime TV show This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, 43, was voted top children's presenter for his days in the BBC Broom Cupboard, followed by Animal Magic's Johnny Morris.

Readers voted the late Eric Morecambe as best comic, with The Two Ronnies in second place.

The favourite theme tune poll was won by police series Heartbeat, which originally starred Nick Berry.


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