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Saturday, 26 May, 2001, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
EastEnders triumph at UK soap awards
Martin Kemp and Tamzin Outhwaite
Martin Kemp and Tamzin Outhwaite in EastEnders
EastEnders has swept the boards for the second year at the annual British Soap Awards in London on Saturday.

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley presented the ceremony which saw EastEnders win best British soap, best actor, best actress, best newcomer and the sexiest male and female in UK soaps.

Martin Kemp and Shirley Holliman
Martin Kemp arrives at the awards with his wife Shirley Holliman
EastEnders' Melanie, played by Tamzin Outhwaite, picked up the sexiest female award for the second year running, while Martin Kemp - last year's villain of the year - was the sexiest man.

Click here to see the award winners in full.

Former Spandau Ballet guitarist Kemp, who plays Steve Owen in the BBC soap, also picked up the best actor prize and paid tribute to the EastEnders press team for his fame.

EastEnders fever gripped the nation earlier in the year as viewers were teased and tormented about the identity of Phil Mitchell's would-be assassin.

Fittingly Steve McFadden, who plays Mitchell, was awarded the villain of the year title.

Natalie Cassidy - aka Sonia Jackson - won the best actress prize.

Jack Ryder and Kim Marsh
EastEnders' Jamie Mitchell arrived with Hear'Say singer Kim Marsh
It was the first evening awards ceremony for the This Morning team since Finnigan's dress slipped off at the National Television Awards last year.

As the couple opened the evening, Finnigan quipped: "I'm so excited I can feel my dress starting to fall down already."

Finnigan and Madeley have said that they particularly enjoy the ceremony, which they are presenting for the third time, because of the famous names in the audience.

"It's a fantastic treat for the viewer to see the stars all dolled up, since in all the soaps the actors have to dress down because they are about ordinary folk living in ordinary places," said Finnigan.

Their thoughts were borne out by fans waiting outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of their TV heroes.

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley
Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley presented the awards
Bafta-winning Emmerdale had to be content with awards for the most spectacular scene of the year - for when Andy Sugden burned down the barn - and hero of the year in Clive Hornby.

Viewers voted for six of the 16 categories on offer, and the other 10 were decided by a panel of critics and soap representatives.

The soaps in competition were Brookside, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Family Affairs and Hollyoaks.

Coronation Street did win the best storyline award for the Mark, Linda and Mike love triangle, and the best on-screen partnership for Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn who play Vera and Jack Duckworth.

The British Soap Awards 2001 can be seen on ITV on Wednesday at 8pm

Sexiest male

Martin Kemp (Steve Owen) EastEnders

Sexiest female

Tamzin Outhwaite (Melanie Healy) EastEnders

Best comedy performance

Sarah White (Bev McLoughlin) Brookside

Best newcomer

Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater) EastEnders

Best dramatic performance

Georgia Taylor (Toyah Battersby) Coronation Street

Spectacular scene of the year

Emmerdale - for Andy Sugden burning the barn

Best storyline

Paul Fox, Jacqueline Chadwick, Johnny Briggs Coronation Street - for Mark, Linda and Mike love triangle

Hero of the year

Clive Hornby (Jack Sugden) Emmerdale

Villain of the year

Steve McFaddan (Phil Mitchell) EastEnders

Best on-screen partnership

William Tarmey and Elizabeth Dawn (Jack and Vera Duckworth) Coronation Street

Best exit

Naomi Radcliffe (Alison Webster) Coronation Street

Special achievement award

Phil Redmond

Best single episode

Friday 8 December 2000 Coronation Street - the live episode

Best actress

Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Jackson) EastEnders

Best actor

Martin Kemp (Steve Owen) EastEnders

Best British soap

EastEnders

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See also:

26 May 01 | TV and Radio
Picture gallery: British Soap Awards
01 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Street drama wins praise
26 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Soaps criticised for divorce rates
16 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Happy Birthday EastEnders
28 May 00 | Entertainment
EastEnders cleans up soap awards
04 May 01 | TV and Radio
Richard and Judy quit ITV
26 May 01 | TV and Radio
Street stars face pay cut
22 May 01 | TV and Radio
Queen honours Street stalwart
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