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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 17:04 GMT
Granada condemns 'soap snub'
The Street has no nominations for the annual awards
Granada has condemned the Royal Television Society for leaving Coronation Street and Emmerdale out of this year's prestigious awards.

The two ITV soaps have been beaten to the list by BBC One's EastEnders and Doctors, and Mersey Television's Hollyoaks, made for Channel 4.

A Granada spokeswoman said it was "inconceivable" that its two flagship soaps - as well as its new show, Night and Day - had been overlooked.

"Coronation Street regularly gets 14 million viewers," she told BBC News Online.

"It's as popular with the viewers as EastEnders."

The Queen visited the fictional East End last year

"The panel clearly don't watch soaps -fortunately, our viewers do."

The Royal Television Society awards cover every sphere of programme-making, from writing to presenting.

The awards are given to individuals and programmes in a host of genres.

The society's chief executive, Simon Albury, told BBC News Online his organisation intended only to reward excellence, and that the nominations process was even-handed.

"The juries are made up of representatives from all the broadcasters, and independents, too," he said.

"We go to great lengths to ensure that we have balanced juries."

'Originality'

The society said in its criteria for nomination that it aims is to recognise programmes "which in the year in question have made a material and positive contribution to their genre".

This might be because of their "originality in form or content", or because their quality "has set standards which other programme-makers can learn from and emulate".

"Programmes should not receive awards for their long service alone," the society said.

Granada's comments come at a particularly sensitive stage in the long-running ratings struggle between Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Nominated dramas
Bob & Rose: ITV
Navigators: ITV
Perfect Strangers: BBC Two
At Home with the Braithwaites: ITV
Clocking Off: BBC One
Teachers: Channel 4

The ITV has reportedly taken measures to reinvigorate storylines, including writing characters out of the show.

The row over the soap nominations has overshadowed the 23 other categories for awards, which will be held on 19 March in London.

Granada is up for awards in the children's fiction category for My Parents Are Aliens, for Children's ITV; and for The Wright Stuff, for Channel 5, in the daytime programme field.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Soaps battle in TV showdown
07 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Coronation Street 'cull' denied
20 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Coronation Street star dies
29 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Queen plans Jubilee soap trip
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