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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 May, 2005, 01:17 GMT 02:17 UK
Street triumphs at TV soap awards
Sir Ian McKellen as Mel Hutchwright with the Coronation Street cast
Sir Ian McKellen (front) is currently in Coronation Street
Coronation Street has trounced rival EastEnders at the British Soap Awards, winning eight prizes including the coveted best soap title.

EastEnders, which dominated last year's awards with seven prizes, won five.

Emmerdale won one award - best single episode for Charity and Tom's wedding.

Paul O'Grady hosted the awards, with prizes presented by stars including Joan Collins and Sir Ian McKellen, who is currently in Coronation Street.

The Street's other prizes went to Suranne Jones, who plays Karen McDonald, for best actress, while Sam Aston, 11, won best young actor for his role as Chesney Brown.

Suranne Jones

Jones, who won six months after leaving the soap, said: "I have had some wonderful opportunities since leaving and there's no doubt in my mind they have come about because of this programme."

Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow, won best bitch, beating Emmerdale's Patsy Kensit, while the best villain prize was taken by Sasha Behar, who played the crazed solicitor Maya Sharma.

The episode in which she blew up ex-fiance Dev's shops was named spectacular scene of the year.

Best comedy performance went to Maggie Jones, for her portrayal of Deirdre's interfering mother Blanche Hunt, and the show's writer John Stephenson won for special achievement.

His prize was presented by Jean Alexander, who played Hilda Ogden.

June Brown and John Bardon
June Brown and John Bardon: Best on-screen partnership

EastEnders won in categories including best actor for Shane Richie (Alfie Moon), sexiest male for Nigel Harman (Dennis Rickman) and best exit for Charlie Brooks (Janine Evans).

Richie dedicated his best actor award to co-star Jessie Wallace and fellow EastEnders cast members.

He recently announced he would be taking a break from EastEnders, but said during the ceremony this would be his last soap awards, indicating he does not appear to plan to return.

"The truth is I'm having a break but how long that's for I've no idea," he said afterwards. "I seem to have played every emotion as Alfie and I would like to do something different."

Best on-screen partnership was won by June Brown and John Bardon (Dot and Jim Branning).

'Lost for words'

Brown also received a lifetime achievement award which was presented by co-star Barbara Windsor and surprise guest Anna Wing, who played Albert Square veteran Lou Beale.

Brown said: "I'm actually lost for words because I didn't expect this at all - I didn't even know this award existed. I'm overwhelmed."

Hollyoaks' Jodie Albert won sexiest female.

The awards will be broadcast on ITV1 on Wednesday at 2000 GMT.

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