Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 22:32 UK

EastEnders dominates soap awards

By Liam Allen
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

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EastEnders star Robert Kazinsky on winning two awards at the Inside Soap awards

EastEnders has swept the board at this year's Inside Soap awards, winning nine prizes - including best soap.

The show took back the top prize from Coronation Street which won it last year for the first time in a decade.

EastEnder Lacey Turner won three gongs, including best actress, while colleague Robert Kazinsky won best actor.

Coronation Street won both "best bad boy" and "best bitch" thanks to Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt, and Alison King, who plays Carla Connor.

The ITV1 show took one other award, with Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle Connor, taking the best-dressed soap star award.

I'm very lucky, I've been in EastEnders for four years and I've had some brilliant storylines
Lacey Turner

While EastEnders actors were in abundance at the awards ceremony in Camden, north London, none of the Coronation Street prize-winners - and only a handful of the drama's actors - turned up.

Best actress Turner, who plays Stacey Branning in EastEnders, said she screamed when she found out she had won the prize.

"I'm very lucky, I've been in EastEnders for four years and I've had some brilliant storylines," she added.

"Awards are appreciation so I'm chuffed."

Best storyline

Turner also won the award for best couple, along with on-screen husband Bradley Branning, played by Charlie Clements.

It was the third year running that the pair have won the award.

Jack P Shepherd did not attend the awards
None of Coronation Street's winners were at the awards

Turner's Christmas storyline, in which Stacey had an affair with Bradley's father, Max - played by Jake Wood - won best plot.

Wood praised the "very talented" writers for maintaining the storyline, which climaxed over the festive period, for over a year.

Kazinsky, who plays Stacey's brother Sean Slater, said it "was very kind and very flattering" of viewers to vote him both best actor and sexiest actor.

A modest Kazinsky, who will film his final EastEnders scenes in six weeks, said: "It's a real privilege and an honour.

"I'm very grateful the character has been so well received.

"The show on its own is such a thing that whatever storyline comes becomes watchable because we do have a very loyal fan base and, indeed, we have great writers."

Hollyoaks actor
Ellis Hollins, of Hollyoaks, won best young actor for the second time

EastEnders also won in the categories of best newcomer - Rita Simons as Roxy Slater - and funniest performance - Cheryl Fergison as Heather Trott.

Fergison joked: "I thought I was getting sexiest female award."

She added: "I've never won anything in my life. I just do what I do."

Fellow EastEnder Kara Tointon, who plays Dawn Swann, was named sexiest actress for the second time.

And Rita Simons, who plays Roxy Slater in the soap, won best newcomer.

Hollyoaks' only award of the night was for Ellis Hollins, who won best young actor for his portrayal of Tom Cunningham for the second time.

The Bill, meanwhile, was named best drama for the third year running.

Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in ITV1's Emmerdale, won the outstanding achievement award in recognition of his 22 years in the show.

"I don't deserve this," Chittell said.

"I just come into work every day and do my job."

His award was the Yorkshire drama's only prize.


SEE ALSO
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