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Sunday, 28 May, 2000, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
EastEnders cleans up soap awards
Old Vic scene
Getting celebration drinks in at the Old Vic
EastEnders reigns supreme as the UK's top television soap drama after trouncing nearest rival Coronation Street in a top awards ceremony.

The east London drama collected seven key prizes, including one for best British soap.

The win is a riposte to its Manchester-set rival, which won that title in last year's inaugural British Soap Awards.

Stars of soap
Best British soap: EastEnders
Best actor: Joe Absolom (EE)
Best actress: Patsy Palmer (EE)
Sexiest male: Michael Greco (EE)
Sexiest female: Tamzin Outhwaite (EE)
Top villain: Martin Kemp (EE)
Best storyline: Coronation Street
Best screen partnership: Dean Sullivan and Sue Jenkins(Brookside)
Scene of the year: Brookside
Best foreign soap: Home and Away
Special achievement: Tony Warren (CS creator)

Brookside had the consolation of winning the spectacular scene of the year award - for the Millennium Club explosion sequence.

Joe Absolom was judged to be best actor for his role in EastEnders as Matthew Rose, who won the sympathy of millions with his portrayal of a man wrongly jailed.

The real culprit, Martin Kemp (who plays Steve Owen) was named villain of the year for his menacing presence. Since arriving in Albert Square, his character has murdered his ex-girlfriend, framed someone else for the crime and is now battling against drugs.

A heavily pregnant Patsy Palmer collected best actress award for playing Bianca Butcher.

Patsy Palmer
Patsy Palmer collected the best actress award

She used her acceptance speech to warn future young stars of the effect being in the limelight can have on your life.

"It's completely changed my life," she said. "It just turned it around. I have had my ups and downs as you all know.

"I just want to warn all the young people. Be careful because it really does change your life."

And Lindsey Coulson, who returned east to Albert Square recently as Bianca's highly-strung mother, Carol Jackson, won the best dramatic performance title.

EastEnders also scooped prizes in the sexiest male and female categories - for Michael Greco, alias Beppe di Marco, and Tamzin Outhwaite, who won the same prize last year for her portrayal of Melanie, the long-lost sister of vicar Alex Healy.

Tamzin Outhwaite
Tamzin Outhwaite: Rated not just for acting ability
Coronation Street's Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts, won the best comedy performance award while Brookside's Dean Sullivan and Sue Jenkins (better known to viewers as ill-starred couple Jimmy and Jackie Corkhill) were named as the best on-screen partnership.

The best storyline category was won by Coronation Street for the teenage pregnancy scenario featuring Helen Worth and Tina O'Brien as Gail and Sarah Louise PLatt.

Coronation Street mastermind Tony Warren also took another award back to northern England, this time a special achievement one.

The best newcomer award went to Gary Leucy, who joined Hollyoaks as Luke Morgan, and best exit went to Emmerdale's Paul Loughran.

Home and Away walked away for the second year with the best foreign soap title.

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See also:

01 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Street drama wins praise
26 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Soaps criticised for divorce rates
16 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Happy Birthday EastEnders
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