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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 May 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
EastEnders beats Corrie at awards
EastEnders stars Ross Kemp, Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden
EastEnders star Barbara Windsor accepted the top prize for best soap
EastEnders was the big winner at this year's British Soap Awards, taking seven prizes including best show.

The BBC soap beat its rival Coronation Street, which picked up four awards.

EastEnders' honours included best actor for Ross Kemp, who plays Grant Mitchell, and best actress for Lacey Turner, who stars as Stacey Slater.

A special lifetime achievement award went to Johnny Briggs, whose character Mike Baldwin recently left Coronation Street after 30 years on the show.

Emmerdale won four awards, including spectacular scene of the year and best exit, while Hollyoaks picked up two, including best storyline.

Best British soap - EastEnders
Best actor - Ross Kemp (Grant Mitchell, EastEnders)
Best actress - Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater, EastEnders)
Best newcomer - Charlie Clements (Bradley Branning, EastEnders)
Best dramatic performance - Bradley Walsh (Danny Baldwin, Coronation Street)
Best storyline - Becca and Justin's affair (Hollyoaks)
Lifetime achievement award - Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin, Coronation Street)
Accepting the best soap honour for EastEnders, Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy Mitchell, said: "We thank you from the bottom of our heart.

"The competition is amazing so this makes it extra special."

She also thanked executive producer Kate Harwood, who was appointed 18 months ago to revive the soap's fortunes. "You have had a wonderful year," she said.

EastEnders also won sexiest female for Louisa Lytton, who plays Ruby Allen, villain of the year for Billy Murray, who plays Johnny Allen, and best newcomer for Charlie Clements, aka Bradley Branning.

The best single episode award went to EastEnders for its Armistice Day episode.

Coronation Street took the award for best dramatic performance for Bradley Walsh, who plays Danny Baldwin.

Johnny Briggs
Coronation Street's Johnny Briggs left the soap last month
The ITV1 soap also won sexiest male for Richard Fleeshman, who plays Craig Harris and best on-screen partnership for Barbara Knox and Malcolm Hebden, who appear as Rita Sullivan and Norris Cole.

Receiving his lifetime achievement award from on-screen son Bradley Walsh, Johnny Briggs said: "You have made an old man very happy."

Briggs left Coronation Street last month after his character was killed off in an Alzheimer's storyline.

A special achievement award was given to director Tony Prescott, who has worked on Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

The ceremony, which took place at BBC Television Centre in London, was hosted by Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield and will be broadcast on Wednesday at 2000 BST on ITV1.

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