Eastenders takes five gongs but Emmerdale wins Inside Soap's top award

TVBy Sunday World
Emmerdale's Liam Fox, Michelle Hardwick, Bhasker Patel, Charlotte Bellamy, John Middleton and Laura Norton at the awards
Emmerdale's Liam Fox, Michelle Hardwick, Bhasker Patel, Charlotte Bellamy, John Middleton and Laura Norton at the awards

EastEnders was the big winner at this year's Inside Soap Awards, although it lost the top prize to rival soap Emmerdale

The BBC programme took home five gongs, including the coveted best actor and best actress awards for Steve McFadden - aka Phil Mitchell - and Lacey Turner, who had the nation gripped as Stacey Fowler this year.

Albert Square's Tameka Empson, who is currently competing on the dancefloor on Strictly Come Dancing, scooped funniest female for her role as Kim Fox-Hubbard - a prize she has won five times.

Readers of the magazine, who voted in each category, crowned the soap's Jacqueline Jossa sexiest female.

EastEnders' fifth gong was for best exit, for the departure of Peggy Mitchell.

The Walford stalwart, who had been played by Dame Barbara Windsor since 1994, took her own life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in scenes broadcast in May.

Dame Windsor said of the storyline: "I was nervous (about saying goodbye to Peggy), of course I was.

"But Peggy's exit was wonderful - I really couldn't have asked for more.

"The writers spoilt me, they really did!"

The Inside Soap Awards, held at the Hippodrome Casino in London, celebrate the best of the past year in soaps and are the only soap awards voted for entirely by fans.

ITV shows Emmerdale and Coronation Street tied with four awards each, but it was the rural soap that clinched the coveted best soap gong, which it won for the second year running.

The win follows on from Emmerdale's success at the British Soap Awards this year, where it triumphed in the best soap category for the first time in the award show's history.

Emmerdale also took home best shock twist, for the death of Val (Charlie Hardwick) in the summer fair's hall of mirrors, best partnership for Ryan Hawley and Danny Miller (who play Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle) and best young actor for Amelia Flanagan, who scored a hat-trick by picking up the trophy for her performance as April Windsor for the third time in a row.

Flanagan, eight, said: "It has been amazing to win three times in a row - I feel very lucky."

There was plenty to celebrate over on the cobbles, where awards included best bad boy for Connor McIntyre for his portrayal of rogue Pat Phelan, and funniest male for Joe Duttine, who stars as Tim Metcalfe.

Former X Factor star Shayne Ward made it a trio of best newcomer prizes, having also nabbed the trophies at this year's National Television Awards and TV Choice Awards.

Ward said the Inside Soap win was "the cherry on top" after a great year.

"I've been blessed to have such great storylines in the first year that I've been here. This just rounds it off," he added.

Inside Soap editor Steven Murphy said: "It's been a dramatic year in soapland with some standout plots and amazing performances, so the competition was tougher than ever."

Here is a list of all the winners:

Best Soap - Emmerdale
Best Actor - Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell, EastEnders)
Best Actress - Lacey Turner (Stacey Fowler, EastEnders)
Best Bad Boy - Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan, Coronation Street)
Best Bad Girl - Persephone Swales-Dawson (Nico Bradley, Hollyoaks)
Funniest Male - Joe Duttine (Tim Metcalfe, Coronation Street)
Funniest Female - Tameka Empson (Kim Fox-Hubbard, EastEnders)
Best Newcomer - Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor, Coronation Street)
Best Young Actor - Amelia Flanagan (April Windsor, Emmerdale)
Sexiest Male - Charlie Clapham (Freddie Roscoe, Hollyoaks)
Sexiest Female - Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning, EastEnders)
Best Shock Twist - Val dies in the hall of mirrors (Emmerdale)
Best Drama Star - Derek Thompson (Charlie Fairhead, Casualty)
Best Partnership - Ryan Hawley and Danny Miller (Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle, Emmerdale)
Best Show-Stopper - The live episode (Coronation Street)
Best Daytime Star - Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy, Neighbours)
Best Daytime Soap - Neighbours
Best Drama Storyline - Arthur's death (Holby City)
Best Exit - Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell, EastEnders)