Sunday 25 September 2016

British Soap Awards: Emmerdale wins Best Soap for the first time in awards history

Published 29/05/2016 | 08:25

Gemma Atkinson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Gemma Atkinson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Kym Marsh attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Rhea Bailey attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Duncan James attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Denise Black attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jamie Lomas attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Paula Lane attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Kym Marsh attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Matthew Wolfenden attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Shayne Ward attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Danny Miller attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Nikki Sanderson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Les Dennis and Claire Nicholson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Steph and Dom Parker attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Chris Bisson and Rowena Finn attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Fiona Wade attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sophie Powles attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sam Aston and Briony Gardner attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
George Shelley attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Alison King attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Katherine Dow Blyton attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Eden Taylor-Draper attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Debbie Rush attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sally Anne Matthews attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Bhavna Limbachia attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sair Khan attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lisa George attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Isabel Hodgins attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Dolly-Rose Campbell attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Faye Brooks attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sally Dynevor attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Gemma Atkinson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Vicky Pattison and Alex Bowen attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Charley Webb attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Cherylee Houston attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Gemma Atkinson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Elizabeth Estensen (left) and Charlie Hardwick attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
John Middleton and Charlotte Bellamy attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lucy Pargeter and Rudi Coleano attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lucy Pargeter attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Elle Mulvaney attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jennie McAlpine attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lucy-Jo Hudson and Alan Halsall attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Katie McGlynn attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Diane Parish attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Tameka Empson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jasmine Armfield attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Vicky Pattison attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Bonnie Langford attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Laurie Brett attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Emma Barton and Grace attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Gillian Taylforth attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Shona McGarty attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jessica Fox attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jessica Fox and Ashley Taylor Dawson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Danny Dyer attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Reggie n Bollie attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Ted Reilly attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Tilly Keeper attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Persephone Swales-Dawson attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jacqueline Boatswain attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Carli Norris attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Anna Passey attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Ellen Thomas attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Kellie Bright attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lisa Hammond attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lorna Fitzgerald attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Tamara Wall attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Rachel Leskovac attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lacey Turner attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jacqueline Jossa attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sophie Austin attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Stephanie Waring attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Elizabeth Rider attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Ela-May Demircan and William Hall attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Lysette Anthony attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jazmine Franks attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jennifer Metcalfe attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Twinnie-Lee Moore attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Zoe Lucker attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Nadine Mulkerrin attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jennifer Brooke attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Sarah George attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Amrit Maghera attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Amanda Clapham attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Jessica Ellis attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Daisy Wood-Davis attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2016. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Soap. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Emmerdale has won best soap for the first time in the 18-year history of the British Soap Awards.

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The ITV show beat off competition from last year's winner EastEnders, as well as Coronation Street, Doctors and Hollyoaks, for the public-voted prize.

There was further victory for Emmerdale's Danny Miller, who plays Aaron Livesy, as he won both best actor and best male dramatic performance.

At the ceremony at the Hackney Empire in London, Miller said: "Soap actors and soap actresses, we're the hardest working bunch of actors in the business as far as I'm concerned, we come in at seven, we go home at seven and we do 60 pages a day. And we're paid shite."

EastEnders actress Lacey Turner had similar success, bagging the awards for best actress and best female dramatic performance - as well as being recognised for her character Stacey Branning's postpartum psychosis storyline.

But her cast mate Danny Dyer left empty-handed, despite three consecutive nominations for best actor.

Speaking earlier on the red carpet at Hackney Town Hall, he told the Press Association: "If I don't win I'll be gutted. I'll be absolutely gutted, I ain't going to lie to ya. Everyone will say they'll be fine with it, but I will be really upset and I will sob me heart out."

Emmerdale's cast and producers were presented with their award by Dame Joan Collins, who starred in 80s' American soap opera Dynasty.

She said: "It is a real, real honour to be here because having worked on a few soaps myself, I really know not only how hard you work, but how truly talented you all are.

"And I also know how difficult it is to be able to turn on the waterworks at the drop of a hat, and most of you do that so brilliantly, so it's really, really impressive."

EastEnders' actor Steve McFadden, who has played Phil Mitchell for 26 years, received an outstanding achievement award.

Appearing in a pre-recorded message, he said: "Wow, wow. What can I say. I don't know what to say, because I don't really get awards - but I've got one now."

After thanking his parents and the cast and crew of the BBC soap, he gave a special mention to Dame Barbara Windsor.

Dame Barbara played his on-screen mother Peggy Mitchell until earlier this month, when her character died of cancer.

McFadden said: "Last but not least, I must mention Barbara Windsor, who has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and a wonderful, wonderful person and friend in my life.

"Thank you Barbara for everything."

Others to win awards included Coronation Street's Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan) and Patti Clare (Mary Taylor), Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine (Sally Webster and Tim Metcalfe) for best on-screen partnership, EastEnders' Bonnie Langford (Carmel Kazemi) and Hollyoaks' Ruby O'Donnell (Peri Lomax).

:: The British Soap Awards is broadcast on Sunday May 29 at 8pm on ITV.

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