Sunday 15 September 2019

Three million people watch Corrie triumph at soap awards

The soap scooped five gongs.

Shayne Ward (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)
Shayne Ward (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association

Almost three million people tuned in to watch Coronation Street dominate the British Soap Awards for a second year running.

The ceremony was watched by 2.8 million viewers on Saturday night, giving ITV a 16% share of viewing, the channe said.

The audience peaked with 3.4 million viewers and was the most watched programme on television last night outside of the Champions League clash between Liverpool and Tottenham, which was shown on BT Sport 2.

The ITV soap secured five awards, with Shayne Ward taking to the stage twice to collect the best storyline and best single episode gongs for his suicide plotilne.

The 34-year-old played the role of Aidan Connor, who committed suicide in a powerful storyline last year which explored male mental health.

Hollyoaks secured four gongs including the best British soap award – the most coveted prize of the night at The Lowry theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Saturday.

The cast erupted in cheers as the Channel 4 show’s title was called out as the winner, before taking to the stage.

Jessica Fox, who plays Nancy Hayton, spoke on behalf of the throng of stars.

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Jessica Fox spoke for the Hollyoaks team (Matt Crossick/PA)

She said: “Thank-you so much. First of all we want to say a massive thank-you to all our viewers. All of you who have voted for us.

“As we get on this stage we are so excited and thrilled. I also want to say thank-you to all the other soaps. You make us raise the bar higher year on year on year. So thank-you to all of you.

“The public wants to see diversity on their screens and we hope that we represent that.”

Show host Phillip Schofield was then forced to cut her off as the programme ran past its 10pm deadline.

EastEnders and Hollyoaks entered the night with 14 nods each.

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Hollyoaks star Nadine Mulkerrin at the British Soap Awards (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

But the east London-based soap secured just three awards: Gillian Wright won female best dramatic performance; the best young performance gong went to Kara-Leah Fernandes; and she and on-screen father Roger Griffiths were then named best on-screen partnership.

Wright earned the gong after her character Jean Slater faced one of her toughest storylines yet, being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The 59-year-old worked closely with Macmillan Cancer Support on the storyline, which won plaudits for its sensitive portrayal of Slater’s diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Fernandes, taking to the stage with her father, told the audience: “Thank-you. I don’t even know what a nomination was before this.”

She said she could relate to her character as she too has a disabled brother, ending her speech by thanking her school teachers.

The gong for best male dramatic performance went to Adam Woodward for his portrayal of Brody Hudson in Hollyoaks.

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Coronation Street star Sair Khan on the red carpet (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

Gail McIntyre’s monologue following Connor’s suicide won the gong for Coronation Street in the scene of year category.

Collecting the award, actress Helen Worth said: “It was just a scene. But an awful lot of work goes into a scene. We should just thank Jonathan Harvey for writing that scene. I’m just the lucky one who got to say it.”

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