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'Eastenders' tops at British Soap Awards

May 9, 2004
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TV favourite EastEnders has proved it hasn't lost its spark, scooping seven gongs at Saturday night's British Soap Awards in London.

The show scored the top trophy, best soap, while acting awards went to villain of the year Charlie Brooks, best actor Shane Richie, sexiest male and best newcomer Nigel Harman, sexiest female Jessie Wallace and Natalie Cassidy, who took home the best dramatic performance from a young actor award.

Best villain nominee Leslie Grantham, who plays Dirty Den on the programme, was a no-show in a week which saw him at the centre of a real-life internet sex scandal. However, his presence was felt as his fellow actors made reference to him in their acceptance speeches.

Nigel Harmon, who plays Leslie's on-screen son Dennis, gave him a heart-felt thank you for "making me laugh and making me work hard". Best actor Shane Richie, meanwhile, quipped: "I want to dedicate this award to all the cast. There's a great atmosphere there, contrary to belief, and the things we've got coming up you wouldn't believe – and that's not a Freudian slip."

Other winners during the evening included Suranne Jones, whose best actress gong was one of five for Coronation Street, and Emmerdale's Mark Charnock, who won the best dramatic performance prize.

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Photo: ©
EastEnders won seven awards, including sexiest female for mum-to-be Jessie WallacePhoto: © PA
Photo: ©
Coronation Street's Suranne Jones shows off two of the series' five gongsPhoto: © PA

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