Emmerdale lands best actress gong at British Soap Awards

Actress Lucy Pargeter who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale.
Actress Lucy Pargeter who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale.
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Yorkshire based soap Emmerdale is celebrating after taking one of the top awards at The British Soap awards.

Lucy Pargeter, who plays Chas Dingle in the show, won the best actress prize for her part in a storyline that showed her character falling pregnant with partner Paddy Kirk and learning their unborn child had a rare defect and would die shortly after birth.

During her winners speech during the awards which were aired last night, the 42-year-old. said: "I’m really not prepared – I don’t know who to thank. I love working at Emmerdale, it’s a social place. This award is for the families out there who have lost their beautiful babies, I really hope we’ve done them justice."

Val Lawson, the director of Emmerdale, which first hit television screens in October 1972, was this year's recipient of the Tony Warren award.

Almost three million people tuned in to watch the British Soap Awards for a second year running giving ITV a 16 per cent share of viewing. It 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.

It was Coronation Street and Hollyoaks that took most of the award, winning five and four respectively.

Shayne Ward took to the stage twice to collect the best storyline and best single episode gongs for his suicide plotline. The 34-year-old played the role of Aidan Connor, who took his own life in a powerful storyline last year which explored male mental health.

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

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, 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."

Eastenders secured just three awards as 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 was 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.

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

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."