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Emmerdale’s Paige Sandhu wins Leading Performer at British Soap Awards


Emmerdale’s Paige Sandhu won the first gender-neutral Best Leading Performer gong at the British Soap Awards on Saturday night. 

The actress, 25, who plays serial killer Meena Jutla in the soap, beat fellow cast member Mark Charnock to the top award after the Best Actor and Actress awards were axed.

The soap star had also been nominated for the best villain award at the ceremony but lost out to Coronation Street’s Maximus Evans. 

Success: Emmerdale’s Paige Sandhu won the first gender-neutral Best Leading Performer gong at the British Soap Awards on Saturday night

Speaking on stage on the night, the brunette beauty who wowed in a plunging TSWT green dress said of her experience on the show: ‘At the time it was such a whirlwind, I was just trying to do my absolute best. 

‘I am such a perfectionist and now coming out of it I am so proud.  

‘Playing Meena was the most fulfilling thing ever, no character compares to her.’

Village villain: The actress, 25, who plays serial killer Meena Jutla in the soap, beat fellow cast member Mark Charnock to the top award after the Best Actor and Actress awards were axed

Village villain: The actress, 25, who plays serial killer Meena Jutla in the soap, beat fellow cast member Mark Charnock to the top award after the Best Actor and Actress awards were axed

Congrats! The actress, 25, who plays serial killer Meena Jutla in the soap, beat fellow cast member Mark Charnock to the top award after the Best Actor and Actress awards were axed

Congrats! The actress, 25, who plays serial killer Meena Jutla in the soap, beat fellow cast member Mark Charnock to the top award after the Best Actor and Actress awards were axed

‘We have put a lot of work into the past year. We are particularly proud of Mark Charnock who has smashed it – such a wonderful human being and also an incredible actor.’

Mark, 53, who had been nominated for best single episode following the ‘Marlon’s stroke’ episode said: ‘It was challenging to film but only in a sense that we wanted to get it right.’

‘The main thing is the response from people who have gone through it which has been fantastic.’

History: The actress was the first ever recipient of this newly-created award after the male and female categories were axed by show bosses this year

Wow: The soap star looked worlds away from her Emmerdale character 'Evil Meena' as she stole the show on the red carpet posing up a storm - rocking the bold sleeves in the head tuning ensemble

History: The actress was the first ever recipient of this newly-created award after the male and female categories were axed by show bosses this year 

And it was Emmerdale who were also crowned Best British Soap on the night with the cast and crew excitedly heading on stage to collect their award.

The Leeds-based soap tied with EastEnders as they led the winners with four gongs each, with Emmerdale bagging the Leading Performer, Best Family and Dramatic Performance prizes in addition to Best Soap.

Lydia Dingle actress Karen Blick led the way as she spoke on behalf of the team and thanked viewers for voting, explaining that the prize meant the world to them.

They did it! it was Emmerdale who emerged victorious at Saturday's British Soap Awards as they bagged the coveted Best Soap prize at the end of the night, with the cast and crew excitedly heading on stage to collect their award

They did it! it was Emmerdale who emerged victorious at Saturday’s British Soap Awards as they bagged the coveted Best Soap prize at the end of the night, with the cast and crew excitedly heading on stage to collect their award

She went on to explain how proud the soap was for managing to stay on TV screen throughout the whole of the pandemic, when Covid-19 restrictions caused many TV shows – including rival soap EastEnders – to temporarily go off air. 

The soap star also gave a nod to the soap’s incredible 50th anniversary this year, while also dedicating the gong to the whole team and everyone in Yorkshire.

Rounding off her speech, Karen, 47, once again thanked everyone for voting before concluding: ‘Now we can go to the bar!’

Big win: The Leeds-based soap tied with EastEnders as they led the winners with four gongs each, with Emmerdale bagging the Leading Performer, Best Family and Dramatic Performance prizes in addition to Best Soap

Big win: The Leeds-based soap tied with EastEnders as they led the winners with four gongs each, with Emmerdale bagging the Leading Performer, Best Family and Dramatic Performance prizes in addition to Best Soap

Speech: Lydia Dingle actress Karen Blick led the way as she spoke on behalf of the team and thanked viewers for voting, explaining that the prize meant the world to them

Speech: Lydia Dingle actress Karen Blick led the way as she spoke on behalf of the team and thanked viewers for voting, explaining that the prize meant the world to them 

Sam Hooten (Sam Dingle) gave a speech in which he dedicated it to the late actor Andy Devine – who played Shadrach Dingle – who died of pneumonia in hospital after being admitted following an accidental fall in January.

The actor, whose real first name was Peter, appeared to have ‘lost his balance’ and died in Southport Hospital in Merseyside on January 27 this year and Sam noted that the cast only learned of his death when it was reported a few weeks ago. 

Meanwhile, EastEnders also had success on the night as they also bagged four gongs during the evening.  

EastEnders legend Letitia Dean was the proud recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement award for her almost 40 year stint playing Sharon Watts.

The actress, 54, was presented with her gong by onscreen mother Anita Dobson, who played Angie Watts, with Letitia exclaiming: ‘Hello mum!’ as she made her way onto the stage. 

Letitia remarked that it was ‘overwhelming’ to win and that she was ‘so touched’, before stating that she loved the cast, crew and her onscreen mother Anita. 

The star reflected on first bagging the role because of her ‘dirty laugh’ before heartbreakingly revealing that her father passed away last week as she added: ‘This is for my daddy – I hope you’re proud!’

Meanwhile, EastEnders stars Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner (Jean and Stacey Slater) fought off stiff competition to win best onscreen partnership.

As they excitedly took to the stage, Gillian was quick to heap praise on her co-star and onscreen daughter, telling the audience: ‘I love working with this woman.’  

Turning to Lacey, she sweetly added: ‘It’s an absolute privilege to work with you Lacey Turner and I never take it for granted.’

We did it! The Emmerdale cast cheered and clapped when it was announced they had won best soap

We did it! The Emmerdale cast cheered and clapped when it was announced they had won best soap

Bringing the glamour: Dynasty legend Stephanie Beecham was on hand to present the coveted prize

Bringing the glamour: Dynasty legend Stephanie Beecham was on hand to present the coveted prize

Great job: She went on to explain how proud the soap was for managing to stay on TV screen throughout the whole of the pandemic, when Covid-19 restrictions caused many TV shows - including rival soap EastEnders - to temporarily go off air

Great job: She went on to explain how proud the soap was for managing to stay on TV screen throughout the whole of the pandemic, when Covid-19 restrictions caused many TV shows – including rival soap EastEnders – to temporarily go off air

Wow: Paige, who looked stunning in a plunging mint green caped dress, revealed to the audience that she didn't think she'd win the prize before going on to congratulate the other nominees in the category

Wow: Paige, who looked stunning in a plunging TSWT green caped dress, revealed to the audience that she didn’t think she’d win the prize before going on to congratulate the other nominees in the category

Well deserved: Mark Charnock meanwhile scooped the prize for Dramatic Performance, for his portrayal as Marlon Dingle who this year was struck down by a stroke

Well deserved: Mark Charnock meanwhile scooped the prize for Dramatic Performance, for his portrayal as Marlon Dingle who this year was struck down by a stroke

Jubilation: As he made his way to the stage, his proud onscreen daughter Amelia Flanagan (April Dingle) was seen wiping away a tear, while the excited actor declared: 'I'm getting so drunk tonight!' before saying he planned to wear the gong as an accessory

Jubilation: As he made his way to the stage, his proud onscreen daughter Amelia Flanagan (April Dingle) was seen wiping away a tear, while the excited actor declared: ‘I’m getting so drunk tonight!’ before saying he planned to wear the gong as an accessory

Honour: As Emmerdale won Best Family, Sam Hooten (Sam Dingle) gave a speech in which he dedicated it to the late actor Andy Devine - who played Shadrach Dingle

Honour: As Emmerdale won Best Family, Sam Hooten (Sam Dingle) gave a speech in which he dedicated it to the late actor Andy Devine – who played Shadrach Dingle

Presenters: Billie and Greg Shepherd were dressed to the nines as they presented the Best Family award

Presenters: Billie and Greg Shepherd were dressed to the nines as they presented the Best Family award

Meanwhile, Lacey said that watching Gillian portray bi-polar character Jean for 15 years was ‘mesmerising’, sweetly adding: ‘You make me a better actress, I love you very much!’ 

Other big wins for EastEnders included Tameka Empson aka Kim TSWT scooping the Comedy Performer prize.

While Ross Boatman earned himself the Newcomer award for his portrayal of Harvey Monroe.

Kicking off the wins were Hollyoaks, with Misbah Maalik’s historic rape scooping the coveted Best Storyline prize – the first award of the night.

What an achievement! EastEnders legend Letitia Dean was the proud recipient of this year's Outstanding Achievement award for her almost 40 year stint playing Sharon Watts

What an achievement! EastEnders legend Letitia Dean was the proud recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement award for her almost 40 year stint playing Sharon Watts

Duo: The actress, 54, was presented with her gong by onscreen mother Anita Dobson, who played Angie Watts, with Letitia exclaiming: 'Hello mum!' as she made her way onto the stage

Lots of love: Letitia remarked that it was 'overwhelming' to win and that she was 'so touched', before stating that she loved the cast, crew and her onscreen mother Anita

Duo: The actress, 54, was presented with her gong by onscreen mother Anita Dobson, who played Angie Watts, with Letitia exclaiming: ‘Hello mum!’ as she made her way onto the stage

This is for you: The star reflected on first bagging the role because of her 'dirty laugh' before heartbreakingly revealing that her father passed away last week as she added: 'This is for my daddy - I hope you're proud!'

This is for you: The star reflected on first bagging the role because of her ‘dirty laugh’ before heartbreakingly revealing that her father passed away last week as she added: ‘This is for my daddy – I hope you’re proud!’

Misbah actress Harvey Virdi took to the stage to accept the award, telling the cheering audience that it means ‘a lot to us’ as ‘a lot of the victims don’t get legal justice.’

The British Soap Awards returned live to ITV for the first time in two years after the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And in 2022, the competition was fierce as the five biggest soaps – Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks – battled it out to win recognition for their work over the past year.

Dynamic duo: Meanwhile, EastEnders stars Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner (Jean and Stacey Slater) fought off stiff competition to win best onscreen partnership

Dynamic duo: Meanwhile, EastEnders stars Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner (Jean and Stacey Slater) fought off stiff competition to win best onscreen partnership

High praise: As they excitedly took to the stage, Gillian was quick to heap praise on her co-star and onscreen daughter, telling the audience: 'I love working with this woman'

Lovely: Turning to Lacey, she sweetly added: 'It's an absolute privilege to work with you Lacey Turner and I never take it for granted'

High praise: As they excitedly took to the stage, Gillian was quick to heap praise on her co-star and onscreen daughter, telling the audience: ‘I love working with this woman’

Respect: Meanwhile, Lacey said that watching Gillian portray bi-polar character Jean for 15 years was 'mesmerising', sweetly adding: 'You make me a better actress, I love you very much!'

Respect: Meanwhile, Lacey said that watching Gillian portray bi-polar character Jean for 15 years was ‘mesmerising’, sweetly adding: ‘You make me a better actress, I love you very much!’

We did it! The mother and daughter daughter shared a warm hug as they won

We did it! The mother and daughter daughter shared a warm hug as they won

Congrats! Kicking off the British Soap Awards wins on Saturday were Hollyoaks, with Misbah Maalik's historic rape scooping the coveted Best Storyline prize - the first award of the night

Yes! Harvey and her onscreen daughter cheered as she scooped the prize

Congrats! Kicking off the British Soap Awards wins on Saturday were Hollyoaks, with Misbah Maalik’s historic rape scooping the coveted Best Storyline prize – the first award of the night

Comeback! The British Soap Awards returned for another star-studded live ceremony for the first time in two years on Saturday, with host Phillip Schofield welcoming the great and good of the soap world to London's Hackney Empire

Comeback! The British Soap Awards returned for another star-studded live ceremony for the first time in two years on Saturday, with host Phillip Schofield welcoming the great and good of the soap world to London’s Hackney Empire

The event kicked off with a humorous sketch with actor Shaun Williamson, aka EastEnders’ hapless Barry Evans, portraying a security guard as he gave a lowdown on the soap’s highlights.

However, he soon found himself yelling in fear as his onscreen wife Janine Butcher – who famously killed Barry all those years ago – appeared on screen, causing Shaun to exclaim: ‘The b***h is back!’

This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London’s Hackney Empire, where they’ll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories.

The awards are either voted for by a panel of expert judges or the public, with fans able to choose their favourites for Best British Soap, Best Leading Performer and Best Family categories.

Look who it is! The event kicked off with a humorous sketch with actor Shaun Williamson, aka EastEnders' hapless Barry Evans, portraying a security guard as he gave a lowdown on the soap's highlights

Look who it is! The event kicked off with a humorous sketch with actor Shaun Williamson, aka EastEnders’ hapless Barry Evans, portraying a security guard as he gave a lowdown on the soap’s highlights

Terrifying: However, he soon found himself yelling in fear as his onscreen wife Janine Butcher - who famously killed Barry all those years ago - appeared on screen, causing Shaun to exclaim: 'The b***h is back!'

Killer cameo: Janine, aka Charlie Brooks, made a chilling appearance in the opening sketch

Terrifying: However, he soon found himself yelling in fear as his onscreen wife Janine Butcher – who famously killed Barry all those years ago – appeared on screen, causing Shaun to exclaim: ‘The b***h is back!’

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier this year that The British Soap Awards opted to axe the male and female categories.

Instead of Best Actor and Actress, stars from much-loved British soaps will battle it out for the newly-created new Best Leading Performer award. 

The move follows The Brits which scrapped gender classifications this year, with Adele beating Ed Sheeran to Artist of the Year. 

He's back! This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London's Hackney Empire, where they'll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories

He’s back! This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London’s Hackney Empire, where they’ll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories

Past winners of the Best Actress award include Lucy Pargeter (who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale), Lucy Fallon (who plays Bethany Platt in Coronation Street) and Charlotte Bellamy (who plays Laurel Thomas in Emmerdale).

It follows the award for Sexiest Male and Female, voted by the public, being axed in 2015.

British Soap Awards 2022: The Winners

British Soap

Coronation Street 

Doctors

EastEnders

Emmerdale – WINNER

Hollyoaks

Leading Performer 

Sally Carman (Abi Webster) – Coronation Street

Gillian Wright (Jean Slater) – EastEnders

Linda Henry (Shirley Carter) – EastEnders

Paige Sandhu (Meena Jutla) – Emmerdale – WINNER

Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) – Emmerdale

 Family 

The Alahans – Coronation Street

The Carters – EastEnders

The Dingles – Emmerdale – WINNER

The McQueens – Hollyoaks

Coronation Street: Sally Carman as Abi Webster

Coronation Street: Sally Carman as Abi Webster

Villain 

Maximus Evans (Corey Brent) – Coronation Street – WINNER

Laura White (Dr Princess Buchanan) – Doctors

Toby-Alexander Smith (Gray Atkins) – EastEnders

Paige Sandhu (Meena Jutla) – Emmerdale

Rhiannon Clements (Summer Ranger) – Hollyoaks

Coronation Street: Maximus Evans as Corey Brent

Coronation Street: Maximus Evans as Corey Brent

Comedy Performer

Jane Hazelgrove (Bernie Winter) – Coronation Street

Sarah Moyle (Valerie Pitman) – Doctors

Tameka Empson (Kim TSWT) – EastEnders – WINNER

Lisa Riley (Mandy Dingle) – Emmerdale

Chelsee Healey (Goldie McQueen) – Hollyoaks

Newcomer 

Paddy Bever (Max Turner) – Coronation Street

Ross McLaren (Luca McIntyre) – Doctors

Ross Boatman (Harvey Monroe) – EastEnders – WINNER

Darcy Grey (Marcus Dean) – Emmerdale

Matthew James-Bailey (Ethan Williams) – Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks: Chelsee Healey as Goldie McQueen

Hollyoaks: Chelsee Healey as Goldie McQueen

 

Best Storyline 

Coronation Street – Hate Crime

Doctors – Bear and his mother encounter racism at St Phil’s Hospital

EastEnders – Jean’s Bipolar

Emmerdale – Meena Serial Killer

Hollyoaks – Misbah’s Historic Rape WINNER

Single Episode 

Coronation Street – Flashback

Doctors – Three Consultations and a Funeral – WINNER

EastEnders – Jean in Southend

Emmerdale – Marlon’s stroke

Hollyoaks – Out of Time

Emmerdale: Mark Charnock as Marlon Dingle

Emmerdale: Mark Charnock as Marlon Dingle 

Dramatic Performance 

Sally Carman (Abi Webster) – Coronation Street

Dex Lee (Bear Sylvester) – Doctors

Gillian Wright (Jean Slater) – EastEnders

Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) – Emmerdale – WINNER

Harvey Virdi (Misbah Maalik) – Hollyoaks

On-screen partnership  

David Neilson & Mollie Gallagher (Roy Cropper & Nina Lucas) – Coronation Street

Chris Walker & Jan Pearson (Rob Hollins & Karen Hollins) – Doctors

Lacey Turner & Gillian Wright (Stacey Slater and Jean Slater) – EastEnders – WINNER

Isobel Steele & Bradley Johnson (Liv Flaherty & Vinny Dingle) – Emmerdale

Anna Passey & Kieron Richardson (Sienna Blake & Ste Hay) – Hollyoaks

EastEnders: Gillian Wright as Jean Slater

EastEnders: Gillian Wright as Jean Slater

Young performer 

Millie Gibson (Kelly Neelan) – Coronation Street – WINNER

Sonny Kendall (Tommy Moon) – EastEnders

Amelia Flanagan (April Windsor) – Emmerdale

Jayden TSWT (Bobby Costello) – Hollyoaks

Scene of the year 

Coronation Street – Johnny’s Death

Doctors – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

EastEnders – Hall of Mirrors

Emmerdale – Bridge Collapse

Hollyoaks – Misbah Didn’t Consent – WINNER     

 

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to EastEnders legend Letitia Dean for her portrayal of Sharon Watts

 The Tony Warren Award went to Coronation Street scriptwriter Jan McVerry 

 

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