18 years. That’s how long it’s taken for Emmerdale to win the award for Best Soap at the British Soap Awards. The cast and crew were stunned, but I wasn’t. The Yorkshire based drama HAD to get the prize this year as it has been exceptional.

Under Kate Oates’ helm, the storylining was mind bogglingly brilliant and her successor Iain MacLeod looks to be continuing in the same vein. I am still marvelling at how a story about the gay past of Edna Birch’s husband, which transmitted in 2014 is still having ramifications in the village to this day with frisky Bernice married to a man who refuses to ravish her.

It’s the first time in the British Soap Awards history that Emmerdale has won Best Soap. It is no longer the underdog – it’s the top dog!

Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) told me that when the winning soap was announced, he leapt up,  shouted ‘yay’ and then for a split second thought they’d said ‘EastEnders’.

He and the rest of the cast were in great spirits at the after show party and it must be said, Emmerdale dominated the dance floor.

I was feeling pleased with myself for different reasons – my Soap Awards dress was a bargain busting £5 on eBay, but I wasn’t the only one who’d gone cheap. Cleo Rocos said she’d bought a length of material from John Lewis and run herself up a new frock for £12 and Lesley Dunlop who plays Emmerdale’s Brenda, bagged her glam kaftan for just £28.

My favourite dress of the night belonged to Sally Dynevor. She looked classically elegant and chuffed to bits at winning Best On Screen Partnership with Joe Duttine.

The ceremony itself went swiftly thanks to Philip’s Schofield’s expertise as host and then, we were bussed to the after show party, which was strange considering it was just metres away from the Hackney Empire where the event was filmed.

On board the old Routemaster, Cleo Rocos was giving out nips of her Aqua Riva Tequila, courtesy of writer Sharon Marshall who had a hip flask in her bag, whilst Emmerdale’s Mike Parr (Ross Barton) jokingly urged Alison King (Corrie’s Carla) to come and join Britain’s best soap now that she’s left the Street.

At the after show party, there was the usual scrum for selfies – only this time some of the country’s biggest soap stars were after a shot with Gogglebox stars Sandy and Sandra and Steph and Dom. Some were even desperate to get their picture taken with former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott….you know who you are.

 

The Soap Awards is on ITV at 8pm tonight. Don’t miss it!

 

Officially soap's best actor!

Officially soap’s best actor!

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