1 – June Brown’s Lifetime Achievement Award for playing Dot Cotton since EastEnders began. The eulogy given by Barbara Windsor was excellent, rightly calling her “a soap legend”. But the highlight of the night was Brown’s acceptance speech: “I usually know what to say. My god wasn’t I awful at the beginning – and those teeth weren’t very good either. Of course I’ve had them seen to now. You have to be in it for a while before you make enough money!”
2 – Jean Alexander, the woman formerly known as Hilda Ogden, getting a standing ovation, and the award she presented – Special Achievement Award For Creative Contribution To Soap. Despite the pretentious title, recognition for writers is very rare, so it was good that long-time Coronation Street writer John Stevenson won it, and the clips showed he was responsible for many of The Street’s classic moments.
3 – A lot of the winners were richly deserved, particularly Maggie Jones (Blanche in Corrie) getting Best Comedy Performance, Jodi Albert (Debbie Dean in Hollyoaks) getting Sexiest Female and Sasha Behar (Mad Maya in Corrie) getting Best Villain. Plus, there was credit given to Family Affairs for their highly controversial, but still groundbreaking, child abuse storyline.
4 – The tribute to the late Stan Richards (Emmerdale’s Seth Armstrong).
5 – Paul O’Grady is as reasonable a host you’ll get for this kind of thing. He had the right balance of campery and trashiness. Could have been worse.
1 – The “adverts” for each of the soaps up for Best Soap. They were just as pointless as recent party political broadcasts. Coronation Street has been excellent this year unlike Labour, but the Best Soap award is still a two horse race, and we all knew there’s no way it would have been EastEnders/Conservative.
2 – Sam Aston (Chesney in Corrie) won Best Dramatic Performance From A Young Actor Or Actress. That’s a category they invented just to give him an award, right? They might as well of called it Best Dramatic Performance From A Ginger Kid Who Loves His Dog And Lives With Les And Cilla In Coronation Street.
3 – They had some awful people presenting some awards – Steve Brookstein, Peter Andre & “Katie Price” being the worst.
4 – How did Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace both get into their top four for their respective Sexiest Male and Sexiest Female categories?
5 – Was this really worth two and a half hours, especially when the results were known two days before this was broadcast?
1 – Being surprised at how nice and down-to-earth a lot of the interviewees were. We especially liked Nigel Harman and Sasha Behar. Paul O’Grady came across as very ordinary, something we weren’t expecting. The most pleasant surprise was to see that Wendi Peters is attractive, sweet and well spoken i.e. everything her Corrie character Cilla Brown isn’t.
1 – John Scott, a loud, fat bloke with a voice like a chainsaw. He had a pointless contribution by popping up once among the crowd for no apparent reason.
2 – The embarrassing shots of drunk soap stars, from geriatrics to little kids, all dressed up in formal wear. It looked just like a video to a best-forgotten wedding reception.
3 – The unconvincing presenter pairing of Sheree Murphy and Ben Shephard, who had zero chemistry and were a bit sickly.
4 – Ben and Sheree’s interviewing technique. They were both like robots pro-grammed to laugh sporadically, interrupt the guests as they were about to say anything interesting, ask boring daytime TV questions and overuse the word “gourrrrrrrgoeus…..”
5 – Rupert Hill (Jamie Baldwin in Corrie) was very dull, as was Bill Ward (Charlie Stubbs in Corrie)