EastEnders dominates Inside Soap Awards 2020 as it’s named Best Soap

EastEnders picked up five gongs at the Inside Soap Awards on Monday evening, edging out rival Coronation Street who scooped four trophies at the virtual ceremony.

Streamed on the Inside Soap Facebook page and YouTube channel, the BBC One soap merged as the nation's Best Soap of 2020, while Walford beauty and I'm A Celebrity contestant Jessica Plummer claimed the award for Best Actress for her role as Chantelle Atkins.

That was not the only joy for the fictional Albert Square family as Jessica's on-screen mum Lorraine Stanley, who plays EastEnders favourite Karen Taylor, was crowned the winner of the Funniest Performance gong.

Speaking about winning the Best Actress gong, Jessica said: "This is probably one of the biggest achievements of my career.

"It was an honour to even be nominated, so I’m completely blown away.

"I came off social media for a quite long time (for me!) after my final episode aired as I personally had to mourn my character and all the changes in my life, but when I came back, the reception I got from everyone was so heart-warming.

"Chantelle was a loved character and it really was an honour to play her.”

Mother-of-two Chantelle was dramatically killed by her husband Gary Atkins (Toby Alexander) earlier this year as part of a hard-hitting domestic abuse storyline.

Viewers were reduced to tears as Chantelle finally found the courage to stand up to her evil husband and told him she was leaving – but sadly she never got to.

Chantelle met her tragic end as Gary pushed her onto an upturned knife in the dishwasher as she tried to leave him, and slowly watched her die.

Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer, better known as Linda and Mick Carter, were voted Best Partnership at the ceremony.

Actress Kellie said: "I love Danny and I’s relationship on and off screen, so anything that celebrates that is really lovely.

"Mick and Linda’s love for each other is so honest and true. People look at them and go, \I wish my husband was a bit more like Mick’, or, ‘I wish my wife looked at me the way Linda looks at Mick’.

"People want a happy ever after to believe in."

Danny added: "We have been through so much together on this show.

"It is always a joy to come and work with Kellie. She is a brilliant actress.”

EastEnders, which celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this year, also took the honours when it came to the special new Inside Soap Awards Feel-Good Moment for 2020, in recognition of Walford celebrating pride for the very first time.

Meanwhile, the other big winner from the 2020 Inside Soap Awards was Coronation Street, which was able to champion four awards.

Weatherfield’s Ian Bartholomew added to his Best Show-Stopper trophy with the prestigious Best Actor and Best Villain awards for his role as the evil Geoff Metcalfe, whilst Mollie Gallagher was the public’s Best Newcomer in recognition of her portrayal of Nina Lucas.

Neighbours was crowned the winner of the Best Daytime Soap award and Casualty favourite Cathy Shipton, better known as Lisa ' Duffy' Duffin, scooped the gong for Best Drama Star.

The Best Family award was presented to Emmerdale's The Dingles.

Talking about scooping the gong, Mandy Dingle actress Lisa Riley said: "We are all so proud, we really do feel like one big, happy northern family.

"We love what we do, and we really care, so obviously that comes through on the screen. And as we always say – Dingle till we die!"

The Inside Soap Awards were revealed on the Inside Soap Facebook page and YouTube channel on Monday November 23

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