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National TV Awards 2011: EastEnders proves the big winner


Story by Jack Foley

BBC soap opera EastEnders has emerged as the big winner at the 2011 National TV Awards after being crowned best Serial Drama.

One of its departed stars, Lacey Turner, also walked off with the Serial Drama Performance to cap a memorable night for the soap opera.

EastEnders success in the Serial Drama category came as the night’s biggest surprise given that it faced stiff competition from Coronation Street, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.

But a lot of votes may have been cast before the week-long series of emotional episodes held to mark that landmark achievement.

Nevertheless, the EastEnders ensemble clearly revelled in their victory, while paying tribute to the strenth of the competing field, which also included Emmerdale.

The award marked the final accolade of the evening and capped a memorable night for one of the soap’s former stars, Turner, who is best known for playing Stacey Slater.

Turner, who has now left the show, beat co-star Steve McFadden, Emmerdale‘s Danny Miller and Coronation Street‘s Kathleen Kelly to the prize for Serial Drama Performance.

Other winners

In other significant awards on the night, BBC show Waterloo Road caused another of the ‘upsets’ by beating Doctor Who to the best drama accolade.

It was the first time in six years that the latter series, now starring Matt Smith as the time-travelling Doctor, has not gone home with the prize.

ITV;s Benidorm won the night’s first prize, for best comedy, while ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! was named the best entertainment show.

Ant and Dec once again were named best presenter, while Simon Cowell’s show, The X Factor beat his own Britain’s Got Talent to the talent show prize.

David Jason took home the best drama performance prize, while E4 series The Inbetweeners scooped the digital choice.

But you couldn’t help but feel the night belonged to EastEnders.

Full list of winners:

Serial Drama

Waterloo Road

Ricky Norwood

Comedy Programme

Entertainment Presenter
Ant and Dec

Factual Programme
Top Gear

Entertainment Programme
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Talent Show
X Factor

Serial Drama Performance
Lacey Turner

Drama Performance
David Jason

Digital Choice
The Inbetweeners

Topical Magazine Programme
This Morning