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EastEnders cleans up but Emmerdale is still best soap

By Julia Hunt

EastEnders was the big winner at this year's Inside Soap Awards, although it lost the top prize to rival soap Emmerdale.

The BBC programme took home five gongs, including the coveted best actor and best actress awards for Steve McFadden - aka Phil Mitchell - and Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Fowler.

Albert Square's Tameka Empson, who is currently competing on the dancefloor on Strictly Come Dancing, scooped funniest female for her role as Kim Fox-Hubbard - a prize she has won five times.

Readers of the magazine crowned the soap's Jacqueline Jossa sexiest female. EastEnders' fifth gong was for best exit, for the departure of Peggy Mitchell.

ITV shows Emmerdale and Coronation Street tied with four awards each, but it was the rural soap that clinched the coveted best soap gong.

Emmerdale also took home best shock twist for the death of Val (Charlie Hardwick), best partnership for Ryan Hawley and Danny Miller (who play Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle) and best young actor for Amelia Flanagan, who scored a hat-trick by picking up the trophy for her performance as April Windsor.

There was plenty to celebrate over on the cobbles, where awards included best bad boy for Connor McIntyre for his portrayal of Pat Phelan, and funniest male for Joe Duttine, who stars as Tim Metcalfe.

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