UK soaps prepare for awards battle
Small screen stars are gathering for tonight's British Soap Awards.
17:55 08 May 2004
The UK's top soaps will battle it out tonight at the annual British Soap Awards, with rival shows Coronation Street and EastEnders going head to head for the title of best soap.
The awards, held at the BBC Television Centre in West London, will be hosted by Paul O'Grady, aka Lily Savage, and will be broadcast on ITV next Wednesday at 20:00 BST.
In the running for best soap are: EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors, Family Affairs and Hollyoaks.
Last year's winner, Coronation Street, is also tipped to scoop this year's top prize, after it triumphed at the TV Baftas last month in the best continuing drama category. EastEnders has come under fire from critics in recent months for its 'boring' storylines.
Kate Ford, who plays the Street's Tracy Barlow, is up for villain of the year, best actress and sexiest female, in three of the seventeen categories at this year's awards. EastEnders stars Shane Richie and Nigel Harman are both up for the sexiest male award.
Organisers of the sixth British Soap Awards claim it has become the UK's most-watched awards ceremony, ahead of the Brits, Bafta and the National TV Awards.
EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham, who plays Dirty Den Watts, is reportedly planning to skip the awards ceremony, despite being up for two awards. His decision follows newspaper revelations about him distributing sexually explicit pictures of himself across the web and making rude comments about his co-stars in emails.