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The best undressed actress is...; Girls put on glitz at soap awards.

Byline: VICTORIA MITCHELL

BROOKSIDE'S teenage temptress Jennifer Ellison was favourite for the Best Undressed Actress award at the Soap Awards last night.

But the Brookie babe - who plays newlywed Emily O'Leary in the Liverpool-based soap faced stiff competition from Hollyoaks stars Danielle Brent and Joanna Taylor as they made a late bid for the most exposed cleavage awards.

Jennifer's skimpy pink outfit might have won most of the attention the glittering awards in London - but the night belonged to EastEnders.

The BBC's top show swept the board picking up Best Soap, Best Actor and Best Actress.

It was sweet revenge for the Albert Square mob after arch-rival Coronation Street took the all main award categories last year, including landing the prestigious Best Soap title for the third year running.

The EastEnders' fightback began with double success for former Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, who plays nightclub owner Steve Owen. He took the Best Actor and Sexiest Male awards.

Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays his screen wife Melanie, was voted Sexiest Female.

Young actress Natalie Cassidy took the Best Actress title for her moving portrayal of teenage mum Sonia Jackson.

And Steve McFadden, better known as hardman Phil Mitchell, completed Walford's winning streak by being named Villain of the Year.

Outside, Jack Ryder, who plays troubled teenager Jamie Mitchell, caused a stir when he turned up with new girlfriend, Kym Marsh from pop group Hear'say.

The night was not all bad news for Coronation Street, which managed to pick up a total of five awards.

These included Best Single Episode for its ground-breaking live episode to mark the show's 40th anniversary last December.

The Best Dramatic Performance went to Georgia Taylor for her moving portrayal of rape victim Toyah Battersby.

And the Best Storyline award also went to the Street for the love triangle between Linda Sykes, Mike Baldwin and Mike's son Mark.

Street veterans Elizabeth Dawn and William Tarmey, better known as Jack and Vera Duckworth, won the Best Screen Partnership award for their comic portrayal of the long-suffering duo.

Emmerdale, named best soap at the recent BAFTAs, had to content itself with the Spectacular Scene of the Year award for the episode in which Andy Sugden started the fire which killed mum Sarah.

Special Achievement Award went to Brookside creator Phil Redmond and the show's Sarah White won the Best Comedy Performance for her role as bar owner Bev McLoughlin.

Other stars who turned out for the glittering event included Brookside's Claire Sweeney (Lindsay Corkhill), Coronation Street's Tina O'Brien (Sarah Louise Platt), EastEnders' Hannah Waterman (Laura Beale), pop group Steps, Full Monty star Hugo Speer and comedian Richard Blackwood.

Highlights of the star-studded event, held at BBC Television Centre at Shepherds Bush, will be shown on ITV on Wednesday at 8pm.

BUT THE REAL WINNERS ARE..

SEXIEST MALE - Martin Kemp (Steve), EastEnders

SEXIEST FEMALE - Tamzin Outhwaite (Melanie), EastEnders

COMEDY PERFORMANCE - Sarah White (Bev), Brookside

NEWCOMER - Jessie Wallace (Kat), EastEnders

DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE - Georgia Taylor (Toyah), Coronation Street

SPECTACULAR SCENE OF THE YEAR - Clive Hornby and Kelvin Fletcher (Jack and Andy), Emmerdale

STORYLINE - Paul Fox, Jacqueline Chadwick, Johnny Briggs, Coronation Street. For Mark, Linda and Mike love triangle

HERO OF THE YEAR - Clive Hornby, Emmerdale. For Jack Sugden saving his adopted son

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR - Steve McFadden (Phil), East-Enders

ON-SCREEN PARTNERSHIP - William Tarmey and Elizabeth Dawn (Jack and Vera), Coronation Street

BEST EXIT - Naomi Radcliffe (Alison), Coronation Street

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - Phil Redmond

BEST SINGLE EPISODE - Coronation Street's live episode, Friday, December 8, 2000

BEST ACTRESS - Natalie Cassidy (Sonia), EastEnders

BEST ACTOR - Martin Kemp (Steve), EastEnders

BEST BRITISH SOAP - EastEnders
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 27, 2001
Words:599
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