Jane McDonald’s debut as host of the British Soap Awards was lauded by viewers on Tuesday night, after she was announced as a last-minute replacement for Phillip Schofield.
The singer and self-confessed soaps fan, 60, dazzled in a gold sequinned gown as she took to the stage for the ceremony at the Lowery Theatre.
Kicking off the star-studded ceremony, Jane told the audience: ‘I’ve got to say I am a massive fan of the soaps so this is my dream job. Welcome to you all, thank you for having me.’
Her appearance was also met with excitement by the cast members, with Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson revealing fellow cast member Ross Adams, who plays Scott Drinkwell, was particularly excited about the new host.
She said: ‘Ross Adams is like her biggest fan ever, as soon as he found out, he was completely fangirling about it. So it’s really exciting for us that she’s doing it but really exciting for Ross.’
Sensational! Jane McDonald’s debut as host of the British Soap Awards was lauded by viewers on Tuesday night, after she was announced as a last-minute replacement for Phillip Schofield
Amazing! The singer and self-confessed soaps fan dazzled in a gold sequinned gown as she took to the stage for the ceremony at the Lowery Theatre
Viewers certainly seemed to agree as they took to Twitter to praise Jane’s stint as host, with many pleading that she become a permenant fixture at the awards.
One tweeted: ‘Fair to say Jane McDonald is doing a great job under what must be some serious pressure,’ while a second added: ‘Jane McDonald is the perfect host for this I want her to do it every year.’
A third tweeted: ‘Loving Jane McDonald as the new host. Hope she has the job permenantly now.’
One viewer added: ‘Jane McDonald really is a breath of fresh air isn’t she?’
Another fan lauded: ‘Jane McDonald fits like a glove presenting the Soap Awards.’
The evening saw a whole host of famous faces collect gongs for their work, with EastEnders winning the coveted Best Soap prize, while Charlotte Jordan triumphed in Best Dramatic Performance for playing Daisy Midgeley in Coronation Street.
The soap won Villain of the Year for Aaron Thiara, who plays Ravi Gulati, and Best Young Performer, which went to Lillia Turner as Lily Slater.
Coronation Street won the most accolades of the night, with six prizes including for Best Single Episode and Scene of the Year for the show’s depiction of an acid attack carried out by Justin Rutherford (Andrew Still), who had been stalking Daisy Midgeley (Charlotte Jordan).
Stellar! Kicking off the star-studded ceremony, Jane told the audience: ‘I’ve got to say I am a massive fan of the soaps so this is my dream job. Welcome to you all, thank you for having me’
‘Fits like a glove!’ Viewers certainly seemed to agree as they took to Twitter to praise Jane’s stint as host, with many pleading that she become a permenant fixture at the awards
Ryan Prescott, whose character Ryan Connor was injured in the attack, said there had been 330 acid attacks in Manchester in the last year.
The British Soap Awards 2023: Winners at a glance
BEST LEADING PERFORMER – Danielle Harold (Lola Pearce-Brown, EastEnders)
VILLAIN OF THE YEAR – Aaron Thiara (Ravi Gulati, EastEnders)
BEST YOUNG PERFORMER – Lillia Turner (Lily Slater, EastEnders)
BEST BRITISH SOAP – EastEnders
BEST STORYLINE – Incel Eric targets Mason and Maxine (Hollyoaks)
SCENE OF THE YEAR – The acid attack (Coronation Street)
BEST COMEDY PERFORMANCE – Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer, Coronation Street)
BEST DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE – Charlotte Jordan (Daisy Midgeley, Coronation Street)
BEST SINGLE EPISODE – Acid attack (Coronation Street)
BEST NEWCOMER – Channique Sterling-Brown (Dee-Dee Bailey, Coronation Street)
BEST FAMILY – The Platts (Coronation Street)
BEST ON-SCREEN PARTNERSHIP – Chris Walker and Jan Pearson (Rob and Karen Hollins, Doctors)
He said: ‘It was amazing to be part of something that could bring a light to something so sensitive and something that is happening way more than we actually know.’
Charlotte won Best Dramatic Performance, while the show’s Dame Maureen Lipman, who plays Evelyn Plummer, won Best Comedy Performer and Channique Sterling-Brown won Best Newcomer for her performance as Dee-Dee Bailey.
The Weatherfield-based soap also went home with the Best Family award, which went to the Platts.
Hollyoaks was awarded Best Storyline for a plot which saw Nikki Sanderson’s character Maxine Minniver targeted by incel Eric Foster (Angus Castle-Doughty) alongside her brother Mason Chen-Williams (Frank Kauer).
The soap’s head of casting was awarded the Tony Warren Award.
Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle, was given an Outstanding Achievement award and told the audience: ‘What a job, I’ve loved every minute of it.’
Doctors actors Chris Walker and Jan Pearson took home the Best On-screen Partnership gong for their performances as Rob and Karen Hollins in the daytime soap.
Jane McDonald proved a hit as host after taking over from Phillip Schofield.
The ceremony was presented by the singer and cruise fan after she stepped in to replace former This Morning co-host Phillip when he quit ITV amid a furore over his extramarital affair with a younger male colleague.
Operatic singer and cruise ship favourite Jane, 60, was revealed as Phillip’s replacement on Thursday after he quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague.
He confessed to having the ‘unwise but not illegal’ relationship with a man during his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, and previously denied the affair when asked about it by his agent.
Stepped down: Jane was revealed as Phillip’s replacement after he quit ITV and was dropped by his agency YMU having admitted an affair with a young male This Morning colleague (Phillip is pictured for last year’s awards)
The presenter, 61, confirmed in a statement last month that he has stepped down from all his ITV jobs, including the ceremony.
And amid news Jane was taking the helm, fans hailed the star as the ‘perfect choice’ to front the ceremony.
Ahead of hosting the awards, Jane said: ‘Oh my god…..everyone knows how much I LOVE my soaps, this year I’ve been honoured to be mentioned in Corrie, EastEnders and Emmerdale, so this is just a dream come true.
‘I can’t wait to see all our wonderful soap nominees and celebrate all their hard work with them – roll on the awards, I can’t wait!’
British Soap Awards 2023 Winners
Best Leading Performer
Danielle Harold (Lola Pearce-Brown, EastEnders) – WINNER
Charlotte Jordan (Daisy Midgeley, Coronation Street)
Shona McGarty (Whitney Dean, EastEnders)
Sally Dexter (Faith Dingle, Emmerdale)
Dominic Brunt (Paddy Dingle, Emmerdale)
Villain of the Year
Aaron Thiara (Ravi Gulati, EastEnders) – WINNER
Laura White (Princess Buchanan, Doctors)
Todd Boyce (Stephen Reid, Coronation Street)
Michael Wildman (Al Chapman, Emmerdale)
Angus Castle-Doughty (Eric Foster, Hollyoaks)
Best Young Performer
Lillia Turner (Lily Slater, EastEnders) – WINNER
Jude Riordan (Sam Blakeman, Coronation Street)
Huey Quinn (Kyle Winchester, Emmerdale)
Jayden Fox (Bobby Costello, Hollyoaks)
Best British Soap
EastEnders – WINNER
Incel Eric targets Mason and Maxine (Hollyoaks) – WINNER
Valerie and the forged prescription (Doctors)
Loving and losing Lola (EastEnders)
Paddy’s suicide attempt (Emmerdale)
Daisy’s stalking hell (Coronation Street)
Scene of the Year
The acid attack (Coronation Street) – WINNER
Hell is Empty – the explosion (Doctors)
Whitney and Zack say goodbye to Peach (EastEnders)
Paddy’s suicide attempt (Emmerdale)
Zoe tells abused Maxine “It’s not your fault” (Hollyoaks)
Best Comedy Performance
Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer, Coronation Street) – WINNER
Ian Midlane (Al Haskey, Doctors)
Jonny Freeman (Reiss Colwell, EastEnders)
Samantha Giles (Bernice Blackstock, Emmerdale)
Best Dramatic Performance
Charlotte Jordan (Daisy Midgeley, Coronation Street) – WINNER
Chris Walker (Rob Hollins, Doctors)
Danielle Harold (Lola Pearce-Brown, EastEnders)
Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle, Emmerdale)
Nikki Sanderson (Maxine Minniver, Hollyoaks)
Best Single Episode
Acid attack (Coronation Street) -WINNER
‘Anything But Magnolia’ and ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ – Karen’s death (Doctors)
Goodbye Dot (EastEnders)
All-male man club episode (Emmerdale)
The Long Walk Home (Hollyoaks)
Channique Sterling-Brown (Dee-Dee Bailey, Coronation Street) – WINNER
Kia Pegg (Scarlett Kiernan, Doctors)
Aaron Thiara (Ravi Gulati, EastEnders)
William Ash (Caleb Miligan, Emmerdale)
Anya Lawrence (Vicky Grant, Hollyoaks)
The Platts (Coronation Street) – WINNER
The Millars (Doctors)
The Slaters (EastEnders)
The Dingles (Emmerdale)
The McQueens (Hollyoaks)
Best On-Screen Partnership
Chris Walker and Jan Pearson (Rob and Karen Hollins, Doctors) – WINNER
David Neilson and Maureen Lipman (Roy Cropper and Evelyn Plummer, Coronation Street)
Jamie Borthwick and Danielle Harold (Jay Brown and Lola Pearce-Brown, EastEnders)
Mark Charnock and Dominic Brunt (Marlon Dingle and Paddy Dingle, Emmerdale)
Richard Blackwood and Jamie Lomas (Felix Westwood and Warren Fox, Hollyoaks)