Hollyoaks star Nathan Sussex
Welshman Sussex’s stint on the Channel 4 soap was brief but it earned him a gong at the British Soap Awards on Saturday night. His portrayal of paedophile football coach Buster Smith saw him honoured with the villain of the year award. Accepting the gong, he thanked former footballer Steve Walters, a survivor of child abuse, for advising on the storyline.
Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward
Ward left the soap last year after his character Aidan Connor killed himself following a dramatic storyline centred around male mental health. But he returned to pick up two awards. The actor said it remains the duty of soaps to tackle social issues, and dismissed suggestions the shows should be merely escapism.
EastEnder Kara-Leah Fernandes
The young actor secured not one but two gongs on the night. First she took to the stage with her father to receive the award for best young performance. Then she returned with her on-screen father Roger Griffiths to collect the gong for best on-screen partnership.
Emmerdale’s Claire King
King was touted as favourite to win villain of the year in the lead up to the ceremony. Her scheming character Kim Tate appeared on the ITV soap between 1989 and 1999, during which time she attempted murder, faked her own death and stood by as her husband died. She recently returned to the village with equally nefarious plans. But Sussex stole the crown with his plotline exploring child abuse in a school.
EastEnder Danny Dyer
The actor and television personality earned a nod for best actor but the gong went to Adam Woodward. As patriarch Mick Carter, Dyer has become one of the BBC show’s best-loved characters and saw a recent profile boost after his daughter Dani found fame on Love Island.