'Soap's Greatest' lineup revealed
After a 10-week vote, Britain's favourite fictional drama queen, villain, landlady and bitch, among others, have been named, with EastEnders taking the top spot in half of the categories. Coronation Street have four favourites and Hollyoaks one. ITV rural drama Emmerdale, however, failed to top the votes in any category.
Walford's Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) was honoured as soap's greatest ever matriarch, while her son Grant (Ross Kemp) topped the 'leading man' poll. Loudmouth Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) took the 'drama queen' accolade, and the 'greatest gossip' title was won by Dot Cotton (June Brown). Albert Square's dearly departed canine companion Wellard took the pet prize.
Speaking of her character's title, Barbara Windsor said: "I'm really thrilled, darling! What I love about Peggy is that it's so un-me! I loved doing those scenes where Peggy and Pat fought over Frank, it was terrific. But Peggy hasn't changed much since. I just did a scene where she's so up herself that she thinks she is Queen Victoria! I'm still enjoying every minute."
Jessie Wallace commented: "Considering I left EastEnders over three years ago it's great that Kat is still in people’s memories. Kat was such a fantastic character to play… Tony Jordan [former chief script writer] told me if Kat had stayed in Walford, she would have been a completely different character. After all she'd been through, she'd take off her face and just be a plain Jane. That would have been depressing, wouldn't it?"
Meanwhile, Weatherfield psycho Richard 'Tricky Dicky' Hillman (Brian Capron) was voted as the public's greatest villain and leopard print-clad Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) as greatest landlady. Murderous Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) took the 'bitch' gong and Maggie Jones's alter-ego Blanche Hunt bagged the title of soap's all-time greatest comedy character.
Brian Capron said: "This is great. I'm surprised I beat Tony Gordon - he's certainly making a massive impact on the Street… Everything Richard Hillman did was to keep the family together and I wanted him to be terrifyingly normal. I wanted to use my eyes, which was a very important feature of the character... Being part of the family at Coronation Street will be something that I’ll always remember."
Chester soap Hollyoaks, meanwhile, was handed one award for soap's 'greatest ever youngster', which was won by Ellis Hollins for his portrayal of Tom Cunningham.