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Updated: NTA adjudicator: 'Corrie a valid winner'

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NTA adjudicator: 'Corrie a valid winner'
Independent National Television Award adjudicator PromoVeritas has confirmed that Coronation Street had a "significant gain over the other contenders" throughout the voting periods and is therefore a "valid winner" of the ceremony's top soap accolade.

The awards, held at London's O2 arena, saw the commercial broadcaster's flagship soap triumph in the 'Most Popular Serial Drama' category following a public phone vote that remained open throughout the two-and-a-half hour show.

BBC sources today expressed their displeasure at the producers' decision to include a speech by Weatherfield veteran William Roache to mark the show's 50th anniversary, prior to a three-minute promo reel showcasing its upcoming storylines. The BBC allegedly felt that both the speech and clip package influenced votes.

EastEnders, meanwhile, was afforded a 'Who Killed Archie?' camera pan across the actors who play the potential murder suspects, as well as praise from award host Dermot O'Leary over the soap's current form. Walford icon Barbara Windsor subsequently presented the 'Newcomer' trophy to Corrie's Craig Gazey. Lacey Turner also collected the 'Serial Drama Performance' going for her portrayal of Stacey Slater.

However, Digital Spy this afternoon learned that Coronation Street remained at the head of the phone vote from the start of the show, through the promo reel and until the end of the show when X Factor winner Joe McElderry announced the result.

Speaking on behalf of the National Television Awards, a spokesperson for independent adjudicators PromoVeritas told DS: "With regards to the specifics of the live phone vote, Coronation Street had a significant gain over the other contenders from the start of the voting period until the end and for every monitored period within.

"We were happy on the night - and having reviewed the data again, we remain happy - with the fact that based on the combined number of votes, from all the sources and of all the stages, Coronation Street is a valid winner."

They added: "We do not believe that any editorial content would have had a material impact on the live phone voting or on the final result."

However, when asked to release the percentage shares, ITV upheld its policy not to release any voting figures due to their "commercially sensitive" nature.

Sources at the show also maintained that they treated the soaps "fairly" and "impartially" throughout. They explained that each year, one public vote category remains open throughout the programme and this year was the turn of the soaps.

Meanwhile, an Ofcom spokesperson confirmed: "Ofcom has received complaints about the National TV Awards but we are not currently investigating the show."

Following the programme, hundreds of Digital Spy forum users voiced their concern, with 'Lummo' commenting that it was "blatantly unfair because of the huge preview they had of Corrie while phone lines were still open". A number of other readers noted that Emmerdale and Hollyoaks received no special treatment at all.

However, user 'norbitonite' said: "I would be very surprised if a significant proportion of voters decided to vote at the last minute because of a compilation that was run during the awards." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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