By Mike Bedigan, PA
EastEnders’ Lacey Turner has been awarded the all-time icon gong at the Inside Soap Awards, on a night where the long-running soap dominated the field.
The actress, who plays Stacey Slater, was given the top accolade at the annual ceremony, which saw more than 90,000 votes cast across a broad spread of categories.
EastEnders also racked up several major wins, including the highly sought-after best soap award, best actress, best showstopper and best newcomer.
To celebrate Inside Soap's 30th birthday, we threw open the polls to let YOU pick your All-Time Icon – and you voted for #EastEnders legend Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Slater. Thanks for everything, Lacey – we love you! ❤️ #InsideSoapAwards pic.twitter.com/mtNwCxEUI5
— Inside Soap (@InsideSoapMag) October 17, 2022
The ceremony returned this year as an in-person event after two years of being online, and marks 30 years of Inside Soap magazine.
Turner has won the best actress award six times previously since her debut performance as Stacey in 2004, was praised for her “heartfelt” portrayal of the character.
“As a six-time winner of our best actress prize, it’s perhaps no surprise that Lacey takes home our all-time icon’ award,” said Inside Soap editor, Gary Gillatt.
“Ever since her EastEnders debut in 2004, Lacey’s heartfelt performance as Stacey Slater – taking her from troubled teenager to lion-hearted young mum – has touched soap fans everywhere.
“Long may it continue.”
Turner’s co-star Gillian Wright took home the 2022 best actress trophy, for her portrayal of Jean Slater.
Jean’s trip to Southend while in the grip of her bipolar disorder also won best showstopper, the prize awarded to a significant episode.
Heather Peace, who plays Eve Unwin in EastEnders was named best newcomer.
Elsewhere, Emmerdale, which celebrated its 50th birthday this week, also picked up a string of accolades.
Mark Charnock was awarded best actor for his portrayal of Marlon Dingle’s fight back from a debilitating stroke, which was also named best storyline.
Marlon’s relationship with Rhona Dingle, played by Zoe Henry, was celebrated as best romance.
Emmerdale’s Paige Sandhu was also crowned best villain for the second year running, for her performance as serial killer Meena Jutla.
The show’s milestone anniversary was also recently celebrated by the King at the National Television Awards, who sent a special message to the cast and crew.
Coronation Street’s wildly popular Dame Maureen Lipman was again awarded best comic performance for her role as the acid-tongued Evelyn Plummer.
Meanwhile Isabella Flanagan, who plays Hope Stape on the show, won best young performance, beating her real-life older sister, three-time winner Amelia Flanagan, who plays Emmerdale’s April Windsor, to the prize.
Hollyoaks’ Anna Passey and Kieron Richardson were named best double act thanks to the team-up of their long-running characters Sienna Blake and Ste Hay.
Australian soap Neighbours, which screened its final episode in July, was commemorated as best daytime soap, with show stalwart Stefan Dennis, who played Paul Robinson, named best daytime star.
“An even spread of wins across Britain’s favourite TV shows is testament to a great year of soap,” said Mr Gillatt.
“It’s interesting to see, after a host of ambitious, stunt-packed episodes, that it was the more human-scale dramas and performance that really won through – with Marlon’s story in Emmerdale and Jean’s in EastEnders.
“That said, fans also enjoyed their slice of murderous mayhem from Emmerdale’s Meena, too.”