Inside Soap Awards: Coronation Street star voted sexiest female

CORONATION Street star Michelle Keegan, who plays brash Tina McIntyre, has won the sexiest female award for the third year running at the 2011 Inside Soap Awards, writes Graham Walker.

Eastenders walked away with five gongs, including best soap, but Emmerdale’s Danny Miller won best actor.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our red carpet report from the 2011 Inside Soap Awards.

Sexy Street star Keegan, who plays revealed she has put up shelves at home to fit all her awards on.

The 24-year-old actress scooped the Sexiest Female gong at the Inside Soap Awards for the third year in the row, and also has a hat trick in the same category and the British Soap Awards.

Keegan said: “I’ve actually got them on a shelf in my living room.

“That sounds quite bad! But my dad bought me some shelves for my birthday so I just put them on there.”

The soap star said being voted sexiest female again was “extremely flattering”.

She added: “I genuinely don’t think I’m going to win it, so when I do it’s unbelievable. And I want to say thank you to everyone who voted, it means a lot. And it’s very flattering.”

She joked “It’s a nice thing to show my grandkids!”

EastEnders star Jessie Wallace - who has had a dramatic year both on and off screen - was crowned Best Actress.

Walford favourite Wallace, who last month jilted fiance Vince Morse the day before her wedding, had already been celebrating after turning 40 at the weekend.

Her win was the icing on the cake for EastEnders which scooped five awards including Best Soap at the event at north London venue Gilgamesh.

Viewers have seen Wallace’s Albert Square character Kat Moon suffer terrible heartache after burying what she thought was her son Tommy’s body, only to discover her baby had been swapped and was still alive.

She has also endured relationship battles with husband Archie as they struggled to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions involved. Her real-life woes came after 50-year-old catering boss Morse admitted sending an explicit picture of her to his ex-girlfriend.

Jessie Wallace was not at the awards to collect her Best Actress gong but plenty of the EastEnders cast were on hand to celebrate the show winning five awards including Best Soap.

Marc Elliott, who plays Syed Masood, joked the win was down to “the amazing misery that we portray on a daily basis”.

Ricky Norwood, who plays Fatboy, said: “What I think has made us the best soap is we continue to ask questions and we continue provoke discussion amongst friends and family with some really tough real-life issues.

“Dealing with those situations and those stories and making our audiences ask questions of each other keeps it topical and keeps it striving for the best.”

EastEnders stars Himesh Patel and Meryl Fernandes said tonight they hope their EastEnders characters Tamwar and Afia Masood live happily ever after.

The two soap stars attended the Inside Soap Awards 2011 at Gilgamesh in London to collect the Best Wedding gong for Tamwar and Afia’s wedding, which they had in secret in a registry office, while their parents organised them a lavish, traditional Muslim ceremony.

Fernandes said it was “lovely” to win the award but added she hopes all the drama is over for the newly weds.

She said: “I hope they live happily ever after. They’re so in love. It’s definitely going to last.”

Patel added: “We asked them to keep us as a couple.”

Meanwhile, EastEnders’ Tameka Empson collected the award for Funniest Performance for her portrayal of feisty beautician Kim Fox.

She said: “It feels amazing. All those days in the bedroom practising with the hairbrush, now I’ve finally got my award and it feels great.”

The soap actress revealed it felt good to bring humour to the often dark and dramatic show.

She said: “I think people want to smile, people want to have a laugh and I love Kim. You get so much theatre with Kim.

“I’m not actually like her but I love it. I like to party like Kim but Kim can out-drink me any time.”

Empson added she planned to celebrate EastEnders’ triumphant win.

She said: “I’ve got a reason to party so I think I’m going to shake a leg or two.”

Inside Soap readers voted 10-year-old Maisie Smith - who plays Albert Square’s Tiffany Butcher - Best Young Actor, while Tameka Empson won Funniest Performance for her portrayal of EastEnders’ beautician Kim Fox.

The elaborate Muslim marriage ceremony of Tamwar Masood and Afia Khan in Albert Square took home the Best Wedding prize at the awards, sponsored by

Emmerdale’s Danny Miller won two awards for the second year in a row, for playing Aaron Livesy.

Miller took home Best Actor and Best Dramatic Performance for the controversial assisted suicide storyline, which saw Aaron being asked to help end the life of Jackson Walsh, played by Marc Silcock, after he was left paralysed in an accident.

Coronation Street won the Outstanding Achievement award for the explosive tram crash and live episode with which the soap celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Corrie’s Bill Tarmey, who bowed out of the soap after 31 years playing Jack Duckworth, was awarded Best Exit.

Hollyoaks’ Emmett J Scanlan was presented with the Best Newcomer award for his portrayal of hardman Brendan Brady, who has had to confront his sexuality and get to know his estranged son over the past year.

Full list of winners of the 2011 Inside Soap Awards:

* Best Actor - Danny Miller (Aaron Livesy, Emmerdale)

* Best Actress - Jessie Wallace (Kat Moon, EastEnders)

* Best Newcomer - Emmett J Scanlan (Brendan Brady, Hollyoaks)

* Funniest Performance - Tameka Empson (Kim Fox, EastEnders)

* Sexiest Male - Danny Mac (Dodger Savage, Hollyoaks)

* Sexiest Female - Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre, Coronation Street)

* Best Exit - Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth, Coronation Street)

* Best Wedding - Tamwar Masood and Afia Khan (EastEnders)

* Best Dramatic Performance - Danny Miller (Aaron Livesy, Emmerdale)

* Best Daytime Soap - Home and Away

* Best Daytime Star - Ryan Moloney (Toadie Rebecchi, Neighbours)

* Best Drama - Waterloo Road

* Outstanding Achievement - Coronation Street tram crash and live episode

* Best Soap - EastEnders