EastEnders defies difficult years with astounding clean sweep at NTAs

EastEnders has won the National Television Award for Best Serial Drama, earning a clean sweep, picking up Best Serial Drama Performance for Danielle Harold as Lola, and Best Breakthrough Star for Bobby Brazier.

After a difficult few years of difficulty, critically and in falling ratings, the BBC Soap has gone through an astounding resurgence, and it has certainly paid off in spades.

It’s been another dramatic year in soapland. From murders to major storms right through to powerful storylines about mental health and long term illnesses, the soaps continue to impress us with their ability to tell powerful narratives alongsideones that leave us laughing or hiding behind the sofa cushions.

Suffice to say EastEnders has been a hot topic of conversation recently. Ever since the flashforward episode in February, which confirmed someone will die this Christmas, the soap has constantly delivered.

Oh, and Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) casually made a return from the dead as well.

Also in Walford, as well as the shock twist that Cindy is actually alive, we’ve also welcomed back the likes of Peter (Thomas Law) and Ian (Adam Woodyatt), watched as the Knight family settled into the Queen Vic and kept our eyes out for more clues ahead of the Christmas Day murder.

Up in Manchester, Coronation Street residents remain unaware that businessman Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce) is actually a murderer. Over the past year, we’ve seen him murder three people and with time running out, he could well be set to kill again before his inevitable departure.

We’ve also welcomed Dee-Dee Bailey (Channique Sterling-Brown) to Weatherfield, a character loved by many fans, and watched a devastating storyline unfold that saw Ryan Connor (Ryan Prescott) attacked with acid.

Yorkshire is home to Emmerdale and as always, it continues to be an incredibly dangerous and risky village to live in.

After the storm last October – which killed Harriet and Liv – the residents said hello to Caleb (William Ash) and Nicky Milligan (Lewis Cope). It was revealed a few months later that they are relatives of Frank Tate and Faith Dingle, but Caleb’s plan to get revenge on Kim Tate (Claire King) ended in utter disaster after the iconic character worked out what he was up to.

The ITV soap has also aired a powerful plot with Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) at the centre. He struggled with his mental health after finding out about Chas’ (Lucy Pargeter) affair and even contemplated ending his life. Paddy was saved by best friend Marlon (Mark Charnock), with the next part of his story focusing on seeking help and attending the support group, Andy’s Man Club.

And finally, Hollyoaks. As well as welcoming Holby City’s David Ames to the local high school, the Channel 4 soap aired a truly emotional farewell to Juliet Nightingale (Niamh Blackshaw), who died after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Elsewhere, the locals are also dealing with the manipulative Rayne Royce (Jemma Donovan), who is keeping secrets about the death of ex partner Brent.

As another year draws to a close, it’s a huge congratulations to EastEnders, with the cast no doubt set to enjoy celebrations this evening.

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