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Best actress-winner Emma Rigby has been at the centre of one of Hollyoaks' most emotional storylines as her character, Hannah Ashworth, battles anorexia
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Roxanne McKee shows why she was named sexiest female for the second time
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Liz Dawn won the lifetime achievement award for her portrayal as Corrie's Vera Duckworth, which ended earlier this year. "It's been fantastic," she said
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Hollyoaks' young stars shine brightest at British Soap Awards

4 MAY 2008
Chester's famous fictional suburb of Hollyoaks had plenty to celebrate on Saturday after the programme walked away with six gongs at this year's British Soap Awards.

Channel 4's early evening drama saw its stars Chris Fountain and Emma Rigby the soap's Justin Burton and Hannah Ashworth - named best actor and actress at the glitzy London ceremony.

Winning the sexiest female award for the second time, the soap's Roxanne McKee said the gritty storylines of Hollyoaks were finally getting the recognition they deserved.

"This year we have tackled anorexia, incest and I have been in a murder case," said the pretty brunette, who stars as Louise Kennedy. "We tackle those issues in a 6.30pm slot which is very hard for the writers, who do a brilliant job."

Located not far from the Chester soap, the residents of Weatherfield also had plenty to cheer. ITV's Coronation Street took home five awards, including a lifetime achievement gong for Liz Dawn, who left the soap earlier this year.

Accepting the award, the actress, who played the much-loved Vera Duckworth for almost 34 years, was full of praise for her time walking the famous cobbles. "I wish I was young again," she told the star-studded audience. "It's only when you leave that you realise what a lovely life you had. It's been fantastic."

Meanwhile, the coveted best soap award was heading south, to London's Walford Square. And giving the prize to the cast and crew of EastEnders was another soap legend Dallas star Linda Gray. Presented by This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton, the ceremony will be screened on ITV this Wednesday at 8pm.