Eastenders picked up the best soap prize at the British Soap awards last night.

The long-running show ended the night with seven awards in total to finish ahead of its rivals Coronation Street, Doctors, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

In addition to the top prize on the night, EastEnders' Robert Kazinsky scored the best actor (Robert Kazinsky), best comedy performance (Nina Wadia) as well as the gong for dramatic performance from a young actor (Maisie Smith).

The BBC One drama's stalwart Barbara Windsor also picked up a lifetime achievement award for her long-running role on Albert Square.

Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan won the sexiest female award, Gray O'Brien was awarded the best villain prize and Katherine Kelly took home the best actress gong.

The soap's Craig Gazey also left with the best newcomer prize for his role on the ITV show.

Speaking to the BBC on the red carpet, EastEnders' Steve McFadden said: "It's the best soap: it's well written, well acted, the camera team are fantastic. We've got high production values, I won't say, 'No expense spared,' but you don't move on until you've nailed the scene and that's really important."

The BBC's Doctors also picked up three top awards on the night - for best single episode, best storyline, and best dramatic performance.

Emmerdale won the spectacular scene prize but the cast of Hollyoaks left empty handed on the night. The ceremony will be broadcast on 18th May on ITV at 20:00 BST.

10/05/2009 11:47:21