The British Soap Awards is one of the many events cancelled in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, pausing a run of more than two decades of ITV’s annual celebration of achievements in continuing drama.
But fear not, the makers of the glitzy ceremony serve up a treat for soap fans missing their yearly dose of red carpet glamour with a brand new documentary this weekend, celebrating the history of TV’s liveliest awards show.
The British Soap Awards Celebrates 21 Years airs on Sunday 28th June at 9pm on ITV. Narrated by Phillip Schofield, who has hosted the show and tried to keep the rowdy audience of soap stars in line since 2006, it’s an entertaining, affectionate look back at the most memorable winners, speeches and unforgettable moments since the first event in 1999.
Iconic storylines and stars from EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors will be revisited, as well as the show recalling some of the big-name guest presenters organisers have secured over the years, including soap royalty Joan Collins, Linda Gray, Linda Evans, and US TV legends Cagney and Lacey themselves, Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless.
There’s also some trivia to be had as the show reveals which soap and which stars have won the most awards (spoiler: expect EastEnders’ Lacey Turner to feature quite highly as she’s bagged several shelf-loads of British Soap Awards since her debut back in 2004).
Of course part of the fun will be seeing how soap stars have changed over the years in the archive footage, with Ray Quinn’s acceptance speech for winning an award in 2002 for Brookside when he was just 13 no doubt wheeled out again for maximum embarrassment.
With soaps resuming production and getting back in business after lockdown forced them all to stop filming, what better time to show some love for TV’s most unstoppable, and most influential genre? Here’s to returning to the red carpet for real in 2021…
The British Soap Awards Celebrates 21 Years airs on Sunday 28th June at 9pm on ITV. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.