The shortlist: Nina Wadia (EastEnders), Claire Cooper (Hollyoaks), Michelle Keegan (Coronation Street), Jennie McAlpine (Coronation Street), Jessie Wallace (EastEnders)
Who should win: Jessie Wallace. There’s a touch of torch-song tragedy about Wallace. Maybe it’s the smile that never reaches her eyes? More likely it’s Kat’s affair with Derek. Come on – he looked like Baron Greenback! Yet Kat remains the ultimate soap heroine, in whom adversity has bred true backbone. Fabulous.
The shortlist: Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders), Jeff Hordley (Emmerdale), Shane Richie (EastEnders), Alan Halsall (Coronation Street), Emmett J Scanlan (Hollyoaks)
Who should win: Alan Halsall. Tyrone has hit many hurdles in his quest for a stable family life, but none more bruising than when he hooked up with Kirsty. Halsall’s portrayal of Ty’s isolation, persecution and incarceration was a real step up for the actor, so much so that it’s now hard to imagine the show without him.
The shortlist: Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks), Matthew Wolfenden (Emmerdale), Danny Mac (Hollyoaks), David Witts (EastEnders), Chris Fountain (Coronation Street)
Who should win: David Witts. Four-times winner EastEnders’ Scott Maslen isn’t on the shortlist this year, so the baton must surely be passed to David Witts. Joey Branning has strained his biceps and been the very picture of hunky emotional torment, but hopefully this prize will turn that frown upside down.
The shortlist: Georgia May Foote (Coronation Street), Jacqueline Jossa (EastEnders), Natalie Anderson (Emmerdale), Michelle Keegan (Coronation Street), Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks)
Who should win: Michelle Keegan. Well, it’s not like she’s got any less attractive… If she wins, it’ll be for the fifth year running. And after a high-profile time for both actress and character, she has to be favourite. Even though Tina’s reasons for not taking Rita’s money and deciding to be a surrogate mum still don’t make much sense.
VILLAIN OF THE YEAR
The shortlist: Emmett J Scanlan (Hollyoaks), Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street), Nigel Havers (Coronation Street), Dominic Power (Emmerdale), Jamie Foreman (EastEnders)
Who should win: Natalie Gumede. Kirsty deliberately smashed a photograph of Jack Duckworth! How much more evil can you get? Need more evidence? OK – she trapped Fiz’s finger under a sewing machine needle, made Tina a pariah and beat up Tyrone. Yes, I know. It’s like punching a Care Bear.
SPECTACULAR SCENE OF THE YEAR
The shortlist: Julia’s Car Crash (Doctors), The Bus Crash (Hollyoaks), Olympic Torch Live (EastEnders), The Rovers Fire (Coronation Street), Cain and Zak Clifftop Rescue (Emmerdale)
What should win: Hollyoaks Bus Crash. It was the best wedding day entrance of all time. Failing brakes, Ste knocked down, the minibus ploughing through the french windows and out the other side. What followed was like Final Destination in Chester as the soap gods picked off their victims following a massive explosion.
The shortlist: EastEnders, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Coronation Street
What should win: Coronation Street. For three reasons: Sue Johnston (as ghastly but glorious Gloria), Nigel Havers (“ti amo, Lewis”) and the genuinely terrifying domestic abuse storyline. Sure, there have been a few missteps (Karl and Sunita’s affair), but on the whole, it’s been a year to remember.