This time last year she was the new kid on the block, but now, ahead of the biggest night of the television year, EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley is on the verge of soap royalty.
Last year, just months after joining the flagship soap, she won best newcomer.
Lorraine is now up for the best actress award at the 21st British Soap Awards ceremony at Manchester’s Lowry Theatre on Saturday.
It’s one of three categories voted for by the public and if Lorraine’s popularity as Albert Square’s Karen Taylor seals the deal, she knows where her award will be going.
She said: “My mum’s the most amazing woman and she deserves any award going, so if I do win it, it will be going on her sideboard.”
Meaty storylines have helped push Lorraine to the front of viewers’ attention, including knife crime and the tragic suicide of Dinah, who had been living with multiple sclerosis.
“With knife crime you often don’t see the aftermath and the effects it has on others and I think that’s what EastEnders did so well,” said Lorraine. As for Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell, she is hoping it’ll be second time lucky and round off a dream 12 months.
The actress was nominated at the National Television Awards earlier this year.
Now she’s hoping to go one better by picking up the best newcomer accolade on Saturday.
Alexandra plays cheery trainee hairdresser Emma Brooker and having grown up as a Corrie fan, she says hearing she’d been cast surpassed all expectations.
“I had been for a couple of recalls and I thought it that I’d missed the boat,” explained Alexandra.
“I burst into tears when I found out.”
British Soap Awards, ITV, Saturday