THE stars battled it out last night at the biggest event in the soap world.
And insiders revealed that murder, mayhem and heartbreaking deaths made the British Soap Awards one of the closest for years.
The big soaps all featured massive stories in the past couple of weeks, with viewers voting for the top categories right up until Friday evening.
Corrie had evil drug dealer Callum’s body being discovered after a shock car crash that saw Cathy mown down.
EastEnders’ fans have witnessed the emotional suicide farewell of Barbara Windsor’s stalwart Peggy and the vicious attack on Jane Beale by her baby-faced killer son Bobby.
And a deadly explosion is set to hit Emmerdale.
All of the big stars from the three shows, as well as Hollyoaks and Doctors, were out in force at the event, staged at the Hackney Empire in London.
And while there’s no longer a Sexiest Female category – coincidentally scrapped after six-time winner Michelle Keegan, 28, quit Corrie – there was no shortage of glamour.
EastEnders’ Jacqueline Jossa, 23, looked in stunning post-baby shape as she gets set to return to Albert Square.
Jacqueline, who plays feisty Lauren Branning, will be back in Walford this week after a 15-month maternity leave break having daughter Ella.
Emmerdale’s Charley Webb, 26, was also looking sensational. She and co-star Matthew Wolfenden, 36, had second baby, Bowie, in December.
Meanwhile Paula Lane, 30, was blooming as she gets set to take her leave of Weatherfield.
Her character Kylie was responsible for killing Callum and Paula, who already has a young son Arthur, decided not to return after the birth of her new baby daughter.
Fellow Corrie star Kym Marsh was also looking sensational, just a few days short of her 40th birthday.
And newer kids on the block Tilly Keeper, 18, who plays Louise Mitchell in EastEnders, and Emmerdale’s Eden Taylor-Draper, also 18, showed they’d quickly mastered red carpet style.
There was a loved-up show from Corrie star Alan Halsall, 33, and wife Lucy-Jo Hudson, 33. The pair announced their separation earlier this year but Lucy-Jo, now in Doctors, was happily back by Alan’s side.
I’m A Celebrity winner Vicky Pattison, 28, who has become a Loose Women regular since her jungle triumph, was in fine sexy form as she presented the Best Newcomer award.
Dame Joan Collins, 83, was on hand to present the top Soap of the Year gong and Great British Bake Off champ Nadiya Hussain, 31, handed over the award for Scene of the Year.
British Soap Awards tonight ITV 8pm.
Emmerdale role is Eden Taylor-Draper’s idea of paradise
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