Whether you’re the kind of person who sits and watches box sets in bulk on Netflix or maybe you sit up until the small hours catching up on the latest series of The Only Way is Essex on catch-up, or perhaps you just watch the occasional bit of telly when something interests you; it’s hard to argue that British soaps haven’t become a major part of British culture.
The major soaps like EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street have been around for decades and many of us have seen child stars grow up to become household names in British entertainment – and we’ve grown up with them.
From the days of watching these young characters on the television when Mum and Dad came in and took control of the remote, through to the present day where we’re enforcing the same torture on our own children, soaps are a major part of our lives and the characters are the kind of people that we look up to and, in some cases, idolise.
We all have our favourite characters, and we all have people that we love to hate. The soap villains have even made their own categories at the television awards, and when it comes to characters being killed off there are certain stars that we pray survive and others where we’ve got our fingers crossed that they get what’s coming to them.
In terms of the good guys, however, everyone has their own favourites for certain reasons. Some because they’ve got a great sense of humour, others because of their fashion sense, some simply because we feel a connection to them and then there are some that we fancy!
Great British Bingo, who compare bingo sites in the UK, performed a survey of almost 200 members of the British public to compare the favourite soap stars so that we got a definite answer on the nation’s favourite soap star – and the winner was… Danny Dyer!
The star of films such as The Football Factory made the move to EastEnders in December 2013 and has become a much-loved member of the Walford cast. Playing the role of Mick Carter in the soap, Danny has already won a National TV Award, showing that it was a pretty good move to make despite his infamous quote about never joining a soap!
Dyer got just over 12% of the votes from the 191 people who took part, edging his on-screen colleagues June Brown (Dot Cotton) and Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell) into second and third respectively. Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in Emmerdale, was joint fourth alongside Shane Ritchie who plays Alfie Moon in EastEnders.
There were places in the top ten for the likes of long-serving stars Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) and William Roache (Ken Barlow) from EastEnders and Coronation street respectively, and the younger generation were in there too with Michelle Keegan, who played Tina McIntyre in Corrie until her dramatic death, in the list too.