British Soap Awards pays tribute to EastEnders icons Barbara Windsor and June Brown


‘I smiled when they got massive cheers’: British Soap Awards pays tribute to EastEnders icons Barbara Windsor and June Brown as fans laud the ‘beautiful’ homage to late stars

Late EastEnders cast members Barbara Windsor and June Brown received rapturous applause as The British Soap Awards paid tribute to the stars during the event at the Hackney Empire in London on Saturday.

Barbara, who played Peggy Mitchell on the BBC soap, died at the age of 83 after a battle with Alzheimer’s in December 2020, and June, who played Dot Cotton, died at the age of 95 in April.

During the Soap Awards ceremony this weekend, clips of Dame Barbara and June acting in EastEnders were played on screen as part of a tribute to all of the serial drama stars who had died since the last ceremony in 2019.

Tribute: EastEnders cast members Barbara Windsor and June Brown received rapturous applause as British Soap Awards 2022 bosses paid tribute to the stars on Saturday

Tribute: EastEnders cast members Barbara Windsor and June Brown received rapturous applause as British Soap Awards 2022 bosses paid tribute to the stars on Saturday

Taking to Twitter to express their gratitude for the touching moment, one person wrote: ‘I’m not sure if they were transmitted, but the cheers and applause in the room for the late June Brown and Barbara Windsor were deafening. 

‘What a beautiful moment. #SoapAwards.’

Another person posted: ‘There was huge cheers for EastEnders it was great! Tonight shows how great the cast is (even though i need to catch up), but I’m so confused on Emmerdale winning best soap?? 

RIP: June, who played Dot Cotton on the soap, died at the age of 95 in April this year with family by her side

RIP: June, who played Dot Cotton on the soap, died at the age of 95 in April this year with family by her side

‘I smiled when Barbara and June got massive cheers from the crowd during that tribute too, great moment.’  

Another viewer wrote: ‘God we’ve lost a lot of big characters in soapland… Barbara Windsor and June Brown #SoapAwards2022.’

While someone else shared: ‘June Brown and Barbara Windsor they are missed greatly and they had a lot of cheers from everyone.’

Applause: Viewers and audience members at the event took to Twitter to express their gratitude for the tribute

Applause: Viewers and audience members at the event took to Twitter to express their gratitude for the tribute

One other soap fan tweeted: ‘June Brown and Barbara Windsor to powerhouse iconic EastEnders actress who will always be remembered and loved.’  

‘I still can’t believe Barbara Windsor and June Brown are no longer with us #SoapAwards,’ wrote someone else.

June died at the age of 95 at her home in Surrey on Sunday 3 April this year.

Legend: EastEnders star June, pictured in 2020 aged 93, who was best known for her role as Dot Cotton, died at the age of 95

Legend: EastEnders star June, pictured in 2020 aged 93, who was best known for her role as Dot Cotton, died at the age of 95

A statement from her family read: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce our beloved mother, June, passed away very peacefully at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening, with her family by her side.

‘We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.’ 

June  starred on EastEnders for more than three decades, and a spokeswoman for the BBC soap paid a glowing tribute to the actress at the time.

She said: ‘There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten.’ 

June enjoyed 35 years on the show - filming her final scenes in 2020

June enjoyed 35 years on the show - filming her final scenes in 2020

Screen star: June enjoyed 35 years on the show, joining in 1985 and filming her final scenes in 2020 (far right)

‘June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June ‘s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders finest moments.

‘We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June ‘s family and friends. A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.

‘Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.’

Viewers were captivated by her relationship with her tearaway son Nick

Viewers were captivated by her relationship with her tearaway son Nick, who would die from a heroin overdose bought for him by Dot (pictured)

Gripping: Viewers were captivated by her relationship with her tearaway son Nick, played by John Altman, who would die from a heroin overdose bought for him by Dot (pictured right)

Dame Barbara, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018, died at a London care home in December last year.  

Famed for her infectious laugh and baring all in the Carry On films, the east London-born actress universally known as ‘Babs’, boasted a 66-year career in showbiz, first appearing on stage aged 13 before retiring four years ago aged 79 as dementia took its toll forcing the 4ft 10ins actress to stop playing fearsome landlady Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders.

The BBC said in a statement: ‘We are all deeply saddened that that we’ve lost our Dame. From the moment Barbara stepped foot in Walford she created an icon in Peggy Mitchell, our formidable Landlady, who the audience instantly fell in love with.

VIP: Outside of the showbiz world she was made a Dame (pictured) in the Years Honours List in 2016 for her services to charity and entertainment

VIP: Outside of the showbiz world she was made a Dame (pictured) in the Years Honours List in 2016 for her services to charity and entertainment

‘But to all of us at EastEnders, she was our dearest friend who was truly loved and adored by everyone. Our thoughts go out to Scott and Barbara’s family. Rest in peace Dame Barbara Windsor, MBE.’  

She is survived by her third husband Scott Mitchell, who announced after her death that his ‘best friend and soul mate’ passed away peacefully. 

He had moved into her care home a few days earlier to be by her side when she died.

Dame Barbara had no children, often saying she never regretted it because of the way she had been rejected by her own father, and spoke candidly about having five abortions in her life.  

She became one of the most famous faces on British screens for her fun-filled saucy roles in the Carry On comedies of the 1960s and 70s before before becoming the no-nonsense Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell. 

As she bravely fought Alzheimer’s in the final years of her life, she turned her energies to campaigning to protect those with dementia, the vulnerable and the lonely as well her passionate support of the Armed Forces through the Poppy Appeal.

The actress – who was made a Dame by the Queen in 2016 – announced she was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2018, having been diagnosed four years earlier.  

He's back! This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London's Hackney Empire, where they'll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories

He’s back! This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London’s Hackney Empire, where they’ll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories

The British Soap Awards returned live to ITV for the first time in two years after the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its place in 2020, ITV instead aired a 60-minute special titled The British Soap Awards Celebrates 21 Years, narrated by long-running presenter Phillip Schofield.

This year, host Phillip Schofield, 60, welcomed a plethora of soap stars to London’s Hackney Empire, where they’ll battle it out to scoop prizes in 14 categories.

The awards are either voted for by a panel of expert judges or the public, with fans able to choose their favourites for Best British Soap, Best Leading Performer and Best Family categories.

British Soap Awards 2022: The Winners

British Soap

Coronation Street 

Doctors

EastEnders

Emmerdale – WINNER

Hollyoaks

Leading Performer 

Sally Carman (Abi Webster) – Coronation Street

Gillian Wright (Jean Slater) – EastEnders

Linda Henry (Shirley Carter) – EastEnders

Paige Sandhu (Meena Jutla) – Emmerdale – WINNER

Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) – Emmerdale

 Family 

The Alahans – Coronation Street

The Carters – EastEnders

The Dingles – Emmerdale – WINNER

The McQueens – Hollyoaks

Coronation Street: Sally Carman as Abi Webster

Coronation Street: Sally Carman as Abi Webster

Villain 

Maximus Evans (Corey Brent) – Coronation Street – WINNER

Laura White (Dr Princess Buchanan) – Doctors

Toby-Alexander Smith (Gray Atkins) – EastEnders

Paige Sandhu (Meena Jutla) – Emmerdale

Rhiannon Clements (Summer Ranger) – Hollyoaks

Coronation Street: Maximus Evans as Corey Brent

Coronation Street: Maximus Evans as Corey Brent

Comedy Performer

Jane Hazelgrove (Bernie Winter) – Coronation Street

Sarah Moyle (Valerie Pitman) – Doctors

Tameka Empson (Kim Fox) – EastEnders – WINNER

Lisa Riley (Mandy Dingle) – Emmerdale

Chelsee Healey (Goldie McQueen) – Hollyoaks

Newcomer 

Paddy Bever (Max Turner) – Coronation Street

Ross McLaren (Luca McIntyre) – Doctors

Ross Boatman (Harvey Monroe) – EastEnders – WINNER

Darcy Grey (Marcus Dean) – Emmerdale

Matthew James-Bailey (Ethan Williams) – Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks: Chelsee Healey as Goldie McQueen

Hollyoaks: Chelsee Healey as Goldie McQueen

 

Best Storyline 

Coronation Street – Hate Crime

Doctors – Bear and his mother encounter racism at St Phil’s Hospital

EastEnders – Jean’s Bipolar

Emmerdale – Meena Serial Killer

Hollyoaks – Misbah’s Historic Rape WINNER

Single Episode 

Coronation Street – Flashback

Doctors – Three Consultations and a Funeral – WINNER

EastEnders – Jean in Southend

Emmerdale – Marlon’s stroke

Hollyoaks – Out of Time

Emmerdale: Mark Charnock as Marlon Dingle

Emmerdale: Mark Charnock as Marlon Dingle 

Dramatic Performance 

Sally Carman (Abi Webster) – Coronation Street

Dex Lee (Bear Sylvester) – Doctors

Gillian Wright (Jean Slater) – EastEnders

Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) – Emmerdale – WINNER

Harvey Virdi (Misbah Maalik) – Hollyoaks

On-screen partnership  

David Neilson & Mollie Gallagher (Roy Cropper & Nina Lucas) – Coronation Street

Chris Walker & Jan Pearson (Rob Hollins & Karen Hollins) – Doctors

Lacey Turner & Gillian Wright (Stacey Slater and Jean Slater) – EastEnders – WINNER

Isobel Steele & Bradley Johnson (Liv Flaherty & Vinny Dingle) – Emmerdale

Anna Passey & Kieron Richardson (Sienna Blake & Ste Hay) – Hollyoaks

EastEnders: Gillian Wright as Jean Slater

EastEnders: Gillian Wright as Jean Slater

Young performer 

Millie Gibson (Kelly Neelan) – Coronation Street – WINNER

Sonny Kendall (Tommy Moon) – EastEnders

Amelia Flanagan (April Windsor) – Emmerdale

Jayden Fox (Bobby Costello) – Hollyoaks

Scene of the year 

Coronation Street – Johnny’s Death

Doctors – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

EastEnders – Hall of Mirrors

Emmerdale – Bridge Collapse

Hollyoaks – Misbah Didn’t Consent – WINNER     

 

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to EastEnders legend Letitia Dean for her portrayal of Sharon Watts

 The Tony Warren Award went to Coronation Street scriptwriter Jan McVerry 

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