The soaps are a major part of people’s lives in the UK with some avid viewers watching from a young age with their parents through to the present day with their own children. As such we’ve grown up with a lot of the main characters forming parts of our lives and certain stars becoming the kind of people that we can genuinely relate to for one reason or another, whether it’s their fashion sense, their demeanour or their quick wit.
This means that, whether you’re a fan of Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders or Hollyoaks – or all of them – you’re likely to have your own favourite characters that you pray survive when it comes to the next “dramatic episode” that gets plugged for weeks, hinting that someone might be killed off.
In order to find out who Britain’s most popular soap star is, Great British Bingo performed a survey of almost 200 people, asking which star they liked the most. The online bingo comparison site were interested in exactly who gets us glued to our screens for half an hour, and even an hour in some cases, every weeknight; and there was certainly a range of responses from those who took part.
Surprisingly, there was no runaway winner, and the person who came out on top of the poll received 24 votes out of a total of 191 – just 12.57% of the total votes. Of those 24 votes, 14 came from female viewers which might hint that the show has a particular following – or perhaps this particular character does.
Anyway, enough of dragging it out – they do enough of that at the awards ceremonies, and this person has been to their fair share of them. Danny Dyer, the movie star turned soap star, who plays Mick Carter in EastEnders is officially Britain’s most popular soap star according to the Great British Bingo survey.
Dyer, who famously said in an interview that he would never appear in a soap, has been in Albert Square since December 2013 and has become an instant hit with all viewers. So much so that he held off the competition of co-stars June Brown (who plays Dot Cotton) and Steve McFadden (who plays Phil Mitchell), with the duo picking up 15 and 14 votes respectively to come in second and third in the poll.
Emmerdale’s bad boy Cain Dingle, played by Jeff Hordley, was joint fourth with ten votes, alongside Shane Ritchie, the man who plays Alfie Moon in EastEnders, with the Walford-based show having four names in the top five.
Michelle Keegan, who played Tina McIntyre in Coronation Street before her dramatic exit last year, was the most popular Corrie star with nine votes, just ahead of long-standing resident Ken Barlow, played by William Roache.
Two more long-standing characters also made an appearance in the top ten, with Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders) receiving eight votes; and Gail Platt, played by Helen Worth, picking up six. This was the same number as pop star turned soap star Kym Marsh, who now plays Michelle McDonald after once forming part of the British band Hear’Say.
Hollyoaks, often regarded as a show aimed at students due to being the first to come on air each day on Channel 4 at 6:30pm, had a total of five votes shared equally among five female stars, including Jennifer Metcalfe and Jorgie Porter, who play Mercedes and Theresa McQueen respectively.
So while Danny Dyer didn’t exactly run off with the crown under his cheeky-chappy coat, EastEnders certainly seemed to be the show with the British public’s favourite stars, receiving a total of 93 votes from the 191 participants.