Emmerdale's Dingle family have bagged one of the top prizes at the Inside Soap Awards 2023, Digital Spy can exclusively reveal.
The chaotic clan have triumphed in the Best Family category in this year's contest, which has seen nearly 90,000 votes cast by eager soap fans.
Emmerdale's victory follows a strong 12 months of storylines for the Dingles – from the drama of Chas' affair and Faith's tragic death, to Cain's imprisonment and the arrival of long-lost family member Caleb.
Reacting to the news, James Hooton – who plays Sam Dingle – commented: "It's always nice for the show to be recognised, but especially when it's the Dingles as a family.
"The Dingles have always been that underdog family, and I think people identify with that and buy into it. We're also a close-knit family who really care for each other."
Giving a message to the fans who voted, James added: "Just thank you so much. Any award that we win is highly appreciated by us all, because we never expect it! It's lovely that the viewing audience appreciates what the show does, and we never take that for granted.
"This award will be highly polished, and put in the trophy cabinet at work so we can all appreciate it when we pass by!"
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Coronation Street star Dame Maureen Lipman has won the Best Comic Performance prize for her role as Evelyn Plummer for the third year in a row.
The rest of the winners will be announced on Monday evening (September 25), as the Inside Soap Awards take place at a star-studded ceremony in London.
Gary Gillatt, executive editor of Inside Soap magazine, recently commented: "2023 has proven a battle royale between especially hard-hitting storylines; from Lola's tragic demise in EastEnders to the shocking acid attack in Coronation Street, and Paddy's battle with depression in Emmerdale to Maxine's terrifying walk into the night in Hollyoaks.
"But if that all sounds bleak, our most hotly-contested prizes this year instead focus on the fresh and fun side of soap; with some especially popular newcomers, beloved partnerships and comic performances. As ever – all life is here, but only the very best will prevail!"
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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