The British Academy Television Awards took place on Sunday night (May 13) and EastEnders was crowned winner of the Soap and Continuing Drama Award.
Former show boss John Yorke accepted the gong alongside stars Danny Dyer (Mick Carter), Davood Ghadami (Kush Kazemi), and Zack Morris (Keegan Baker).
Read more: Piers Morgan slams BBC after BAFTA loss
He took to the stage and said: “Thank you so much, we are thrilled to receive this. If I was to thank everybody I needed to thank I would be standing here for the next hour and you would be throwing rocks at me.”
He continued to say an overall thank you to the cast and crew – picking out Danny Dyer, joking that he might start talking about David Cameron if he didn’t get a mention.
Earlier in the evening Danny had presented an award for Must See TV Moment alongside Holly Willoughby, and referenced his previous rant about the former prime minister.
John’s final words were: “I must thank Kate Oates for leaving Coronation Street.”
Fans were divided over the soap winning, given it’s not had the best last few years.
Eastenders just won a BAFTA? I saw the end of the Christmas Day and the Boxing Day episodes. They were embarrassing. This bloody country 🤦♂️ #BAFTATV
— Jamie Summers △⃒⃘ (@jamiesummersbks) 12 May 2019
#Eastenders winning a BAFTA is laughable. It’s had the worst couple of years in its history. Worst of all the soaps by far in so many departments.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn1988) 12 May 2019
#baftas Eastenders, you’ve got to be kidding! Who are these BAFTA people?
— Vicki Hamilton (@Vicki88888) 12 May 2019
EastEnders was in a category with Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, and Casualty.
Many people watching at home were outraged that ITV soap Emmerdale wasn’t even nominated for the award.
I just don’t believe that eastenders has got a bafta what with it’s depressing story lines. Brought Ben Mitchell back with a head transplant for the sixth time. Harry Reid was the best actor to play Ben. What happened emmerdale not being nominated.left out for eastenders to win
— peter price (@peterpr83585663) 13 May 2019
— Louise Guy (@Loobee_G) 12 May 2019
I must admit I think it’s terrible that emmerdale got snubbed there should have been up for the award but anyway well done to the eastenders cast on the bafta will give them credit there storylines are getting better
— Chloe galley (@GalleyEllen) 12 May 2019
🤔 Who fixed the nominations so that Emmerdale was left off the list. 🤨 did 💷💷 change hands😏😏
— ChrisP (@Chris1968E) 13 May 2019
There were plenty of people annoyed that Casualty didn’t get the nod after such brilliant storylines of late, including Iain’s depression plot.
Casualty should have won the Bafta! @mikeTstevenson acting in his Iain storylines lately, deserves that BAFTA! The issues they’ve tackled – way better than all the screaming/shouting and fighting that happens in Eastenders. @BBCCasualty was robbed! #BAFTATV
— Lucy Munn (@munn_lucy11) 12 May 2019
For once EastEnders did not worth winning the Best Continuing Drama ward. Casualty has been been on another level over the last 6-12 months with Iain’s storyline. Been brilliant. Glad Jon Sen has moved to EastEnders to hopefully return to its roots #EastEnders #bafta
— Grant Williams (@grant_williams) 12 May 2019
Eastenders for what, screaming and fighting because that’s all they do! Casualty was robbed.#BAFTATV
— An-g (@angieangie999) 12 May 2019
Some people accused the ceremony of BBC bias – although other than screening the show, the BBC are not involved in the awards themselves.
#BAFTATV well what a surprise ! The BBC gave Eastenders a BAFTA ! The worst and most depressing programme on the tele !
— MammaC (@AnneCawdrey) 12 May 2019
Seriously Eastenders winning a BAFTA!!!!!@BBCOne #bias terrible soap!!!!!
— helen Iannaccone (@helly42i) 12 May 2019
#BAFTAs Of course. A BBC soap opera has to win an award from the BBC’s award show. #EastEnders has improved throughout this past year, but I don’t think it’s good enough to be given a BAFTA. That’s just me though.
— Callum Keith (@CallumKeith1999) 12 May 2019
BBC Soap Eastenders wins BAFTA for best soap on the BBC broadcasted BAFTA awards show. 😑
— thank you, ned (@OfficialNedK) 12 May 2019
But there were plenty of other viewers who were thrilled to see EastEnders win.
The show has been gaining in strength following the arrival of new boss Kate Oates, and it seems the hard work is paying off.
Congratulations to Eastenders, in winning the 2019 Bafta for best soap.
You all work so very hard in bringing a bit of the Eastend into our homes through the week! You are all fabulous every cast member, and those behind the scenes, a BIG thank-you xx
— Jilly L Bowling (@BowlingJilly) 13 May 2019
— Terri knight (@terri_jane92) 13 May 2019
I hope you are all celebrating – You are all fabulous 💕💕💕💕
a great success from Kate Oates 💕💕 pic.twitter.com/JBwe8JBrGm
— Kini (@EverydayShareKN) 13 May 2019
Yasss EastEnders wins a BAFTA TV award 😉👌😊 #EastEnders #BAFTAs #BAFTATV #DannyDyer @MrDDyer #DavoodGhadami @DavoodGhadami #ZackMorris @_Zack_Morris #BBCEastEnders @bbceastenders pic.twitter.com/5Cb70IcbAT
— Michael Reed (@Michael82508674) 12 May 2019
— Justin Rafferty (@Justin_rafferty) 12 May 2019
Entertainment Daily has contacted BAFTA for comment.
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