British Soap Awards: Stars excited as Jane McDonald takes over hosting duties

Former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield had been due to host the awards show.

Stars have arrived on the red carpet for the British Soap Awards and say they are excited to see Jane McDonald taking over hosting duties for the ceremony.

Former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield had been due to host the awards show, being held at the Lowry in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, on Saturday, but stepped down when he quit ITV amid a furore over his extramarital affair with a younger male colleague.

Singer and travel presenter McDonald will take his place on stage as EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors compete to be voted Best Soap by audiences.

British Soap Awards 2023 – Salford
Nikki Sanderson is nominated for best dramatic performance at the British Soap Awards (Danny Lawson/PA)

Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson, who is nominated for best dramatic performance for her portrayal of Maxine Minniver, said fellow cast member Ross Adams, who plays Scott Drinkwell, was particularly excited about the new host.

She said: “Ross Adams is like her biggest fan ever, as soon as he found out he was completely fangirling about it.

“So it’s really exciting for us that she’s doing it but really exciting for Ross.”

Claire Sweeney, who is due to appear on screens as Tyrone Dobbs’ mother Cassie in Coronation Street later this month, said: “I’m just hoping she opens with a number!

“She’s wonderful.”

The former Brookside star said she was feeling a bit of “imposter syndrome” after joining the Corrie family.

“I’m such a big fan of the show, it hasn’t hit me yet,” she said

Charlotte Jordan, who is nominated for best leading performer and best dramatic performance for her portrayal of stalking victim Daisy Midgeley in Coronation Street, said: “I think everyone in the Corrie office is ready for a big night out!

“I’m not expecting to win, I’m happy to be here.

“I think lots of great work has happened this year.”

Jamie Borthwick, whose EastEnders character Jay Brown this week lost wife Lola Pearce-Brown, Danielle Howard, to a brain tumour, said he has lost count of messages from people who had gone through similar situations since Howard’s final scenes aired this week.

He said: “This storyline is for them so if we win tonight, great, it’s for them if we do though.

Last year, the award show went gender-neutral and made its return after a three-year gap due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The British Soap Awards airs Tuesday at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.