The cast were very ready to share the gossip (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
There’s nothing like a red carpet for getting the gossip flowing, and the casts of Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks were out in force, ready to dish some spoilers to Metro.co.uk.
Camera on, mic in hand, it was my sole mission for the two and a half hours which followed to get some hints, teasers and interesting snippets from the stars at the Inside Soap Awards.
And they didn’t disappoint! So what did we find out?
From a Halloween special and a sad funeral, through to a crushing revelation and a tragic development, here are just 15 of the key takeaways.
Stacey and Nish may have a bit of a dangerous spark
Don’t know about you, but I certainly clocked some instant fissions between Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) and Stacey Slater when they first were introduced to one another.
And Lacey Turner was not ruling out some dangerous moments between the characters, given Nish’s controlling fashion.
‘It feels like it,’ she mused. ‘You think I know – I actually don’t! I’m probably only a few weeks ahead of you.
‘It feels like that, doesn’t it? There’s nothing in there at the moment but it feels like it’s coming. It feels like there’s a feud brewing between the Slaters and the Panesars.’
The Panesar family is about to implode
Speaking of which, Gurlaine Kaur Garcha (Ash) and Shiv Jalota (Vinny), were not backwards in coming forwards about how big things were going to get for the Panesars.
And, of course, Nish – and his relationships with his children – will be central to that.
‘Vinny wants a father figure, to be respected and he wants loyalty, things he hasn’t had from his mum Suki,’ Shiv told me.
‘For him, he’s attached. You’ve seen him where he’s gone to see him behind he’s mum’s back and he’s brought him onto the Square because he thinks he can have a sense of achievement. Nish, there is a manipulation there, and Vinny gives in to that I think.’;
Gurlaine continued: ‘For Ash, whenever her dad’s been brought up in the past she’s aways been super protective. I think that’s an insight into how she feels about her dad.
‘She’s definitely a little princess, daddy’s little princess, but she’s also someone that stands for what’s right, so it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with things that he maybe doesn’t do correctly, lets say.’
So what’s ahead?
‘Family drama!’ enthused the actress. ‘Who doesn’t love a bit of family drama? There’s so much coming up. There’s beautiful family moments, there’s excitement, there’s a bit of everything.’
‘A lot of fire,’ added Shiv. ‘A lot of fire, is how I’d describe it.’
Lola’s loved ones will face a devastating time
The announcement that Lola Pearce will be diagnosed with a brain tumour has left fans devastated.
And Danielle Harold, along with Jamie Borthwick (Jay), has explained that the ripples across her loved ones will be emotional.
‘[It will be hard] for the whole family,’ Danielle said to me. ‘That’s what’s really lovely about this story, it’s not just me, it’s the whole family who go through it. It’s really nice to see how everyone reacts and how everyone supports Lola.’
Jamie went on: ‘I think you start to get all perspectives about how something like this would affect a family, and it’s important that we do that because it isn’t just the person ‘suffering’ who is suffering, everyone is in their own little way and it’s important that we covered that.
‘I think that if this goes how our bosses want it to go, I think this is going to be huge. I really think this is going to make a huge impact. Let’s have it!’
On the statistics around brain tumour deaths and how that might be reflected in Lola’s story, Danielle continued: ‘It’s really difficult, the whole journey of the brain tumour and how hard it really is.
‘I didn’t realise just how devastating it really is until I got into my research and followed the story.
‘We don’t know where it’s going to go yet and where it ends up so I’m not really looking too far down the line and I’m just taking it as it comes at the moment because it’s quite tough, all these steps.’
Eve and Suki’s relationship has a long way to go
In another strand of Panesar drama, Suki has been growing close to Eve Unwin, a relationship that has thrown the conflicted character.
Stars Balvinder Sopal and Heather Peace are thrilled by how viewers have taken to the pairing, and revealed to me that there is more to come.
‘The slow burn continues,’ teased Heather. ‘The kind of push-me, pull-me continues.’
Balvinder shared: ‘And also we’ve got a lifetime of stories to tell. As long as I live, I’ll have stories to tell as Bal, as long as Suki is alive she’s got stories to tell.
‘There’s always something to tell. So keep watching!’
Emotions will run high at Dot’s funeral
There won’t be a dry eye across the nation when the icon that is Dot Cotton is laid to rest in emotional scenes.
EastEnders cast members have been filming the funeral recently and Milly Zero, aka Dot’s granddaughter Dotty, has promised moving scenes.
‘It’s been really sad but really beautiful at the same time,’ she shared with me. ‘Everyone spoke about memories of June. It was just a beautiful send off for such an icon and a legend.
‘It was everything you’d want it to be and more. Really really lovely. And obviously having classic characters coming back and meeting them for the first time, hearing what they said about June, it was so, so lovely.
‘And it was written so beautifully and acted so beautifully because people have real memories of her.’
And there is also a big Christmas ahead too, she promised!
‘It’s Christmas, it’s EastEnders, what do you expect? It’s [producer] Chris’s first Christmas. It’s amazing. It’s good.’
Harvey’s friendships will expand – but will he and Jean reunite?
EastEnders fans have had high praise for the increased focus on male friendship groups, from Martin and Zack, through to the gang that is Harvey, Rocky and Mitch.
And Ross Boatman is keen for this to continue, which it will.
‘It’s nice. We get on very well anyway, the three of us,’ he said. ‘I’m looking forward to exploring the dynamics between the three of us.
‘I think we will more and more, and I think it will be a way to show how men relate with each other in good times and bad and the banter in the up times and the bad times.
‘There’s a scene that I can’t reveal, obviously, that we’re just about to shoot that shows that quite nicely. I hope we’re going to explore that a lot more.’
And what about his other key relationship – with Jean Slater, played by Gillian Wright?
‘We don’t know for sure, you’ll have to keep watching and find out,’ Ross said. ‘We’re kept in the dark, we don’t really know ourselves.
‘We know that there’s still a connection between them and they’re really fond of each other. We’ve got some nice stuff coming up.’
Max has a turbulent time ahead
It’s already been a big year for Max Turner, played by NTA winner Paddy Bever. He has been giving headaches to Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) and David Platt (Jack P Shepherd), but there’s an unexpected situation ahead, the young actor revealed to me.
‘I can tease that things are not going to be an easy ride and that Max is going to be presented with some things that are going to test him and that he’s never experienced before. And that’s all I can say.’
Dee-Dee will need to flex her legal muscles
The Bailey family has welcomed burst of energy Dee-Dee to the mix – at long last! And Coronation Street will always need a lawyer.
Newcomer Channique Sterling-Brown told me that she is very keen to start tackling that – and to get into the courtroom!
‘I think it’s a brilliant opportunity to spread across the Street and meet lots of different members of the cast,’ the actress enthused.
‘I think it’s a really important thing that Dee-Dee has almost this other side of her. This professional side is so fun to play with, playing a strong woman.
‘I’m so excited to hopefully eventually end up in court and stuff like that. So I think it’s going to be really brilliant to have that contrast in the character.’
Marlon’s recovery won’t be instant
It is a major criticism of viewers, and rightly so, that disabilities and severe injuries in characters are often met with miraculous recoveries.
Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle, has confirmed to me that this will not be the case in the ongoing and much acclaimed stroke storyline.
‘When it first started I was getting – you can take or leave social media sometimes – but I was getting “I know what’s going to happen here, he’s going to be better by…” and we just haven’t done it and the producers have steadfastly refused to go down that route, they just won’t do it,’ she said.
‘As an actor I feel quite protective of it and we’re all on board with each other with it, really. I love that we’re doing it and I love that you can only really, properly do that in a soap.’
Paddy will be distraught by Chas’ affair
And I also chatted to Mark about another ongoing story – Marlon’s best friend Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) is getting cruelly cheated on by Chas (Lucy Pargeter)!
Paddy is going to need his BFF more than ever, Mark reckons.
‘If Paddy ever finds out about what’s been going on I think it’s going to crush him. He’s totally in love with her so it’s going to be terribly sad if that happens.
‘I obviously can’t give anything away and without going into too many details, if that were to happen Dominic is going to be exciting to watch.’
There are big storylines ahead for Mary
Mary Goskirk is undoubtedly one of soap’s best new characters over the previous year; so it was music to my ears when I heard that she will become a huge focus once more in the new year.
Apparently, Louise Jameson, who plays her, is going to have a lot to do!
‘When I started in January I hit the ground running with five months of really solid work, so Mary’s slightly taking a back seat at the moment,’ the legendary actress explained.
‘All I’ve had from upstairs is that from mid-November onwards my schedule’s going to be very heavy, so I don’t know if I’m getting love interest or what will be materialising.
‘I hope so. Let’s see.’
Sienna and Ste have a very entertaining Halloween
Winning Best Partnership is a testament to how ready we all are to see more of Sienna Blake and Ste Hay in scenes together.
And while stars Anna Passey and Kieron Richardson have admitted they are banging on the doors of producers to ensure there is more to come, we have at least some imminent, and very entertaining scenes to come.
‘Ste and Sienna, before we can even think about Christmas – Halloween is the one to watch,’ Anna smiled. ‘For me, it’s the most I’ve ever laughed at an episode I’ve read.’
‘When we read the scripts it’s the first time I genuinely laughed out loud, it was so amazing to read,’ Kieron grinned. ‘So then when we did it, and to keep a straight face – and now we’ve got this comedy thing going on, we really went for it. It’s so silly.’
Anna then gave a few more teasers.
‘There’s a really brilliant guesting part that comes in the atmosphere of Ste and Sienna, a really brilliant other character that kind of throws a slight spanner in the works. It’s one to watch, I think.’
Kieron added: ‘And innuendos… The writer for that episode was amazing. Innuendos are really ramped up.
‘The mums and dads that watch it with the kids are going to be like, it’s really funny.’
Eric will get much darker
Sinister Eric Foster has been making the audience of Hollyoaks rightly horrified, with his dangerously misogynistic and abusive behaviour.
And he is only set to get worse, Eva O’Hara (Verity), has warned me.
‘I can say for certain that it gets a lot darker,’ she said.
‘I think particularly for Verity there are certain moments and details that she’s exposed to that she really can no longer ignore and she finally takes on the bravery to tackle these and that perhaps ricochets into her own life and puts her in some real danger, some real jeopardy.’
Things will heat up between Ethan and Sienna
Do we ship the chaotic relationship between Ethan and Sienna? Yes, we absolutely do.
So Matthew James Bailey giving me the great news that there is more to come was very welcome.
Although, as expected, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
‘I think there’s definitely a future on the cards. I feel like the chemistry is there, I feel like they’re very good together but they’re also very bad together,’ he smiled.
‘Some very good qualities and some very dark qualities. They are a lot more similar than they initially thought.
‘I think as a whole Ethan and Sienna are a great match. It’s whether or not that lasts and how fragile that relationship is – so we’ll see where it goes! I don’t think Ethan really realises what he’s in for.’
The next McQueen wedding will be wild
It probably isn’t much of a surprise to find out that the next McQueen wedding is going to be an event to remember.
Malique Thompson-Dwyer wasted no time in promising me that we won’t be disappointed when Prince and Olivia’s big day comes along.
‘I think Prince is going to make it as glamorous as possible, but we’ll see. I don’t want to say too much, I don’t want to ruin any of the storylines or things like that, but oh my days, [Theo Graham, who plays Hunter] comes back with a bang and it’s going to be crazy.
‘I don’t want to say too much, but I’m telling you it’s going to be mad. A proper McQueen wedding. Glasses flying, people getting mashed up. It’s going to be crazy.’
The casts of EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks were ready to dish the gossip.