Monday, May 20, 2013

Keira Knightley, Jude law, Ben Kingsley, Ioan Gruffudd, Joanna Lumley: 12 British Actors Who Got Started In Soaps By Fraser McAlpine | Posted on May 20th, 2013 (BBC America)

Joanna Lumley on ‘Coronation Street’ (Granada TV)

Never mind the Billboards, the real trophy-doling fun of the weekend happened on Saturday night, at the British Soap Awards, in which the great, the good and the downright torrid rubbed fake-tanned shoulders and practised the most outrageous Nominated Loserface in the bathrooms of MediaCityUK, Salford.

Coronation Street, the longest-running TV serial drama in the world. was the big winner on the night, taking eight awards compared to a comparatively paltry one for their main rivals, EastEnders. This despite both programmes going in with a roughly equal split of nominations: 16 for the former, 15 for the latter. Even the relatively lowly Emmerdale managed two awards, while the perpetually sexy Hollyoaks took home five.

Ioan Gruffudd -

This is my favorite: the future Mr Fantastic as a teenager, delivering his reedy lines in the Welsh-language soap that… well it didn’t exactly make his name, because Pobol Y Cwm wasn’t shown all over the UK, but it didn’t hold him back either.

Ben Kingsley (Coronation Street) -

Ben Kingsley in Coronation Street (Granada TV)

Corrie was very much the making of Ben as a screen actor. He appeared as Ron Jenkins in the soap across 1966-7, and even appeared in a spin-off series called Pardon the Expression.

Keira Knightley (The Bill)

Jude Law in Families
Jude Law (Families)

Families was an attempt by Granada TV to exploit the late ’80s/early ’90s craze for Australian soaps like Neighbours and Home and Away that had made pop stars out of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. The initial storyline concerned the fallout when businessman Mike Thompson chose to leave his British family to go and live in Australia with his lover, but later storylines included murder, suicide, drugs, adultery, prostitution and mental health issues. Oh, and Jude’s not the only one who walked away from this show with an enhanced career, some of the later episodes were written by Russell T Davies.

Let’s end with another two graduates of The Bill’s accelerated apprenticeship scheme:

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