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Entertainment: British Soap Awards Go Gender-Neutral: TV Stars Battle For Best Leading Performer

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  British Soap Awards Go Gender-Neutral: TV Stars Battle For Best Leading Performer © ITV

One of the UK TV industry calendar’s biggest nights, the British Soap Awards, will return this June after a two-year hiatus.

ITV, who hosts the Awards – to be hosted by ITV presenter Philip Schofield from London’s Hackney Empire – has announced that the ceremony will follow in the footsteps of the BRIT Awards and other ceremonies in making its trophies gender-neutral.

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Instead of awarding Best Actor and Best Actress, stars from the soaps including EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks will all be in the running for one award, Best Leading Performer.

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This is one of three categories voted for by viewers, among 14 trophies being handed out on the night.

This year saw the BRIT Awards, presented to music stars by the British Phonographic Industry, scrap gender classifications for the first time, with Adele beating other artists including Ed Sheeran to Artist of the Year.

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