Emmerdale star's tribute to Leeds crew after show beats Coronation Street at National Television Awards

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The cast of Yorkshire soap Emmerdale beamed as the show won best serial drama at the National Television Awards last night - and star David Metcalfe paid tribute to the hundreds of people who work on the programme.

The public picked the show to win the award over Coronation Street, the Manchester-based soap also on ITV, as well as Channel 4's Hollyoaks and the BBC's EastEnders.

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Accepting the award, Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe on the Leeds-based show, said: "This is incredible - thank you.

Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe.Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe.
Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe.

"This is the fourth year in a row Emmerdale has picked up this award, which for a serial drama is just unbelievable.

"We're so proud of this show and I don't mean - by we - I don't just mean the people behind me, I also mean the hundreds of people that work on the show that you don't see, that make Emmerdale what it is. So this is for all of them.

"We love our show, we dearly, dearly love it and this proves that you still love watching it - and that means so much to us."

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Storylines over the last year on Emmerdale include Maya Stepney grooming Jacob Gallagher, Robert Sugden's exit and his husband Aaron Dingle's grief, and a dramatic boat explosion.

Much of the show is made in the ITV Studios on Kirkstall Road.

David Walliams prompted boos after cracking a joke about former Love Island host Caroline Flack when he returned to the stage following Emmerdale's acceptance.

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The crowd at London's O2 Arena jeered when the comic quipped about Flack being the Masked Singer's anonymous Hedgehog.

The Britain's Got Talent star, 48, was hosting the awards for the first time after taking over from Dermot O'Leary.

The Masked Singer's host Joel Dommett and the show's anonymous Hedgehog character joined Walliams on stage to present the prize to Emmerdale.

When Walliams returned to the stage, he quipped: "Thank you - and so nice to see Caroline Flack back on TV as well."

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Flack, who stepped down from the ITV2 dating show following an assault charge, did not attend the event but wished the cast and crew of Love Island luck ahead of the night.