Soap wars! 8 times stars slagged off each other's shows

Daniel Kilkelly
Photo credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Ian Gavan/Getty/David M. Benett/Don Arnold

From Digital Spy

Soap stars may blast their own storylines, fall out with each other and criticise the producers, but they tend to be pretty respectful when it comes to their rival shows. Well, most of the time.

Whether playful or serious, here are 8 times that the soaps risked going to war with each other by being very honest with their feelings about the opposition...

1. Enders' Danny Dyer vs Emmerdale

Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock

When Danny joined the cast of EastEnders in late 2013, he had a bee in his bonnet about just one thing. Nope, it wasn't Mick Carter's pink dressing gown – it was the fact that Emmerdale was beating its BBC rival in the ratings after the successful Killer Cameron storyline.

Speaking in a TV interview, Dyer made it clear that the gloves were off: "No disrespect but it's a soap about a farm and that is smashing [EastEnders] to pieces in the ratings, so they've brought me in to give it a little injection of something."

Emmerdale stars Charley Webb (Debbie Dingle) and Michelle Hardwick (Vanessa Woodfield) were among those to react angrily on Twitter, branding Dyer's comments disrespectful. But never one to be deterred too easily, Danny still playfully refers to Emmerdale as the farm soap.

2. Danny Dyer vs Coronation Street

Photo credit: BBC

Danny doesn't stick to PR-friendly answers when it comes to EastEnders' arch-rival Coronation Street either. Asked about his TV turn-offs in a Radio Times interview in 2014, Dyer replied: "Corrie. I've never really got it. I've never been a fan. It's nothing to do with the actors in it, it's just never been my sort of thing."

Vowing that he'd continue speaking his mind (hurrah!), he added: "I like this rivalry. I want to be in the best soap on the telly and I don't want to be going through the motions. I want to be in the number one soap. All the soaps are jockeying and trying to outdo each other and that's good. It keeps it interesting. It shouldn't be a big love-in."

Danny was at it again last autumn ahead of Coronation Street's live episode. In classic Dyer style, he pointed out that EastEnders had a much harder job with its Live Week: "I know what it's like – it's tough! You've got to remember that we did a week, so one night is f**k all, really. But I'm rooting for them." At least that's a bit nicer...

3. Corrie's Jack P Shepherd vs EastEnders

Photo credit: ITV

When EastEnders claimed the National Television Award for Best Soap in 2011 just weeks after Coronation Street's epic tram crash disaster, even their own cast looked shocked to have won. But the best reaction came from the man behind Corrie's David Platt, who couldn't resist shaking his head in disgust... in full view of the camera.

Quizzed about the hilarious moment afterwards, Jack insisted: "That was just for the cameras. I knew they'd pan to Corrie eventually." Hmm – seems like the David Platt in Jack came out there for a moment...

4. Corrie's Jennie McAlpine vs Casualty

Photo credit: ITV

Award ceremonies can be predictable, but the Best Soap category at the BAFTAs can often give us a surprise depending on the whims of the judging panel. That was certainly the case in 2007, when Casualty won the award for the first time ever.

But reacting to the victory at the time, Coronation Street's Jennie McAlpine (Fiz Stape) wasn't too impressed: "That was ridiculous. I can't be doing with hospital dramas. They make me sick." Poor Casualty hasn't won since – though we're sure it wasn't Jennie's outraged reaction that scared the BAFTAs off. Right?

5. Home And Away's Dan Ewing vs Neighbours

Photo credit: Channel 5

Despite being the only big soaps on air in Australia, there doesn't seem to be much of a rivalry between Home and Away and Neighbours. But one star who came close to breaking the peace in 2013 was Home and Away's Dan Ewing (Heath Braxton), when he admitted that he never understood the appeal of Australia's other soap.

"I never got the Neighbours thing," he admitted in a radio interview. "I always preferred girls in bikinis. I would never say anything bad about [it] but I have always liked the scenery and visuals of Summer Bay."

Dan's comments were pretty tame but they still didn't go down well with Neighbours fans, with some even tweeting him to point out that the show outrates Home and Away in the UK. Refusing to back down, he told one irate tweeter: "Just my opinion :) if u don't like its ok to unfollow :) xxoo all the best !!"

6. Corrie's Kym Marsh vs Hollyoaks

Photo credit: Steve Meddle / Rex Shutterstock

When Hollyoaks was struggling in the ratings in early 2010 and new producer Paul Marquess axed a string of characters, everyone had an opinion on the sudden cast cull – even Coronation Street's Kym Marsh. Writing about the soap shake-up in her magazine column, Kym didn't hold back, claiming it was long overdue.

She said: "The cull could be good – the show's not been in very good shape for a while. They tried to make it like Skins, but it's on too early to compete." But as Kym had actually appeared in an episode of Hollyoaks: In The City before joining Corrie, we're sure her comments came from a good place.

7. Emmerdale's Nick Miles vs Coronation Street

Photo credit: ITV

As sister soaps on ITV, the casts of Coronation Street and Emmerdale get along better than most. But Nick Miles, who plays Emmerdale's Jimmy King, still voiced his disapproval after Corrie did well at the TV Choice Awards in 2007 and his own soap went away empty-handed.

Speaking at the time, he groaned: "After a while you think that Corrie would even win the gong for best Dingle. I was very surprised that Joseph Gilgun, who plays Eli Dingle, didn't get the best newcomer award. And Emmerdale's 'Who killed Tom King?' storyline was groundbreaking because of the interactive element we had with viewers. We should have won something, but those who run these awards seem to like Corrie."

8. Coronation Street's top boss vs EastEnders

Photo credit: ITV

It's not just the soap cast members who aren't afraid to cause a stir - sometimes the producers get in on the act too. And, once again, it was about those pesky BAFTAs. When EastEnders won the top soap prize at the ceremony in 2013, Corrie's boss Stuart Blackburn spoke out to claim that the panel had made the wrong choice.

He said: "EastEnders has not had a brilliant year and Corrie's at its best. But them's the breaks. There were six, seven people on that panel, they made a decision. They were clearly wrong." Ouch.

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