It’s that time of year again – don’t the awards ceremonies all come round so fast? Now that the dust has settled over the British Soap Awards, which saw a large victory for Emmerdale, the Inside Soap Awards 2017 are about to get going and putting our favourite shows in the spotlight once more.

Last year, Emmerdale were crowned the winners of Best Soap in the shortlist that is voted for exclusively by the viewing public.

But could EastEnders, Coronation Street or Hollyoaks topple them this year after twelve months of huge drama, unexpected twists and very soapy scandals?

Below, we present the full longlist of potential nominees competing for the 2017 Inside Soap Awards:

•Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald, Coronation Street)
•Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan, Coronation Street)
•Jack P Shepherd (David Platt, Coronation Street)
•Danny Dyer (Mick Carter, EastEnders)
•Scott Maslen (Jack Branning, EastEnders)
•Jake Wood (Max Branning, EastEnders)
•Ryan Hawley (Robert Sugden, Emmerdale)
•John Middleton (Ashley Thomas, Emmerdale)
•Danny Miller (Aaron Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Gregory Finnegan (James Nightingale, Hollyoaks)
•Jamie Lomas (Warren Fox, Hollyoaks)
•Kieron Richardson (Ste Hay, Hollyoaks)

•Lucy Fallon (Bethany Platt, Coronation Street)
•Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor, Coronation Street)
•Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price, Coronation Street)
•Shona McGarty (Whitney Carter, EastEnders)
•Diane Parish (Denise Fox, EastEnders)
•Lacey Turner (Stacey Fowler, EastEnders)
•Charlotte Bellamy (Laurel Thomas, Emmerdale)
•Zoe Henry (Rhona Goskirk, Emmerdale)
•Gillian Kearney (Emma Barton, Emmerdale)
•Jessica Fox (Nancy Osborne, Hollyoaks)
•Nadine Mulkerrin (Cleo McQueen, Hollyoaks)
•Anna Passey (Sienna Blake, Hollyoaks)

•Chris Harper (Nathan Curtis, Coronation Street)
•Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan, Coronation Street)
•Aaron Sidwell (Steven Beale, EastEnders)
•Jake Wood (Max Branning, EastEnders)
•Ryan Hawley (Robert Sugden, Emmerdale)
•Michael Parr (Ross Barton, Emmerdale)
•Gregory Finnegan (James Nightingale, Hollyoaks)
•Jamie Lomas (Warren Fox, Hollyoaks)

•Samia Longchambon (Maria Connor, Coronation Street)
•Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price, Coronation Street)
•Lisa Faulkner (Fi Browning, EastEnders)
•Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi Branning, EastEnders)
•Emma Atkins (Charity Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Gillian Kearney (Emma Barton, Emmerdale)
•Lysette Anthony (Marnie Nightingale, Hollyoaks)
•Tamara Wall (Grace Black, Hollyoaks)

•Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald, Coronation Street)
•Jack P Shepherd (David Platt, Coronation Street)
•Richard Blackwood (Vincent Hubbard, EastEnders)
•Danny Dyer (Mick Carter, EastEnders)
•Dominic Brunt (Paddy Kirk, Emmerdale)
•Nick Miles (Jimmy King, Emmerdale)
•Luke Jerdy (Jesse Donovan, Hollyoaks)
•Ashley Taylor Dawson (Darren Osborne, Hollyoaks)

•Dolly-Rose Campbell (Gemma Winter, Coronation Street)
•Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster, Coronation Street)
•Tameka Empson (Kim Fox-Hubbard, EastEnders)
•Lisa Hammond (Donna Yates, EastEnders)
•Sally Dexter (Faith Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Laura Norton (Kerry Wyatt, Emmerdale)
•Nicole Barber-Lane (Myra McQueen, Hollyoaks)
•Chelsee Healey (Goldie McQueen, Hollyoaks)

•Julia Goulding (Shona Ramsey, Coronation Street)
•Rob Mallard (Daniel Osbourne, Coronation Street)
•Lee Ryan (Harry ‘Woody’ Woodward, EastEnders)
•Danny Walters (Keanu Taylor, EastEnders)
•Sally Dexter (Faith Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Emily Head (Rebecca White, Emmerdale)
•Theo Graham (Hunter McQueen, Hollyoaks)
•Lauren McQueen (Lily Drinkwell, Hollyoaks)

•Matilda Freeman (Summer Spellman, Coronation Street)
•Elle Mulvaney (Amy Barlow, Coronation Street)
•Henri Charles (Ricky Mitchell, EastEnders)
•Bleu Landau (Dennis Rickman, EastEnders)
•Alfie Clarke (Arthur Thomas, Emmerdale)
•Amelia Flanagan (April Windsor, Emmerdale)
•Ela-May Demircan (Leah Barnes, Hollyoaks)
•Ruby O’Donnell (Peri Lomax, Hollyoaks)

•Mikey North (Gary Windass, Coronation Street)
•Sam Robertson (Adam Barlow, Coronation Street)
•Davood Ghadami (Kush Kazemi, EastEnders)
•Danny Walters (Keanu Taylor, EastEnders)
•Michael Parr (Ross Barton, Emmerdale)
•Matthew Wolfenden (David Metcalfe, Emmerdale)
•Duayne Boachie (Zack Loveday, Hollyoaks)
•Adam Woodward (Brody Hudson, Hollyoaks)

•Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster, Coronation Street)
•Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price, Coronation Street)
•Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning, EastEnders)
•Shona McGarty (Whitney Carter, EastEnders)
•Natalie J Robb (Moira Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Fiona Wade (Priya Kotecha, Emmerdale)
•Rachel Adedeji (Lisa Loveday, Hollyoaks)
•Jennifer Metcalfe (Mercedes McQueen, Hollyoaks)

•Daniel Brocklebank & Bruno Langley (Billy Mayhew & Todd Grimshaw, Coronation Street)
•Colson Smith & Lucy Fallon (Craig Tinker & Bethany Platt, Coronation Street)
•Danny Dyer & Kellie Bright (Mick & Linda Carter, EastEnders)
•Lorna Fitzgerald & Aaron Sidwell (Abi Branning & Steven Beale, EastEnders)
•Charlotte Bellamy & John Middleton (Laurel & Ashley Thomas, Emmerdale)
•Ryan Hawley & Danny Miller (Robert Sugden & Aaron Dingle, Emmerdale)
•Lysette Anthony & Nicole Barber-Lane (Marnie Nightingale & Myra McQueen, Hollyoaks)
•Malique Thompson-Dwyer & Lauren McQueen (Prince McQueen & Lily Drinkwell, Hollyoaks)

•Michelle & Steve lose their son (Coronation Street)
•Nick caught in the quicksand (Coronation Street)
•Mick & Linda’s showdown (EastEnders)
•Ronnie & Roxy’s deaths (EastEnders)
•Ashley’s viewpoint episode (Emmerdale)
•Motorway crash/James’ death (Emmerdale)
•Jade’s death (Hollyoaks)
•Scott’s suicide attempt (Hollyoaks)

•Andy’s alive (Coronation Street)
•Steve reveals he is Oliver’s father (Coronation Street)
•Max & Fi are in cahoots (EastEnders)
•Steven’s desperate lie (EastEnders)
•Holly’s death (Emmerdale)
•James is killed by Emma (Emmerdale)
•Louis is Daniel’s dad (Hollyoaks)
•Nathan’s death (Hollyoaks)

•Les Dennis (Michael Rodwell, Coronation Street)
•Ben Price (Nick Tilsley, Coronation Street)
•Danny-Boy Hatchard (Lee Carter, EastEnders)
•Samantha Womack & Rita Simons (Ronnie & Roxy Mitchell, EastEnders)
•John Middleton (Ashley Thomas, Emmerdale)
•Bill Ward (James Barton, Emmerdale)
•Jared Garfield (Nathan Nightingale, Hollyoaks)
•Kassius Nelson (Jade Albright, Hollyoaks)

•Amanda Mealing (Connie Beauchamp, Casualty)
•George Rainsford (Ethan Hardy, Casualty)
•Cathy Shipton (Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin, Casualty)
•Derek Thompson (Charlie Fairhead, Casualty)
•Chizzy Akudolu (Mo Effanga, Holby City)
•David Ames (Dominic Copeland, Holby City)
•Camilla Arfwedson (Zosia March, Holby City)
•Rosie Marcel (Jac Naylor, Holby City)

•Cal’s murder (Casualty)
•Charlie & Duffy’s wedding (Casualty)
•Helicopter crash (Casualty)
•Dom’s abuse (Holby City)
•Jasmine’s death (Holby City)
•Mo & Mr T’s relationship (Holby City)

•Home and Away

•Owen Brenman (Heston Carter, Doctors)
•Lorna Laidlaw (Mrs Tembe, Doctors)
•Bharti Patel (Ruhma Hanif, Doctors)
•Chris Walker (Rob Hollins, Doctors)
•George Mason (Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford, Home and Away)
•Lynne McGranger (Irene Roberts, Home and Away)
•Ada Nicodemou (Leah Patterson, Home and Away)
•James Stewart (Justin Morgan, Home and Away)
•Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson, Neighbours)
•Rebekah Elmaloglou (Terese Willis, Neighbours)
•Ryan Moloney (Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi, Neighbours)
•Eve Morey (Sonya Rebecchi, Neighbours)

•Coronation Street

Voting officially opens on the Inside Soap Awards on Tuesday (August 22) from midday on the magazine’s official website. Voting closes for all categories except Best Soap at 5pm on Monday, October 2.

Fans can still vote for their favourites at midday on Monday, November 6 ahead of the ceremony itself later that day. All of the winners will be covered in Inside Soap magazine on Tuesday, November 14.

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As the head of US Operations for what has been described as Japan’s version of HBO, WOWOW, Kayo Washio is used to working under pressure and alongside some of the biggest names in the business. With five projects currently in development, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Kayo to talk about how much the broadcast industry has changed and continues to evolve, the acquisition she’s most proud of and her advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

TITL: What is it about broadcasting that encouraged you to make it a career path and how did you get started?

Kayo Washio: I have a relative who worked for the U.N. in New York City and was a licensed attorney who passed the New York State Bar. She was born and raised in Japan, like I was. Because of her, I wanted to be an international attorney, starting from the time I was in high school.  When I enrolled and attended University, I selected International Law as my major. While studying, I learned that law practice and enforcement has a lot of gray areas and I soon came to the realization that this was not the field I could spend a lifetime working in. At that time, while I was in the midst thinking of what I truly loved to do, I discovered a unique ‘unknown’ person who accomplished a remarkable feat, and thought it would make for a great interview feature for an outlet. I arranged a job interview for myself with a TV broadcaster to become a reporter/creator and to make a program for reporting on this great figure I discovered – in Japan, you don’t need to work for a company that relates to your major at your college. This experience allowed me to begin working for WOWOW right after I graduated university.

TITL: It could be argued that, like film, the broadcasting industry is dominated by men. With that in mind, how much, or little, of a struggle has it been for you to pave your way and make a name for yourself as well as you have in recent years? Are you seeing a rise in the number of women joining the business and if so, does such please you?

KW: Having worked for an established ‘old guard’ type of Japanese company for about 20 years and working in Japan for about 15 years before moving to Los Angeles, I can say I have much more freedom and flexibility here in U.S. The entertainment industry in the U.S. is much, much, much less dominated by men compared to Japan.

There are many cultural and business rules in Japan that play into gender inequality. Some of you might realize that we exchange business cards by holding our card with both hands when we meet a new person – right at the onset of the meeting before having any conversation. The order in which cards are exchanged is important, and rules dictate that you should exchange cards with the person with the highest title, which in Japan is normally the oldest man. I’ve often seen the awkward situation here in the U.S. where senior executives try to exchange a business card with an American older male first, even if a female has higher position.

I understand it’s very difficult, but eventually I would like to have a society where we do not need to talk about these gender disparity issues. Like most, I just want to work with talented people who I enjoy collaborating with – regardless of gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc. Life is short and we are all one human race.

TITL: For those who don’t understand the way in which broadcasting and its companies work, what are the main objectives of your job as the head of U.S. Operations?

KW: Basically, the objective of my job is to secure the best content – films, TV series, special award shows, concerts, etc. – for our service in Japan. WOWOW has established and maintained tremendous relationships with studios, networks and content rights holders for about the last 30 years, which positions us well to make great acquisitions. Growing and nurturing these relationships in the U.S. is so important for a foreign company like WOWOW. I am diligent in trying to foster even more relationships through an open and transparent exchange of information with new companies on a daily basis and explore new relationships not only from the sales side, but also on the production side through our co-production projects. This all dovetails another very important objective – building the WOWOW brand name here in the U.S.

TITL: Is there one aspect of your job you like more than any other or do you just enjoy the different every day challenges that come your way?

KW: I love waking up every day to the opportunity of working with very talented creators and artists. These kinds of opportunities have motivated me to keep aiming high and stoke my passion for the next hit project! I’m always mobile too. I’m not a type of person who can sit in an office from 9-6 every single day.

In Japan, most companies have a job rotation system whereby every 3-5 years employees are transferred to a different department within the company and assigned new job duties without any reason. Because of this system, Japanese people are used to working with various titles. But here in the U.S., more value is placed on experience, expertise and relationships and how these are built over time by working in the same field. I very much prefer the American approach on this front.

TITL: WOWOW is essentially the Japan version of HBO – how do you feel about the comparisons, and would you agree with them?

KW: While there is a difference in brand name recognition worldwide, where HBO is bigger and more widely recognized, I think HBO and WOWOW are alike in that the two companies strive to be the preeminent suppliers of premium content.

Comparing WOWOW with HBO is not an apples to apples comparison though. The base systems are different. In Japan, people don’t need to pay any fees to watch network TV and many households still do not carry cable nor satellite. WOWOW as a business is not worried about chord cutting in the same way HBO and other television channels have been, but are intelligently adapting to now. Viewers would have been able to subscribe to WOWOW directly since the launch of our service in 1991.

Systems aside, when it comes to programming, I think WOWOW has similar programming selection criteria to HBO, and that is a great thing for audiences who expect the best quality of movies, TV series and events. As a premium pay television service, we would like to show only best quality content from all over the world to our subscribers. For example, we broadcast movies that have had great box office results in Japan from all major studios and also great quality movies from all over the world such as awarded films at film festivals.

WOWOW curates the best content in each area. We have aired four major tennis tournaments, since we consider them the premiere tennis events; licensed the best American shows every year; produced top original documentaries and TV series, which were created with very talented Japanese creators and Japanese artists; and started doing co-productions five years ago to produce our original programs with international creators and artists.

TITL: Your job has allowed you to work with Martin Scorsese and executive produce his documentary “The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.” How did you get involved with that project and how did you find working with such a highly respected individual?

KW: It was through my relationship with a sales agent whom I worked with on the documentary “Cathedrals of Culture.” She informed me that Martin Scorsese was coming to Berlin at the time I was there for the world premiere of ‘Cathedrals”, and that he would be giving a presentation about his next passion project. So naturally, I rearranged my travel to attend his presentation and began thinking about ways to structure working together. I had twice interviewed Martin before, for my program in Japan, but of course this was a totally different interaction and I was very excited about this opportunity.

Martin Scorsese is fascinating and truly brilliant. I don’t know how he handles all the things he has going on in his world. He remembers every detail of everything he has seen and done and knows how he should handle every deal and circumstance!!! His knowledge of movies is second to none. For example, I learned quickly that he has more knowledgeable of Japanese films and Japanese directors than me. I was also fascinated with the fact that he doesn’t create any walls between himself and newcomers in the business. He treats everyone equally – with respect. That says a lot about his character and composition. I really hope I can join another project of his again in the near future!

TITL: You’ve also handled negotiations for projects involving Robert Redford, Wim Wenders and others. Given the pressure you must feel in those situations, how do you stay focused and relaxed? 

KW: In these situations my feelings were more of excitement than pressure! I of course knew all about the legendary Robert Redford and Wim Wenders before I started to work on the project. I just felt that if I joined their project, I would rather enjoy the experience and be fully immersed and contribute rather than be shy and passive! One thing I’ve always kept in mind since the first day I started as a producer is that I want all people who work with me to want to work with me again, even after challenging times like a hard negotiation or having creative differences. This is my goal for everybody who has worked with me. I hope they felt that way too.

TITL: Is there any one of projects/acquisitions you’re particularly proud of? If so, which is and why?

KW: Producing a film or event is so difficult that I feel a great sense of accomplishment with all the projects I have had the privilege to be involved in, and am proud of every one! If I have to single out one project though, I would say a small mini-documentary about Baz Luhrmann was especially gratifying for me. This was a passion project of mine in 2003 and WOWOW at the time couldn’t understand why I would produce this particular documentary. But I felt it was necessary for me to introduce our subscribers to Baz Luhrmannn’s vision and his unique way of thinking, as well as the people surrounding him in his private studio. I really felt this program would inspire WOWOW viewers and encourage them to purse their dreams.

I remember telling my boss at the time that I would put my own money into producing this program, but I needed to have a slot for broadcasting it. In the end, I got a very small budget approved by WOWOW, which is still the lowest budget I’ve ever had to work with, and we made a great documentary. To this day, I watch this program whenever I have difficulties because it reminds me where I came from and encourages me to enjoy the process, even if it’s very tough, to achieve my goals.

TITL: Are there any projects or negotiations underway you can tell me about?

KW: This is a very exciting time at WOWOW as I have five projects currently in development. I can’t reveal many details just yet, other than to say they will all be narrative features. I think audiences will be excited when we make the announcements very soon!

TITL: With the rise in social media and illegal streaming sites, are you finding your job any harder to do in terms of being able to get a good deal for clients and broadcasters who fret about audience figures and the like?

KW: This is a great question. The situation stemming from evolving technologies definitely costs us more than before and forces us to spend much more time dealing with agreements and recognizing and addressing new technology related components. Generally speaking, Japan is as advanced technologically as any nation, but it seems our problems and the serious issues that arise are at a lower volume compared to other technically advanced countries.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps and aim for a career such as yours? What three things would you say they need in order to get their foot in the door?

KW: You have to be strong enough and confident enough to really be yourself and should try to enjoy every step of the journey to realizing your dreams. Everyone’s experiences and encounters will ultimately be useful. Life is like a circle! Now you might see your experiences and encounters like many dots, but in the near future these dots will be dot-line and then will be continuous line!

Three things are 1.) Really get to know yourself well – meaning know your strong points (what you are best at) and also your weak points. 2.) Don’t be afraid to take chances, but be well prepared to take chances since you don’t know when they come 3.) Building trusting relationships with people you would like to work

TITL: Finally then, where do you see the future of broadcasting going in the years to come, and what would you most like to see the industry take on board/bring to fruition for both those in the industry and TV/film fans?

KW: One thing that never changes is that “great content” has staying power. It will live on forever. The only thing that will change is how it is consumed – from a big screen to a small watch. Talented PEOPLE have, and will be, the key to the creation of great content. AI cannot create content with the warmth of people. We have to keep creating great content but consider which type of content to fit which type of media.

For more information on WOWOW, visit the website.


Here is your guide to the upcoming TV appearances, from The Voice to Sounds Like Friday Night, awards show to chat shows.

Greg James is joined in the studio by special guest Lily Allen. Returning with her first new album in four years, Lily performs two tracks, including her latest single Higher. Sam Smith treats Dotty to an exclusive performance when she meets him backstage at the O2 as he embarks on a world tour. Singer-songwriter James Bay also returns with new music, performing his single Wild Love live in the studio. Australian chart-toppers 5 Seconds of Summer give a special performance of Want You Back – the lead single from their highly anticipated third album.

There is also part two of Dotty’s trip to Tokyo to meet Little Mix – this week they take on Sounds Like Friday Night’s 60 Seconds of Song challenge. How many of their hits can they cram into one minute?

Graham is joined by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oscar-nominated star of Moonlight and James Bond Naomie Harris, starring together in monster movie Rampage, and Sherlock and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, appearing in horror anthology Ghost Stories. Roger Daltrey performs his new single As Long as I Have You.

To kick start her brand new show Zoe Ball will be joined by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen, Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey and Radio 1 DJ Greg James. Plus, there’s music in the studio from award-winning US band Walk The Moon.

Helping Harry Hill fill the fun capsule and prevent an alien invasion this week are, comedian Micky Flanagan, political journalist Robert Peston, Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor, and broadcasting legend Anneka Rice.

Zoe Ball eases us into Sunday morning, with celeb chats and music from singer-songwriter Lissie. Plus, The Saturdays’ Mollie King meets Hollywood stars Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning – find out what they make of Zoe’s ‘bag of balls’!

On Monday, Boy George drops by to talk about the upcoming Culture Club tour. Tuesday sees Brian Conley reveal all about his new show Buy It Now. Amanda Redman drops by on Wednesday to discuss the latest series of The Good Karma Hospital, while American actress Kathleen Turner drops in on Thursday. Finally, joining the girls on Friday will be music icons Shaggy and Sting

Joining the panel this week is TV presenter Scarlett Moffat, First Dates Fed Sirieix and Geordie funny man Chris Ramsey.

Greg James and Dotty present and are joined by Canadian chart topper Shawn Mendes. With over four billion views online, Shawn performs two songs live in the studio. Indie rockers The Vaccines perform their new single I Can’t Quit, while Brits Critic Choice winner Jorja Smith delivers a special performance of her track Blue Light.

Graham is joined by Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Dr Strange in Avengers: Infinity War, Matt LeBlanc, playing himself in the final series of Episodes, actress Maxine Peake, playing a 70s club comedian in Funny Cow and Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman talking about new BBC1 show Britain’s Best Cook. Plus music from Calvin Harris featuring Dua Lipa, performing new single One Kiss.

Joining the panel this week are pop sensation John Newman and Celebrity Juice regular Gino ‘Sheffield’ D’Acampo.