Corrie actor claims British Soap Award actors are scared of speaking out against gender neutral awards

The Jim McDonald actor said he will fight the corner for female actresses

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Coronation Street royalty Charlie Lawson slams the British Soap Awards for going gender neutral as they axe male and female award categories.

ITV confirmed the ceremony would be taking place in June after being off air for two years due to Covid-19, but said their 'best male' and 'best female' acting categories would be scrapped.

Soaps will instead all be in the running for one award, Best Leading Performer.

Charlie, who played Jim McDonald, told GB News presenter Dan Wootton: "I just don't understand why we're getting so bloody silly here...I feel there is no reason for this."

GB News presenter Dan Wootton speaking to Coronation star Charlie Lawson
GB News presenter Dan Wootton speaking to Coronation star Charlie Lawson
Screen grab of a view of the set of Coronation Street
Screen grab of a view of the set of Coronation Street

He added: "I have phoned various people and i am yet to find anyone that agrees with this. Most of them won't say anything because they are too scared."

"I will fight the corner for actresses who have had a hard enough time over the years as it is and now we're all going to get lumped into a mixing pot.

"I feel this is not a positive thing for the female actresses of our profession."

The move follows The Brits which also scrapped gender classifications this year, meaning artist Adele beat Ed Sheeran to Artist of the Year.

Past winners of the Best Actress award include Lucy Pargeter (who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale), Lucy Fallon (who plays Bethany Platt in Coronation Street) and Charlotte Bellamy (who plays Laurel Thomas in Emmerdale).

Mr Lawson continued: "How complicated are we getting in the name of jesus?!

"It is mind blowing and for an old fart like me it gets more difficult every year.

"This is putting a spanner in the works and I think this is making life so much more complicated and it's complete bloody nonsense."