Best Amateur Actress 2010

Gabby Bedford with her parents Ben and Sadie  Picture: Sarah Standing (170792-3907)

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Helen Stoddart could not stop laughing as compere Steve Power referred to her performances as Barbara Windsor, a hard-nut lesbian murderess and a wannable Broadway star.

Afterwards she modestly attributed her success to the fact that she had done so much on stage during the previous 12 months, but actually any one of those performances might have won the top prize. Her versatility was just a bonus.

Modestly again, she said: 'I've been very lucky this year.'

Helen, 28, said the secret in playing Barbara Windsor in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle And Dick was not to have watched the actress in EastEnders.

'The Carry On films are iconic for so many people and that's what you have to try to epitomise in Terry Johnson's play.

'Then 42nd Street is one of those shows that is drummed into you from the moment you start dancing as a little girl.

'And then there was Bad Girls The Musical where I played a convicted lesbian murderer.

'That was a tour de force, a huge singing part in a much-maligned musical.

'So it has been a fruitball year really!'

It was bad luck on Alice Corrigan that she came up against such a versatile actress and so had to settle for runner-up status for a second successive year.

That was for her performance as Elizabeth Proctor in Bench Theatre's The Crucible where she skilfully caught the character's unspoken turmoil.

BEST AMATEUR ACTRESS

WINNER: Helen Stoddart (Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle And Dick, Bad Girls The Musical and 42nd Street)

RUNNER-UP: Alice Corrigan (The Crucible)

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