ACTRESS Natalie Gumede cleaned up at the British Soap Awards – and helped Coronation Street scoop eight gongs.

The Burnley-born star was named villain of the year for her character Kirsty Soames, who has been involved in a domestic violence storyline with her on-screen partner Tyrone Dobbs.

Also taking home best dramatic performance, the 29-year-old, who is a former Colne Park High School pupil, admitted she felt ‘strange’ being called a villain, but said ‘this is great’.

Natalie, who wore a red and gold dress, said: “I really feel this award belongs to everyone at Coronation Street.

“In the last year I have been picked up and put back together so many times and it’s been the experience of my life.”

Natalie, who won best newcomer at last year’s awards, has previously told how hard she found it to play abusive Kirsty, who suffered violent fits of rage.

Natalie completed her hat-trick of awards at the soap ‘Oscars’ when the long-running domestic violence saga was named best storyline.

East Lancashire was well-represented at Saturday night’s ceremony at MediaCity at Salford Quays which was screened last night.

Ramsbottom actor Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully, and Malcolm Hebden from Pendle, known for playing the role of Norris Cole, took to the stage to collect the ultimate award of the night, when the long-running ITV series was named best soap.

Malcolm told the audience: “I’m not really sure why I’ve been chosen to accept this award.

“I was hoping for sexiest male but you take what you can get.

“We’re all thrilled and the public have voted for us so we must be doing our job properly.”