Ex-Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh has been named TV Times’ Favourite Soap Star by readers of the magazine and users of whatsontv.co.uk

Julie, 44, who bowed out as Hayley Cropper in an emotional storyline earlier this year, says she was shocked and delighted to be presented with the award.



“For the storyline still to be having an effect on people all these months afterwards is really special to me,” she tells us.



“I’ve been keeping up with Coronation Street, although I find it hard to watch Roy struggling without Hayley. The episode where he paddled in the sea in Blackpool without her nearly broke me!”



Since leaving Coronation Street, Julie has been having the ‘time of her life’ filming Russell T Davies’s new C4 drama, Cucumber.



“I have Corrie to thank, because it opened all these doors for me,” she smiles. “Life has been so much richer and more fruitful than I ever anticipated.”



Meanwhile, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was named TV Times’ Favourite Actor, while Cilla actress Sheridan Smith collected the Favourite Actress trophy.



Here are all the winners in the TV Times Awards 2014:



Favourite Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch

Favourite Actress: Sheridan Smith

Favourite Soap Star: Julie Hesmondhalgh

Favourite Presenter: Paul O’Grady

Favourite Factual Show: Paul O’Grady: For the love of Dogs

Favourite Drama: Downton Abbey

Favourite Reality Show: Strictly Come Dancing

Favourite Entertainment Show: The Chase

Favourite Digital Show: Dynamo: Magician Impossible

Favourite Comedy: Mrs Brown’s Boys

Editor’s Programme of the Year: The Great British Bake Off

Editor’s Outstanding Contribution: Lynda Bellingham