The Most Popular Soap Opera in Britain: Ranking the British Favorite

Choose the Drama you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 14, 2023 10:52
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion takes center stage! We've set the stage for the ultimate showdown of the most popular British soap operas, and we need your vote to crown the true champion. From the cobbled streets of Coronation Street to the dramatic twists of EastEnders, we've gathered the best of the best for you to rank your all-time favorites. Are you a die-hard Emmerdale fan, or does Hollyoaks have a special place in your heart? Or perhaps there's a hidden gem we've missed? Don't worry, you can suggest a missing option and make your voice heard. Join us in this thrilling race, cast your vote, and let's find out which soap opera reigns supreme in the hearts of Britain!

What Is the Most Popular Soap Opera in Britain? (September 2023)

  1. 1

    Coronation Street

    Tony Warren
    This long-running soap opera has been on the air since 1960 and has a devoted fan base. Its relatable characters and gritty storylines have made it a staple of British television.
    Coronation Street is a long-running British soap opera set in a fictional working-class neighborhood called Weatherfield, located in Manchester. It follows the lives and dramas of several families and their friends residing on the street, highlighting their everyday struggles, relationships, and experiences.
    • Genre: Soap opera
    • First Aired: 9th December 1960
    • Broadcast Network: ITV
    • Episode Duration: 30 minutes
    • Number of Episodes: Over 10,000 (as of 2021)
  2. 2


    Julia Smith and Tony Holland
    Another iconic British soap opera, EastEnders has been on the air since 1985. It's known for its dramatic plot twists and emotionally charged storylines.
    EastEnders is a long-running British soap opera that focuses on the residents of the fictional Albert Square in the East End of London. It first aired on BBC One in 1985 and has since become one of the nation's most popular television programs.
    • Genre: Soap opera, drama
    • Setting: Fictional borough of Walford in the East End of London
    • Language: English
    • Broadcast network: BBC One
    • Premiere date: 19 February 1985
    EastEnders in other rankings
  3. 3


    Kevin Laffan
    This Yorkshire-based soap opera has been on the air since 1972 and is known for its rural setting and strong community spirit.
    Emmerdale is a long-running British soap opera set in the fictional village of Emmerdale in the Yorkshire Dales. Originally titled 'Emmerdale Farm', it premiered on October 16, 1972. The show focuses on the lives of families and individuals residing in the village, portraying the everyday dramas, romances, and conflicts that arise in their lives.
    • First Episode Date: October 16, 1972
    • Genre: Drama, Soap Opera
    • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    • Language: English
    • Number of Episodes: Over 8,000 (as of August 2021)
  4. 4
    Eastpath · CC BY-SA 3.0


    Phil Redmond
    This soap opera is known for its young and attractive cast, as well as its edgy storylines that often deal with taboo subjects. It has been on the air since 1995.
    Hollyoaks is a popular soap opera series in Britain that has been airing since 1995. It is set in the fictional village of Hollyoaks and focuses on the lives and relationships of a group of young people, exploring various themes such as romance, friendship, family, and social issues.
    • First episode aired: 23 October 1995
    • Number of episodes: over 6,500 (as of 2021)
    • Broadcasting network: Channel 4
    • Filming location: Chester, England
    • Genre: Drama, Romance, Soap opera
  5. 5


    Reg Watson
    Although not technically a British soap opera, this Australian import has been a popular fixture of British television since 1986. It's known for its light-hearted tone and relatable characters.
    Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera that revolves around the residents of Ramsay Street, a residential cul-de-sac in the fictional suburb of Erinsborough. The show explores the daily lives of the families, friendships, and romances of the diverse group of people living in this tight-knit community.
    • Genre: Soap Opera
    • Country of Origin: Australia
    • Language: English
    • First Aired: March 18, 1985
    • Number of Seasons: 37
    Neighbours in other rankings
  6. 6
    This daytime soap opera has been on the air since 2000 and is set in a fictional Midlands town. It's known for its medical storylines and diverse cast.
    Being a doctor is one of the most loved and respected professions in Pakistan. Doctors are professionals who provide medical care to individuals, diagnose illnesses, and offer treatment and preventive measures. They play a crucial role in promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of the population.
    • Education: Medical doctors in Pakistan typically complete five years of undergraduate medical education (MBBS) followed by a one-year internship.
    • Specializations: Doctors have various specializations to choose from, including cardiology, dermatology, general surgery, neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry, etc.
    • Long working hours: Doctors often work long and irregular hours, including overnight shifts, to provide round-the-clock patient care.
    • Continuous learning: Doctors need to constantly update their knowledge and skills due to advancements and new discoveries in the medical field.
    • High level of responsibility: Doctors have a significant responsibility for the health and lives of their patients and must make critical decisions accordingly.
    Doctors in other rankings
  7. 7


    Phil Redmond
    Although it's no longer on the air, Brookside was a popular soap opera from 1982 to 2003. It was known for its controversial storylines and tackling difficult social issues.
    Brookside is a British soap opera that aired on Channel 4 from 1982 to 2003. It was set in the fictional town of Brookside Close and dealt with the lives of its working-class residents. The show was known for tackling controversial and groundbreaking storylines, exploring topics such as social issues, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
    • First Aired: Channel 4, November 2, 1982
    • Last Aired: Channel 4, November 4, 2003
    • Episodes: 2,922
    • Duration: 30 minutes per episode
    • Setting: Brookside Close, a fictional housing estate in Liverpool
  8. 8


    Hazel Adair and Peter Ling
    Another classic soap opera that's no longer on the air, Crossroads was popular from 1964 to 1988. It was known for its iconic motel setting and dramatic storylines.
    Crossroads is a popular British soap opera that aired on ITV from 1964 to 1988, and then again from 2001 to 2003. It was set in a fictional motel in the Midlands region of England and revolved around the lives and dramas of the staff and guests. The show gained a loyal following and became known for its intriguing storylines and memorable characters.
    • First Aired: 2nd November 1964
    • Last Aired: 30th June 1988
    • Revived: 5th March 2001
    • Final Episode: 4th April 2003
    • Genre: Soap Opera
  9. 9
    Billy Hathorn · CC BY-SA 3.0


    Julia Smith and Tony Holland
    This short-lived soap opera was on the air for just one year, from 1992 to 1993. It was set in the fictional Spanish town of Los Barcos and was known for its sunny setting and romantic storylines.
    Eldorado was a British soap opera that aired on BBC One from July 1992 to July 1993. It was set in the fictional town of Los Barcos on the Costa del Sol in Spain, following the lives of a group of British expatriates. The show aimed to capture the lifestyle and culture of British people living abroad.
    • Genre: Soap Opera
    • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    • Language: English
    • Number of Episodes: 156
    • Duration: 30 minutes
  10. 10

    Family Affairs

    Mal Young
    This soap opera was on the air from 1997 to 2005 and was set in a fictional London suburb. It was known for its diverse cast and tackling difficult social issues.
    Family Affairs is a British soap opera that aired from 1997 to 2005. It revolved around the lives of the Hart, the Russell, and later the Gates families, residing in the fictional suburb of Charnham. The show depicted the daily dramas, secrets, and conflicts that unfolded within these families.
    • Genre: Soap opera
    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Language: English
    • Original network: Channel 5
    • Original release: 30 March 1997 - 30 December 2005

Missing your favorite Drama?


Ranking factors for popular soap opera

  1. Popularity on social media
    Social media is a good platform to gauge the popularity of a soap opera by looking at the number of followers, likes, and shares on various social media platforms.
  2. A loyal and engaged fan base
    A loyal and engaged fan base plays a crucial role in the success of a soap opera. This can be measured by the number of fan clubs, fan events, and fan groups associated with each soap opera.
  3. Awards and nominations
    Awards and nominations recognize the quality of a soap opera's production, writing, and acting. The number of awards and nominations can indicate the popularity and quality of a soap opera.
  4. Longevity
    The longevity of a soap opera indicates its popularity and success over a long period of time. The longer a soap opera has been on the air, the more likely it is to have a dedicated fan base and a recognizable brand.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular soap opera in Britain. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Drama is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 210 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Drama once every 24 hours. The rank of each Drama is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular soap opera in britain

Soap operas have been a staple of British television for decades, captivating audiences with their dramatic storylines and colorful characters. From the early days of "Coronation Street" to the modern hits like "EastEnders" and "Emmerdale," soap operas have remained a favorite pastime of millions of viewers across the UK. In recent years, the battle for the title of most popular soap opera in Britain has been fiercely contested. Each show has its dedicated fan base, and the ratings regularly shift as storylines unfold and new characters are introduced. Despite the competition, some shows have managed to maintain their position at the top of the pile. But which soap opera is truly the most popular in Britain? That's what we're here to find out. Join us as we explore the history of British soap operas and dive into the data to determine the top soap opera in the UK.