The Most Popular Soap Opera in Britain, Ranked

Choose the soap opera you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 17, 2024 07:11
Soap operas hold a special place in British culture, captivating audiences with their intricate plots and compelling characters. A ranking of the most popular soap operas can be incredibly useful for new viewers trying to find a series that resonates with them. It helps to identify which shows have garnered broad appeal and why they stand out in the competitive landscape of television. By participating in voting for your favorite soap operas, you contribute to a clear and dynamic ranking that reflects current viewer preferences. This list is not only a snapshot of what is trending but also serves as a guide for potential viewers looking for engaging content. Your votes ensure that the ranking stays accurate and relevant, providing a valuable resource for all soap opera fans.

What Is the Most Popular Soap Opera in Britain?

  1. 1

    Coronation Street

    A British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town based in Greater Manchester. It is the longest-running TV soap opera in the world.
    • First Aired: 1960
    • Creator: Tony Warren
  2. 2


    A British soap opera set in the East End of London in the fictional Borough of Walford. It focuses on the lives of local residents and their families.
    • First Aired: 1985
    • Creator: Julia Smith and Tony Holland
  3. 3


    A British soap opera set in the fictional village of Emmerdale in the Yorkshire Dales, focusing on the lives of rural community members.
    • First Aired: 1972
    • Creator: Kevin Laffan
  4. 4


    A British soap opera set in the fictional Liverpool suburb of Brookside Close, focusing on the lives of the residents who live there.
    • First Aired: 1982
    • Creator: Phil Redmond
    • Last Aired: 2003
  5. 5


    A British soap opera focusing on the lives of people living in the fictional village of Hollyoaks, located in Chester. The show targets a younger audience.
    • First Aired: 1995
    • Creator: Phil Redmond
  6. 6


    A British soap opera set in a fictional motel in the Midlands. It was known for its sometimes quirky characters and dramatic storylines.
    • First Aired: 1964
    • Creator: Hazel Adair and Peter Ling
    • Last Aired: 1988
  7. 7

    Family Affairs

    A British soap opera that aired on Channel 5, focusing on the lives of the Hart and Gates families in the fictional London suburb of Charnham.
    • First Aired: 1997
    • Creator: Mal Young
    • Last Aired: 2005
  8. 8


    A British medical soap opera set in the fictional Midlands town of Letherbridge, focused on the lives of the staff and patients of the Mill Health Centre.
    • First Aired: 2000
    • Creator: Chris Murray
  9. 9


    A British medical drama series that airs on BBC One. It is the longest-running emergency medical drama series in the world.
    • First Aired: 1986
    • Creator: Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin
  10. 10

    Holby City

    A British medical drama series that aired on BBC One. It was a spin-off from Casualty and was set in the same hospital.
    • First Aired: 1999
    • Creator: Tony McHale and Mal Young
    • Last Aired: 2022

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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 Drama is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 260 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

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.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Soap Opera in Britain

Britain has a rich history of soap operas. These shows have captivated audiences for decades. They air several times a week, creating a routine for viewers. The stories often revolve around families, friends, and neighbors. Drama is at the heart of these shows. Characters face love, betrayal, and conflict. The plots are intricate, keeping viewers hooked.

The first soap operas in Britain started on radio. They transitioned to television in the 1950s. Since then, they have become a staple of British culture. These shows are set in small communities, often fictional. The settings include pubs, shops, and homes. The familiar locations add to the charm and relatability.

Soap operas reflect real-life issues. They tackle topics like unemployment, illness, and social justice. These shows raise awareness and spark conversations. They also provide an escape from daily life. Viewers become invested in the characters. They laugh, cry, and grow with them.

The cast of a soap opera is diverse. It includes characters of different ages, backgrounds, and personalities. This diversity adds depth to the storylines. Actors often stay with the show for many years. Some become household names. Their performances leave a lasting impact.

The production of a soap opera is fast-paced. New episodes are filmed regularly. The scripts are written quickly to keep up with current events. This allows the shows to stay relevant. The filming process involves long hours and tight schedules. The dedication of the cast and crew is evident.

Soap operas have a loyal fan base. Viewers watch episodes religiously. They discuss the plots with friends and family. Fan clubs and online forums are common. These platforms allow fans to share their thoughts and theories. The sense of community is strong.

The popularity of soap operas extends beyond Britain. They are broadcast in many countries. Some have been adapted for international audiences. The universal themes resonate with viewers worldwide. The success of these shows is a testament to their quality.

Soap operas have evolved over the years. They have embraced new technology and storytelling techniques. The introduction of high-definition and streaming services has broadened their reach. Despite changes, the core elements remain the same. The focus on relatable characters and engaging plots continues.

Awards and recognition are common for soap operas. They win accolades for acting, writing, and production. These awards highlight the talent and hard work behind the scenes. The recognition also boosts the show's reputation.

Soap operas are more than just entertainment. They are a reflection of society. They offer insight into human behavior and relationships. They provide a platform for important issues. They bring people together. The enduring appeal of soap operas is undeniable. They have a special place in British culture.

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