The Digital Spy Reader Awards 2021 full results

·11-min read
Photo credit: Channel 4/Disney+/Marvel Studios/NBC/Netflix/Digital Spy - BBC
Photo credit: Channel 4/Disney+/Marvel Studios/NBC/Netflix/Digital Spy - BBC

With TV schedules returning to some sort of normality, and cinemas opening up again, 2021 has delivered some great entertainment.

We asked you to vote on your top picks across TV, movies and soaps. We received thousands of votes and the results are finally in!

Here are all the winners of the 2021 Digital Spy Reader Awards


Best Actor (Female)

Elizabeth Olsen has managed to reach the top spot this year with her amazing performance as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision. Vicky McClure also impressed with her portrayal of Kate Fleming in Line of Duty, where she put on another riveting performance in season six. Kate Winslet rounds out the top three with her gritty and raw performance as detective Mare Sheehan in the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown.

Best Actor (Male)

"I’m so happy to see so much love for It’s A Sin,' says Olly. "Thank you to everybody who voted! I couldn’t be prouder to have played Ritchie alongside such an incredible cast and crew. I’ll forever be grateful for my It’s A Sin family and all the experiences we shared, I miss everyone so much!"

It's a Sin's Olly Alexander received a huge number of votes this year and is your winner for Best Male Actor on TV, while Tom Hiddleston's witty and masterful portrayal of Loki in the Marvel series also proves popular. Adrian Dunbar joins Line of Duty co-star Vicky McClure to make the top three, for his always-engaging portrayal of Ted Hastings (more on him later…).

Rising Star

It's a double-whammy for It's a Sin as two of their stars bookend the top three with Callum Scott Howells getting the top spot, and Omari Douglas coming in third. Squid Game's Jung Ho-yeon comes in second with her terrific portrayal of Kang Sae-byeok in the addictive Netflix series.

Most Bingeable Show

It's not a surprise that Netflix's most watched show of all time takes the crown for Most Bingeable Show of 2021, and deservedly so, as the Korean thriller series kept us all on the edge of our seats – lucky for us a season 2 is on the way. Sex Education was back for season 3 in 2021, and rounds out the top three with Bridgerton, making all three winners Netflix shows.

Best Drama

It's a Sin continues to be popular, and bags another win in the awards this year with Best Drama – you can see Russell T Davies' exclusive acceptance speech above.

Line of Duty comes in second place with their thrilling sixth season, while Marvel's weird and wonderful WandaVision rounds out the top three.

Best British Drama

Winning one Best Drama award just isn't enough for TV favourites It's a Sin and Line of Duty, as they both keep their placements from Best Drama with first and second place respectively – the always-delightful Sex Education makes your top three for Best British Drama of 2021.

Best Comedy

It's fitting that Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes the top spot for Best Comedy in 2021, the year where the show aired its final season (in the US, at least). It will definitely be missed and provided some of the best sitcom moments in recent years. Ghosts and Motherland deservedly make the list, just falling short of the top spot, and while not present in the graphic, Ted Lasso wasn't far behind at all – a very good and close year for comedy!

Best Moment

"Huge thank you to Digital Spy and everybody who voted," says Line of Duty's Martin Compston. "The scene was a massive effort by cast and crew across different locations and filming days, but it all starts with the writing and it's Jed Mercurio at his thrilling best."

Who can forget the intense van shootout, one of the most action-packed scenes of the year, and your Best Moment of 2021?

Squid Game is full of iconic and memorable moments, but nothing has quite reached pop-culture levels like the opening red-light green-light game from the very first episode. Your top three is rounded out with the hilarious and kind-of shocking Agatha musical scene from WandaVision.

Best Character

"To everyone at Digital Spy and all those people who voted for Ted, thank you so much, I'm delighted." says Ted actor Adrian Dunbar. "I have been very lucky to play this character and owe much to my friends Vicky McClure, Martin Compston, Jed Mercurio and all the wonderful actors and crew on Line of Duty. Now we're suckin' diesel..."

Mother of God… Ted Hastings from Line of Duty is your Best Character of 2021! Agatha Harkness reaches second place for her neighbourly presence in WandaVision, with Marvel's God of Mischief Loki capturing hearts and making your top three.

Most Devastating Death (SPOILER WARNING!)

Colin in It's a Sin ran away with this one, with co-star Ritchie coming in second – It's a Sin really devastated fans this year. Vision in WandaVision was also heartbreaking for viewers, and while there can only be a top three, a couple of Squid Game favourites just fell short of the top spots.

Breakthrough Hit

The wins just keep on coming for It's a Sin, and deservedly so, as its impact is undeniable as it makes the top of your list for Breakthrough Hit. Squid Game wasn't far behind, unsurprisingly, while Bridgerton rounds out the top three in a very tough category.

Most Incredible Twist

It's a Sin continues to dominate the TV awards with Jill being too late for Ritchie taking Most Incredible Twist, while the shocking Agatha reveal in WandaVision was definitely surprising. Squid Game had its share of shocking moments, but nothing hit quite like that 001 twist – he'll always still be our gganbu.

Best Reality Show

Strictly Come Dancing is your Best Reality Show of 2021, while Gogglebox came in at number two. Great British Bake Off literally made the top three by beating Drag Race UK by just one single vote, proving that every vote does count!

Best Documentary

The Free Britney movement was determined to see justice in 2021, so it's no surprise to see the Netflix documentary Framing Britney Spears get most of your votes. Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop and Power also proved popular, with the suspenseful Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer rounding out the top three of the year.

Best TV Presenter

Aww, the guys recorded us a little video specially. For the third year running Ant and Dec are taking the crown for the Best Presenter category, while the always popular Graham Norton isn't far behind. This year Alison Hammond makes the top three winners list, for her warm and welcoming presence on This Morning.


Best Actor (Female)

Florence Pugh gets the most votes this year for her awesome performance in Black Widow, with Olivia Colman not far behind in second place. Carey Mulligan rounds out the top three in a competitive category with a number of closely placed nominees.

Best Actor (Male)

It was his last outing as the iconic James Bond that gave this year's winner Daniel Craig the top spot, while it was neck-and-neck between the runners-up, with Anthony Hopkins just beating out Shang-Chi star Simu Liu for second place with his performance in The Father.

Rising Star

Everybody's Talking About Jamie was a triumph on Prime Video this year, and its star Max Harwood takes the top spot as your rising star of 2021. Simu Liu takes second place for his great performance as Shang-Chi in Marvel's blockbuster, while Daniela Melchior isn't far behind with her shining turn in The Suicide Squad as Ratcatcher 2.

Best Movie

It was a great year for film with some long-delayed blockbusters finally getting released, and taking the top spot is No Time to Die, which saw Daniel Craig's final outing as 007. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow round out the top three, proving that Marvel can still entertain audiences and keep superheroes on top.

Best Blockbuster You Had to See at the Cinema

With the world causing studios to change up their release schedule by putting some films on streaming services at launch, we asked which film made you want to go and see it on the big screen – and it's identical to your Best Movie top three, with No Time to Die, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow taking the top three spots, respectively.

Best Comedy

We could all have used a laugh in 2021, and these comedies were incredibly close with only a few votes separating them. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti's Palm Springs takes the number one spot after releasing in the UK this year, while Eddie Murphy's Coming 2 America makes second place and Disney's Luca is third in an incredibly close category.

Best Horror

The post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II is your Best Horror film of 2021. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It takes second place with the chilling Candyman coming in third.

Best British Movie

No Time to Die continues its dominance and bags another award, while Everybody's Talking About Jamie takes a commendable second place. Promising Young Woman also proved popular to audiences, rounding out the top three.

Most Mind-Blowing Moment

It's not a surprise to see *that* James Bond scene takes the lead on this category, and it pretty much dominated the entire list taking up almost half of the whole vote. It's nice to see a random appearance from Chris Evans can also bring in the votes, too.

Most Anticipated Movie of 2022

There's a lot to look forward to in 2022, but it was Thor: Love and Thunder capturing first place in this category, with another Marvel film taking second as well with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The love for Hocus Pocus also shined through, with the sequel Hocus Pocus 2 rounding out the top three.

Most Devastating Death (SPOILER WARNING!)

The winner of this category gets the double-whammy win after already bagging Most Mind-Blowing Moment, with that loss felt in Promising Young Woman coming second and that devastatingly, yet hilarious, sacrifice from Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad coming in third.


Best Actor (Female)

Coronation Street's Sally Carman as Abi Franklin wins your Best Actor in Soaps this year, while Mollie Gallagher's portrayal of Nina in Corrie, and Balvinder Sopal's Suki in EastEnders round out second and third.

Best Actor (Male)

"Thank you for my very welcome early Christmas gift," Says David Neilson. "I shall cherish it. It’s pleasing that the storyline has resonated and hopefully made a small difference in the continuing battle against bullying and hate crime. I wish all the readers and voters of Digital Spy a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2022."

Another Corrie nomination wins the top spot for the Best Actor in the male category, with legend David Neilson taking first place for playing Roy Cropper. Danny Dyer gets runner-up with his performance as Mick in EastEnders, while Stevie Basaula comes in third for his role as Isaac, also in EastEnders.

Best Evening Soap

For the second year running EastEnders has taken the top spot for your Best Evening Soap, with only 40 votes putting Coronation Street in second place, proving how tough the competition was and that every vote counts.

Best Daytime Soap

For the fifth year running, Neighbours has taken the crown for Best Daytime Soap. Its popularity remains steady every year, but Doctors and Home and Away continue to have strong showings as well.

Most Devastating Soap Death

It was close, but the death of Seb Franklin in Coronation Street takes the top spot this year thanks to Harry Visinoni's performance. Kush in EastEnders was a close second, with long-time Corrie legend Norris Cole taking third place.

Best Soap Storyline

Coronation Street's dramatic and relevant depiction of a shocking hate crime attack against Seb and Nina undeniably takes the top spot this year – the storyline which tackles social intolerance was the work of Coronation Street producers and researchers working alongside The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to highlight these issues and bring awareness to intolerance and prejudice often suffered by stigmatised and minority groups.

Best Soap Couple

Ballum fans rejoice as Ben and Callum take the top spot again this year, after winning last year too! The popularity of this couple is undeniable with the pair taking up 42% of the entire vote.

OMG Soap Moment

Seb's death in Coronation Street had a big impact on viewers and it's reflected in another award with it receiving first place in this category as well as Most Devastating Death. The top three is rounded out by EastEnders moments, with Rocky being a conman and baby Alyssa being Dennis's.

Best Soap Newcomer

James Farrar as Zack Hudson takes first place in this category, giving EastEnders another in the win column. Sam Retford who plays Curtis Delamere in Coronation Street takes second, while Dana Monroe's portrayal of Barbara Smith in EastEnders rounds out the top three.

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