The cast and crew of 'Casualty' were convinced 'Emmerdale' would win the Soap & Continuing Drama TV BAFTA.

Chelsea Halfpenny

Chelsea Halfpenny

The BBC One drama series - which features Chelsea Halfpenny as Alicia Munroe - picked up the accolade at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards on Sunday night (13.05.18), and then admitted they were surprised to have beaten the iTV soap and 'Hollyoaks' to the title.

Speaking backstage at the ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall on Sunday (13.05.18), they told BANG Showbiz: "We thought 'Emmerdale' were the big rivals. We are just delighted to beat all of them."

But Oliver Kent, head of continuing drama, said: "I thought it was going to be 'Hollyoaks', and deservedly so because we're in amazing company.

"We were all backing different horses but none of us were backing 'Casualty'."

Despite missing out on the accolade, 'Emmerdale' star Danny Miller - who plays Aaron Dingle in the ITV soap - insisted 'Casualty' were "well deserved" winners.

In response to an article about fans being surprised with the medical drama's victory, he tweeted: "Shocked?! Each show nominated tonight could've and more so, deserved to win it. Bravo @BBCCasualty WELL deserved! (sic)"

After 'Casualty' were announced as the winners, George Rainsford - who plays Ethan Hardy in the show - admitted he was "genuinely speechless" because he didn't expect the programme to win.

Speaking to the audience, he said: "Casualty has been around for 30 years. It keeps challenging itself. It keeps challenging the viewers and producing big stories that people can hopefully relate to.

"It keeps championing the NHS. I'm genuinely speechless as I didn't think we'd be here to accept this award."

As well as 'Emmerdale and 'Hollyoaks', 'Casualty' beat off competition from 'Coronation Street' in the category, but 'EastEnders' were snubbed from a nod.