Walters tops list of TV drama's most powerful

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The Independent Online

The luvvies have struck back. The power struggle between overnight soap sensations and jobbing actors has at last produced a clear winner.

The luvvies have struck back. The power struggle between overnight soap sensations and jobbing actors has at last produced a clear winner.

A survey of actors, writers, directors, agents and producers has produced the first "power list" of British television drama and its top 20 does not contain a single cast member of EastEnders or Coronation Street.

At the top of the list is Julie Walters, recently honoured with a Bafta for her performance as a middle-aged actress who marries a toyboy in an adaptation of Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale, her third award in as many years.

The other leading power players include the actors David Jason and James Nesbitt and the playwright Paul Abbott, who wrote the acclaimed Channel 4 drama Shameless. Also in the top 10 are Martin Clunes and Caroline Quentin, who came to fame in the BBC series Men Behaving Badly and have gone on to prove their wider acting talents. Clunes has appeared in William and Mary, The Booze Cruise and Goodbye Mr Chips, Quentin in Jonathan Creek and Life Begins.

They are joined byJane Tranter, the controller of BBC drama commissioning (ranked 2nd), Lorraine Heggessey, the controller of BBC1, and Nick Elliott, the controller of network drama at ITV.

The list was compiled by the Radio Times, which highlighted the fact that no former soap star made the top 20. Only Tamzin Outhwaite, who played Mel in EastEnders, reached the top 40.

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