24/06/2012 07:57 BST

Soap Fans Want More Humour And Less Dark Storylines, Survey Reveals

Soap fans say they want to see more humour, rather than grim storylines, in their favourite shows.

Four-fifths of viewers believe there should be more funny moments in the plots of the series, according to a survey for Inside Soap magazine.

More than a third - 36% - said they wanted to see fewer stories about affairs in TV soaps, and 30% said they would prefer to see less emphasis on "murder and mayhem" in the shows - although a quarter said they actually wanted to see more.

Just over two-fifths (42%) said the shows rarely or never reflected their own lives, and just 18% said a portrayal of a real-life issue in a soap had actually helped them.

Readers said Coronation Street was the soap which most accurately reflected reality, chosen by 40% of the sample of 1,000 people. EastEnders was second, chosen by 30%, while Emmerdale came third on 19%.

Emmerdale was chosen as the fictional location where viewers would most like to live, with Walford's Albert Square runner-up.

The poll was commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of the magazine.

Editor Steven Murphy said: "It's interesting to see how Britons continue to love soaps and their family values, as well as the escapism it provides them with."