I have to make a confession: I’m not a huge fan of soap operas. My knowledge of Coronation Street begins and ends with Albert Tatlock, and the last time I watched EastEnders, Nick Cotton had broken in Reg Cox’s flat to nick his war medals.

Despite my indifference, soap operas are huge everywhere. Whether it’s a dour Mancunian grumpfest like Albion Market, the ten-gallon, shoulder padded exploits of everyday Texan oil barons or wigged out Mexican daytime soaps about doctors, inheritance battles and unwitting incest, there’s no mistaking their popularity. In salutation to the humble soap actor, we at Dream Dogs give you our top 5 UK soap star dog owners.

Patsy Palmer

The 38 year old actress, who found fame playing Bianca, the freckled foghorn and bedeviller of cockernee thickie Ricky in EastEnders, owns a Shar Pei called Layla. Although you may think that she’s only ever been in the soap, she’s also starred in Grange Hill, Drop the Dead Donkey and The Bill, but ‘let’s face it, who hasn’t been in The Bill? She also played a teen with a face like a welder’s bench in a Clearasil advert.

Kym Marsh

Marsh, 34, from Merseyside, recently hit the headlines over adopting an abandoned Labrador called Oliver in January. The hapless pup was left in a cardboard box outside a pet shop in Surrey, but found a home with Marsh. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Oliver didn’t get on with Charlie the Chihuahua, Marsh’s other pet pooch, and was banished back to the dog pound.

Ironically, Oliver had previously featured in a program about abandoned dogs. Luckily for him, he was soon re-adopted and Marsh was said to be embarrassed about the whole episode.

William Roache

Coronation Street stalwart Bill Roache, known to the nation as Ken Barlow, had a bad experience with his Labrador after it attacked and killed a neighbour’s Yorkshire Terrier. The actor, who successfully sued The Sun newspaper because they accused him of being boring (go figure), initially denied that his pet of eight years was involved in the incident, but when the local constabulary got involved he had the aggressive Lab put to sleep. He appeared on the Richard and Judy show to explain why he had to do the responsible thing.

Rob KazinskyRob Kazinsky

The EastEnders hunk, who played Sean Slater, recently got a two month old German shepherd pup. Having a devil of a time naming her, he turned to Twitter and asked his followers to come up with a name for his new pet. Kazinsky, who is said to be currently penning a series ‘inspired’ by Sex and the City, named his pet Roxy, after the EastEnders character with whom his was romantically involved.

Gemma Merna

The Hollyoaks star, who plays Carmel McQueen in the soap, recently said that she has no plans to become a mother as her time is taken up looking after her pups. Speaking of her pets, she said:

“Phoebe’s a curly-haired Westie and Cole’s a St Bernard. They take up most of my time – it’s like having two kids. They like to play, but can be quite hard work.”

Keep your ear to the ground for tomorrow’s top 5 list…