Greetings to you all after what has turned out to be a pretty sorrowful couple of days for most of the UK and, indeed, much of the world.
No words could ever express the deep sorrow felt by the nation so if you'll excuse me, I won't try. Needless to say, my, and I'm sure, all of our thoughts are with the relatives of those involved in the tragic accident at the weekend and we hope that those involved may rest in peace.
Coronation Street - Monday 1st September 1997
We begin as Nastily breezes into the Kabin, just as Des is leaving having been gently teased by Rita about his relationship with Sam. Rita gives her a look of pure venom (but venom is mothers milk to our Nastily so it has little effect). Nastily purchases something or other and says to Rita, 'Oh, you'll take my money then, but won't let me serve you in the Rovers?" Rita gives her money back and tells her to get out of the shop!
In the back yard of No 9, Gary is hanging out the babys washing, watched by Judy. Zoe appears yawning, judy tells her that she had been up to feed the baby twice in the night. Zoe remarks that she never heard a thing! The health visitor is due today and Judy briefs Zoe on what to say. Zoe is annoyed and tells her, " Don't worry, you'll get your moneys worth."
In the living room of the Rovers, Vera is happily showing off some snaps sent by Ray and Trisha (apparently Trisha has discovered a newfound skill for hanging basket design! ) when in waltzes Nastily who says that the back door was open and Alec had told her that everyone congregates in the living room for a cup of tea at this time. Betty and Vera studiously ignore her and she is forced to exit the living room. Alec tells her not to worry, they'll soon come round.
At Deidries, Jon is lounging around in a T-shirt and some not very tasteful boxer shorts. this shows us that he and The Drear have spent another night of passion together, (I wonder, does our Mittyesque lothario fake his orgasm like the rest of his life? Or is he so enamoured of aeronautics that at that moment he cries 'Oh God, I'm landing, I'm landing! I'm restraining myself from any 'Flaps down' comments!). It's his day off and he tells Deidrie that he is seeing his ex-wife, who is in the area visiting friends, to tell her that he is moving Deidrie into their house. Amazingly, his nose stays the same length throughout this sentence!
The Health Visitor arrives at No9 and gives Zoe and Katy a clear bill of health. The Health Visitor has noticed, however, that Gary seems very protective of Zoe. Judy tells her that Gary is Katy's father. The health visitor doesn't seem particularly worried by this and commends Judy for her acceptance of Zoe under the circumstances. She tells that she will have to inform Social Services but as long as the baby is healthy and happy there should be no problem.
Lunchtime, and the factory girls pile into the Rovers for a beer. It's Sally's round but to her horror, she finds her peroxide nemesis behind the bar. She rushes, visibly upset, from the pub. Of all her work mates, only Janice cares enough to go after her. She comforts Sally and tells her that she mustn't let Nastily win. Sally goes home for lunch and Janice returns to the pub where she finds Nastily flirting with Les, She has a go at Nastily and tells Vera that they shouldn't employ someone like her. She and the other girls walk out of the pub and tell them that they won't be back till Nastily is gone. Vera asks Alec if he still thinks she's good for business and he agrees that he might have been mistaken.
Zoe, Judy and Gary are taking the baby for a walk when they are waylaid by Liz and Audreh. Liz enquires as to the name of the wee mite. When told that it's Katy she is upset (you will no doubt remember that was the name of her daughter who died). Audrey asks who they think she looks like. (Camilla Parker-Bowles I cried - before realising Audrey meant the baby and not herself). Zoe pipes up, 'I think she looks like his dad!'.
Later in the Rovers, Audrey tells Vera that she is convinced that Gary is the father of the baby. Unwittingly, this malicious old rumourmonger may be doing the Mallets a favour.
After work, as they emerge from the factory, Sally declines to go for a drink at the White Swan with the others. Janice tells Sally that she has got to toughen up and start playing Nastily at her own game. (Unfortunately, the scene didn't continue as I would have liked. I envisioned Janice and Ida taking Sally into No 5 and re-emerging with her with hair a scrunch-dried, clad in back stilettos, black jeans, black T-shirt and black leather motorcycle jacket whereupon she and Kevin would launch into 'You're The One That I Want' and they would kiss and make up. Then the rest of the cast would stream out of the Rovers singing 'We go together like wop doo bop' etc, etc. That's' why 'I' should be producer and I commend this storyline to the house!! )
Sally, later in the Kabin, tells Rita and Martin that she would love to hurt Nastily just as much as she has been hurt. Perhaps the new tougher Sally is not too far away!
At No 9, Judy for some reason isn't hovering over Katy's pram and Zoe takes a moment to gaze at her daughter. She tells her that she thinks that she doesn't look like a 'Katy' to her, more like a 'Shannon'. She takes her hand and then tells the wee one, 'And that's what i'm going to call you...Shannon! (See this cat? See these pigeons?)
Chris, becoming increasingly fed up living at Des's, has seen that Deidrie's flat is up for rent at the end of the month and has made an appointment for he and Angie to see it. Deidrie shows them round, (which doesn't take long as it is tiny. It took myself and Nigel Worsfold longer to look round the phone box outside Fiona's.) Chris likes it, Angie doesn't - so they have a bicker and Chris tells her that he will rent it by himself if need be.
We were then treated to a most delicious scene. Sally is returning home with Rursie, unlocks the door to go in but Rursie has spotted Nastily and says hello etc. Sally quickly ushers the child indoors less she be eaten by the increasingly arachnoid like Nastily. Sally asks her why she feels the need to work so close to her home and Kevin's work place. Does she feel the need to keep an eye on him? Nastily retorts that seeing as Kevin has just turned Sally's offer of getting back together she doesn't have to worry about Kev. Now Sally who has taken Janice's advice to heart it seems, asks Nastily about her husband and does he come round all the time saying that he misses her and the times they had etc. Nastily replies, "Of course not." "Oh!", replies Sally, feigning surprise, "Kevin does, all the time! And the only reason he came back to you was 'cos 'I' refused to have 'him' back!" (Sally is course being a lying, scheming bitch here and about time too! I loved her for it! ) "You're lying" says Nastily. "Oh yeah? Ask 'im!!" she says before a look of triumphant malevolence spreads across her face. Sally has at last grasped the idea of playing dirty and I can't wait for the next installment!!!!
Superb stuff written by Patrea Smallacombe
A THOUSAND GREETINGS and what a week its been!
I've started the Wednesday update with those words, or something similar, many times. I then go on to describe some imaginary nonsense in the hopes it might make you smile.
Rightly or wrongly I see that as part of my self-appointed task.
But this week that opening salutation carries a different meaning. This week the real world takes precedence. It HAS been quite a week. A week none of us will forget.
There's nothing I can add by way of wise words, which haven't already been said, every time you open the newspaper or turn on the TV or radio.
I believe if we are loved - really loved - by just one person in our lives... just one who really loves us... then we can count ourselves lucky. Two people, three or even four is just wonderful. But to be loved and admired by millions suggests the person involved has a quality which is glimpsed very rarely indeed.
She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and so much more besides... ...and she was 36.
It just 'aint right.
Here is the update for the UK episode shown on Wednesday 3rd September:
Natalie asks Kevin if he really did go round to Sally's the other day, to ask to return home. Kevin assures her that scenario was only in Sally's dreams, but a few doubts seem to have crept into Natalie's mind.
Things are not going smoothly for Chris and Angie, and he accuses her of not wanting to take Deirdre's old flat with him because she'd rather stay close to Des. Angie urges him to take the flat on his own, which will allow them both some space, and test the strength of their relationship.
Later in the pub, Angie talks to Samantha, telling her that Des is 'bothered' about her. Although it's Angie's intention to help things along between those two, Samantha misunderstands and gets the impression that Des has been giving all her intimate secrets to Angie.
She goes round to Des's house later, where he assures her that he gave nothing of importance away to Angie. Samantha is very cross that he should have talked to Angie in those highly personal terms at all, and leaves on a sour note.
Zoe, Judy and Gary go to the Register Office to sign the form and register the birth, along with the names of both parents. Zoe signs but Gary hastily leaves the office when it comes to his turn. After a pep- talk from Judy, though, he signs his name to the form, and they bring the baby home again.
Alma stops them in the street to admire the youngster, and Zoe is firmly sidelined. She goes over to speak to Leanne, (who knows the truth about her arrangement with the Malletts of course.) The girls agree to go out for a good time, and so Zoe asks Judy and Gary for an advance on her 'fee'. She takes £50 and disappears for a night out.
In the cafe, the workforce of Underground are regretting their decision to boycott the pub in support of Sally. Suddenly, under the leadership of Ida, they suspend it and go straight there, where they are welcomed back by Alec.
Deirdre takes Liz to show her the outside of Jon's house, and Liz is suitably impressed. They leave just in the nick of time, as a black cab draws up and the real owner of the house gets out. He is wearing a pilot's uniform, and he's greeted in the driveway by his two little children and his wife!
In the Rovers, Deirdre, Emily and Ken are sitting together. Emily is sympathising with Ken's new-found situation as a retired person, and Deirdre suggests he might take up writing again, but Ken pleads lack of concentration. She then offers him the chance of courier work for Sunliners, driving people to the airport, etc. He thanks her for the offer, which he appears to not condemn out of hand.
Natalie tries to make peace with Betty, but Betty resist the olive branch.
Vera is taking desperate measures to get Natalie sacked. She goes on strike, telling Jack she will not co-operate with him around the house until he sacks Natalie. She says there'll be no more clean shirts or food cooked until the deed is done. To speed matters along, she squirts tomato ketchup all over the front of his shirt.
Sure enough he is forced to call Natalie into the back room. Before he is able to actually fire her, she resigns on the spot, and leaves taking Kevin with her, from the other side of the bar.
Vera is victorious, and the incredulous Alec can do little more than to look on and ask whatever is happening.
That's yer lot, Good night and I love you all.
I shall close with a line spoken by Deirdre tonight, when she was referring to life's unexpected ups and downs:
"You never know what's next around the corner"
Hello everyone, at the end of an extraordinary week in Britain. Sadly, the Street didn't fit in a 'topical insert' about Diana, though Channel 4's soap, Brookside, did manage a short scene. However, life goes on, and some happy news is that Keeley, my grand-daughter, is going home today after 4 weeks in the special care unit.
Here is the update for the episode of Friday 5th September
House: Zoe creeps upstairs, only to be met by a nagging Judy who is upset that Zoe is back so late, drunk. Zoe is belligerent, causing Gary to get up to see what the fuss is about. He tries to tell Zoe that Judy is concerned for her welfare.
House: Next morning, Natalie is delighted to hear from her solicitor that Nick is offering a lump sum divorce settlement. She tells Kevin that she has decided to take him on holiday.
House: Des still wants some answers from Angie about what she said to upset Sam. Angie doesn't want to get involved, but as Des makes a comment about being unable to keep her mouth shut, Chris appears. He lays in to Des for insulting his girlfriend, then tells Angie he has had enough of living there.
Street: Janice tells off Leanne for arriving home at 3:30am, drunk. Les has a load of old bike parts which Rita wants moved off the street, so the whole family get into a slanging match with Rita.
Flat: Emily has gone to see Dreary to wish her happiness in the future. Dreary is pleased that Emily approves of her new relationship, even though they will be - for the moment - 'living in sin'. Dreary says that when she is properly settled in she will invite Emily for dinner.
House: Outside Dreary's intended residence, a taxi waits. A pilot emerges, followed by Jon. The pilot thanks 'Barry' for looking after the house whilst he is away working to Japan for 8 days, and his wife and children have gone to stay at her mother's. Jon modestly says it is not too much trouble to make the place look lived-in.
Rovers: Over their cups of tea, Vera, Betty and Sam sit round like the 3 witches slagging off Natalie. Betty is the more charitable - she says that Natalie grows on you. 'Yes', retorts Vera, 'so do verrucas!' Vera is unrepentant that Natalie was an instrument in her battle with Alec and Jack.
Flat: Liz helps Dreary pack; she's jealous of Dreary being so smug and happy with Jon. Liz confides she would risk it all again for the right man, as she has been very lonely recently. Chris calls in to find out how soon he can move in. He leaves the women under no illusions how he feels about Des, and they are interested to hear that Angie will not be moving in with him.
House: Zoe refers to the baby as Shannon and Judy quickly corrects her that it is called Katie. Zoe asks Judy for some of the money to buy a leather jacket. Judy gets angry and says she mustn't waste her life on drink and drugs. In the middle of Zoe shouting that she isn't that stupid because at least she could have a baby, the health visitor walks in. The front door had been left open.
Street: Rita apprehends Sally and marches her off to the Rovers, despite Sally's protests.
House: Judy confides to the health visitor that Zoe had been out drinking the previous night. The health visitor says Judy is a remarkable woman for taking Zoe and Katie in.
Rovers: Vera claims the credit for sacking Natalie to a delighted Sally, though Alec warns her that he knows what is going on. Des and Sam put their argument behind them. Liz and Emily talk about Dreary and Jon and hope that their story has a happy ending.
House: Jon emerges from the house and fixes a note to the front door.
Garage: Martin invites Kevin to bring the girls to the cinema with him and his kids. Kevin glumly says he can't, he's going on holiday. Natalie arrives with tickets for a holiday in Gran Canaria - starting tomorrow! Kevin is upset that it is so quick, as he needs to tell Sally he can't take the kids out.
Flat: Ken calls at Dreary's to wish her well. He wonders if moving away and starting again are what he should do, but thinks it is too late for him. Jon arrives to collect Dreary and her stuff, so Ken leaves.
House: Zoe shares her feelings with Leanne: she wants to leave, but the baby, Shannon Jade, is still less than 2 weeks old. Zoe and Leanne go out, and Gary comes in to find Judy in tears. She can't stand it any more, she hates Zoe being around Katie; the midwife heard them rowing; Zoe might change her mind if she gets attached. She says they must give Zoe the money and ask her to leave as soon as possible.
House: Sally gloats to Kevin about Natalie getting sacked. He explains that he is going away, and Sally goes mad when she finds out where. Sally mocks him for accepting money from Nat when previously his attitude has always been fiercely protective of his status as breadwinner. He accepts her abuse quietly and leaves.
House: Angie sees Chris has packed. He again asks her to go with him, but she refuses, saying she isn't ready for the commitment of a planned move. Des arrives and Angie tells him what's happening. He says he is sorry, then tells her that he and Sam are back on track.
House: Dreary and Jon arrive at the house - she clearly is on cloud 9. Then Jon feigns surprise on discovering the note on the door. he explains to Dreary that it is from his ex-wife, who intends to take possession of the house. He rattles a key in the lock and says the locks have been changed. Dreary is taken in by his disappointed act, and cuddles him, saying it is not his fault. Credits.
Another cracking episode, packed with superb one liners from the 'Grande-dame' Adele Rose.
That's all until next week, love, Helen
Here is the news for Sunday the 7th of September, and this is Jerry Ledbetter reading it. It has been a very moving week on the street, as we see tonight's main headlines:
Jon agrees to move in with Dierdre
Chris moves in to garage
Zoe to move out of Mallatts
Mavis and Rita to move to Lakes
and in a surprise non-moving item, Audrey does not immediately break a confidence.
Jon agrees to move in with Dierdre
After having failed to have Dierdre move in with him over the weekend, as they had planned, Jon agreed to move in with Dierdre instead. For the story of how this reversal occurred we take you now to downtown Weatherfield, where Tom, your roving reporter, is talking to Dierdre in the radio car. Over to you Tom.
Thank you very much Jerry. Now, Dierdre, I suppose you felt pretty embarrassed when it transpired that you could not move in with Jon as planned.
"Actually, Tom, I didn't, but I think Jon did. He was so upset about what had happened, he started to plan on breaking into his own house and changing the locks back again to keep his wife, Linda, out".
And is that where he is at the moment?
"No. I told him that he shouldn't do anything illegal. Anyway, suppose Jon did change back the locks and I moved in; Then he flies off somewhere and I would be home of my own when Linda turns up again. Jon says she is a mad woman and I don't fancy having to deal with her."
So, where is Jon at the moment?
"He said he would try and reason with her. But I don't think it will do us any good. It's obvious to me that this whole thing has been about Jon's trying to have me move in with him. It has made her jealous. But she won't manage to keep us apart. I told Jon, if I can't move in with him, he can move in with me. After all he doesn't have a place to live now".
And did he agree?
"Not yet, but his last words as he went out the door were that he expected he wouldn't get the house back and he would see me later. I think he has decided that he will move in with me."
Thank you very much Dierdre. Now back to you Jerry.
Chris moves in to garage
Chris, who had been under the impression that he was to move into Dierdre's flat when she moved out, refused to remain at Des's house today. I've already moved out in my mind, he told Angie. When it became clear he had no place to move to, the tall mechanic dossed down in the garage for the night.
Angie, who was to have moved with Chris, decided to remain at Des's place for the meantime. This unfortunate train of events has put more strain on Chris and Angie's relationship. Chris has accused Angie of being glad that Dierdre's flat is not available as she didn't really want to move. Angie's response was that she didn't want to move, but she was willing to try it. Des could not be raised for comment as he was watching the football on TV.
Zoe to move out of Mallatts
Anxious that Zoe might be bonding too much with Katy, Gary and Judy gave her £2,000 today and then asked her to move out. She agreed to leave first thing tomorrow. Tom is talking to Gary in the radio car. Are you there Tom?
No, I'm here Jerry. In the Mallatt's back yard. Gary, it must be a relief to you both that Zoe is going.
"I suppose it is, but really the whole thing makes me frightened. I mean, look at what we are doing. We are splitting up a baby from its mother. That is just evil. And even if I've got to pretend to the whole world that I'm glad about it, I have to tell Jude how I feel. It's not right."
But Zoe didn't want the baby did she?
"If she doesn't, why are we rushing her out of the house? No, she is beginning to love that baby the way mothers do. And she asked if she could come back and visit it whenever she wanted."
Still, you have treated Zoe very well. You looked after her when she had no place to go.
"She still has no place to go Tom. When she said she was moving out, neither Jude nor I asked her what she would do. We don't really care about her. We've got what we wanted now we act like we can just put her out with the wheelie. It's not right. But I suppose we have to do it. "It's not much of a start in life for young Katie is it?"
Maybe not Gary, but don't forget that Zoe would have aborted Katy without your and Judy's support. So at the least, she does now have a life. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Mavis and Rita to move to Lakes
The end of an era occurred on the street today when, after 25 years together, Mavis and Rita have decided to end their run at "The Kabin".
Although Mavis had always intended to carry on working at "The Kabin" as long as Rita wanted her, since Derek's passing she had felt differently. In an emotional scene Mavis told Rita that she would shortly be leaving the street to start up a B&B in the Lake District.
Rita's response was that they would quit together and both go, always assuming that Mavis wanted her to come along. Ladies, the world envies you.
Audrey does not break a confidence
The world stands aghast today when the unofficial Weatherfield newsagency failed immediately to broadcast a juicy piece of gossip. I'm joined now by Audrey Roberts. Audrey, welcome to the show.
"Thank you very much Jerry."
We're so sorry to hear that you have had your reputation ruined Audrey. Tell us what happened.
"I still don't know Jerry. I was walking down the street, when I saw Judy and Katy. 'Doesn't he look like his father?' I said, but I didn't mean anything by it. Well Jerry, she looked around all guilty like and then said to me that I had to keep a secret for her. And guess what, she told me that Gary is Katie's father. I'd guessed it of course, but it's always nice to have one's suspicions confirmed."
So far so good then. But how did you fail to pass that on?
"Well Jerry. I saw Rita walking across the street and I ran up to her and told her I had a juicy new bit of gossip. But suddenly, I don't know, I just felt that I shouldn't tell her. After all, Judy had asked me to keep it secret."
And you think that is a good enough reason to change the habit of a lifetime?
"No, not really. I think I will have to have another try tomorrow. I can't let people down can I? They are relying on me to keep them informed."
Yes. Good luck in breaking this strange affliction Audrey.
Thank you very night and good much - @nother.Kevin
e-mail me using ecs255 "at" news.salford.ac.uk
The show opens with Zoe perched at Garys drum kit. No doubt she intends to use part of her payment for the baby to enrol at The Nigel Worsfold School Of Percussion, goodness knows, on that display, she needs to! Gary enters and asks her if she's going to be ok when she leaves. She tells him that she is going to stay with some friends and Gary warns her not to flash her money around as people can change when they know you have some money. Poor Gary, he is genuinely concerned at what he and Judy are doing. He has already said that it is wrong and he does care what happens to Zoe. Unlike Judy who I find very unlikeable at the moment.
Fiona and Alan have a dinner date with Fiona parents and she makes him promise to be home from work early. Fortunately this scene was very short so I didn't actually fall asleep as I usually do when this couple are on screen.
Sally spots Chris opening up the garage and notices his sleeping bag. Upon hearing that he is sleeping rough in there, she tells him he is welcome to sleep on her sofa. An offer he gladly accepts.
Les and Janice bump into Gary in the Street and exchange chit-chat. As Gary wanders off Les tells Janice that he is sure that Gary is the baby's father.
Rita and Mavis are leafing through brochures on the lakes to get an idea of where they would like to set up. Rita thinks they should set up somewhere quite busy whereas Mavis wants somewhere a little more remote. (I know that Rita probably doesn't go but it would be lovely to have a spinoff and see them in about 10 years time. I can just see them rather like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford a la 'Whatever Happened To Baby Mavis?' ). They are interrupted by Audrey who is excited because she has just seen a photographer taking pictures of the Kabin. They tell her that they are retiring to open the B&B and Audrey pours scorn on their plans. She later tells Rita, alone, that she and Mavis will drive each other insane! Rita tells her that she is wrong. Audrey, obviously in a bit of a state after near 24 hours without breaking a confidence, also tells Rita about Gary.
Zoe is stood in the back ginnel holding Katie/Shannon and saying her goodbyes to Leanne. She confesses that she is finding the idea of leaving the baby much harder than she imagined it would be. Leanne urges her to take the money 'and' the baby and just go! A little later, Gary enters the house to find Judy almost hysterical as Zoe and the baby have vanished. However, Zoe walks in holding the baby from the back having said goodbye to Leanne. The selfish and self-obsessed Judy grabs the baby out of Zoes arms.
In the Rovers Vera tells Alec that her cookery lessons start this week and over in one of the booths Mavis tells Rita that she has enrolled for some cookery lessons. Uh-oh! :-)
It's time for Zoe to go and Gary has offered her a lift to her friends. He, very considerately, asks her if she'd like a few moments alone with her daughter. Judy is incensed but he bundles her into the backyard where she tells him that she does not want to give Zoe 'any' chance to change her mind. The following was 'so 'sad! Zoe tells Shannon that she has to leave her because she can't look after her properly and begs her never to think that she didn't love her. She places a small teddy bear in her pram and tells her that it will remind her of her mum! Zoe was just superb in this scene and when Judy burst in to get her to go I would have gladly throttled the cow! As Zoe leaves she sees the teddy and, for an instant, maybe has some idea of just what Zoe is going through. But only maybe!
In the Rovers Deidrie tells Ken that she has an airport taxi run for him later this week. Thousand of CS fans will be popping to the shops to buy a pot of glee to rub their hands in! Audrey tells Martin about Rita selling up etc and is overheard by Alec who seems quite alarmed at the news. he rushes over to the Kabin and tells Rita that she must be mad etc but Rita tells him to mind his own business.
Chris moves into Sally's and immediately proves a big hit with the kids. Sally calls the girls upstairs, Rursie goes immediately but Sophie (and I'd love to know if this was scripted, I have a feeling it wasn't) puts her chin on her hands, looks at Chris, rolls her eyes skywards and sighs. She stole the show and probably the nations hearts, she certainly did mine! Later, Sally and Chris share a glass of wine in subdued lighting and we see the start of something that will no doubt end in runpeh pumpeh!
Fiona and Alan are at the restaurant with Fi's parents, They offer to pay for the wedding and Alan readily accepts, Fiona doesn't look as pleased though. She looks even worse as her parents and Alan then proceed to slag off the McDonalds!
Gary returns home from dropping Zoe off and seems relieved that her friends place is nowhere near as bad as she thought. Judy coos that it's their first night as a 'real' family. Make the most of it, girl, it won't last!
That's it! Stay safe, stay well! Mike Plowman
A THOUSAND GREETINGS and it's back to normality this week (so far as possible) with a glimpse into the future!
Here in the UK there is a long running BBC TV programme called Antiques Roadshow. Overseas viewers may have seen it, or they might have a show along similar lines. The format is that the BBC takes a team of various antiques experts and specialists along to a different town or city each week, and the local people bring their artefacts along to have them identified, examined and valued.
I now transport you forward in time 150 years. The show is still running.
Amongst the queues of people waiting to show their paintings, furniture, and various assorted curios is a small boy aged about 12. He is holding a large sheaf of yellowed old papers. He reaches the expert on Ancient Documents and sits down expectantly. The expert takes the papers from the boy, and spends some time examining them very closely, using a magnifying glass, and other more technologically advanced equipment, to scrutinise the documents.
Expert: You know what these are, I imagine?
Boy: Yes, it's my collection of late 20th century Coronation Street updates.
Expert: It's a wonderful collection, and I confess I am rather jealous of you for having amassed such a wealth of material. I have a few updates in my personal collection, but nothing as comprehensive and well-preserved as this. How did they come into your hands in the first place?
Boy: Well, my grandfather was in the armed forces at the time of the Third Granada Ratings Wars, and he travelled to Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand a lot, and he bought copies of the updates whenever he came to port. They have been passed down to me.
Expert: Well, let's take a closer look at some of them: It's rather difficult to date these updates sometimes, as the writers in those days used computers to write them, they didn't have the usual thought-to-text methods we have come to think of as routine these days.
If you look carefully, often underneath, you can see some initials or some sort of crest or insignia to denote where they were written, and if they were done by the genuine craftsmen or merely by apprentices learning the update trade. It's worth remembering that women were actually granted access to computers in those days, 150 years ago! I know it seems strange these days, but they were! And it so happens that this first one was written by a woman. Unless I'm mistaken this style looks like Helen Johns, later to become President of Southern Britainia Area 12, of course. She wrote Corrie updates from about the mid 1990's onwards, and her style was very popular.
Now what do we have here.....ah yes...these two would almost certainly be early Paul Baker updates. He was really the originator of this style of writing, and the first one to introduce what we now understand as humour to them. This was quite a radical thing in those far off days! See the mention of the tiara...this was very indicative of a master of his genre.
This wonderful boxed-set of weekly updates is still in its original presentation box, which always enhances their value to the serious collector. They are clearly Glenda Young updates, as we can determine from the odd regional references to north east English sub-culture and the consistent quality of the writing. Unless I'm mistaken, this boxed set was released by Glenda Young's publishers to mark her silver jubilee of update writing. At a recent interplanetary update auction, a similar set, signed by the authoress, fetched a 27 figure sum, from an anonymous collector on the planet Nibak.
I must reluctantly confess that I am baffled about this next batch. The quality is very high, but the identity of the author has always been somewhat shrouded in mystery. They appear to be contemporary with the Young updates, and experts now believe they were written by someone called Jerry Ledbetter. These updates have always been popular with collectors in New Zealand for reasons we don't yet understand. There's no denying they would fetch a goodly sum from a specialist collector.
The next section of papers almost certainly are from the twisted mind of Nigel Wormshole, I think it was pronounced. He wrote the Wednesday update for a little over a year, until he tragically spontaneously combusted at the height of his fame. The exact circumstances of his untimely demise are still not clear, but a recent biography on him hints pretty strongly at illegal and unseemly cult activity, and his long battle against the debilitating condition known as Harlington's Throop. These days of course, as you may know, he has been largely discredited, following the infamous episode with the Shetland Pony.
I am surprised to see you have one or two Plowmans in your collection. I'm afraid I must inform you that these have little or no commercial value to a collector, on account of the frequent typographical errors. Unfortunately, it's not like stamp collecting where the value of a stamp can be enhanced if there is a printing mistake. Although generally accepted as gifted, Plowman was also highly unstable. When his new- found fame as an update writer started to take its toll on him, in late 1997, there was a great hue and cry one dark night in his home town of Kidlington, which is now part of South Eastern Weatherfield Province, when he was found on the roof of the tallest office block in the town, shouting and threatening to toss himself off!
Well, all in all it's a wonderful collection, and something for you to treasure all your life, and perhaps to pass on to your own children one day. I expect you'd like to know the value wouldn't you? Do you have them insured?
Boy: I think my parent-unit has them included on our internal dorm-pod contents policy, but I'd like to know some idea of what they'd be worth.
Expert: Well, a collection like this... in this condition... there are some signs of damage and repair on some of the documents... I'd say... a conservative estimate... something approaching 25 to 30 million gigablips of power-coinage. How does that sound to you? A pleasant surprise I expect?
Boy: Oh is that all? I was hoping they'd be worth at least 50 million. I wanted to sell them and buy a restored old supercomputer from the middle of the 21st century so that me an' me mates can have a laugh at how primitive that old Windows 2050 was!
Here is the update for the UK episode shown on Wednesday 10.9.97:
In the Kabin, Rita is consulting a road atlas in readiness for her trip to Cartmel in the Lake District, where she is to view a prospective property for the great B & B venture. Alec arrives, buys a Daily Mirror and hopes the two women don't regret their decision to go into a new business together. He tells Rita he could have driven her there, and so she says it's not too late; if he hurries he can still accompany her. Mavis has to stay to hold the fort, and she's a bit envious of the two of them going off together to see the place.
Despite her anxieties about returning to a learning environment, Vera turns up for the first night of the evening class on Cooking for Bigger Numbers. She sits at the back like some habitually naughty schoolgirl. The female teacher/lecturer is somewhat ineffectual and when Mavis arrives and eventually gives in to Vera's requests for them to sit together, she has to ask Mavis to stop talking to Vera. It's just like being back in class 4C!
The first evening is to be devoted to the important matter of food hygiene. Vera is disgusted as she rather hoped they would be bringing home a meat pie on the first night, but Mavis is assiduously taking notes, which Vera pooh-poohs to the other students. Vera is more interested in the prospect of the archery class taking place next door, but she's intrigued to learn of Mavis and Rita's plans concerning the Guest House. She disagrees with the choice of location however, and says that if they reconsidered and plumped for Blackpool, they could expect her and Jack as guests!
Vera confides in Mavis. She tells her the reason she is coming to this class is to take Betty's place when they sack her. Mavis is shocked to learn of this underhand plan.
From underhand to Underworld; Angie leaves the factory to talk to Chris. They are face to face across a car engine. Under the bonnet she accuses him of being happier to sleep on Sally's couch, rather than with herself. Chris denies this of course, but there is some measure of friction. They agree to meet at lunchtime in the pub, but Chris doesn't turn up, as we later learn. She invites him round to her place, but he declines. Things could be better!
Deirdre gives Ken one of those cards that you see drivers holding in the airport arrivals hall, to identify themselves to the person they are to collect. He's getting the princely sum of £15 to collect a Mrs ARISTIDOU off the flight from Athens. Who do we think he's going to see as well at the airport children?
Yes of course!
He claps eyes on Deirdre's mock pilot at Tie n' Fly. Jon bluffs. He says he's a customer, and that his flight has been delayed, or postponed or something. To give authenticity to his story, he saunters away from the tie shop having bid Ken a chummy goodbye. He saunters as far as the nearest phone, where he leaves a message for Deirdre, giving the same lie about the flight being significantly delayed. Whether Ken has swallowed the "I'm only a customer here" story, we are not quite sure at this stage.
Gary and Judy are in a bit of a flap, pending the arrival of the health visitor. They agree to spin her some yarn about Zoe disappearing without trace. The nurse arrives, and they tell her the tale, which she accepts, of course. She tells them they have been doing a grand job in looking after the wee one, and having asked all the obvious questions about Zoe's possible whereabouts, she leaves, contented.
Then we're back with Alec and Rita, looking at the property. From the little one can see of the place, it looks very pleasant indeed. There are plenty flowers, the birds are singing and a friendly horse is hanging its head over a wooden railing behind the actors. I was hoping for a moment it would turn out to be a latter-day Mr Ed, but if a horse has a speaking part, they have to pay it so much more!
Alec tells her he'll miss her if and when she goes. She reciprocates. He hints heavily at making some sort of "wild suggestion" to her, but when she asks him outright what's the nature of this wild suggestion, he loses his nerve, anxiously consults his watch and suggests they'd better be getting back.
There are a couple of scenes between Fiona and her mother. One at the flat and the other in the pub. In both places, mum is trying to get at why Fiona doesn't seem as happy as she ought to be about the impending nuptial union with Soppy Al. She warns her about the tough side of having a "mixed marriage" and doesn't seem to really accept Fiona's repeated declarations of true love for her copper beau.
In the pub, Liz is chatting to Deirdre about Jon, and Liz wants to know a bit more about the odd situation where Jon's ex-wife can lock him out of their shared house. She wonders, for instance where his clothes are? Are they locked in the disputed house? Liz is starting to put two and two together it seems, but Deirdre is blissfully blind to the trivial considerations of the whereabouts of Jon's sock drawer!
Sally is dismayed to learn of Rita's plans to move away from Weatherfield when she hears about it from Martin. Later, we see her taking the happy wedding picture of her and Kevin off the wall, and replacing it with a landscape.
This takes place while Chris is having no success on the phone, looking for another flat. They get to chatting, and sharing a lager. She's feeling sorry for herself, and gets a bit tearful. The conversation runs along the lines of: I'm boring. I must be boring. Do you think I'm boring? I'm unattractive. I must be unattractive. Do you think I'm unattractive? Well there's only one reply a boy can give a girl when she talks in those terms, and Chris knows the routine. Angie comes to call for him, but he fobs her off, so that he can remain and offer further solace to his hostess. Just when you think they're going to kiss, they end up laughing at Natalie's expense. Maybe the kiss will come on Friday?
Jon is already in Deirdre's flat when she gets home. He's been having a good old snoop through her private papers, and in particular her photograph album. He makes no attempt to hide the album, and Deirdre looks at a couple of the snaps with him. Most include the late luckless Samir. She says she sometimes feels guilty for being happier now than she was when she was with Samir. She has a little tear, and they embrace and kiss. The final camera shot is a close-up of the open page of the album, with everybody favourite dead Moroccan smiling benignly at us, in those halcyon days when he still had a full compliment of internal organs!
That's yer lot.
Good night and I love you all, Nigel
House: Jim is in a foul mood which is not helped by Steve chatting about how Fiona's wedding is now going to be a much grander affair. Steve is surprised when Jim says he is not going, and when he makes a crack about Fiona wearing white, Jim barks at him to shut up.
Kabin: Ken coos over Katy, as Judy comes in on the pretext of buying nappies. She really wants to tell Mavis and Rita that Zoe has left.
House: Chris plays with the little girls under the sleeping bag. (No, you dirty minded bunch of reprobates, it was perfectly innocent!) Sally asks him what the situation is with him and Angie. He replies that it is on and off - but on at the moment, just about.
Rovers: Liz and Fiona have been talking weddings, Fiona blaming the escalation in size on her parents. Liz agrees that if it were one of their boys getting married they would want a big do as well. (Funny, I don't remember Steve and Vicky's wedding as being very grand) When Jim appears, Fiona leaves, and though Liz tried to go on talking about her, Jim tetchily said he wasn't interested. Judy brings Katy in and goes through to the back to see Vera, in order to explain that Zoe has left the baby with her and Gary. Vera guesses that Katy is Gary's, and Judy confirms she is, saying they intend to keep Katy, and that is why she has to give up her job. Vera, although sorry to lose a barmaid, is supportive.
House: Sam calls at Des's to arrange to go out that night. They enjoy good-natured banter and agree a time. Des looks really chuffed.
Kabin: Rita, Mavis and Sally discuss the retirement plans. Sally asks why Rita hadn't told her, and Rita apologises. Then Rita gets a phone call - apparently the agent for the house in Cartmel which Rita and Alec viewed has had another offer. Mavis can't make a decision until she has seen it, so Rita decides they will shut the shop for the afternoon and go together.
Street: Audrey warns Judy not to get attached to the baby, then is shocked to hear that Zoe has left. After a few more tactless remarks, Audrey leaves to spread the news that, in her opinion, Judy chucked the girl out.
Garage: Angie and Chris, overheard by Sally, exchange sharp words - she is obviously not pleased to see so little of him. Chris can barely look up from under the bonnet of the car. Sally simpers up and he puts down his tools and leans against the car to listen. She offers to make him dinner with her and the girls - burgers, chips, peas and alphabet spaghetti - how can a guy refuse?
Street: Des tells Angie that he is going out with Sam and he thinks from Sam's attitude that tonight's the night.
Rovers: Vera has a go at Alec because he has installed the juke box in place of the piano. Audrey delights in filling in Vera on the Judy/Gary/Zoe/Katy gossip. Vera pretends not to know anything about it. Alec is concerned to learn that Mavis and Rita both loved the house and are going home to talk money. Audrey makes a remark to Jim about his drinking and he tells her to shut up. (Bet he enjoyed that!) Steve wonders why Jim is in such a bad mood.
House: Judy tells Gary that everyone now knows; she is very happy. Gary promises he will do his best for the three of them. They grin and say 'Our Katy' a lot. They should have hugged.
House: After tea, 'Uncle Chris' gives the girls some sweets so he and Sally can have a heart to heart. She slags off Kevin and Chris defends him, saying Kevin would not turn his back on his children. Chris says Kevin must have regrets, because if he (Chris) walked out on someone like Sally, he would regret it. (Pass the sick-bag) Sally looks suitably coy.
Restaurant: After their meal, Sam thanks Des for being so patient over the last few weeks. She now wants to try to take things a bit further; Des can hardly contain his excitement.
Flat: Jim goes to see Fiona and begs her not to marry Alan. They have a big row and she chucks him out. (I really can't be bothered to go through all the ins and outs of the dialogue, but if you can remember the previous conversations of these two, you will know how it went)
Street: Curly gets home from the pub just as a young man comes to his house, looking for Sam. Curly invites him to come in and wait for her. A taxi draws up, containing Sam and Des. 'Your place or mine?' They decide on hers.
House: Curly is making the stranger a coffee when they hear the front door go. Curly calls out to her, and Des and Sam giggle and tell him to go to bed as they want the place to themselves. As they enter the room, Sam's manner abruptly changes when she sees Richie, who she introduces to Des as her husband. Credits.
Episode written by Catherine Hayes
Here is the news for Sunday the 14th of September, and this is Jerry Ledbetter reading it. In tonight's headlines:
Sam's husband Richard requests the pleasure of her company for the rest of his life
Fiona announces her pregnancy to Alan
Rita and Mavis meet with success in their property bid
Andy returns from Spain
Fred tells Bill he has no hard feelings over Maureen's past.
Sam's husband Richard requests the pleasure of her company
for the rest of his life
Another piece of Sam's past caught up with her when her husband arrived at the house she is renting from Curly Watts. Richard had been told by Sam's mother where she was and travelled up from London to find her. For up to the minute news on this exclusive story, we cross live to our roving reporter, Tom Good. Over to you Tom.
Thank you very much Jerry. I am standing outside Des's house. Both Des and Curly have agreed to fill us in on a bit of the background to this stunning development. Curly, how do you feel about it all?
"It doesn't worry me Tom. I never had a chance with her anyway".
But aren't you surprised to find out after all this time that Sam is married?
"No not really, no one ever tells me anything anyway".
What about you Des?
"Tom, I can tell you I am very disappointed. I thought I might spend the night with Sam, not with Curly. I knew Sam was married, of course, but I thought this guy Richard was out of her life altogether."
So, you would feel pretty put out if Sam went back to him.
"When I fall Tom, I fall pretty hard, although I'm the first to admit I don't fall for very long. Yes, I think I will be pretty upset if I lose Sam now."
Thank you Des & Curly. Now if we cross the street, we might be able to catch Richard and hear his point of view. Richard, I'm Tom Good from Talk Radio Weatherfield (serving the community). Welcome to Coronation Street. I'd just like to ask you why you have come here.
"When Sam ran away from me, I got in touch with her parents. At the time they didn't know where she was either. But last week I had a letter from her mum giving me Sam's address. I came up soon as I could."
Her parents told you the reason for her behaviour?
"Yes, they told me everything . I understand a lot better now, what she has been through. I wish she had turned to me for help back then. But I suppose she felt she couldn't."
You don't feel hurt or resentful at the way she treated you?
"It used to hurt a lot. Still does I suppose, but I love Sam and I'm prepared to wait for her, to help her, to get over all this."
And does Sam love you?
"No Tom, I don't think she does. She acts more afraid of me than anything else. I said to her, 'You don't need to be afraid of me', but she didn't answer. I try to tell her how much I miss her, but she just says I will be better off without her."
Thank you very much Richard and good luck.
Fiona announces her pregnancy to Alan
Fiona took time off today from planning her pre-marriage honeymoon in Mauritius. Encouraged by Maxine the future Mrs. McKenna has finally taken a home pregnancy test. The results are positive. Fiona is reported to be less than pleased. Alan, however, has been quoted as saying that today is the happiest day in his life.
Rita and Mavis meet with success in their property bid
The great Bed & Breakfast getaway is drawing nigh for Rita and Mavis. Their bid for Mr Grove's property in the Lake District was accepted today. The two ladies announced their success to the Rover's and paid for champagne all round.
Andy returns from Spain
The offer of free drink proved irresistible to Andy McDonald, who appeared on the scene shortly thereafter. His return from foreign climes is likely to be short lived however, as he confided to Vera that he will shortly move to any place where there is a job going for him. In the meantime, she has offered him a part time position as a bartender. Andy's overseas trip has done him a world of good according to sources close to the McDonald clan. It is rumoured that he has been spotted smiling.
Fred tells Bill he has no hard feelings over Maureen's past
Fred, anxious to cement his relationship with Maureen, took Bill aside for a quiet word today. It is clear to all who know him that Bill is still smarting from his rejection, but he has indicated to Fred that, so far as he is concerned, Maureen is history.
Thank you very night and good much, @nother.Kevin
A new introduction to the show tonight. Not, as you might imagine, another Cadburys product, but the omission of a soundtrack.Quite a different experience to watch my favourite show without it theme tune playing!
Fortunately the first scene needed no sound to ascertain what was going on. Curly returns home and meets Sam, clad in some highly unSamlike pyjamas, at the bottom of the stairs. He appeared to intimate that perhaps she and Richie had spent the night together, in response to which, Sam shows him the slumbering husband wrapped in a Sonic The hedgehog quilt on the sofa.
Scene 2 featured Alan and Fiona and, content in the knowledge that this pair have never uttered a single word of any interest to me in the history of the show, I relaxed free from worry!
The sound came back on towards the end of the previous scene and we cut to Des, sat head in hands on his awful sofa. He bleats to Angie that he wants to know what's going on over the road. She tells him to wait and see what Sam decides.
A wonderful shot of a beautiful and slender pair of legs, no doubt drawing admiring gasps from many a Street viewer. The owner is mending a bike outside his house! This vision of loveliness is interrupted by Steve's girlfriend, Rachel, who thrusts her own legs into view. 'Get out the way, woman! We're watching Les!'. She offers Steve a lift to work. He doesn't appear too keen but Jim tells him to get on with it. I'm sure I'm not the only who found Steves constant itching and scratching in this scene quite unsettling. Can't the producers have him run through a sheep dip or something?
Jon and The Drear are wandering up the Street and he tells her that they could bear Mavis's house in mind as he is having a meeting with his ex-wife today to discuss what they are going to do with their house. (Yeah, right!). Les is also showing an interest in Mavis's house.
Curly asks Richie if he's going to be staying and he replies that, if he is, he'll find a B&B. Richie asks Sam about Curly. She tells him that Curly is just a friend and they then have a mild bicker.
In the salon, Fiona is performing another of her unique 'Leave exactly as you came in' hairdon'ts on Vera. Vera tells her about Sam having a hubbie. Maxine rolls in late and signals to Fiona to find out if the pregnancy test was positive, and Fiona nods. The phone rings and Maxine answers, She shouts to Fi that the doctors have an appointment free later and does she want it? She says yes and tells Vera that she has an upset tummy but Vera ain't daft and puts two and two together.
In the Kabin Fred advises Mavis that, 'You want to avoid a bridging loan, I say you want to avoid a bridging loan!' while Audrey confesses jealousy at them going off to make a new start. When they leave Rita has a go at Mavis for discussing their finances in front of other people, Amazingly, Mavis has a go right back at her and we perhaps see the first signs that only 'one' of the pair will be setting off to a new life.
Richie has now installed himself in the Rovers and is busy ingratiating himself with as many people as possible, Vera thinks he's quite wonderful. Les tells Janice that he wants to have a nose round Mavis as 'she's bound to have some good pots that we can sell on!'. Fiona, Alec and Fiona enter the pub and the Vera overhears them mention the word celebration but Fiona tells them that it's a year since she and Alan met (Really, it seems like centuries to me!). Des collars Sam and tells her that he wants to know where he stands but she says she's busy. Richie and Des square up to each other a bit and I sense fisticuffs in the near future! Richie tells Des that he and Sam are going to try again.
There is a knock at the door chez Wilton. Mavis opens the door to find the entire Clan Battersby on the doorstep as potential buyers. Her protestation that all viewing has to be arranged via the estate agent are ignored as they barge in, They them poke their noses into every nook and cranny as if Mavis isn't there. The girls bounce up and down on the sofa and mock her Val Doonican albums! Even the budgie looked stressed out! Mavis is saved by the arrival of Fred who, she tells the B's, is a 'real' potential purchaser. When they have left, with the parting comment, 'a bit too mingey for us, anyway!', she apologises to Fred. But to her surprise, he 'does' what to view the house and makes an appointment for the following day.
Des finally gets to speak to Sam and tells her that he understands and won't cause a problem (but he is obviously really heartbroken).
Vera has guessed that Fiona is pregnant and Steve, in the pub with Rachel, overhears. Rachel is annoyed that it seems to bother him and later back at the house has a go at him about it. She tells him that he is still obsessed with Fiona and that she has too much self esteem to be treated like that and storms out past Jim who is on his way in. Jim sarcastically has a go at Steve who shuts him up with just two words, 'Fiona's pregnant!'!!
Sam arrives home from work and Richie begins to talk about their future. He has been drinking and lets it slip that he had earlier told Des that he and Sam are back together. He falls asleep and when Curly comes home she tells him that Richie is a good man and deserved better than she treated him but she has decided that she doesn't have a future with him. She goes over to see Des and tells him that she wants to be with him. Des is overjoyed . She then tells him that they have waited long enough and you 'know' what that means. Des is 'very' overjoyed!!
Episode written by Adele Rose
Stay safe, stay well - Mike Plowman
A thousand greetings and what a week it's been for Nigel Worsfold.
As any of you who have tried to mail him and received no response may have surmised, Nigel is unable to come to the modem right now.
Now I'm not one to spread gossip, oh no. But I believe it's in the best interests of the newsgroup and update readers around the world that the truth be told.
Sad to say, but Nigel is currently languishing at Her Majesty's Pleasure. I only have third hand information to go on, but see no reason why that should matter, it's never bothered Audreh. I am told that a police raid on a certain Do It Yourself shop in the Aldershot area took place at dawn last week and certain items and substances were taken away for examination by forensic experts.
I have spoken to Nigel's lawyer on the phone this very morning and he assured me that Harlingtons Throop 'is', in fact, a real affliction which may well appear in medical journals at some point in the future and that the large jars of Vaseline which the police took away are commonly used in treatment of the aforementioned malady.
He also added that many, many DIY stores the length and breadth of Britain have a Shetland Pony in the managers office. True, not many are found wearing stockings and suspenders but there was a valid reason for that which will be revealed at the appropriate juncture.
Needless to say, I am today meeting with the Home Secretary in a bid to get permission for Nigel to do next week's update from his cell. I am told he is sharing a cell with a rather large, somewhat hirsute, gentleman who goes by the name of 'Pork Chop' and feel sure he will have some interesting experience or other to relate to us on his return.
Richie is in the kitchen as Curly is making breakfast and is a little miffed at the news that Sam went over to Des's after he fell asleep last night and hasn't yet returned. Sam, on the other hand, has cleared away the cobwebs, so to speak, and is looking quite refreshed as she and Des appear, both looking smug, and dare I say, sated! She arrives back at Curly's and it's fairly obvious that a bit of discord is about to ensue. Curly makes a hasty exit. Richie is incensed that she spent the night with Des but Sam tells him that she is staying with Des. She explains that feels she doesn't really know Richie and tells him that she is sorry, for his sake, that she married him, and that he better go.
Alan is eating his breakfast in that droopy eyed gormless way that he does so well. (How does one so young manage to look as if he suffered a stroke recently?). He has worked out that Fiona must have fallen pregnant around the time that they split up and he is wondering how Fiona managed to fall pregnant. He assumes that Fiona must have stopped taking precautions when he left and didn't start again when they got back together. (When I see the Home Secretary this afternoon, I also intend to bring up the subject of abortion late in pregnancy. I would like to see the law changed to allow abortion to be legal up to the 1600th week of infancy so that I can have Alan terminated!)
Jim sees Fiona outside the salon and sidles up and tells her he has heard about her pregnancy. She is surprised that he knows. He asks if she is pleased and she tells him that 'both' she and Alan are pleased. Inside the salon, Fiona has a go at Maxine for spreading the news but Maxine tells her that she hasn't told anybody. Audreh arrives and tells Fiona about a hundred times that she is looking 'radiant'. Fiona refuses to take the bait and leaves Audreh frustrated.
Sam is seeing Richie out of the house just as Des is about to leave for work, He spots Des across the road and confronts him and accuses him of wrecking his marriage. A minor tussle ensues, very minor. In fact on the tussle-o-meter it would register slightly below the orgasmic throes of an amoeba in mid cell division. He tells Sam that there is no way he will give her a divorce ( He really is thick, a) they have been separated 14 months so she can divorce him after 2 years separation anyway, b) we can safely assume that they never consummated the marriage so she can divorce him on those grounds ), and he threatens Des that he'll be back!
(During the break the new Government anti-speeding road safety was given it's first airing. Quite stark, but necessary/ As someone whose son came within inches of serious injury at the hands of just such a driver recently, let's hope it has some effect.)
In the Rovers, Audreh, as always bang up to date on the latest gossip, tells Sam that she must be as good as Paul Daniels to conjure a husband out of thin air. Sam replies sarcastically that she is better 'cos she's just made him vanish! (For overseas viewers, Paul Daniels is a small balding pillock who does a magic trick over and over again for the BBC) Also, Audrey was sporting another 'hair by Fiona' creation, ie 'exactly the same as she went in. Surely it's time the trading standards boys had a closer look at the salon. Alec finalises arrangements for Fred and Maureen's wedding reception NEXT MONDAY!!! Rachel (has anyone else noticed that Rachel looks permanently as if her face is pushed up against a pane of glass?) is still moaning at Steve about Fiona and eventually storms out after accusing him of being more interested in Fiona's pregnancy then he is in her. As she walks out, the camera pans to reveal Alan sat in the next booth and he has heard the whole thing!!
Fred arrives at Mavis's to view the property. In the funniest scene in the show for what seems like ages he says to Maves budgie 'Hallo Bird! at such high volume that I quite expected all it's feathers to blow off as if in a Tex Avery cartoon, or the bird to keel over and fall off it's perch. Sadly, the producers deem that one small laugh is quite enough for this month so down to business. After a cursory look round, giving the impression that Fred doesn't intend to live there himself, he offers Mavis the full asking price (£47,000 incl carpets and curtains) but swears her to secrecy over his interest in the property.. Incredibly she says she needs time to think it over and will let him know tomorrow!
Alan has got it into his head that Steve could be the father of the baby and confronts Fiona who tells him he is wrong! Later Fiona phones Jim and asks if they can meet for a talk. She says it mustn't look suspicious so she pretends to sweep up outside the salon while he pretends to be on his way to Rosamund St to post some letters. The fact that there is a post box all of 10 yards from his front seems to have escaped him. She tells him that Alan is suspecting that Steve may have been with her when she and Alan were apart. She tells Jim that she is worried that 'he' might be the father of the baby. Jim tells her that he has had the snip and is now a certified Jaffa and bids her good day.
In the Rovers, Rita is at a loss to understand why Mavis is dithering over Freds offer. Mavis tells he that she will let everyone know what she has decided tomorrow. Curly puts aside his feelings about Des and wishes him and Sam all the best. Maud confides in Martin (wearing her superb Rubettes cap) that she knows Maureen is making a mistake in marrying Fred but that she is determined to keep her own counsel.... for now!
Finally, Alan is whining to another detective at the station about Steve pestering Fiona. The copper, who is going to be Alans best man, tells him that he considers it part of his duty as best man to make everything run smoothly and parts with the words, 'We'll 'ave 'im, don't worry!' So looks like trouble in store for Steve. (Good!!)
Flat: Alan speaks to his mum on the phone, but to Maxine's surprise he doesn't mention Fiona's pregnancy. He then quizzes Maxine over what Fiona she's said about the baby or anything, and asks her not to tell anyone. Fiona enters and when Maxine has gone downstairs she asks Alan not to speak to Maxine about her. Alan says that he was justified in being suspicious about her and Steve during the time they were apart.
House: Des and Sam happily prepare for their holiday. Angie is pleased that she can borrow Des's car, and relieved when Sam tells her she has no intention of moving in yet and throwing Angie out. Angie asks Sam if she is sure about ditching a marriage for someone with Des's reputation, but Sam is sure of what she is doing.
House: Des pops in to see Mavis, and stays for a cup of tea and a chat. They reminisce that the last time Des went away on his boat, he never saw Derek again. Mavis says she has a lot to do before she leaves, and will see Des again. She wonders if she is doing the right thing, but decides that she is.
Salon: Max gently questions Fiona if there is something wrong, since neither she nor Alan seem very pleased. Fiona says it is just a shock, and she is young, but seems surprised that Max should think she may not keep the baby.
Kabin: Fred waits anxiously for Mavis's decision, but Rita warns him not to hassle her. He makes Rita promise not to say anything about him buying the house. Mavis arrives, and tells a delighted Fred that the house is his.
Street: Fiona sidles up to Jim and asks him to consider having a test to ensure that his vasectomy has worked. He tries to get her to consider the implications for her and Alan, depending on the outcome, to see beyond her own selfishness. He says he will think about it.
House: Chris is reading to the girls when Bill arrives to see them. Sally is shocked when Chris tells her that in today's post was a card from Kevin to the children. Bill and the girls make themselves scarce as Sally wonders how Kevin can be so cruel - or was it Natalie's idea?
Street: Steve and Andy set out for a boys' night out but have hardly gone 5 yards when Alan's friend shows up and takes Steve in for questioning at the station. Steve asks, as he is entitled to, what grounds he is being held under, but the detective doesn't want to oblige. Andy is disgusted by their treatment of his brother.
Rovers: Mavis and Vera depart for the cookery class - it will be Yorkshire puddings tonight! Fred buys the still hostile Maud a drink, and compliments her on her independence. (Surely even Fred wouldn't buy a house with stairs for someone in a wheelchair? would he? Or is it for Maureen and him - what will happen to his other house? ITWSBT) Sam and Des can't go on holiday until Alec has sorted out her wages. Curly muses to Max that everyone seems to be pairing off; she looks worried and rushes off muttering she has to meet Ashley.
Street: Angie prepares to chauffeur Des and Sam to the boat.
Cookery class: Mavis produces some superb Yorkshires and impresses the teacher. Vera's have too much salt in them, but Vera robustly blames the teacher's writing. The poor woman is nearly in tears.
Rovers: Rita informs Alec that she will definitely be leaving as soon as someone buys the Kabin. Alec doesn't want to lose an old friend. Rita says she was amused the other day when she thought he may be about to propose, but Alec laughs it off. Andy comes in to tell Jim that Steve is being held for questioning.
Cell: Steve is told that someone named him as a supplier of drugs. He is not allowed to call a solicitor and is told that they are busy, so he might have a long wait before he is questioned.
House: Sally and Chris are enjoying a glass of white wine when Angie calls round to tell Chris she has the house to herself for a week. Sally appears agitated as she overhears this, but encourages Chris to go - he is obviously keen to go with Angie. Chris tells Sally he will not be back that night. When they have gone, Sally looks at the postcard from Kevin and rips it up, crying.
House: Rita is surprised to hear from Mavis that Vera plans to sack Betty, but advises they should not get involved. She offers to stay with Mavis, who declines, saying she wants a last weekend in their home. As she switches off the lights, Mavis hugs Derek's photo and gazes around at their house.
Flat: Jim calls to speak to Alan, Fiona is shocked to hear about Steve. Jim is sure that Alan has fitted Steve up and gets quite irate. Fiona tells him that his son is nothing but trouble, and there could be some truth in the allegations. She asks Jim to get out, and as he leaves he tells her that he will definitely have the test.
Cell: Alan goes in to see Steve, and suggests that if Steve thinks he is being victimised then he should leave Weatherfield. Steve is adamant that he is innocent, but Alan implies that if searched, drugs will be found. Steve wonders why Alan is so worried, after all, Alan has won, since Fiona is marrying him and having his baby. Alan's face gives something away, and as he leaves, Steve smirks to himself as he starts to think he understands the situation. Credits.
Episode written by Patrea Smallacombe.
Here is the news for Sunday 21st September, and this is Jerry
Ledbetter reading it.
In tonight's headlines:
Flooding at Natalie's plumber called but who is to blame?
Tearful Mavis moves out of her house
Fred feels wobbly, Maude hopes it is terminal
Alan and Steve in street grudge fight
Flooding at Natalie's
Kevin And Natalie returned home from their holidays today to find that all is not well at chez Horrocks. Chris told them a pipe had burst. Tom Good, your roving reported is just talking to him now. Over to you Tom.
Thank you very much Jerry. I am standing outside Sally's house in the street waiting for Chris to return from Natalie's place. That only goes to show just how fast breaking this story is, listeners. Here he comes now. Chris, can I ask you some questions?
"Look, I'm not really in the mood."
Chris, tell us how Natalie's house got flooded today?
"I've already said, it was a burst pipe".
My sources tell me that the plumber called by Natalie could find nothing wrong. Then again he did charge her £200 for 'putting it right'.
"I'm not in the mood."
Chris can you tell us how the word 'WHORE' came to be written on Natalie's bathroom mirror?
"What? Um, maybe Kev wrote it there or something."
You're not being straight with me Chris.
"No comment, I'm off to The Rover's".
Perhaps Sally will be able to tell us a bit more about it. Sally, how did the word WHORE come to be written in the steam on Natalie's bathroom mirror?
"Oh Tom, I did it. I got so worked up. Chris and I were out in the van and he had to feed Natalie's cat. I didn't mean to go into the house, but he was taking so long.
"Then I saw a photo of Kev by her bedside and, I don't know, something came over me, I couldn't help it."
So you went into their bathroom and wrote on the mirror?
"Yes, something snapped inside me. I know it was stupid. Her and Kev off on holiday somewhere when all the kids get is a day in Blackpool with Bill. It is so unfair!
"I started the taps running and emptied all her perfumes and shampoo down the drain. When I left, I put the plug in the basin and left the tap running."
How do you feel about it now?
"I wanted to go and help tidy things up, but Chris said I should just leave it. He came up with the story of the burst pipe. I had forgotten all about writing on the mirror."
Not the smartest thing you have ever done, Sally, but I am sure our listeners have every sympathy with you. Now back to you Jerry.
Tearful Mavis moves out of her house
Poignant scenes today as Mavis completes her packing and moves out of the street after more years than anyone cares to remember. Upset over Fred's bumbling comments about the house's decor, Mavis took some comfort that at least Beauty, her and Derek's budgie, understands her.
Fred feels wobbly, Maude hopes it is terminal
Meanwhile, Fred is very upbeat about his wedding to Maureen. Maureen was concerned to learn today that Fred's 'hutching and thrutching' is not what it was when he was younger. Maude, on the other hand, is planning to wear black at the wedding. No amount of beef dripping appears able to buy her blessing for the couple.
Finally some sports news - Our roving reporter, Tom, is going live on the big event of the day. The Mc Double Trouble Grudge fight. Over to you Tom.
Thank you very much Jerry. And here is the main contender, young Steve. Fresh out of the nick this morning. He's looking good. Told me that he knew Alan's weakness - but I'm not sure if telling someone they are a lousy actor is going to win too many points with the judges. Steve is just talking to Fi, the referee. Something about her telling Alan about the weeds at her party, I didn't quite catch the drift of it.Here is Alan now. He's looking big and mean. I don't think Steve can beat him. And the fight is on.
Conventional Alan delivers the first blow with a limp wristed 'I thought I told you to keep away from her, McDonald'. Well, listeners, he'll have to do better than that. A neutered rabbit wouldn't have been fazed. Steve counters with a severe, 'I can talk to who ever I like'. That has rocked Alan, I can see his nostrils flaring. Steve follows up the advantage with a verbal diatribe. Now he's up and running Alan can't stop him. Oh, that was a near miss, he's questioning Alan's motives, now he is telling him that he (Steve) is finished with Fi, so why is Alan jealous. A brilliant feint there, as Steve slips in the killer blow, 'you're worried that her baby isn't yours aren't you?' McKenna is really on the back ropes. He appeals to the referee, but she won't say whether that last blow is legal or not. Steve has got him now, he's moving in for the kill. McKenna just can't seem to get a word out, he's on his last legs, one more ought to do it. Ooop, McKenna is up again, he's punched Steve in the head. That is definitely illegal in this type of match. I am sure the referee will have strong words with him later. Ooow, there is another. Three physical blows. He has shut Steve up, but can McKenna summon his wits for the verbal combat? Oh dear, the best he can do is 'You stay away from her McDonald'. Simply pathetic. I think, yes, the trophy goes to Steve. Something of a pyrrhic victory by the look of his face. I don't think he will be back for another bout. By the look on the referee's face, I have a feeling that losing this match is going to cost McKenna dearly too.
And now it's goodnight from me and it's goodnight from him.
Greetings to you all with apologies for the slight lateness of this update.
The family are stricken with tonsillitis with the exception of yours truly so the heavy burden of housework and tending to the sick has fallen to me. Still. even having two ill children on your hands can have it's lighter moments. While talking to my youngest son, aged seven, who though confined to bed could still talk for England we fell into conversation about a documentary we had watched on television recently. The program focused on advances in brain pattern research and the scientists involved in the show were all of a mind that within our lifetime that it will be quite possible that a persons entire brain pattern could be 'downloaded' into some hardware storage device and then uploaded into another body, be it artificial or biological. My son is very taken with this idea and the possibilities it will hold for the human race and, I promise you, the conversation below actually took place.
" So, if they put you in a mechanical body, then you won't ever die?"
" No, I suppose not"
"And you could just change bodies when you wanted?"
"Hmm, yes, I expect so."
"Well how will they be able to put you in another human body then? "
" Well, I suppose they would clone copies of existing human bodies and you would use one of those."
" But will you get old and die in one of them then? "
" I suppose so, but when you've had enough of one body you could get another!"
"Cooool!, And you could have any one that you want? "
" I suppose so, yes"
" And change whenever you liked? "
" Yes, I suppose. "
" How will you be able to chose what body you want?"
" Well, I suppose they would have catalogues with pictures in and you could chose from lots of types of bodies or something like that."
" So you can have all different ones? Cooool! And will they have famous people in as well? "
"Well .....yes, I would expect so. I suppose a lot of people would like to look like someone famous. Why? What body would you choose?"
" Ooh, ..............Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'd be really strong and big. Cool! "
" That's good then. Right, time to settle down now ok? "
" Night Night! "
" Night Night.....................................Dad!?"
" What now?"
" Can you have a girls body if you're a boy?"
" Er, ....well...I suppose so..... why? "
" Well I'd have Arnies in the daytime then and Pamela Andersons for night times then I could see what her boobs are like! "
What can you say to that? A seven year old sums up what would possibly be the greatest advance in the history of mankind will probably mean to at least fifty percent of the human race! :-)
Here is the update for Coronation Street - Monday 22nd September 1997
It is the day of Fred and Maureens wedding and Maud is still determined to spoil it. As she and Maureen are getting ready she continues to put Fred down until Maureen finally snaps back at her. To her, and my, surprise, Maud begins to cry and admits she is scared of losing Maureen.
Nastily has been told by the plumber that there was no leak and following her discovery of the writing on the mirror (which brought forth the question, 'What's a wahorry?' from the member of the family with only two years of primary school reading experience. Still, once I had explained to Mrs P what the word actually was, she was much happier!) . She tells Kevin to go round and see Sally to confirm that she did it. He attempts to refuse but his heart's not in it as he is now totally browbeaten and does exactly as he's told by the peroxide pensioner.
At the registry office Fred is becoming anxious as Maureen is ten minutes late. The Drear and La Mouton snigger like a couple of schoolgirls about the pairing but seem oblivious to the fact that there is about as much chance of either of them walking down the aisle again as there is of anyone ever taking William Haig seriously as a political force. (Has anyone noticed the striking likeness between the balding pillock and the cartoon character, Tweety Pie? Separated at birth or what.? Take a another look at that shirt Graham Allsopp, you will never wear it without thinking of Haig again! :-) ). To Fred's relief Maureen arrives and the marriage can proceed.
Kevin calls at Sally and she wastes no time at all in letting him know how she felt after the postcard to the girls came. She happily admits to having caused the flood at Nastilys but tells him that she stole the keys from Chris rather than telling him that she was with Chris in the house (or that Chris is staying with her! ) He than stomps off to the garage to have a go at Chris for letting Sally get hold of the keys. Chris says she must have sneaked into the garage and took them while he was working. He also omits to tell Kevin that he is staying at No13.
Back at the registry office the marriage is taking place and Fred's middle name is revealed. So Frederick Handel (Yes, Handel!!) and Maureen Elizabeth are joined together in matrimony. As the photographs are being taken outside Fred gives a signal and four men clad in red aprons and straw hats emerge from the shrubbery. Good grief! It's the Assasins Guild of the Square Dealers. Fred has hired a desperate bunch of cut-throat Master Butchers and they are going to do away with Maud in front of our very eyes so that he and Maureen can live happily ever after. But wait, what this? The assembled quartet break into an accapella version of 'If You Were The Only Girl In The World' Brilliant! Brian Park is going to acknowledge the influence of Quentin Tarrantino on the 'New Street' and while the music plays they will cut off Mauds ears a la 'Reservoir Dogs'! But no, gentle reader, this barbershop quartet are here to serenade Fred's beau on their special day, and a darn fine job they make of it too. Even Maud seems touched by this display of Fred's affection. A wonderful touch and a refreshing change of pace and style and most welcome IMO! (I'm no expert on barbershop but I thought they were the bizz! )
The wedding party retire to The Rovers for drinks before the reception which is being held somewhere else, the destination being known only to Fred. There is much comment on Fred's unusual middle name and he informs the throng that he comes from a very musical family and all members were given a composers name for their middle name. He tells them that Ashley's mother's middle name is Heydn. Maxine comments that she bets Ashley is glad the tradition wasn't continued with him. Fred tells them that it was but before he can reveal what it is dragged away by someone. Maxine and the others are dying to know what it is but Ashley is mortified and will not tell. They spend the rest of the day trying to guess his middle name but to no avail.
Meanwhile Jim receives a phone call from the sperm clinic and learns that his sperm sample is negative. Now I can only assume that sperm banks have gone the way of financial banks and installed 'hole in the wall' machines. After all, it was Sunday when Fiona asked Jim if he would have a sperm test and it is only Monday now. He must have popped down, inserted whatever is necessary into a slot, made a deposit and requested a statement. (If he had made an earlier withdrawal he could have avoided all this nonsense!) Surely, no medical centre in the country gives such a rapid service, you normally can't even get an appointment without several weeks notice but hey, this is Brian Parks world, right kids? 'Anything' can happen! Steve tells him that he has had enough of Alan McKenna's victimisation of him and he is going to leave the area. Jim tells him not to but Steve's mind is made up. Jim begins to see a way of getting revenge on McKenna.
Back at The Rovers Maud confesses to Martin that she is beginning to see Fred in a new light after his display of affection earlier. Sally arrives at the pub with the factory girls. Nastily, who has been told by Kev that Sally 'did' flood their house sees her and goes over to her and starts a row. Sally gives her a mouthful back. As this is taking place, Fred announces on the other side of the bar that it is time to leave for the reception proper and leads a drunken conga of revellers down Coronation St. They weave their way along to the shop and then back on the other side until they reach Mavis's former home. He then tells Maureen that he has bought the house for her and proceeds to carry her over the threshold. Meanwhile on the other side of the street, as the conga was making it's way down Sally walks out of the pub but is followed by Nastily who is insistent on continuing the row. The argument escalates with Sally definitely coming out way on top in the verbal abuse stakes - lambasting Kevin's lapdog personality and Nastily's looks, dress and age by turn. Kevin tries to break it up but Nastily is intent on trouble and before you can say Tyson/Holyfield the two are rolling on the floor amid much scratching and hair pulling. Though separated briefly by Chris and Kevin, Sally resumes her attack immediately to the delighted shouts and encouragement of her co-workers. Meanwhile the wedding party on the other side of the street are oblivious. As the fight is taking place Alan McKenna pulls up in his car as Jim is leaving his house. Alan finds the whole thing amusing and proceeds to try and goad Jim into having a fight with 'him'. Jim refuses to rise to the bait preferring to bide his time a while. Eventually, the women are parted with, IMO, a narrow points victory to Sally for at least not looking like her skin has been sandblasted for a decade or two.
Later Jim visits Fiona and begins stage one of his revenge for Alan's beating and threatening Steve. He lies and tells Fiona that his sperm test was positive and that he 'must' be the father of her baby.
The reception is in full swing in the former chez Wilton, now chez Elliot. The guests are still trying to guess Ashley's middle name, much to his chagrin. Betty tells those around her that she will be carried out of the Rovers in a box while Rita and Mavis, aware of the reason behind Vera's cookery lessons, exchange a knowing look. Maud tells Maureen that she has had a wonderful time but something is puzzling her. The house has no downstairs bedroom or toilet. How will she manage when she, Fred and Maureen move in? Maureen says that she's sure Fred will have everything in hand and she'll ask him in a minute. When she finally gets Fred on one side and asks him about it she is mortified to hear that Fred has no intention of letting Maud live with them. He has bought the house to be their own nest and it is high time that Maureen cut those apron strings. He assures Maureen that Maud will be fine with 'meals on wheels and social services this and that' but Maureen's face says it all. It's going to end in tears, I just know it!
A very enjoyable episode for all the obvious reasons. See you all next week.
A THOUSAND GREETINGS and it's nice to be back with you again. My grateful thanks to Mimke Plowmad, "The Human Typo" for standing in for me last Wednesday when I had some difficulties.
He cooked up some wild tale about me being in jail here in England.
I was in fact being held by Customs Officials in a grotty sweaty North African country which shall remain nameless. For the sake of argument, let's just call it Morocco.
On arrival there, I queued with everyone else at Passport Control. When I came to the front of the line, the official looked at me very closely indeed. He looked at the picture and back at me several times before he grunted "you wait.... over there"
I was puzzled because I had only just got my new passport, complete with brand new up-to-date picture, so I couldn't imagine what the problem could be.
I duly waited over there, as everyone else filed through without hindrance.
After ten minutes or so, two armed officers came up and, without a word, frog-marched me to a small room. It was a typical interview room. No windows, with just one unshaded light bulb hanging from the ceiling. There was a sink over in one corner, a desk with a swivel chair, and another less comfortable chair for the interviewee. I sat alone and waited.
Eventually an enormous man unlocked the door and let himself in. He wore a black crumpled uniform which looked like it had never been washed. A cigarette hung from the corner of his mouth, and he screwed up his eyes to counteract the smoke which rose from it. In his hand he held my passport.
We were alone.
He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity before he spoke. Just before he uttered his first word, he threw my passport backwards over his right shoulder. Without having looked where he was throwing it, it landed smartly in the sink.
He spoke in broken English:
Him I think you are bastard, yes?
Me Absolutely not! I am a British subject.
Him OK... British bastard, yes? I say you come to Morocco to smuggle. You are in big trouble now Nigel Wormshole. He enunciated my name with a murderous sneer. In Morocco penalty for smuggling is.... he drew his index finger smartly across his throat, and made a noise like the breaking of a small tree trunk. You smuggle updates into Morocco. This we know. updates cause misery... degradation... crime wave... you in big trouble here. Empty all pockets and strip for search!
I emptied all my pockets onto the desk, one by one. He gazed impassively, smoking constantly, as I showed everything I was carrying. First a flick knife, then a small calibre handgun. Then a couple of canisters of CS gas spray, some cannabis resin, a considerable amount of powdered rhino horn, and the pickled pituitary glands from various endangered species, followed by half a kilo of pure uncut heroin which I had strapped to my body.
He was utterly unmoved by this dreadful array of contraband, and demanded:
"Where are updates hidden?" He then poked me rather hard in the stomach.
"Mr British Bastard Wormshole has swallowed them, yes I think?"
"No matter...we will wait for nature to take her course and we will see what tomorrow brings I think?"
At this juncture, he pointed abruptly to a poster on the wall. It concerned all the things which you could and could not bring into the country.
All down one side were pictures of the sort of things I had produced from my pockets. They all had big green ticks alongside them, and a cartoon face of a man smiling broadly.
On the other side was only one thing. Coronation Street updates! There was a very big cross through that picture, and the cartoon face was contorted into terminal nausea!
He walked over and fetched my passport from the sink. It was rather wet and the ink had run on the first page. Perhaps this was why he kept calling me Wormshole. He peered through ever thickening clouds of smoke at the picture and then back at me.
He came over and looked very closely at the underside of my chin.
Him: Where is giant scab?
Me: What giant scab... I have no giant scab!
Him: Look... in Distinguishing Marks, it says here you have 25cm scab under you chin.
Me: Let me see that..... no.... the ink has run.... look... it should say I have a 2.5cm scar under my chin! Not some 10 inch scab!
Anyone who knows me can verify I do indeed have a 2.5cm scar under my chin, from a fall I had as a child.
I was kept in custody in a cell for the ensuing night with one or two desperate looking individuals. I think one of them was being held on suspicion of smuggling EastEnders updates into the country. She seemed harmless enough to me, in fact we sang TV Theme Tunes Through the Ages to each other to while away the long hot night.
When it eventually became clear that I had not, in fact, stuffed updates into condoms and swallowed them, I was grudgingly allowed to leave. I was reunited with all my goodies from the previous day, and put on the next plane bound for London.
As I was being escorted out through the Customs Hall, I saw another poor individual who had been told to wait for interviewing. I recognised the face immediately. He looked nervous. So he should. It was none other than Mimke Plowmad, the Human Typo, on the Tangiers Monday Update- smuggling run, spreading his evil tide of update misery. I shouted to him cheerily:
" Take it from me Mimke, make for the washroom before they come for you! "
Here is the update for the UK episode shown on Wednesday 24.9.97:
After recent all-action scenes of violence and criminal damage, it was an episode rich in dialogue and bereft of action.
We start in the McDonald household where Steve is not having any success phoning someone about a flat. Andy asks if he's really serious about moving away, and Steve assures him he will still be taking an active part in the business. Jim is getting rather pensive whilst holding a tin of Heinz Spaghetti. He gazes down at it, spouting forth wisdom about regrets. I can well understand a large tin of Heinz Spaghetti giving rise to thoughts of regret! He says he's in no position to try to talk any sense into Steve.
Soppy Al is just leaving the flat for another hard day feeling collars, and Fiona is hinting about leaving the area, citing the need for extra space when the baby arrives as being the principal reason. Al doesn't want to be pushed out of Weatherfield because of Steve McDonald, especially as he's no longer a problem.
Later Jim calls at the salon, after having one of his regular long hard looks at the outside of the place. That man spends great periods of time just staring wistfully at the salon doesn't he? Anyway, Fiona lets him in, whereupon he tells her that the bit the previous day, about the vasectomy having failed, was not true. He is indeed firing blanks, as people so indelicately choose to put it.
Understandably, Fiona's angry to hear this and says she will never be able to believe another word he says. She even sees a bit deeper, and wonders if yesterday was the truth and today is the lie. She thinks she has uncovered Jim's master plan to get her to have his baby, and subsequently break up her marriage to Al! Jim pleads with her to believe that it's not like that. Fiona then informs Jim that they will be leaving the area soon anyway.
So in the pub that evening, Jim tells Steve this news.
In Emily's house a minor financial mystery is evolving. With the din of loud music from next door disturbing their conversation, Percy is asking Emily if she might have taken some loose change from his precious copper jar. He's off to bank it, and it appears to be 70 pence short. He makes a considerable song and dance about this piffling little sum of money, and later in the pub Emily tries to use all her tact to suggest that his brain cells might not be all they were in their heyday, and that he has simply made a mistake. Percy is convinced a break-in must be the only logical explanation. Emily even goes so far as to give a recent example of her own absent-mindedness with regard to some mislaid raffle tickets. Proof indeed, Emily!
Fred and Maureen, the star cross'd lovers (!) return from their brief honeymoon. There is some friction when Fred raises the matter of Bill continuing to live in the flat above the corner shop, as Maureen tries hard to assert her will and let Bill stay there. But the main source of disagreement is over Maud, who gets the message that she is not welcome in the new love nest, but that seems to suit her frame of mind quite well. To Bill she makes some remark about "the joists needing bolstering" before he starts "carrying on" in the bedroom. She refers to Fred as Mr Blobby.
Overseas readers may wonder who Mr Blobby is. Briefly put, he is a deeply hilarious British TV comic creation. In his most basic form, he is an actor called Barry Killerby inside an oversized pink foam rubber costume. He is much prone to falling over, thereby securing himself an enduring and special place in the hearts of the British viewing public. He says things like "blobby blobby blobby" which, as you can imagine, convulses us in our millions, week after week after week.
On the shelves behind the actors are stacked several loaves of Kingsmill Gold. Your humble Wednesday Update servant eats this very staff of life every morning. It toasts up beautifully, and Dominic has it in his school lunchbox. I mention this purely with mercenary motives. If some executive from the relevant bakery company reads this update, I will be assured of a free lifetime's supply of this excellent product. Next week, I intend to repeatedly endorse the virtues of the Ferrari motor car. I shall then sit back confidently and wait for that reassuring roar on my driveway, within days!
Later that evening, Fred and Maureen sit at their dinner table. Fred is concerned that Maureen is not making the best of her belly pork. Nevertheless, he proposes a toast to "long and happy marriage" Maureen raises her glass in a somewhat half-hearted manner. There is some writing on the wall, and if it was the sort of writing you could see, the name Bill Webster would feature there!
Natalie is talking about pressing criminal damage charges against Sally, for having caused considerable damage to her house with the bubble bath stunt. She demands that Kevin should go round and demand that Sally compensate her financially. After trying to talk her out of this idea, he does so, and gets a flea in his ear for his pains.
It's while he's at his former house that he spots Chris's sleeping bag, which leads to the obvious questions and thinly-veiled innuendo. Later Kevin confronts Chris, and Chris says he has nothing to hide, and there has been no hanky-panky taking place.
As the meal things are being tidied away later at Sally's house, there is a knock on the front door. It is DC Kay and DC Harris. The latter of these two chooses not to utter a single word, for reasons best known only to himself, but conveys one or two basic emotions with facial expressions and body-vocabulary.
They have come to talk to Sally about the allegation of Mrs Horrocks regarding a matter of criminal damage at her house. Sally freely admits the charge, but bleats on about Kevin having left her for Natalie, etc etc, which draws yet another range of facially expressive but utterly silent acting from the mute DC Harris. DC Kay says she will report to her superior, and Sally will no doubt hear more of it. Sally tells the detectives about the rammy she had with Natalie in the street the other night and they leave, darkly advising her not to push her luck.
That's yer lot - Good night and I love you all.
House: Natalie insists that the whole hall needs redecorating, but Kevin points out that if Sally has to pay, the money comes from him eventually. He advises Natalie to tell the insurance company that it was an accident, but she says it is a bit late for that as she went to the police yesterday. Kevin gets very cross.
Flat: Fiona is packing her case for the holiday, and Alan is off to work. She can't wait to get away, (both on holiday and from the area.)
Street: Toyah emerges from her house in a micro-mini school skirt - and gets shouted at by Janice. Les can't see what is wrong with his daughter's appearance, and seems unimpressed by Janice's request for some backup. Ken sets off for a day supply teaching, and he gives Emily a lift; she is going to the Charity Shop to escape Mr Sugden.
House: Kevin and Natalie argue. She is unrepentant about involving the police, reasoning that if Sally gets away with this, she will do something else in future.
House: Chris calls at Sally's for his overalls, and to see how she is. Sally tells him about the police and Chris is all for going to have words with Natalie. Sally thanks him but says he mustn't risk his job.
Shop: Fred orders Maureen to get the name above her door changed - for the drinks licence. He invites, reluctantly, Maud to dinner that night and she accepts, reluctantly. Bill comes in to buy some things and Maureen asks him to look at a dodgy shelf. Fred intervenes and says he will sort it, using his friend who is a 'proper joiner'; Bill goes off in a huff and Maureen is upset. Fred calms her by promising her nothing but the best from now on and Maureen upsets Maud by her loyalty to Fred.
Rovers: Angie and the women from Underworld ask Sally what's wrong. With a little prompting she tells them, and when Ida and Janice express admiration for her actions she basks in the limelight. Kevin appears and after some heckling from the girls he tells Sally he will try to talk Natalie out of pressing charges.
Salon: Fiona wonders if it is unlucky to go on your honeymoon before the wedding, then bursts into tears on Maxine's shoulder. Maxine tries to coax out of her what is wrong, but Fiona says she can't tell anyone. With a rare insight, Max asks 'Not even Alan?'
Rovers: Natalie makes it clear to Kevin that she won't let Sally off the hook. Kevin sighs. Fred takes Bill aside and, after a bit of civilised insult on both sides, Fred explains that Bill has to move out of the flat. He says they need the storage space, but Maureen didn't like to ask him herself.
Salon: Fiona watches the Street through the blinds then tells Maxine to cover for her as she nips out for ten minutes.
Shop: Bill tells Maureen he will move out at the end of the week. Maureen questions him over exactly what Fred said.
House: Fiona has called at Jim's to see the proof with her own eyes (ie the letter from the clinic) She asks him to promise not to tell anyone about their liaison, which he does. Then she says he might change his mind. Jim says that if she told Alan the truth then she wouldn't have to worry.
Street/Garage: Leanne chats up Chris, who isn't interested. She tells him she will be in 'Slammers' on Saturday. Chris tackles Kevin about calling the police to Sally. Kevin asks him to consider the other side to the story, then has a go at Chris for staying at Sally's. Alan and Fiona pack the car. Leanne boasts to Toyah that Chris asked her out, although he can't pick her up as he doesn't want Angie to know. Jim asks Fiona if she has told Alan yet. She has no intention of ever telling him, and warns Jim that if he does, she will tell Steve. Alan reappears and they set off on holiday, watched by Jim from the other side of the road.
House: Maureen, Fred and Maud play Cluedo, which Maureen wins, to her absolute delight. Fred sets Maud up to watch TV in the conservatory, with a brandy which he wishes were snake venom.
House: Emily explains to Ken that Rita and Mavis are going for a week's practice run at Cartmel and have asked Emily to run the Kabin, with Ken's help. He gladly agrees as he has had a shattering day and finds supply teaching frustrating. Percy moans to Emily that someone has been fiddling with the TV. She blames it on him, but he is adamant that he neither touched the TV nor spent the money.
Hospital: Martin is in the canteen when he is told that a patient who has just come in has been asking for him.
House: After Maud has gone, Maureen tells Fred that he must stop making decisions without consultation. He agrees, and even lets her talk him into leaving the washing up till the morning.
Hospital: Martin enters a room and is surprised to see Don, looking quite ill. Don says they haven't told him much, but it is something 'down there' that they can't sort out. He knows he is dying. Credits.
Episode written by Phil Woods.
Best bits: Fred and Bill. Fred, Maureen and Maud at home.
Here is the news for , and this is Jerry Ledbetter reading it. In tonight's headlines:
Kev humiliated by Bill and Natalie.
Dissention at the Bide-a-wee
Maude decides to go into a "home". Maureen wishes she had done it years ago.
Don, dying of cancer, says he wants to apologise to Alma.
One of Percy's fairy cakes is missing.
Kev humiliated by Bill and Natalie
Embarrassment for Kev today when Bill laid into him and Natalie as they sat in the Rovers. The diminutive mechanic told his dad "You can't talk to Natalie like that", however he turned out to be mistaken. We cross now to your roving reporter Tom Good, who has tracked Bill down to hear his side of the story. Over to you Tom.
Thank you very much Jerry. Now Bill, you seem to have got out of bed on the wrong side today.
"What just because I told Natalie what I think of her?"
That's not all though is it? I understand you were rude to Maureen and Fred this morning when they told you that you needn't move out of the flat yet.
"Well, what do you expect? I'd only just got up and the first thing I see is Sal all upset. It's over the letter she's just received from Natalie saying she has to pay for the damage or be sued.
"When I saw Fred and Maureen, it was clear she had nagged him to let me stay on, but I know when I'm not wanted. 'I can't stay 'round here any more' I told them. It drives me wild to think of her and that tub of lard Fred Elliot anyway. No, the sooner I am out the better".
Do you think deciding to go has affected your relationship with Kev?
"Yes, that is another thing. I don't want to hang around and watch him make a pig's ear of his life. He had everything that lad, and he threw it away. For what? Something that looks like the dog dragged it in.
"He's going to regret it I know. Maybe not now or tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of his life. And I don't want to be around to see it.
"I suppose it was rough on him, my having a go at Natalie in public, but he had it coming. Fancy letting her come into 'The Rover's' like that in broad daylight. I mean, there is only so much a man can stand. Her sitting there all bold as brass, and all the while ruining our Sal's life. It's long past due for someone to tell her what a cow she is. And if Kev finds it embarrassing, well, he shouldn't of took up with her."
Thank you Bill. Now Kevin, you've heard what your dad says, what do you think?
"I just wish he'd let me sort out me problems in me own way Tom. I've been talking to Natalie about giving it a rest with our Sal. I mean, what is the point of suing her? She's got no money anyway, so I'll have to pay her to pay Natalie. It's doing no good, all this, and on top of the repairs we'll have to pay all them legal things as well.
"The thing is Tom, no one ever listens to me. When Bill started up in 'The Rover's' I stood up and said to him not to talk to Natalie like that. But does he stop? No, it is up to Betty to stop him.
"Later, when I try to get Natalie to see sense, she just walks out on me. I mean, what am I doing wrong? I've got no life of me own any more. Look, where do I live? Natalie's house. Not mine and Natalie's, just 'Natalie's'. I've got no friends, Chris has moved into my house, MY house, with my wife. Even my dad says I'm a disappointment to him. No one ever talks to me but Natalie, and all she does lately is complain about Sal.
"I miss that warmth I had with Sal. But once I lost it, there's no way of getting it back. I wish I knew what to do."
Dissention at the Bide-a-wee
Rita and Mavis, sharing a room at the Bide-a-wee, soon to be theirs, are not seeing eye to eye over some of the details about running the house. Your holiday (and fashion) correspondent Margo is on the scene. Over to you Margo.
Thank you very much Jerry. Here, listeners, at the Bide-a-wee in sunny Cartmel, holiday makers can gaze uninterrupted at tranquil lakes and peaceful hills. Within easy reach of Manchester it is a place guaranteed to sooth away your big city blues. Unless of course, you happen to be sharing a room with Rita and Mavis, who haven't exactly been seeing eye to eye on how to run their (soon to be) new investment. Mavis, fresh from her management training, undertaken during the drive up, is concerned that Rita might not show future customers enough respect. However Rita apparently feels that the Bide-a-wee should serve more as a retirement house with occasional guests, rather than a place of hard graft.
I asked Mavis and Rita to join me, but they refuse to be in the same room together. Perhaps when they have had time to settle in, things may run more smoothly. Meanwhile, back to you Jerry.
Maude decides to go into a "home"
Emotional scenes today at the Elliot household when Maude turned up for lunch unusually late. A worried Maureen had been trying to phone her all day, but there was no response as she was viewing sheltered accommodation at "Mayfield Court".
I'm joined in the studio now by Maureen. Welcome Maureen. Tell us how you reacted to Maude's news?
"At first I thought she was only bluffing. I thought she was trying to make me feel guilty, and I told her I was going to call her bluff. She can move into sheltered accommodation for all I care.
"But she convinced me that she is serious. She even said she is looking forward to living in Mayfield Court. But I am still bitter. I wish it had happened years ago.
"Ten years ago, I could still have made a life for myself. Now all I've got is ... him. She's moving out so I can 'live my own life' but it is too late. I've got no life left".
Don, dying of cancer, says he wants to apologise to Alma
Gail and Martin visited Don at Weatherfield General Hospital today. Don appeared to feel a great deal of remorse over his past actions. He apologised profusely to Gail and asked her to bring Alma to his bedside. Don is quoted as saying "If I can be forgiven by Gail and Alma, I can die in peace".
One of Percy's fairy cakes is missing
Percy was most upset to find that he only had nine fairy cakes in the tin. He is convinced that he baked a dozen. Emily, meanwhile, is becoming increasingly concerned about what she perceives as Percy's unusual behaviour.
Mavis is up with the larks and is looking around the grounds of the 'Bide-A-Wee' guest house. Mavis is positively enchanted with the whole place. Mr Groves, the owner, is showing her round and offers to show her the vegetable garden. Rita appears and seems to have got out of the wrong side of the bed. When Mavis enthuses about them seeing the veg garden she snarls and stomps off to have her breakfast.
Martin asks Gail if she is going to ask Alma to visit Don before he dies. Gail says she is still unsure. Martin spots Ashley delivering over the road and tells him about Don.
As Sally and Janice are leaving for work, Kevin appears and asks if he can have a word. Janice kindly tells him he can have a smack in the gob! (I really do like Janice and I would just 'love' to see her lay one on Kevin. I reckon he wouldn't stand a chance. Or better still, let's see Janice v Nastily. I'd even pay the PPV fee for 'that' match!) He tells Sally that Nastily will drop the charges if Sally apologises. Sally refuses.
Rita is being served breakfast in the dining room at Bide-A-Wee by Mrs Groves, who remarks that it is so important to have a partner when entering a business like theirs. Rita agrees and Mrs G adds that she is very broadminded.Rita realises that Mrs G thinks they are 'partners' rather than business partners. Alarmed that someone thinks that she 'drinks from the furry cup' Rita hurriedly points out that they are both widows and nothing could be further from the truth.
In the cafe, Martin and Gail break the news to Alma of Don's illness and his request to make his peace with her before he dies. Alma does the fingers to the temple 'emoting' trick and say that she will go and see him, but will not tell Mike.
Mavis has had a wonderful time picking leeks with Mr Groves but is puzzled when Mrs Groves tells her that Rita has gone off in the car.
In the Rovers, Sally tells Bill about Nastilys offer and Bill tells her that he is ashamed of Kevin and has had enough of him and Nastily. (Yeah, you and 19 million others, Bill!). Bill tells Steve and Jim that he needs a few hours off that afternoon. Ashley tells Fred about Don but Freds view on the matter is 'Good riddance to bad rubbish!'.
In the Kabin, Toyah attempts to buy some fags but is refused by Ken for being under age. She nicks a handful of wine gums and exits to much tut-tutting from Audreh and Emily. Emily, still worried about Percy's recent forgetfulness ponders if Wine Gums can cause problems as Mr Sugden has eaten so many over the years. (Personally, ISTR that he nearly always bought mints and, on occasion, humbugs. Still, you can't expect the writers to pay attention to minor stuff like that can you?). Amusingly, Percy later buttonholes Ken to ask if he thinks Mrs Bishop is having a reoccurrence of her 'old problem' as she doesn't remember eating the three fairy cakes. Ken points out that she was with him in The Kabin so couldn't possibly have eaten them.
In the shop, Maud still insists that she is moving into Mayfield Court but Maureen still thinks she is up to something.
Mavis is beavering away in the vegetable garden when Rita returns. She tells Rita that she will have to learn all about the vegetable growing so they can serve home-grown produce, etc. Rita pours scorn on the idea saying that it's just a selling ploy by Mr Groves and that frozen veg will be cheaper. Mavis becomes annoyed and a little bold and comments that she thinks that Rita isn't cut out for the kind of demands that such a venture entails and perhaps she ought to think very carefully about her future. With this Rita barks at her that she has and the whole deal is off and she leaves for Weatherfield leaving Mavis behind.
In the cafe, Bill breaks the news to Steve and Jim that he has decided to leave at the end of the week to return to Germany. he has had enough of the Kevin/Nastily debacle and Maaureen/Fred. Nastily enters to buy a sandwich for her and Kevin. (Raw black pudding in her's and jam in Kevin's with the crusts cut off, I expect!). Bill rips into her and tells her that he's going and will be glad not to have to see her ugly face again.
Bill tells Maureen that he is leaving for Germany and will quit the flat at the end of the week. She is upset and shocked but all Fred says is that it is good news.
Alma visits Don and forgives him for his past trespasses. He asks how she and Mike are but does not seem particularly pleased to hear that she has a new job and is happy and that Mikes new business is doing very well.
Kevin has a pop at Bill for having a pop at Nastily. Bill tells him that he is leaving for Germany and to shut up, leaving Kevin stood there mouth agape.
Chez Elliot and Fred has just polished off half a cow while maureen has not touched her meal. Fred bellows that she should eat to keep her strength up and that she should stop mithering about Maud. ( Maureen is, though, upset over Bills decision to leave. ) As she takes the plate from the table Fred stabs his fork into her steak and lobs it onto his own. This act of gluttony seems to be the spark of ignition for what we all know was bound to come and she rounds on Fred telling him he is a selfish, greedy and ignorant old man ad that she wishes that she had never married him. She runs out of the house followed by a visibly shaken Fred who she refuses to speak to and sends back inside. Bill spots her crying and asks her what is wrong to which Maureen replies, ' I have made the biggest mistake of my life.' Credits.