Sunday 1 March
Dear Update Readers,
I came into the office tonight (which is no mean feat, given
that I live three miles away) to prepare some exam papers and
check my email when what do I find? A letter of sheer desperation
from one Ian Harding, the guy to whom this week's Sunday update
has been entrusted, who is in something of a blind funk because
(a) his video recorded the wrong programme and thus he can't
do the update; and (b) he's leaving on holiday in the morning
(ten days nude abseiling in Fuengirola) and thus won't be able
to record the repeat. In other words, he can't do tonight's update
at all and wants to know who can. Well, I'm always ready to give
a man a helping hand, especially if he's desperate, and so since
I am here anyway, I'll do it. But please bear in mind that (a)
I shall be writing the update from memory and thus apologise
in advance for anything I miss; and (b) mine will be considerable
shorter than Ian's would have been. And, Ian dearest, you owe
me one, okay? And I reserve the right to determine exactly how
you are to pay me back. (Don't worry, Ian mate, it's not *really*
like having a bowel operation without anaesthetic - that's just
Anyway, down to business...
The Update: Sunday, March 1st
The mills are all shut, there's a recession on and times are
hard. What do Jim 'So It Is' McDonald and his 'mucker', Gary Mallett,
do at times like this? Well they're too young (just) to draw a
pension and they're too old (just) to sell their bodies, so they
have little choice but to sit and moan. And that's what they're
doing at the outset of this episode: sitting in the van and bemoaning
their fate. Gary is so hard-up that he can't even afford a bag
of crisps, and so stupid that he refuses Jim's offer of a pint
in which to drown their sorrows. "Don't worry," Jim
says, "Something will come up, so it will." (I don't
actually remember whether he said 'so it will', but it sure feels
as though he did.)
Back at the cafe, Hayley is waiting for Roy to respond to her
little revelation. To say that Roy is gobsmacked would be an understatement.
He looks winded, punch-drunk, as though he has taken an invisible
blow to the solar plexus. He simply has no point of reference
to which he can have recourse, no emotional machinery with which
he can process this new information. His expression is now shocked,
now haunted, now bewildered, now dismayed. The truth has not registered,
and nor does Roy want it to. Someone once told me: There's nothing
wrong with castles in the air; it's when you try to live in them
that the trouble starts. Well Roy has the look of a man who is
watching his castles disintegrate, one by one.
At Shagworld, Chris has the happy and contented look of the
cat who has just lapped up the cream. He can't believe his luck:
he'd only called round for a couple of minutes for his books and
now, an hour or two - and several helpings of chopped liver sundae
- later, he's still here. And seated before him is the reason
why: Samantha 'The Future is Orange' Failsworth, once frostier
than the Russian steppes but now fast turning into CS's very own
mobile sperm bank. Bathed in a soft, post-coital glow that precludes
any need for lamps or candles, Sam tells the about-to-depart Chris
that they must "do it again sometime".
Back at the cafe, an incredulous Roy is still wrestling with
Hayley's revelation. Life for him is simple, he says: he likes
trains and stamps and he has his cafe, and that is all he knows.
Hayley endeavours with great subtlety to let him into her world
by telling him about her childhood, about the horror of being
a woman trapped inside a man's body, about the taunts and the
insults and the rejection and the depression. Under normal circumstances,
these are things which would spark off empathy in Roy, who is
obviously no stranger to the heartache of isolation and alienation,
but he can't digest it. He can't digest it because he is in too
deep; his heart is too caught up and he cannot stand back and
judge objectively. And so he stutters and flusters and blethers
and babbles, all the time wishing that it wasn't happening.
At Fiona's, Pam returns and offers to look after Morgan while
Fiona has a break. Fiona lies through her teeth and tells her
that she has a perfectly happy life and that the only thing she
wants is for Pam to be gone. Pam tells her that she is just a
phone-call away, for "That's what being a mother is, as you
yourself will find out." (My mother would have said, "Well
suit yourself, you stubborn little gobshite", as she has
said to me on numerous occasions. (Actually, Fiona's getting off
lightly where her mother is concerned. I dread to think what my
mother would have done had I produced a sprog 'out of wedlock'
and called it Morgan. "How am I going to hold me head up
at Mass," she would have said, "knowing that everyone
knows I've got a grandson called Morgan?")
Back at the cafe, Roy is nearing mental and emotional meltdown.
Hayley simply wants to know whether Roy will go on being her friend,
but all Roy wants to be is alone, and he asks Hayley to leave.
Two worlds silently implode as Hayley takes her coat and makes
for the door, leaving a dazed and confused Roy alone in the darkened
Chez Baldwin, the phone rings. It's she-of-the-throbbing-tendon,
Deirdre Rachid. She's phoning to tell Mike that the court case
is due to start in two weeks' time and that she is ready to return
to Weatherfield. However, she has nowhere to go: she has obviously
burnt all her bridges with Ken, and La Mouton is away somewhere.
Mike jumps in straight away and offers her his and Alma's spare
room. Alma has no choice but to acquiesce, although it's clear
that she's not over the moon about her husband's ex-bit of totty
shacking up with them for a fortnight. Alma tries to make a few
excuses but they are too feeble to be taken seriously and so Mike
gets his own way: Deirdre will be staying with them. Alma makes
a mental note not to buy any root vegetables for the next two
The next morning, Gail realises that all is not well with Roy,
but she is unable to wheedle an explanation out of him.
At Firman's Freezers, Spider and Toyah arrive to ask Curly
whether he has complied with their demands that he remove all
of the Norwegian prawns. A smug and self-satisfied Curly replies
that he has no intention of complying with them; what is more,
he has ordered extra supplies of beef, pork, lamb, pate and venison
- in short, all of the things likely to raise the hackles of Spider
and the rest of the inhabitants of the planet Vega.
At the Rovers, Betty is about to serve Chris when Samantha
almost breaks her neck rushing to serve him first. A few feet
away, Mike Baldwin is telling Ken Barlow about Deirdre's impending
return. "And she's coming to say with us," he says gleefully,
"because you didn't want anything to do with her. How long
were you married to her? Ten years? And you refuse to support
her during her court case." Mike ends his impression of a
Relate counsellor by giving one of his legendary "I-am-considerably-better-than-YOW"
sneers, while Ken repairs to another part of the pub to mull over
life in general and to deliberate upon his sad life and all those
wasted opportunities. (But he's still not boring, allegedly).
At the cafe, Roy is alone. (Well actually, Steve McDonald and
his old girlfriend Rachel are seated at the window table). As
I said, at the cafe, Roy is alone. Rachel wants to know why Steve
went round to Fiona's; Steve replies that he and Fiona are just
good friends. Roy is just staring ahead, into space, and Rachel
flatters herself beyond measure by thinking that Roy is staring
Back at the pub, Jim is doing him impression of 'Larry the
Leper': first he is rejected by Steve and Rachel, who have teleported
from the cafe to the pub at the speed of shite, and then by Judy,
who still thinks that Gary should do the dirty on Jim and accept
Steve's offer of work. Gary, loyal to a fault, says that he will
never give up on his mucker.
Collins arrives at the Rovers to suggest to Sam that they go play
hide the salami again once she finishes work. Does Samantha accept
his offer? Is the Pope Catholic? Does Kevin Webster spend all
his spare time in the Oxford Road cottage? Talk about enthusiastic:
you can almost hear her moistening up. Anyway, she is flirting
with Chris when.....Des walks in. He had gone to Bangor, obviously
couldn't, and is now back in Wetherfield again. Poor Des! When
the cat's away, the pussy is having fun. Sorry mate, that's how
it goes. And that's how it went, until Monday night.
Regards, and sorry it was a bit impromptu...
(Ian Harding: you have a lot to answer for.....)
Monday 2 March
OK, OK, I know I said never again, but Ian is on holiday.
He appealed to me - and I did owe him one from a few weeks ago
...... so here it is - positively definitely my very last update.
Mike's Flat: Alma tidies the flat as Mike sits in the armchair
reading the paper. He eventually realises that she is tidying
up for Deirdre. Mike says he doesn't understand why Alma is bothering
- since she didn't even want Deirdre to stay. Alma just flashes
her eyes at him in a hard stare.
Des's House: Sam insists on a lingering goodbye kiss. Des remarks
on how attentive she has been all weekend, and Sam at least has
the good grace to blush and look away. Des is off to Newcastle,
and asks her to go with him, but Sam says she has to work Natalie's
shift at the pub. Sam reassures Des that she loves him. He mistakes
the sadness in her face for missing him.
Street: Steve stops Fiona after her third trip around the block.
She says it is the only way to keep Morgan quiet. Steve realises
that Fiona is fed up and suggests she go out, he offers to find
a baby-sitter. Fiona thinks he means himself and replies that
he is not a suitable baby-sitter - mainly because he isn't female.
Gary escapes from his house but Judy follows him to the door since
she was in mid-nag. Gary must not forget to buy the washing powder.
Judy sees Steve across the road, and tells Gary he has to ask
for the job, even if it means crawling. Over the road, Fiona and
Steve agree on the time she can go out. Gary comes over, and Steve
says he is happy to take him on. Fiona also accepts Steve's offer,
and Steve modestly shrugs 'Just call me Mr Fixit.'
Mike's Flat: Mike and Dreary arrive with her stuff. She thanks
him for his support, but worries what Alma must think of her.
Mike assures Dreary that Alma insisted she stay and treat the
place like home.
Firmans: Alma finds a sympathetic ear in Hayley as she moans
about her new house guest. There is a nice little bit about people
seeing you before your makeup is on and your hair done, and whether
that is the real you, which Alma disagrees with. She says the
real her is the made up dressed up hair done version. Hayley certainly
seems to empathise with this. Alma hates the thought of sharing
her home with another woman, even one in a crisis. 'Why should
I automatically bond with her just cos she wears a bra?' Curly
interrupts to find out why Hayley has taken so long. Hayley skilfully
diverts the conversation to prawns. Then an awful moaning noise
emanates from the front entrance. They rush to the front of the
store, and Alma realises it is whale music, being played through
Toyah's ghetto blaster. The protesters are there, carrying banners
reading No to Norway Prawns and Boycott Firmans. Curly rushes
off to get his metaphorical harpoon. Or at least phone the police,
who turn out to be unable to do anything unless the protesters
actually commit an offence. Hayley complains about the noise.
Curly stabs randomly at the buttons on the phone and is connected
to Environmental Health.
Roys Rolls: Steve persuades Rachel to accompany him to Fiona's
that evening to baby-sit. Gail gently tries to talk to the gloomy
Roy, assuring him he will find someone some day. Perhaps even
the next person to walk in. Which turns out to be Betty Williams.
Roy spreads the margarine onto the bread with such feeling. Gail
bangs on about women not being interested in looks or money. Roy's
spreading gets faster and more agitated as Gail says he has a
lot to offer. Roy quietly says 'And you, are incredibly patronising,
Gail' and goes back to his work.
Firmans: The whale music continues and Toyah, Emily
and Spider march around on the pavement. Toyah wants to stop as
she has rubbed a blister, but Spider says they must keep going
so as not to be an obstruction. Toyah decides she has had enough
of being ignored and marches into the shop. Curly forcibly ejects
her, ignoring her protests that she wanted some shopping. Curly
loses his temper and shouts at them. Spider suddenly gathers up
the banners and the ghetto blaster and storms off.
Mike's Flat: Alma arrives home from work to find that
Deirdre has taken over her kitchen and cooked a meal for them
all. Mike's favourite, no less. Deirdre apologises again to Alma
for imposing on them, but Mike cuts her short, insisting she must
regard it as her home. What can Alma do but agree?
Roys Rolls: Emily and Spider arrive for a cup of tea.
Roy apologises to Gail for his manner, explaining that she doesn't
know all the facts, and it is private. Toyah proudly shows Spider
her next tactic. A ransom note made with the letters cut out of
newspaper print. It reads ONE BAG INJECTED WITH MERCURY REMOVE
ALL PRAWNS FROM SALE OR ELSE Toyah eagerly awaits Spiders verdict.
He wearily explains that their principles are peaceful protest,
not bully boy tactics - even though it is meant to be a hoax.
On the bottom, she has signed it with her name for the group -
PRAWN LIBERATION ORGANISATION and Spider and Emily laugh at PLO,
as someone got there first.
Rovers: Chris holds court over a gaggle of giggling
women hanging on his every word. None more so that Sally, who
is sitting next to him. Judy implores Gary not to feels guilty,
but be pleased about the job and think of the money. Kevin scowls
as he watches Sally and Chris from his place at the bar with the
lads. Gary buys Jim a drink and tells him that he will be working
for Steve. Jim accepts that they need the money. Steve is surprised
that Rachel accepted so willingly going to Fiona's, and Rachel
says it is acting grown up; they know where they stand: Fiona
has the baby; Rachel has Steve. Kevin grumpily goes off to get
his kids from Martins as Sally makes a big show of giggling with
Mike's Flat: Alma thanks Deirdre for the meal as Mike
answers the door to Ken. Deirdre is not pleased to see him, but
tells him the police haven't got Jon yet, which makes her appear
guilty. Ken asks her to move back into No 1 and Mike takes great
delight when Deirdre tells Ken to stick his house. Alma looks
less happy at the news that Deirdre intends to stay with them.
Fiona's Flat: Fiona is surprised when Steve presents
Rachel as the experienced reliable baby-sitter, but get ready
anyway to go to Maxine's. Rachel cuddles the baby as Fiona issues
instructions. Steve shuts her up and sends her out. (Fiona is
already abbreviating the silly name to an even sillier short version
- Morg. I ask you!?) After she has gone, Rachel has a go at Steve
for not warning Fiona that it was she who was baby-sitting.
Rovers: Roy settles down with an orange juice and a
book (I'm sorry but I just couldn't make out what book it was)
Sam is upset to emerge from the back or the cellar or wherever
it was and find Chris has left. She tells Betty she has a headache
and needs a walk round in the fresh air. Hayley approaches Roy
and he gets up to leave. She pleads that they must talk. Roy hurriedly
puts on his coat, saying as he goes 'Please Hayley - or whatever
your name is - leave me alone!' Hayley looks crestfallen and sits
down. Gail comes over and has a go at her for not breaking it
to him gently. Hayley looks worried, then realises Gail doesn't
know what she is talking about. Hayley says that some things are
not easy to hear - however gently they are broken. Gail is unconvinced.
Street: Chris opens the door to Sam. She flirts a bit,
by accusing him of making her jealous by flirting with the girls
from the factory. He denies being a flirt.
Kevin's House: Sally picks a fight with Kevin because
she was talking to Chris and he was with his mates. Kevin is upset
that everyone knew what went on, and Sally shouldn't be with Chris.
Sally naively says that Kevin must accept her friends as she accepts
his. And anyway, Sally says, Kevin should think himself lucky
that he goes home with Sally while Chris is alone.
Street: Chris, however, is far from alone as he is
kissing Sam. Though he doesn't want her to go in, saying he wanted
a night on his own. Sam apologises and sheepishly makes her way
back in the direction of the pub. Credits.
Episode written by Jan McVerry
And that, as Nigel would say, is yer lot! Helen xxx
Wednesday 4 March
Dear Update Readers, Before I tell you all about Wednesday's
episode, let me just clarify one small point. Someone emailed
me from New Zealand to complain about my 'attacks' on Glenda
Young. Well let me put your minds at rest. My 'attacks' on Ms
Young are launched very much in a tongue-in-cheek vein, and I
have no intention of offending or upsetting her. Heaven forfend!
Actually, Glenda and I go back a long way. As you've probably
gathered, we work for the same academic institution and, in our
capacity as employees, our paths do often cross.
However, I knew Glenda Young long before I came to
work at the University. I first met her several years ago in
hospital: I was visiting a friend in the detox unit, and Glenda
just happened to be 'drying out' in the next bed. We've been
friends on and off ever since. I gave her moral support during
all three of her court cases, and she has been there for me whenever
I've felt low. (Whenever I feel low, I always take comfort from
the thought that there is always someone worse off than me -
and that someone is, invariably, Glenda Young.)
But all roads lead to Rome, as they say, and my life
is connected to Glenda's in quite a few ways. Apart from working
at the same place and sharing a love for CS, we are both Virgos
(Glenda's birthday is August 23rd 1942 and mine is August 31st
1962); we both love California; we both enjoy Guinness; and we
have a mutual friend called Ruth, who is possibly the most humourous
woman on the planet. (Ruth has known Glenda longer than I have;
Ruth actually knew her before the operation, when Glenda was
still *Glen* Young). In addition, I recently discovered that
I live only two doors away from Glenda's probation officer. Small
world, isn't it? So please, 'Concerned of Wellington', be concerned
And now, down to business....
UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY MARCH 4TH
The episode opens at the Baldwins, where Alma is waiting
impatiently to be driven to work while Mike gives Deirdre a pep-talk
on her imminent first meeting with her barrister. Mike's telling
Deirdre that *she* should call all the shots, which, given her
track record, is possibly the worst advice he could give her:
putting Deirdre in charge of anything would be like asking Herod
to run the local creche. Mike tells her that she doesn't have
to accept the barrister's counsel, for "the good thing about
advice is that you don't have to take it." "Presumably,"
says Alma, "that includes your advice too?" Deirdre
just sits there in her dressing gown, glummer than glum, all hope
fading fast. If anyone had a case of the 'reverse Midas syndrome'
- i.e. everything you touch turns to shit - then it is Deirdre.
Leaving her with the cheerful thought that prison is indeed an
option, Mike and Alma depart.
In the Street, Toyah is asking Spider whether he'll
be protesting outside Firman's again today, because when she's
finished at the cafe, she'd like to join him. Spider says that
he'll go on protesting as long as it takes. Cue the appearance
of Curly, whom Spider addresses as 'Captain Ahab'. Curly tries
to suck up to them by saying that he is really on their side,
and that as the manager of a small supermarket he is only doing
what his bosses dictate. This elicits from Spider an allusion
to the time-honoured excuse of countless Nazi collaborators: Ve
vere only following ze orders!
Meanwhile, Fiona is getting Morgan ready for his first
trip to the baby clinic. Predictably, Steve is there, ingratiating
himself and intimating at an imminent split with Rachel "You-too-can-have-a-lobotomy-like-mine"
Forbes. Fiona pre-empts him by saying that there is only one man
in her life, and that is Morgan. This doesn't stop her from using
Steve as a dogsbody, however, for she gets him to hump Morgan's
At Shagworld, Des is quizzing Tango Girl on her plans
for that evening. Samantha has nothing planned as such, which
pleases Des because he is planning a "lad's night in"
watching the soccer on the box. "You wouldn't want to spend
an evening with a load of lads," says Des in so many words.
["Not unless they all form an orderly queue," you could
almost hear Samantha thinking]. Samantha feigns dismay and hints
that she might spend the evening with Natalie. [Which I imagine
would be a bit like sitting through the Nuremberg trials, only
without the humour]. As he leaves, Des gives her a cheesy smile
and Sam reciprocates; only once he has gone, her smile turns to
a devious grimace as thoughts of neighbourly salami fill her head.
At Firman's, Curly is still trying to appease Spider.
"I'm not your enemy," he says. "I do my bit for
Greenpeace; I vote Labour; and I put bread out for the birds and
little bowls of water so that they can have a drink." None
of this impresses Spider, however, and he pumps up the volume
of the whale music by several notches.
Inside the store, Hayley is trying to explain her contretemps
with Roy to Alma, but Alma doesn't want to know. "What you
do with your life is your business," Alma protests. Hayley
clearly feels that since Alma was instrumental in bringing her
and Roy together, it is only fair that she be told why they are
now apart. They are interrupted at this point by a bewildered
Curly, who is deep in doubt and threatening to do a Paul on the
road to the Damascus. "What if Spider is right?" he
moans. He says that maybe it is indeed wrong to sell prawns, all
in the name of capitalism. Curly voices his regrets at having
made so many enemies over this issue, to which Alma replies: "You
just want to be loved!" And Hayley, her voice serrated with
regret, chips in with a poignant "Don't we all." Curly
finally concedes that Spider is right and duly orders Hayley and
Alma to take all the prawns off the shelves and put them in a
At the cafe, Roy is depression personified. A well-meaning
Gail tries to chivvy him up a bit, but Roy is having none of it.
How irritating it is, he says, when someone who knows nothing
about the nature of your problem tries to jolly you out of it.
Gail apologises, but says that Roy should phone Hayley anyway
and sort things out. "I don't want to phone her," comes
the reply, "and I don't want to see her ever again."
[This could only happen to Roy. Just as he is about to embark
on a relationship with the first woman he hasn't had to inflate,
she turns out to be a s/he. Poor Roy: go to the corner shop, buy
a pound of carrots and take them round to the Baldwins: Deirdre
will understand!]. At this point, Aunty Em arrives for a bite
to eat, but first checks to see whether Gail serves prawn sandwiches
or whale casserole. "Since Geoffrey (Spider) has been living
with me, it's become second nature to check these things!"
she beams. "I'm turning into a real eco-warrior!"
Back at Firman's, our other eco-warrior, Spider, is
shocked to learn that Curly has capitulated. Curly tells him that
all the prawns have been removed and thus the whale noises have
to stop. Spider turns off the tape, but warns Curly that it can
just as easily be turned back on.
It's lunchtime at the Rovers and Big Red is propping
up the bar for her pre-prandial vodka. Enter Deirdre, who has
obviously come in for something to settle her nerves before the
barrister's meeting. Big Red welcomes her warmly and asks her
what she's having to drink. "A red wine", says Deirdre
- which is strange, because red wine in CS usually signals sub-duvet
activity. [Unless, of course, it is a coded message alluding to
the fact that Deirdre is about to be shafted by her barrister,
metaphorically speaking of course.] Big Red - along with everyone
who posts to RATUCS - wants to know why Jon hasn't been collared
for all the same charges as Deirdre, especially since it was his
name on the mortgage. "That's one way of looking at it,"
says Deirdre, tendons at the ready, "but I wonder whether
the barrister will see it that way."
Cue the barrister's office, with Deirdre and Frankie
Stillman in attendance. The barrister is something of a pompous
old fart who has clearly not read the case notes and keeps forgetting
Deirdre's surname. Not exactly the kind of legal advisor to inspire
confidence, but Deirdre is desperate and eager to comply. Drained
of all emotion, she starts to tell the barrister her tale of woe.
Thankfully, at this point we cut back to Firman's,
where Curly is on the phone to Eric. Eric, it seems, is not best
pleased with Curly's unilateral decision to jettison the prawns,
and orders him to put them back on the shelves. An exasperated
Curly cannot but bow to his boss's wishes, and hurries to tell
Alma and Hayley of the new diktat. And he arrives just in time
to save Alma from embarrassment, for Hayley, frustrated by Alma's
refusal to listen to her story, has been threatening to broadcast
it from the rooftops. "If you don't listen to me, I'll stand
here and shout it out, and you'll be embarrassed because it's
all about sex!" Alma gives in and agrees to meet Hayley later
that evening in the Rovers. Curly, for his part, likens the whole
episode of the prawns to the tale of the Grand Old Duke Of York,
who had to march his troops up the hill and then down again. [I've
always admired the Grand Old Duke Of York: anyone who can have
'ten thousand men' and still be able to walk, let alone march,
gets my vote].
By this time, Deirdre has finished her story and the
barrister looks as though he has lost the will to live. Everything
hinges, he says, on the five thousand pounds that Deirdre claims
to have lent John: if she can prove that she gave him the money,
then the jury will understand. Naturally, Deirdre cannot prove
At Shagworld, Des has rounded up some of his mates
(Curly, Martin and Kevin) for a "boys night in" - drinking
lager, watching soccer and generally 'bonding'. They are all sprawled
out and relaxed, happy at the prospect of a good game. [Kevin
looks particularly pleased to be there, for thanks to a rather
infelicitous camera angle, he appears to be sporting what looks
very suspiciously like a woody.] Des tells Martin to call on Chris
and ask him whether he wants to come. [Too late, Martin, he probably
already has]. Martin returns with the news that Chris is 'otherwise
engaged', and naturally they all conclude that Studley is sinking
the beef torpedo into some poor yet willing target. "Good
luck to him," says Des, unaware that the target in question
is his own chaste and faithful Samantha. Poor poor Desmond, enamoured
as he is of a loose loose woman. [And loose in more ways than
one, because for Des, sex with Sam will soon be like throwing
a banana up the High Street].
At the Baldwins, Deirdre is sitting at the dining table,
contemplating a pile of paracetamol capsules. [Cue 18,000,000
voices, in unison: "Swallow! Swallow!]. But in the nick of
time, Mike arrives. "What are you doing with those tablets?"
he says, a look of genuine alarm on his face. "Oh, I had
a headache," says Deirdre. "Have you taken any of them?"
Mike enquires. "No. Why, did you think I might want to kill
myself?" says Deirdre. She offers him the jar and tells him
to take them. [Which I thought rather unkind; when you have just
been saved from suicide, it's not the done thing to suggest that
your saviour top himself - but I know what she meant: she wasn't
thinking straight, poor poppet]. There then flows forth a huge
and steaming torrent of self-pity from the bespectacled one. "How
could I have been so stupid? No-one will believe me. I just hate
being me! I'm the most stupid person on the planet. I should be
put in prison, just for my own protection. I should be locked
up forever." Mike attempts sympathy, and to a certain extent
succeeds, which must be a first for him.
While this little psychodrama is unfolding, at the
Rovers, another tale is being told. Hayley slowly and gingerly
reveals her secret to Alma, who is quietly stunned and can't quite
believe that this sweet young female sitting opposite her was
once called Harry. "Were you a man in...every sense?"
asks Alma, falteringly. "Yes, every sense," says Hayley.
And she goes on to explain about her unhappy childhood, spent
as a female trapped in a male body. "Of course, Roy was horrified,"
says Hayley. "Are you?" For a second, Alma is unsure
whether she is horrified or not - but then says that she is not
at all horrified, and that she is only too pleased that Hayley
has told her. Alma's closing line: "This isn't turning out
at all like I expected!"
But Alma has one more surprise, for when she goes home,
she learns from Mike that Deirdre has been playing about with
pills. Mike says that Deirdre is deeply depressed about the whole
business, and is terrified that she will end up in prison. "Will
she?" asks Alma in a tiny voice. But Mike has no idea; even
he is starting to have his doubts.
That's all, folks. I don't have time for an "As
I See It" this week because I've got this ongoing problem
with my mother. She's only been hooked up to the internet for
three weeks and she's already landed herself in a load of trouble
with various newsgroups; I've had five emails from her - and
two about her - while I've been typing this update out, so I
have to get back to her and sort her out before she closes her
server down indefinitely. Mothers! Who'd have 'em? Anyway, I
promise an "As I See It" next time.
Until then, love, CP
Des has his head buried under the car bonnet, it (allegedly
won't start). Just then Chris arrives, and Des asks him to have
a look. Perhaps it was all a pretext for Des to ask if he had
a good night, and that "When Martin said you had a bird in
there you should have seen Kevin,s face!"
Alma is polishing the dining table, Dreary comes down
to ask about Mike. Dreary needs to know she knows about the bottle
of pills. "Enough", says Alma. Dreary can,t decide whether
she had really contemplated suicide, and apologises to Alma who
calls the whole idea selfish. Dreary is lower than low, and can
see herself being gaoled, she says that if she ever sees Jon Lindsay
again it would be murder she would go down for. Alma wants to
be assured that she can go to work and not be worrying about Dreary
trying to gas herself in the oven - because the oven needs cleaning.
Dreary tells her to get off to work, and that she might even clean
Steve catches Fiona when she's putting the advertising
boards out. He offers to babysit any time again, but Fiona isn't
happy because Rachel would be involved. Steve questions whether
the situation would be any different if he weren't going out with
We,re back at the garage, where Chris is presenting
Des with a verbal bill for getting the car going - an hour's labour
and a callout charge. Des questions the callout charge for walking
down the street, so they settle on a beer instead. Sam comes over
and Des asks her to get Chris a pint next time she serves him.
While Des cuddles Sam, and Chris walks away, Des tells Sam that
Chris comes across as a likeable lad, but he reckons there's a
lot we don't know about him. He tells her that Chris had "someone
in there last night, and I wouldn,t put it past him for it to
have been Sally". Sam looks coy as Des leaves.
In the Kabin, Rita is stacking cigarettes like a two
year old stacks plastic bricks. Alma comes in, and stumbles. She
blames this on preoccupation with worry, and tells Rita about
Dreary and the pills. Alma needs to go to work, but at the same
time feels she needs to be at home keeping an eye on Dreary and
the knife drawer. She's just popped round, and Dreary has gone
shopping. Rita agrees to call round later with some magazines,
but not to mention that it's a mission for Alma.
Toyota and her sullen chums have descended on Firman's
Freezers. As she is handling a re-stocked bag of Norwegian prawns,
Curly sees them and walks over. "Ere Curly". "Mr
Watts to you". "Scandinavia, that's near Norway innit?"
Curly comments on the intellectualism in the eco-warriors, but
Toyah tells him that school has "atlases, maps n' that, I'll
find out". She puts the prawns back in the freezer, and the
school party leaves.
Alma is putting change into her till. Hayley comes
over. She thinks Alma is avoiding her since her explanation about
her past. Alma assures her that's not the case, and Hayley asks
her to speak to Roy, because he respects Alma, he'll listen to
her. Alma, a bit out of character, retorts "What is it with
me? Have I got a big sign over my head saying Dump Your Troubles
Here?". Hayley makes to go, but Alma calls her back and suggests
that the only person who can talk to Roy is Hayley.
Kevin, Sally, Des are at the bar, served by Sam. Sally
asks Sam if she minded giving over the house to the footballers.
Sam explains that she didn't stay in. Des suggests the four of
them go out for an Italian meal to make it up to the girls. Kevin
hurriedly protests that they might not get a babysitter, but Sally
asks Chris, who's at the end of the bar. Sam isn't too keen either.
Chris is happy to babysit, but of course Kevin has to find fault
again, and suggests they're overlooking Rita in the babysitting
In this next scene there is proof that the catering
course that Vera went on has paid dividends! The menu (even though
Vera seems to be away) is not confined to Betty's Hotpot or Betty's
Hotpot. Betty brings Steve McDonald a plate of Meat Pie AND CHIPS.
Are these the first chips seen to emanate from the Rovers, kitchen?
Whatever, he is soon joined by Rachel, who steals a chip. It is
apparent that Steve has decided to finish with Rachel because
he tells her he can't go out for a meal with her tonight because
he's promised to babysit again. Rachel points out that he had
promised to go out with her, and he can't have it both ways. She
kisses him and leaves.
Sally reports back that Rita can't babysit so she'll
ask Chris again. Kevin tries to resist, saying that the girls
will get confused if Chris is back on the scene. Sally puts Kevin
straight - there's only him seeing anything in it, and she's not
going to let his paranoia stop them having a good night out.
Steve goes back to Fiona's, and reminds her that there's
now no barrier to his babysitting, he's finished with Rachel.
Further, there's no barrier to them getting back together - "I
love you, you love me, that's it" Fiona tells him that she
can't let him ruin her life again. As he leaves, he tells her
that "I'll never tell you I love you, again"
END OF PART ONE
Toyota has been looking for Spider, and finds him and
Auntie Em in the Rovers. She's only able to pass on her news that
Curly has double crossed them, before Betty Williams chucks her
out for being underage. Spider and Emily follow.
Pam has arrived at Fiona's because she "sounded
awful on the phone". She senses that Fiona,s been crying
about something, and Fiona admits it's Steve. This horrifies Pam,
and Fiona tells her about Steve's visit and his undying love that
Outside Firman's Freezers, our eco-warriors are demonstrating
about the Norwegian Government and Whaling (this is getting a
bit tedious n'est ce pas?), and Curly comes out to explain that
the prawns went back on sale because it's company policy. "It's
very easy to have principles when you have no responsibility"
Curly tells Spider. Curly has called the Police, who arrives single-handedly
to learn from Emily that it is a symbolic protest, the Norwegian
prawns signifying the Norwegian Government,s stand on Whaling.
PC Plod suggests that rather than do it in the street, "Why
not go to Old Trafford and protest about them importing Norwegian
Footballers?". Spider retorts "Ha! Tried getting into
that ground lately?" "Aye, tickets like gold dust".
Suddenly Plod has become sympathetic to Spider, and though he
still tries to move them on, he readily agrees to let them continue
their protest, but silently, and not right outside the store.
Sadly, this compromise is ruined by Toyota, who arrives
with her rent-a-mob schoolfriends, Curly beams as PC Plod tells
them the protest is over.
Pam tells Fiona that her Dad would go mad if she told
him about Steve - especially when Fiona admits that she wants
him back, nobody has ever made her feel the way that Steve does.
Pam tries to tell her that she can't turn the clock back, she's
just remembering the good bits, and forbids her from taking him
back. Fiona realises that she let him go, that afternoon, and
she doesn't think he'll come back.
In Firman's Freezers, Leanne makes her only appearance
of the episode. Toyota has enlisted her help. Whilst Leanne creates
a scene by accidentally on purpose getting run down by a trolley
being pushed by Hayley, Toyota is pouring antifreeze all over
the bagged frozen prawns.
In the Rovers, Sam tells Chris that Des thinks Chris
is seeing Sally, and she's worried that she's going to be talking
in her sleep about Chris. Chris was sure that Des knew about him
and Sam, but now, perhaps he doesn't. He promises there'll be
other nights for them.
Curly buys Alma a G&T, and tries to buy drinks
for Emily and Spider, but they won't be bought. Then he gets into
conversation with Steve McDonald, and tries to give him advice
on his love-life having lost Rachel and not won Fiona. Steve,
getting drunk by now, reminds Curly that as his wife ran off to
Kuala Lumpur to massage businessmen, Curly is possibly not best
qualified to give marriage guidance.
Mike arrives, and asks Alma if Dreary really is fit
to leave on her own. "She's not on her own, Rita's there".
"Oh, the suicide watch" grins Baldwin, then breaks the
news that he's got to go back to work.
At the suicide watch, Rita is explaining that Alma
only encouraged her to visit because she thought Dreary would
want to see a friendly face. Dreary has a theory that Alma would
rather she wasn't there. "Whatever gives you that idea?"
"Oh, just paranoia". "Listen laydeh, as long as
you've got friends like Mike & Alma, you'll get through this,
and don't you forget it."
As Rita leaves, Dreary notices that she has left her
chiffon scarf behind, so she takes, it hoping she'll catch Rita.
As she approaches the door, there is a ring at the bell. Obviously
Rita has remembered, and come back for it. As Dreary opens the
door to see the caller, a familiar fake pilot's voice says "Hello
Dierdre". We see Jon, we see her face drop.
Friday 6 March
Then the Anglia TC voiceover announced "Next
a new series, Airline,, following passengers and staff at a busy
airport". I didn't watch it...
Episode written by David Lane
It's still Friday night down Coronation Street, and
Dreary has just opened the door to Jon Lindsey. He thought she'd
be somewhere round Coronation Street, and he has to speak to her.
"No, you talk to the Police, right now!" demands Dreary.
She picks up the cordless phone, though he catches her arm to
stop her using it - "Don't touch me!!!" He says he's
come to help her, but she tells him that the only way he can help
her is by helping the Police.
Jon can't understand this, and feigns surprise when
she tells him that "thanks to you I've been arrested, for
your frauds". He had no idea etc, he needs to explain. Oh-oh,
the same old lying Jon.
Both the Mothers Middleton are discussing the loss
of Steve. Fiona is adamant that she's lost Steve for ever. Pam
is sure that he'd back like a shot if Fiona were daft enough to
Jon is convincing Dreary that he never thought for
one minute that the blame would fall on her, and that he didn't
do a disappearing act but took Linda off to Ireland to 'calm her
down'. The neck muscles go into overdrive as Dreary rounds on
him - "you fraud, you lied to me about your whole life, every
single thing". Jon tells her that the lies were necessary,
just to "have a life", because of Linda. He explains
that he created a life for himself and Dreary because the life
with Linda was unliveable. Dreary tries to remind him that he
knowingly committed those crimes and made her live in a fantasy
world of lies and deceit, with the result that she now has hit
rock bottom and has a prison sentence hanging over her, because
The smooth talking charmer tells her it won't come
to that, and they should act immediately to start a new life together,
somewhere abroad, leave it all behind.
Chris arrives to baby-sit for Sally & Kevin. Kevin
is getting more paranoid - "Why do you put on that soft voice
when you talk to Chris?" - "Don't start, Kevin."
Des and Sam arrive, as they leave Chris to baby-sit, Kevin is
the last out and sees Chris looking knowingly into Sam's eyes.
Mr Tie 'n' Lie is on the phone, collecting flight details
to Venezuela. Dreary explains she hasn't got a passport, but Jon
won't let that stop them, he'll see that she gets another in time
Spider joins Curly at the bar, and Betty Williams wants
to know all about the peaceful protest. Curly says it's all over,
but Spider states that it's only the end of round one, the next
stage is mass puking. Eurggggghh. Spider tries to buy Curly's
drink, but he naturally refuses.
Martin and Gail, in a booth, are joined by Alma. Gail
presses for information about Hayley and Roy, and Alma has to
demonstrate ignorance of the truth. Fiona comes in to buy a bottle
of white wine, but Curly launches into her, for apparently deciding
that men are waste of space. He tells her that Steve thinks there's
no point to his life anymore, everything he does is wrong, so
there's no point in trying. And she shouldn't expect him to come
crawling back just to get another kick in the teeth. Fiona wonders.
Dreary seems to be playing for time, wants more detail
of what she's getting herself into. She pours him a drink, and
asks whether she can trust him after all those lies. "Surely,
when I found out you were a pilot surely then you could have told
me the truth about Linda and the kids?" (Yes, she really
did say 'you were a pilot' when she actually found out that he
wasn't) " I mean why go from lie to lie until you're breaking
Jon, ever the smooth talker admits "Yes, you're
right, I didn't know how to stop. I just so wanted the life I
should have had, with you, but, I'll have all our future to prove
myself to you. Why don't you let me? Say you'll leave with me,
now". Dreary is taken in by this, and realises that "I've
already lost what life I had here", and asks him to get her
cases from under the bed, and empty the drawers into them. "New
life, new clothes" she says, Jon replies "You won't
regret this, I promise you".
When Jon is in the bedroom, she dials 999 and asks
for assistance urgently at Number 4, Montreal House, Weatherfield
Quays, unfortunately Jon comes back into the room and finds her
on the phone. "Who are you calling?"
END OF PART ONE
Dreary tries to convince Jon that she was calling her
Mother, "To tell her that I love her", Jon, seeing her
squirm but playing along, reminds her that they're not disappearing
off the face of the Earth, she'll still be able to phone whoever
she wants. He tries to hurry her along, she goes off to sort her
In the Rovers, Steve is boring Gary, and the viewers,
about his non-relationship with Fiona. He thinks she just wants
him as a baby-sitter, and wants to stay on her own.
Alma is moaning to Betty about Mike keeping her waiting
for a lift home, seeing as he will be wanting to get back to see
that Dreary's OK. Mike soon arrives, but Alma makes him buy her
another drink and go home when she's ready.
Dreary's ready to go, but thinks she ought to leave
a note for Mike & Alma. Jon wants to get off, she wants to
play for time, so she wants another drink. He apologises for giving
her "a hellish time", but tells her he did it so that
they could be together and "my other life would fade away".
Roy enters The Rovers, and orders a small whisky. Gail,
still trying to get into his mind, offers to buy it. "It's
all right Gail, you don't have to try and be nice to me".
She tells him he can't carry on being miserable, but he will only
say that "I'll put on a better mask". Very enigmatic,
Sam, Des, Kevin and Sally arrive, and Des buys a round.
Sally refuses a drink, saying it's time she went to check on Chris
and the girls. Mr Jealous turns down the offer of a pint and goes
with her. Of course Sam is looking sick because she can't be with
Gail decides it's time to engineer a meeting between
Hayley and Roy. He is sitting alone, dejected. Gail describes
him as "at least when he was with Hayley he was nearly a
decent human being". Martin cautions her against interfering.
Jon pours Dreary another drink and asks if she's feeling
brave enough to leave this life. "Let's drink to the end
of Jon and Dreary". She misunderstands, but he explains that
he knows she's just waiting for the arrival of the Police, because
he had pressed 'Redial' when she was out of the room. He comments
on the tardiness of their arrival.
At last there is a knock at the door, and Dreary admits
a Policeman and a WPC. "There he is! Arrest him!" cries
a nearly hysterical Dreary. Jon, doing his impression of a cucumber,
tells the Police that they may as well take him down the Station,
and he'll explain everything on the way. Jon tells her to "calm
down, you're not helping yourself". She wants assurance that
they'll arrest him, it's all his doing, but of course these Plod
don't know why they should talk to him.
As Chris leaves, Sally tells Kevin that he doesn't
need to watch her all the time. Kevin admits he's watching Chris,
he thinks he's "more of a snake than you think, particularly
after I caught him giving Samantha the eye. Are you jealous?"
Sally sneers "don't be pathetic".
Toyota comes round to tell Spider how she fixed the
prawns with antifreeze. Spider is proud of her, but he warns her
to keep quiet about it. "You've done terrific", he says,
a lovestruck Toyota replies that she'd "do anything for him,
even die for him." Spider assures her that she's "more
use to the Planet staying alive and free". Emily comes back
from the telephone, but Spider doesn't tell her what Toyota has
done, just that she's "had a run in with Goebbels Junior".
Emily is surprised at Curly, acting so smugly and selfishly -
"he never used to be like this".
Alma and Mike have come home by now, and are hearing
all about Jon. As far as Mike can see, that's the end of it, Dreary
will be off the hook. They drink to "the beginning of the
end of it all".
Fiona is going into deep introspection mode explaining
to her Mother that she's lost the only man who ever really loved
her. "All I know is that he was there when I needed him..........deep
down he loved me" She believes that she never loved Alan
as much as she loved Steve, she loves him now but has left it
to late to tell him.
Sunday 8 March
As the cat settles on the roof, Curly unlocks the security
shutters at Firman's. Hayley is waiting for him to open up, explaining
her earlyness on a sleepless night. As they enter the store an
unusual aroma teases their olfactory organs. Tracking down the
source, and opening the prawns freezer, Hayley immediately recognises
the smell as ethylene glycol - Antifreeze. Every packet ruined.
(I'm still trying to work out the O-level physics in this. The
freezers are -18 degrees, the bags are sealed. Surely pouring
antifreeze on them wouldn't thaw them?)
Frankie Stillman is explaining to Dreary that she's
not off the hook yet, just because the Police are speaking to
Jon at last doesn't mean she's clear. "So I'm still guilty
until we can get Jon to prove me innocent" Mike sees Frankie
DS Wyatt in interviewing Jon. Jon says "I've been
a complete fool, I've allowed myself to get mixed up in something
out of my control." He says that he doesn't want to get Mrs
Rachid into trouble, but as DS Wyatt says, "It's a bit late
for that. The non-speaking Police woman bears a striking resemblance
to Myra Hindley.
Les deux meres Middleton are talking about how Fiona
will cope when Pam goes home, which will have to be later today.
Pam suggests that if she's really desperate she could call Steve
McDonald. Fiona wants to know what it is that Steve has done,
that's so wrong - then recounts all the things Steve has done
right, and all the times he's been there when she needed him.
In the garage, Kevin sees Sam talking to Chris in the
upper office, rather like Kevin used to do with Nastily. They
are trying to work out when they can have their next tryst.
Out in the Street Sally has a few words with Des while
he waits for Sam - they are going to the races. As they drive
down the Street we see Pam leaving the salon, and catches up with
Steve. Pam swallows all her hatred of Steve and tells him that
she knows Fiona wants him back, but if he were to hurt her she'd
be after him.
Curly sees off the Police, who have been to inspect
the antifreeze. Curly's 'leetle grey cells' have realised that
there was no forced entry so it must have been at closing time
last night. Alma suggests the security cameras, but sadly they
are out of range. Eric Firman comes along, and informs Curly that
the store's insurance won't cover sabotage. Further, Eric is blaming
Curly for the incident because the people who have been targeting
the store are neighbours, and perhaps there is a personal vendetta?
Eric wants an end to it.
Have you ever seen supermarket workers standing chatting?
Alma and Hayley are doing just that, when Eric walks past without
a word. Hayley explains again that she can't approach Roy, it's
got to come from him. Alma wonders if a platonic friendship would
suit Hayley, because that might not scare Roy off. Hayley brightens
at this suggestion and decides to go to see him in her dinner
Back at the garage Kevin instructs Chris to "meet
your women somewhere else". Chris reminds Kevin of his liaisons
there with Nastily, but Kevin counters that that was different,
they were serious. Kevin then wonders if Chris is trying to work
through all the women in Coronation Street, but Chris won't listen
to any more - "You're my boss, Kevin, not my Dad"
Dreary is having a drink with Mike. She's pleased he's
been in her corner, and comments that Ken ought to have been there.
McDonald Senior enters the bar, but Steve won't have
a drink with him - he has something to attend to.
Back in the interview room, DS Wyatt is telling Jon
that he doesn't see Dreary as the type of woman to force Jon to
do all the things he says she has. Jon agrees - "that's the
impression you get meeting her for the first time." As an
example he claims that Dreary asked him to wear the fancy dress
Pilot's uniform, first in private, then in public, and before
he knew it, she had passed him off as a real pilot! He says that
it got beyond a joke, but when he wanted to stop doing it she
got hysterical and threatened to hurt herself. So he went along
with it rather than risk her carrying out her threats.
Steve arrives at the salon to explain that he's been
talking to Pam. "what's she been saying now?" "She
told me you were upset, she told me I was the reason you're upset".
END OF PART ONE
Fiona is cautious, she still thinks she's lost Steve,
but he tells her it's not too late, even after everything she's
said about him. They kiss. Aaaaaaaah.
Curly storms into Emily's house, and accuses Spider
of the antifreeze incident. Emily won't have this, and Spider
denies it. Emily asks when it happened, but Emily provides his
alibi. Toyota chips in with "I don't know why you're getting
so worked up about a couple of bags of frozen prawns". Ah
ha! Curly 'Hercule Poirot' Watts has got her - "and how did
you know that it was the frozen fish section that was attacked?"
Back to DS Wyatt who brings out a copy of Ian Jenkin's
mortgage application form. Jon admits that it is his writing and
his forgery of the signature. DS Wyatt wants to know why? Jon
explains that it was to go along with Dreary's plan, she had to
have that house, and it had to be a man posing as Ian Jenkins.
He had told her it would never work, but she's a hard woman to
refuse. "And the Gold Card?" Jon professes to know nothing
about the Gold Card being on Ian Jenkins's account, he thought
it was hers. "Oh no!! We furnished the entire house on that
card!!" But didn't Jon ever wonder where the manageress of
a travel agency had that sort of money? Jon says he assumed that
she inherited from her late husband. He can't believe that she's
forged Ian's signature on the card application after everything
he's done for her. What a snake, eh readers?
Toyota is being subjected to the Spanish Inquisition.
Curly knows she did it, but Emily gives her an alibi - they were
watching a documentary on TV. After Curly leaves Emily asks Toyah
straight - did she do it? With a shy smile, Toyah admits it. Emily
is horrified - how dare they, Geoffrey who should know better
and Toyah who hasn't got enough grey matter to know she's done
wrong, how dare they make her lie for them?
The Lady in the Red Anorak looks for Roy in the cafe,
but he's gone to the bank. Gail sees this as an opportunity to
tell a few white lies to bring them together. She says that Roy
had told her that it had all come out wrong and he didn't mean
to make her unhappy. Hayley is cheered by this, and agrees to
Gail's suggestion that she come back after work to see Roy again.
A very happy smiling Hayley rushes out.
The Websters have finished their chips, or whatever,
and discuss the state of the Des and Sam relationship. Sally wonders
if Sam's really seeing Chris, Kevin assures her that he must be
after what he saw this morning.
It's after tea-time, and Hayley returns to the cafe.
Roy is surprised to see her, though Gail is beaming at having
engineered the reunion. Hayley tells him that Gail had told her
how he felt, which concerns Roy. He tells her that she has been
misinformed, and it would be best if she left, right now. "I
think it's for the best if we don't see each other again".
A very sad Hayley turns and walks away.
Steve buys Gary a drink to celebrate getting back with
Fiona. Jim comes in on the back end of this and asks if the celebration
is for a big property deal. "Yeh, that's right. Tough competition,
but got there in the end."
Emily and Spider are in a booth, and Curly comes by
to tell them there will be an arrest. Spider asks about insurance,
and is troubled to learn that they were not covered for sabotage
- and that Eric Firman is laying the blame on Curly. Again Spider
tells him he didn't do it, and that he is sorry it's got Curly
Des comes in with Sam, and orders a pint. Sam insists
on champagne instead as she won £50 at the races - off Des
the Bookie. She and Chris catch eyes over the bar. Kevin can see
this, and comments to Sally that Des has no idea - "Poor
Des". Ooops, tact, Kevin. Sally rounds on him with "Nobody
said Poor Sally when you were playing around with That Natalie.
Men! You're such hypocrites!!" As she storm off, Des says
"Ooh dear, something we should know about?"
Ken comes in, and finds Mike and Dreary in the bar,
with his arm on the back of the bench behind her. He's delighted
that Jon is being questioned. Mike teases him about his conscience,
but Ken was not prepared to perjure himself. He will, however,
help in any other way he can, but Dreary tells him that won't
be necessary, Ken is the last person she'll turn to.
DS Wyatt is still interviewing Jon. He summarises that
Dreary has said how Jon lied from the first moment, but now all
the offences have come to light he's trying to blame her for them.
Jon thinks for a moment says that he knows Dreary is desperate,
but he didn't think she could be malicious. He then explains that
the third party in this deception is Ken Barlow, who knew Jon
wasn't a pilot, but cooked up a story with Dreary. "Ask him
- he can tell you who the liar is".
Episode written by Andy Armitage
Monday 9 March
Dear Update Readers,
Wednesday 11 March
Before I tell you about one of the most entertaining
episodes of CS in recent months, I have some good news and some
bad news. I'd better give you the bad news first.
Unconfirmed reports have it that one Ruth Carey -
the 'original good time that was had by all' - is lurking on
RATUCS and may indeed 'grace' us with a missive or two any day
now. Why is this a problem? Well, if I tell you that Ruth is
one of Glenda Young's cronies, you'll understand why. Ruth used
to be in the army but was thrown out on account of her chronic
nymphomania ('penile dementia', to use the correct medical term).
Not for nothing is she known in Aldershot as "the officer's
mess". Glenda Young claims that Ruth is a reformed woman,
and now heavily into CS. Well we shall see. Of course, she'll
probably post anonymously, but you'll be able to recognise her
messages from their subject matter. So if you see the occasional
off-topic post with the title "Entertaining on a Budget:
How to get through the entire England Under-23 Rugby team on
a pack-of-three" or "One Swallow does not a Blowjob
make: The Thrills and Spills of Oral Sex", you'll know straight
away that it's the aforementioned Ms Carey.
But now for the good news. If you've read the very
lovely Graham Allsopp's victory post entitled "Too Chuffed...",
you will know that RATUCS has achieved celebrity status with
a mention in this week's Radio Times (on sale now from all good
newsagents). I understand that other websites such as Who's Who
in CS (run by Graham) and the Visual Update Page (run by that
veritable Colossus of a man, Mike Plowman) are also mentioned
indirectly. Well all I can say is 'about time too!' Graham, Mike
and all of those unsung heroes who make these sites so entertaining
and successful are indeed deserving of our praise, encouragement
and appreciation. I am not a prolific surfer of the Web, but
"Who's Who" and the Visual Update Page are definitely
my favourites, and they make sites like 'Men Out Of Uniform'
look amateurish by comparison. Congratulations all round.
But the appearance of RATUCSers in the Radio Times
does not end there, for if you turn to page 121 and look at the
"Prayer for the Day" slot (Radio 4, 6.25 a.m.), there's
another surprise in store. Yes, folks, it's yours truly. (Stop
that sniggering at the back there! It's really no surprise that
I should be doing 'Prayer for the Day', given the regularity
with which I can be found down on my knees). I bet you didn't
know I had a serious side, did you? After all, there *is* more
to life than sleazy clubs, loud music, Bostik and nipple-clamps.
(Not much more, but enough to make a difference).
And so to our favourite topic, Coronation Street.
The weeks are just flying by: no sooner have I finished one update
than it is time to do another. (As Socrates once said, "Time
is like beauty: it is in the sigh of the beholder", which
is pretty profound coming from someone who was into shagging
little boys.) Personally I have reached a stage in life where
I no longer tick off the days on a calendar or count birthdays,
and I really think that this is the answer. If you simply refuse
to grow old and develop wrinkles, you won't! Besides, if God
had wanted us to develop wrinkles, He wouldn't have invented
Oil of Ulay, would He?
Anyway, down to business...
The episode opens with Mike Baldwin standing in front
of the mirror, adjusting his tie and whistling a happy tune. Alma
wants to know why he is so chirpy. His answer? Well, they've got
Jon Lindsay, haven't they, and so Deidre will soon be in the clear.
A somewhat alarmed Alma, who clearly wants Deirdre off her patch,
comments on how involved Mike has become with the case, to which
Mike retorts: "Well she *is* my mate!" "No,"
says Alma, firmly: "I am your mate!" She then asks him
whether he would go to as much trouble for her (Alma) were she
ever to be in Deirdre's predicament. "Of course not,"
replies Mike, "because you're hardly likely to run off with
a bogus pilot, are you? Not when you've got me, that is."
Alma at this point makes a mental note to ask Deirdre for the
address of that singles bar...
At the garage, Sally brings some sandwiches (Salami?
Chipolata?) for Kevin, although what she really wants is to chat
with Chris. Kevin appears too soon, however, and her plans are
Having just purchased his copy of "Clear Conscience
Monthly", Ken 'Mr Principles' Barlow is standing outside
the Kabin, chatting to Big Red. He is telling her about his impending
trip to the police station, and Big Red is offering reassurance.
"It's only natural that they should want to speak to you,"
she says, "since you were the one who caught Jon out as a
liar in the first place." Ken says that he is actually glad
to be helping the police with their enquiries because it will
give him the opportunity to "make it up to Deirdre".
At Firman's, a troubled Hayley is trying to buttonhole
Alma yet again to bring her up to date with the latest news of
her non-relationship with Roy. "You're the only person I
can tell all this to," says Hayley, "because you're
the only person I know who is in a happy, stable relationship."
Alma grits her teeth and suppresses a sardonic smile, her run-in
with Mike over the Deirdre problem still fresh in her mind. (I
half expected her to say, "There are three of us in this
marriage; it's a bit crowded..."). Hayley tells Alma how
she approached Roy in the belief that he missed her and wanted
to see her again. That was what Gail had told her, but obviously
Gail had been lying. A well-intentioned lie, perhaps, but a lie
nevertheless. The stress of it all is too much for Hayley and
the poor poppet departs in floods of tears. I too pulled the Kleenex
a little nearer...
At the Kabin, Leanne is ribbing Toyah mercilessly about
the latter's plans to seduce Spider. "You get Spider on his
own for the evening and you want to show him a video on trees?!"
she squeals incredulously. "We like trees," objects
Toyah. "They're interesting and you can learn a lot."
Leanne's hoots of derision fill the Kabin: "Well me and Nick
like trees," she says - which is hardly surprising given
that Nick is actually part of one - "but trees are for having
picnics under, not for watching on the telly!" Leanne then
asks Rita what she thinks of Toyah's choice of video. Big Red,
ever the voice of experience and good counsel, opines that as
long as Toyah and Spider share an interest, it doesn't matter
what it is. However it's clear that Toyah's interest is not purely
arboreal: the video on "Deforestation" that she has
borrowed from school is obviously intended as foreplay; this much
becomes evident when she asks Leanne if she can borrow one of
her skimpy, sexy tops. "What do you want one of my tops for,"
says Leanne, "if all you're going to do is watch a video
on trees?" "So she can distract his attention from trees,"
chimes in Big Red. Leanne eventually agrees to lend Toyah her
top and, as her sister leaves on cloud nine, remarks in a voice
full of womanly wisdom: "These young girls of today!"
Chez Fiona, Steve is looking for reassurance. He says
that he needs to know whether Fiona really wants him back or not.
Fiona replies that she is tired and stressed and really can't
be arsed with all this soul-searching. "After all,"
she says, "I have a new man in my life." Steve winces
momentarily as his Calvin Kleins turn deep ochre. Then, as his
IQ climbs slowly back up into double figures, he realises that
Fiona was referring to Morgan. (Or 'Morgue', as he is to be known
henceforth). Fiona spells it out as clearly as she can without
actually resorting to blackboard and chalk: "Although there
is a new man in my life, that doesn't mean that I don't want the
old one back." Steve flashes a cheesy grin. "Of course,"
Fiona witters on, "I can't pretend that I'm not nervous.
I don't want this to be a 'rebound' thing." [An extremely
tedious scene, this: really a case of the bland leading the bland.
The kind of scene that makes sticking red-hot needles in one's
eyes a very attractive option.]
At the cafe (or was it the pub? The previous scene
left an indelible blank on my mind), Sally is buttonholing Chris
about his burgeoning relationship with Orange Girl. She can't
believe that he and Samantha are carrying on like this virtually
under Des's nose. But it soon becomes clear that Sally's concern
for Chris is purely peripheral: what she really can't understand
is why Chris is bedding Samantha at all. Chris's claim that his
relationship with Sam has nothing to do with the emotions and
everything to do with the genitals fails to placate Sally, who
says: "I thought I was something special to you, and not
just another notch on your bedpost." Chris asserts yet again
that what he and Sally had was indeed special, and that they would
still have it if Sally had not given him the elbow. At this point,
Sally's eyes brim with tears of regret, and the pain of lost opportunity.
[I always said that she was a twenty-four carat fool to give Chris
up and take Kevin back. Since she and that snotty little grease-monkey
got back together, all they've ever done is bitch and bicker at
one another. And if she did it for the sake of the children, she's
an even bigger fool than I thought. Staying together for the sake
of the children is always a mistake, and especially so in the
case of Rursie and Surfie, who are never there anyway: they're
either on their way to bed or washing their hands ready for dinner.
Besides, kids raised solely on white bread and baked beans probably
wouldn't have enough grey matter to know what's going on anyway].
Yes, dear readers, I'm afraid that Sally is lingering in the icy
grip of the green-eyed monster. This scene was actually a very
touching one, and I pulled the Kleenex box a little nearer still...
At the cafe, Alma is trying to intercede with Roy on
Hayley's behalf. At first, Roy dismisses Alma and tells her in
his typically obtuse manner to mind her own business. But then
she tells him that she *knows*. Yes, she knows all about Hayley's
'predicament', as Roy calls it. Roy's expression changes and suddenly
he is all ears. Alma tells him that whatever her predicament,
Hayley is still Hayley; furthermore, she is a human being and
deserves to be treated as such. People in difficult situations
need support, she says, and Roy should offer Hayley all the help
he can rather than continue to snub her and cause her unwarranted
grief. Roy agrees. He then goes on to applaud Alma's own commendable
efforts to support "Mrs Rachid" in her hour of need
- unaware, of course, that Alma has just sent an order off to
Haiti for a Deirdre Rachid doll and several hundred small pins.
Roy tells Alma that he will speak to Hayley, but what should he
say? Alma advises him to tell Hayley how much their relationship
once meant to him, and how he finds her "interesting".
"Think of what you want to say," says Alma, "and
write it all down." Roy promises to do just that.
On the other side of town, Mike and Deirdre are sitting
in Frankie's office. A jubilant Mike presumes out loud that it's
all over, now that Jon Lindsay is banged up in police custody.
Frankie shakes her head and tells them that it's far from being
all over. Not only have the charges against Deirdre not been dropped,
but events have taken a turn for the worse. Like the dreaded Kraken,
Deirdre's neck tendons stir from their slumber, while purveyors
of root vegetables everywhere remind themselves to put in extra
orders. Frankie repeats the story that Jon gave to the police,
namely that while he admitted to forging the mortgage signature,
he did so only because Deirdre persuaded him. Indeed, the Drear
put him up to everything, threatening suicide if he refused to
comply. Cue straining tendons and eyes on stalks as Deirdre has
a go at painting the chair yellow. And cue my Kleenex box, inching
ever nearer as we go into the commercial break...
When we return, it is clear that Deirdre has been having
a good bawl. "You'd built your hopes up, hadn't you?"
says Frankie. "And I warned you not to do that." The
gist of the sorry tale is that according to Jon, Deirdre put him
up to everything - the lie about his being a pilot, the mortgage,
everything. Everything, that is, apart from the gold card, of
which Jon denies all knowledge: Deirdre obviously forged the signature
on that one herself. Worse than all this, however, is the fact
that the police consider Jon to be a credible witness. Deirdre
has by now exhausted her thesaurus of emotions and simply sits
there, numb and limp. As indeed do I, until...
The next scene, and the appearance of the one-and-only
DS Wyatt! He is grilling Ken [Oh to be grilled by DS Wyatt!] on
how well Ken knows the Drear. "Very well," enthuses
the Moral One, "because I am her ex-husband." He then
proceeds to dig Deirdre's grave by giving her a glowing character
reference. It's damaging, of course, because he paints a picture
of the Drear as a strong-willed woman of integrity who is not
easily led. DS Wyatt concludes therefore that Deirdre is something
of a smooth operator, in charge of her own destiny, who would
never allow herself to be deceived and who could be quite capable
of manipulating others for her own ends. The sting in the tail,
of course, is the fact that Deirdre colluded with Jon in his "I
am a pilot" lie; moreover, she got Ken to play along with
the lie too. DS Wyatt points this out to him; cue a squishy, splatting
from Ken's direction as the third pair of pants this evening turns
Back in the Street, Chris is telling Kevin that he
has been talking to Sally, who disapproves strongly of Chris's
affair with Sam. Of course, Sally would never have found out about
it had it not been for Kevin's big gob, which Chris suggests that
he shuts in order to prevent the rumours from going any further.
"The things people do for love!" exclaims
DS Wyatt, back at the police station. He is expressing his incredulity
at the weird and wonderful scams that people - women especially
- attempt to pull off, all for the sake of the good old beef torpedo.
"Woman, eh?" he sneers deliciously. There is a feeble
attempt on Ken's part to defend Deirdre, but as far as DS Wyatt
and his silent female side-kick are concerned, the Drear is clearly
beyond redemption and will soon be on her way to the Big House
- thanks partly to the Barlow principles. Et tu, Kene? What a
toss-bag. [The look on his face was - once I had Dettoxed the
screen down and could see it properly - a joy to behold].
At the Websters, Sally and Kevin are bickering again.
Kevin accuses Sally of blabbing to Chris; Sally says that since
Chris is her friend, she felt it was her duty to talk to him about
his clandestine affair with Orange Girl. Kevin is unable to accept
this 'friendship' between Sally and Chris - a friendship that
Sally feels so deeply, it would seem, that she is quite comfortable
discussing Chris's sex life with him. Kevin thinks this is outrageous.
Sally counters by saying that she wishes someone had sat down
with him (Kevin) to warn him off poking Nastily Horrid. Her parting
shot is: "You're jealous: that's what this is all about.2
Across the road from Firman's, Hayley, who has been
out to buy stamps for Curly Watts, bumps into Roy. Theirs is an
uneasy, faltering exchange, but Roy finally admits that he had
been on his way to talk to her. "What did you want to say,
Roy?" begins Hayley. And so out comes Roy's notebook and,
lo and behold, he reads aloud what he has written to Hayley at
Alma's behest. "Dear Hayley," he says...and then goes
on, in a nutshell, to describe how much he has always valued her
friendship; how his feelings for her are unlike anything he has
ever experienced before; how much he would like to continue their
friendship; and how he has always found her interesting. "Yours,"
he concludes, "Roy...Cropper." Hayley's face gently
lights up and she moves in to give him a peck on the cheek but
is pre-empted by the Cropper mitt as Roy makes ready for an uneasy
handshake instead. [Pure magic, this scene, and I have to admit
that a tear did fall. But no Kleenex left, I'm afraid: they all
seemed to get used up during the DS Wyatt scene.)
At the Rovers, Steve and Fiona are having a drink.
(Morgue is in the capable (?) hands of Maxime). Fiona thanks Steve
for everything he has done for her and then invites him back to
her flat - presumably so that she can show her appreciation in
a more tangible way.
At another table, Kevin and Sally are still at each
other's throats. Sally puts him in his place by accusing him of
sulks and tantrums. Kevin looks chastened and unable to hit back.
Indeed, given his pernicious affair with Vampira, there's nothing
he can throw at Sally that won't be lobbed back instantly as an
example of barefaced hypocrisy. He's in a no-win situation and
all he can do is squirm. Good on yer Sally, it's about time. You've
played the door-mat for far too long.
Back at the other table, Jim comes over to congratulate
Steve and Fiona for getting back together, only to be told by
Steve to "Bog off!"
Cut to a film of trees being chopped down. Yes, it
is that eco-classic, "Deforestation", and Spider and
Toyah are glued to it. Well actually, Spider is glued to it; Toyah's
attention is directed wholly at Spider. He is oblivious to her,
though why this should be is a mystery, because Toyah looks *hot*:
skimpy top, short skirt, hair swept up, lippy and foundation in
place: in short, it's Babesville, guys. (And now it's Mike Plowman's
turn to run out of Kleenex...) Toyah manoeuvres her hand onto
Spider's knee. "You've got a big hole!" she says - God,
that phrase takes me back - as she slips her finger into the rip
in his jeans. But Spider is having none of it, and gently moves
her hand away.
While this was going on, there was a knock at the door.
Just as Spider moves Toyah's hand away, the sitting room door
opens and Emily ushers in their visitor. It is a female, also
from the planet Vega, clad in eco-warrior chic and looking, as
my mother would say, as though she's "been pulled through
a hedge backwards." She greets Spider with a big warm "Hey!"
and he responds in kind. Much to Toyah's horror, Spider goes over
to the newcomer and, with another "Hey!", proceeds to
deliver an impromptu mouth-to-mouth tonsillectomy. Aunty Em looks
embarrassed; Toyah looks quietly devastated. "This is Log',"
says Spider, introducing the newcomer to a bewildered Aunty Em
and a slowly dying Toyah. The couple kiss again, whereupon Emily
declares grumpily that she will make tea. Toyah wants only to
know whether Spider will carry on watching the film with her.
"Have you seen this film?" asks Toyah, ready to gloat
if Log's answer is negative. "Seen it?" sneers Log,
"we're *in* it!" As the kisses and cuddles continue,
Toyah's heart sinks ever lower. Spider asks Log where she's been
on her travels. Log comes out with a whole list of Spanish-sounding
names: Santiago, San Antonio, Concepcion and so on. In an attempt
at one-upmanship, Toyah says: "Ever been to Tossa?"
"Where's that?" asks Log. "Tossa del Mar,"
says Toyah, "we have." Spider points out gently that
Log has just returned from South America, not Spain. Log then
presents Spider with some native South American instrument, while
Spider reciprocates by suggesting they go upstairs so that Log
can blow on his. He tells Toyah that he will see her around, and
then he and Log depart. As they leave, Aunty Em appears with a
tray of tea, but the whole thing is too much for the distraught
Toyah, and she runs out of the house and into the darkened street.
Outside, Fiona and Steve are kissing under the lamplight;
across the road, Jim McDonald lurks in the shadows, watching them.
Toyah, meanwhile, looks up at Spider's window, only to see the
silhouette of Log as the latter sways to some exotic rhythm (a
Log-a-rhythm, perhaps?). Unable to stand it any longer, Toyah
rushes across to a shrubbery on the other side of the road and
proceeds to purge her anger by uprooting a large plant and stamping
on it! Fiona, who has seen this, remonstrates with her, only to
be told to "Bog off!" by Toyah.
The rest of the episode was pretty uneventful after
this. Jim approaches Fiona and begs her not to go back with Steve,
and Ken gets a visit from a young police officer who tells the
Principled One that he is to appear as witness for the prosecution
in the Drear's trial. But since I predicted this over a month
ago, you don't need me to repeat it, do you?
AS I SEE IT
In my humble opinion, this was classic CS: laughter
and tears in exactly the right proportions, and acting of the
highest calibre from all concerned. In fact it was possibly the
most fun I've had in ages without another man being in the room.
Okay, so it wasn't uproarious high farce, and nor was it tragedy
on the scale of Macbeth. But there was angst and there was humour,
and the fact that these were subtly expressed and entirely situational
was why they worked so well. The key, of course, lies in the
acting, and in this episode the usual high standards were maintained.
Bouquets, then, to the actors who play Deirdre, Sally, Roy ad
Hayley - and a hundred red roses to the increasingly brilliant
Georgia Taylor, who has made Toyah Battersby into one of the
most endearing characters ever to tread those hallowd cobbles.
Didn't your heart just break when she tried to get close to Spider,
only to see her plans stymied by that awful Log woman? Toyah's
behaviour brought it all back, because when you're a fifteen
year-old heap of hormones and so besotted that it hurts, rejection
simply tears your heart into scraps and throws it to the birds.
And the actress put that over perfectly. She is a perfect amalgam
of naivete and precociousness, and as such reminds me very much
of myself. (Yes, believe it or not, I was once extremely innocent
and naive - so much so, in fact, that for years and years I thought
'fellatio' was a minor character in The Merchant of Venice. That
all changed, of course, as soon as I joined the Boy Scouts, but
you get my point).
The things we do for love, as the wondrous DS Wyatt
put it. Indeed. But sometimes it all goes pear-shaped, as the
predicament of many a CS character amply demonstrates. This is
not lost on my mother, who has recently taken to using CS as
a kind of visual aid with which she attempts to educate me every
now and then. After Wednesday's episode, she phones for her usual
mid-week gabfest. "That Deirdre woman," she says, "is
living proof that nothing good ever comes of picking up strange
men in bars." I reassure her that next time I have a night
out at "Heaven", I'll try to remember not to sign any
mortgage agreements. "And by the way," she continues,
"scientists have estimated that there are roughly one and
half pounds of dust mites in the average pillow. Bear *that*
in mind the next time you bite into one." Leaving me no
time to answer, she moves on to Tony Blair. "You should
take a leaf out of his book," she says. Now I know that
she's not referring to anything political, because my mother
is to politics what Stevie Wonder is to bird-watching. Indeed,
such is her knowledge of global politics and international relations
that she probably thinks the Khmer Rouge is something manufactured
by Revlon. So it has to be the revelation that Tony Blair is
allegedly thinking of becoming Catholic. I tell here that I already
*am* a Catholic. "Yes," she says, "but you've
lapsed badly. When was the last time you went to confession?
And why are there no photographs of the Holy Father on your walls?"
I tell her that confession is a non-starter: my accumulated iniquities
form a list so long that they'd hardly fit on CD Rom, let alone
be confessable in ten minutes. As for photos of the Pope, well
the Holy Father would look a right eejit stuck up there in between
the shirtless shots of Dean Cain and George Clooney. (Although
I have to admit that I do have a sneaking admiration for the
Pope. After all, he's the only person I know who can get away
with wearing brown shoes under a white frock). But I say nothing;
after all, the Pope is my mother's favourite person on the planet
- just in front of Anthea Turner and Torvill & Dean. Given
my mother's bizarre choice of cultural icons, is it any wonder
that I have turned out like I have - i.e. exactly the kind of
person my mother spent years warning me about?!
Anyway, that's all for now. But before I go, I'd like
to extend commiserations to our good friend and fellow RATUCSer,
Tracy Roketta, who injured her back last week when she fell off
a motorbike mechanic. Get well soon, Tracy luv! Regards, CP
PS - Sorry the update was late. Touch of food poisoning.
I think it was someone I ate...
It's breakfast at the Websters, and Sally and Kevin
are arguing. He doesn't want to argue in front of the gurrrls,
so Sally send them upstairs to get ready for school. Kevin thinks
the gurrrls are sensing friction between their parents, which
Sally ascribes solely to his jealousy.
Alma is trying to encourage Dreary to eat her breakfast,
despite there being no carrot in it. Mike insists she needs to
eat to keep her strength up. Dreary goes into the 'I'm going down'
routine, but Alma and Mike try to convince her that no jury will
be taken in by Lindsay's lies." He wouldn't con a jury, believe
you me", says Mike airily. "I wouldn't be too sure"
Janice and Toyah leave the house, Janice is trying
to find out what's troubling Toyah. Thinking she's after an excuse
to twag off School, Janice tells her straight that she's going
to School, even if she's got bubonic plague. Toyah says that she
is going to school, she'll be glad to get away from the Street.
Janice begins to recognise these adolescent symptoms and teases
her about being love-sick. The object of Toyah's hatred comes
out of Emily's and snogs with Spider in the street. "Who's
that?" asks Janice. "Wonder Woman" replies Toyah.
Sam is seeing Des off in the Street, saying "yes,
I'll miss you" etc. No sooner has he gone that Chris comes
over, asks how long he's away, so they make a date for lunchtime
- his place.
Kevin has seen this intercourse, and accuses Chris
of "Dangerous Liaisons, eh" - "Wouldn't know mate,
you're the expert".
In the cafe Gail wants to know why Roy is in brighter
spirits today. "Come on, spill the beans, it's Hayley isn't
it? Are you back together?." Roy tells her that "we've
reached an understanding." "Whatever you want to call
it - you two were made for each other."
Emily comes in, so as to leave Spider and Log alone
for a while. She tells Gail how Toyah has been put out by the
appearance of Spider's girlfriend. Emily doesn't think Log will
be around for long, as she's just come back from an expedition
to Chile. Nineteen million viewers hope she's right.
Gail continues to tease Roy, suggesting there's something
in the air, with "all these lovers getting back together
In Emily's parlour, Log is telling Spider that karma
helped her track him down, "We're meant to be together".
Just to clear the air, Spider confirms that Toyah is just a mate,
but she was great on the Red Rec. Log is quite taken with the
general feel of the street, with its cobbles - "It's like
the back street time forgot......Yeah, it'll be great to stay
for a while". "Triffic" replies Spider, with just
enough insincerity to suggest we might be rid of her before long.
Emily comes home, calling out before entering the room,
just in case of naughtiness. She is horrified by the jasmine incense
burning - an aphrodisiac as Log explains. She tells Emily that
Spider's asked her to stay for a while, which does not please
Emily. Emily tries to put her foot down with a firm hand, stating
that she only has two bedrooms. Spider says she'll sleep on the
floor, Log says Emily won't know she's there.
Martin is drinking with Steve, and describing the joys
of parenthood that Steve can now look forward to - nappies, and
more nappies. Steve is more interested in several brothers and
sisters for Morgan.
Vera is being tactless with Ken, telling him that "it's
a terrible business with Dierdrie, but it's a good thing she's
got good friends like you, to stick up for her i'n't it?"
Back to Steve and Martin, but it's of no consequence,
seemingly about treating all offspring the same, even if they
don't share both parents. Martin comments about Nicky being nothing
but trouble for years.
Kevin comes in, orders a pint from Samantha. As she's
chatting, Des arrives unexpectedly. He claims he couldn't keep
Ken sits down with Emily and Alma and tells them his
news - he is to testify against Dreary. His lying for her when
the non-pilot status was discovered has strengthened their case.
"But how did the Police find that out" asks Alma, "I'm
afraid I told them." He feels terrible about it, but insists
he has no choice.
Des wants to know what Sam wants to do this afternoon.
He says he's come home early to do paperwork. Sam needs to cover
for her absence, so says she's going into town, shopping. Kevin
is burning with tales to tell out of school, and leaves shortly
In the Kabin, Leanne is teasing Toyah in the style
of an agony column. She goes too far, and Toyah is near tears.
Rita plays the concerned matron bit, and Toyah admits that the
problem is Log, the fact that Spider has a girlfriend. They joke
about what sort of name is Log? Logs are for falling off or chopping
up as firewood. Toyah brightens at this - "yeah, that's what
I'll do. Chop 'er up into little bits".
Kevin calls round as Des's house to share his news
that Sam is playing around with Chris.
END OF PART ONE
Des denies that anything can be happening between Sam
and Chris. Things have never been better between them. He accuses
Kevin of telling tales because he hasn't forgiven Chris and Sally.
Alma comes home to tell Mike about Ken being a prosecution
witness. Just as Mike is saying "Not only has he handed the
prosecution a loaded gun, he's volunteering to pull the trigger"
when Dreary appears behind him, having been resting.
Spider and Log are drinking in the Rovers. Log thinks
Aunty Em is really sweet, he tells her about her exploits on the
Red Rec. Log announces that she's planning an expedition. Spider
brightens at this until she says it's only into Weatherfield to
explore more cobbled streets.
Des comes in looking for Samantha, but is surprised
to find her gone.
"Ere" says Janice, "I'd like a word
with you, Mister Save-The-Planet" She's angry that Spider
has exploited Toyah's feelings, more concern for the environment
than for people. Spider insists that he has never led Toyah on,
Janice warns him that Toyah might be only 15, but she doesn't
forgive that easy.
Gary joins Des at the bar, all cheerily. Des is thinking
into his pint.
Alma is trying to soft talk Dreary. Dreary is convinced
that Ken's involvement will definitely put her away. "They
weren't just Jon's lies, they were mine 'n' all. That's just what
the jury'll want to hear."
At a table in the cafe, Hayley is excitedly showing
Roy some brochures she's picked up from the North West Tourist
Board on things to do if it rains in Weatherfield. She wants to
plan a day out together at the weekend. She is so pleased that
they are going to stay friends, it's so important to her. To emphasise
this importance she puts her hand on his, which he pointedly removes
as soon as physical contact occurs. "What about an Art Gallery?"
Martin arrives to check on the progress of true love.
Gail explains that Roy calls in 'an understanding'. "If that's
not true love I'll run up and down Coronation Street wi' nowt
on but a grid"
As Hayley gathers up her brochures to leave she gives
the highlights of the weekend - "Botticelli and Bacon".
Martin the Philistine agrees that Roy makes a lovely Botticelli
and bacon sandwich, but Roy patiently explains that they are painters,
they are going to the Art Gallery. Hayley leaves, and Martin makes
some joke about "I didn't know they had a back row at the
Art Gallery?" Roy puts him right - "Hayley and I are
friends. That's all we'll ever be. And I'd prefer it if you'd
keep your smutty insinuations to yourself. Thank you." Martin
sniggers. He too has had a visit from the Personality Transplant
Fairy. (And does he know any style of acting other than standing
with his arms folded?)
Dreary has gone into full depression mode, staring
at a closed Venetian blind. Mike pours her a drink, but she says
"I don't need a Scotch, I need a miracle". Mike tells
her everything will be all right - "there's a way, there's
always a way", but he doesn't seem too convinced himself.
Toyah calls round for her video, Spider invites her
in. She is quite scathing about Log's presence, likening the incense
to a tart's knicker drawer. Spider leaves them "to communicate"
while he goes upstairs". Log enjoys telling her how she's
staying for a while, Toyah takes the video from Spider without
a word and runs out.
Back at Montreal Court Mike presents Dreary with her
miracle - he's spoken to his mate Marty Costello on the Costa
del Sol, booked a plane tonight, and Marty will look after her
when she gets there. Dreary points out that she has surrendered
her passport, but that's the second part of Mike's miracle, he's
offering her Alma's passport "because they never look at
them". "Does Alma know about this?" "You leave
Alma to me". Dreary can't see that this can work, she'd be
fleeing the country like a criminal and never able to come back.
Mike assures her that there are blokes with bigger crimes who
have been forgotten by the system, and not being able to return
to Weatherfield might not be hardship. He goes off to pick up
Alma from Firman's, saying the plane leaves at ten and he'll understand
if she's not there when he gets back.
In the Kabin, Toyah is moaning to Leanne about how
Log has settled into Emily's. Leanne wonders how long Log is going
to stick around - "Not long if I catch her down a dark alleyway.
I'll show her what body piercing really is." As she leaves,
Rita asks Leanne how determined Toyah will be, Leanne recalls
the incident with a black eye when she found Darren McCarthy had
been two timing her with Alison Beatty - "She doesn't waste
them lessons at kick-boxing club, I can tell ya......You don't
cross our Toyah - no way".
In the Rovers, Vera is pleased to see Steve and Fiona
back together - "and you look after her ..this time".
Jim and Gary have a new double act, the Rover's synchronised formation
drinking team, though Jim is sinking them rather faster than Gary
By this time Mike, playing for time, is in the Rovers
with Alma, who is still worried about leaving Dreary alone. Alma
wants to go back, but Mike insists she'll be all right, she needs
a bit of space.
Sam comes back from the shops, Des wants a word, but
Vera gets her straight to work. Des says it can wait.
Fiona comments to Steve that "your Dad's knocking
'em back a bit isn't he?" Steve, not surprised, explains
that "the bottle is the only friend he never fell out with"
They drink up and go.
Jim tries to buy two more drinks, but Gary tells him
he's had enough. Vera sends him home, so he goes off to drink
on his own.
As Jim goes out, Ken comes in. Mike rounds on him,
suggesting that he was jealous, and gave the Police just what
they need to send Dreary down. Ken retaliates by telling Mike
that he is a little man with a big mouth. Mike reiterates the
jealousy bit and then tells Ken that he is "the most treacherous,
evil..." Ken grabs him and they struggle "If Dierdrie
goes down.......it's because of you, Barlow" Alma drags Mike
outside while Vera wails "What's got into everybody tonight?"
Back at Montreal Court, Dreary is fingering the passport,
plane ticket and cash, and wonders........
Episode written by Phil Ford
Friday 13 March
Sunday 15 March
Sunday evening, and another week draws to a close.
Spring has finally sprung, and in celebration the staff at Laird
Towers break into the cleaning cupboard and liberate the feather
dusters and maids uniforms. (Hang on, perhaps that wasn't the
cleaning stuff...) Hours later, they collapse exhausted on the
his'n'hers settees, having unearthed several half-eaten packets
of crisps, 3 used hankies, 52p in loose change (that doubled
my pocket money for the week), much of the past year's vitally
important mail, and two unwashed examples of a long-lost pygmy
tribe with no social graces whatsoever. On closer inspection,
these turn out to be the kids. Reunited, the clan enjoy a rare
family meal together, and the last plate goes into the dishwasher
just as those familiar tones come over the TV speaker and the
episode for Sunday March 15th begins:
Mike and Alma are leaving the Rovers. He has just gone 3 rounds
with Ken "Bonecrusher" Barlow. Alma is not best pleased
and accuses them of acting like a pair of schoolboys. Feigning
some excuse about collecting papers from his office, they head
for the factory, where later it looks like what he was really
after was a drink. Alma continues to quiz him about Deirdre, asking
him just how far he would be prepared to go. Don't worry Alma,
not that far.
Back in the Rovers, Ken is apologising to Vera. [Where's
Jack at the moment anyway ?] It won't happen again, he says. Well,
not until the next time the pair clash over a woman, methinks.
Vera suggests that Ken feigns illness to avoid giving evidence
for the prosecution, but we know him better, and so does he. "I
hope you can live with yourself then", is V's parting shot.
Ken has that anguished look once more. He can't.
Gail and Roy are heading for the pub and she suggests
that he and Hayley should come round for their tea one night.
[I must suggest this to the lady of the house, instead of suppers
taking 41 man-hours of preparation we should be asking friends
round for *tea*, 3 fish fingers and an all-in wrestle with a screaming
banshee, punctuated by every member of the outlaws phoning up
for their daily news update. But wait, an idea is forming, if
I bought them all a PC and got them hooked up to the net, they
could post their daily minutiae to alt.scouse.happenings and I'd
still be quids in on the phone bills. One for the Things to Do
Where were we ? Still outside the Rovers, Spider and
Log [sheesh] bump into Curly. Some harmless insults are traded,
watched unseen by Toyah, and they continue on their way, Curly
nearly colliding with Ken who rushes out of the bar and jumps
into his car. [A little more of this incident later, don't want
to spoil probably the best scene of the episode just yet.] Toyah
repairs inside, to write a letter to Curly, c/o Firmans Freezers.
What devious plot is afoot ?
Inside the Rovers once more, Sam and Des are having
a mutual sulk. She is getting a drink for him when Big Chris arrives
and chips in with "I'll have one of those and all, when you're
ready". Somehow, we know he's not really talking about a
pint of beer. Later, Des tries to get Sam to come home early for
a talk. She suggests he talks to Natalie. Good choice, not. Later
still, we see Sam and Chris spraying pheromones left right and
centre as she asks him if he has recovered his strength, and is
ready for "some more". Oo-err. Chris thinks someone
is going to get hurt soon, but Sam is unconcerned, she's having
too much fun.
Ken arrives at Mike's flat just as Deirdre is getting
into a cab, bound for the airport. The cabbie burns rubber as
Ken rushes up to talk to her. Catching up with them at the swanky
new Terminal 2 building, which is eerily deserted, he demands
to know what she is doing. She tells him she can't see any other
way out, especially with Ken giving evidence, and that Mike has
arranged it all. The blue touch paper is thus lit... Altogether
now. "BALDWIN !!"
Back at the pub, Gail is still trying to persuade Roy
that tea chez Platt might overcome Hayley's shyness. Gail has
some cracking throwaway lines tonight, and delivers the best at
this point. [I'll leave it to the end.]
Curly is discussing the ins and outs of commercial
sabotage with Gary. As you do. He also tells Emily that his job
might be at risk if he can't get a result on the Great Prawn Disaster.
[Curly is wandering aimlessly from plot to plot at the moment.
He badly needs another of those high-risk affairs to perk him
up a bit.]
Usual dross, brightened up by the on-all-the-time rerun Peugeot
406 ad with the stonkingly sexy Kim Basinger. And a chuckle as
the Mirror screws up and shows what must have been a rehearsal
shot of Elizabeth Emmanuel offering to "tell all" about
Di's wedding dress [come on, it was 17 years ago !] before she
got to make-up and hairdressing. Oh, no apparently the just got
up look is in at the moment. Hey, I'm in fashion !
Back on planet Earth, the kids have got Hammy out of
her cage for part two. We'll bring you the hamster vote when we
Alma and Mike return home, to find Deirdre missing, and a note
thanking them for everything. Alma wants to call the police, as
she believes Deirdre might have been suicidal. Mike persuades
her it is unlikely, playing for time before he is rumbled. Be
sure your sins will find you out, my Mum used to say. Many a mickle
maks a muckle. You'll stick like that. [Stop me when I'm boring
At the Websters, Sally and Kevin are still finding
it hard to forget, let alone forgive. Rowsie and Surphie are conveniently
upstairs. How much better it would be if one of them were to say
something instead of being banished to bed or the bathroom all
the time. [It pulls you right up when a child announces how they
don't like to hear you arguing.]
In the airport, where unfortunately Jon doesn't appear
to be working tonight, we see Ken and Deirdre trying to sink a
couple of cups of brown muddy liquid. [Join the Campaign for Real
Milk, details on request.] He is still reeling from the revelation
that she was trying to skip the country, on Alma's passport. Mmm,
Deirdre, Alma, Deirdre, Alma. Well, I suppose they'd look alike
to a myopic Klingon. Ken plays the Tracy- luv card. What would
she think, two fathers walked out on her, and now this ? Deirdre
starts to crumble, what she really needs is for people to believe
her. Ken decides that he likes the cut of his Sir Galahad suit,
and announces that he does. He will do everything he can in court
to help. Aaahhh.
At Emily's, Spider and [grimace] "Log" are
wondering what it must have been like having Curly as a lodger.
"I've had worse", says Em looking pointedly around her.
They're the wrong side of 25 to notice subtleties like this, and
head off upstairs to calm Log's alpha waves. [Now there's a euphemism
not oft heard. Must make a note of that one.] Toyah arrives, and
tells Emily that Log might soon be cut down to size. Groan.
Deirdre and Ken arrive at his house. She is supposed
to be staying at Mike's flat as a condition of bail, but our hero
is having none of it. Deirdre is tired and heads off to bed. Ken
looks at the phone, and decides to call Alma to tell her that
he brought Deirdre back from the airport where she was trying
to skip bail on Alma's passport. Alma gives Mike heaps for this.
He adopts his "only an ignorant Cockney sparrer, have to
live on me wits" attitude. Alma is not fooled.
Roy and Gail are having a drink, and she is still offering
an invite to tea. Roy is not sure how Hayley would feel. "Let's
ask her", says Gail as the red anorak is spotted arriving.
Hayley looks pleased to see Roy. [No, no, CP, not like that !]
Gail has to prompt Roy, now of the Rovers, oops sorry, to get
a drink. Hayley asks for a pineapple juice and gives Roy the full
500-watt beam. Roy being Roy, fails to spot this. Perhaps if he
wasn't screwing his eyes shut most of the time, he might notice
more. While he is at the bar, Gail engages Hayley in some amusing
girly chat. "Men, huh". We all smile. She would love
to come round for tea. [This should be fun, what with the little
ones about. Every 5 year-old knows *exactly* where to stand when
clambering over males.]
Des is still brooding over his pint and giving Samantha
some suspicious looks. This doesn't go unobserved by Natalie,
no doubt an expert in these matters. Sam continues to smoulder
at Chris, and when he leaves, observes to herself that she wishes
she was going home with him. Chris is obviously wearing his flame-proof
undies as anyone else would be ablaze by now. Des continues to
scowl away. It's obviously Steve's turn with their shared brain
Finally, there is a knock on Ken's door. It's MVB of
course. Ken tells him to clear off, and when Mike insists on seeing
Deirdre, he is dumped unceremoniously on the ground in front of
his car. Knockout, round 2. Ken turns to see Deirdre standing
on the stairs. It's time for his "shucks Maw" look.
The credits roll.
Tonight's episode was written by Phil Ford.
Well, it was nice to start with such a good episode.
I've often thought the Sunday slot was just used as a bit of
a "fill-in", but tonight was fair bursting with activity
and plot development. There was wit and drama. Deirdre had some
*much* better lines, and the scene in the airport was her best
for a while, with the anguish nicely played without recourse
to the expected tendon-wobbling. Gail was on much improved form,
and had a fair smattering of those throwaway remarks that mean
so much more to those of us in the know. And best yet, not a
Middleton or Macdonald to be seen, save for a 10-second scene
with Steve early on [yes, yes, I'm getting there].
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ****
Best line: Gail, telling Roy that it would be good
for Hayley to come round - "A couple of hours with our lot,
and she'll be a new person !"
Best scene: Ken crashes into Steve on his way out
of the Rovers, tipping Steve's Chicken Tikka Massala all down
his front. Two knockout blows in one night. Way to go, Ken. [Mike
P, hope you got at least one of these !]
Going nowhere plot: Spider and Log. Zzzzz.
Hamster verdict: Good enough to leave the aerial lead
Tubby bye-byes !
Alan's Monday Corrie Update
Hi folks! Welcome to the first of my Corrie updates
- it's a pleasure joining the team. I've been lurking here a while
but only come out in the last few weeks - for those that don't
know, I have a secret fetish which involves Joanna Lumley AND
Tina Turner AND liberal helpings of cream (plain yoghurt is an
acceptable alternative), however, my medication has stabilised
the condition somewhat, so things are under better control these
Monday 16 March
Would that were the case for my wife ('er downstairs,
as she's called this - you see, I work from home and spend a
lot of time upstairs at the computers, while she's the Internet
widow, so I'm "'im upstairs" and she's "'er downstairs"),
who has a similar mirroring condition involving Les Ferdinand
- she actually wanted to be a physiotherapist, but her mother
reckoned teaching was a nice job for a girl, so she turned to
that profession instead. Anyway, her repressed tendencies do
cause some problems in the household and her probation officer
has ticked her off about this - basically it's the old ""there,
there" - "no, THERE, THERE" routine you will have
read about in the select end of the Sunday Press. I'm sure Les
wouldn't put up with her snoring but I'm a martyr to the cause.
The ski-slopes of Glossop are melting rapidly, now
that the monsoon season has come to the neighbourhood (for our
North American friends, who devise the spellcheckers, this is
how the word should be spelt). This means that the natives get
restless which accounts for the extra-marital activity for which
we Northerners are so well known - I use the expression "we
Northerners" rather loosely, as you might expect from someone
whose only claim to Northerndom is the sheer accident of actually
being born in this country in the first place and then perpetuating
the accident by living 40-odd years in the region. I wonder what
the old folks in Krakow, Gdansk and Torun would have said about
the matter, but as I would never have passed a certain politician's
"Cricketting Test of Nationality" what do I care?
This Monday's episode was preceded by a chocolate
figure saying that she wouldn't allow him to get "his hands
on mine" - as it's pre-watershed viewing, this was obviously
a reference to a Cadbury's Wispa and not Mars Bars - in any case,
Mars don't sponsor the show.
The episode commences with Mike and Lama (which is
how my mistyped attempt at Alma came out) - Lama is saying that
Mike's idea was "crazy" - you will recall that Mike
had a sudden rush of blood to the head in the previous episode
and lined Deirdre up with Lama's passport, an airflight and promise
of safe harbour in places Espagnol and actually suggested that
this was her only alternative to incarceration at HM Pleasure.
"I didn't think it through" and "I admit it wasn't
one of my better ideas" were some of the gems of admission
springing from his lips - mind you, this is Emancipated Man we
are talking about, whose enlightened attitude to women is along
the lines of "keep 'em barefoot and pregnant"! Lama
says "I could have told you that, if you'd asked me.... Why
didn't you?" to which the unspoken answer is that we know
how much he really values Lama's input. Anyway Lama is relieved
that D is out of their marital home and "is better off with
Ken" - Emancipated Man doesn't see it that way, but Lama
clearly sees that there is a "limit to how much we can do
for her" - this is her TELLING him how its gonna be! Ooh,
I do like a strong woman, not that Tamara Press did much for me,
but that's another story!
The scene cuts to T'Caff where we have Roy and Hayley
whispering to each other. You will remember that Gail (the Mother-in-law
from Hell to the Daughter-in-law from Hell) had a personality
transplant and took on the persona of cupid to Roy and Hayley
- this was NIMBYism at its worst as she was hardly cupid to her
wonderful son, Nick and his beloved spouse, "'arrr Leeanne",
but these expedient measures must not get in the way of a good
storyline. Anyway, Gail had invited Roy and Hayley round for a
meal and Roy (who is clearly worried about Hayley's secret coming
out before the operation, but clearly unaware of the power of
trusses) had turned her down. Hayley is saying she would have
liked to have gone - at this stage Gail takes on the alter-persona
of a United Nation Ambassador for Peace and beats a diplomatic
retreat to change the bogrolls and leave our romantic couple to
it. "You didn't want to go" says Hayley and Roy is forced
to admit that this was the case but found it embarrassing to turn
down the invite. H continues "but you usually say what you
think - it's one of the things I thought we had in common, plain
speaking, it's something I've always very much respected in you".
Roy has used the excuse with Gail that Hayley is "shy"
to which Hayley replies that she doesn't like deception - Roy's
retort "That's a bit rich!" obviously stings her. She
accuses him of not trusting her with other people in case she
says something which causes him embarrassment. Roy denies this
vehemently. Hayley continues "I'd thought I'd met someone
who wasn't influenced by what other people thought - a man without
prejudice, that's what I thought you were... I was wrong".
Exit Hayley stage right to go back to work and enter stage left,
right on cue The Peace Ambassador. "Hayley gone? Everything
all right?" to which Roy replies firmly, but not convincingly
"Fine!" - except the facial expression says anything
Des and Sammy in their love nest at breakfast is the
next scene - Des is doing his "I'm not going to make eye
contact, 'cos I read the books on body language, so I'll bury
my head in the paper" act. Pollyfilla Babe is taking the
brazen line - she wanted some grouting doing on her face and Chris
volunteered. He practiced his pogo-vaulting all over her and Des
is beginning to wonder how far things have gone, anyway she's
not going down without a fight (apparently she likes it that way).
"Good is it?" she challenges Des, referring to the paper
- Des mumbles some lame response about a news item in the paper,
so Pollyfilla Babe decides attack is the best form of defence
(note to US spellcheckers, this is the correct spulling of the
wird). "You don't like me working in the Rovers, do you?...
perhaps you don't like men looking at me?" she continues
- Des says he's learned to live with it "that's human nature".
"So why am I getting the cold shoulder?" she replies.
But Des hasn't the bottle to take her on at her game and tells
her to "drop it, eh?".
Curly is in the office just finishing a telephone conversation
with Eric Firman, his boss. Hayley comes in with coffee and the
morning post and starts asking about the freezer sabotage by the
other PLO, the Prawn Liberation Organisation - Curly wants the
matter laying to rest. "Customer confidence is most important",
he tells her "if we want to keep our jobs - talk to Mr Firman
who says, 'just forget it ever happened', all right?" Hayley
hands him the post and on top is a letter addressed in crayon
to "Curly Watts, Firman's Freezers" - you will recall
that 'arr Toyota has only just learned joined up ryeting, but
hasn't yet mastered the vagaries of holding a pen and it was her
what ritt the letter. Curly opens up the letter and scans the
contents in disbelief.
Deirdre opens the door to Emancipated Man - Baldwin
has come to visit her at Ken's but, brave as ever, first of all
he just wants to check that "Conscience man" is out.
D tells him that despite his help, she couldn't go through with
the flit to Espana. She fears everyone would jump to the conclusion
that she is "as guilty as sin and I'm not. You do still believe
that don't you?" Anyway everything is OK now that Ken is
on her side, but Mike laughs - he's not impressed by her confidence
in Ken. He tries to tell her that Ken's credibility will be undermined
in a jury's eyes when they realise Ken and her are back living
together. "We're not living together, we're just staying
at the same address" is D's response - straight from the
Bill Clinton School of "but I didn't inhale" Misguided
Credibility and you begin to realise the size of the yawning gulf
between the real world and the way it is viewed by Dreary. Is
it really possible for anyone to be that gullible? But then desperation
is a commodity plentiful in that individual. "All I want
is for the two of you to stop fighting among yourselves, at least
until the trial's over" she says, as the scene ends.
Jim "Street Fighting Man" Hamburger is at
T'Caff - Gail comes to take his order. Jim says he could eat a
horse - this might be one of the more imaginative choices on the
menu at the Greasy Spoon, now that Roy is leading partner in the
firm. Alas, no! It is a reference to the fact that Roy is busy
daydreaming instead of preparing Jim's order - he is staring into
thin air, obviously miles away, and we know what (or who) is on
his mind. Gail launches into Peace Ambassador mode again "How's
Steve?" to which Jim replies "Well Steve's the same
as he always is", a few words that speak volumes. Not to
be put off, Gail continues that he "seems a lot steadier
than usual", putting this down to "Fiona's influence.
Anyway, I hope that it works out for them"! You really wonder
where the stupid woman has been these last few months and you
also wonder whether there will be mass carnage as Jim decides
to garrotte her. Roy come over with a bacon butty for Jim and
apologises (NB to our North American friends, with an eSS and
not a Zee) to Gail for turning down her kind invitation to nosh
chez Platt. He's changed his mind, however, he'd feel happier
doing the honours, so he invites Gail and Martin at 7.30 for 8
- and what is the location of this soiree? "Here!" To
which Gail says "Here? As in here?" not quite believing
that the Greasy Spoon could be where this cosy foursome get together.
He really knows how to live this guy - mind you readers, we haven't
seen anything of his flat these days - does he have a secret he
wishes to hide? Are there bodies bricked up behind the fireplace?
We won't know, because its T'Caff where he and Hayley will do
the hosting. The scene ends with an uncomfortable sickly looking
smile flickering onto Gail's face - 'er downstairs reckons it's
down to the lemon Gail forgot to take out of her backside, but
I'm sure Gail wouldn't use anything so common - kumquats maybe,
lemons .... No I just don't see that.
Mike and Dreary are talking about D's legal representation
in the forthcoming trial - D is telling Mike that beggars on legal
aid only get to see their brief about half an hour before the
court appearance. Mike is horrified and says that she needs someone
to fight for her - he offers to get another barrister, paid for
by him. "Why are you doing this?" asks D. "Because
you're going to need all the help you can get. I know you're innocent
and you're an old mate" is his response, but only on condition
that no-one else, presumably Lama, knows about his offer.
Des walks into the garage to talk to Kevin - he refers
to the conversation they had earlier regarding Samantha - "what
exactly did you see?" he asks, but Kevin, ever the grease
monkey, takes a leaf out of a relative's book - the wise monkey's
adage of seeing nothing. He doesn't want to get involved.
Curly bursts into Emily's house all agitated - he's
brandishing Toyota's anonymous letter and shows it to Emily, who
starts reading it out aloud. "If you want to know who saboted..."
but Curly quickly interjects "I think that means sabotaged....",
Emily continues "... your freezer, she's stopping at Number
3 Coronation Street, I don't mean Mrs. Bishop and it wasn't Spider".
(Poor Toyota, she's so thick she'd qualify to be a piece of 4
by 2 - as if Spider was a "she". .... unless, dear readers,
we have the inkling of another TS storyline which will bode good
tidings for Hayley - perhaps, Spider was previously a she and
has crossed the divide and will form the perfect match for Hayley.)
Curly points out that the letter was addressed to Curly Watts,
not Mr. Watts and it had a local postmark - it must be someone
who knows them. He asks for Emily's help, but Emily is not interested.
Curly thinks that unless customer confidence is restored there
could be redundancies, including his own. "You know very
well who wrote that" he says, to which Emily says "Even
if I do, I don't have any influence over her..." she suddenly
realises her faux-pas and after a short delay adds " - or
him". "Yes but you're related rather closely to someone
who does" is Curly's reply. Emily promises to do her best,
but Curly now has her on the ropes and he's going in for the big
kill. "If this isn't solved and the police come round to
interview this Log, it could be embarrassing for you - with Spider's
Moroccan specials, I don't think they'll have to bring a sniffer
dog with them, if you know what I mean". Emily is duly worried
and goes into deep thought - I think we have a bull's eye there!
Mind you, what goatskin leather has to do with the storyline beats
me - it all sounds like a load of shit.
Roy sneaks up behind Hayley at Firman's - he recognises
he made a mistake earlier regarding nosh chez Platt, but it's
now Hayley's turn to take the huff "I really do not want
to discuss this" is her retort. Roy explains that he's invited
Gail and Martin over for nosh and wants her to lend a hand. "What,
to do the washing up?" is her immediate reply. "No!
No! Help me entertain them. You'd be better at that sort of thing
than me. Please, Hayley, I really do want you to be there".
The scene ends to the sound of a heavenly choir (well, it did
in my head anyway) accompanying a big beam coming over Hayley's
face. Hey lads, we're on again!
Cut to the Rovers. Steve "Plasticine Head"
Hamburger is propping up the bar - Vampira (Nastily to you and
me) asks "How's the baby?". "It's starting to smile"
is PH's reply - Vampira who's been through these things before
disabuses him "Take it from me - nine times out of ten, it's
not a smile on it's little face, it's wind, otherwise it needs
it's nappy changed...... er, new glass?" You forget for a
moment that if you were a baboose, the sight of Vampira peering
over you would be enough to make anyone fill their nappy, as you
wonder what a new glass has to do with the price of nappies. Then
you realise, she's asking whether he wants a new glass for a fresh
pint. Des bursts into the pub, in a hurry. " Is Samantha
about?" he asks. Vampira tells him that Sam has just popped
out - that is an inadequate response for the Grand Inquisitor.
"Where to?" he asks. "To the shops, I think!"
says Nastily. Not mollified, he asks "oh... which shops?".
Nastily snaps back "I honestly don't know, she's fetching
some things for Alec. Why?" "Just wanted a word. What
time did she go out?" Nastily is getting exasperated. "About
10 minutes ago. Look, if you want to hang about, she'll be back
soon. OK?" Des gives up "Daresay, I'll find her - she
can't have gone far." He leaves the pub, leaving Vampira
looking on, realising that any minute now there could be a tremor
registering something on the Richter scale - the fact that it
could be to do with the earth moving for Samantha and with Chris
being caught with his thongs around his ankles in flagrante delicto
is merely one of life's amazing coincidences.
Cue adverts - end of round one
For advert anoraks, a few goodies here. An ad for
Carex haircare - background tune has a few bars of Burt Bacharach's
song from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" - "Raindrops
keep fallin' on my head". The one where Paul Newman is riding
on the bicycle with the gal on the crossbars - it was made famous
in 1969/70 by B.J. Thomas - always wondered what BJ stood for.
Nearly 30 years on, having trawled through the alt.binaries newsgroups,
I now have a fair inkling. But I digress......
One from British Gas - extolling the virtues of buying
your electricity AND your gas from them and how it'll be cheaper
than other alternatives. To me, it's like the endless BT "Friends
and family" versus Mercury versus Botswana Telecom. I know
I did maths at a reasonable level, but I can't get my head around
this one.. How can they ALL be the cheapest?
A KFC "Hot and Spicy" commercial - which
kinda describes the chicks. Whey hey, if I were ten years younger...
well, twenty... OK thirty. Mind you, they don't tell you how
greasy the food is, even though the chicks are cute.
Then amongst the advertising dross, something to raise
a smile on the face of a child of the sixties - the Tetley Tea
commercial. With the Four Tops singing "Reach Out (I'll
be there)" their big hit from 1966. Hey, now we're groovin'....
And all of a sudden, it's time for end adverts......
Des has turned up at the garage, apparently looking
for Kevin. Chris is outside working on a car. Des makes out that
he must have dropped his car keys earlier, but Chris denies seeing
them. Des brushes past and goes into the garage for a quick scour
around - Samantha is not there. Des tells Chris that he has had
a look but can't see them , anyway "I'm they'll turn up".
As he leaves the garage, he bumps into Samantha coming round the
corner, carrying some shopping. Much relieved, he offers to carry
her shopping. Chris looks on, to the highly symbolic strains of
The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" (hey, I might be
an old fart, but I recognise a good tune when I hear one!), realising
that he and Pollyfilla Babe have been rumbled by Des.
It's lunchtime at T'Caff. Toyota is helping out in
her lunchbreak from school. Curly is having a drink. He tricks
Toyota into helping him with the newspaper crossword, as he goes
to the counter to place an order - it's all a ruse to get a sample
of her handwriting. "Funny, your handwriting is very similar
to a letter I've seen this morning, which, of course, you know
nothing about!" She is left in no doubt that she has been
rumbled (two rumbles in one day, wow!), but she denies all knowledge.
He warns her to keep her thoughts to herself.
Pollyfilla Babe and Chris are in the Rovers - Chris
tells her about Des' earlier visit to the garage and that he was
looking for his car keys, "but if you ask me, it's not his
car keys he was looking for". PFB now understands why Des
was so relieved to see her coming around the corner. She recognises
that Des has cottoned on to what's been going on, so she cancels
her assignation with Chris for later that night, but promises
to think of something else.
Liz "She is a Tart" Hamburger and Deirdre
are in the Rovers. D tells her that she's stopping at Ken's for
the time being. Liz expresses her apologies for taking over her
flat and asks what accommodation plans D has and D recognising
the prospect of time at HM Pleasure at the Big Highse, admits
that she's "not sure, my living arrangements could be taken
out of my hands".
Emily is at home, discussing Toyota's letter to Curly
with Spider and asking him to use his influence and that Toyota
"worships the ground he treads on", but as far as he's
concerned, it's one way traffic. Emily points out that, in addition,
Curly is trying to save the jobs of his staff, but that this is
not the only reason. At this stage Log Thwaite appears from the
kitchen carrying what are probably herbal teas (no doubt, to match
the herbal cigarettes). She reckons that someone has a grudge
against her. Emily points out that if the matter goes further,
the Police could pay a visit, "so I'd be grateful if you'd
hand over a certain something to me, just in case".
Spider - "Eh?" Emily - "You know what
I mean!" S - "Do I?" E - "What you've been
smoking!" S - "Well what do you want with that?"
E (exasperated) - "Oh, come on Geoffrey, I wasn't born yesterday!"
S - "What, do you mean you've known all along?" E -
"Well of course, I have and I haven't been too happy about
it. In fact, I think you've rather taken advantage of my good
nature, don't you?"
E asks for the wacky backy, Spider picks up a china
pot from the sideboard.
E - "Ernest gave me that pot!" S - "Sorry"
- and tinged with much regret at being sussed "Now I'm giving
you mine!" with a flicker of a wry smile around his chops.
E turns to Log to ask for her herbal backy, but Log
denies having any, besides which she maintains that they cause
no harm. E points out to her that whereas she is prepared to go
to prison for her own beliefs, she is most certainly not prepared
to do so for Log's. Log hands over the weed and Emily leaves the
room for the toilet. Log is not very happy with Emily and suspects
her of writing the letter to Curly - Spider denies that this is
the case, but when Log asks him if he knows who wrote the letter,
he tells her he doesn't know "it could have been anyone".
Log threatens that if she finds out who wrote the letter, she
will "fix them". The scene ends with the sound of the
flushing toilet upstairs and a regretful looking Spider. A magic
ending to a wonderful scene.
We are at the Greasy Spoon. Roy looking like the Maitre'D
is suitably attired complete with white shirt and dickie bow tie.
Gail and Martin are coming in to join the party - and Hayley makes
four. The lights are low, the table is set, there's candles around
- the visitors are impressed by the effort made by Roy. Martin
places his order for "Shepherd's Pie, Beans, Two slices,
Tea and a bun". The visitors compliment Roy, but he says
it was nothing to do with him, it's all down to Hayley. Martin
continues his ability at a never-ending run of faux-pas by observing
that he thought he spotted the feminine touch. There is an embarrassed
silence, then Martin continues "Me, I'm terrible at laying
tables, don't know what goes where. Still, I'm a pleb." Roy
offers drinks - a sherry - even though Martin rightly recognises
that Roy is teetotal, that doesn't mean that his guests have to
go without booze. He asks Hayley to choose the music and H moves
over to the jukebox. Martin continues a winning run by offering
her a 50p coin for the machine. Roy points out that this will
not be needed as there is an override button - Martin and Gail
cannot believe this guy and the lengths to which he will go to
entertain his guests. The music comes on - Culture Club "Karma
Chameleon" - by God, H knows how to pick 'em, although this
subtlety is wasted on the guests. Martin expresses the opinion
"Well, this is fun". Hayley beams. The nation roars
in approval. What a magic scene - another one!
Deirdre is at Ken's. He is getting ready to go out.
"It's work actually", he tells her. "An occasional
job .... Very occasional." D - "Doing what?" K
- pause - "You want to know? ..... I'm a male escort"
D gulps, barely able to stop herself swallowing her own teeth,
smiles "Oh?" K - "Yes, Alec Gilroy runs this escort
agency .... It's all above board" D who knows that nothing
run by Alec could in any way be described as "above board"
replies "Oh aye? And it's run by Alec Gilroy?" - you
recognise the irony here, from the woman who was gullible enough
to swallow all of Captain Tie Rack's fantasies recognising that
Porkers don't much less credible than this one. K continuing to
protest "I know what you're thinking - it's not a dating
agency" D "No!" (of course she doesn't think that,
she's trying to visualise the picture of Ken as The Stud in the
Knocking Shop! K - "It's purely escort work!" D straining
credibility "Yes!" K - "You don't believe me, do
you?" D - "No!" K - "Well, as a matter of
fact it's hard work". Well it would be at his tender years!
He goes on to explain the difficulty in keeping a conversation
going all evening. By way of example, that night he is to witness
"a performance of 'The Rite of Spring' by Igor Theodorovitch
Stravinsky 1882-1971. D sarcastically "Oh well, you should
really enjoy that! Erm, who's the lucky lady?" K tells her
that it is a "Retired Peripatetic Music Teacher from Wythenshawe"
D continuing sarcasm mode on and barely able to contain herself,
"Well, sounds like you're at the classy end of the market!"
K explains how much research and preparation he needs to put into
the evening. D - "Well as long as it gets you out of the
house!" Ken asks her whether she minds, but D breaks into
laughter admitting that it was the best laugh she'd had since
Christmas! How do they do it, I ask myself?
Spider has come round to Toyota's - she lets him in.
Spider explains that someone has it in for Log and that a letter
has been sent accusing her. He tells T "I know who wrote
it! Gotcha!". Initially Toyota denies all knowledge of it,
but when Spider explains that Log is on the warpath (How can peace-lovers
be on the war path, for heaven's sake?) and that T will be in
trouble if Log ever finds out who wrote the letter. T drops the
pretence and begs Spider not to tell Log - Spider agrees. Toyota
is puzzled. "Everything was OK before she turned up"
she maintains, but Spider lays it on the line. Gently but firmly
he tells her that he likes her, they are "comrades-in-arms,
but that's all!" When pressed he admits their age difference
is a factor, but that they will only ever be "just friends".
Exit Spider. Collapse of stout party as a hormone attack overwhelms
poor Toyota. We reach for the box of tissues.
We are Café Roy. He has done them proud. Martin
exclaims "That was a smashing meal, you'd make someone a
very good wife" (Poor guy, little does he know how little
he knows.) Gail says how much she has enjoyed the evening and
G picking up the baton of Chief Embarrassor to the
Court - "It's lovely to see you so happy together".
R gets embarrassed and hot under the collar - he offers more "Coffee,
cheese?" G says how delighted she has been to get a chance
to know Hayley "We'll have to have a girl's night out!"
H agrees! G says that next time "we'll invite Roy and Hayley
round to us", turning to Martin. M "Yes, yes, I'll invite
you round to my place!" R is starting to fidget - he is obviously
getting uncomfortable with the way the cosy chat is going, but
Martin continues, totally oblivious "They'll do you proud
at the Hospital canteen". There is a pause, so Martin explains
"Joke! Roy - joke!"
The dinner party concludes with the guests getting
up and its kisses all round, well virtually all round. The only
combination who don't kiss are Roy and Martin, where it's a good
old handshake and, of course, Roy and Hayley! Sheer poetry, sheer
The final scene has Pollyfilla Babe returning home
from work. Des' head is till buried in the paper. She expresses
surprise that Des was not in the pub, in the evening. She had
expected him to be checking up on her. He pretends not to understand
what she's driving at, so she refers to his visit to the pub at
lunchtime and that he was checking up on her. Des replies "I
don't know what gives you that idea... unless you think there's
something I should be checking up on." Sam tells him not
to play games with her - he denies this "Me? I'm not playing
games!" to which Sam says, in a determined manner "Neither
am I". End scene, cue music, cue credits.
Episode written by Phil Woods
Well that was my first marathon session. A lot of
quotes there, because there was some wonderful dialogue in this
episode. The humour of the situations and the quality of the
scripts make Corrie what it is - the best soap on UK TV. Hope
you enjoyed it as much as I did! See you next week.
Dear Update Readers,
Wednesday 18 March
All in all it's been a momentous week at RATUCS, with
the highly laudable debut contributions of two new updaters,
John Laird and Alan Milewczyk, both men of expert vision, good
taste and excellent humour. I'd like to welcome them aboard and
wish them all the best. I don't know much about John's background,
but Alan appears to be part-Polish. Which is nice, as they say,
and always handy if you're lost for words at Scrabble. I actually
envy Alan in a way, because I've often wished that I had a bit
of Pole in me. I have to make do instead with being second-generation
Irish, descended from a grandmother who 'entertained' more soldiers
during the war than Bob Hope, and a grandfather who was discharged
from the army because he was convinced he was Vera Lynn. (When
the enemy is about to attack on all fronts, I guess it's bad
for morale if some ponce in a pink off-the-shoulder number stands
up in the middle of the fray and bursts into the chorus of "Moonlight
Becomes You". But at least I know where I get it all from.
Now, when people ask me why I grew up wanting to be Dusty Springfield,
I blame it all on a very suspect gene pool.) Anyway, I'm sure
that both John and Alan will enjoy their time as updaters. I
know I have. And they are sure to be inundated with post from
all over the world in response to their efforts. I've had emails
from places so exotic that even Magnus Magnusson couldn't pronounce
them. Granted, a good proportion of them would seem to be from
the same bigoted old spinster halfway up some extinct volcano
in New Zealand, but what the hell, it's the thought that counts.
(I never bother trying to shout her down and tell her what a
terminally sad individual she is because I reckon that living
in New Zealand is affliction enough, without my adding to it.)
Having said that, there are a lot of people out there who do
appreciate the trouble that we updaters go to, and, on the strength
of their first updates, I'm sure that both John and Alan will
be showered with missives of appreciation.
Before I launch into the update, I'd like to welcome
Ms Ruth Carey to the newsgroup. I'd also like to point out that
she's not feeling too good at the moment. She's been having dental
problems, apparently, and has been to the dentist six times in
as many weeks. Now Ruth is no stranger to having men push things
into her mouth, but being on the receiving end of the dentists'
instruments week-in, week-out must be wearing. Let's hope it's
all over for her soon.
And now, down to business!
UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY MARCH 18TH
This week's update is thematic rather than strictly
The episode opens at Morals Mansion, with Ken and the
Drear and their respective predicaments. Ken is droning on about
his latest "Golden Years" assignment, and wondering
what his next assignment - later that evening - with the wonderfully-named
Babs Fanshawe will be like. The only thing Deirdre has to look
forward to is an appointment with her new barrister. That and
several years trying to avoid being force-fed anchovy souffle.
She duly attends the appointment with her new barrister, who is
clad in regulation 'Cadbury purple'. (Short of having all the
cast perform with Crunchies in their hand, what more can the people
at Cadbury's do to get their point across?) Anyway, the Drear's
new barrister concludes that her best bet is to play stupid. Ah
well, more of the same then.
Later, at the Rovers, Deirdre continues the new game
plan by soliciting for character witnesses to attest to her moral
rectitude in court. And whom does she choose? None other than
Alec Gilroy and La Mouton! Alec Gilroy, who would steal the last
breath from an asthmatic, and La Mouton, mutton dressed as scrag-end,
the ex-gangster's moll. Which means that the Drear will probably
be looking at ten years rather than five. Also in the Rovers,
Mike Baldwin tells Frankie Stillman that he doesn't want Alma
to find out that he will be footing the bill for Deirdre's trial,
because Alma might get the wrong impression. I love the word 'might',
as though there's just a chance that Alma would construe his actions
as purely altruistic. How does Alma put up with this appalling
man? (And don't tell me that he's not sinking the old beef torpedo
into Frankie Stillman, because it won't wash.)
At Shagworld, Des breaks the news to Samantha that
he is off to the Cheltenham races and will be gone all day. Samantha
is so upset that she tells Des that she will have to lie down.
What she doesn't tell him, of course, is that she will be lying
down with Chris. Later we see her, clad head to toe in leather,
asking Chris whether he is up for it. He shows reluctance at first,
but it doesn't take much to wear down the resistance of a generous
all-round dick merchant like Studley, and before you can say "KY",
he's accepted her gracious offer. She promises to throw a meal
in too, just for good measure. (And considering how lax she's
been with her nether parts, she'd probably have room for a whole
banquet). Anyway, with Des away at the races, Samantha and Chris
have their meal and then rush upstairs to make ends meet. Meanwhile
Des, who has been planning to catch Sam 'at it' for ages, has
returned from "Cheltenham" and is sitting outside in
the car, waiting for his moment. He is sure that inside Shagworld,
Sam is entertaining a man, and when he sees the bedroom light
go on, he jumps out of the car and rushes to his front door.
Up in the bedroom, meanwhile, Chris is on his back,
shirt open to reveal a much nicer chest than Tilly could ever
muster, with Samantha on top. But then coitus interruptus - in
the form of Des walking through the front door - strikes, and
a bedraggled Samantha rushes down to greet him, leaving a terrified
Studley stranded in the bedroom.
Des puts two and two together, of course, and makes
four, although Samantha convinces him that he has in fact made
five. His suspicions are aroused by the dinner table, which sports
two dirty plates and an empty wine bottle. "Who has been
here?" he asks, his face dark with suspicion. Samantha lies
through her teeth and tells him that she's had Nastily round for
dinner, as Des himself suggested she should. He asks her whether
Nastily would back her up were he to phone her, and the brazen
hussy says that yes, of course she would. Samantha turns the whole
thing back on Des and tries to make him feel guilty for being
so suspicious of her, and in the end he relents, apologising for
thinking the worst. And all the time, Studley is marooned in the
bedroom, turning his Calvin Kleins a brighter shade of saffron.
Thinking on her feet rather than on her back, Samantha tells Des
to go and get his bag from the car while she puts a lasagna in
the microwave for him. He duly complies, which is Samantha's cue
to smuggle her stud-muffin downstairs and into the kitchen. Studley
leaps down the stairs and makes for Sam's back entry. ("There's
no time for that," she says, "you've got to go!").
And so, just as Des comes through the front door, Chris disappears
through the back. The adrenalin coursing through her veins, Samantha
falls into Des's arms and starts to slobber over him, at which
point the needle on the "Slutometer" went off the scale.
Meanwhile, Ken "Mr Ethics 98" Barlow is ensconced
in a plush - and I use that word guardedly - restaurant with an
attractive middle-aged woman, Babs Fanshawe, who is, unfortunately,
a bag of nerves. Not even Ken - who can put usually put a person
into a trance within minutes - can calm her down. She's nervous
because she's "never done this kind of thing before".
(If I had a pound for every time a man has said that to me, I
wouldn't be teaching in university, I can tell you). Ken tries
to tell her that he's quite a novice at it too, but this seems
to have no effect. She is trembling and sweating and complaining
about the heat in the restaurant and the lack of oxgygen. She
tells Ken that she always used to complain to her husband, Malcolm,
about their central heating, and that what she really always needed
was 'central cooling'. Ken looks on in that slightly bewildered
(but not, allegedly, boring) way that only Ken can. Babs eventually
fishes through her handbag and extricates a bottle of pills. These
are to calm her nerves, although, as she admits, they usually
put her to sleep in the process. (What a waste of good medication;
if she'd perservered and listened to Barlow a bit more, she would
have been out like a light in seconds.) Anyway, she then decides
- as all women do at times of crisis - to visit the loo, leaving
Ken alone to wonder what on earth he has let himself in for. The
seconds tick into minutes, the minutes become a quarter of an
hour, and Ken is still sitting there, sans Babs. In the end, consternation
forces him to get up of his principled arse and find out what
has happened to her. Gingerly, he knocks on the door of the ladies
and calls out her name. No answer. So he throws caution to the
winds and enters the ladies' loo. "Babs, are you alright?"
he calls. There is no answer. And then he is stopped in his tracks,
for protruding from one of the cubicles are a pair of legs, belonging,
it soon becomes apparent, to the poor - and now late - Babs Fanshawe.
For, as Ken finds out when he looks in the cubicle, Babs Fanshawe
is no more. She has expired, given up the ghost, shuffled off
her mortal coil. This is one very dead Babs and no mistake.
Eventually, the paramedics are called and the sad corpse
of the late Babs Fanshawe, the woman who couldn't stand the heat,
is carried out of the restaurant. Barlow, meanwhile, phones Alec
Gilroy to tell him, but all Gilroy is concerned about is that
the name of "Golden Years" should not be dragged into
it. Ever the concerned fellow human, Alec asks Ken whether Babs
actually paid for the date before dying. Barlow, his principles
shining forth like a beacon, is outraged at Gilroy's gall, and,
when Alec tells him to have look in Babs's purse to get the cheque,
slams the phone down in disgust.
The episode ends with a worried Ken explaining to the
manager of the restaurant that he and Babs were not partners but
merely "dining companions". Yes, thinks the manager,
and I'm Queen Marie of Rumania. And that's where it ends - until
Friday for us, forever for Babs.
AS I SEE IT
Now most people who spend more than five minutes with
Ken Barlow know what it's like to lose the will to live, but
you'd have to agree that Babs Fanshawe took it to extremes: the
poor woman was literally bored to death. Now I've been on dates
that would have made the siege of Stalingrad look like an attractive
option, and I've had people say "Go steady, you're killing
me", but I've never had anyone actually die on me. But personally,
I don't think that Babs died of a heart attack at all. You've
no doubt heard of people dying from passive smoking. Well I believe
that Babs died from passive charisma deficit; the heart attack
came later. What is it with Ken Barlow? He makes even Nigel Mansell
look like a laugh a minute.
I have to say that I am finding the Chris and Sam
affair most tedious. If Orange Girl has to go, let her go with
a scrap of dignity, for God's sake. Instead of allowing her to
ride off into the sunset on her chopper, she is made to ride
through each episode on Chris's. Obviously it will all end in
tears: Sam will get caught out by Des and do a midnight flit
while Chris will be told that he has beta-carotene poisoning
and three weeks to live. Does anyone really care? I went off
Chris ages ago anyway, about the time he started to don that
awful Stan Laurel hairstyle, and not even Sunday night's glimpse
of his naked torso redeemed him in my estimation. It's about
time our priapic friend called it a day and headed back for Rwanda.
I for one shan't be *that* sorry to see him go.
All in all, it was a pretty lacklustre episode, the
only light relief being the Babs Fanshawe business. (It says
something about the episode in question when the 'light relief'
in the programme comes courtesy of a heart attack, but there
you have it.) And absolutely no sign of Roy and Hayley. Watching
an episode of CS that doesn't feature Roy and Hayley is like
eating chips without salt 'n vinegar, or, as my mother used to
say, like kissing a man without a moustache. She used to use
this expression all the time in front of my father - who has
never worn a moustache - just to show him what a woman of the
world she is; this used to aggravate him intensely, and so she
would use it even more. I felt so sorry for him that whenever
she said, "Oh, such-and-such-a-thing is like kissing a man
without a moustache", I'd say: "I agree, mother. I'd
*never* kiss a man without a moustache." Which would aggravate
*her* intensely. I once said this in front of her old friend,
Ruby Cracknell, and my mother turned a hundred shades of red.
When Ruby had left, my mother said: "Why do you talk about
kissing men in front of Ruby Cracknell? She'll start thinking
you're queer and then what will I do?" "I *am* queer",
I replied. "Yes," said my mother, "but Ruby Cracknell
doesn't have to think that." "Nor does she have to
think you've kissed a man with a moustache," I retorted,
"because we all know that you haven't." And so she
never said it again, at least not in front of my father. My mother
still regales us with talk of her misspent youth, but I assume
most of it is fanciful elaboration. My mother never lies outright:
she just treats the truth like so much plasticine, to be moulded
into any shape that takes her fancy, painted as garishly as possible,
and embellished with beads and feathers until it no longer resembles
plasticine at all. For example, when I was much younger, my mother
told me that my uncle Richard, who lived in Australia, had died
in a "tragic air crash"; I only found out the truth
a couple of years ago when I met Richard's son for the first
time. It appears that Richard had been walking in the park one
Sunday afternoon when he was suddenly hit on the head by a remote
control model aeroplane that someone was trying to maneouvre
back to earth nearby. Apparently it was the shock that killed
him; his heart simply gave way. But "tragic air crash"?
Well it was and it wasn't - and that's the same with all of my
Talking of Hayley, I was surprised to receive an email
from someone in the States who is studying "transgender
issues", whatever that is. This person seemed to think that
I was an expert on transsexualism and wanted to know all about
the British public's reaction to Hayley and her predicament.
Well I'm not an expert on the subject and thus have absolutely
no idea, and I don't much care. I haven't the foggiest how many
people sympathise, empathise or reach for the vomit bags; I just
love her as a character. That doesn't mean that I don't sympathise
with her problem, although empathy is a non-starter. After all,
how many of us have been in her position? Unlike Hayley, I've
never been trapped inside a man's body - inside, yes, but trapped,
never - and thus cannot begin to imagine what it must be like.
What I can empathise with - and I'm sure I'm not alone in this
- is the feeling of not being accepted, of being in a sense an
'outlaw'. Hayley's predicament is clearly different to any that
I have experienced: different parameters, different dynamics,
different closet. But I'm sure there have been times when all
of us have felt that we don't somehow fit in, and that in order
to express our own individuality we have all had to 'kick against
the pricks', to use one of my father's favourite expressions.
I was the archetypal adolescent rebel in most respects and my
father would always say to me: "You're forever kicking against
the pricks." (To which my mother once added, "Yes,
but he always remembers to keep a few of them for himself"
- a quip that was lost on my father, and which my mother was
able to use only because Ruby Cracknell had explained to her
the alternative meaning of the word 'prick').
And what a woman Ruby Cracknell was: a buxom, flame-haired
harridan of a woman with big bosoms and huge teeth - like something
painted by Rubens on acid, and not unlike CS's Renee Turnbull
- who spoke nineteen to the dozen and always called a spade a
spade, however many people she offended. She was married to a
tiny, incredibly shy grocer called George (Ruby referred to him
as 'the little man') who never said anything, but who had an
amazing singing voice. He and Ruby would come to all our family
parties and he would sit there in a corner, drinking Double Diamond
and saying nothing, while Ruby splattered all and sundry with
her non-stop verbal diarrhoea. You'd chat with him and if he
answered at all it would be in words of one syllable. And more
often than not, Ruby would answer for him. However, halfway through
the party, Ruby would shout across the room, "Little man,
it's that time again!", at which point George would put
down his glass, stand to his full height - which wasn't much
- and let rip with "The Green Green Grass of Home"
or "You'll Never Walk Alone". He was always the star
turn, and it was probably only when he sang that Ruby ever noticed
him. Then, when the tumultous applause had died down, he would
sit back in his corner and pick up his glass again, smiling and
nodding silently while the party carried on around him.
Talking of parties, I shall have to try my luck with
the video again for this Wednesday's update because I am going
to what will probably be my friend Jason's final bash before
he leaves for the States to begin his new life. The worst thing
about Jason's parties - apart from trying to fish your clothes
out of the big pile at the end of the evening - is that they've
become so predictable. Same food, same music, same men. And same
party game - 'Name the Celebrity' - every time. (You know the
game: you have to act in the manner of a celebrity and the others
have to guess who you are.) I don't know why he bothers because
he's personally quite hopeless at impersonations: last time,
for example, what we thought was his Valerie Singleton turned
out to be Peter Wyngarde; and stuffing a couple of clementines
down the front of your T-shirt and squealing "Where the
f*** is Sandy?" hardly qualifies as the most realistic portrayal
of Noelle Gordon. The game starts off dire and just goes downhill
from there. And it always ends in a free-for-all, with everyone
performing at the same time. Worse still is the fact that they
all end up impersonating the same celebrity. And for some reason,
it's always Gillian Taylforth. (Jason's Persian rugs are now
ruined, of course, and the amount of money he's spent on Domestos
and Shake 'n Vac is anyone's guess. I've told him not to bother,
and suggested that he simply splash out on a new carpet - preferably
off-white - instead).
But that's enough for this week.
Until next time, love and hugs,
from CP (who, as of 10.30 pm Sunday March 22, 1998,
is single again...)
Friday 20 March
Well, the sun is shining, the birds outside are coughing,
'er downstairs is snoring and I have a stonking hangover following
one too many grape juices from the night before. Yes, it's Sunday
morning! But what have we here? 'Im upstairs tapping away at
the keyboard? Well, it's because I asked to swap over from Mondays
to do the Friday updates - I enjoyed doing my first update a
few days ago, but feared that, because of the time involved it
might be difficult to produce these things in a prompt manner.
You see, I am not privileged like CP, the Chief Superannuated
Paperclip-twister of Academia. As those of you who visited my
hastily erected web-site might know, I work for myself and time
is money, as they say, which probably explains our poverty -
and if any of you out there can understand that, please explain
it to my psychiatrist. He is not over-impressed by my progress
in trying to emulate Father Jack in Father Ted, if you get my
drift. And to complete the explanations, 'Er downstairs is called
that, because I spend so much time working at the computers that
I have been dubbed 'Im upstairs - she is one of the truly sad
cases in life, an Internet widow. She gets her own back by snoring
with such ferocity that the local authority have given special
soundproofing grants to houses in the locality only matched by
those in the flightpath of Manchester Airport - come to think
of it, she sounds like a plane about to take off.
So, here I am, it's just after 7.30 on a Sunday morning
and I'm at the keyboard knocking up Friday's episode - before
I start properly, I'd just like to take time out to publicly
thank (oops a split infinitive!) readers for the e-mails I received
following my debut a few days ago. It is very heart-warming that
my efforts have been appreciated by so many of you who share
our common interest, the Love of Corrie - I must admit I enjoyed
doing the first update and I know that the updates fulfil a valuable
For example, our North American friends, who like
to have a sneaky preview of what is about to hit them in coming
weeks, have written in droves. While we're on the subject, every
day we learn something new and my swipe at North American power
domination regarding spull-chukkas made me appreciate that the
Canooks among us share the spelling conventions of us on this
side of the duck-pond, rather than those of their mainland dominant
partners - I stand corrected and duly chastised. But then again,
I am receiving treatment for this little problem.
Friday's episode commences with a Cadbury's Mother's Day trailer
and launches into the first scene at Ken's where he and Deirdre
are discussing the events of the night before. You will recall
that the Coronation Street Gigolo, who is being pimped by Alec
Gilroy, was out studding it with Babs Fanshawe - she clearly suffered
from terminal boredom from having to listen to Ken over the meal,
so she scarpered to the bog, where she was found comatose by him
- poor woman, how she must have suffered.
Deirdre just cannot believe it and her voice takes
on an incredulous tone - Gigolo is staring into thin air, equally
disbelieving - I mean, just how do you explain to your erstwhile
partner your predilection for visiting women's toilets before
you've had the surgery? And while your ex is still in her dressing
D - "Died? In the toilet?" (Giggs nods)
Poor Ken! Everyone assumed that he was her boyfriend
and they were so kind to him, he ended up going to hospital with
her in the ambulance and Ken being Ken, he didn't have the bottle
to tell them he didn't know her well. To cap it all, her brother
had arrived at the hospital and continued with the false premise.
There' s a knock at the door - it's Alec Gilroy who
has come to enquire further about the previous night's events
- one of life's caring souls is our Alec, after all is not his
heart wallet-shaped? D excuses herself to get dressed, while Ken
explains to Alec that he had to make a statement to the Police,
but, of course, Alec's sole concern is that the name of the "Golden
Years" agency is not dragged into the proceedings - he feigns
concern on a personal level, but our Ken is miffed about not receiving
any help and support from Alec the night before. Ken feels humiliated
by the events but Alec is more worried about the impact on trade
should news leak out - reminds me of the words in a song "human
kindness is overflowing and I think it's going to rain today"!
Outside in the real world, Des the Moaner (because
his lady has been playing away) is off to work - he sees Kevin
working on a car and goes over to him. Desdemona asks Kevin if
he has any more information about Sam "putting it about ".
Kevin's demeanour is reminiscent of the famous Monty Python Parrot
sketch, you know the one, where John Cleese comes into the pet
shop and says "I wish to register a complaint!" Anyway,
Desdemona accuses Kevin of being a stirrer, although Kevin says
that he merely told him what he saw. Des says that the whole episode
has made him look like a jealous pillock and that Kevin's desire
to help is motivated by Chris' relationship with Sally and not
any relationship between Chris and Sam - Kevin denies this and
Des moves back to his car, meeting Chris on the way. Chris senses
something is wrong, but Des greets him warmly with a friendly
tap on the shoulder. Unsurprisingly, Chris is puzzled - after
all, you don't expect to be congratulated for tubbing a guy's
Alec and Ken are continuing their little tete-a-tete
- Alec tells Ken not to blame himself. There is a knock at the
door and D, now dressed, goes to answer it. Alec, continuing,
asks to be kept in the picture and offers to stand Ken a stiff
drink in the Rovers and "by the way, did you manage to get
..... the cheque?" Well, we knew it wouldn't take long for
Alec to raise the topic. Enter Babs' brother, Colin. Ken introduces
him to Alec, who expresses his condolences in usual sycophantic
way and then leaves. Colin is puzzled at Babs' demise - after
all, she had never had a day off work in her life! This doesn't
quite stack up for Ken, who remembers the do-it-yourself pharmacy
set that Babs was carrying around in her handbag, the night before,
but, no doubt, some things are better left unsaid. Colin asks
D whether she ever met Babs but that never happened. Anyway, Colin
is reassured that the neighbours are rallying round for Ken's
sake, "it always seems to bring out the best in people, times
like this." D makes her excuses to go to T'Caff, as they've
run of milk. During the conversation, Ken's acting classes start
paying off dividends as his face takes on an increasingly contorted
expression - Colin is here to advise him on the funeral arrangements
- Tuesday 10.30 at the Crem. He asks Ken how he's feeling and
is clearly anxious to involve Ken in the grieving process, "sometimes
the one that's most close can be excluded". The scene ends
with Ken's face showing his total incredulity at the course of
events - why is this happening to me, it seems to be saying!
Gail and Roy are in T'Caff. Gail has overdosed on saccharine.
K - "Yes, it was - it was appalling. I mean, I'm still sitting
here wondering whether I'm dreaming it all.!
D - "What did you do?" (continued disbelief)
K - "Well, nothing! Nothing I could do. I sat there watching
while they tried to rescucitate her."
D - "In the women's toilet?"
G - "You know what's so sweet about you and Hayley?"
The scene ends with an exchange of pleasantries between
Gail and Deirdre of no real consequence. A bit along Spike Milligan's
"what are we going to do now?" change-of-topic type
Colin and Ken are still talking - Colin is telling
him about Babs being a keen golfer, but it's all starting to get
too much for Ken, who decides it's time to come clean. He tells
him that, not only was it the first time they'd been out together,
it was the first time they'd ever met and that he didn't know
her. Colin is having problems getting his head around this one
- after all, how can you be having dinner with someone you'd never
met before? Ken starts to explain that he is Chief Stud for "Golden
Years" and Colin starts to twig. "She has been paying
you?" Ken responds that "actually, no, she hadn't! But
I don't expect her to, obviously, given what has happened."
Realisation is coming thick and fast for Colin, "You're a
male escort!" Ken nods uncomfortably. "And what else
was she paying you for?" Ken realises the implication and
denies anything improper. Colin is now angry - he realises that
Babs was lonely and vulnerable, "just the kind of person
your sort prey on. You seemed so concerned. I suppose that's how
you get away with it..... what a tawdry occupation! Can't you
get a proper job?" to which Ken replies "No, actually,
I can't!" Colin leaves in disgust.
End part 1 - adverts (nowt of any interest, a complete
failure by the UK advertising industry, so onto....)
R - "Sweet?"
G - "The way you talked to each other, the other night.
So shy and polite."
R - "Are we?"
G - She can't get enough of you, can she?"
R (with an embarrassed grimace) - "I don't know what you
G - "Gazing up at you all the time, even Martin noticed"
R - "Well I didn't!"
G - "You're very unromantic, you, Roy"
R - "Well no. I'm not, actually"
G - "No?" R - Look Gail. I have experienced the pain
and the pleasure of thinking of someone as a special person"
G - "Aah! .......Who?" (Smiles) "Hayley?"
R - "No, Gail" (enter Deirdre) "I keep telling
you, I like Hayley very much, of course, but it is not like that."
G (to Deirdre) - "Don't know why he keeps fighting it! Trouble
is, he's too rational, so when something like this happens it
throws him completely."
D - "Something like what?"
G - "Love"
D (nods wisely as someone who has been there many many times)
- "Don't talk to me about love"
R - "Hayley is a perfectly nice pleasant person, but you
see..... sexual attraction, it's basically chemicals in the brain,
G - "Is it 'eck!"
R (in information mode) - "It is a known fact"
D (back to planet earth) - "Can I have a bacon butty?"
G - "Certainly can"
R - "Look, a certain person's closeness can stimulate these
chemicals in another person and that person will experience symptoms"
G (looking in disbelief) - "Makes it sound like a disease!"
D - "I think it probably is!"
R - "My point is that Hayley does not do that to me and
that is a fact and I don't know why you insist on maintaining
that she does" (pours a drink for a customer and moves away)
G (to D) "Well, now I've been told!"
Ken comes into the Rovers, spitting feathers. He declines Alec's
offer of a free drink - he has come to tell him that he's not
available for any more stud assignments and doesn't even want
to be asked. Alec tells him not to make rash statements, "You'll
be feeling yourself again tomorrow." That is probably what
Giggs will be reduced to, now there will no longer be anyone to
relieve the sexual tension. Alec advises that he mustn't let one
experience cloud his view of the whole profession, to which K
retorts that "it's not a profession, it's nasty little earner",
which probably sums up quite accurately, the business ventures
in which Alec has a part. However Alec maintains that "it's
a legitimate part of the leisure industry" - this makes me
realise that, given my son's obvious popularity with the local
females, he'd probably do better financially pimping himself,
rather than spending years in further education, after all, don't
they say, you should enjoy your work! Anyway, I digress! Alec
points out that Ken has done well financially out of it all, but
Ken sees it as taking "advantage of sad little old ladies
with more money than brains and personality". He leaves the
pub, with Alec upset and ruminating, in the context of "sad,
little old ladies", how he should have teamed him up with
Renee Turnbull - alas, it looks as if we are going to be deprived
of that pleasure.
Chris enters the pub and Samantha offers to serve him.
They carry out a post-mortem on the previous night. Readers will
recall that Sam's knickers were twanging loudly and Chris was
moving towards the vinegar-strokes when Desdemona came home early
unannounced. Chris asks whether Des suspected anything but Sam
said that she told him she had been entertaining Natalie over
a meal. (It rather puts me in mind of the Dubliners' hit of 1967
"Seven Drunken Nights" regarding the gullibility of
some folk.) Natalie overhears them whispering and looks around.
Anyway Sam thinks that Des believes her, but Chris feels it is
odd that Des came back unannounced and unexpected, so he thinks
Des must suspect something.
Liz Hamburger comes into the pub with Mike Baldwin.
Liz is looking her usual demure self - one of the Witches of Eastwick,
freshly charged up by the mains. Mike is incredulous that Liz
has been chosen by Deirdre as a character witness and wonders
why D chose her. "We're mates" is the reply. Mike is
really convinced, not! After all, do me a favour, having Liz as
a character witness is akin to having Herod as a child-minder.
Liz wants time off work to see the D's solicitor, which Mike grants
and while Liz pops to the loo, Mike rings up Frankie Stillman
(beat still, gentle heart!!), no doubt to put the kaibosh on that
plan. For once, the lad has sense.
It's back to T'Caff. Incidentally those viewers currently
watching Classic Corrie on satellite will be interested to see
the original owner of T'Caff (or Jim's Caff, as it was then known),
Jim Sedgewick. Jim was Lama Baldwin's ex-husband and converted
the shop from a nice Baker's and Confectioner's into a Greasy
Spoon, got rid of Emily Bishop and promoted the young, newly married
Gail Tyldesley into Chief Bacon Welder. But that was 1981 or thereabouts,
in the days when I had a proper job. Now it's Roy as Chief Honcho,
with Gail as Deputy Dawg.
The scene opens with Toyota cleaning the floor - nearby
is Log. She's one who has hijacked Spider from 'arr Toyota - the
one whose method of contraception is the Logarithm method and
who needed her alpha waves calming by Spider the other day. She
is the Yoko Ono of Coronation Street - one of the wicked witches
and every appearance is greeted with boos from the audience. Log
is concerned that Toyota will damage her coat, after all "it's
very valuable, I picked it up when I was in Chile."
T (disinterested) - "Really! You can get them
for ten quid a throw at Weatherfield Market!" (youuchh!)
Log is spied lovingly eyeing it up and we wonder whether
she is not the principled person she likes to portray - for a
small second, we can just glimpse her licking her lips.
Back at The Rovers, Nastily goes over to Sam - she
saw Sam whispering to Chris earlier and wants to find out more.
Sam refuses to be drawn. Nastily says things like "I think
he likes you" and "just how it looked to me". Sammy
maintains that hers is a harmless relationship with Chris and
that she and Desdemona are OK.
Cut back to T'Caff and Toyota is ready to go back to
school after her lunch break. Roy notices that the bacon butty
has disappeared form the counter, but comments that he never saw
the lad who ordered it actually come back. Log says that she did.
Roy comments on the boy's check noting that the had not paid for
the butty. Toyota says that she never heard anyone come back,
but Log maintains that it was while Toyota was out of the room.
Roy has overheard Chile being mentioned and goes into Encyclopaedia
Britannica mode with four interesting facts about Chile, the
piece-de-resistance being number four, the fact that they eat
guinea pigs in Chile. No' a lo' of people know that, but Roy
T (horrified) - "No way!"
R - "This is true"
T - "They don't?" (in sheer disbelief)
L - "It is true, actually"
T - "Did you eat one?"
L - "Yes I did, I had to, in fact. Anyway, it was all part
of the experience of being there"
T - "That's mingin'" (Now folks, Corrie writers deserve
the "Street Cred of the Year Award" for the use of
that lovely little word. For anyone with teenagers, they will
recognise this word is in the teenage vernacular. There is no
precise translation - synonyms such as "horrible, ugly,
tasteless, grotesque" all fail to do justice - let's just
say that when our son was describing one of the ugliest girls
in the neighbourhood, that was the word that was used. No doubt,
it hasn't made the OED yet, but Corrie are to be praised for
having their finger on the pulse.)
R - "Anyone want this bacon butty?" (this guy's timing
- what magic!) "No? I'll leave it there" (puts it on
T - "How come you've got brown sauce on your
Toyota continues to protest about Log's deception but
Spider ignores her accusing her of being a troublemaker. He says
that Log wouldn't eat guinea pigs as she's been a vegan for five
years. They leave the café with Toyota maintaining sadly
"She did eat it, she must have done!"
Mike has button-holed Deirdre and spells out to her
just how unsuitable a character witness Liz actually is, citing
examples of friendship with gangsters, etc. and says that, in
court, the prosecution are likely to discredit her, given a chance.
Reluctantly, D agrees to tell her.
Sam appears, all dressed to kill, in her leathers,
at the door of Chris' flat round the corner from Coronation Street.
She has half an hour spare, so she clearly fancies a quickie.
Chris explains he is busy doing his washing, so Sam offers to
come back. As Sam is slow to pick up on the excuse, Chris starts
to spell out for her the realities. He is unhappy about the way
the relationship is going, he is concerned that Desdemona knows
what's going on and fears getting caught. Sam calls him a "pig"
and a "bastard" and Chris closes the door on her.
Ken opens the door to his house to find Malcolm Bradford,
a local newspaper reporter - he is there to get more details about
the previous night's events. He tries to ingratiate himself with
Ken, by saying that he recognises him as a previous editor of
the "Weatherfield Recorder", when he was younger. He
clearly knows some details, such as the fact that Ken was a male
escort and tries to obtain more information, but Ken refuses to
talk further and closes the door on him.
Emily bumps into Toyota in the Street - T is very upset
and tells her that "Log is a liar and a hypocrite, she eats
meat, she had a bacon butty, she didn't just eat it - she stole
it and she ate guinea pigs in Chile." Spider called her "a
troublemaker and now he's leaving and it's all because of her,
all because of her eating pig meat." Emily looks worried
and slightly puzzled.
Back at Chris', Sam is still banging on his door. Chris
tells her it is too dangerous to continue the relationship and
slams the door on her. Humiliated and angry she turns and goes
home, no doubt, accompanied by a cheer from the crowd with catcalls
and jeers of "that'll teach you!"
Emily comes in to find Spider and Log looking at maps.
She recounts her conversation with T and remarks that the moving
is "all very sudden". Spider looks crestfallen, but
Log states that their life involeves moving on. Spider is almost
in tears when he says that he appreciates Emily's kindness, that
this is the longest he's stayed anywhere for ages and that he'll
Ken is back in The Rovers updating Alec on his meeting
with the reporter, who appeared to be very well informed. Alec
seems more interested in preserving the anonymity of the "Golden
Years" agency than anything else.
Liz and Dierdre are in the pub and D is telling her
that following Liz's meeting with Frankie Stillman, her legal
advice was that Liz came across as a powerful personality and
the defence were worried that D might be thought of in the same
light. "It is not the image to convey, apparently this is
important", says D white-lying. She asks if Liz is offended
- apparently not (which comes no surprise - after all, you can't
look like that and have any pride, can you?). Liz is happy to
do whatever is best and D is relieved. At that point, Mike comes
back into the pub and is updated on these events - he seems equally
relieved (after all, if he's paying for the barrister, he presumably
wants a positive result).
Desdemona come home - Sam is at her place in the kitchen,
preparing the dinner. Des tells her he has booked a surprise weekend
in a luxury hotel for that weekend. Sam turns on his, feigning
anger at not being consulted, in any case, she is working, so
she cannot go. Des implores her to change her mind, as he has
paid a deposit, but she launches into a savage verbal attack.
She maintains that he is checking up on her and that he thinks
she's "at it with someone, perhaps Curly, Martin, Kevin or
Chris, or maybe little Ashley, maybe all of them, all together,
all at once altogether. He tells her that he loves her, but she
maintains that he doesn't trust her and tells him not to be so
stupid or paranoid, otherwise the relationship is going nowhere
fast. You can make your own bloody tea!" With that she barges
past him and storms out, leaving Des looking upset and perplexed.
Episode written by Sally Wainwright. Copyright of above
scripts remains with Granada Television.
L (wiping it off) - "I haven't!"
T - "What did he look like?"
L - "Who?"
T - "The lad that came in"
L - "Dunno, didn't look at him"
T - "Did he have a Man. City shirt on and an earring?"
L - "He might have done!"
T (to Roy) - "Did the lad who ordered the butty have a Man.
City shirt on and an earring?"
L - "Well he might not have done!"
R - "No!" T - "You ate it!"
L (indignant) - "No I did not!"
T - "Yeah, you did" (Enter Spider into T'Caff). "She
ate a bacon butty!"
L - "I didn't!"
T - "She did. It was there" (pointing to the counter),
"Look and now it's gone. She had brown sauce over her chin
and she lied about the bloke coming in"
L - "This is ridiculous"
S - "Calm down, calm down"
T - "She's secret meat-eater and all the time spouting this
L - "You know, Spider, the sooner we leave this boring dump,
the better. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of everything. And I'm sick
of her " (pointing to T).
T - "And has she told you about eating guinea pigs in Chile?"
L - "let's go, let's go. When I mean go, I meanm lets pack
up and let's leave and I mean for good"
Well, folks, another great episode. For me, as ever
some superb dialogue and brilliant situations and acting.
Particular favourites of the day include (not in any
1. Ken's dialogues with Deirdre and with Alec, regarding
the premature death of Babs Fanshawe, not forgetting some of
the facial expressions in those scenes.
2. The Café dialogues involving firstly, Gail
and Roy and secondly, Roy, Toyah and Log. Toyota has clearly
exposed Log as a fraud and uses all her ingenuity in making that
fact public - beware a woman in love! Great acting from Roy,
Toyah and Spider, who are making their presence felt in Corrie
in a very significant and powerful way.
Well, for me, Friday continued to form - a great night
on the box, with another great episode of "The Bill"
in its new Friday timeslot at 8:30, "Classic Corrie"
at 9 and the incomparable "Father Ted" (surely one
of the Classic Comedy Greats of all time) at 9.30. Followed by
Having had a few breaks for things like "Guinea
Pig en Croute" (sorry, bacon butty), etc. it's now 12:30
and time to post this update.
See you next week.
Sunday 22 March
Many thanks to those who sent kind words of appreciation
by e-mail or via ratucs, for my first ever update last week.
As it is the morning after Oscar night, it seems fitting that
I should thank Mom, Dad, my sis, everyone who knows me, my English
teacher, Theakston's, B&Q, Channel 4, Aunt Sadie, my psychiatrist,
BMW (just send the 528i round whenever you like, no need for
a thank-you e-mail), Opal Fruits, Lynx body spray, that Tracy
who *was* no better than she ought to have been, Delia Smith's
Cooking for One, Cindy Crawford (wink), Angel Delight, shucks,
I love you all ! Blub, blub, blub...
Moving on (or back) swiftly to Sunday night, which
for me happened on Monday night, courtesy of the Highways Agency
who have obviously decided that if one set of roadworks is actually
required, then they may as well add 3 or 4 other sets in the
same 100-mile stretch of motorway seeing as how we all clearly
have nothing better to do of a Sunday evening. And has anyone
ever actually seen any work going on ? Sigh. Downbeat end to
an otherwise fine weekend in SW Scotland (that's the bit you
all race past on your way further north, more fools you) at a
party for my Grandpa's 90th. Happy Birthday, James. And happy
Mothers Day, Mum. And all Mums everywhere. (So there's a little
clue as to my background, CP, when I find out any more myself
you'll be the first to know. Am I the only person who went through
childhood thinking that any family with more members than you
could count on the fingers of two hands was something extraordinary
? I think there must be some 40-year rule on the disclosure of
information in my family...)
Tonight's episode was sponsored by some Cadbury's
product or other. Granada jumped the gun and started broadcasting
somewhat before 7.30, so if anything vital happened before Act
1, Scene 1 in my book, sorry !
The curtain rises at Emily's. Spider has nipped out to get some
soya milk. In Weatherfield ? That should take him most of the
day to find, if not the week. [Today's handy hint: should you
ever know anyone who is feeding their baby on soya milk, do not
under *any* circumstances ever be present when the nappy comes
off. Bleurgh.] Emily is looking rather furtive, but this is for
our benefit and not for anti-Log. Claiming that her watch is telling
the wrong time, she rushes off to the charity shop, asking Log
to tidy up the breakfast things. The usual stuff, bacon, sausages,
Ken is walking home, but there appears to be some shit
on his shoe. He tries to remove it, but the poo won't leave him
alone. Please, please, can we have some quote about the escort
agency, says the journo, for tis he. No comment, says Ken. "Print
what you like. You usually do."
Samantha and Des are still bickering. It's like they've
gone straight to the 10-years married stage. Aah.
Spider returns, and bumps into r Toyer in the street.
She wants to leave with him, but he tells her to stay, and promises
to write. He gives her a big hug. Double aah. Entering Emily's
house, his joie de vivre evaporates on seeing Log tucking into
a full English. She tries to claim this is just an "odd lapse",
but Spider's illusions are in pieces on the floor. He accuses
her of being the bacon butty thief, and yes, it's true. She has
also had a Scotch egg in a motorway services [oh dear, did no-one
tell her these are really museums of social history through the
Dark Ages, and you're not supposed to eat the exhibits ?] not
forgetting a chipolata at Glastonbury. Not cool, man. Spider decides
he's not leaving with Log, but is going to stay after all, and
his soon-to-be-ex accuses him of having gone all cuddly, and having
a fan club. Flouncing out, Log announces that she was unfaithful
to him while she was out of the country. A Chile willy, in fact.
Over at the caff, Hayley pops in to see if Roy would
like to go out that evening, and they agree to meet in the Rovers.
Gail continues to rib Roy [ooh it's hard work this] about their
relationship - she is convinced they are more than just friends.
Samantha is bending Chris' ear, and no more, on his
doorstep. Clearly she was up most of the night in that womanly
way, while Chris tactfully claims to have slept just fine. Alone.
[Sam, you really don't understand men much, do you. Men have the
emotional centres of their brains carefully hidden away in a locked
cell, behind an armour-plated door, only opened on special occasions
like Cup Finals. No way is it allowed to interfere with vital
stuff like eating, drinking, farting, sleeping, sleeping around.]
Sally appears during this confrontation, looking for Kevin. She
leaves a message with Chris, who later tells the walking Tango
ad to go. Shortly after, we see Chris round at the Webster household.
He tells Sally he has finished with Sam, and wants to be with
Sally instead. She brushes off his attempted kiss, telling him
her marriage means too much to her. As he leaves the house, oh
look it's Kevin arriving in a new van. Sally engages overdrive
and rushes over to apologise for dragging Chris away from the
garage and leaving it unattended, but the washing machine was
leaking. Chris goes off to lunch. Kevin looks doubtful about the
In our first visit to the Rovers, we find Ken at the
bar, where Alec is still trying to persuade him to take another
lady out. "She's a keep-fit fanatic, so fingers crossed,
she should make it through the night", sez Sandy. This doesn't
go down well with Ken, who mentions that he has the Gazette after
him for a story. Alec is worried that this might put Golden Years
out of business. "So, not all bad then", adds Ken. Alec
wonders if he can turn the newspaper story to his advantage.
Deirdre arrives, with Mike and Alma, and joins Ken
and Liz at the bar. [I hope no-one of a nervous disposition was
watching at this point, as La Mouton's hair was looking worse
than *ever*.] She has some bad news, Deirdre that is, the case
has been brought forward and starts on Monday.
One of the bonuses of watching taped programmes is,
of course, not having to sit through the adverts. Sorry, I meant
the ADVERTS. "THEY'RE NOT REALLY ANY LOUDER THAN THE PROGRAMMES,
IT'S JUST AN ILLUSION CAUSED BY US TURNING THE VOLUME UP TO 11."
Father Jack ? "ARSE !!"
Anyway, we do have another in the series of BT's "It's
good to talk, and at the same time swell our coffers" ads.
This one is crap too, but saved by having the very wonderful "Good
Vibrations" on the soundtrack. I croon along, and upstairs
I can hear the fair Lady L opening windows looking for the neighbourhood
tomcat to throw a brick at. Oh yes, and another voice- over by
smooth-talking John Sachs (son of Fawlty Tower's Manuel), who
could probably revive Ronco for the next millenium, he sounds
And at 7x real speed, we zip forward to:
Staying at the bar scene which ended Act 1, Ken suggests it is
probably best for the trial to be over as soon as possible. As
Deirdre leaves, Alma quizzes Mike on his "moral support",
which is now extending to visiting the court apparently. It is
later agreed that everyone should show support for Deirdre by
giving her a Good Luck card.
Sam is still needling Chris. She suggests an afternoon's
rumpy-pumpy to patch things up [I paraphrase]. Chris' brain ponders
for a nanosecond, and agrees. [You can see the post mortem on
this relationship already, Sam: "He was only after sex",
AN Other: "It was all you offered him", Sam: "No,
pshaw, bluster, mumble, harumph, I thought he loved me".
Emily returns home to find Spider alone. As he explains
why Log has left, her face runs through a gamut of oo-er expressions
while she feigns ignorance and even tries to take some of the
blame for leaving temptation in Log's path. [Sorry, it's not that
this was poorly acted, just that it could have been done with
much more subtlety by having Emily looking genuinely perplexed,
and finishing off with a Gromit-style eyebrow raise at the end,
for us.] Toyah arrives soon after, with a going-away present for
the man of her dreams. When he tells her he is staying after all,
she suggests it can be a stopping-here present instead. It is
a new torch, for his nightly vigils. [Into my bedroom, she hopes,
as she discovers Log has gone. We await developments with interest.]
Emily confides her part in Log's downfall.
Alec is entertaining Mr Slimey in the parlour [obligatory
innuendo there], and fetches a drink from the bar while the reporter
confides to his Dictaphone that he is sitting in a "seedy
pub with Mr Gilroy, a stout, balding, grubby little man."
Alec returns, and attempts to paint a rosy picture of his "social
service" business. He brags about Ken's impeccable background,
as an ex-schoolteacher. Ken observes the journalist leaving later,
and wonders what Alec has been saying. The grubby little man thinks
he might have got some useful free publicity.
Kevin has not found owt wrong with the washing-machine.
Sally blusters, but he is not convinced. Why did they both look
so guilty leaving the owse ? "Oh yeah, we're having an affair",
retorts Sally. "Me and Sam, we take turns each". Instead
of wondering if this might be, you know, rather fun, Kevin strops
Sam returns home. She might be looking flushed, but
under that makeup, who can tell ? She finds Des' doppelganger.
The man with no brain. He is abjectly apologetic, telling her
is jealous and paranoid. He even came back early from his trip
away on purpose, to catch her out with Chris. She laughs this
off. "We're fine." [Round our way, "fine"
is totally devoid of any meaning at all. It covers everything
from ecstatic to terminal.] Still, at least we know it's not the
real Des that's getting hurt. But it would be nice if he came
Roy is at the bar, regaling Deirdre's accomplices with
a tale of a very similar case in 1963. A pension book forgery
scandal, no less. "What happened", asks Ken. "She
got 5 years... no, was it 10 ?" muses Roy. [Lovely.] He joins
Hayley, and tells her how he has been out more since they met
than in his entire life. She tells him she has had a letter from
the hospital. Roy's orange juice sours on the spot. Hayley explains
how she feels she will be starting her life all over again, if
she goes ahead. She will be leaving her old friends behind, "those
that know the old me". "Does that include me ?",
asks our hero. No. Quite the opposite in fact. Hayley hopes it
will bring them closer, "to each other, like". A short
pause, while Roy's self-composure leaves for deep space. "I'm
sorry, I shouldn't have said it", adds Hayley. Roy's lips
are quivering. His eyes are staring straight ahead, but we sense
that inside, his eyeballs are spinning in their sockets, he is
desperately trying to think of something to say, anything at all.
We wait, he struggles, we wait a little more, he's nearly there.
What will it be ? He'll always be there for her, perhaps. No,
it's, it's: "Shall I get us a bag of crisps ?" [I hope
you weren't all like me at this point, I laughed so much I completely
missed the next bit and thought Hayley had left. But no, the rewind
button revealed that she said: "No, it's my turn, I'll get
them". Poetry !!]
Deirdre has meanwhile been presented with her card.
She is a little choked by everyone's thoughts. Mike offers her
a drink, but she decides she needs to go home and be on her own.
Ken follows. He consoles her, and places his hand on hers. She
asks him to go back to the Rovers, and reassure everyone she is
fine. He doesn't want to leave her alone, but she insists. He
leaves, and the curtain falls.
This episode was written by Mark Wadlow.
Another above-par episode. It's interesting to see
how the media is generally praising CS at the moment for having
rediscovered those elements that make it so enjoyable, good writing,
characters, comedy and drama, as I'm currently reading Bill Podmore's
account of his time as producer, and the situation then (in the
mid 70s) was almost exactly the same as, say, last year. Now
then, Mr Park, just get shut of Steve and Fiona, and the good
ship will be under full sail again.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ***1/2
Best line: Close call. Perhaps a joint award this
week to Roy "bag of crisps" Cropper, and Alec "keep-fit
Best scene: Roy and Hayley in the bar. These two are
so good. Again, I'm really glad I rewatched this scene, because
I thought Hayley had gone.
Once again, Virgin apologise for the late arrival
of this West Coast Main Line service.
DATE DIES IN LADIES - ESCORT'S AGONY
Monday 23 March
Ex-Weatherfield teacher embarrassed
screams the headline on the laser printed Weatherfield
Gazette, which Leanne is reading in the Kabin. Rita tells her
that it's no laughing matter, but Leanne is going for the full
schadenfreude bit  - 'he were
right boring as a teacher, but none of us ever died from it!'
A sudden flurry of activity brings Roy, Sam and Des
into the Kabin. 'Ey', says Leanne to Roy, 'Do you take funny women
out in your spare time? If he can be one, so can you'. She shows
them the article, but Rita insists it must be a mistake. 'It's
on t'front page!' says Leanne. 'So was 'Aliens turned my son into
a fish finger' It doesn't mean it's happened' Meanwhile Des and
Sam are reading about Alec and Golden Years, and how a night out
with not-boring-allegedly Ken costs £75.
The object of their derision is trying to calm Dreary.
Neither has been able to sleep. Dreary doesn't know what to wear,
what to say. 'Answer what you're asked, say as little as possible
and don't argue.' He tells her that Jon belongs in the dock, not
her, and he can't wait to see him taken down. Dreary is glad that
the waiting is over, but can't believe Ken when he says that 'in
a couple of days you'll be able to put it all behind you.'
And it's breakfast time chez Webster, and only a millifortnight
into the scene Rursie and Surphie are sent upstairs to get ready
for school. Kevin accuses Sally of taking their problems out on
the gurrrls. In full sulk mode he criticises her for 'you talk
to him every time my back's turned'. Sally tells him that she's
going to talk to who she likes, and will not be ignoring Chris
just to suit Kevin. Kevin still thinks she's got a guilty conscience.
Back in the Kabin, Audreh has called in on her way
to the public gallery at the Court. Rita points out that she'll
be well early, but as Audreh says, she wants a good seat. 'It's
not like goin' t'pictures' says Rita. Audreh is keen to encourage
both Rita and Gail to shut up shop and join her in court, supporting
their friend. Rita says she has a living to earn, Gail too, but
Audreh has taken a day's holiday - 'money isn't everything'. 'Not
if you have a rich husband' chips in Gail. 'Alfeh, rich? I wish'
replies Audreh, airily. She soon starts on the Ken story, unable
to believe he's a gigolo. Gail can't imagine this, they think
Alec must have given him an instruction manual.
Les Battersby comes in for some fags. Leanne appraises
him of the Ken story, but they've sold out of papers. Les will
get one in town, on his way to the Court - an entertainment he
wouldn't miss. Somehow he manages to wangle a lift there with
Audreh. 'There you are Mum, your very own Escort' teases Gail.
Jack, Vera (in very fetching headscarf) and Sam are
in the back parlour drinking tea, you know, like they do. Jack's
reading the Recorder - ''ere, what does sa-lay-shus mean?' 'I
don't know, but it don't sound very nice'. Jack reads aloud about
Golden Years - 'The whole enterprise was centred on a grubby backstreet
pub, The Rover's Return in Weatherfield's Coronation Street'.
Vera continues, she seems to have her own copy of the Gazette
(such extravagance!) 'From this run-down tavern, Mr Gilroy controlled
his sleazy organisation. Nevertheless he considered The Rover's
to be the unacceptable face of Golden Years and took care to keep
his clients at a safe distance.' Sam tries to dismiss this as
just the sort of things reporters say, it's not the truth. Vera
threatens to kill Alec if he really did describe the pub like
that - 'I mean, this pub's a palace!'
Audreh and Les arrive at Court, give a thumbs up to
Dreary and Les immediately starts teasing Ken, who's there with
La Mouton. Audreh, who wants to read more into the story, asks
'Did she die in your arms, Ken?' Ken dismisses it as rubbish,
just the sort of thing the Gazette would print. 'Ooooh - so you're
not a gigolo then?' Baldwin chips in with a crack about Barlow
taking money off women - you can always rely on Barlow to make
a fool of himself. Dreary, who's party it is after all, realises
how terrible this is for her case, but Mike disagrees, because
it puts a prosecution witness, Ken, in a bad light.
As they're all milling around outside the courtroom,
Jon and Linda arrive, just in the nick of time, and push past
them. 'Who'd'a thought he were a pilot?' asks Audreh. The court
usher announces 'Regina v Jonathan Lindsay and Dreary Anne Rachid'.
'Chin up' says Mike 'we'll soon wipe that smirk off his face',
and he and Frankie Stillman follow her in to Court.
In the Rover's, Des is teasing Vera, asking if there
are any other Personal Services on offer today, a bit of massage
perhaps? Des assures her that if you read between the lines of
the Gazette, he's quite right to call her 'Madam'. Vera protests,
and tells him nothing goes on there. 'no, it all happens off the
premises'. 'Now don't you go spreading rumours, Des Barnes.' 'Me?
Can't stand rumours, never listen to 'em. Buy you a drink, Kev?'
Which is a reference to Kevin's rumour about Sam and Chris which
Des doesn't believe.
Alec comes in from the back room. Vera is not happy
that Alec has turned The Rover's into some sort of smutty joke.
'Well at least it's on the map' says Alec. 'And so is Soho!!!'
retorts Vera. 'And so is Amsterdam's red light district!' 'Well
you'd know all about that wouldn't you, Des Barnes?' Sam, in a
brief shot laughs along with this, and Kevin hurries out. Vera
wants Alec to get the Gazette to print a retraction, but he thinks
it's better to let it die down instead.
In the Court, the charges are being read out. Jon and
Dreary are jointly charged with eleven counts. Count one charges
Jon Lindsay with conspiracy to achieve a money transfer by deception,
that he did conspire with Dreary Anne Rachid, to obtain a mortgage
advance from the North West Building Society. 'Are you Guilty,
or Not Guilty?' A gasp goes around the court as Jon replies 'Guilty'.
Count 2 charges Dreary Anne Rachid of obtaining property
by deception, that she dishonestly obtained from the East Lancastrian
Bank, a Gold Card, with the intention of permanently depriving
the East Lancastrian Bank thereof, by deception, falsely representing
that she had the permission of Captain Ian Jenkins to obtain such
a credit card. Are you Guilty or Not Guilty?
END OF PART ONE
In the Prosecuting Counsel's opening comments he suggests
that Dreary entrapped Jon in her fantasy, and that he used his
position of trust as house-sitter to help her realise that fantasy.
He tells the Court how they will hear about the lies that Jon
was an airline pilot, but that was insignificant compared to Dreary's
frauds - She spent thousands of pound of money that didn't belong
to her, she obtained a mortgage, furnished extravagantly an already
luxurious home, she filled the house with top quality items -
she paid for nothing. She withdrew £500 a day for 8 days.
He accuses her of masterminding this gross, calculated dishonestly.
Mr Hamilton, Dreary's Defence, rises, and describes
to the court how they have just heard two versions of Dreary.
The first, in which she had never owned her own home, never had
her own credit card, was never accused of any sort of dishonesty,
and the second, when she met Jon Lindsay. He describes how she
thought he was an airline pilot, and fell in love with him. She
moved into the house he bought for her. She accepted the credit
card he gave her. A handsome man had told her he loved her, and
had given her a pot of gold. She was swept along, she didn't stop
to think - her gullibility carried all before her. By the time
she discovered he wasn't a pilot she was infatuated with him.
Her head had been turned, and she didn't think that if he'd lied
about one thing he'd lie about others. She was the victim of Jon
Lindsay's lies. He tells the Court that yes, she did accept the
fraudulently obtained credit card, yes, she did consent to the
mortgage transfer to her name, yes, she did furnish extravagantly,
and yes, she did withdraw the money - but she did these innocently.
Lindsay committed the mortgage fraud - he's already pleaded guilty
to it. What the Jury must decide is whether she was Lindsay's
accomplice. 'I put it to you that she wasn't' 'I put it to you
that Lindsay obtained the credit card as well as the mortgage.'
'She's not guilty of the charges levelled against her. She's pleasant,
Whew, that was hard work. Back to the Garage.
Mr Sulky-Grumpy argues with Studley over his timekeeping.
He says Chris takes far more time for lunch than he's entitled
to. Chris tells him to 'Shut it' but Kevin pulls rank with his
'I might only be a short ignorant bastard but I'm the boss' routine.
Only I elaborated a bit. Chris rounds on him - 'if you've got
something to say, let's have it out' Kevin says nothing's bothering
him, except working with Chris. 'Well sack me then'. Kev says
he can't. if he wants to keep his wife. Chris wants to know what
Sally's got to do with it, she doesn't have anything to do with
the business. 'She does when you're sniffing round her all the
time. - I know what I've seen' Chris, like Sally, tells Kevin
that 'the people I talk to are my business'
Back in Court, Ian Jenkins is in the witness box. Dreary's
defence carefully gets him to admit that Jon had full access to
everywhere in his home and its contents. Jenkins agrees with Defence's
suggestion that he is an intelligent man, and he goes on to describe
his CV - good degree, trained as a pilot, professional qualifications
etc. In fact the very opposite of Mrs Rachid who has only, ah,
a Certificate in Word Processing. 'Yet you handed over your house
and possessions to a tie salesman who walked around in a Pilot's
uniform and who forged your signature to obtain money by deception?'
'Yes I did', and goes on to admit that he previously trusted Jon
Lindsay, but he had betrayed that trust.
Sally is rooting in a cupboard for an aspirin when
Kevin comes home unexpectedly. He is surprised to see her there,
but would surely have seen her travel the twenty yards from Underworld,
past the garage, across the road, to home. He wants to talk, because
things aren't right. 'Whose fault is that then?' she asks. They
agree to go for a drink later to talk it through.
Linda Lindsay is in the witness box now, though why
she's supporting Jon when she knows he was playing away with Dreary
is not explained. She describes how on New Year's Eve this mad
woman came to the house, and shouted things that made no sense.
Under gentle questioning from Prosecutor she explains how Dreary
came back a few days later, and was far worse. She made wild accusations
about Jon, and she, Linda was scared of this woman who might lose
control. She was afraid she might attack her and harm her children.
Now it's Defence's turn to cross examine. Linda admits
that on New Year's Eve, the children were in bed, and on Dreary's
second visit they were with friends. She thought that Dreary might
harm them because Jon said she had threatened to, but not in Linda's
hearing. Further questioning reveals that Dreary hadn't raised
her arm, or brandished a weapon, and Linda really was frightened
of her because 'she wouldn't leave'. Then Defence wears her down
on this one - how long was she there - 30 minutes? ten, five?
Yes about five minutes. So he sums up. 'Mrs Rachid was there for
five minutes. Your children were not present. She did not attack
you, she did not threaten you, she did not threaten your children.
Is that correct?' 'Jon said she was capable of anything'. 'And
do you believe everything your husband tells you? 'Yes' 'Did you
believe him when he told you about going away on business over
a period of months?' 'Yes' 'Was he telling the truth?' 'No' 'He
was seeing Mrs Rachid?' 'Yes' .
'I put it to you Mrs Lindsay that you believe what
you want to believe about your husband. More precisely perhaps,
you believe what he wants you to believe?' One discredited witness.
In the Public Gallery Les opines 'Well that's it then.
Show's over. She's got off with it.'
Kevin meets Sally out of work and they go to the Rovers.
He goes back inside to tell Chris to lock up, and finds him lovingly
entertwined with Sam
Now it's Ken's turn in the Witness Box. Prosecutor
- 'Mr Barlow. Are you, as you have stated, a retired schoolteacher?'
'Yes'. From the Public Gallery Les adds 'And a male escort in
his spare time' Titters run around the Court. He agrees that he
was the first to establish that Jon was not a pilot, but a salesman
at Tie 'n' Fly. Prosecutor suggests that this was contrary to
Mrs Rachid's claim that he was a pilot. Ken explains that it was
Jon's claim that he was a pilot, she had no reason to disbelieve
him. Ken then has to agree that although he told Dreary the truth,
he agreed to maintain the deception. Prosecutor still maintains
that Dreary concocted the whole story about Jon failing a medical
and having to take a ground job, and asking Ken to go along with
the story. Ken states that it wasn't Dreary's deception, it was
Jon's idea, though he went along with it to save her embarrassment.
Ken agrees that he heard Dreary and Jon repeat these lies in public,
and did not contradict them
Prosecutor then asks if he still loves his ex-wife.
Gasps go around the court at this revelation, though Ken denies
that but agrees he is still very fond of her. 'And would you lie
for her?'. 'I wouldn't lie for her in a Court of Law'. 'But you'd
lie for her on other premises?' Ken states that Jon made all the
He asks if Ken still seeks a reconciliation with his
ex-wife, which Ken denies. He agrees though that he has deep feelings
'Did Dreary Rachid lie on her behalf and did she put
you up to lie on her behalf?. More gasps as Ken answers 'Yes,
she did.' 'Thank you. I have no more questions'.
CUE CLOSING CREDITS
Episode written by Catherine Hayes.
 I've been wanting
to use that word since I learned what it meant. 
 You can look it up when you get home 
 Or apply ROT13 - Gnxvat cyrnfher sebz gur zvfsbeghar
Dear Update Readers,
Wednesday 25 March
I promise myself every year that I won't watch the
Oscar ceremony, knowing it as I do to be an over-hyped celebration
of commercialism and crassness organised by a bunch of tossers
who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. But
every year I succumb, taken in as always by the glitz and the
glitter and the costumes and the general high-camp of it all.
(Plus it's always an excuse for a rip-roaring social occasion
chez nous, because Oscar night, like the Eurovision Song Contest,
is best sampled in the company of friends, with lots of food
and drink and copious amounts of interesting medicinal material:
such events are tailor-made for chemical excess and are surely
not intended to be experienced sober).
This year's ceremony was relatively conservative on
the whole, with no great shocks or surprises. (I'm talking frocks
here, folks; frocks and face-lifts). The craziest outfit this
time round was worn by that non-actress, Cher, who had some kind
of unfinished wicker basket on her head, with Madonna a close
second. (The latter wore an outfit that was not so much a fashion
statement as a cry for help: a cross between a Red Indian squaw
and a Swiss milk-maid having a bad hair decade). As for the nip-and-tuck
brigade, the prize for the most obvious facelift went to Celeste
Holm (Bette Davis's co-star in All About Eve). She's eighty
if she's a day, yet she came across like a woman half her age.
Trouble is that she's obviously had so much nipped, tucked and
lifted that her nether regions are now up above her neck, and
so, as my housemate pointed out, she probably can't open her
mouth in case it farts.
As far as the actual Oscars were concerned, well it
was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Titanic would
sweep the board. But how they could fail to give a Best Actress
Oscar to Judi Dench is beyond me. (If you haven't seen Mrs
Brown, do so immediately). Having said that, this *is* Hollywood,
after all, and they always look after their own. The rest of
the evening was pretty lacklustre, the main highlights being
a fleeting appearance by that god amongst men, Antonio Banderas,
and the Supporting Actress Award won by that goddess amongst
women, Kim "What's a Peugeot 406?" Basinger. My mother,
confused as ever, phoned up to ask me why I thought Heartbeat
hadn't been nominated for anything, which is par for the course
where she's concerned. As you've probably guessed, she's no fool
but she does have this amazing capacity for confusing issues.
(After all, this is the woman who thinks 'bulimia' is a small
country in South America). She was also devastated to learn that
her hearthrob, Robert Mitchum, had died. (He actually pegged
it months ago, but my mother never knows that people have died
until months, sometimes years, afterwards; she's only just stopped
writing fan letters to Ivor Novello).
Anyway, enough of this gossip and banter; let's get
down to business...
The episode opens in Principles Palace, with Ken Barlow
and the Drear, both clad in their dressing-gowns, mulling over
the previous day's shenanigans in court. Deirdre is reliving her
ordeal. "Even if I live to be a hundred," she groans,
"I'll never be able to get the image out of my head: me,
standing there in the dock in front of judge and jury, accused
of all these terrible things." (Including, presumably, terminal
stupidity, misuse of root vegetables and chronic tendon abuse).
Ken says that he feels that he has let her down by admitting that
she asked him to lie for her. "But it was so difficult,"
he says, "because they force you into telling the truth:
it's like a dog getting sheep into a pen. I'm sorry, Deirdre,
but I couldn't lie: I simply had to tell the truth." Deirdre
acknowledges Saint Kenneth's apology and says that it's not his
fault. "I should have believed you when you told me Jon was
a fraud," she says, "and then I should have chucked
him. But I loved him..."
At the Rover's, Alec Gilroy is talking on his mobile
to one Neville Ratcliffe, a Golden Years escort who has heard
about Babs Fanshawe's sad demise and is now resigning. Gilroy
tries to reassure him that Babs's death is "a mere hiccup
in the Golden Years success story." He adds: "Plus it's
a two-way street, Neville; after all, who paid for you to get
your suit cleaned?" (It would seem that those clients who
don't actually die on their escorts probably do the next best
thing and throw up all over them. Some success story!) But Neville
Ratcliffe won't be harangued into staying with the organisation
and he hangs up. Jack, who has been listening, tells Alec that
Golden Years should never have used Ken Barlow, and that Babs
Fanshawe "probably lost the will to live." (Haven't
we at RATUCS been saying that for the past week?) "You should
have used me instead," Jack asserts. Alec is not convinced.
"If it had been you instead of Ken Barlow," he says,
"you'd have probably ransacked her handbag as well."
Jack departs to make a pot of tea, and with a lascivious wink
invites Orange Girl and Nastily to join him. When he has gone,
Nastily tells Orange Girl that Jack obviously thinks he is God's
gift to women. "But then again," she adds, suddenly
going into cod-psychologist mode, "everyone has their delusions.
You, for example, are deluding yourself if you think you can play
games and not get caught." Sam plays dumb and so Nastily
spells it out for her: Chris 'Studley' Collins, the dick-led mechanic
down the street. Sam continues to play dumb and denies that there
is anything between her and Chris. "You're the one who's
deluding yourself," she tells Nastily, "because Chris
and I are just good friends. And Des and me are just fine!"
(Methinks Samantha should embark on a short course of correction
at the hands of Ken "I cannot tell a lie" Barlow. But
then again, maybe not. After all, one death from passive charisma
deficit is enough).
Talking of lies and liars, at this point we switch
momentarily to Weatherfield Crown Court, where Jon Lindsay is
being called into the dock and sworn in. As he promises to tell
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Deirdre stares at him
with a look of sheer undiluted disgust on her face.
Back in the Street, Chris is asking Kevin permission
to knock off early for 'lunch', which means knocking off early
so that he can knock off Samantha. Kevin gives a grunt of agreement
and then looks on as Chris crosses the road to his flat, joined
en route by Orange Girl. As Chris and Sam disappear into his flat,
a smug smile of satisfaction sits for a second on Kevin's lips.
And why not? For Kevin, more than most, can easily recognise deception
and duplicity when he sees it.
Back in court, Jon's barrister is asking him why he
persisted in wearing Ian Jenkins's uniform and pretending to be
a pilot. Jon admits that it was partly out of vanity but mainly
because of Deirdre. The Drear, he says, had accompanied him to
Jenkins's house, mooched around, found the uniform and had then
insisted that Jon wear it and pretend to all her friends that
he was a pilot. (At this point Deirdre begins to rise in indignation,
but is told by Frankie Stillman to stay still and remain calm).
Lindsay goes on to say that the whole sordid pretence was Deirdre's
idea, fuelled by the notion that there might be money in it somewhere.
The Drear simply shakes her head in exasperation, while her friends
in the gallery tut-tut and exchange outraged glances.
Back at the Rover's, Des wants to know where Sam is.
Nastily tells him that Orange Girl has gone shopping. "Nice
if you can get away with it," she adds cryptically. "Do
you want to know where she's really gone?" says Kevin, who
is supping nearby. Des cottons on immediately and accuses Kevin
yet again of gunning for Chris by implicating him with Samantha,
all because he wants to get back at Chris for plugging Sally.
"Sam has gone shopping," insists Des. Kevin shrugs.
"What she's getting off Chris she can't buy in a shop,"
he says. "And she's probably not paying for it either."
Back in court, Jon Lindsay is being questioned about
the mortgage fraud. Again, while he admits to having forged Ian
Jenkins's signature, he says that he did so only at the behest
of the Drear. On the question of the Gold Card, however, he pleads
ignorance and innocence: he knew absolutely nothing about it whatsoever,
m'lud. Deirdre's tendons begin to stir. Mr Hamilton, the Drear's
barrister, is then asked by the judge whether he would like to
cross-question Pinnocchio. Hamilton says that naturally he would,
at which point the judge adjourns the court.
Meanwhile, back at the Rover's, Des is still quizzing
Nastily about Sam's whereabouts and when she will be returning.
Nastily says that Sam has been gone about twenty minutes (more
than enough time for Studley to have speared the bearded clam
*and* have a bite of lunch in the process) and shouldn't be too
long. Our attention is distracted at this point by the arrival
of Audreh Roberts and Les Battersby, fresh from the spectators'
gallery of Weatherfield Crown Court. Vera wants to know the state
of play and Audreh tells here that Lindsay has blamed everything
on Deirdre. "He's just like all men," says Audreh. "Yes,"
agrees Vera, with a knowing nod in Jack's direction. "Men
are all dirty dogs; I should know!" (At this point my housemate
Mark and I screamed out in agreement with Vera; Mark has just
become single too, dumped by his prison-officer boyfriend, and
now plans to adopt celibacy 'for the foreseeable future'. Should
be the hardest forty-eight hours of his life then...)
This is all too much for Des and he storms out of the
Rover's, his mind in turmoil and his heart in tatters. He goes
to Chris's flat, walks away, hesitates, walks back again, all
the time being watched by Kevin over at the garage. Finally he
decides to see whether Kevin's accusations are true and, with
a couple of swift kicks, he bashes Chris's door down and dashes
And so, dear readers, the scriptwriters finally put
the Chris and Sam plot out of its misery by allowing the bonkaholics
to get caught in the act. Samantha clearly had it coming to her
- probably just before Des barged in - and Chris too has been
sailing too close to the wind for far too long. His impudence
has been growing by the day and he has been taking one liberty
after another. Give a man an inch and he'll take a mile, after
all. (Unless you're on the other bus, of course, where, if you
give a man an inch, he'll probably take the other six as well.
At least that's been my experience). Des storms into Chris's bedroom
and is rewarded with the sight of Studley and Orange Girl under
the duvet. Sam is visibly mortified, while Chris has the smug
look of one who has just driven the big pink love bus into Fishville
and doesn't give a damn who knows. Des hurls a wad of money onto
the bed and snarls: "Here - get yourself a new door!"
("And if there's enough left over, Samantha can get her back
entry repaired as well!")
After the commercial break, we are whisked back to
court. Hamilton is grilling Jon on his double life and portraying
him to the jury as "an expert deceiver of women". Jon
claims that Deirdre knew all along that he was married, and reiterates
yet again that the deception and duplicity were all down to her.
She wanted everyone to think that he was an unmarried pilot, he
says, because she wanted him to appear glamorous and important
in front of her friends. Hamilton asks him why he went along with
the sham for so long. "Mrs Rachid," says Jon, "is
a very persuasive woman."
At Des's house (once known as 'Shagworld' but shortly
to be re-named "Onan's Place"), another erstwhile persuasive
woman is trying to impress on Des that she has always cared for
him and still does care. Now Des is not stupid and knows only
too well that when a woman tells you that she loves you - but
is still 'foaming at the gash', as they say up here in the north-east,
after Ugandan relations with one of your mates - she's hardly
likely to score 180 on the old dartboard of truth. "Why didn't
you just leave me?" Des asks pitifully. "Why did you
have to have a 'bit on the side'?" (Which, coming as it does
from a man who has had more 'bits on the side' than a colostomy
bag, is surely the most blatant display of hypocrisy in the annals
of the Street's sordid sexual history, but never mind). Samantha,
naturally, has no answer. Des then tells her that she is a 'freak',
tosses her things at her and tells her to get out of his house
and out of his life.
Still on the subject of freaks, Jon Lindsay is still
being questioned by Hamilton. This time, the subject is the evidence
given by Ken Barlow. At the mere mention of the name 'Barlow',
everyone in the courtroom lapses immediately into a catatonic
trance and is brought back to the world of the living only by
a cry of "That's not true! It's all lies!" This outburst
comes, of course, from Deirdre, for Jon has just told everyone
that she had consciously manipulated Barlow and forced him to
lie on her behalf. Lindsay dismisses the little matter of marriage
as another of Deirdre's ploys. He admits to having announced their
intention to marry to all of those who were attending their 'housewarming'
party, but claims that it was a Deirdre-orchestrated sham. (It's
at this juncture that he admits to borrowing £5000 from
her - a fact which is ignored by Hamilton, but which clearly has
important implications for the outcome. Why did no-one pick up
on this? Similarly, why has no-one come forward to say that Lindsay
was wearing the pilot's uniform on the night he met Deirdre, and
that consequently she couldn't have put him up to it?) The judge
warns Deirdre that if she repeats her outburst, she will be taken
At the garage, a red-faced and angry Studley confronts
Kevin. "You couldn't fire the gun yourself," he snarls,
"and so you did it through Des." Kevin says that he
told Des about Studley and Sam because "Des is a mate".
Chris says that it was precisely because Des was a mate that Kevin
should have kept mum. Anyway, Chris quits his job on the spot
and says that he won't be hanging around the Street much longer.
"You won't be missed," says Kevin. "I wouldn't
be so sure," retorts Studley. "And if Sally knew what
was best for her, she'd leave too."
At the Rover's, Samantha is bemoaning her fate to Nastily
and securing herself a place to stay in the process. "I didn't
mean to hurt him," she says. "Oh, the way he looked
at me, as though he hated me." Nastily gives a sardonic grin.
"Come on, Samantha," she says. "What did you expect:
a big smile and a sloppy kiss?" Sam asks her whether she
agrees with Des that she (Sam) is a 'freak'. Nastily does not
agree. "I do," says Sam. "I think I'm a freak."
Eighteen million viewers cheer as the first word of truth all
evening is finally spoken.
The court now adjourned until tomorrow, the Drear emerges
into the corridor only to be waylaid by DS Wyatt. (At this point,
for some reason, Mark reminded me that we've run out of Dettox).
Anyway, the divine DS tells Deirdre that if she knew what was
best for her, she'd change her plea to guilty. "Plead guilty
and you'll get off with a lighter sentence," he says. Deirdre's
neck goes into tendon overdrive as she says once again that she
is innocent, but it is clear that DS Wyatt has touched a raw nerve
and given her cause for doubt. "I'm only trying to help you,"
says the delicious DS as he departs. Emily, clad ominously in
black, and Mike Baldwin see that the Drear is upset and are shocked
to hear that DS Wyatt has advised her to change her plea. Emily,
obviously buoyed by her new found sense of anti-establishment
rebellion, tells Deirdre to ignore DS Wyat and continue with the
non-guilty plea. Mike agrees, adding that DS Wyat was simply trying
to frighten her. "Well he's done a good job," says the
unfortunate Drear, as visions of barred windows, slopping out,
body searches and endless portions of chopped liver sundae fill
her troubled mind.
Back in the Street, Des and Angie are having a heart-to-heart,
Des's conclusion being that given how he has cheated on women
in the past, Sam's infidelity is probably some kind of pay-back.
And finally, back at Principles Palace, Barlow suggests
that Deirdre (together with Frankie and La Mouton, also in attendance)
could do with something long, wet and stiff to take away the strains
of the long ordeal in court, and so he cracks open a bottle of
brandy. They discuss the day's events, at the centre of which
was Jon's unnervingly credible performance in the dock. Deirdre
apologises for her outburst, but Frankie says that such displays
of exasperation often find favour with juries. (Which is cobblers,
actually, because when Glenda Young feigned a fainting fit in
court, it didn't get *her* off. The jury saw through it immediately.
After all, when you're up on charges of nicking three cans of
"Mr Muscle" from Kwik-Save, a fainting fit will always
be seen as being way over the top. And of course the previous
convictions didn't help). Frankie says that it all boils down
to the jury, and whether they will find Deirdre more convincing
than Jon. "It's all up to you, Deirdre," says Frankie,
as the tendonned one stares grimly into mid-distance and the credits
That's about it for this week, folks. There's no "As
I See It" because this update has been delayed far too long,
and if I tell you all about Jason's going-away party last Wednesday,
we'll be here all night. It's already very late (1.25 a.m) and
I am in dire need of a tea-break. (A nice pot of Earl Grey, methinks,
accompanied by a plate of Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers; I always
feel better when I've got a few Fingers inside me).
So what will happen to the Drear? So far, the courtroom
scenes have been a shambles; gripping, yes, but a shambles nevertheless.
We know that Lindsay was wearing his pilot's uniform on the fateful
night that he met Deirdre, yet no-one has come forward to say
as much. Too many things have been glossed over for comfort. Is
this a deliberate attempt on the part of Brian Park to communicate
to us the sad state of British justice? And didn't we all know
that already? Tell that to my friend David, who found himself
up in court for defending himself in a gay-bashing incident. (David
was coming out of a club in Coventry when some dumb lager lout
shouted, "Rot in hell, you f****** queer!" Without hesitating,
David replied: "It's *Mister* f****** queer to you!"
and duly proceeded to punch his lights out). David eventually
got off, but the shame of having to appear in court was considerable.
Earl Grey beckons...
Until next time, love and hugs, CP
(who is now actually beginning to enjoy his single status once
more. Oh the joy of being able to lurch home drunk at three in
the morning, piss in the kitchen sink and not have someone throw
a hissy fit next morning because you forgot to take the dishes
out first! No, I still love him really...)
Well another week has zipped by - I'll swear that there
are less hours in every week the older I get! Recovering from
a grotty cold so the energy levels are a bit low here and I'm
feeling a tad under par! Diddums!
Friday 27 March
We've had spring hitting us early in the last few
weeks - up here in the frozen north, normally we're about three
weeks behind the south in terms of the seasonal growth, but we've
had blossom on trees blossoming early this year and nothing in
the way of snow over the winter, apart from a bit one evening
in December. Bearing in mind it cab be fun and games here in
winter, this year has been unusual to say the least! This unseasonal
weather has reaped its dividends in terms of all manner of infections,
colds, coughs, etc. - whereas we would expect them to be wiped
out by a good dose of cold weather, I am having to rely on vast
quantities of alcohol to do the job! Ah well, these sacrifices
have to be made.
I have had some more fan mail this week - in particular
from the friendly folks in North America - which has been most
appreciated. It never ceases to astound me how a programme, based
on Northern life, has so much appeal on the other side of the
duckpond thousands of miles away. I suppose that this is testimony
to the scripts which portray situations which can be mirrored
anywhere - credibility is all important as far as I'm concerned.
Another strength, of course, is the dialogue between the characters,
which is pretty priceless sometimes. Finally, the quality of
The week has been eventful on the box for the trial
of Deirdre Rachid and Jon Lindsay - as I type this up on Sunday
afternoon, we await the jury's verdict. Miscarriages of justice
do occur and I wonder whether D will actually end up being found
guilty - the difficulty is one of getting across the case to
the jury and only two people in this case know exactly what happened
(that and the umpteen million of viewers, as well, of course)
but the jury can only examine the information as presented to
them and weigh up the evidence accordingly. At this stage, 14:15
on Sunday afternoon, I don't feel confident for Deirdre.
The other has been the return of a blight the newsgroup
could do without - if I say, I'm Pooked if I know how we can
rid ourselves of this scourge, then I'm sure you'll know to whom
I refer! Over time, I have been gathering names for the gunk-tank
- so far, this includes names such as Sian Lloyd (ITV Weathercaster)
and Anthea Turner (BBC National Lottery show and many others)
for their ability to irritate beyond belief. Well, I think JP's
name can also be safely added to the list - as in The Mikado
"I've got them on my list and none of them would be missed",
apart from the momentary pleasure of the gunk hitting them. Mm,
must curtail these savage tendencies!
Friday's episode, sponsored by Cadbury's Wispa Mints,
opens with Deirdre's day at the stand in court.
It's breakfast time at Ken Barlow's. He is in the kitchen asking
D how she is feeling. "Fine", she replies, "I've
just brought half the lining of my stomach up. Apart from that,
I've never felt better"! Ken tries to reassure her that all
will be fine when she takes the stand and as she's innocent, she
has nothing to fear! Has he never heard of the Guildford Four
or the Indianapolis 500?
Natalie bumps into Chris on The Street. She presumes
that there is a vacancy at the garage and tells him that Samantha
is staying with her. He tells her that he is unable to work for
Kevin anymore and that there is nothing to keep him in Weatherfield.
When questioned by Natalie, he tells her that Samantha doesn't
know this and that "it is none of her business - or yours"!
We are in court and an expert witness has been called
to the stand - it is Dr. Marian Taylor, a graphologist. In response
to questioning by the Prosecuting Barrister, she is telling the
court that there are two types of forgery - an example of the
first is Jon Lindsay's mortgage application which was forged freehand.
The other is the credit card application which was done with tracing
paper. She explains how a freehand forgery can identify the culprit's
identity, however a traced application disguises the personal
idiosyncrasies which are ironed out - in short, you can tell it's
a forgery but no who did it. "It could have been either of
D's barrister, when cross examining Dr Taylor, elicits
from her that the mortgage forgery was a good one and that Jon
is a skilful forger "of that signature". The credit
card forgery was also very good and needed someone with Jon's
level of skill. Gotcha!
Nat rings Samantha - she tells her that Chris is leaving
and advises her that she needs to get in quick if she wants him.
She agrees to cover for Sam, while Sam seeks out Chris.
We're back in court and D is now at the stand being
questioned by her barrister. She confirms that she did not know
Jon was married and despite him being away from her for half the
time, she had no reason to disbelieve him, until she found out
he worked in a shop. She accepts she should have left him, but
he told her another good lie, so she stayed with him. "I
loved him too much" is hear plaintive plea. ON further questioning,
she tells the court that it was his idea they should move into
Ian Jenkins' house - she ended up giving up her own flat and being
totally humiliated. He arranged the mortgage, she had no idea
this was one fraudulently - she never put pressure on him to arrange
it, in fact, on a number of occasions she sought reassurance that
he could afford it. Jon arranged the credit card - she knew nothing
about it until he gave her the card - and she did not know it
had been obtained fraudulently.
As regards the £4000 she drew on the card, she
did this when she realised he was married and wanted to retrieve
the £5000 she had lent him. She had done this at the rate
of £500 per day until the machine gobbled up her card. She
went to the bank to ask why this had happened because she didn't
think she'd done anything wrong - surely she'd have run a mile,
just like he did. She had offered to pay the money back when she
discovered that the money had been drawn from Ian Jenkins' account
- she couldn't believe it.
After his abscondment, Jon Lindsay had turned up and
apologised for everything - he told her his wife had threatened
to kill herself if he left her. He had asked her to go with him
to Venezuela - at that stage, she rang the police because she
was terrified of him.
She confirmed that Jon had made all the running in
the relationship - he had asked her out, asked her to live with
him, asked her to marry him, even arranged the wedding day without
consulting her. Her barrister tells her that the Crown contends
she was the creative intelligence behind the fraud to which she
replies "If I was intelligent, do you think I would be here
now? I'm going to spend the rest of my life asking myself how
I could have been so stupid". All in all, a convincing performance
Samanfa has tracked Chris down to T'Caff. She tells
him that Natalie has told her he's leaving and she tells him she's
coming with him. He replies that he thought the relationship as
just a bit of fun, but she says that it's gone further now. After
Chris tells her he is going to West Bromwich later, she tells
him that she wants to be with him and they agree to meet later
in The Rovers. After she leaves, we see a pensive looking Chris
- clearly not very happy at the way things are turning out.
It is now time for the Prosecuting Barrister to cross
examine D. He very quickly moves to destroy D's credibility by
ridiculing her stance. In essence the gist of his message is that
D's version of events doesn't stack up, that in fact she was the
prime mover in the whole affair. To back his case up, he explores
a number of events. He takes her back to the day they were due
to move into (what we now know as) Ian Jenkins' home when she
fabricated the story about the locks being changed by Jon's wife,
so as to save face with her friends. He pours scorn on Jon's alleged
appointment which resulted in him spending the same time away
from home as before. Surely he would been able to afford the £5000
which he subsequently borrowed from D - she counters by saying
that Jon had told her the money was tied up. He then tries to
further discredit her by saying that this was insurance money
obtained "after the death of your third husband in mysterious
circumstances, 18 months ago". In short, she was the prime
mover who led and took advantage of a weak and impressionable
man besotted with her, for her own gains. He further ridicules
her by referring to Jon having to work in Aberdeen on Christmas
morning and Portsmouth on Christmas night - D agrees it looked
ridiculous, to which he retorts "Beyond belief, would be
how I'd put it - nobody of your considerable experience could
be that gullible, the only version of this story that adds up
is his". D looks upset - collapse of stout party.
Des and Angie Freeman are talking about Samantha -
she says she cannot believe that Samantha, who previously would
hardly let a man near her, has ended up being involved with "Mr
High Principles". Des reckons it might be payback time for
the all playing around he's done in the past. Angie ruefully replies
that if this is the case, then we are only seeing the tip of the
The Prosecution's barrister is concluding his case.
He tells D that she's been very shrewd. When her advances to Jon
had been spurned, she had threatened to tell his wife - when D
denies this to put forward her version, he asks why she had not
reported the matter to the police as an intended bigamy. D tries
to show that she's the innocent party in the case by asking why
would she have gone to the bank after the cash dispenser swallowed
up her card, if she was guilty - "Because you thought you
could get away with it". The ace is delivered when he asks
"if Jon Lindsay was the author of this crime, what did he
get out of it financially". D maintains that Jon is a fantasist
and that he wanted to impress her, but is forced to agree that
he got nothing out if it. "Exactly" says the barrister,
"the house was yours and so was the credit card" to
which we see Jon looking on innocently and nodding his head in
agreement. "He didn't make a penny - would any criminal in
his right mind, risk his neck like that for nothing?" (laughing)
"I've never heard of one!"
Part 1 ends with D looking distraught.
Interesting how music plays an increasing part in ads
these days - a McDonald's ad comes with the message "Yours
for a fistful of small change" and accompanied by "Fistful
of dollars" type music.
"Ready Steady Go" was one of the seminal
pop music programmes of the 60s and it's pleasing seeing an album
promoted under that banner entitled "60s Sound of Motown
- 50 Motown Classics". RSG was very influential in promoting
black music, especially the sounds of the Tamla Motown stable
- real memory jerker back to 30 odd years ago.
A few other ads of no great personal impact and then,
just as quickly, it's time for
Mr Seymour, a car salesman, is being interviewed by D's barrister.
He tells how Jon test drove a Saab and said he was an airline
pilot. He says the Lindsay was very plausible and tells the Court
that Jon didn't buy the car in the end and decided to go for a
Porsche instead. Hey, it's looking good for D!
Sam turns up late at The Rovers - Vera is not much
pleased and tells her to buck her ideas up. Sam updates Natalie
- she says that Chris is leaving but omits to tell her that she's
going with him.
Back at the Court, it's time for the Saint of Coronation
Street to make an appearance. Emily Bishop is at the stand testifying
for D. She calls her "honest, reliable, hard-working and
a good mother to her daughter." In response to questions
about how Jon had told her about his ear imbalance which had resulted
in him having to give up flying, she states that he was "very
convincing - everything about him was convincing. I can quite
see how Deirdre was taken in."
The Prosecuting barrister starts his character assassination
of Emily by referring to her recent protest at the "Red Rec",
when she had climbed a tree "to stop the contractors getting
on with their legally approved work" and asks her how she
squares this with her "reputation for being a decent, upright,
law-abiding citizen". Emily responds that she climbed the
tree "for something I believed in, regardless of the consequences.
I'm here today for the same reason. If Deirdre's guilty of these
preposterous allegations, ...... then I'm a banana!" (laughter
in the Court.) Somehow unzipping an Emily just doesn't have the
right ring to it, but it's one of those nice moments for which
Corrie is famous. Yep, looks like Emily's rescued it.
We're back in The Rovers - Samanfa's at the bar. Des
is propping up a glass - he gets up to leave the pub and bumps
into Sally and Rita Sullivan coming in. Sally enquires after his
welfare to which he replies sarcastically "Great ... and
all thanks to that wonderful husband of yours". In the exchange
which follows, Sally realises that Kevin has spilled the beans
regarding Chris and Samantha - she is horrified that Kevin has
done the deed.
In the Court, the judge is summing up. He refers to
this as a serious fraud. Essentially two people of previously
good character are involved - each accuses the other of lying,
each claims to be beguiled by the other against their better judgement.
Much of the evidence is inconclusive, whom are we to believe.
Now the knockout punch "perhaps the key question is, who
benefited from the enterprise? Jon Lindsay got nothing - it is
a poor criminal who risks imprisonment for no reward of any kind"
(we see Jon Lindsay nodding - you can almost hear D's beloved
ex - her poor young Samir saying "you very bad man!"
I think if D goes down there's be a fatwa out on Lindsay!) "Deirdre
Rachid was the sole beneficiary, yet she has denied under oath
knowing anything about it, claiming that Jon Lindsay did it to
impress her. This is a difficult case - a serious one ... the
consequences for Deirdre Rachid, if found guilty, could be grave".
D looks mortified.
We are at chez Webster - Kev is doing his "Modern
man" bit at the sink - Sally comes into the house. She is
angry with him for telling Des "It was none of our business"
she maintains. For Kevin, it's a case of sticking up for a mate,
but Sally feels that he only did it because he cannot forgive
Chris for sleeping with her. "Yes, well, you would say that,
wouldn't you?" replies Kevin. "Why do you care what
I've done? Because you still love him, that's why!" Sally
denies that she was ever in love with Chris, but Kevin is not
convinced. She cares because it "reminds me what a petty
narrow-minded little prat I'm married to." "If you think
that, why did you have me back in the first place?" asks
Chris and it's Sally's time to deliver the knockout "I'm
beginning to wonder". As Butcher Fred would say "It'll
all end in tears, I say, all end in tears"!
The jury have retired to consider their verdict. D
is in the toilets, no doubt, having emptied her bowels of what
small amounts of her breakfast are left inside her tum. Linda
Lindsay comes into the toilets, but turns to leave when she sees
D. They have an exchange - Linda says that she will go to the
police if D threatens her, but D reassures her "Don't worry,
you're not the one I'd like to kill". Linda still maintains
that Jon has done "nothing wrong, except what you forced
him into", to which D replies that Linda knows Jon is guilty
and that she is only protecting him because she doesn't want her
marriage to split up and her kids to be seeing their dad go to
jail. Linda laughs and shaking her head says "Jon's right
- you're mad!" Frizzie Lizzie Hamburger comes into the loo,
but Linda leaves.
Chris visits Sally at her home - he's here to say goodbye
and, when pressed, admits Samantha is coming with him. Sally senses
he doesn't sound keen at which stage Chris strokes her hair and
says that she could be the one going back to West Brom with him
later that night - can she resist the offer?
Mike Baldwin is asking the barrister whether D will
be OK. The answer is non-committal. Frankie Stillman tries to
placate Mike by saying that the judge was even-handed in his summing
up, pointing out that he can direct a jury any way he likes. "In
this case, it seems he hasn't decided one way or the other".
It's like the world of investment, I suppose - unit prices can
fall as well as rise and Mike has an investment here, not that
wifey knows about that - yet!
Les Battersby is talking to Alec Gilroy and saying
"I'll be glad to get out of this place - they give me the
willies after a bit, courts, don't they you?". Alec doesn't
feel the same way, "but then, of course, I daresay, I haven't
got the experience of them (that) you have." "Don't
worry", replies Les, "when the dead escort case comes
up for trial, it should even things up". Fifteen-all!
Emily, Ken and Audrey Roberts are in the court corridor
- Ken congratulates D on her appointment in the dock. Emily calls
her "very brave" but D doesn't think she was very good.
Audreys expresses her belief in D's innocence, but D reminds her
that she didn't always think that. The nerves are getting to the
lass - in fact, you can almost smell the trickle of fear! Alec
congratulates Emily on her performance but Emily assures him that
it was no performance. Just then, we learn jury have returned
Chris is still trying to persuade Sally to leave with
him - he's saying she'll never be happy with him, but Sally points
out that there are the girls to think about. Chris views this
as an excuse, but Sally is adamant that they need their father.
Reminding her that Kevin has strayed from the straight and narrow
before, predicts that she and Kevin will end up getting divorced
anyway. He takes hold of her hand and asks her again to come with
him. On cue, enter hubby - he's forgotten his butties - he sees
the cosy tete-a-tete and asks what's going on. We have to wait
how this scene will end because in the next scene....
We're back in court. The Clerk to the Court asks the
foreman to stand. "Mr Foreman, please answer my first question,
"yes" or "no". Have the jury reached verdicts
on all the counts on the indictment, to which they are all agreed"
Mr Foreman "Yes we have." D looks on apprehensively
as the music starts and the credits roll and we have to wait until
Sunday at 7.30 for the verdict - delayed to boost audience figures,
no doubt, but please don't call me a cynic!
Episode written by Martin Allen
Copyright of above scripts remains with Granada Television.
From my previous updates, you may have gathered that
I like a script with some good dialogue - although this episode
wasn't one of those (apart from Emily's banana), it certainly
make up for it in terms of drama. What it did convey was the
tooing and froing in a court as each side makes its case and
countercase. The episode was full of tension, to be relieved
once we know the verdict. We're now just two hours away.....
First of all, my apologies for the tardiness of this
update. I blame that lost hour on Sunday morning, personally,
my body clock is only just back in sync. A sort of British Summer
Time jet lag.
Actually, one of the (few) drawbacks of having a permanent
Net connection at work is that sometimes some pesky work gets
in the way. Plus, our tape of Sunday's denouement was lent out
to friends. Excuses, excuses.
A fine weekend by all accounts chez Laird. Spring is
definitely arriving, witness the arrival of lost tribes in what
should pass for a back lawn. Maybe some of them will have a herd
of goats, and I'll be saved the back- breaking effort of the first
cut of the year. Anyhow, the weekend passed very quickly, leading
us on to, without further ado, perhaps THE most eagerly awaited
episode of CS since the Deirdre/Mike/Ken triangle came to a conclusion.
All the more interesting then, that once again, all 3 are deeply
involved in the events leading up to...
Sunday 29 March
After Friday's cliff-hanger, how long will we have to wait
before the clerk of the court and the jury foreman continue with
the verdicts ? The answer is no time at all - the scene continues.
The clerk goes through the charges one by one, and the foreman
"Guilty". "Guilty". "Guilty".
As each verdict is announced, we see the shocked faces
of, first Deirdre, and then the onlookers in the gallery. Mike
jumps to his feet and tells anyone who wants to listen [jury aside]
that the real villain is sat right in front of him. Jon turns
to his wife with a smug expression on his face. 18.5 million viewers
want to reach in and rearrange his features on a permanent basis.
The judge adjourns the court before the sentencing. [What about
the reports from the probation service, sez my neighbour who knows
about these things ? Tut tut.]
Stunned, we are spared any more of this dreadful stuff
as we cut to the Websters' house. Again, the scene continues exactly
as we left it, with Kevin having discovered Sally and Chris sitting
at the table, hands clasped. Kevin demands to know what's going
on. Chris is leaving, and he wants Sally to go with him. [At this
point, I was sure fisticuffs would be in order, but nope, the
boys are still talking, perhaps not to one another, but still.]
Sally has not committed herself, but now she does. Her place is
there, with her family. Chris wonders what her answer would have
been if Kevin had not returned. Kevin loses it, and threatens
to throw Chris out if he won't go by himself. Before leaving,
Chris wishes Sally good luck for the future.
Outside the court, Mike is arguing the toss with Deirdre's
lawyer [hope the distinction between in-court and out-of-court
legal representation is not too confusing to non-UK readers].
He wants an immediate appeal, but the lawyer is cool. It appears
these things have to be carefully planned and timed in order not
to have an unwanted negative effect. Mike gets more angry, at
which point he is informed that public outbursts in court probably
Alec is dispensing tea to the others. Les comes out
with some crack about the "Hungerford Five", probably
referring to the "Guildford Four", famous victims of
British injustice. Mike, still stinging, suggests to Ken that
the verdict was probably to his satisfaction. Ah, now we get the
fists, but no real blows are landed before Alec breaks up the
fight with a cup of coffee [you had to be there]. In one of those
awkward moments, everyone discusses how good the refreshments
are. [As opposed to "what's going to happen to Deirdre ??".
Best to have a cup of tea when the going's rough.]
Returning to the Websters, Kevin suggests that Sally
may well have left with Chris. She gets angry, telling him she
has had it with his suspicions. He retorts that he agreed not
to have anything more to do with Natalie [15-all]. Sally lets
slip that this is not the first time that Chris has asked her
to leave with him. Kevin notches another degree of anger, telling
her he thinks she *was* tempted by Chris' offer, and that as far
he is concerned, she can leave if she wants to. He's off.
Chris is in the Rovers, as Angie approaches. [Strange
how Angie just comes and goes with no explanation or discussion
of her absence. Wherever she's been, there was no make-up there.
It's still the bare-faced look. Is Angie fanciable ? Discuss.]
She accuses him of breaking up the Sam/Des thing, and asks if
it was personal, as Des had effectively put paid to their relationship.
She concludes with, and I quote: "A nice lunchbox is alright
for a bit, but when all you've got for a brain is an empty vacuum
flask, a smart girls looks elsewhere". Not a bad line, but
a bit contrived for an off-the-cuff remark, and to be honest we're
just waiting for this filler to end and return to the court. Whatever,
Chris grins [yep, his lunchbox is just fine with him], and Sam
looks on with a smile [fine with her too !].
The judge addresses Deirdre and Jon [boo, his] in the
dock. He believes they are both guilty, but that blame cannot
be equally apportioned. One of the accused had pleaded guilty,
has shown remorse, heavens the poor babe was led astray by a wicked
scheming partner. We quickly see DS Wyatt, who has a disbelieving
look on his face. Jon is given a 6-month sentence, suspended for
2 years. [If this isn't clear to our overseas cousins, this means
Jon doesn't actually go to jail, but has to behave himself under
threat of immediate imprisonment, the threat remaining active
for 2 years. He still has a criminal record, though.] Turning
to Deirdre, the judge starts laying it on with a trowel. She was
found guilty, unanimously, on all counts. She orchestrated everything,
ensnaring a vulnerable married man [I expect the nation's cry
of "Bollocks !" registered in other continents]. She
has shown no remorse. He announces sentences of 18, 6, 12 and
6 months for the four charges, to run concurrently. Deirdre is
shell-shocked, and so is most of the court, including her lawyer.
Given one last chance for a statement, she protests her innocence
again. The judge orders her taken down. She turns and looks at
Jon, but says nothing. We viewers are not so dumbstruck. "Bastard
!". Deirdre exchanges glances with Ken on the way down to
the holding cells. Liz looks close to tears. I think we'll dispense
with the unkind remarks on her appearance on this occasion.
Absolutely nothing memorable at all, although I was
minded of a series of short ads that run in Scotland, of the most
deeply suspicious-looking characters [anyone remember was it Likely
from Callan ? He's always one.] caught in some criminal act, with
the by-line "It's never too late to call your solicitor."
Deirdre's fan club leaves the court. Just in front of them is
Mr Smarm and his wife Mrs Doormat. Ken accosts Jon, who ignores
him. Liz lunges at wotsername, accusing her of lying in court
and knowing the real truth. As the party, sans Lindsays, leave
the building, Mike once again has a pop at Ken and his performance
in court. He thinks Deirdre would have been better off absconding
to Spain. They all see the security van arrive. [Our hearts are
briefly lifted by the hope that it's a Group 4 van - Deirdre could
be home for tea ! But it isn't.] Liz shouts support at Deirdre
as she is led into the van. Poor Dreary looks completely numb.
Back at the Rovers, Vera is serving a *speaking* customer.
They've been splashing out at Granada, a stranger has been allowed
to say something ! The court spectators arrive, and Audreh breaks
the news. Everyone looks shattered.
We return to poor Deirdre as she arrives at reception.
Yes, they've got a room for her, but it's a twin, available for
18 months. Asked if this is her first offence, Deirdre replies
that it is her first time in prison, she has committed no offence.
This cuts no ice with the receptionist. Name, address and car
registration please. Oh yes, better give us all your jewellery,
purse/handbag etc for safe-keeping. Indignity is piled upon indignity
as it is revealed Deirdre has no change of clothing, and will
be given some "clean, second-hand clothes". Oh, and
£2.50 pocket money. [Fortunately, my kids failed to spot
at this point that they would, in fact, do better in prison !!]
Deirdre sinks lower still as she is subjected to a strip-search.
By way of light relief, we zoom back to Alma and Mike,
sitting down for a meal. Mike is all wound up, wondering how they
can eat when God knows what is happening to Deirdre, he's not
going to rest until she's free, blah blah. Alma is reaching the
end of her tether. Deirdre has been found guilty, that's a fact,
now they have to get on with their lives. It's clear she's not
so convinced of Deirdre's innocence.
Vera sees Sam waiting on the other side of the bar,
with bag. She's off to the gym, apparently. Oh yes.
Deirdre is in what looks like a school changing room.
There is some smackhead wailing away in the background, as she
is introduced to Officer Beech, on whose floor she will be placed.
[Actually, I think I've spelled that wrong, it's probably a Spanish
pronunciation of Bitch. She looks straight out of Prisoner, Cell
Block H.] "Hello Deirdre, welcome to your new home."
Kevin has returned to find Sally still at their cosy
marital home. He says something to the effect that "the prat
is back". [Many a true word...] He had half-expected to find
her gone. She maintains her place is there. Looking vainly for
some glimmer of hope, Kevin asks her if she still loves him. Sally
Sam is still offering feeble excuses for her continued
presence at the bar, rather than the all-night gym. We see Chris
approaching outside, but as he reaches the door, he stops, hesitates,
then carries on, alone. Later, Sam leaves the Rovers and goes
to his flat, which she finds deserted. Oh dear, luv. You've completely
stuffed this one. She looks almost pale.
Deirdre arrives at her cell, along with her cellmate.
It's Margi Clarke ! The scouse one is in for Actual Bodily Harm,
occasioned when someone was making moves on her man. [So at least
we're spared the in-cell dykery.] In a vivid contrast between
good, if a little limited, acting, and appalling hamminess, Deirdre
falls apart as supergob explains how prison works. As the lights
go out, at 8:30, Deirdre crumbles. "I shouldn't be here,
I haven't done anything. There's been a terrible mistake."
This episode was written by Martin Allen.
Absolutely gut-wrenching stuff, as Deirdre plumbs
depths of despair, and we see the last shreds of her self-esteem
fall away as the horrible realisation dawns. The worst has happened,
and now she's in prison. Will she be strong enough to cope with
this ? Will we ?
I rather suspect that we'll only see a few months
of this, before Deirdre is released. Rather than Jon's feeble
wife caving in [she's dismissed so much damning evidence already
on his say-so], my money is on someone from Jon's past appearing,
with evidence that he has done this before. All the fraud and
lying and deception was too practised to have been a first attempt.
To keep CP happy, it looks rather like DS Wyatt perhaps doesn't
think the case is completely closed. The shining knight with
the off-white charger ?
Great stuff, anyway.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): *****
Best line: None, really. The strength of this episode
didn't really come from the script, it was the unfolding situations
Best scene: Everything apart from the duff stuff with
Chris and Sam. I'm even prepared to see Kevin stay, rather than
lose Sally. Their scenes were pretty top-notch too. [Still wondering
if I can engineer a meeting with the real Sally...]
Back next week, John Laird
I'm sorry chaps, I've let you down again with delaying.
Here it is though.
In Cell Block H, the reveille sounds. Or it could be
the fire alarm. Jackie Dobbs wakes, and needs a nicotine fix.
Dreary can't help her, she's lying on her bed, still wearing her
glasses, as if she hasn't been to sleep. Jackie urges Dreary to
get up and get going because it'll soon be breakfast.
Mike isn't for eating brekky, he's fretting over Dreary.
Alma tries to make him believe that Dreary will be making the
best of it, and steeling herself for getting through the next
eighteen months. Mike is sure there's a way to get her out, and
he's going to find it.
Chez Webster, it's also breakfast time. Kevin is sulking
again. They row over the reason - Chris 'Studley' Collins, and
that after the previous Studley showdown, Sally couldn't bring
herself to tell Kevin that she loved him. 'I made yer breakfast
- what more d'you want?' she walks away.
At Underworld, sex goddess Angie tries to talk business
with Mike, but he's more interested in calling Frankie Stillman
about getting Dreary out. We don't hear her speak, but Mike responds
that 'I can't, I've got a business to run'. Angie, in the doorway,
is very scathing about that. Mike agrees to take Frankie to lunch.
The Rover's. Some lunch date! Just when Angie is sympathising
over Dreary but reminding Mike that business comes first, Janice
'Gobby' Battersby comes in to report her sewing machine breaking
Dreary and Jackie are getting lunch. Chips, peas and
something indefinable. Jackie is pleased to spot an old lag she
knew during a previous residence at Styal prison. The big butch
warder joins them to ask how Dreary got on with her interview
with the Governor that morning. It seems that Dreary will stay
there as it's near her home and friends, but sadly she took the
wrong attitude, the 'I don't care, I shouldn't be here' one. 'You
have your dinner, I'll see you later' says BBW, intending to put
la Drear right on a few prison home truths. Dreary needs to get
Fiona explains her presence in the Rovers to Vera as
being because her Mother has Morgan. After she's sat down, Alec
asks Vera if it's true that Fiona is back with Cadaver Boy. 'Women,
eh? They ask for all they get. It's no wonder they end up like
Dreary Barlow!' (Note the use of Barlow rather than Rachid.....)
Vera chides him that no woman would look at him, but he says he's
taken himself off the market - 'there's only one woman who has
access to me - that lady chiropodist on Albert Road'.
Fiona and Maxine, the CS Stadtler and Waldorf, are
discussing Maxine's recent holiday with James. The same James
who believed Maxine was Fiona and vice versa, and has never been
put straight. The same James who was meeting Fiona in the Rover's
on March 2nd and never turned up. She's wondering whether to continue
going out with him, she's had a holiday out of him, so it's time
to drop him. Well, it would save explaining the name confusion/deceit,
wouldn't it? And to the viewers too. Apparently James was a bit
domineering - Fiona cheekily suggests that he was the opposite
of Ashley - he was never bossy was he? Maxine asks after Ashley
to learn that No4 is now a bit of a youth club with Zoe, Shannon,
Nick, and Leanne. How long has she been gone? Time to check the
past updates methinks - Nick & Leanne must have moved in before
Maxine went on holiday with James.
Mike enters the bar with Frankie, and orders chicken
sandwiches. What a lunch date eh Mike? Sam passes the order to
Vera, who asks her about her love-life. Sam explains that Chris
has gone, without even saying goodbye.
Mike wants to know what Frankie has done about the
Appeal. Frankie tells him it won't exactly be quick, and presents
her bill for £10,000. Mike is horrified, and she breaks
it down as £8,000 for Stuart Hamilton, defence barrister,
and that it is only an interim account. 'I wouldn't mind', says
Mike, 'but at least Dick Turpin got a mask before he robbed people.
Eight Thousand quid??? And he lost!! And they call me a con artist!
Seven minutes thirty six seconds and we're into the
END OF PART ONE
In the Cafe, Kevin is playing with his food. Gail is
pleased to see him, knowing that he usually lunches at the Rover's.
He explains that he didn't go there because Sally might be there
- he can't do right for doing wrong these days. Gail tells him
to take his time, but Kevin thinks he's already lost her.
Back at Underworld, Mike is asking Frankie if she thinks
that he could avoid paying Hamilton. She doesn't think so, and
points out that if he messes Hamilton around, word would get around,
and they'd never find a barrister for an appeal. She tells him
to pay up - if he's got it. He finds it in the Underworld cheque
book, which surprises Frankie. 'It's my money, isn't it?' he asks.
Frankie reminds him that the appeals procedure is slow, and Dreary
might be out before an appeal could be heard - if she behaves
In the Kabin Rita offers Leanne a cup of tea, and Leanne
offers to put the kettle on. 'Oh, no, my idea, I'll do it', teases
Rita, 'you go over the shop for a bottle of milk'.
Emily comes in with a 'Free Dierdrie Rachid' poster,
and explains that Ken will be visiting Dreary later and news of
this support campaign might lift her spirits.
Leanne comes into the shop for the milk, as expected.
Ashley thinks she's come from home, not the Kabin, and mutters
about how Zoe should be running her own errands. 'Its all fetch
me, bring me, carry me, with 'er these days'. Leanne tells him
how she can see how Zoe takes advantage of him, even when it come
to seeing to Shannon in the middle of the night. She suggests
they should have row - it'd do him good to shout a bit. Then she
teases him that Maxine's back, though he already knew.
Mike visits Ken, who is packing some of Dreary's personal
things. Surprising considering their near fight the other day.
He relates Frankie's news about the wheels of justice turning
so slowly that she might be out before an appeal. Ken wonders
if they should start a fighting fund, but Mike tells him to tell
her that he's 'dealing with it'
Now watch carefully. We're back in the shop, where
Maxine comes in for a jar of coffee. Of all the products on the
shelves, only 200g Nescafe granules have a shelf sign saying 'Special
Offer'. Maxine asks for some instant coffee, and Ashley tells
her that 'This one's on Special Offer', then takes a jar of Kenco
High Roast from the shelf, some 12 inches from the Special offer
sign (in front of the Nescafe). Not discussing the price, or seeing
it on the shelf, Maxine gives Ashley a few coins, whereupon he
rings in UKP1.50 AND GIVES HER CHANGE!. That jar of coffee would
typically be £3.99 - I'll check tonight. Tsk Tsk Granada.
I wish the coffee were that cheap in your roadside restaurants
and service areas.
They discuss the domestic developments at number 4,
and how there is never a dull moment, he compliments her on her
tan. It seems that Ashley wants her back, but can't admit it.
Back in Cell Block H (do you know, I've never seen
that programme? Not seen 4 Weddings and a funeral either, but
I digress), Jackie has gone into moan mode. She hates the first
few days. She says it's obvious that Dreary's not been inside
before. Dreary repeats the 'I've done nothing, I shouldn't be
here etc' bit. Time for an 'Autotext' entry for that I think,
like Steve McDonald's 'What I did, I did for you' at the Fiona
wedding situation. Jackie knocks this on the head again, she says
that one thing that does her head in is 'someone that can't do
They are both spared continuation of this thread by
the arrival of the BBW, who announces that Dreary has a visitor
in Reception, by the name of Barlow. Perhaps he has some news!
Maybe she's going home! <Insert Autotext here>. BBW tells
her to buckle down and accept it. She's inside because the law
says so, and there are women in there who won't take kindly to
Dreary making out that she's different.
Gail visits Sally to do her Zelda West-Meads  bit. She tells her how Kevin was in
the cafe, and how he said how upset he is about losing Sally.
Gail believes this is genuine, and that Kevin doesn't know what
to do to get her back. She can see how the Nastily affair could
have changed things, but 'if you can't make it work, Sal, there's
no hope for any of us.'
Dreary and Ken meet in reception. He tells her how
the appeal is going forward, and he's sure the conviction will
be overturned. He lays it on that all her friends are behind her,
they all believe in her.
In the Rover's, Des tells Kevin that he should have
listened to him about Studley and Orange Girl. He hopes there's
no hard feelings, and suggests he'd do the same for him one day.
Kevin says he hope not, and leaves.
Vera has noticed that Des and Orange Girl are not speaking.
Vera tells her that he's a nice lad, Sam could do much worse.
'And I'll tell you what I told Natalie - keep yer 'ands off Our
Jack'. Oh how they laugh.
Muppets One and Two are discussing their sympathy for
Dreary in prison, which then turns to the subject of Fiona when
she used to visit Steve in the Big House. Maxine wants to know
what's changed now she learns that Fiona's thinking of living
with Steve. 'Steve's changed, not me' says Fiona.
Behind the bar Alec is telling Vera how crafty those
McDonalds are. He reckons Steve got Big Jim to wreck the Fiona
/ Alan wedding, then bides his time until he moves back in. She'll
be keeping him in a bit.' 'Give over, you've always been prejudiced,
you.' 'I should think I have, after what he's done to our Vicky'
Mike and Angie are having a post-work drink in the
Rovers. Angie points out that it's the end of the Tax Year next
week, and as they've had a good year, she wants everything sorted
out in good time for the taxman. Mike, conscious of the £10,000
cheque being discovered too soon, tries to tell her that it hasn't
been such a good year, and they've paid themselves well. There
won't be much left for the taxman. She should leave it all to
him. To close the conversation, he goes to get two more drinks,
but Angie is left with a questioning look on her face.
Sally has served something unrecognisable from a casserole
pot for Kevin's tea. It might be leftovers from lunch in Cell
Block H perhaps? They agree to settle their differences, and go
forward together. They hug. Aaaaaah. Sally agrees that that's
what she wants, but adds ominously that that might not be all
she wants. Kevin agrees to those terms.
Ken sees the clock ticking away, and prepares to leave.
He has learned that she can only have a visitor every two weeks,
and he thinks Traceyluv will want to come. Dreary won't have this,
she doesn't want her daughter to see her in there. She mustn't
come to the Prison. She can come when she gets home, after the
appeal. Ken has to tell her what he didn't want to say, that the
appeal might take months, not weeks. She's got to accept that
she's inside for a long time, she's got to find the strength.
Cue tears being fought back.
Episode written by John Stevenson
Monday 30 March
 Always quoted in
the papers, from 'Relate' 
 Despite changing their name years ago, papers always
put 'Relate' (formerly the Marriage Guidance Council)
Written by CP
Turner, Peter Dewhirst,