Wednesday 1 July
Dear Update Readers,
Late again, unfortunately, so with no further ado here is
The episode opens out in the Street, with Maud accosting Gareh
and asking him to let her into Jim McDonald's house. (She knows
he has a key because he's been doing work there, and besides,
she's not called CNN Maud for nothing). Gareh is a little reluctant,
but there's no stopping Maud once roused. "He's been out
in the road playing dodgems in his wheelchair," says Maud,
referring to the sad Irish brickie ensconced within. Gareh, who
knows from his own experiences with Judeh how useless it is to
argue with a strong woman, lets Maud in.
"What the hell are you doing here?" says Jim. (I
hope he got a refund from the charm school, but I think perhaps
not). "I were watching out there," says Maud, "when
you were trying to get Mike Baldwin to run you over." Jim,
sensing a sermon coming on, is definitely not in the mood. "Oh
you stupid old bat! Just get out of my house, will you?"
he snarls. (A distinct lack of verisimilitude here. Surely someone
like Jim, suddenly cornered by a Maud on mission, would opt for
a bit of effing and blinding? Stupid old bat? Please! Not that
I'm over fond of expletives, but a judiciously placed 'fuck' when
it's not expected can spice up dramatic narrative no end. And
it's not as if we don't hear it all the time, because we do. Even
my mother no longer flinches when she hears the F-word. I remember
an incident which happened a couple of summers ago. Some boys
were playing in the field which backs on to her garden, and their
ball came flying over the fence for the umpteenth time. Tired
of throwing it back to them, she took it indoors and said that
they would have to come round and fetch it themselves. "Ah,
go on, yer fucking old bag," cried one of them. My mother,
who is vanity personified, gave him a withering glance. "Not
so much of the 'old', you cheeky bugger," she shouted, and
trotted back across the lawn to the house.)
Anyway, Maud tells Jim that she didn't think for one minute
that he really wanted to kill himself, and that all he was doing
was playing to the gallery in order to get attention, nay, pity
even. Jim tries to silence her, but to no avail. "Tell me
something, Maud. It's always baffled me, the fact that you've
lived to be so ancient. Why has no-one tried to throttle you before
now?" But Jim has seriously underestimated this formidable
harridan: as she herself once said, just because she is in a wheelchair,
it's no reason for people to push her around. And today she is
the one doing the pushing. And so on she breezes, taunting Jim
to finish himself off properly next time. "I'll help you
do it, next time," she says. "I like a good funeral."
Several hundred miles away in balmy Amsterdam, Roy and Hayley
are about to set off on their tour of the city. "Now you're
sure I'm not stopping you from doing whatever it is you would
be doing if I wasn't here?" asks Roy. Hayley beams a wry
smile back at him. "One of my resolutions when I left England,"
she says, "was that no-one would ever stop me from doing
anything ever again." (Go Hayley! Isn't it amazing what a
little surgery can do? Bye bye willy, hello willpower! Was I the
only one cheering when she said this? I think not!). And so off
they set, a match made in Heaven, to spend the day pottering around
Back in the Street, Maud Grimes is still hammering away at
Jim McDonald's conscience. "Somebody told me that you used
to be a soldier, " she says. "Well you'll have heard
a lot of talk about courage, about what it is to be brave. Did
you?" (Jim punctuates each of Maud's sentences with a "God
help me!" or a "Get out!", but it's like water
off a duck's back to Maud). She says that he's wrong if he thinks
that courage is solely the domain of the young and strong. "It's
when you can't be strong that you need to have courage,"
she opines. Jim tells her that he doesn't need a lecture from
her, or from anyone else come to that. "I know," she
says, "not from an old cripple woman sitting behind a counter.
But what I remind myself everyday is those young lads that I grew
up alongside..." And off she sails into a lengthy diatribe
about the nation's youth being turned into soldiers and fighting
for king and country, and about how half of them never came back.
The fact that these babes-in-arms were cut down in their prime
makes Maud feel privileged, just to have lived on after them,
while they lie beneath the soil in 'some foreign cemetery'. (At
this point I expected to hear the stirring strings of Barber's
Adagio swell up and engulf us. Maud's sermonising was well-intentioned,
but it reminded me too much of my mother, who takes every opportunity
she can to tell me, when I'm down, how lucky I am, and how I should
be grateful that I wasn't forced to join the army when I was eighteen
and sent overseas to 'stick one up Jerry', as she always puts
it. And of course, there's always the bit about there always being
someone worse off than me. "Just remember," my mother
whines, "however bad you're feeling, there's always someone
worse off than you." I always shout back at her, "Well
name them then!" but of course she never does.) Finally,
Maud gets Jim to tell her which regiment he was in (Royal Engineers),
and she asks him whether he still remembers his number (67569897,
Sergeant James McDonald). I almost expected him to stand to attention.
Having said her piece, Maud departs.
Chez Mrs Bishop, Emily is still unhappy about Spider's snap
decision not to take his seat on the council if elected. "Who's
going to vote for me anyway," he moans. "Nobody, if
they knew the truth," says Aunty Em. Spider says that his
manifesto will include nothing but the truth - apart, of course,
from his intention not to take up his seat. Spider thinks that
his stance will prove something about the state of the country,
about the fraudulent nature of politicians and their promises,
and the sad fact that every vote is a wasted vote. "I'm only
trying to educate people!" he says. Emily, however, looks
far from convinced.
Over at Fiddling With Fringes But Never Cutting As Much As
Even A Millimetre Off People's Hair by Fiona, Maxime is moaning
about the deposit she has to find if she is to take Fred's, I
say, Fred's flat. "Most people, if they needed to get hold
of £500, would ask their friends," says Maxime. (Not
necessarily; there are other ways of earning that amount in as
short a time as possible, and heaven knows Maxime is certainly
dressed for the part...). She hints at an advance on her wages,
but Fiona is not at all amenable. Audreh says she would help if
she could, but she needs every penny she has in case she is sued
and has to "spend millions for speaking the truth."
Maxime asks Fiona again whether she would consider an advance,
but Fiona is adamant. "So you'd rather see me sleeping on
the streets, then?" moans Maxime, trying to tug at the heart
strings but succeeding only in making the gorge rise. (Not on,
but six foot under, shouted nineteen million voices in unison.
Am I being bitchy? You bet your ass.)
Over at the Rovers, Randy Sandy has been down into the cellar
to hump some barrels - well, it takes all sorts - and when he
comes back into the bar, his lovely M&S T-Shirt is all dirty.
"It's like the Black Hole of Calcutta down that cellar,"
he says. (He obviously hasn't been to my local branch of Kwik-Save,
which I refuse to enter unless heavily disguised and even more
heavily insured, for reasons far too convoluted to go into here).
Vera upbraids Jack over the state of the cellar and tells him
to clean it up. "Have you seen the mess it's made of Sandy's
t-shirt?" she says. "Well he shouldn't have come dressed
as an ice-cream salesman, should he?" retorts Jack. Vera
tells Sandy to come through to the back so that she can find him
something to change into.
Meanwhile, Audreh appears in the bar and presents Fred and
Alec with the photographer's bill. Alec thinks the bill is far
too steep. "Oh Alec," says Audreh, "You want me
to look attractive and energetic and intelligent, don't you?"
Alec's put-down is priceless. "And he managed all that? Oh,
he's worth it then." Spider is also in the bar, and he asks
Audreh whether she has managed to get the local newspaper to issue
a retraction. She says that she has, although obviously she has
no idea what they will say. "You shouldn't be in politics
if you can't stand the cut and thrust," booms Fred. "That
wasnt' cut and thrust," says Spider, "that was character
In the backroom of the Rovers, Vera is ordering Sandy to take
his T-shirt off, which provides a cue for a bit of abs and pecs
flexing. Jack enters to find a half-naked Sandy about to try on
one of his (i.e Jack's) T-shirts. (Obviously from the 'Man from
C&A' range, circa 1974). Like its owner, it's old, it's cruddy,
but on Sandy it looks like something Versace might have designed.
At least that's what Vera thinks. Jack goes off in a huff, with
Sandy's exit coming a few seconds later. As the latter leaves,
Vera allows herself a sniff of his soiled T-shirt. Her eyes roll
in ecstasy: heaven!
Out in the corridor, Sandy bumps into Alec. "Ah, don't
tell me," says Sandy, "Jack's not happy." Alec
grimaces. "Who said he's supposed to be," he retorts.
"This is England. We don't have any of that 'rights to happiness'
stuff over here." (Wonderful stuff! And spoken like the old
misanthrope he is!) Alec then changes the subject and asks Sandy
whether he would like to make lots of money for doing 'next to
nothing' - well, not exactly nothing. It would involve eating,
drinking and smiling a lot. Yes, you've guessed it: Golden Years!
Alec is doing his pimping routine again, this time with the nubile
young Sandy rather than the clapped-out old Ken.
Back in Amsterdam, Roy is telling Hayley how civilised he finds
Amsterdam. "I thought there'd be more drop-outs and weirdos,"
he says. (Sorry, Roy, you're confusing Amsterdam with Birmingham,
which isn't difficult given that they're both riddled with canals.
Did you know, by the way, that Birmingham has more canals, mile
for mile, than Venice? My mother opens every conversation with
that little nugget whenever she meets a stranger. She lulls them
into a false sense of security, letting them think that she's
an affable, cultured woman. Ten minutes later and they're gagging
for insulin). Hayley raises an eyebrow or two. "People who
don't fit into normal society?" she asks. "Yes,"
says Roy, "the freaky, sort of way-out sort of people."
Hayley smiles. "Well they do exist," she says. "There
I was, walking alongside you all the time!" Hayley tries
to deflect Roy's embarrassment by asking him if he fancies an
Indonesian later on, because she knows one which isn't too far
away. (And yes, we're talking restaurants, here).
Meanwhile, Spider is being grilled by Emily and Ken over his
decision not to take up his council seat if elected. "Are
you happy never to have any power, never to achieve anything?"
bleats Ken. "You'd make an excellent councellor, you'd wake
people up, get them thinking. You might actually achieve something."
Ken threatens Spider and says that unless he comes clean in the
manifesto, he (i.e. Ken) will go round the whole of Weatherfield
to tell everyone what a fraud Spider is.
Back at the Rovers, Maxime approaches Fred to buy time in which
to find the deposit for the flat. Fred greets her with a warm,
"And here she is: a middle-aged man's fantasy - young, beautiful,
and bringing a large cheque or cash, even better!" (I have
to agree with Fred and say that I fantasize about Maxime too.
The only difference is that my fantasy involves men in green gowns,
a flickering ECT machine, and the words, "We're losing her....".
Am I being bitchy? You bet your ass). Anyway, she doesn't have
the deposit. Fred finally gives her another day to find the required
Sandy, meanwhile, is finding out more about Golden Years -
which, Alec assures him, is totally above board and 'registered
with all the offical bodies and so forth'. "And all I have
to do is go out with them for a meal, or to a show?" asks
Sandy. "Yes - and what happens after the show, or the meal,
well, I won't be asking any questions will I?"
Help - I'm running out of time. The last part of the show will
have to be telegraphed into a couple of paragraphs, I'm afraid,
but any gems or nuggets will be highlighted, I promise.
Maxime moans to Greg that she can't raise the deposit. Is she
not confusing us with viewers who give a toss?
On that lovely little houseboat in Amsterdam, Hayley opens
her heart and tells Roy how she feels as though she is coming
to the end of a long journey; that she is finally arriving at
the destination she has hankered after for so long. She tells
him that she wants to live a full and normal life, with a job
and friends. Who knows, she might even fall in love one day? This
new-found confidence of Hayley's overwhelms Roy somewhat, and
he hides his embarrassment in his coffee mug.
Spider teases Ken and Emily with a political manifesto that
is radical to the core and obviously a piss-take, before showing
them the real thing. (Poor Emily - she hasn't been 'shown the
real thing' since Ernest died! Surely if one goes without for
that long, one heals up? No? Well, I only asked).
Jim wheels himself into the corner shop and thanks Maud for
the pep-talk she gave him the day before, while Greg assures Maxime
that he will get the flat by telling Fred that she can't raise
the deposit before making the fat butcher an offer himself.
Spider is frogmarched by Emily and Ken to "Hair By Fiona"
so that he can have his fringe fiddle with.
The lovely Sandy gets the instructions for his first Golden
Years assignment: "Don't go there smelling of drink; suck
a mint. And remember the little things. Open doors for her; tell
her she's got a nice frock on. Don't stare at the wig!" (Wonderful
And finally, back in old Amsterdam, Roy finally finds the courage
to ask Hayley whether she plans to come back to Weatherfield.
She says that she'll have to come back to sell her father's house,
but will only stay if there is someone to stay for. Roy clams
up again, and Hayley looks around, embarrassed because of his
And now I'm embarrassed too because I've got a dinner date
and I have to run. Thanks to AlanM for sending me the audio tape
for this update, after Him Indoors wiped the video.
Love and hugs until next time, and sorry again for the delay.
Becky's update for 8th July should be going online soon, and
my update for 15th will be online following that one.
tara for now, CP
Friday 3 July
Well here we are again.... at long last, I've caught up with
my updates. I really have to say that I feel very privileged
to be writing up this one. Those of you who know me from RATUCS
and from IRC will know my feelings on this episode and how special
this was. Those of you who missed it will probably have heard
about it. As an understatement, let's just say that this has
been an exceptional episode which has aroused great acclaim,
probably one of the most outstanding ones for many years.
Accordingly, I am skipping the prologue section again. To
mark this very special episode, I have decided to do something
a little bit unusual to try to do it justice. I am linking this
Update with Mike Plowman's excellent Coronation
Street Visual updates for the episode in question.
You will find that I have embedded the appropriate Internet
URL in the text of this update, linking it to the relevant Visual
on Mike's CSVU - if you are online when reading the Update and
click on the address shown, you will be able to download the
picture in question. Hopefully, this will supplement my Update
text and enhance your enjoyment of the episode.NB:
the embedded links will expire in September 1998
sponsored by Cadbury Wispa Mint
We are in Amsterdam and Roy is wheeling two
bikes along the path outside the canal boat where Hayley is staying.
He parks the bikes and gets onto the boat. He says "good
day" in broken Dutch, for Hayley to reply "Hello Roy,
how are you today?" in fluent Dutch! She tells him that she
didn't know he spoke Dutch. "Ah well, I get by!" is
Roy's corny response. She comments on his bike and he replies that everyone seems to have one
and this is actually the reason for his delay. He got his front
wheel caught in a tramline and inadvertently found himself turning
left when he wanted to go straight on.
Hayley bursts into laughter, obviously endeared
by his response.
He comments that he always been aware of people
laughing at him, but when she does it, it's really nice. (Awwwwwwwwww!!!)
He announces that he has taken the liberty of hiring a bike
for her. He felt that they could go for a ride, it being his last
morning in Amsterdam. When she tells him that she cannot ride
a bike, it's pretty obvious that he misunderstands the real reason...
(it's not a case of not knowing how to, more a case of post-operative
discomfort, which our sensitive hero has simply not thought about).
He suggests that they stroll alongside the canal and she agrees
that this would be nice. After a pause, she asks him whether he
must go back, to which Roy replies that the ticket has today's
date on it and he hasn't arranged with Gail to be away any longer.
Hayley is understanding and suggests they "sally forth then."
We cut to Emily Bishop's place. Spider enters
the room, resplendent in white suit (a la Independent MP, Martin
Emily launches into "mum" mode and compliments him
on his appearance, "that's magnificent!" Spider, on
the other hand, looks very uncomfortable, "do you think so?"
"Well, don't you?" replies Emily. "Well, to be
perfectly honest, I think I look a right..."
There's a knock at the door. It's
the photographer who has arrived to take Spider's publicity
photographs, with Ken Barlow in tow.
"Well, what do you think?" asks a proud Emily! Ken
jokingly replies that he thought he'd seen everything with New
Labour - but poor Spider just looks embarrassed - and then Ken notices Spider's footwear! We cut to an
incongruous shot of Spider in his sandals... no socks! Very fetching!!!
"Oh Geoffrey!" exclaims an exasperated Emily. "What?",
replies Spider, who explains that he never wears shoes in summer
time. Campaign manager, Emily, tells him that he needs to start
now and asks the photographer's opinion, who replies that it is
all the same to him, he couldn't care less if Spider wore a grass
skirt!!! When the photographer asks where they want the snaps
taken, Emily tells him that outside would be preferable, if it
is not too wet and reminds Spider to put on his shoes!!!
Back in Amsterdam, Roy and Hayley have returned
to where they left their bikes to find that his has been stolen.
Roy says that this is going to be embarrassing explaining it
to the shop, but Hayley blames herself that it is her fault..
she should have warned him that bicycle theft is quite common
in Amsterdam. There are so many of them, they all look the same.
She suggests that they go for a cup of tea to a café nearby.
As they stroll along, Roy goes into anorak mode explaining that
the level of the canal is significantly higher because of the
number of bikes lying on the bottom. Fellow anorak, Hayley, tells
him that she was aware of this fact. He says that he expects his
is down there by now. He ruefully comments on how funny it was
his bike getting its wheel caught in the tramlines, it has never
happened to him in Weatherfield. "Different gauge!"
is Hayley's response. "Is it really?" exclaims our hero
as it all makes sense to him. "I suspected that might be
the case, of course, I might have known that you'd be aware of
the real facts!" "I'm not" replies Hayley and explains
that she didn't know that for a fact - she's used to saying these
things. In any case, people don't usually challenge what she is
saying and it means that that she doesn't have to say... other
things. They both look awkwardly at each other.
Back at Weatherfield, Jim is out in the street in his wheelchair
and comes across Maud in hers. He is in a bright and breezy mood
and suggests they have a race down the street in their wheelchairs,
like "Chariots of Fire"! Maud replies that she can think
of more pleasurable ways of breaking her neck and Jim concedes
she has a point. He tells her that he will soon be doing wheelies.
The photographer has gone out into the street
with Spider and friends. He notices Jim and Maud in their wheelchairs
down the street. He suggests that, as this is a political poster,
Spider should stand next to them, looking caring! It will look
Emily angrily turns down this suggestion, saying that her candidate
would not dream of anything like that and Spider adds that he
will not compromise his principles. The photographer tells him
to suit himself, it's just that he thought he heard him complain
about getting dressed up when he doesn't do so normally. Emily
tries to point out that that is hardly the same thing, but the
photographer tells her "it is love and politics, darling!"
He asks Spider to stand by the door and then takes a number of
snaps of Spider
with thumbs up.
As he does so, Audrey has come along the street and has positioned
herself immediately behind Spider in line of camera lens.
"What's all this then, mutton dressed as lamb?" she
asks, to which Spider replies that this a bit rich coming from
her. She comments on the lengths that some folk will go to get
a few votes, it will be his policies he'll be changing next! "Yeah
well, at least I've got some, which is more than you have!"
is his riposte. Audrey tells him that she has policies, it's just
that she doesn't go screaming about them to everybody, that's
all. She is certainly not going to go changing her image just
to get a few votes, "what you see is what you get!"
Ken exclaims surprise and says that presumably she hasn't gone
to any trouble - Audrey replies that she has been far too busy
campaigning and that her instructions to the photographer have
been to just shoot what he sees. Ken tells her that he looks forward
to seeing the result! "Well, I don't suppose they'll be anything
to write home about!" she replies with false modesty. "Like
your policies!!!" is Spider's catty response. "We'll
see" is her parting shot, while Spider closes the scene with
the quip "Say goodnight, Audrey!"
We cut back to Maud telling him that is nice to see Jim standing
on his own two wheels at last. She jokingly adds that all he needs
is a haircut and he will look half decent! She wishes him well
as they go their separate ways.
Back in Amsterdam, Roy and Hayley are seated at an outdoor
café. The waitress comes up to take their order and Roy
starts in his faltering Dutch, for Hayley to step in quickly to
ask for two teas. She asks whether he understands what she is
trying to say. He tells her that he thinks so and that he has
always found that everything she has had to say about trams very
interesting! She thanks him for the compliment but looks hurt
that he has missed the point completely. He asks whether she is
not fascinated by the internal combustion engine. Hayley blurts
out that she is worried that she uses interesting facts to avoid
saying what she should be saying! "Like what?" asks
Roy. "Like where are we going!" replies Hayley. "Well
I would like to squeeze Anne Frank's house in, if we could!"
is the classic reply from Roy. Hayley continues, "No where
are WE going... US, as people! You see, I know where you're going,
today, back to Weatherfield, but where am I going? Life could
be very difficult for me in Weatherfield, whereas here..... "
She tells him that she needs a certain level of
support and understanding.
The waitress delivers their order, and when she had departed,
Roy tells her that she has friends. She points out that she has him, nobody else.
If she comes back to Weatherfield, she might become a burden,
would he really want that?
He tells her that he would never think of her
as a burden.
She asks what she means to her and as he struggles to find
the words to express his feelings, he clumsily upsets his cup of tea all over himself.
He apologises for upsetting the cup and she jumps to the mistaken
conclusion that he has answered her question (that he has created
a diversion because he is too embarrassed to tell her that he
wouldn't want her). She tells him that he has told her what she wanted
Totally oblivious of the signals he has sent out, he asks her
whether she is coming home. "I don't think so...." is
her disappointed reply. She thanks him warmly for coming to see
her ... and, wishing him a safe journey home, she... shakes his hand...
... the nation sits there.... Stunned... as Roy looks shell-shocked....
... trying to take in the collapse of his world.... Roy gathers himself and slowly walks away...
...leaving behind an equally devastated Hayley ...
Back at the Rovers, Fred asks Vera where 'blondie' (Sandy)
is and Vera tells him that Sandy has phoned in sick. Fred cynically
tells her that he has heard that excuse before, but Vera reckons
that Sandy is as straight as they come and "if he says he's
peaky, then he's peaky!"
Greg comes into the pub and across to Fred. He tells him that
he is on an embarrassing mission.. presumably Fred has not seen
Maxine? He asks to have a discreet word. "Discretely, say
no more.. I am known as Weatherfield's Mr. Discretion, me"
bellows Fred. Greg tells him that Maxine has got herself into
a spot of bother over the flat - basically, she cannot afford
it, is terrified of getting into all sorts of legal trouble and
had asked Greg to approach Fred on her behalf. Greg suggests that he will take the flat instead.
In Amsterdam, we see a dejected Roy taking off his bike clips...
Meanwhile, as Hayley is getting up from the café table,
she notices something on the table..... ....
It looks like a jewellery box... ... she opens it.... ...it's a ladies watch...
... on the back is an inscription..... .... "To
My Friend Hayley"....
.... A crestfallen Hayley stares at the gift....
"Oh Roy!" she says ... surely, all is not lost... ...
Hayley looks in the direction that Roy took....
... as everyone watching blubs into their hankies...... ... and
the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End of part 1
After the ads, it's
As Alec is about to depart from the pub for his afternoon off,
Vera tells him that he cannot go. They are
short-staffed as Sandy has phoned in sick. Alec protests that
Jack is available, but Vera tells him that he has gone to the
dentist. "Didn't you know Sandy were poorly?" she asks
"I may have heard something!" is his shifty reply.
"He's a nice lad, isn't he. It's good to have somebody to
rely on. I hope he's going to be alright, cos he lives on his
own. Do you think I should slip round with some of my chicken
broth?" she asks Alec. Stirring into panic mode, "No!"
is Alec's reply. "Why? what's up with my broth?" asks
Vera. "Erm, well nothing, nothing!! But we don't want the
staff to think we mollycoddle them" is his reply. "Oh
no! Mind you, it's years since I mollycoddled a young man"
says a wistful Vera. "Well you don't want to start now"
Audrey comes into the pub, orders a dry white
wine from Alec and asks for it to be put on the entertainments
account. Alec tells her he will do no such thing, but Audrey is
quick to tell him that it was just a joke. Alec serves her but
says that while they are on the topic of accounts, he wants to
take over the finances and would she please hand over the cheque
book. She accuses him of being an "old Grouch" - anyway
she needs it to pay for the photographer. She tells him that the
opposition have only just started their poster campaign and he
should have seen what that Spider was dressed up in. Anyway, she
is not going to have any problems on that score, she says, preening
herself. Apparently, the photographer told her she had classic
At Schipol Airport, Roy is queuing at the check-in desk. What
he doesn't see, is that Hayley has rushed after him to the airport.
She is outside, carrying her bags. She's trying to get into the
building. She sees him inside and starts shouting to him ... As
he comes to the desk, it is obvious he cannot hear her....
Back at the salon, Fiona is furious that Audrey has not returned
- the bookings have been made on the basis of three of them being
present. It's now 4 p.m. and there is still no sign of her. Rita
is having her hair done.
Audrey comes in at that point and apologises for being late.
When asked about the photographs, at first she makes out that
nothing is wrong, but it is obvious she is very upset.
She is so old and stupid, she has been kidding herself all
these years, she blubs. She shows them the photographs and says they are
awful, a disaster. Maxine is impressed by them and thinks they
are lovely. The photos are passed to Rita and Fiona.
Audrey is not convinced. The classic lines to which the photographer
referred are all over her face and neck, she moans. What is she
going to do, she is going to be a laughing stock. Rita tries to
reassure her by saying that they show someone sensitive and mature.
Fiona agrees adding that it is someone who can
be trusted. Audrey thanks her friends for consoling her. She
tells them how shocked she was when she saw the photographs and
ended up just wandering about.
Back at the airport, Roy is at the desk handing over his tickets.
By now, Hayley is banging on the window with her shoe
to attract attention... A young lady queuing behind Roy, notices
this and alerts him ... ... the picture on Roy's face says it all....
... a great big grin worth a million pounds..... ... he rushes over to the window... Hayley is
shouting through the glass that she is coming with him, but he
cannot hear her... ... she takes out a red lip pen and starts writing on the window... .... The message
says "I'm coming with you".... ... the nation
cheers, as everyone digs out a fresh hanky.... But Roy is struggling
to decipher the writing.... ... on the other side of the glass,
Hayley awaits expectantly... ... Roy
starts to decipher the writing backwards, running his finger
along the window... ... as he deciphers the writing... the grin on his face is absolutely priceless...
... and she knows it too... an equally great grin to match, doesn't she
look great... ... she has her hand held against the window and
he raises his hands and lies it flat against hers...
palm to the palm... separated by the glass
Isn't that a magical scene? Another hanky bites the dust....
Back at the salon, Audrey has had a hair-do. She is not sure
whether it makes her too young.
Fred comes into the salon. He is taken with her new hair-do
"Oh! I say! Very nice Audrey! Spot on, is that!" and
Audrey is relieved by the flattery.
He turns to Maxine and tells her that her
dilemma has been resolved. "Take my advice love, never enter
into arrangements that you are unable to honour", he tells
her. "Luckily for you, I was able to make an agreement with
your young man. Now take a leaf out of the book of an experienced
lady like Audrey here. Never bite off more than you can chew!"
We see Maxine relieved, obviously thinking that Greg is sorting
out their love nest. Why do you get the impression that it's not
quite going to work out that way.
A bit later on, we see Audrey and Maxine coming into the pub.
It is deserted. "Where is everybody" asks Audrey. "Don't
ask!" snaps Vera. She
turns to Alec and moans about the fact the people are watching
the football and they are going to have to do something. There
isn't a pub for miles without a TV and she fears they will go
She asks Maxine whether she is looking for her handsome young
man and comments that he is a right charmer. Maxine says that
Vera's new barman isn't so bad either and asks where he is. Vera
tells them that he is off poorly "something he ate".
Audrey puts her right "he looked fine to me, he looked in
great form earlier on. I saw him getting out of a taxi, with...
well... I thought it was his mother, I mean, she were old enough
to be his mother. But he were very attentive. She wasn't looking
at him like... er... like a mother should... you know what I mean?"
Vera is convinced that Audrey has made a mistake, but Audrey is
insistent that it WAS Sandy. They place their orders as Alec comes
up to ask Audrey how the publicity is going on. Audrey reassures
him that it's all under control - no problems with the photographs,
they are at the printers. When Maxine starts to dispute this,
Audrey tells her "leave it to me! Think
Les has come into the pub. He goes up to Spider, still dressed in his
white campaigning suit, and Emily, who are having a drink together.
"Hiya Emily!" he says and turning to Spider says "how
do you do? Les Battersby...nice to meet you!". He turns back
to Emily and asks "is this another one of your nephews, Emily?"
Spider laughs mockingly "Ha ha ha! Very funny!" "Not
as funny as you looked this morning, I can tell you! Still that's
politics for you, I suppose... why, it's a dirty game!" replies
Les. Emily defends Spider and says that this does not apply to
Geoffrey's politics. "What?" exclaims Les, "when
you are trying to con people that you're a sober honest young
man, when, all along, you're a hippie with a habit?? Do me a favour!!
Hey! Let's hope he doesn't get to make Mayor! He'll have hash
pipes dangling off his chain!" With that, Spider snaps -
he has had enough "Right! Well that's it!" he says to
Emily, as Les walks off chuckling at having successfully wound
Spider tells Emily that, from now on, what
people find is what they get and if they don't like it, then that's
Greg meets up with Maxine in the pub. She
asks whether he's seen Fred and when he confirms he has, she asks
when they are moving in together. There is an embarrassed pause
Sandy pops into the pub to apologise to Vera
about his illness and that he will be available tomorrow "if
you were concerned about it." He has come to pick up his
wages. Vera seems relieved that he is OK, only someone thought
they'd seen him in town. He denies this, telling her that he has
spent all day in bed. Vera seems reassured, saying that that the
person in question was not the most reliable witness.
As she goes to get Sandy's wages, Alec comes up to him to asks
how the Golden Years assignment went. Sandy tells him that all
went well and hands over to Alec the cheque for the date. Alec in turn hands over some money to Sandy
as his wages for the escort work.
At that stage, Vera comes over and snatches the cheque from
Alec. Seeing that it is made out to "Golden Years".
She loses her temper accusing Sandy of being
a Judas. She dismisses him immediately and tells him to get out
and never to come back.
Back at Manchester Airport, Roy and Hayley
are about to go through Immigration. The officer checks Roy's passport.... ...
that appears to be fine... ... he then checks Hayley's passport... ... not
happy with what he sees, he calls over another official... ... Hayley looks worried... ... as the second
officer says "Would you come this way please, sir?"
... Roy steps forward... ... and the officer says
to him "Not you, sir" ... he turns to Hayley and says "You, sir"...
... Hayley looks shell-shocked.... .. as does Roy... ... as does the nation....
And it is the cue for music and credits ... a truly classic
episode written by Peter Mills
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada
My sincere thanks to Mike Plowman for allowing me to hook into
his CSVU site for this update.
Well, how was it for me?
Hmm, a few storylines there.. Spider/Audrey election for light
relief, Greg/Maxine ..well gawd knows what that is there for....,
Sandy... dunno why he came in, for just a few episodes, unless
it was to provide the ogle factor.../
.. but of course, the Roy and Hayley storyline dominating
proceedings. Exceptionally high quality of scriptwriting from
Peter Mills and incredible acting from Julie Hesmondhalgh as
Hayley and David Neilson as Roy Cropper.
Some moments when you wanna shake Roy...
Not understanding that she is not in a position to ride a
The tram gauges
Being interested in Hayley's comments on trams
Where are we going .. and him suggesting Anne Frank's house
Spilling his tea...
Some terribly sad moments...
Roy and Hayley both stunned as she says she is not coming
back and offers him a handshake
The jewellery box and the watch with the inscription...
Some amazingly beautiful and exhilarating moments....
Hayley laughing at Roy and then Roy being able to take it
The smile on their faces, especially Roy's when he sees her laughing
The writing on the window
Roy's face when he has deciphered it
Her face when she registers his reaction...
SHEER SHEER POETRY
The stunning "earthquake" moment of devastation
The Immigration Officer saying to Hayley "You Sir!!!!"
nothing could have prepared you for that moment. As Mike Plowman
said in his CSVU page, CS were SO right to put it in.... it hurt
like hell, but it made the point......
Until this storyline came along, I have to say that I didn't
really know much about transsexuality. What I knew absolutely
NOTHING about was the human angle, how the individual is affected,
their needs to love and be loved, the amazing prejudice that
Of course what has happened is that we have gradually got
to know and like Hayley, as an individual, a character.. a really
warm, cuddly, bubbly person... we have got to love her.. then
we learn about her past, caused by one of life's most cruel mistakes...,
we get to understand how people are likely to react to her, what
that does to her...
... we see Roy coming to grips with having a relationship,
only to find a complication with which he struggles to cope,
having the kindness, compassion and strength of personality to
rise above prejudices...
So.. over the months, I have started to learn, to understand,
to appreciate... I have learned that in the UK, the current legal
scenario is one where someone's gender is determined at birth
and cannot subsequently be altered... THAT scene at Passport
Control actually DID something to me... it MOVED me to action...
to write to my MP about the injustice of our present legal position
on transsexuality... surely when drama moves people that way,
it really has to be the highest compliment that can be paid.....
I haven't met anyone who saw that episode and didn't feel some
emotion, a lump in the throat, if not actually getting the hanky
out to wipe the tears.....
All in all... an outstanding episode, which will rank as one
of the best TV moments ever... an eagle of an episode soaring
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved at Granada... and especially
to Peter Mills for writing an amazing script and, of course,
the amazing Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson for their incredibly
sensitive and moving portrayal of Hayley and Roy.....
And that's it for now.. while I try to calm down the emotions....
Until next week, take care...
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ - Regards, Alan
Sunday 5 July
I was just getting started on this, when I ran across CP's
latest effort in ratucs. I am still chuckling at his rendering
of "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" - hope you all enjoyed
it too. Now we finally know why he's been running about 2 weeks
late, the swine is actually Andrew Lloyd Webber in disguise and
it's taking nigh on a week to pen a little ditty to preface the
update itself !
Hopefully, updates will be rattling out in a more timely fashion
- this one is being written on the Tuesday night after the Sunday
episode which is about as good as it gets for me, so I at least
can relax a little having extricated myself from the firing line.
Even from my own point of view, it's far more rewarding to be
commenting on something that's fairly fresh in my mind, with
perhaps only one episode (or two at most) having been seen afterwards,
as it were. When I was catching up from being over a week late,
there had occasionally been 5 or 6 episodes seen since the one
I was bringing you, and well, it's like eating thrice-reheated
So, I can gaze at my hen-scratchings with a little more real
enthusiasm and affection for the programme, not least because
it has been getting better by the bucketload recently. Just to
remind you, last Friday we saw Hayley and Roy returning together
after a simply breathtaking reunion either side of a wall of
glass at Amsterdam airport, only to be pulled up at immigration
on their way into Britain.
The story continues at the cafe, as Roy and Hayley arrive at the
end of their journey. Roy is fuming at Hayley's treatment by the
Customs officials, as apparently she had been detained for questioning
for two hours, while no-one had told him what was happening at
all. Hayley misreads this as Roy being upset on his own behalf,
and tries to apologise, but he corrects her and says that he is
angry that *she* was treated this way. He is going to write to
the immigration people, and his MP, but Hayley begs him not to.
She says she is "a private person", and doesn't want
to call attention to herself unnecessarily. Finally, he accepts
this, and offers to put the kettle on.
Rita walks into the Rovers, and is greeted by Alec. She looks
and sounds dreadful, and is suffering from a very bad cold. Alec
offers sympathy and his own special pick-me-up concoction from
the bar. Behind which, Jack is seen telling Vera that he is going
to sort out the problem of hiring a new barmaid after Sandy's
rapid departure, and asks her to go fetch the list of candidates
they have already seen. He'll be wondering how he can sneak that
Chantelle one back, methinks.
[Hang on, having a bit of trouble with my scribbled notes here.
All I can make out is zzzz and zzz and zzzzzzz... I'll take a
closer look, and, ah hah !] It's Maxine and Greg, also in t'Rovers.
Muppet One is quizzing Greg as to why he seems so cagey at the
moment, "I thought we were moving in together", she
says. Greg has been reading the dating guide though, and is a
few steps ahead of Maxine who clearly "wants to talk".
"I need my own space" he announces, to no great surprise.
[Maxine is so dopey, she fails to spot why he is harder to pin
down than a particularly well-oiled eel.] She pouts. We yawn.
Back in the cafe, a far more well-matched pair are also having
a heart to heart. Hayley is upset that Roy is upset. She thinks
perhaps that she is too much of a coward, and hates herself for
being so shy and failing to stand up for herself more. Roy reassures
her that he is a private person too. "I'd understand it if
you didn't want any more to do with me", she tells him. Roy
is in a different league to Greg and far from seeing this as a
getout clause, seizes the initiative and asks Hayley to stay the
night ! He quickly adds that of course he will sleep on the sofa,
but Hayley insists that he need not give up his own bed - she
will take the sofa instead. [Now, isn't this a lot better than
the feverish tonsil-tickling going on elsewhere ? Hands up who
else if just a great big romantic old Hector...]
Natalie finally arrives back at the Rovers, and chats with
Vera, who is very worried about letting Jack take over the personnel
recruitment again. Natalie recommends her niece as a suitable
replacement for the short-lived Sandy. Rita finishes her drink
and thanks Alec. He waives any offer of payment, saying it is
on him, and she need only get in touch if there is anything she
needs. Rita retires home to her sick-bed. Alec looks concerned.
Greg tells Maxine that he cannot offer her the sort of commitment
she is after. Indignantly [in so far as can distinguish one pouty
expression from another] she suggests that he cannot feel much
for her, in that case. Slimeball adopts the sympathy strategy,
explaining how his deprived upbringing has left him inside a protective
shell [this is the boy who was brought up by his Mum and a very
wealthy and supportive step-father, let's not forget, supposedly
tortured by not knowing that his real father was our very own
Les Battersby]. He asks her if she will help him, poor mite, and
Maxine agrees to take things a little more slowly.
They leave, as Jack calls time. He remembers that Vera has
still not found the list of candidates, but Vera tells him that
she has already sorted it, as Natalie's niece is coming in the
following day. V is back in charge !
At campaign headquarters, Emily tells Spider that she has recruited
several friends to help stick up posters around the town. Spider
is unsure, saying how much he dislikes his portrait, how it's
not really him. Auntie Em tells him that he needs to get used
to the idea of his image being important too. "You need to...
how do you say it... Get real !" she adds.
Above the cafe, in Roy's flat, we see Hayley ready for bed
[or settee to be slightly more accurate], while on the table a
clockwork musical windmill is going round. It is sitting in amongst
a few pots of Humbrol enamel paint. [And I am indebted to Mike
Plowman for pointing out that little gem of information on his
CSVU pages.] There is a knock at the door, and by the time Roy
enters, Hayley has jumped under the covers on the settee. [And
naturally they are both attired in dressing gowns, while underneath
pyjamas and nighties are securely buttoned right to the neck !]
Still unsure of themselves, they exchange hello's. Roy has come
to put the record straight about his being in Amsterdam - it wasn't
a coincidence, he went as a result of Hayley's letter. Hayley
is pleased. "Well, goodnight !", says our hero, and...
offers a handshake ! Hayley grabs his hand and pulls him down
slightly to give him a peck on the cheek. As Roy retires to his
own bedroom, Hayley ducks under the covers so we can only see
her eyes, which reveal a very mischievous expression...
I think I'll have to start missing this bit out, as there's little
entertainment value any more !
[The next day.] Roy and Hayley are both up and dressed. Hayley
suggests that Roy's trip to Amsterdam must have been a big thing
for him, as he hadn't been abroad before. Roy tells her that he
felt he owed it to her, as the best friend he'd ever had. Hayley
looks a little unsure at his answer, but he goes on to say that
he had wanted her to come back. "Where do we go from here
then ?", she asks. Roy furrows his brow for a few seconds,
and comes up with "you'll need to go shopping". "For
some food and stuff, on your way home." This isn't what Hayley
meant, of course, and she looks disappointed, but Roy recovers
a little ground by cheerily asking if she would like to go out
for a pizza at lunchtime.
Around the corner from the Kabin, we observe Emily and Alma
and Mike poking fun at Audrey's campaign posters, featuring a
portrait of the lady herself which must have been taken before
colour film was available ! Alec is not best pleased with their
Liz is round at Jim's house, helping out. Jim remarks that
he doubts they'll be seeing Michael (the therapist) again, so
they won't. This prompts a knock on the front door, and of course
it's Michael, arriving for "Round 2" as he puts it.
Liz leaves, and the two men discuss Jim's future. Jim has come
to terms with the fact that a full recovery won't be coming along
next week, if it all. In return, Michael acts a few probing questions
about Jim's ex-wife - perhaps surprised at how friendly the couple
still are. [Sniff, sniff. I can smell something brewing here !]
Emily is in the Kabin, presuming rather a lot about Rita's
willingness to support Spider's campaign, when Audreh arrives.
Rita becomes more annoyed with the pair of them assuming anything
at all on her account, and ends up asking them both to get out
of her shop, but not before Emily scores a bulls-eye asking Audreh
what happened to her recent photographs. "Oh, they were useless",
says Audreh. "Why, did they show you as you really are ?".
Hayley is off home, and Roy gives her a quick kiss on the cheek
as she leaves the cafe. However, their attempts to keep this low-key
fail somewhat as Gail spots them, and barely able to contain her
amusement and curiosity asks Roy if she did see what she thought
she'd seen. "I expected you back" she tells him, "but
not Hayley. Let alone staying here the night !!". Roy looks
as if he knows it's going to be one of those days.
A rare appearance by Alf in the Rovers, as he talks to Alec
about Audrey's campaign. They are pretty down in the dumps, but
Fred is ebullient about the posters. At that moment, Audreh arrives
in person, and is accosted by Maud who wants to give her some
friendly advice. "Don't give up your day job", she says,
"if vanity is what you stand for !". To top this, Curly
also arrives, and says much the same to Spider. "You're a
pair of pathetic fakes !" he tells him. [Curly's been gone
for some time, and it took me a little while to remember that
the pair last crossed paths when Curly asked Spider to write an
environmentally-friendly speech for him to give at a Square Dealers
meeting, Spider put the boot in and Curly had to think fast on
his feet to recover.]
Jack quizzes Natalie about her niece. "Is she like you
?", asks Jack. "Womanly, and curvaceous ?". Natalie
is far too smart for Jack, and tells him that Natalie is a student,
she's more into studs and heavy boots. "You'll like her",
she teases him, "she's got sparkle !".
Alec takes delivery of a tiny portable TV, for the regulars
to watch the World Cup. He fiddles with it, not managing to get
much of a picture, while Jack tells him of his worries about Lorraine.
"We've got 24 hours to organise a new barmaid before Natalie's
plug-ugly student niece arrives !" He suspects the "sparkle"
might be the light glinting off her nose studs !
Back at Jim's house, Michael has left, and Liz is back to bring
Jim his lunch. She asks after Michael, suggesting he is doing
a grand job and it won't be long before Jim is able to do much
more for himself. [Oh yes there's no smoke without fire and something's
definitely smouldering around La Mouton at the moment !]
Alec accosts Audreh, demanding to know what happened to the
190 pounds' worth of photos he'd paid for with campaign funds.
Audrey tells him they weren't suitable, but he's not happy. "We
can't have you turning up on people's doorsteps now, they'll think
you're the candidate's mother !"
Spider has been looking unhappily at his own posters as well,
and bumps into Emily and a few of her friends who are busy putting
more up. Emily introduces Spider to them, but he responds by tearing
the posters down, and telling them all that he'll be fighting
his campaign "his way" from now on. Emily looks shocked
and a little disappointed.
This episode was written by Maureen Chadwick.
Once again, Roy and Hayley save the day and drag the whole
show up out of a bit of a mire of rather dreary goings-on. The
gradual easing of tension as they both become more comfortable
with each other is wonderfully written and played, and at the
same time the writers continue to tease us with awkward moments
as the characters reach one hurdle after another. How I wish
I was the one to bring you news of tomorrow's episode, but that
honour falls to Dewey. (And I'm saying no more about it than
Rita's illness is worrying, as it's not the sort of plot-line
that casually appears and disappears. On the other hand, Alf
looks like someone who needs a graceful retirement, as he's clearly
not up to regular appearance in the show any more. Audrey more
than makes up for him, being the equivalent of about three normal
characters, although I have to say that I absolutely loathe the
"gossip" in any soap, no matter how well played they
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ****
Till we meet again, John
Monday 6 July
As we open, to morning in Roy's Rolls, we see the eponymous
cafe part-owner on the telephone, making some sort of arrangements
for 'eight o'clock'. Gail asks if he's 'treating Hayley', which
Roy confirms, but then adds, with a little disappointment, that
Hayley generally insists on paying for herself.
Gail, who knew that Hayley stayed the night when they got back
from Amsterdam, wants to know if Hayley stayed again last night.
Roy, with a bit of irritation, tells her no, it was just the once,
and why should she when she has a house of her own?
Alma comes in, and Roy, perhaps wanting to avoid further questioning,
announces that he's going to the Post Office because they are
running out of fifty pence pieces.
As he leaves, Gail excitedly tells Alma that Hayley slept over.
A worried look crosses Alma's face - 'they've not slept together?'
Gail senses Alma's concern and asks why she said that, and whether
it is so unbelievable an idea. Alma shrugs.
Spider comes down to apologise to Saint Emily, and asks if
she wants him to move out. Neither wants that, but Emily thinks
he should find a new campaign manager, someone younger, with fresh
ideas. Someone who isn't going to make him be what he isn't. He
explains how he felt such a twerp wearing the white suit, and
asks Emily how she would feel if the boot were on the other foot
and he asked her to wear a shell-suit. Emily agrees that she's
out of touch because she doesn't know what a shell-suit is. She
agrees to stay on as campaign manager until he can find a replacement.
At the Kabin, an increasingly weary Rita proposes to Leanne
that she might like to take on some more responsibility - the
early shift every day, starting tomorrow. Leanne is happy to do
this, especially as Rita offers to make it worth her while.
Alec comes in for a copy of Exchange & Mart and 'forty
of my usual'. (Surely they sell his usual fags in the Rover's?
Or is the vending machine dearer than the Kabin?) He asks after
Rita's health, which isn't good, she's had another sleepless night
and has 'flu pending. Rita then gives an excited Leanne the keys
left by Mavis, a move which surprises Alec. 'Is that wise', he
asks, to which Rita replies that she's getting old, she can't
handle the six a.m. starts for the papers any more.
Steve is just about to leave Fiona's flat, and invites her
and Morgan to join him for tea at Big Jim's. Fiona politely declines,
saying Morgan is teething. As he leaves the salon, he checks with
Fiona that it's OK if he goes. Maxine seizes on this and teases
Fiona about domestic harmony. Fiona retaliates with a crack about
Maxime & Greg's relationship being free and easy, in fact
so free and easy that he's taking her for a ride. Audrey almost
has to break them up.
An unlikely visitor in 'Hair by Fiona' is Alec, who has come
to demand that Audreh takes down her election posters because
people are sniggering at the twenty year old photograph. Alec
is still smarting at laying out £190 for the 'official'
photos. Audrey has to admit that the new photos can not be used
because she burnt them - 'as they made me look like Grandma Buggins...
I wouldn't mind, if they looked like me!' Alec, still spluttering
about £190 asks if she's looked in a mirror lately.
Hey! Here's some long absent neck muscles! Dreary and Nurse
Mouton are discussing Jim's intended recovery, and improved frame
A new face arrives, it's Natalie's niece, Lorraine. Jack is
immediately taken with her. But then, she does exhibit his previously
stated criteria for a barmaid - a pretty face and a big pair of
bazoomas. She apologises for her lateness, due to a misunderstanding,
and assures Jack that she's really very punctual. As he takes
her through to the back she tells him that she only has one real
failing, indecisiveness. Or at least she thinks she does. This
forced bonhomie doesn't sit easily with Natalie, who looks as
if she's already regretting getting Lorraine the job.
Spider and Emily are in a booth, expecting a verbal assault
from Curly - if he says anything, just ignore him' says Emily.
Curly wants to know what cuddly policies Spider is supporting
today. Emily (nearly wanting to bang their heads together) tells
them both that both men probably have the same ideas and values
about so many things, but from different angles. Simultaneously
they retort 'leave it out, Emily'. She draws more parallels between
them, and goes off to buy them all a drink. Guess who will be
Spider's new campaign manager come Wednesday?
Lorraine is being interviewed by Vera and Jack. Although her
experience has mainly been on 'the other side of the bar', her
parents used to keep 'The Black Head' in West Didsbury before
they moved to run an hotel in Buxton - and livened that town up.
She softens Vera up by saying how much they remind her of her
parents. Alec comes in to be introduced, but he's more troubled
by his £190.
Greg has called at the Salon, to find Maxime out, and Fiona
on her own. He suggests she cuts his hair while he waits, but
Fiona says she would charge him £6 whereas Maxime would
do it for nothing in the comfort of home. Fiona is taken aback
when Greg replies that 'you've got to pay for quality.' She accuses
him of not having the slightest bit of respect for Maxime. Just
when it seems that Studley II is moving in on Fiona, Maxime enters,
to hugs and kisses, and an invite to drinks at 6ish in the Rovers.
END OF PART ONE
A happy and content Jim welcomes his family, but is
surprised that Fiona hasn't come with Steve. Liz and Steve, however,
are surprised that they can't smell any cooking - and they're
hungry. Jim has to admit that he hasn't cooked, and gives Steve
a tenner to go to the chippy. And he wants a bottle of Dandelion
and Burdock, to toast their white wine with.
Audreh is preparing to leave the salon. She's going
to 'pick up Pinky and Perky at the Rover's, and then go out shaking
hands with the great unwashed'. Canvassing with Alec and Fred.
Fiona teases her about kissing babies, which Audrey has never
understood, because 'it's not as if they can even vote'. After
she's gone, Fiona raises the subject of Greg - with all that business
with Greg not wanting to commit to her moving in the flat, is
he trying to tell her something? Maxime won't hear this criticism,
now she thinks she's found her ideal man, and tells Fiona that
she's beginning to sound like her mother. Fiona suggests she doesn't
know him as well as she thinks she does.
Audrey finds Pinky and Perky, and wants a gin and tonic
before she goes. Fred tells her that the posters are excellent
- 'all of Weatherfield is agog'. Alec continues to mither about
In the Rover's, Hayley is chatting with Alma, telling
her that she's going out with Roy tonight. Alma is delighted about
how Roy went off to Amsterdam to find her, but Hayley is unsure
how he feels about her. Sometimes she gets the feeling that she's
just kidding herself that he likes her 'like that'. Alma raises
the subject of her staying at Roy's flat. Hayley soon tells her
that 'nowt happened', and it was convenient rather than going
back to an empty house. Hayley is quite amused that Gail had thought
they'd been 'up to something'.
Our hero arrives, and won't stay for a drink, dragging
Curly arrives, and orders a pint from Lorraine. It
is lust at first sight, he cannot keep his eyes off her. Lorraine
mistakenly assumes that the woman next to him, Maxime, is his
girlfriend, which Curly soon puts right. Maxime is wandering round
looking for Greg, but no-one has seen him.
Back at McDonald's, Jim is explaining that the reason
for getting them round is to thank them for supporting him, and
encouraging him. He appreciates what he had before, and is pleased
that they are still on speaking terms.
The Rover's is very quiet, and Lorraine is selecting
on the juke box. Curly is trying to look like he's idly looking
in her direction, when in truth he's ogling her. Jack teases him
that his tongue is hanging out. Spider comes in, for a civil word,
now that Saint Emily has effected a reconciliation. He wants to
borrow Curly's computer to print out some election leaflets on.
Not to create, just print, he gives Curly a floppy disk, and offers
to buy him a pint. Curly insists on getting them, so that Lorraine
can serve him.
Greg comes in, looking for Maxime, who is delighted
when she sees him. He tells her he can't stay, because he's still
got a lot of work to do. He says he's waiting for a fax, so she
insists on going to wait with him.
Roy and Hayley are sitting by the boating lake in the
park, feeding the ducks. These simple pleasures are delighting
Hayley. Roy muses that they could have hired a boat, but he wasn't
sure whether she could swim or not. He can't do much more than
a doggy paddle. Hayley tells him that she has always been a good
swimmer - 'in fact, swimming was the only thing I could thrash
the other lads at, at school'. This sudden reminder of her past
subdues them both, but Hayley takes the initiative by asking Roy
if he agrees that being there feeding the ducks is romantic. After
a bit of thought, Roy agrees.
Liz is telling Jim how much she appreciated his words
earlier, she thinks that they didn't realise what they had thrown
away, until it was too late. Jim wonders if they are only remembering
the good things in their marriage, Liz suggests that perhaps they
were better than the bad things. She makes to go, but Jim asks
what there is to go home for. When she answers 'I can watch TV',
Jim tells her that she can watch TV there, so she can, and while
she's there, why doesn't she put the kettle on? Liz teases him
about only wanting a slave.
There's a fax coming through, but Maxime is too busy
snogging Greg, while he unzips her dress. She tells him that she's
in love with him, and she understands about the flat. Greg explains
that they need to take their time, can't rush into anything, because
they might fall out if they took it too quickly. Maxime agrees
that falling out is the last thing she wants, and proceeds to
clean his teeth with her tongue whilst pulling his tie off.
Right. Prepare yourselves for the most wonderful scene
since, well since last Friday when Roy and Hayley were talking
on the boat in Amsterdam about how she would come home to Weatherfield
if there was somebody special to come back to. So touching, I'll
quote it line by line. What a difference from the 'whip it in,
whip it out and wipe it' shenanigans of the previous pair.
Roy and Hayley are still sitting on the bench by
the boating lake.
Roy: I booked a table at the 'Portofino' for
Hayley: I love Italian!
Roy: I know, I remember you saying, once.
Hayley: This is lovely, Roy
Roy: There's a reason I asked you out tonight.
Roy: And I don't want you to be alarmed.
Roy: Er, the thing is,... I've been wondering,...
What I'd like is,...if eventually,... er you and me,... could
er.. possibly,.. think of er,... having a relationship.
Hayley: Well, we already are, in a way.
Roy: No, no, no, you misunderstand me.
Hayley: (almost interrupting) No I'm
not - you mean an affair
Roy: Yes. But you'd have to be very patient
with me, you see it's not something I'm comfortable with. Not
because of you being you, but because, well, I'm me, really.
We'd have to take it a step at a time.
Hayley: (Smiling) I'd like that.
Roy: Would you, really?
Hayley: (Smiling more) Yes! More than
Roy: Well, that's good then
Hayley: Where do we start?
Roy: (Raising right eyebrow) I expect
we'll have to play it by ear.
Roy: (trying to get his lips to say the
words) Perhaps if I kissed you?
Hayley: I don't mind.
So they do, very briefly.
And then again, gently and tenderly.
Both they and the camera pull away, leaving a closing
image of boats, water and nature at peace.
And a grateful and delighted nation goes to get the
Episode written, nay lovingly created, by Sally Wainwright.
Anybody know the location of the boating lake? It
ought to become a place of pilgrimage, and as such qualify as
a venue for a contress. Well, a contress is a ping held on hallowed
Wednesday 8 July
So here I am with great trepidation stepping for a
brief moment into CP's shoes(no jokes about women in comfortable
shoes please...) First apologies for the delay but I felt I had
to at least follow the tradition for late updates. Hope its OK
any views of course are mine only!
Due to a disagreement between my video and the tape
the first couple of minutes were a bit of a blur but I am reliably
informed they were scenes of Roy and Hayley in the cafe discussing
the clearance of her dads house and Curly lusting after Lorraine.
Well poor Jim MacDonald bemoaning his fate to the not
completely unattractive Michael the physio. Is there ever to be
an end to his wallowing self pity - hopefully slow, painfull and
involving rusty torture instruments. We move on to the gallant
Roy assisting his damsel in distress to empty her drawers...where
he stumbles across a picture of Harry before Hayley taken in 1982.
Hayley meanwhile is a true hostess by providing a choice of chocolate
digestives or shortbread. What a woman! She finds Roy studying
the picture and both reflect silently about the past. By the way
where has Hayleys adam's apple gone??? And then the break.
We return to Hayley showing Roy the empty family album.
Her father had removed them all when she announced her wish to
becoma a woman. Hayley feels that the past is best left at just
that and bins the picture.
We are then treated to the salon and Audrehs grating
voice asking for time off to work on her speech. Is she referring
to her own voice or her election speech? Fiona does her cross
expression which appears to be the same as most of her others
and Maxine offers to over. Fiona meanwhile is still trying to
convince Maxine that Greg is not the right man for her. After
Fiona's previous history would you touch this advice with a barge
Roy leaves Hayles with bags of clothing for the charity
shop where Emily works. What a hero.
Audreh is practising her speech on Alec and Fred who
look on in disbelief. It took me a while to place the familiarity
but Audreh's sppech was reminiscent of a Pam Ayres poem! Enough
to drive Alec/Fred and Audreh out into the bar for a drink. Here
they try and persuade her to use and old speech of Alfie's which
does not go down well and Audrey storms out.
In the bar Curly brings Spider his campaign leaflets
(anybody noticed how similar Firmans logo is to Iceland's?)and
is invited to replace Emily as Spiders campaign manager. Curly
immediately uses this to try and impress Lorraine failing dismally.
Roy finds Hayley in the bar of the Rovers and hands her a gift
- the photo her took out of the bin and has had framed. He tells
her not to bury the past as it has made her what she is - modest,
gentle and lovely. Ahhhhh....
Alec takes time out to visit Rita who is still obviously
very unwell and wobbly on her feet. Meanwhile on the subject of
wobbly on the feet more Jim M scenes to inform us he isn't claiming
all the benefits hes entitled to. The local lads are all off to
the legion to watch the world cup game as they have widescreen
TV and free sarnies. The Rovers bar is virtually empty with even
Roy and Hayley leaving to find somewhere with a bit more life.
We close with more unfortunate Macdonald scenes where Jim tries
to offer Liz money for caring from him and Liz of course is suitable
offended. All in all if we could bump of Jim M an OK episode in
Friday 10 July
Hi folks!!! I've let things slip again this week,
so in an attempt to get the show on the road, we'll skip the
prologue again and go straight into the update
The episode commences with a weary looking Rita outside
The Kabin. She is looking at Leanne's window display. Alec turns
the corner and Rita asks him what he thinks - as it's Leanne's
first display, Rita does not want to stifle her enthusiasm. Alec
approves, but tells her that he came to check on her, not a display.
Rita maintains she is fine, nothing that a good night's sleep
cannot fix. Alec is not convinced. Rita is flattered by his concern
and interest and tells him this is appreciated. As they speak
a delivery van comes round the corner and Alec makes his apologies
- he tells her that this is a wide screen television which is
being delivered to the Rovers... " wide screen, circlorama,
stereophonic, so we can hear those bone-crunching tackles in painful
and minute detail." Rita goes back into the shop, sighing,
very clearly under the weather.
Back at the Rovers, a campaign meeting is about to
start. Those present: Alec and Fred. Oh, and look who has come
in late? It's Audrey, fresh from a manicure session. Alec is not
amused, he has a business to run. He wonders whether she is taking
this seriously. She replies that she didn't ask for a broken fingernail.
Fred shows sympathy, thereby incurring Alec's wrath. Fred carries
on by offering Audrey a plaster and Alec's frustration goes up
another notch. Alec tells her that he and Fred have identified
the salient issues - they have to make her different than Spider.
He asks Audrey what she thinks she has that Spider hasn't. "Decent
fingernails, for a start!" pipes up our bubble-head contestant.
"I mean policies!" exploded Alec. She tells him that
the difference between the two of them is that she takes a pride
in her appearance. That is what is missing these days, they should
try to get back to the times when folk were...... "fastidious",
offers Fred still drooling at Audrey. "When young men had
lovely short clean hair and the girls wore lovely pretty floaty
things instead of these great hobnailed boots they go around in
now" continues Audrey. Alec realises that Audrey is on a
different planet and tries to get back to the issue of her speech.
He hands her the speech he has prepared and tells her that they
will be appealing to the middle ground, people like themselves,
"solid dependable people, but with entrepreneurial flair
whose activities and hard work should be rewarded in order to
encourage others." "The return of the unified business
rate and the notion of a rateable value..." reads Audrey.
You can tell that she doesn't have a clue and even less interest,
but she maintains that, of course, she does, when she is quizzed
by Alec. Ever the loyal supporter, Fred concludes "See, it's
like I said, this fine lady with her fingernails will be the making
At Jim McDonald's, Liz is still upset at Jim and tells
him that she has prepared a flask at "no charge". Jim
tells her that he didn't mean to cause any offence, he just doesn't
want sympathy. Liz maintains that this is not what she is giving
him. The phone rings. Liz answers it - it is Steve. She hands
the phone to Jim and storms out. Jim tries to stop her, but to
Audrey is rehearsing her speech in front of a thrilled
audience, Fiona, Steve and baby Morgan. You can tell that they
are bored out of their skulls, but trying to feign interest. She
asks them what they think. Steve's and Fiona's responses convince
her that this is not what people want to hear and she resolves
to use her own speeches from now on.
Out in the street, Mike Baldwin follows a preoccupied
Liz coming out of the factory and offers to buy her a lunchtime
drink. She declines his offer, telling him that Jim will be waiting
for his dinner. Mike tells her that Jim is a lucky fella having
her to look after him... she is flattered by the compliment.
At that moment, we see Jim coming out of the house
in his wheelchair. He sees Mike hugging Liz in support and jumps
to a conclusion. Jim turns in anger and goes back into the house.
There he tries to get out of the wheelchair and in doing so, topples
over, falling to the ground, with the chair on top of him.
When Liz comes into the house, she finds Jim in a sorry
state - when she asks him what he is doing, "the hoovering""
is his reply. She hugs and kisses him and in a mix of love and
pity asks what she is going to do with him. She apologises for
snapping at him earlier, guessing what he was trying to say and
wants to know now. Jim then stuns her by telling her that he doesn't
want her to come round again - at first, she cannot take him seriously
but he confirms that he is serious.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End
of part 1
After the ads, it's
This commences with Liz trying to come to terms with Jim's revelation.
He tells her that she is a free woman and he doesn't want to hold
her back from meeting people. She says that she is there from
her own choice, but he then tells her that she is slowing him
down, by doing things for him that he needs to be doing himself,
if he stands "any chance of being a half-decent man again."
She is hurt as she has clearly misunderstood his intentions -
she wants to help and says that she thought this is what he wanted
- in fact, she was expecting him to say that he wanted her, now
she realises that the reverse is the case.
Back at the Rovers, Spider has come in for a drink.
Vera remembers that the meeting is tonight, "God help us
if Audrey Roberts becomes a politician," she comments and
hopes that he will make sure that Audrey is kept in her place.
Spider replies that she will not need any help from him.
Fred is having a drink at the bar and tells Spider
that, while he accepts they are political rivals, but he expects
them to be civilised. Spider replies that this is a bit rich coming
from "the camp that took sleaze to new heights.... or depths."
Fred tries to dismiss this by saying that this was merely a misunderstanding,
"wrong end of t'stick!"
Alec is perturbed at Spider's confidence but Fred plays
this down as the confidence of the naïve, "Give over
fretting, Alec, Audrey will slay 'em in the aisles, she's got
the popular touch has Audrey. She's in tune with ordinary people."
"Yeah, I know, that's what worries me," replies Alec,
"we want to come out of this with something besides free
nail varnish for the over 50s." Fred doesn't see the problem,
after all, with the speech they have given her, how can she go
wrong? (Watch this space.)
Curly comes in and asks for a pint and two tickets
for the Trocadero, this being a reference to the wide screen television.
He praises Alec for taking his advice. Curly jokes that he will
go home and get his beach towel "to reserve his seat."
At the college, Audrey has arrived to continue with
her campaign. She tries to persuade Nick to distribute her leaflets
- he is embarrassed and makes the excuse that he has run out of
leaflets. She suggests that she'll get Alf to finish, but, in
best grandma tradition, presents him with his campaign baseball
cap - she puts it on his head and comments how it suits him, while
he just looks highly self-conscious.
We then hear Curly in full voice campaigning on Spider's
behalf "Vote for Spider Nugent, the thinking man's answer
to the .... rabble that usually live in the Town Hall" as
he sees Audrey.
Audrey is disconcerted by this and urges Alec to pipe
up in response. We then hear a wonderfully half-hearted attempt
by Fred, Alec and Alf to drum up support. She then dishes out
the baseball caps to them, much to their dismay, telling them
that if "it's good enough for young what's his name, it's
good enough for you." She then tells them to "hust!
This is a hustings, isn't it? So hust!"
At the Kabin, Fiona notices that Rita is unwell. Leanne
chips in, saying that Rita is poorly and should be in bed. Rita
tries to dismiss this as just one of those summer bugs hanging
on, but Leanne continues nagging that Rita will not listen to
her. Increasingly irritated, Rita snaps at her, tells her to concentrate
on what she should be doing and says that she doesn't thank her
for joining in her conversations with her customers.
At the college, the debate is in full swing. Geoffrey
"Spider" Nugent, the Independent Green Candidate is
introduced, much to the delight of the student audience. He makes
a quick impact with some snappy one-liners and, as he does so,
Curly turns round to Audrey's team and smirks, clearly satisfied
with the impact Spider is making on the audience.
Back at the Rovers, Liz and Deirdre are having a drink.
Deirdre comments that Liz' mood is self evident. Liz bemoans the
"wonderful talent I've got for reading him wrong." She
tells Deirdre that she was convinced Jim was gearing himself up
to asking her to move back in, or at least start seeing each other
again. But "no, he were plucking up courage to tell me to
bog off." Deirdre, ever the good friend, tries to console
Liz, "oh no! after everything that you've done." Liz
tries to explain that, in Jim's eyes, she is stifling his independence.
We see Deirdre recognising the truth of this statement, as she
tells Liz that if she wants Jim to be more independent, then she
needs to give him his space to be able to do things for himself.
Liz is clearly hurt not to receive the backing she expected from
her friend and asks where she would fit in. Deirdre paints the
picture "just seeing how things are going, complimenting
his efforts, praising him, that sort of thing." Liz is clearly
not impressed "just when I were getting used to having control."
She tells Deirdre that she quite likes Jim being dependent on
At the college, Spider is expanding on his political
philosophy, as he tells them that he is not a political party,
there is only one of him and that's where he scores over all these
others, he says, pointing to his opponents. He is not toeing any
party line. This wins great approval from the audience and we
see Audrey's campaign team clearly disappointed by the applause
and cheers. Spider continues "you vote for me and you'll
be doing the next best thing than being there yourselves."
He is there "to ask questions, to keep them on their toes,
to make sure they do their best for you. I don't take crap!!"
He sits down to tumultuous applause.
Audrey is then introduced as the candidate for the
Independent Business Alliance. She starts off nervously and it
is soon clear to her campaign team that she is departing from
her script. She launches into an ad-libbed attack on Spider and
his campaign, trying to ridicule him - she tells them that she
didn't think she was ever going to get on, she nearly got her
knitting out. She quickly points out that she didn't hear him
saying anything about women - this raises some applause from the
audience and she quickly starts to capitalise on the response.
She tells them that her original plan was to talk to them about
the "Uniform Business Rate" and the Pound, but she decided
she couldn't be bothered with that, "No! Leave that to the
old fuddy-duddies to worry about, eh? What we want is a good time,
isn't it?" This raises more applause as starts to pitch to
the audience. She tells the women that is about time they got
their way and especially for them, she is unveiling .... the return
of the Glamorous Miss Weatherfield Contest!! This raises mocking
laughter from the audience, as her campaign team cringes.
At the Kabin, Rita is apologising to Leanne for snapping
at her earlier. She tells Leanne she is going to have an early
night. Leanne agrees, adding , why doesn't Rita stay in bed tomorrow.
Rita doesn't want to do this, mainly because the chief message
it will sent to her brain is that she is past it. Leanne has finished
for the day and moves to leave. As she does so, Rita tells her
about the nice compliments she has received during the day on
Leanne's window display.
At the meeting, Audrey is losing control. It is clear
that her suggestion is not going down well with the audience as
we hear a woman telling Audrey that she is a disgrace to women.
Audrey continues to lose her grip by saying "Me! Have you
looked in a mirror lately, sweetheart?" This provokes jeers,
but Audrey is undeterred, she is going to put this contest on
because it is what the people want, she tells them. She starts
to lambast the audience by saying that she wants a return to the
days when you could tell the difference between the boys and the
girls. "I mean looking at you lot, I haven't a clue!"
she tells them. "You can say that again" is a reply
from the audience but Audrey's tack is to treat the person as
if she were a heckler in a night club. This provokes ridicule
from the audience and she then calls to Alf to take her home...
this happens just as we see Alf, Alec and Fred sneaking out of
the hall in embarrassment.
At Jim's, his therapist, Michael is remarking that
he was expecting to see Liz. Eventually, Jim comes clean and tells
him that he has told Liz to come round less. Michael replies that
he isn't surprised and goes on to tell him about another client,
"who really loves his partner. Now he's lost the use of his
legs, things are different, he sees her with other men and knows
he cannot compete and he doesn't like it. At first he was getting
really angry about it but they've worked through that now. Then
he got very depressed and now he's begun to realise he's losing
control of a lot of the decisions in his life, decisions he used
to take for granted. So he has told her that he doesn't want to
see her anymore. Now it isn't because he doesn't want to see her
anymore, it's because he is in control of the decision not to
see her anymore, however much it hurts her, however much it hurts
him." Jim poo-poos this, saying that he has set her free
because he has nothing to offer her anymore, but Michael tells
him that this is how the decision is dressed up, wants it to sound
noble. When Jim tries to tells him that the client probably doesn't
exist, Michael turns the tables. "He does, he does. You shave
his face every morning. See you tomorrow Jim!"
In the final scene of the episode we see Rita in her
flat. She is lying on the settee, clearly in pain. She tries to
get up and in doing so, knocks a drink over. She slumps back onto
the settee and goes into a deep sleep, her breathing slowing down
gradually, until it stops......
And it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Peter Mills
All material is, and remains, copyright property of
Well, how was it for me?
We see Jim valiantly trying to come to terms with
his paralysis, struggling to get his message over to Liz tactfully.
Some fine sensitive acting from him.
The comedy of the week provided by Audrey in superb
form as a parody of bubble-headed woman, with some superb comic
delivery and timing from Alec and Fred.
The major storyline, of course, being Rita's illness,
finely portrayed by one of Coronation Street's mainstays....
In summary, not a classic episode, alongside the stuff
we've seen over the last few weeks but clearly one of those episodes
where the storylines are being developed for future action.
And that's it for now..
Until next week, take care...
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ - Regards, Alan
Sunday 12 July
Aargh. I've got four pages of handwritten notes
here, and an hour and a half to transcribe them to dem old 0's
and 1's. So, apologies in advance, this is going to be real quick
this week, but I'll do the best I can to relate to you all the
important bits from this Sunday's (World Cup Final) 45-minute
I'm feeling a bit better, by the way.
Tonight's episode is sponsored by Cadburys, and introduced
by Bob Wilson.
It's 6.00am, and we see Rita's alarm clock going off. Then it
clatters to the floor as Rita attempts to silence it and succeeds
only in knocking it clean off the bedside cabinet. Rita looks
truly awful, as she struggles to get out of bed. Later, in her
kitchen, she appears very nauseous as she makes toast, muttering
"what's happening to me ?". What indeed.
It's also 6.00am at big Jim's, and the radio is playing
the official England World Cup song ("On Top Of The World"),
something perhaps Jim is not. As we wonder exactly why he is sleeping
fully clothed, he successfully levers himself out of bed and into
his wheelchair. [This year, the WC song was such crap we got the
Europe 96 tournament song resurrected, and an unofficial entry
going by the name of "Vindaloo", replete with lyrics
which could indeed be remembered after 8 pints of lager and the
quoted "bucket" of vindaloo. Sort of "nah na-nah...
nah na-nah... nah na-nah nah na-nah VINDALOO !!] Be very glad
indeed this is not an audio update !
In the salon (the only one around open on a Sunday),
the girls are tidying up while Audreh attempts to brush off the
previous evening's disastrous election meeting where she made
such a fool of herself that her entire campaign team had to walk
out. Just then, Fred enters, and Audreh comments that he has "a
nerve" showing up at all.
Sally and Kevin and the girls have returned from the
holiday at Disney World. They all seem very happy, with the exception
of Sally who doesn't take Kevin's surprise announcement that they
are all off to a pub for a family lunch, very well. [It is Sally's
birthday, and Kevin had arranged this before they left, knowing
they would not be wanting to have to get cooking on their return.]
Rursie and Surphie are despatched to Gail and Martin's house to
deliver presents, while Sally tells Kevin she is too tired to
go out. He apologies, seeing a no-win situation developing. Sally
brightens a little and suggests they could go out that evening,
if they can get a babysitter. Kevin's face falls as he see his
evening's footie viewing disappearing over the horizon...
Greg and Maxine are leaving his flat when Greg catches
sight of Sally crossing the street. He quickly suggests to Maxine
that she might have left the door unlocked, and she returns, giving
him an opportunity to talk to Sally without being seen. He tells
her he hopes he will see her later in the Rovers.
Sally walks to the Kabin, and finds Rita behind the
counter. Sally thinks Rita is in no state to be working, and should
be upstairs in bed. Rita is embarrassed to realise that she has
forgotten Sally's birthday.
In the Rovers, Lorraine is hanging banners around the
pub, while Jack is admiring the view. He is looking forward to
a packed pub for kickoff that night. As it becomes clear he too
wants to be on the other side of the bar at the time, Vera starts
to lay the law down. Jack accuses Vera of never having been interested
in football, even when he used to play centre forward and scored
nearly every match (he tells Lorraine). Vera remarks to Betty
that now "he's lucky to score once a year !".
Steve has come to visit Jim, and finds him making cheese
on toast for lunch. Jim tells him that Liz has not been round,
as he is learning to look after himself and doesn't want constant
Curly and Kevin are having a lunchtime pint, and Kevin
is explaining how his plans for the evening are coming undone.
Curly suggests they go for dinner early. "What, just have
the soup ?" jokes Kevin. He phones a restaurant from the
payphone at the bar, and we hear him fail to get a table before
Speaking of soup, Sally has made some for Rita's lunch.
They are in Rita's flat above the Kabin. However, Sally has not
thought to sit the bowl on a tray, and Rita is too weak to hold
it properly, and the soup ends up on the floor. Sally clears up
the mess, and suggests that Rita should have the doctor round
again, as she is obviously getting worse. Rita is alarmed at this,
and admits that she is scared of what might be wrong. "Ted
was like this, when he had his brain tumour".
Fred arrives at the Rovers with a tray of meat pies
for the evening's festivities. He talks to Alec about Audrey.
Alec feels that she has become a liability, and worse still, a
waste of time and (their) money. Audrey is talking to Alf, and
admits she is thinking of pulling out of the election. Alf tells
her this is the best thing to do as she would not have made a
good councillor anyway - "look at you, one hint of a problem
and you're giving up". This puts Audrey's back up, and she
resolves to fight on and prove him wrong. Alf comes to the bar
and relates this to Alec, who looks first relieved and then disappointed.
Can't stop here, gotta rush straight onto..
Steve is now in the Rovers with his Mum. He is pleased that Jim
is striking out on his own, but Liz is not. She thinks she should
be round there, preparing his Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
[Oh come on, they've been apart for ages, Jim must be used to
beans on toast or a liquid lunch by now !]
Fred is still trying to persuade Alec of the positive
aspects of Audrey standing for the council. Mindful of his trips
to France, he thinks she could put a few favours their way. Alec
has by now convinced himself that she doesn't have a cat in hell's
chance. He points out that she and Spider are splitting the non-Labour
vote and ensuring that their candidate gets in instead. This gives
Fred an idea, and he calls for pen and paper.
Sally persuades Rita to call the doctor out sooner
rather than later, before she has to leave. She puts the fire
on, and we see Rita lying on her settee shivering.
Jim's occupational therapist, Michael, has called.
He's pleased with Jim's progress and his desire for greater independence.
He works the subject round to Liz, suggesting that it might be
hard for Jim not to see so much of her, as he thinks Jim is still
in love with her ? Jim tells Michael that there's not much point
to any relationship between the two of them, it goes unsaid that
he is thinking of his non-functional wedding tackle. He thinks
it is best that he doesn't make his true feelings plain to her.
Joy of joys ! Sally is making lunch for the girls,
and it's, yes, beans on toast ! Kevin arrives to say he has booked
a table for 7.30, but Sally tells him that Rita is too ill to
babysit, and they should probably cancel. "Shall we just
go for a drink, instead ?" she suggests. They agree to make
it the Rovers. Kevin looks secretly pleased.
Rita phones Leanne, and tells her she won't be down
in the shop that day. She start out to go to her bedroom, but
the room spins, and she collapses to the floor, unconscious.
Michael catches up with Liz in the pub. She asks him
if Jim told him that she is not welcome any more. Michael suggests
that what Jim says, and what Jim means, may not be the same thing.
Sally tells Alec of her concerns for Rita. He decides
he will pop round the next morning.
Two breaks tonight ! This evening, for our delight, we have seen
ads for: bad breath tablets for dogs, gin, sun lotion, medicine
for irritable bowel syndrome, yet another crappy national lottery
bingo scratchcard game, and a Peugeot 306, a car so attractive
you will be forever driving your partner off to beach locations
and having very public sex thereon. Jeez !!
Sally and Kevin are in the Rovers. He is still wearing his Mickey
Mouse hat, which she demands he removes. She is also narked about
him chatting to Vera about their holiday, apparently thinking
they might be thought to be showing off. [The spaghetti on toast
family, surely not !] She decides she's off home to sort out the
washing, but then catches sight of Greg elsewhere in the pub,
and opts to stay after all. Apparently, Gail is looking after
the girls, so that's not a problem.
Fred buttonholes Spider, and asks him to come through
the back, where he has prepared his "official" voting
predictions. He points out how the Labour candidate is going to
walk it, as Audrey and the Green Party are splitting the vote.
Spider observes that Fred's voting percentages add up to 103%,
and Alec suggests that means there's going to be a big turnout
! Fred offers to have Audrey take on some of Spider's policies,
if in turn he will drop out of the election. Spider is furious
by now, and more so when Fred proceeds to offer him a bribe to
stand down ! "My political integrity is worth more than £100
!" he retorts. The offer is upped to a giddy £150,
but Spider is not tempted. He'll be fighting this to the death,
he says, and leaves. Alec observes that "he must have been
sniffing those teabags again !".
Sally is ostensibly at the bar, keeping out of the
way of the footie fans and the widescreen telly, but in reality
she is making eyes at Greg. He compliments her on her tan, telling
her it really suits her. He tells her she's been missed at work.
"Get away, I'm sure Mike Baldwin has coped just fine without
me." "He might... but I haven't !" says Greg. [Ooh,
he's a smooth operator and no mistake, and just to stick my neck
out a little further, no I don't think in real life he's on CP's
bus...] Sally blurts out a "I beg your pardon ! My husband's
over there !". Greg thinks Kevin is more interested in the
football, anyway. "He must be mad" he mutters quietly.
Audreh is banging on Rita's door, clipboard in hand.
Ken stops by, and the Willing Woman of Weatherfield asks him if
she can count on his support. He says he will think about it [read:
never] and suggests that Rita might be in the Rovers, as he had
heard she might be meeting Sally in there, it being Sally's birthday.
"Oh good, we can have a drink" chirps Audrey, and is
deflated by Ken pointing out that she offer gifts in her capacity
as a political candidate.
We see Kevin gazing at the TV. By now, Sally has sussed
out why he was so keen to go out at lunchtime. Realising it is
her birthday, Vera provides a drink on the house. Greg too, offers
his congratulations, suggesting Sally must be all of, ooh, 26
? Before things go any further, Maxine arrives. Greg quickly tells
Sally that he hadn't been expecting her, and says he hopes there'll
be another time. "I mean it." he adds.
At the opposite end of the chat-up spectrum, Curly
is dismally failing to impress Lorraine by telling her how he
had returned to a degree course after working for a while.
Maxine asks Greg if she is being too pushy. Another
page turns over in his memorised copy of "100 evasive answers
of all time", as he tells he is worried he "might like
her too much !". Maxine simpers. [*What* a bimbo !]
Liz tries to open Jim's front door with key. He has
put the chain on, and she can't get the door open more than a
few inches. He tells her just to go, he wants to be on his own,
but after a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing agrees to let her
Sally and Alec are talking about Rita again. Obviously
concerned, Alec resolves to go round there and then, but is hauled
back by Vera who points out how busy they are behind the bar.
Sally observes Greg and Maxine at the other side of the pub, and
looks fairly browned off.
Jim is getting angry with Liz' repeated assertions
that they are becoming closer again. "You're wrong,"
he tells her, "it can't be the same again." She tells
him he is still the same man inside, but he dismisses this, telling
her she is just imagining that there is something between them,
and he doesn't want to talk about it any more.
Alec has finally managed to escape from the bar, and
is knocking at Rita's door. There is no answer, and he calls her
from his mobile phone. We see inside, as Rita is still lying unconscious
on the floor as her phone rings. Alec rushes back to the Rovers,
and asks Sally if she has a spare key to Rita's flat. Sally has
not. He rushes out again, and Sally decides to go with him. She
tries to attract Kevin's attention, to tell him, but without success.
Greg sees her, however, and runs out after her. All three of them
gather at Rita's door, and Alec decides it's time for someone
to do something and gets Greg to kick the door open. They go upstairs,
and find Rita on the floor. She's still breathing, but her face
is a worrying collection of odd colours. An ambulance is summoned.
Meanwhile, in the Rovers, we have been catching odd
glimpses of earlier matches, and a chalked "France v Brazil"
notice on the pub wall, and Martin tipping France to win 2-0.
[Which was so nearly the final score !] The hype exceeded the
reality of course, as we had been just about led to believe they
would be filming live. Still, enough complaints. Over the shouting,
we hear the ambulance arriving, and a few of the regulars go outside
to see Rita being taken away on a stretcher, accompanied by Alec.
Greg offers to drive Sally to the hospital and they follow the
ambulance out of the Street.
Audrey observes "I knew something was up with
her". [Aargh, someone shoot this woman, I just *hate* these
characters that no soap appears to want to do without. Gossipy,
know-all idiots, as Spider said !!]
This episode was written by Phil Woods.
As I said, there was a lot of hype about this being
the World Cup Final special, and in the end it didn't really
add much at all. However, many different stories all moved along
quite a bit tonight, and the scripts and the acting were well
up to scratch. More so than this rather rushed effort, in fact
looking at my little computer clock in front of me I see I don't
even have time to run this through my spell-checker, however
I am a graduate of the old school and generally try to get it
all down right the first time. Forgive me the odd mistake, missing
or duplicated words or phrases, etc.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ***1/2
Toodle pip ! John Laird
Monday 13 July
Well, we've had the delights of the Roy and Hayley
affair, and we're back to the bottom of the barrel. It can't
be easy working with dud storylines, and Catherine Hayes has
done her best, but it's still a bit of a sow's ear.
We open in the hospital waiting room where Greg is
comforting Sally while they await news of Rita, who, it will be
remembered, was rushed to hospital during the World Cup final
(which France won, by the way, as if anybody didn't know). Alec
appears, having spoken to somebody medical, and reports that Rita
is suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and is in a hyperbaric
chamber while they wait for a specialist consultant. Sally is
distraught, especially as Alec wasn't permitted to see Rita, and
speculates on how it might have been if Greg hadn't kicked the
door down. (Somebody else would have done, surely?) Alec thanks
Greg for that action, adding that he'll never cease to be grateful
for saving Rita's life.
It's gone midnight, and Alec encourages them to leave
- which Greg does, but Sally apparently has no concern for her
family (and who is babysitting?) and decides to stay.
Considering that the last scene was gone midnight,
it's a surprise to see Jim wheeling himself into a daylight Street.
It makes you wonder if the episode editing didn't match the time
allocated. This should surely have been the first scene in Monday's
So let's pretend we start again, now.
Jim emerges from his house, but we soon cut to see
La Mouton walking past the Rovers. Mike Baldwin drives up, with
a sarcastic comment about 'shouldn't you be at work?'. Liz explains
that she's going to see Curly to see if there's any news on Rita.
Curly and Spider just happen to be leaning on his car, and our
ex-binman chum says he has no news. Baldwin doesn't know what
they're talking about, so Curly reiterates for the benefit of
viewers who missed last night's episode and haven't seen the CSVU.
Spider's presence is only a plot device so that he can ask when
it happened, Liz says it was about 8 o'clock, 'during the football'
(Kick off 8pm. Hmmm. During?) Baldwin reckons that Sally will
know, she should be in the factory by now. As Baldwin drives off
we get another view of Jim in his wheelchair, oblivious to the
mega-gossip occurring around him. Well he would be, as his presence
was not contemporary. Why is he included at all in this scene?
A very poor scene by all measures.
Fred, I say Fred, appears, to taunts from Curly of
being 'Mr Fix-it' and comments about upping the bribe to include
a leg of lamb or some meat pies. Fred is anxious to escape these
charges of election fixing, and tries to explain that it was only
a little joke initiated by Alec - and that Spider should get a
sense of humour. Spider teases that he'll let the rest of Weatherfield
know that Fred offered him a bribe to pull out of the election,
an increasingly flustered Fred insists 'it were a joke'. Curly
states that it is Spider's duty to let the electorate know, Spider
can't decide on the method - door to door or through the Weatherfield
Greg arrives chez Webster looking for Sally. Kevin
airily explains her absence by saying that she stayed all night
at the hospital. He doesn't seem at all concerned. Just as soon
as Greg says 'hello girls', the gurrrlls are banished upstairs
to get ready for school. Greg suggests that Sally shouldn't come
in to work, he'll clear it with Mike. They have general chat about
their holiday in Florida, but overall another poor scene.
To cheapen things still further, we move to 'Hair by
Fiona' where it must now be lunchtime because Audrey is announcing
that she's not going to the Rover's, she's going home to comfort
Alfeh, who is very cut up about Rita. She says that Alfeh has
always had a soft spot for her, which prompts Muppet2 to ask if
she isn't jealous? As Audreh says, 'If anybody has designs on
Rita, her body and her bank account, it's Alec Gilroy - and not
necessarily in that order'. After she's gone, the Muppets blather
about Maxime's relationship with Greg - is she trying too hard
to get any sort of commitment from him?
Sally and Alec are still in the waiting room, at least
12 hours since Greg left. They are very weary. Greg arrives, and
Alec thanks him for giving Sally the day off. Now how could he
have known? There is no news - they'll know more when the specialist
arrives. That's what you said half a day ago, Sally. Greg begins
to wonder how there could have been Carbon Monoxide in Rita's
flat, and Alec remembers the warnings they used to put in Sunliners
brochures about the dangers of inadequately serviced water heaters
in self-catering Mediterranean holiday apartments. Public Service
Broadcasting or what? Sally reproaches herself for being on holiday
all that time when Rita was ill, and Alec suddenly rounds on her
insisting it was a virus - does Sally think he would have left
Rita there if he'd known about CO poisoning? His outburst is so
out of context and out of character. They realise that they are
the nearest Rita has to next-of-kin.
It could only brighten after this, but instead we get
Betty explaining to Fred over the bar that she's been ringing
Intensive Care all morning, but nobody will (or can) tell her
Curly breezes in, and stands next to Fred. Lorraine
comes in from the kitchen with a hotpot that has been so long
in preparation that the original punter had left. Hadn't he paid
for it? Curly says he'll have it, and threatens Fred with exposure
if he offers to pay for it. Fred splutters, denying anything,
while Betty wants to know what Curly is on about. Curly wonders
where it will end - waving fivers about outside the Polling Station?
Fred states 'I did not offer Geoffrey Nugent money to stand down',
a concept that had not been put into so many words by Curly. 'Oh
yes you did!' Betty tells Fred that corruption is par for the
course with Alec Gilroy, but she's surprised at him. (Still, Fred's
got form, remember the black pudding scam at the town twinning
episode when Fred first came to our attention?). Fred insists
that it's all a pack of lies, but takes his leave. Lorraine is
excited about Spider being the centre of political intrigue -
'tell me more', she says, leaning conspiratorially towards Curly.
Greg thinks it's time he got on with his work, and
makes to leave. Sally thanks him for being there, saying she couldn't
have got through last night without him. But didn't she do exactly
that? Romance seems to be smouldering, they touch hands, and nearly
kiss before he leaves.
END OF PART ONE
We're back in the Rover's where Betty is serving Maud
with meat pie and veg. Why has Maud even ordered that when she
says she lives in fear of finding Fred Elliot's toenail clippings
in his hand made meat pies? Betty stands up for Fred as being
a very hygienic butcher, but then asks if Maud has been speaking
to Curly - 'you'll know soon enough'. Talk turns to Rita, and
Betty is sure that she'll get through it, as she's younger than
both of them. Maud isn't too sure, she wouldn't want to be plumbed
up with tubes - 'it's an assault on the body, only the young can
withstand that kind of thing'. Maud begins to get maudlin about
how and when her time comes - she'll get a card from the warden
of Mayfield Court, and no visitors. Another strange scene.
Curly is describing his electioneering plans - there
are envelopes to stuff - perhaps Lorraine would like to join him?
When she learns that Spider will be there she is almost keen to
lend a hand.
It's heavy relationship time. Liz calls on Jim, who
explains that he stands by his thoughts of yesterday: she helped
him through the bad times, but now he's mentally on the mend and
regaining his independence, he doesn't need her. 'All right, well
I won't come back again', says Liz as she walks away. But then
Jim calls her back, explains that he didn't say it to humiliate
her, and then asks her to stay, indeed he says he didn't mean
any of it. Liz can't understand him, and I've got to agree with
her. He finally admits that he can't do anything without her,
and he wants her to stay.
Consultant Gareth Bird arrives to find Alec in the
waiting room. How long has he been? At least 18 hours. (Cliche
#1 from Sally) 'Has her condition improved?'. 'I'm glad to say
she's out of danger.' Relief all round, until he says that another
five minutes and she'd have died. More Public Awareness Broadcasting
follows, about the danger of carbon monoxide, how it doesn't taste
or smell, and can be fatal even at low level. When Alec mentions
that Rita has been ill for some time, she has had flu, the consultant
explains that the symptoms are flu-like, hence frequent mis-diagnosis.
Alec wonders if the source could be the factory, but consultant
explains that more often than not, it is faulty gas appliances.
Maud presumably didn't find toenail clippings in her
meat pie, because she's now back in the shop, and checking out
Audreh's goods. Audreh is frustrated at Maud's slow progress and
suggests that Fred ought to get someone younger in, and will speak
to him about it. Maud counters that he should employ her - on
her election posters she only looks about twelve - and why were
they in black and white, surely they only had sepia in those days?
Spider arrives, to Maud's suggestion that if he'd used
a photograph that old it would have been of a look of anticipation
on his father's face! He teases Audreh about her choice in toilet
rolls - surely she should be using recycled? Audreh dismisses
those as muck, her green credentials don't go that far. Spider
tells her about how her spin doctors are planning to merge their
two parties, and one of them will have to step down - but will
a £150 sweetener be enough for her? Confused, he encourages
her to go see Fred and Alec. She does so, sans shopping.
In the Rover's, the source of the CO is being discussed.
Could it be Industry? Or Underworld? Curly points out that they
would all have been affected if it was so general. Fred wonders
if Mike Baldwin has a leaky boiler, and Maxime does her best,
and fails, with a comedy line 'listen, if Mike Baldwin's knickers
gave off fumes, we'd all know about it. Half the Street work over
there'. Betty tries to mother Lorraine, asking if she's worried
about it, but Lorraine says that she works out, she's fit, and
her body can take anything that's thrown at it. This news seems
to interest Curly.
Audreh blows in, accusing Fred of offering a bribe,
which he denies. Curly conveniently confirms that it was to get
Spider to stand down so that Audreh could win. What happened to
the two other candidates? Fred tries to convince her that Spider
wants out anyway, rather than be humiliated at the poll. Audreh
doesn't believe him - Curly confirms it's a lie. Audreh refuses
Fred's offer of a drink, and flounces out saying 'it'll take more
than a G & T to talk your way out of this one.'
The consultant escorts Alec and Sally to a room where
they can view Rita through the glass of the hyperbaric chamber.
The sight of all the plumbing disturbs them. Alec encourages Sally
to go home, but he won't leave Rita himself.
Jim and Liz are still talking about their on/off relationship.
Jim is talking in his best Phil Mitchell voice (you know, all
breathless). The truth is that he still loves her, but he thinks
back to when they were young lovers, and his plumbing worked.
He feels emasculated, and doesn't accept that she can still want
him. All he's got left for her are words, which can't be enough.
Sally arrives home, a good 24 hours since she went
out to the pub. The gurrrrlls greet her, only to be sent upstairs
to wash their hands. Honestly, is there any point in having these
gurrlls? Can't they do a Traceyluv on them, send them upstairs
to wash their hands, not to be seen again until 2010 when one
of them can come downstairs as a love interest for Ken Barlow?
Kevin wants to know why she didn't phone him, at home
or the garage. What has she been doing all day? (Or all night
for that matter) Kevin gets angry, only just remembering to ask
how Rita is. He tells her that Greg is seen as a hero in the Rover's.
Back to Jim & Liz, and Liz is planning the future.
She's going to stick with him, and plan things together. Jim is
still trying to reject her, he's not the man he was, but Liz doesn't
care, she wants Jim the man, whether he gets better or not. Jim
tries to tell her that she can't love him now, but Liz insists
that she can, and kisses him. More kissing follows. Yeurgggh.
Cue the music and closing credits...
So that's it then, not the sharpest script in the
file, but Catherine Hayes did the best she could.
The episode opens in that den of matrimonial bliss,
the Webster household, where the topic of the moment is the sale
of Sally's recently deceased mother's house and the possible purchase
of Natalie's share of the garage. Rursie and Surphie are present,
but not for long: having gorged on baked beans, they have washed
their hands and are about to make their customary, beginning-of-scene
exit, this time for school. (These two girls are prime candidates
for madness in later life, believe me: one of them will grow up
with a serious food fetish, and will probably only be able to
have sex with her husband if he's got his left foot dangling in
a bucket of baked beans, while the other, when not constantly
washing her hands, will no doubt be had up time and time again
for stealing bars of Camay from grimy corner shops). Sally looks
quite pained whenever she talks to Kev; watching her is a bit
like watching someone emerge from a coma, wondering where all
the years went and praying that there is someone, somewhere, with
more charisma than the pitiful little grease-monkey she's married
to. Anyway, the upshot is that Sally tells Kev to go ahead with
the garage sale before she changes her mind.
Meanwhile, chez Jim McDonald, the paralysed brickie
and his ex-wife are re-drawing the borders between them after
their mutual tonsillectomy the night before. Jim looks as though
he could cut the unease in the air with a knife - if he could
wheel himself to the cutlery drawer without tipping himself out,
that is. Liz is slightly more optimistic, although surely she
must realise that their relationship is going to be pure Yellow
Pages from now on, with Jim's fingers doing all the walking. As
Mike Plowman put it, the future - for these two at least - is
Across at Fiddling With Fringes by Fiona, Minnie Mahogany
(Maxime, as wooden as ever) is looking out across the cobbles
and dreaming of Peter Pine (Greg, wood personified). Mentally
she rips a few petals off a daisy: does he love me, does he not?
Will he come, or will I rot? (Nineteen million viewers hope and
pray for the rot option).
As Maxime dreams on, Fred arrives at the salon for
a word with Audreh. Audreh tells Fred that she thought he did
all his talking 'behind closed doors, with the likes of Spider
Nugent' - an oblique reference to Fred's attempt to bribe Spider
into dropping out of the election campaign. "I'm here,"
says Fred, "to ensure that the people of Weatherfield are
not exposed to the sort of jiggery-pokery that gives jerrymandering
a bad name!" Fred goes on to suggest that he and Audreh dine
at the Paris that evening, a new and very expensive French restaurant.
Does Audreh accept? (Is the Pope Catholic? Is Steven Billington
a fully-paid up member of the Screaming Mimi Brigade?) Anyway,
Audreh accepts, and Fred tells her to go and "gild the lily,
or whatever it is you natural beauties do in the bathroom."
Audreh duly exits in search of a trowel and several pounds of
At the Kabin, Janice is having a desultory flick through
a woman's magazine - a piece of tosh so sad that even Janice agrees
it should be called "Sad" - for women with no life.
When Alec arrives a few moments later, he is shocked to see that
Janice is actually ensconced behind the counter, 'helping out'.
"Helping out?" cries Alec, aghast. "You've no authority
to help out! Where's Leanne?" Janice says that it has nothing
to do with Alec, who responds by telling her that since he is
looking after Rita's interests, it has everything to do with him.
Janice counters in turn by saying that she is looking after Leanne's
interests. Leanne, it transpires, has gone to the cash-and-carry
- by taxi, much to Alec's chagrin - and has put Janice in temporary
charge. Alec is having none of it; further more, he wants to check
the till - a move which enrages Janice and leads to her leaving
the shop - with Alec in charge.
On the other side of the Street, Liz has brought Jim
"Legs" McDonald a sarnie for his lunch. He buttonholes
her and asks her what she thinks was going on between them last
night. "Well I know it's been a long time," she says,
"but I thought you'd have remembered what a kiss was."
Jim says that it's a strange time for both of them, and that he's
only too aware that she's trying to make him feel better. But
he doesn't want her to feel as though she's made her mistake,
and that she doesn't have to let him down gently. La Mouton says
that she kissed him because she wanted to kiss him; she knew exactly
what she was doing. (And so did Jim, because when she kissed him,
his liver quivered and his legs turned to jelly. Oh, I forgot,
his legs were already jelly.)
Back at the salon, Audreh is telling Fiona that she
will be late back. "After all, if Fred is taking me somewhere
posh, I'm going to need something suitable." Maxime says
that she thought Audreh's wardrobe was full of something suitable.
Audreh rounds on Maxine and digs her claws in - just a tad. "Maxine,"
she says, "Have you ever thought that it might be a certain
lack of, shall we say, style that's putting Lover Boy off?"
(Maxime lacking style? Yes, and add to that: acting ability; charisma;
wit; charm; talent; a pulse...) Maxime counters by saying that
Greg thinks that she is the most stylish woman on the Street.
(Greg obviously studied at the David Blunkett school of fashion
appraisal). Talking of Greg, the marionette himself appears at
this point, armed with a scraggy bouquet of flowers for Mahogany
Minnie. He apologises for not being able to see her; he's been
busy moving into the flat. He asks Maxine whether she's free for
lunch; she isn't, but Audreh soon saves the day and covers for
As Greg and Maxime head towards the Rovers for lunch,
Greg spies Sally coming down the Street towards them. He tells
Maxime to go on ahead while he retrieves his wallet from the factory,
thus providing yet another excuse to talk to Sally. (Why on earth
a level-headed lass like Sally should be 'foaming at the gash'
over a strip of piss like Greg is anyone's guess. What on earth
have they released into the water up Weatherfield way?)
As Sally runs down the Street, leaving several puddles
behind her, Curly buttonholes Mike Baldwin at the door of the
Kabin and canvasses him about the forthcoming election. Baldwin
says that there is no way he is going to vote for a 'New Age,
pot-smoking, vegetarian eco-warrior'. How could he? He is everything
Spider and his lot despise: he is an entrepreneur who drives a
big car and makes big money. Nor is he prepared to vote for Audreh
- unless she is standing as 'Gossip of the Year'. Curly says that
he'll put Mike down as a "Don't Know".
Greg and Sally exchange cow-eyes as they discuss Rita.
Greg says that he almost enjoyed it at the hospital, being with
Sally. Sally says that it was a strange situation. (Indeed it
was: the first time that she's had to act with a puppet in all
her years on the Street. Even Sooty has more charisma than Greg
Kelly - which is amazing when you consider that Sooty's only one
had *one* man's hand up his arse.)
Back chez Jim McDonald, "Legs" is telling
La Mouton that he doesn't think she's thought things through properly.
La Mouton says that she has had plenty of time to think - most
of it while sewing knickers at the factory. (Poor Liz - a slip
with the sewing machine needle is the only prick she's going to
be feeling for some time to come). Jim says that he could do with
a drink, mainly because he's thinking of all the things he has
to face up to. La Mouton says that he will face up to them without
a drink if she has anything to do with it. Jim says - although
not in so many words - that he can't offer Liz what she needs
in the trouser department. Liz tells him that whatever the future
may hold sub-duvet wise, she's proud of him and she loves him.
And if she needs a good seeing to every now and again, she can
always give Des Barnes a shout. (Actually, she only mentioned
the love and pride bit, but you know what I mean).
At the Rovers, Curly continues his mission to woo Lorraine
(she of the inane grin and the slow-motion delivery) by asking
her whether she's still prepared to help him and Spider stuff
envelopes later that evening. She is, of course, and duly lights
up when Spider's name is mentioned. (Glenda Young is taking a
contract out on Embalmed Spice as we speak, and I can't say that
I blame her. Although not for the same reason, of course. I don't
fancy Spider, Glenda lass, and never have. It's just that I had
high hopes for this Lorraine bird and she's dashed every one of
them. I think I preferred her when she was La Moutonette, as Mike
Plowman called her. At least there was something tangible about
her to bitch about. Now she's just a cipher.)
Kevin and Sally are also in the Rovers with the lunchtime
crowd. (Although Kevin looks as though he fancies some chicken,
he forgoes lunch and settles for a pint instead; Sally, on the
other hand, makes cow-eyes at Greg, while dreaming of a nice big
Sausage in Cider). Kevin wibbles on ad nauseam about the sale
of Sally's dead mother's house, the garage, and Natalie, but Sally's
mind is, as I said, focused firmly on Peter Pine, who is sitting
at a table with Minnie Mahogany (Maxime, as if you didn't know).
Maxime is actually dishing the dirt on Chris 'Studley'
Collins. "He sounds like a bit of a lad," says Greg,
who knows more than he's cottoning on about lad's bits, if the
truth be known. Maxime is the arsehole of discretion. "You
bet," she gushes: "He had an affair with Samantha, caught
beta-carotene poisoning and ran off to back to Zaire, with a short
stop in London en route to make a crappy single that sank without
a trace." A paragon of subtlety and diplomacy, Maxime goes
on to say that while Studley was working for Kevin, he was also
'knocking off' Sally. (I've never understood why they call it
'knocking off'. I mean, what is it that actually gets 'knocked
off'? Another thing I don't understand is 'all-in wrestling'.
I mean, if it's all-in, who in their right mind would want to
Maxine duly leaves for work, followed by Sally, who
accosts the former in the Street. Sally witters on about making
an appointment, then moves the conversation on to Greg. Maxime
says that she was telling Greg all about Chris Collins. "I
do hope you haven't been telling Greg things which aren't his
business," Sally says. "You mean you and Chris?"
asks Maxime. "Oh no, I mean, that's ancient history isn't
At the corner shop, Jim wheels himself in to buy a
bunch of flowers for Liz. "Elizabeth and I might be getting
back together," he announces to the assembled throng (Maud
and Nurse Florence Platt). "I couldn't be more pleased for
you," says Maud. "Is it common knowledge?" asks
Nurse Platt. "Well it will be now that Maud knows,"
says Jim, gesturing to the CNN logo stamped on Old Mother Grimes's
At the factory, Sally buttonholes Greg and asks him
what Maxime has told him. "I don't like being gossipped about,"
she tells him sternly. "I just like to know about people,"
says the arboreal one. "I know you and Kevin have had your
problems, but it's none of my business." "Exactly,"
says Sally, "and besides, as Maxine said, it's ancient history.
And I wouldn't be putting thousands of pounds of me mother's inheritance
into the business if I thought we had problems, would I?"
She tells him that he must be getting serious with Maxine, given
that he's now moved into the Street. Greg says that moving into
the Street had nothing to do with Maxime: all he wanted was to
be nearer work. "The neighbours are nice, especially the
lovely family next door," he says, oleaginously. Sally melts
at this, of course, and makes a mental note to buy a pair of incontinence
knickers next time she's in Manchester. "Maxine's fun,"
Greg says, "but it's not serious. I guess I just haven't
found Miss Right yet, as my mum would say." (Wonderful! That's
exactly what my mother tells people about me! This Greg and I
have *so* much in common...)
Over on the other side of the Street, Spider, Curly
and Lorraine meet to stuff some envelopes. Embalmed Spice doesn't
think much of Spider's place, so Curly puts her right and tells
her that it's his aunty's house. "Oi!" says Spider,
"my aunty Em's well cool. She's Weatherfield's answer to
Mrs Merton! (Really, since when did Emily go out with toyboys
and take overdoses? Or have I been missing something?)
At the Paris restaurant, Fred is laying on the flattery
with a trowel. "You've got gifts, Audreh, given to very few
leaders: glamour, charisma - our very own Evita Peron. With your
sylph-like figure, though, it would be more like Ryvita Peron."
(Some chat up-line, eh? Certainly beats "Do you spit or do
you swallow?" doesn't it? No? Oh well, please yourselves.)
Audreh says that all this talk could turn a girl's head, then
remonstrates with herself for using the word 'girl'. Audreh then
talks about Alfeh - much to Fred's chagrin - and says that while
Alfeh is usually jealous if she as much as looks at another man,
he doesn't seem to have that problem with Fred. "Why not?"
asks Fred. "Am I not a man? If you prick me, do I not bleed?"
Audreh says that Alfeh knows Fred is just her campaign manager,
and would never entertain thoughts of sinking the old beef torpedo.
At the hospital, Betty and Alec come to visit Rita,
who looks absolutely dreadful. (Barbara Knox was very brave to
allow herself to be filmed looking so ghastly; this scene must
have done more for the sales of Oil of Ulay than a hundred advertisements
put together). Betty says that Alec was very brave to rescue Rita,
and that she hadn't 'got him down as the Errol Flynn type'. Alec
says that he doesn't know what he'd have done if Rita had died:
life wouldn't have been worth living.
Back at the McDonald residence, "Legs" and
Liz are discussing their future, in terms of their past: i.e.
the mistakes they made before, and how to avoid them in the future.
"We have to take it one day at a time," says Liz, "and
not try too hard. Maybe one day we'll realise we've grown old
Back at the Paris, Audreh is feeling the effects of
just a little too much wine. "If I didn't know you better,"
she says, "I'd swear you were trying to get meh tiddleh."
Fred says that he's just trying to get her to relax. "An
election campaign's like running a marathon," he says. "You
need to pace yourself. You mustn't peak too early." Audreh
lets out a near-orgasmic grown. "Sometimes I think I've never
peaked at all," she sighs. (Now I'm not making this up. And
it wasn't just me who interpreted the whole thing in a sexual
way, either. A semiotician friend of mine swears that the whole
scene was pregnant with sexual innuendo.) Fred tells her that
now's her chance. "You're mature, confident, beautiful. There's
nowt to stand between you and your destiny." Audreh forgets
the mature and the confident and says: "Do you really think
I'm beautiful?" Fred, obviously a past master at choosing
the kind of sentence that opens legs, replies: "How could
I not? I've watched you blossom as this campaign progressed."
Back at Aunty Em's, the envelopes are stuffed and Curly
invites Spider and Embalmed Spice for a drink. Spider refuses,
which is a cue for Embalmed Spice to do likewise. Once Lorraine
has gone, Curly comes clean and tells Spider that he fancies Lorraine.
"But what would a girl like that see in a bloke like me?"
he says. (Which is what I say to my mother whenever she 'matchmakes'
for me at family parties.)
The final scene takes place at the McDonalds. Liz tells
"Legs" that the past two years have been the loneliest
of her life; Legs tells her that she should have tried living
in a house that was once a family home. Liz counters by saying
that he should try living in someone else's house with someone
else's furniture and a whole cellar filled to the brim with root
vegetables. Then Liz suggests that if they are to take things
one day at a time, would it be possible to start tonight? (In
other words, she wants to stop over). Jim says he'd like that,
but that there would be no hard feelings on his part. She says
she doesn't mind: at least he won't be able to roll over and kick
her in the middle of the night. And with Jim's tender "I
love you", the music swells and the credits roll.
Wednesday 15 July
That's it for another week. Sorry about the delay,
but with this one out of the way, we should be back on track.
Anyway, I'm off to enjoy meself. I think I've earned
Love and hugs,
The episode commences with Alec letting in the inspector
who has come to investigate the source of Rita's gas leak. Alec
is still brooding on what might have happened had he not found
Rita, but the inspector has a job to do, to find out how it happened.
The inspector asks whether there is a gas boiler on the premises
and when Alec tells him that he doesn't really know, he says that
it is probably the fire and according to him, the most usual culprit
is jackdaws. Apparently, they build their nests in the chimneys
and block the flue, so there is no ventilation
Friday 17 July
There is no apparently about this, dear Update readers,
as it was about a year ago that the same happened to us - Jack
(!), a young Jackdaw had occupied such a nest.. unfortunately,
he slipped off the ledge and ended up at ground level behind
our gas fire. Abandoned by his parents, he was too young and
weak to fly out and the squawking and flapping behind the fire
was distressing to say the least. It took a visit from the gas
engineer to dismantle the fire, one from the chimney sweep to
rescue same bird and another visit from the engineer to put the
fire back. On the advice of the bird people, we put Jack into
an old budgie cage we had, but after a few days, he was still
struggling, pretty weak and traumatised, so we ended up taking
him to a Bird Sanctuary, where they built him up for a few weeks,
before successfully releasing him into the wild. The whole episode
cost us around £150 in engineer's and chimney sweep's fee,
plus a donation to the Sanctuary and inclusive of a few quid
for the fitting of a chimney cowl, which would have saved all
concerned a load of bother and distress. Such is life!
Back at the Websters, Sally is putting on her make-up
- she tells Kevin that she is going to pop into town, get some
stuff for Rita and will call in on her on the way to work. When
Kevin asks whether she will be finishing late, she says no, she
is owed a day in lieu, but if Mike wants her to work overtime,
she will - what dedication! Kevin tells her he's fancies them
going out for a meal, but at this, Sally snaps at him, accusing
him of being very keen to go out for meals all of a sudden. When
Kevin explains that it is not as if they cannot afford to do so,
and in any case, it gives them a chance of being on their own,
Sally is hesitant and asks him not to make any firm arrangements,
in case she's not up to it (the fact that she is up for it, is,
of course, another matter, especially as it's not with RKevin).
Kevin asks whether she has heard from her sister, Gina - this
is obviously in connection with the sale of Sally's mum's house
and Kevin tells her that he cannot wait until they own the garage,
100% and get rid of Natalie. Sally asks him whether he had ever
wondered what it would have been like if they hadn't got back
together and he had stayed with Natalie - he is surprised at her
question and asks whether she is trying to give him nightmares.
She wonders whether he might have been happy with Natalie, but
he is rather puzzled by the conversation. When he asks what she
is trying to say, she dismisses her thoughts as being stupid.
Kevin tries to reassure her by telling her that all he thinks
about is her and the girls. The look on her face tells a different
Liz and Jim are carrying out a post-mortem on their
night of passion - a sort of "how was it for you?" session.
Liz tells Jim she loves him and wants to be with him. Jim sighs
and comments that "that side of things was always very good
between us." Liz agrees, but points out that they had problems
in just about every other department "you never know, celibacy
might just turn us into the perfect couple. I can wait as long
as it takes" she reassures. "Can you? Well, even if
you can, why the hell should you?" is Jim's response. Liz
continues to try to put his mind at ease by telling him she recognises
it won't be plain sailing for either of them, but it is what she
wants. "You are what I want!"
Betty has come in to the Kabin - she tells Alec she
has not come to buy anything, she was just wondering whether he
intends making an appearance at the Rovers. Alec replies that
he intends to pop in to see how they are all managing. Betty tells
him that they are managing "I mean, we've got no choice.
I don't know about the customers... I mean, they hate to be kept
waiting for their ale." When Alec points out that he cannot
really leave Rita in the lurch, Betty replies that this then leaves
them in the lurch. She commends Alec for the kindness he is showing
to Rita, but points out that he has his own business to run. Alec
tells her he will pop in later this evening, but Betty tells him
that it's at lunchtime that they are busy. She comments on how
tired he looks and he tells her that he was up at 5 a.m. doing
the papers. Betty beseeches Alec to slow down himself, as the
way he is going, Rita won't be the only one in hospital.
The gas inspector comes into the Kabin and asks Alec
who installed the gas fire in Rita's. He tells Alec that it has
been fitted in the last 12 months - his four-year old could have
done a better job - although it would have been better if it had
been a newer model of fire as the newer versions have safety devices,
the problem was with the actual installation. He points out that
he would be very surprised if they were CORGI registered [for
the benefit of overseas readers, CORGI is the Confederation of
Registered Gas Installers, the official body of approved installers
of gas appliances] and they would be in hot water if they are
CORGI registered. The gasman tells Alec that this was an accident
waiting to happen, that Rita is lucky to be alive and that whoever
put the fire in should be prosecuted.
Liz is asking Jim whether she should stay the night
again. He replies that it is up to her. She says it's a big step
moving back in so soon after getting together, however, they are
not kids. She tells him she will have to let Deirdre know.. she
doesn't want to leave her in the lurch. She asks Jim to confirm
that this is what he wants and his reply is that nothing would
make him happier. "Well then. You're on!" says Liz.
She intends to inform Deirdre and tells Jim she thinks it's a
great idea as she gives him a sloppy kiss. As she leaves the house,
she bumps into Steve on his way in.. she says to Jim that she'll
leave Jim to tell Steve the good news.
Sally has called into the hospital to visit Rita. Rita
tells her that she feels tired and her head is still banging,
but apart from that. She tells Sally that, let alone knowing how
long she is going to be there, she doesn't even know how she got
there in the first place. She remembers bits and pieces - sitting
in her flat, feeling as if she was suffocating, she remembers
being in the ambulance - the next thing she knows, a nurse is
taking her blood pressure. "Carbon monoxide fumes, the doctor
said", she explains to Sally. Sally tells her how lucky she
was and this if it were not for Alec, then Rita would not be here
at all. She explains how Alec went round to see her, there was
no answer, so he came looking for Sally. He made Greg Kelly kick
the door in. Rita is grateful and expresses the wish to phone
and thank him, as Sally continues to tell her how good Alec is
- he is not to be found at the Rovers, as he is looking after
the Kabin. Apparently, he had insisted on doing so, as Leanne
was too young to cope on her own. When Rita admits that she was
worried about the shop, Sally tells her that there is no need,
indeed Alec is even getting up in the morning to do the papers.
"He's been absolutely amazing, the rest of us haven't had
a look in" gushes Sally.
Steve has rushed hot-foot into the salon to tell Fiona
the news about Jim and Liz getting together and that Liz is even
thinking of moving back in. "I told you something good would
come of it" he tells her. A stunned Fiona replies that she
cannot believe the way his mind works, presumably he did his dad
a favour by pushing him off the scaffolding, "what was it?
Your good deed for the day?" He insists that he didn't mean
it this way and had hoped she would be pleased. Fiona tells him
that she is pleased, but for Jim and Liz and not for him.
Sally is about to leave Rita at the hospital. She gives
Rita some make-up and a new nightie she has got her and when Rita
tries to pay her for this, Sally won't hear of it.. besides it
gave her a chance to treat herself. She shows Rita a new top she
has bought and asks her opinion. When Rita replies that it is
like something Leanne would wear, Sally is pleased and says that
she is fed up of looking like an old maid. When Rita asks how
Kevin and the girls are, and comments on how the holiday would
have done them good, Sally tells her that a holiday apart from
Kevin would have done them even more good - she tries to explain
it away by saying that it's not easy a family of four, spending
all waking hours together. Rita offers to have the kids when she
gets out of hospital, so that Kevin and Sally can have some time
alone. Sally tells her that, although she doesn't wish to worry
her, it might be quite a while before Rita is up to it.
As Sally is about to leave, Alec arrives. He comments
that Rita looks like she's on the mend. "I'm alive, Alec
and I know who I have to thank for that" replies a grateful
and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End
of part 1
After the ads, it's
Alec is at Rita's bedside maintaining that he was just trying
to be a good neighbour but it was Greg Kelly, who gave her the
kiss of life. "Really?" says Rita, "I wish I'd
been awake for that!" (Woman!! You cannot be serious????)
"and Sally," continues Alec, adding that it was a team
effort. Alec is clearly tired and asks whether is OK for him to
take his shoes off. "It's hard work doing the papers in the
morning, isn't it?" asks Rita innocently. "You can say
that again!" replies Alec, then realising that Rita knows,
he adds "Sally told you, then, has she?" Rita mockingly
chastises him that he didn't ask for her permission . Alec maintains
that he did. "It's just that you were unconscious at the
time!" Rita maintains that Alec does not have to do this,
but Alec insists that somebody has got to do it. When Rita tells
him that this is what she pays Leanne for, Alec retorts that Leanne
is just a kid, she cannot manage on her own.. besides.. he likes
helping out, it gets him out of the Rovers. Rita expresses her
gratitude but says that he has enough on his plate. When Alec
tries to tell her not to worry about the shop, Rita replies that
it is him she is worried about. Alec insists that there is nothing
to worry about, he has "the constitution of a 20-year old,"
as he fails to stifle a massive yawn, which gives the game away
as to how tired he really is, "full of life I am". "So
I can see!" replies an unconvinced Rita.
Outside Underworld, Sally is going into work. She bumps
into Greg - he tells her that he was wondering where she was,
the place wasn't the same without her. She tells him that she
has just been to see Rita. Greg compliments Sally on her T-shirt,
asking whether it is new.
As they go their separate ways, Maxine catches up with
Greg and invites him out, after work, much to his surprise. She
kisses Greg and as she does so, we see Sally viewing the scene,
Back at the hospital, Alec has fallen asleep in the
chair, with exhaustion. Rita wakes him up. Alec is upset at falling
asleep. Rita says she had to wake him up in case he had to get
back and tells him not to worry - she has phoned Leanne and insists
that he should go home and put his feet up. When Alec tells her
that he'll see her tomorrow, Rita tells him that she would like
that. Just as he is about to leave, he asks her who fitted the
gas fire. "It was Jim McDonald, although it was Steve who
actually did the work" she replies. We see the anger flicker
on his face as Steve's name in mentioned yet again, in a negative
At the Rovers, Ken is asking Betty if there is any
news on Rita. Betty tells him that, although she is still very
poorly, she is off the critical list now. Ken is in particularly
cheerful mood saying that the side-effects can go on for years
with headaches, loss of memory, that sort of thing!!
Deirdre greets Liz coming into the pub "Ooh, here
she is! Dirty stop out!" and after she has ordered Liz's
drink, tells her that she was nearly sending a search party out
for her! When Liz says that she should have phoned, Deirdre replies
that she had a fair idea where she was! "I was at Jim's",
gushes Liz. "You are providing 24 hour nursing cover now,
eh?" jokes Deirdre at which stage Liz confides that it's
got to be a bit more than that.. "actually, we're thinking
about moving back in together.. just thinking about it - not gonna
rush into anything" (yeah like thinking a whole 5 milliseconds!)
Lorraine brings Curly's drink to him.. he thanks her
for all her help at the campaign meeting. She tells him that she
enjoyed herself, at least she enjoyed the company - she admits
that she doesn't find politics very exciting to tell the truth.
Curly replies that she obviously doesn't know Spider very well
and that some of his antics in the past would have made her hair
curl - like direct action, civil unrest, throwing up barricades,
retain espionage. "Wow!" replies Lorraine as Curly misreads
the response and tries to persuade her that this is all in the
past, now that he has managed to persuade him if he wishes to
each his goals, he has to sue the ballot box rather than his freezer
cabinets. He adds that he is Spider's "sort of, erm, Svengali,
at the moment" Lorraine offers to help if needed.. "What
about tonight?" leaps in Curly.. he tells her that they are
having a strategy meeting in the Rovers, but she feels she might
be out of her depth. Trying to grease his way in, he tells her
that her input would be very useful (yeah right!). Flattered,
she accepts as he adds that if the discussion gets too lively
they can always go for a Chinese meal.
Deirdre is getting the drinks in, saying that she hopes
Liz knows what she is letting herself in for. Liz says she should
do, as they have been together 23 years on and off. When Deirdre
points out it was definitely off till Jim has his accident, Liz
replies that sometimes a tragedy like that helps you get things
in perspective. "And sometimes it can muddy the waters"
warns Deirdre, "are you sure you're not confusing love and
pity?" Liz denies this is the case, although she does admit
to pitying him, who wouldn't if you they had been through Jim's
experience, but it doesn't mean she doesn't love him. She always
loved him, even when he put her through hell, and seeing how strong
he has been and how he has coped with his accident, she loves
him more than ever. Deirdre expresses pleasure at Liz's happiness,
toasts Liz's and Jim's future.
At Underworld, Greg has come in to find Sally working
late and comments on her beginning to make a habit of it, he wonders
whether she has a home to go to. Sally confides that the way she
feels right now, she'd prefer being here. When he says that for
someone who has just come off holiday, she doesn't look very happy,
she brushes off the comment, by saying she is just being miserable
and that he should just ignore her. When she makes to leave because
Kevin is supposed to be taking her out for a meal, Greg replies
that she doesn't look too thrilled at the prospect. She tells
him it's all a bit complicated and when he offers to listen, she
tells him that maybe things are just getting on top of her. Greg
offers to share a bottle of red wine given to him by an appreciative
customer. She agrees to stay for just one glass.
Curly calls round to see Spider to persuade him that
they need a strategy meeting, to think of some new ideas. Spider
looks game for it and Curly suggests the Rovers in 30 minutes.
When Spider suggests inviting Emily and Toyah, Curly dismisses
the idea, suggesting this is a meeting for the "inner circle,
yeah, me, you and Lorraine." When Spider says that Lorraine
is hardly key to the campaign, Curly admits that she is key to
Sally and Greg are in Mike's office drinking the wine.
Sally wonders what Mike would say, but Greg tells her that he
spoke to Mike an hour ago and he was told to lock up. Sally tells
Greg that she still feels she is doing something she shouldn't.
Greg asks whether that is such a bad thing, he offers (jokingly?)
to take her through last month's sales figures if she wants. He
opens up a discussion on the state of Sally's marriage to Kevin,
she admits all marriages have their ups and downs and theirs is
no different. She then admits that Kevin started seeing someone
else last year.. "you know her, Natalie, she works at the
Rovers, she owns part of the garage." When Greg senses all
is not well by suggesting that maybe Sally cannot forgive him
for it, she admits that when your life has been turned upside
down, it makes you think about all those things you took for granted.
She tells him that she is trying so hard to make it work, but
she has changed, her eyes have been opened, she feels like she
is missing out on something. When she makes to leave, Greg senses
his opportunity and tells her that she cannot waste her life like
this. She tells him that she has said to much, "it's just
the drink talking" "Well this isn't" replies Greg
as he takes hold of her and kisses her.
At the pub, the strategy meeting is in full flow. Those
present Spider, Curly and Lorraine. Curly is suggesting that every
day starts with a Breakfast Meeting and they decide exactly what
the want to achieve that day. A parallel but totally unrelated
conversation is going on between Lorraine and Spider - she is
quizzing him about living underground in a tunnel. When Curly
tries to bring the conversation back on track, Lorraine makes
her excuses to go to the loo. Spider tells Curly that he is enjoying
the meeting, but Curly points out that it isn't helping him, or
the campaign. When Spider agrees and asks what they should do,
Curly's suggestion is "Why don't you shove off? I'll tell
her that you've got an interview with a local paper." He
begs Spider to leave and is relieved when Spider agrees.
Maxine is waiting for Greg and when Fiona comes in,
she admits she is waiting for Greg, who is across the road.. after
all, the car is parked outside.
By the time that Lorraine has returned from the loo,
Spider has gone. Curly tells her that Spider had to dash off.
He suggests that they carry on and offers to get her a drink.
Clearly disappointed by Spider's departure, Lorraine tells him
she is a bit tired. She has been working all day. She should get
home herself. Now it's Curly's turn to be disappointed.
Back at the factory, Greg and Sally are in a passionate
clinch. When Sally asks what they are doing, Greg replies it is
only what he has been wanting to do ever since he starter there.
Sally asks whether the door is locked and when Greg says it isn't,
Sally tells him to lock it. He does so and comes back to her and
both pick up where they left off, the episode ending with them
in a passionate embrace
And it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Mark Wadlow
All material is, and remains, copyright property of
Well, how was it for me? One of those episodes, where
the scene is being set for future storylines, rather than any
real action.. unless you dismiss the Sally/Greg storyline, which
I would be delighted to do.
Rita and Alec are good as ever, but unfortunately
a pretty average script as this things go.
Anyway that's it for now.. Until next week, take care
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ - Alan
Sunday 19 July
(This update was previously on sale at the higher
price at our Weatherfield store for a period of not less than
14 days. Only for sale at this price on a non-returns basis)
Bonjour encore, mes amis. I wonder if it will be still
be Summer by the time this finally reaches you ? Well, Winter
in the southern hemisphere, but perhaps still Summer all points
north of the Equator ? Certainly not in the yoo-kay, should you
be unlucky enough to be residing here with me. Perpetual spring
and autumn we're getting. Maybe it's New Labour - New Seasons
? The Millenium Bug, perhaps ?
Whatever, I'm off on holiday soon, and we're not going
far enough south for my liking, unless things improve. Did you
ever have those raincoat and board games holidays when you were
a child, too ? Oh, please no, I have no desire to be the parent
on the receiving end of endless whinging. And talking of holidays,
I'll have to take a break from doing these updates while I'm
sunning myself on a beach/hiding from the torrential rain/ whatever.
(I'm fairly sure the Isle of Wight is bereft of cybercafes...)
As yet, I haven't organised a stand-in, and it looks rather as
if one or two of the other guys might be away at about the same
time, so unless a whole rash of willing volunteers turn up, there
may be a small break in service. Sorry about that. More nearer
Ooh, guess what ! I'm attending my first Ping at the
end of next week ! It's not me, I said it's not me, socialising
with a bunch of strangers. I'm more the hiding away in the kitchen
with the whisky bottle kind of person. Speak when spoken to,
and not before. That sort of thing. "He's quiet, your husband,
isn't he ?" ("They're dull, your friends, aren't they
?" Clout.) I'm thinking of making up a big label to go round
my neck - please look after this bear - if found asleep, put
on return train to Manchester. If I don't get home afterwards,
I'll be in BIG trouble. Grounded for years, probably. Wish me
It's been one of those weeks for feeling old. Letter
from the health centre asking me to book an appointment for a
general check-up, heart screen, summat along those lines. Haven't
been yet - thinking of following the advice of a friend who's
been ducking requests to attend a "Well Man" clinic
at his doctors' for about 6 years now. He's medically trained
himself, who am I to argue with such wisdom ? Oh, and our first
"is she really going out dressed like that ?" moment
with our daughter. School-leaving disco, skimpy top, clumpy platform
shoes, hair, makeup, the works. Came back in tears, of course
- some problem with the musical chairs game. Oh, did I not say
she's only 7 ?
Anyway, as it said at the start of tonight's show,
relax (with Cadbury's Caramel) and let the soothing tones of
those familiar brass instruments wash over you as we take a trip
down the cobbled backstreets of Weatherfield...
Picking up where we left off on Friday night, Maxine leaves the
Rovers and jiggles off down the road towards the factory, in search
of Greg. [Tight pink low-cut dress, jiggles, use your imagination
!] On the way, she passes Lorraine and Spider. Our latest recruit
is offering to take Spider to a party that night. He declines,
claiming a prior engagement with Auntie Em, sorting out some jumble.
[Whether this is true, or Spider is uninterested, or gallantly
leaving the way clear for his new mate Curly, we're not sure.
Perhaps a bit of all three.] Lorraine says goodnight, and then
bumps into Curly, emerging from his house. He wonders if she is
going out tonight, but apparently not, she has remembered she
has an essay to write. She bids him farewell, hurrying off down
the street before he has a chance to notice her wooden nose growing
by the second. Deflated, Curly greets Spider and asks if Lorraine
has been talking about him. "Just ask her out, Curly !"
advises Spider. Curly tells him he married once, to a beautiful
blond barmaid who worked in the Rovers. "What happened ?
She went off to Kuala Lumpur !". Spider suggests Curly could
try the sympathy angle.
In Mike's factory [which I swear was rocking slightly
on its foundations, and those windows *were* steamed up], Greg
and Sally are straightening items of clothing and picking up papers
which have somehow got scattered over the floor, when they hear
the front door opening. Greg has failed to secure it properly
[let's hope he took a little more care in other departments !],
and in walks Maxine. "What's going on ?" she asks. Greg
tells her they are tidying up after Mike. She spots the empty
bottle of wine [you knew it was red, didn't you ?] and asks what
it's about. Greg tells her that that was the reason why Mike had
screwed up some paperwork - too much drinking in the office. Throughout,
Sally looks as guilty as hell. She makes her excuses and leaves
Greg and the brainless one alone. "Shall we go to the Rovers
?" asks Maxine. No, Greg wants to go somewhere where they
can get some proper champagne, he wants to celebrate. "Celebrate
what ?". "Getting away with it !!" he responds,
meaning the supposed cock-up that Mike left him to sort out. She
kisses him, and fails to notice that he must be reeking of wine.
Over at Weatherfield General, Alec is still trying
to persuade Rita to take action against Steve Macdonald over the
faulty gas fire, but Rita is too tired to be thinking about anything
other than getting some rest.
Back at the Websters, the shameless one is grinning
at herself in the mirror. Kevin comes in, and tells Sally that
he off to the solicitors the next morning to sort out the transfer
of the garage into his name. Poor Kevin thinks everything is going
swimmingly, and they embrace. He too fails to notice that strong
wine smell. [I have it on good authority that Sally Whittaker
does not particularly enjoy the steamy scenes with Greg. Well,
Sally, all I can say is that it didn't seem to affect your performance
last Friday in Underworld ! I'll swear that Greg was turning blue
through lack of oxygen...]
Fiona is tidying up in the salon. [Only two things
happen in the salon - hair gets poked about a bit with brushes
or fingers, and people sweep up.] Steve has got the nostalgic
hand-made British sports car, Morgan, off to sleep. An early night
is suggested as a way of making up for the predicted 3am feed.
Alec barges in at this point, telling Steve that he's not going
to get away with it. Steve is confused, but when he learns that
the cause of Rita's hospitalisation has been determined to be
the gas fire that he installed, tells Alec that it was fitted
over a year ago.
I don't beliiieeeeevvve it ! About 53 seconds into the episode,
and the adverts troll in. I'm only a quarter of the way through
my notes, for heaven's sake... I suppose we should be grateful
that there will only be just the one interruption in our half-hour
show. The ads are all bobbins, as usual. Straight on to the lengthy...
Alec has obviously left the salon, but Fiona and Steve continue
to debate what the latest news means to them. Fiona points out
that Jim and Bill Webster would be held responsible, as they ran
the business at the time. Steve determines to protect his Dad
[and no doubt himself if he can manage it.]
[Oops. I think Alec has left the salon because it's
the next day ! Pay attention at the back, Laird !!] In the factory,
the girls are all at work and Mike arrives and hands Greg a cheque
for his latest whatever-it-is-he- does. "That'll put a bigger
smile on your face than that Maxine can !" he says. They
exchange some banter about how well business is going, and Mike
invites Greg into his office to talk privately. On the way, Greg
and Sally exchange knowing smiles. Janice looks on.
Back at the salon again. Maxine is cradling Morgan
and trilling to Fiona how she "knows" Greg really cares
for her, and isn't just after one thing. ["Yeah he can get
that anytime from that tramp Sally, but it's *me* he takes out
!". No, only kidding.] She shows Fiona a brochure from an
expensive hotel and tells her she has planned a surprise weekend
there. "I want to show Greg that I can appreciate classy
things too." Fiona's reply is spot on - "What, like
his wallet ?". Maxine figures that even if she books the
hotel, Greg will almost certainly insist on paying in the end
anyway. It's it's a fair bet she really can't afford the treat.
Alec and Fred are discussing the upcoming election,
in the Rovers. Fred thinks it's time for all hands on deck. Continuing
the nautical theme, Alec says "like on the Titanic, you mean
?". No, no, says Fred, they're off to press the flesh with
the proletariat. [Only Fred can get away with lines like this.]
"You know, string vests and kids with impetigo !". Alec
observes that, truly, he and Audrey represent the caring side
Jim is also in the pub, having a good laugh with Ken,
it would appear. Steve arrives and wonders what's happening, as
his Dad used to be of the opinion that Ken was a pompous prat.
"A lot's changed", says Jim, "I'm on top of the
world". Steve looks thoughtful. "Something on your mind
?" enquired Jim. Steve looks more thoughtful. A decision
is imminent. Finally, he gets up and leaves. "Yes, something
I need to go and do" says the coward as he leaves Jim looking
On location, Audrey and Fred are accosting a pair of
buggy-pushing women, with the fragrant one promising free child-minding
if she is elected. [The scriptwriters must have a real downer
on politicians and their false promises !] Fred goes for the under-18
vote, and bellows at this hapless toddler "HELLO, LITTLE
BABY !". Said baby promptly dissolves into tears ! Fred places
a campaign sticker on the poor little lad, and the two mums rush
off without saying a word. [I.e. they are non-speaking extras.]
Fred and Audrey look pleased with this "success", until
they spot a poster nearby, which has been defaced with various
graffiti - I made out "French lessons", a phone number,
and a moustache...
Steve has obviously changed tack, and has decided to
broach the subject of the gas fire with Rita instead. He arrives
at the hospital with a large bunch of flowers. Rita is under no
illusions as to the purpose of his visit, but he plays it very
innocently, pointing out that although he did fit the fire, it
would be Bill and his Dad who would be held responsible. [He also
mentioned that it had been fitted over a year ago, and must have
been working properly to start with.] Further, he reckons the
authorities wouldn't go to the effort of bringing Bill back from
Germany, so in all likelihood Jim would be the one in the dock.
And what with him being in a wheelchair and all that...
Curly and Toyah are brewing up some coffee in Curly's
living room, when Spider and Lorraine arrive. Curly immediately
offers his cup of (untouched) coffee to Lorraine, saying that
Toyah will make some more. "I will not" she mutters
to herself. Things start to go to pot at this point, as Curly
witters on in a fake exaggerated voice to Lorraine about getting
some pizza and how they could all go canvassing. And frankly it
was all dull, dull, dull. I hope they were paying Curly well for
this, as I wouldn't have graced the scene with my presence at
all. Black mark, Mr Park.
What a total contrast as we return to Fred and Audrey,
knocking at the door of a prospective voter. It's not quite Stan
Ogden's "string vest", but it is a heavily built guy
with a sleeveless T-shirt and a large Alsatian straining at the
lead. Fred introduces them in flowery terms and mentions Alf in
a very roundabout fashion. "Is he all there ?" asks
the man. Audrey picks up the spiel. "I'm carrying on the
good work of my husband, Alf, who held my seat for many years
!" [It gets better, too !] In reply to some of Audrey's policy
declarations, the man declares "I've a policy of me own.
I don't buy from t'door. Not double glazing, not dusters, and
not scraggy old tarts !!". He's not done yet. "So you,
and slaphead here, get lost before my dog [name of Prince] gets
hold of your seat a lot firmer than your flamin' husband !".
He slams the door on them. Audrey rounds off the scene nicely.
"If Spider wants to represent this lot, he's welcome to them..."
Steve has put the flowers into a vase, and sits them
next to Rita's bed. She asks him what the chances are of Jim walking
again. Steve tells her a lot depends on Jim himself, and manages
to leave enough doubt in his voice about how it might turn out.
Rita tells him that Jim will have to know about the fire. Just
then, Alec arrives, and is angry to see Steve there. But Rita
tells him that she was talking to Steve, and doesn't need his
help. Steve tells her that if she decides to prosecute, it might
be the last straw for his Dad.
Over to Curly's once more, and the Green campaign team
have polished off the pizza. Everything sinks into the mire once
more as Curly witters on again, this time about how he was a binman
before he went to college [actually, I always thought it was the
other way round], and all the while Lorraine is clearly paying
little attention while smiling at Spider and Toyah is feeling
more and more left out as the "intellectuals" rabbit
on. This Curly and Lorraine plot needs shooting, so it does. [I
used to be handy with a rifle, myself, if they need a hand.]
Quick trip back to the hospital, to find Rita and Alec.
She ticks him off once more for interfering in her business and
tells him that suing Jim Macdonald won't make her any better,
she's on the mend anyway, but it might make him [Jim, that is]
a lot worse. She's made up her mind, it seems.
To the Rovers once more, and Greg and Mike are having
a drink. Greg lets it be known that he has considered going it
alone before, and there have been offers of support already. Mike
is coming to his own conclusions. Much as he likes work, he also
likes his wife, and his golf, and wants more time for them. He
thinks it would be a good idea for Greg to take on more of the
running of the factory, and see how that goes.
Fred and Audrey have returned for a post flesh-pressing
drink. Fred can smell victory, and tells Audrey that as the election
is so close, she can promise voters more or less what she likes.
"Halve the rates, and free somethings for OAPS." [Please
insert your own "something", I can't read my own writing
! It could have been anything.]
Kevin and Sally arrive. He's even more buoyant than
before [we presume this is after his visit to his solicitor].
He wants to put the garage into their joint names, so it will
really be a partnership, as their marriage is going so well. So
happy is he, he invites Mike and Greg over to join in their celebration.
Sally stares at the bar, but the ground resolutely refuses to
open up and swallow her.
This episode was written by David Lane.
This would have been a truly fine episode without
all the dreary bits about Curly and Lorraine. It's been a fair
while now since we last saw Curly seriously trying to pull, but
I'm sure he wasn't this cringingly awful clown with the annoying
accent and total lack of confidence. And despite his goggles,
he must be able to see Lorraine looking all gooey at Spider.
No, I'm sorry, this is just plain drivel. Let's hope it's over
On the other hand, the bits with Fred and Audrey out
campaigning in the street were just brilliant. And I'm going
to go out on a bit of limb again and put in a good word for Greg.
I actually think he's starting to shape up rather well, especially
in the smooth way he dealt with Maxine when she burst in on him
and Sally in the factory. You haven't seen the word "Blandford"
in one of my updates, have you ?
On the third hand, I admit I was wrong about Liz and
Jim's therapist. It was Jim she was falling for, after all. Oops
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ***1/2
That'll be all for now, so it will - John Laird
What a surprise, it's breakfast chez Webster. Kevin
is getting all excited about the prospect of renaming the business
'Webster, Webster and daughters', although he'd really like it
to be 'Webster and Son' one day. Sally is getting less enthusiastic
about the partnership, and this last suggestion is a bit too early
for her imagination. She tries to tell Kevin that she's giving
him the money so that it his business, and his alone, but he wants
it to be a continuation of their partnership.
Alec is meddling in the Kabin, getting in Leanne's
way, and getting the prices all wrong. Leanne comments that 'Rita
will go bust in a week at this rate.' Sally comes in, and takes
advantage of Mike being there to ask for time off so that she
can visit Rita in hospital - but she promises to make the time
up later, after hours. Could it be that she's planning on making
up that time with Greg? Mike agrees.
In the Cafe, RToyah is seeking Roy's opinion of her
school project on drugs. Roy, ever tactful, tells her that it
has a lot to recommend it, but it is unstructured and rambling.
'But you said it had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end?'
'Yes, but preferably in that order.' Roy tells her that she's
not thick, but a bit of help, extra coaching, might be a good
idea. 'No way', says RToyah, 'I'm not having everyone calling
me a 'boff'.'
Rita is asleep in her bed at Weatherfield General,
and so too is Alec. Well, he's asleep in one of those 'the NHS
isn't here to provide comfort' visitor chairs. A pretty blonde
doctor appears, and Rita explains that he's one of her better
friends, he is running her business as well as his own. As Rita
is praising him to Doctor Plowman, it seems that Alec is actually
awake, and quietly enjoying what he hears. The good doctor wants
to know about Rita's domestic situation, family etc, as she wants
to know that Rita will have someone to provide care arrangements
when she is discharged. Alec, of course, volunteers for this,
despite his exhaustion.
Alec brings up the McDonalds again - he wants to press
charges, but Rita wants it all forgotten.
Spider and Curly are amusing themselves with Audrey's
election manifesto, while RToyah folds copies - it's a bit reactionary
and over the top, like Community Litter Gangs. Spider is beginning
to think that people might actually be taken in by Audrey, and
elect her. Toyah seems to be taken in too, and thinks she is being
mocked for being thick, although Spider has to climb out of this
hole rather quickly. Curly suggests they get Lorraine round, but
Toyah storms off, thinking they are again teasing her.
As Alec leaves Rita's bedside, Rita again tells him
to drop the McDonald business. Alec thinks that the World ought
to be protected from McDonald workmanship, but Rita stops him,
saying 'well they won't hear it from me....... and they won't
hear it from you'. He mutters and leaves, just bumping into Sally
who really has come to visit.
When Rita hears that she's going to do overtime to
make up, she tells her that she shouldn't be doing it, she should
be doing something romantic with Kevin instead of slaving over
a machine. Rita senses that there is something 'up', which is
probably explained by the idea of the new Sally / Kevin partnership
Lorraine Dull comes into Roy's Rolls for some takeaway
doughnuts and things. RToyah sneers under her breath at her order
for custard pie - 'Where would you like the custard pie?', which
Lorraine doesn't seem to hear. Toyah hides her surprise when Lorraine
asks if she's going to the big campaign meeting tonight. She hadn't
known about it, but covers that up.
Roy wants to know why she's not at school, and whether
she has handed in her project. Toyah hasn't, because she thinks
there's no point. Roy tries a little bribe - if she hands it in,
he'll advance her wages so that she can go out with Spider and
Lorraine later. Toyah is very pleased by this.
Spider is in the Rover's, handing out Audrey's leaflets
to highlight her loopy policies. Jim is particularly taken with
her idea of removing disabled parking spaces outside shops so
as to improve access for able people. Jim's all for that if it
means he doesn't have to go shopping.
Fred wants to know what's going on, and Spider tells
him that Audrey's manifesto is pathetic, the most cynical piece
of electioneering he has ever seen. As Fred says, 'It's just an
imaginative use of public relations, that. Give a far sighted
visionary like Audrey Roberts a blank agenda and see what she
comes up with', but Spider answers that rhetoric with 'enough
manure to bury you up to your neck!' Alec has to break them up,
telling them to restrain themselves until Polling Day.
Still in the Rover's, Kevin asks Alec about Rita, and
Alec is delighted to be able to spout about how lucky she is to
be alive, given the shabby workmanship of the gas fire. Jim can't
believe he's overhearing this, and Alec goes on to say that if
Jim has a guilty conscience somewhere in his head, then it is
entirely appropriate. Fred takes a keen interest in overhearing
Monday 20 July
END OF PART ONE
And Part Two starts a bit later than expected, because
I went to the York Ping in between. A cracking day out, friends
old and new, and a quiz.
So it's Monday now, if I don't get this finished today
I'll be 2.5 episodes behind by 19:30, and that just won't do.
Alec rushes up to the Kabin just as Leanne is locking up, presumably
for her lunch. He excuses his tardiness by having another business
to run, Leanne reckons that he is likely to run this one into
the ground - she's spent all morning repricing all his mistakes.
Alec tells her that 'Mrs Sullivan will be out of hospital soon',
news which pleases Leanne because then they'll get back to normal
- far from running the Kabin for Rita, Leanne tells him that he
couldn't run 'a paperboy's tea party' - which is perhaps the newsagent's
equivalent of a p*ss up in a brewery.
As Leanne leaves for her lunch, Jim wheels up to ask
what the crack is - why is Alec bad-mouthing him? Alec tells him
that he's been asked to keep out of it 'but let me put these things
together for you: gas fire, installer, Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
Does that ring any bells?' Jim has to admit that it doesn't, his
memory is not what it was. But he does tell Alec that he knows
his work was professional, because that's the kind of man he is.
'The kind of man that gets drunk and falls off buildings?' asks
Alec, then assures Jim that 'the authorities will help you with
your memory loss'.
It must be late afternoon by now, and Mike is asking
Sally if she is serious about doing overtime - surely as a devoted
wife and mother she'd want to get back to her loved ones? She
is keen, but Mike seems troubled and tells her that he doesn't
like leaving her alone - he'll stay behind too and catch up on
some paperwork. Sally tries to discourage him by suggesting Alma
doesn't see enough of him. He wonders what she has been saying,
and then decides to stay on another ten minutes or so.
Electioneering again. Curly is apparently counting
out copies of Audrey's manifesto, and Spider is teasing Lorraine
about whether she would enter the proposed Miss Weatherfield competition.
Curly comments that she'd win it hands down, then behaves as if
he has committed a faux pas. To rescue himself he goes off to
get some beers, leaving Spider to tell Lorraine what a great bloke
Curly is, salt of the Earth, that sort of thing. 'And what do
you think of him?' he asks Lorraine. Spider thinks that his involvement
in this matchmaking is complete when Lorraine says that 'he's
great, I really like him'.
Over at Hair By Muppets Fiona wants Maxime to give
her the details about her forthcoming weekend away with Greg.
Maxime says she's told her once, but she took more interest in
seeing Steve off than listening to Maxime (not a lot of choice,
there, but she took the right one). Still, she's pleased to repeat
it. Maxime thinks that a change of scene might give Greg the boost
to make a bigger commitment to her. She runs out when she sees
him pass the window.
Sally is still trying to get Mike to go home - telling
him not to make it so obvious that he doesn't trust her. He denies
that he doesn't trust her, but announces anyway that he's off
to the Rover's. Sally allows herself a wry little smile. The coast
Back at Muppetland, Steve comes in and surprises Fiona.
Jim's not far behind, he's come to tell them that they might be
responsible for Rita's brush with death. He can't remember whether
he fitted the Central Heating or not, Steve confirms that it was
himself - Fiona is quick to qualify that it would be under Jim
and Bill's supervision. 'We can be in real trouble here, Steve.
You understand me?'
Lorraine is quizzing Spider on his tastes in music
- she's pleased that they have so much in common: Chumbawumba,
The Levellers, Saw Doctors, Super Furry Animals. Curly comes back
with the beers, and Spider tries to deflect Lorraine's attention
- 'Curly likes Super Furry Animals as well, don't you mate?' but
Curly is only thinking of small mammals, and doesn't catch on.
RToyah is cleaning up in the cafe, and is ready for
home. Roy, true to his word, takes her advance wages from the
till and confirms with her that she has handed in her project.
Toyah doesn't think her teacher was impressed with it. She goes
on to say that though she does care, there's so much she wants
to be able to say, but when she does say things they don't come
out right. Roy nods, and agrees that he knows that feeling well.
Toyah doesn't believe him because he knows loads of things, which
Roy admits, but says that people still think he's a bit odd. 'Well,
not really odd', says Toyah. He tells her that she's got the right
ideas and enthusiasm, she just needs to develop the skills to
communicate these ideas. She's not thick, it's people without
ideas who are thick, he says, and it's not too late for her to
do something about it. He agrees that he knows lots of things,
but what does he do? He runs a cafe. He envies her - she's got
energy and confidence, and if she works at it she will soon find
that she's not thick.
Sally needs to touch up her makeup so as she looks
her best for the sewing machine. Just as she's decided to go home,
Greg arrives, and she agrees that perhaps another hour's overtime
would be in order! It appears that they don't have a Yellow Pages
handy because she has to stand on tiptoes to reach him to kiss
Over the road, oblivious to this, Kevin is reading
a bedtime story to the gurrrrllls. They want to know when Mummy
will be back. Rursie, or it might have been Surphie, asks if Mummy
is being punished by being kept late at work. Kevin laughingly
explains that Mummy is doing overtime so that she can buy nice
things for them - she's a Mummy who never stops thinking about
Sad to say, that loving Mummy probably has nothing
else in her thoughts right now other than Greg and what she can
do with him. She tells him that she can't believe she is doing
this, after all she's been through, but she's never done anything
like this before. Eh? Wot about Chris Collins then? Perhaps she
dismisses that affair because that was not concurrent with being
a full-time wife to Kevin.
They kiss, the credits (fortunately) roll.
Episode written by Peter Mills
Doctor Plowman was played by Sophie Sigston.
Wednesday 22 July
A much-truncated update for this episode, I'm afraid.
I actually wrote the update for the 29th thinking I'd already
done the 22nd. Talk about confusion? I must have invented it!
Anyway, when I went through my tapes, the 22nd July episode had
been wiped. (Blame Him Indoors, who'd gone over it with an Arnie
film). Thus I'm doing this from memory, hence the length. (Size
isn't everything, after all). Forgive me - and rest assured it
won't happen again. Oh, and from now on I'm totally up to date
with the updates! (The downside is that the rest of the updaters
are on holiday, which means delays their end, I wouldn't wonder).
Still, one can't have everything, can one?
Well, the election campaign is hotting up, and the
episode opens with Curly and Spider discussing tactics. Not too
far from Curly's mind, however, is the subject of Embalmed Spice
(Lorraine). Curly obviously has it bad, and Spider is doing his
best to give him moral support, but don't you see it all ending
in tears? (Well I do - chiefly because I've seen the episodes
which follow this....). Embalmed Spice makes an appearance at
this point, and is delighted to accept Curly's dinner invitation
- thinking, of course, that Spider will be present as well. (Not,
of course, if Curly has anything to do with it). Spider, meanwhile,
is busy heckling Audreh with a loudhailer. Audreh doesn't need
a loudhailer, of course: she has Fred.
[Well at least this particular election campaign has
humour: when our local council election candidates call round
to canvass us, one never knows whether to shake hands or reach
for the formaldehyde. General elections aren't much better either.
Durham is staunch Labour, of course, and it's always a one-horse
race. Tories doorstep at their peril, and places like Sherburn
are, of course, a no-go area. I live on a relatively mixed estate
- mixed socio-politically, that is: an Argos-meets-Ikea-meets-Sainsburys-meets-Poundstretcher
kind of place which attracts politicians of all colours, so any
election becomes hell if you're thinking of a quiet night in.
Thank God it's only once every five years.
Jehovah's Witnesses, however, are another kettle of
fish altogether. Throw a stick on our estate and odds are that
it'll hit a JW, fresh from poaching a soul or two. Or not, as
the case may be. Our flat, positioned as it is above Victoria
Wine, seems to be a particular target for them. We must have had
at least a dozen visits from them in the past two months, which
says a lot about their tenacity and probably even more about my
stupidity. I can't help it: I'm naturally interested in other
belief systems and quite enjoy the cut and thrust of serious debate.
But if you let them into your house once, you find that you're
saddled with them for what seems like forever. It wouldn't be
so bad if they took a leaf out of the Mormons' book and dressed
a bit snazzier, but they always look as though they've been at
the bottom of the Oxfam remnants bag. Anyway, even I'm getting
mighty tired of them now. It's just as well that they send a different
couple each time, because the excuses I now give to get rid of
them are different each week: Catholic, Jewish, Rastafarian -
you name it, I've pretended to be it, just to get them to sling
their hooks. But it's no use: I've let them in once and so I'm
down on their list as a 'possible'. Carlo says we should take
matters into our own hands. The plan he's devised is simple. Next
time they come, I'm to answer the door dressed from head to foot
in black, with a knife in one hand and a rope in the other. Then,
halfway through their introductory spiel, a totally naked Carlo
will join us at the door, which will be my cue to scream: "Carlo,
get back on that f****** altar!" He says it's bound to work
because the one thing that puts them off is Satanism. We probably
won't go through with it, of course. Muggins here will probably
let them in, then sit there nodding while they rabbit on, getting
through half a pack of chocolate Bourbons in the process. But
at least they don't bang on about the 'evils of Sodom' like the
boring-again Christian fundamentalists. They've only been round
once - and God knows who tipped them off that it was a Dorothean
household - but they were totally, preternaturally spooky. All
glazed eyes and crucifixes, with the biggest black Bible I've
ever seen. Now serious debate is one thing, but to have someone
quote Leviticus at me and talk about burning forever in Hellfire
is another thing entirely. Especially at nine thirty on a Sunday
morning. I mean, they wouldn't like it if I were to knock on their
doors, wave a tube of KY in their face and proclaim the joys of
anal sex, would they? I mean, the cheek of it! I don't think Jesus
would approve either. I mean, if he were to come back and see
what the Fundies were doing in His Name, the poor poppet would
never stop throwing up.]
In the cafe, Toyah is still bemoaning the fact that
everyone - herself included - thinks she's thick. Roy is being
supportive, of course, but Ken 'Principles' Barlow tells her that
if she'd paid more attention at school, she might have learned
something. Toyah counters by saying that maybe if the teachers
had cared a little, she might have learned something. "Maybe
if they'd taught us something about real life rather than Mac-flipping-beth!"
she wails. "Spider's clever - he knows all about places like
Bogota, and I know bog-all." [Don't get me started on the
deplorable state of the British education system, because I'll
be here until the millenium, but when you get right down to it,
I'm with Toyah. Of course, it's not nearly as simplistic as she
would have it: there are many other variables involved, such as
the general demise of authority figures in social life as a whole
- of which mass education is just a small part. And there's the
ridiculous diktat of the National Curriculum, of course, which
was doomed from the outset, killing off every last vestige of
teacher spontaneity, creativity and innovation. When I was between
university posts, I decided to teach in secondary school for a
year. What a monumental mistake that was! I ended up teaching
history in a school up in Newcastle's West End - which makes the
Sherburn Estate in Durham look like Mayfair. Well you try teaching
"The Tudors and the Stuarts" to thirty glue-sniffers.
Of what possible use is knowing about the Reformation to kids
who have to be told how to walk into a room properly, or how to
sit at a desk, or how to put their bag on the floor without causing
fatal injury to the person asleep in the adjoining seat? I lost
count of the number of times I was told to 'Fuck off' and finally
threw in the towel after a couple of months. By this time, of
course, in an effort to make things more interesting for the students,
I'd subverted the National Curriculum so badly that it was the
Head who bayed for my blood, not the kids. But I knew that in
mass education, you're just another cog in a wheel, and if you
don't fit in, you're out whether you like it or not. The whole
point of mass education is to produce automatons, which is why
kids rebel, and which is why more teachers should rebel too. So,
while I recognise that the truth is far more complex than Toyah
would have us believe, I know what she means and I second her
inchoate line of reasoning entirely]. Barlow throws Toyah his
copy of the Guardian and tells her that if she's really serious
about educating herself, she should try reading one of the articles
in it. [Not only will this do nothing for her confidence, it will
bugger up her spelling in the process, but never mind, it's a
Elsewhere, Maxime prattles on to Fiona about her proposed
weekend away with Peter Pine (Blandford Brown, to you). Sally
is most perturbed to hear that the new item of her befuddled affections
could have the temerity to go off on a shagging expedition, just
when they're getting to know each other, but Blandford reassures
her that "there's nothing in it." [Hello? I did say
'shagging expedition'. If there's nothing 'in it', why bother
in the first place?] What on earth has come over Sally, apart,
possibly, from Blandford, that is? What on earth does she see
in him? I've never seen a more unsuitable couple in all my days
of CS watching: Des Barnes and Betty Williams would have made
snogging look more convincing]. Anyway, Blandford asks Sally whether
an after-hours game of 'Hide the Salami' might not be a good idea.
Does Sally consent? Do bears shit in the woods? Janice, however,
has seen Blandford and Sally talking together, and her eyes indicate
that she is slowly cottoning on to Sally's sudden penchant for
all this overtime. [Vicky Entwhistle's acting in this scene was
superb: her face ran the whole gamut of emotions - interest, suspicion,
incredulity, cynicism - and it was all done with the eyes. Hail,
indeed, one of the best actresses ever to grace the CS cobbles].
Out on the Street, Spider continues his campaign by
heckling Fred and Audreh. His ploy, he tells Fred through the
loudhailer, will be to go round publicising Audreh's own campaign
manifesto, thus showing it up for the pretentious, mendacious
load of claptrap it truly is. Fred says that such ploys always
backfire, I say, always backfire.
In the Rovers, Maxime finally erodes Fiona's patience
and wins an advance on her salary so she can go off on the weekend
shagging expedition with Blandford Brown. Fiona tells Maxime that
she will be wasting her money since Blandford is obviously a cad
who is Up To No Good.
Also in the Rovers, Curly persuades Spider that dinner
tonight is dinner-for-two: Curly and Lorraine. Spider is only
too pleased to back out and help a mate, and later tries to talk
Lorraine into going it alone with the bespectacled one. [I really
do wish that Curly could get lucky for once and find some find
of relationship, even with someone as lifeless as Embalmed Spice.
I mean, it can't be much of an existence for him, holed up every
night with nothing but a tub of Nivea and a dog-eared copy of
'Busty Babes'. He deserves more in life than repetitive strain
Toyah's problem with her own perceived thickness gets
another airing when she bemoans her fate to her mother, in possibly
one of the most touching scenes in weeks. "You never cared.
You never came to parents' evenings. You never even came into
the school, except once to pick a fight. You weren't bothered
if I didn't do me homework. You just weren't interested."
Janice is taken aback by her daughter's new-found enthusiasm for
education, but more than hurt to think how she has short-changed
her over the years. Janice says that she had no idea that Toyah
was interested in schoolwork at all; indeed, she'd assumed that
Toyah would follow on in her footsteps. "We never bothered
with it," says Janice. "It were just never important."
Toyah is clearly distressed, and Janice even more so: tears fill
her eyes - tears of frustration at her own shortcomings and her
daughter's pain. [Another brilliant performance from Vicky Entwhistle,
fast becoming the First Lady of Coronation Street in my estimation]
Chez the Websters, Surphie and Rursie are enthusing
over their imminent trip to the cinema with their mother. But
where is Sally? Yes, you guessed it! While her little poppets
are waiting to go and see Free Willy 2, Sally is having a little
free willy of her own over in the factory. Deciding that he will
surprise her and thus curtail her overtime, Kevin decides to take
the girls to their mother. And so off they set towards Underworld,
where Sally and Blandford Brown are on their seventh mutual tonsillectomy.
A rapping at the door causes much rushing and straightening of
clothes as the hapless couple pretend that nothing has been happening.
Blandford opens the factory doors and the gurls rush in to meet
their mother. [Now, if she'd fed them on proper, nutritious food,
maybe they would have been a bit more inquisitive. For example,
"Mummy, why are you all flushed?" Or, "Mummy, why
is the front of that man's trousers all pointy?" Kids ask
those kind of questions, don't they? Not Surphie and Rursie.]
And so off home they trot, this most un-nuclear like of nuclear
families, to a sumptuous feast of white bread and spaghetti hoops.
This will be followed, of course, by large doses of cheap orangeade,
packed full of lovely E-numbers. Sally is a modern mum, after
all, and knows just how much children love staying up until 2.a.m.,
jumping up and down on the sofa with a glazed expression.
Toyah, still on her quest for self-education, pays
Ken 'Principles' Barlow a visit, apologises for her attitude earlier
in the cafe, and asks him whether he'll give her some private
tuition. Barlow, obviously ignorant of the first rule of good
pedagogy which says that one should capitalise on enthusiasm while
it's hot, turns her down. [Bastard!]
Toyah receives a further kick in the ribs when she
sees Spider and the other campaigners going out, obviously without
asking her to join them.
Curly, on the other hand, thinks that his birthday,
Christmas and New Year have all come at once. Not only does Embalmed
Spice have dinner with him, but she also comes back to his place
for coffee. Unfortunately for him, however, 'coffee' is not the
usual euphemism for 'riding the pink love bus into Fish Street':
it's coffee, nothing more, nothing less. Straightforward, boring,
Maxwell House coffee - and Lorraine's inevitable excuse - "I'd
better go now because I've got an essay to write". (Come
off it, Lorraine, no student I've ever come across writes *that*
many essays.) But as she leaves, Curly gets the impression that
all is not lost, for she tells him, as she hovers by the front
door, that she likes him because he is 'passionate and demonstrative'.
Curly is overwhelmed with this sudden apparent volte-face, and
just to demonstrate how passionate and demonstrative he is, he
plants a big wet kiss full on her lips.
The final shot is of Lorraine, scurrying up the Street
and looking for all the world as though she is about to transmogrify
into Regan from the Exorcist, and make handy with the projectile
vomiting. Surely poor Curly doesn't taste that bad? (Lorraine
should count her lucky stars that she's not in Sally's position,
forced to kiss Blandford every episode. But then some girls clearly
like a man whose tongue tastes of salami, so what the heck?)
Anyway, that's your lot for another week. See you again
Love and hugs, CP
Friday 24 July
Hiya folks!!!! It's quite a few weeks since I did
a prologue as part of the updates. I have been so far behind
that the pressure has been to get the updates out, with a minimum
of delay. What has amazed me, though, is the comments from readers
who miss the prologues. It's a source of amazement to me, how
people are prepared to read the verbose whitterings for what
passes as my Update prologues.... Although I do try to write
about things to which the world out there can relate, at the
end of the day, it is probably self-indulgent therapy for me.
The last few months have been difficult for me, health-wise,
but I have learned a lot about life in my meetings with people
on the newsgroup and the IRC channel, and these lessons have
been of great value of me. So, I suppose now is a good time to
reflect on this.
I first starting lurking in RATUCS around a year ago
and only started posting actively early in new year. Shortly
after, an update vacancy occurred.. I was toying with volunteering,
but thought better of it, until I was approached to see if I
was interested. Now it might have been desperation on their part,
but I thought, what the hell!!! And thereby started an interesting
journey. Within a few weeks, I received an e-mail from Jacqueline
(on IRC) warmly welcoming me to the team and inviting me to have
a look at the #coro_street channel on IRC. Within days, I was
hooked and found a community with warmth, love and compassion.
Reading RATUCS, I noticed that they were having a
Ping in London in May and didn't have the bottle to say to my
wife that I fancied going. May 16th was a seminal day. Even though
we went out for an enjoyable walk in the day, my thoughts were
with the Pingers in London, people whose names I knew, but whom
I had never met!!! In my mind, I wished I was in London. I remember
the evening being a warm one and we had a barbecue outside. After
midnight I got onto the IRC channel and a while later, Ian Harding
popped on... he had come in from the Ping and told me that the
Pingers had tried to phone me. Checking my business answerphone,
I found that there were two messages from Roofy and Dewey, with
the drunken gang in the background, giving a cheer to me, their
absent friend, wishing I was there. I am not embarrassed to say
that more than one tear fell. At that moment, I vowed never to
put myself in a position of regretting missing something... at
that stage, I decided I'd be going to Blackpool in October..
I hate the place, but it's not the place that matters, its the
Within days, I found myself planning the York Ping
with Roofy, subsequently falling asleep on the train home (after
the reccie we held) and starting a chain of painful domestic
events.... Those of you who have got to know me over the last
few months, probably see a middle aged guy, who has thrown himself
into work and family over the last 20 years, at the expense of
losing his personal identity. I have come to realise that balance
in life is important.. after all if work represents a fair chunk
of your life and if that work has irritating frustrations, then
that's the way your life becomes... frustrating. So, over the
months I have started re-finding and rebuilding Alan-the-me and
been discovering some interesting things about myself. That process
has meant that my family has been alienated to a degree as I
elbowed out some space for myself, but that was largely just
a result of a change from the comfy status quo and inadequate
communication. Anyway, a lot of the pain is starting to produce
the gains I have been seeking.... I have embarked on a journey
to which there is no turning back and there is great excitement
So, it was a week ago that Trude and I found ourselves
driving to Durham on our way for the following day's Ping at
York. We were staying at Durham Castle, which is a University
Hall of Residence during term time, but is let out, during the
student holidays. Roofy, who lives in Durham, wanted to show
us round her adopted home. After the challenge of actually getting
into the City Centre (would you believe , no road signs for the
Cathedral or Castle and coming across locals who didn't know
where the Castle was), we drove in through the impressive gateway
to the Castle into the Courtyard. What an amazing scene!!! If
you want to be impressed, have a look at his place!! Truly amazing.
Shortly after, we'd cleaned up and made our way to
the bar around 8:30 p.m., where we met Roofy and fellow pingers
Chris (The_Rattler on IRC) and Annie (RAnnie on IRC) and had
an introductory drink. After this, we made our way into the city
centre, where we descended on an Italian restaurant. The next
few hours were spent in convivial company, getting to know people
I had chatted to for hours on IRC, but had never met before.
It was also an opportunity for Trude to size up my friends and
to catch up on relationships I'd developed over the past few
months. Full with food, we made our way back to Roofy's place,
where RAnnie set up her laptop and hooked into the Friday night
quiz as the Durham Drunkards. An extremely enjoyable time was
had by all, including Trude who fell asleep on the bed!!! The
mini-ping photos taken by Annie with her digital camera, give
you a feel for the atmosphere.
Events finished around 3ish and we hit the sack around
3:30 a.m. to wake up about 6:30!!! Youch!!! After breakfast in
the Great Hall, we made our way to St. Chad's where Chris and
Annie had their rooms, to pick up a taxi to take us to the railway
station for the trip to York. At the station, it was great pleasure
to meet Pat Mulvena (and briefly, her husband) and fellow Updater,
Glenda Young. The train was somewhat late arriving but we eventually
arrived at York, where we made our way to meet Roofy at Betty's
Tea Rooms. Tea, coffee and cakes followed
Then a bit behind schedule, we made our way to the
Ping Venue, the Royal Oak on Goodramgate, where we met fellow
Updater, John Laird, who was waiting for us. Over the following
hours, the following fellow pingers made an appearance, Janice
Gaffney, Nancy Piller (from USA), Dewey, CP Turner (seepi) plus
friends Philip and Mark(?), Ian and Karen Grey with behbeh David
(youngest pinger award here?).
The day consisted of mucho boozo, some really nice
food, lotsa laughs and some great company. We had a Corrie Trivia
Quiz, questions supplied by Anita (Nell on IRC) and the impressive
winners were Janice and Annie, who won some Corrie bits and bobs.
Dewey had this competition which involved throwing a pound coin
onto table and then guessing the heads/tails outcome for two
coins thrown by him with Masonic codes like putting a hand either
on your bum or your head - seconds later, Nancy was a few pounds
richer. As it was burfday time for Roofy and me, each of us got
a card and I got a lovely little Tinky Winky from Annie - thanks
luv, you are an absolute delight and a real gem!!! Piccies were
taken by many as testimony to a brilliant afternoon.
Trude and I shot off around 7 to get the train back
to York. Having made our way back to base, it was a quick shower,
then out again to meet the pingers staying on in Durham. Unfortunately,
we were unable to make it in the Chinese, but found a brilliant
Indian Restaurant, where good food and entertainment were provided
by the maitre d', who took a shine to RAnnie.
Back to the billet, a slightly longer kip, then breakfast
and then it was time to meet Chris and Annie. A stroll around
the town centre was followed by a coffee in a local café...note
to the business traders of Durham, how come things are shut on
Sunday mornings? After that a walk down to the river, where we
were caught up by a breathless Roofy, who guided us around the
scenic sights of the city, onto a café for some grub,
then almost tearful farewells to Chris and Annie. A quick pop
back with Roofy to get on IRC for a short session and that was
the official session over. Trude and I subsequently went for
a walk by the river and in the evening, polished off proceeding
with a superb Chinese meal.
So, an extremely enjoyable and memorable weekend..
one of the best I've had in years... its simply not fair to single
out individuals, suffice it to say, each and every one of you
contributed to a brilliant weekend. A week down the line and
I am still trading off the buzz.... Thanks all for coming along
and sharing it....
Next stop, Blackpool, which will be great fun and,
of course, we will meet our friends from Canada, Perfidia, Uncle
Betty, Greggy and RBaz. I am so looking forward to this.. time
simply cannot go fast enough......
On the topic of friends from Canada, can I mention
a few more nice people I've got to know over recent months, so
today, let's give a hand to Nanxy and Elle!!!! One of the great
joys of IRC has been making new friendships, finding out about
them and their interests. Those of you who know Nanxy will know
she is into blood in a big way.... nope we are not talking about
any Transylvanian tendencies, blood is her work.... Whereas,
RElle is the Twin Peaks Queen of #coro_street and lifelong devotee
of RGareh (I haven't got round to hiring the Twin Peaks videos,
Elle, but this is on my list, honest!!)... very different ladies
but both with an absolutely brilliant sense of humour. It's a
joy to know you both and share the laughs... you deserve your
15 minutes of fame.....
It's the sort of welcome I've had in the last few
months from the people mentioned in this update, that has made
my life infinitely happier.. it's a real joy to come downstairs
after a session on the channel, grinning from ear to ear. It's
not all laughs, as we talk about some of the pretty serious things
in life that affect us all, but we are there for each other to
share, to love, to laugh, to cry....
Thanks for making me part of your family......
The episode commences in the Kabin. Alec is doing his
best to help, but he's only succeeding in getting on Leanne's
nerves. In the middle of a squabble, Rita makes an appearance
- she senses the tension between Alec and Leanne and gets Leanne
to take her coffee break. She tells Alec that she is grateful
for the help, but tells him that he cannot continue this way,
he'll kill himself. Alec tries to play down his efforts by saying
that it will probably not be for much longer, but Rita asks what
if it does go on. She says she needs to get someone else in, she
cannot keep taking advantage of their friendship. Alec takes the
opportunity to discuss their friendship, he had hoped they could
be more than just old friends. Rita looks uncomfortable with the
Toyah is knocking on Ken's front door - she asks him
what he is doing today... Ken makes a sarcastic comment that this
is now obviously her concern, but Toyah tries to point out that
if he hasn't got anything planned, then he could be teaching her
and earning some money. Ken asks why she is not at school, but
she replies that it is the last day and they never do anything
in the last week at school. Ken goes into preacher mode and tells
her that she will not get anywhere with that attitude. Toyah says
the teachers at the school are "crap" and Ken reminds
her that he was once at the school, so why is she coming to him.
Ken doesn't take her request seriously and slams the door in her
Round the corner turns Spider's campaign car, with
Spider on megaphone and Curly at the wheel, encouraging people
to support the "Local man with the Global view." From
the opposing direction, we see Audrey's campaign car also entering
Coronation Street. The two cars meet in the middle of the street,
blocked in, neither wishing to move. Insults are traded by the
opposing camps courtesy of their public address systems, with
Spider and Fred making use of the available decibels... hen Spider
mentions that he went to prison for his beliefs, Fred spots an
opportunity to grasp victory... in the meantime, a car has pulled
up behind Fred and Audrey, blocking them in. "In defeat defiance,
in victory magnanimity" is Fred's cry as he politely persuades
Spider to move his car aside to allow them through...
Alec is continuing to bare his soul to Rita - he is
telling her how seeing her lying on the floor, close to death's
door had made him realise how much she meant to him. Rita is embarrassed
and tells him that this sort of talk can ruin a good friendship.
He tells her that if she had died, there would have been a big
gap in his life, but Rita interprets his reaction as being faced
with his own mortality and vows to pretend that the conversation
never took place. Leanne comes back, just in the nick of time
for Rita and much to Alec's exasperation.
Back at the Rovers, Spider is still seething at his
encounter with Fred and Audrey, "to think that councils up
and down the country are run by the likes of them two". He
is dismayed at the fact that people actually vote in these candidates.
Curly tells him that the opposition are just trying to wind him
up. "Sounds like he's desperate, if you ask me" offers
Lorraine and Curly to spot a potential brownie point congratulates
her on a good point. He then says that this will make victory
all the sweeter, but Spider is not so confident. When he moves
away, Lorraine comments that Spider is in a state, but Curly explains
this away as Election Day nerves. He then asks her whether he
did anything the previous night which might be embarrassing. Lorraine
is able to reassure him.
Alec returns to the pub, but he has no time for Rovers
business and brushes off Betty's comments about whether he is
sure he can spare them the time. Lorraine asks whether Alec is
always this kind, but betty replies that Alec is not noted for
his generosity..... "So what's Rita got that no-one else
has?" asks Lorraine. "Ooh, I don't know....but if it
has him sniffing around you like that, then you can keep it!"
Fred has come into the pub and asks for a "scotch
and threat". When asked by Betty, who is winning, Fred replies
that they are "quietly confident." He asks Betty how
she voted but she reminds him that it was a secret ballot where
she voted. We then hear Fred calling the Town Hall and asking
to be put through to the Returning Officer.
At Fiona's salon, Maxine has successfully negotiated
an advance on her wages to enable her to pay for the proposed
weekend of passion with Greg at a local luxury hotel. Fiona tells
Maxine that she is sending out the wrong signals to Greg, but
Maxine is blinded by love - "this is the real thing."
Fiona tries to warn her not to raise her hopes, but when Maxine
asks whether there is something she should know, Fiona chickens
At the Town Hall, Fred is telling the Returning Officer
that Spider has been in prison. The official confirms, much to
Fred's delight, that if this is the case, then Spider should not
be standing and there is no way he can be elected.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End
of part 1
Sally meets up with Greg and tells him that she has been thinking
about what he was saying earlier, but before she has a chance
to go into any detail, Mike comes on the scene and drags Greg
away to talk business.
Fred is telling Audrey about his meeting with the Returning
Officer. He tells her that if Spider wins, he will be disqualified
because of his prison sentence. He tries to reassure her that
the election is in the bag.
Back at Rita's flat, Alec is telling her that the Rovers
is busy and mentions Ken Barlow in passing. Rita suddenly has
an idea.... why not ask Ken to help in the shop? Alec agrees this
is a good idea. He tries to bring the subject round to the McDonalds
and his anger at them possibly getting away scot-free is very
evident. She tries to get over to him the fact that every time
he brings up the subject of the gas fire, he puts himself further
out of the frame as regards their relationship.
Back at the Café, Roy brings food to the troops
to bolster Spider's "war effort". When Roy asks Toyah,
whether her mum and dad have voted, Toyah tells him that her father
will not vote, he won't put his name on the Electoral Register,
he doesn't want folk to know where he lives, in case he gets in
Toyah asks Ken what he is reading. When he tells her
it is about the Titanic, she think it relates to the film. Ken
makes a patronising comment which upsets her. She expresses her
frustration that no-one will take her seriously. When Ken tells
her she needs to make an effort at school, she replies that she
cannot. Everyone is mucking around and anyone who wants to work
is mocked and loses all their mates. Now that Ken isn't going
to take her, she will never learn anything. Ken is touched by
her obvious sincerity and asks her whether she knows how much
private tuition costs... around £15 to £20 an hour
he tells her, up to £30 sometimes. She is disappointed and
tells him that she cannot afford those prices, a fiver is what
she had in mind. Ken relents and agrees to give it a try. But
first of all, he wants to know she is really serious - she swears
to him that she is. Toyah asks whether they can keep the arrangement
to themselves, she doesn't want her friends or family finding
out. Ken agrees to keep things secret.
At the Café, Fred and Audrey have come in and
see Spider and Curly. More banter is swapped as Fred tells Spider
he likes to give a loser a fair chance.
Greg catches up with Sally in the street. Sally tells
him that she can't leave Kevin, not because she doesn't want to,
it's the girls. While she is talking, Greg takes out a pad and
starts writing on it - this is for Maxine's benefit to make her
think that they were talking business. He tells Sally not to worry
about it, there is no rush... in the meantime, they can go on
seeing each other.. if that's what she wants. Which it is! Everyone
thinks he's seeing Maxine, he continues, so she can act as their
cover, but should Sally need to talk to him over the weekend,
she now has his mobile number. He then goes back to his car, shouting
a pretend comment related to work back to Sally, gets in and kisses
Maxine, just to give the affair some cover, you understand.
At Rita's flat, Alec has nodded off. Rita wakes him
and tells him it's time to go home. She then tells him about this
great idea she's had... she can ask Ken to help in the shop. Alec
is puzzled, because he had this conversation earlier on.... His
puzzlement shows on his face. When challenged by Rita, he tells
her they have already discussed the matter, but she thinks HIS
brain is playing tricks, he has been over-working.
At the Town hall we are waiting for the Election Results.
Alf joins Audrey and a very confident Fred... enter Spider and
gang, and cue for Fred to tells Spider's team that Spider has
done time, so he's disqualified from holding office.... It's all
on the Nomination form. Spider is horrified... he never saw that.
Fred tells him it was in the small print on the back and prepares
to celebrate, prematurely, Audrey's appointment as Councillor.
Alf leaps in to tell Fred that he has missed some small print
himself, if Spider gets disqualified, it doesn't mean the runner-up
automatically wins.... In fact, you have to have another election.
Fred is gob-smacked and asks Alf whether he is sure, to which
Alf replies that he has been a councillor half his life - Fred
should not have been resting on his laurels, he should have been
out canvassing for votes. Spider's team say they have been doing
just that and have been gratified by the response. Fred checks
the legal position with the Returning Officer who confirms a prison
sentence of 3 months or more, within the last 5 years, disqualifies
the individual from holding office. At this point, Spider chips
in that he only had a sentence of 14 days, for non-payment of
a fine after a demo, as a point of principle. When Toyah challenges
him, saying that he told her it was for six months, Spider admits
he exaggerates sometimes!!! The Council official confirms that
Spider is still eligible, much to the delight of Spider's team
and the consternation of Audrey's.
At the Rovers, Steve is on the phone to someone regarding
a building contract. He appears to be arguing about the quality
of the material to be used. Alec overhears the conversation and
accuses Steve of cutting corners again, "so which lucky widow's
gonna have a roof fall on her head in a year's time." Steve
loses his temper and replies to Alec, "you've been shafting
people all your life." The argument escalates as Alec tells
him he knew about Steve's grubby little game the moment he got
his hands on Vicky. This is the final straw for Steve, who tells
Alec that his precious little grand-daughter was actually ashamed
of Alec!!!! MIAEOW!! The argument ends with Steve warning Alec
to stay off his back.
We are now about to hear the Election Results declared....
Among them, Nugent, Geoffrey David, 842 votes.... Roberts, Audrey,
849 votes!!!! The said Audrey Roberts is declared the winner and
councillor..... Spider has had enough of this and goes to the
microphone.. he cannot believe the result and launches into a
tirade against Audrey, telling Fred that he will be watching every
move they make. Fred dismisses the outburst saying that Spider
will be "bones on the seabed" by the time re-election
comes up in 4 years' time. Audrey is basking in glory, delighted
at her win.....
Back at the Rovers, Alec is making a telephone call...
it is a message he is leaving for the Health and Safety Executive...
he is calling on behalf of Mrs Rita Sullivan and tells them that
she has remembered who fitted the fire.. it was the firm of McDonald
and Webster...... as he puts down the phone.....
.....it is the cue for music and credits
... episode written by Martin Allen
All material is, and remains, copyright property of
Well, how was it for me? Not a particularly brilliant
episode for dialogue.... The Sally/Greg saga continues to bore.
The comedy/pantomime provided by Fred and Audrey... the best
acting coming from Toyah (in her scenes with Ken, where she is
trying to better herself) and from Rita and Alec, tackling extremely
well the sensitive issue of a long-standing friendship potentially
moving a step forward and the awkwardness involved... the hurt
of someone declaring their love, not being taken seriously....
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ - Regards, Alan
Sunday 26 July
Writer's block this week. All the way through to Friday
afternoon and these couple of pages of outline notes have been
sat on my desk next to my work- station whispering "Write
Me !". And lo, no inspiration was forthcoming.
Hopefully there will be a little more news next week,
after the York Ping. (Which is tomorrow in fact, as I write this.)
Passport ready and everything. Train timetable in hand. Mrs L
warming up the rolling pin for when I return two hours later
than promised. What an adventure.
We kick off this week's update on a more downbeat note...
Spider is sat alone in the cafe, contemplating his election defeat
the night before. Auntie Em arrives, glad to see him, wondering
where he had got to. He'd got up early, not having had much sleep,
and gone for a walk and ended up in the cafe. He's very disappointed
at losing to Audrey, realising that although he doesn't really
believe in the democratic process, he might have been a catalyst
for change within the council had he won. He thanks Toyah for
her hard work, feeling he has let his team down too.
Alec has come round to see Rita, and she is not entirely
pleased with his constant attention, preferring to start getting
things done for herself. She surprises him by telling him that
she is going to put in a few hours in the Kabin. "Who else
is going to look after the place ?" she wonders. Alec tells
her that she had herself suggested Ken could take over on a temporary
basis. Rita can't remember this at all. She asks Alec to ask Ken
if he will help. Alec suggests she get more rest.
The breezy figure of Fred Elliott sails into the salon,
and greets Audrey effusively. "But why are you working ?",
he asks her. "That's what I do, work here", she replies.
Fred puts his size 12s right in it by advising Fiona that she
will have to get used to Audrey needing time off to attend council
meetings, now that she is the local councillor. Audrey shoos Fred
out of the salon as Fiona looks concerned. "Just ignore him",
Rita has appeared outside the Kabin after all, and
Jim Macdonald wheels himself over to ask how she is. He asks her
for "a wee word" about the business with the gas fire,
and whether she is going to get the authorities involved. Jim
is prepared to take the blame, if it turns out to be his fault,
but Rita tells him she's not taking the matter any further.
Fred heads for the Rovers, where he finds Alec behind
the bar. He asks for his favourite "Scotch and a threat",
and Alec presents him with a double, on the house. They look forward
to having their very own councillor in their pocket. Fred looks
forward to a little more than just the effect on his business,
it sounds as if his libido is limbering up too. [Eurgh !] He asks
Alec to lay on a few drinks and sandwiches by way of a small victory
party later that day. Just then, the newly elected Councillor
Roberts appears and tears a strip off Fred for creating a scene
in the salon earlier.
Alec spots Ken in the bar and asks him if he will help
looking after the Kabin. Ken agrees, and wryly observes that Alec
now has "his woman in".
Rita is dozing on the settee, when her door buzzer
goes. She looks very tired once more. Her visitor is another Health
and Safety official, come about a phone call, tipping them off
that the gas fire was installed by a company by the name of Macdonald
As ever, not an awful lot to write home about this week, although
my eye was caught by a Pernod commercial. Not least because it
featured a rather attractive young lady with very sexy eyes. This
is one of those signs of maturity in my view, where you spot someone
who you perceive as attractive and furthermore you can actually
tell why that is. It's a fair step up from the bums and boobs
and blonde hair of my yoof anyway ! Nice to see the old receptors
still working. [I had another birthday recently, as if it wasn't
obvious, I'm at that age where I can never exactly remember how
old I am, when asked, but usually guess it within a year or so,
and have to do the calculations to narrow it down.] There was
something else too, oh yes. Although much of my student years
is a bit of a blur, there are some memories that can be retrieved
with particular triggers. In this case, Pernod always reminds
me of the Mathsoc trip to the Bridgwater Carnival. [Erm, Pernod
is a French drink which comes under the general banner of "pastis",
and is flavoured with aniseed. If you've ever been anywhere in
the Mediterranean, aniseed is used to flavour the local gut-rot.]
I think what happened was that we ended in a bar which was having
Happy Hour all night, and after umpteen beers someone put a glass
of Pernod and lemonade in my hand, and it was a bit easier to
drink than yet more beer, so I probably had a few pints of that
instead. It's all pretty much guesswork from there as the rest
of the night is a complete blank. I vaguely recall getting off
the coach, so obviously consciousness was retained, but as for
the Carnival, well I never did find out what it was all about.
Maybe another day...
I have promised myself that I will be much better behaved
than that, at the Ping.
Rita is still with the Health and Safety officer. She asks who
called them, but the officer tells her that the call was anonymous.
Who should arrive at this moment, but Alec. Rita learns that the
caller was a man, and looks accusingly at Alec. She is asked if
she can remember whether it was Jim's firm that was involved,
but is evasive. Alec asks her why she just doesn't tell the truth.
This riles her, and she explains how she has no intention of taking
the matter any further as it would do no-one any good. Bill is
away in Germany, and Jim is confined to a wheelchair for the rest
of his life.
Spider arrives in the Rovers, and Lorraine asks him
where he has been. She wanted to tell him how sorry she was about
the election result. On cue, Curly walks in and drags Spider off
for a quiet word. "Oh, don't worry about the council business",
says Spider. But it's not that, Curly is still mooning about in
the pursuit of the fair barmaid. [Yawn, zzzzzz.]
Rita shows the Health and Safety man out. They probably
won't be proceeding formally, but will need to have a word with
Jim. She asks him to go easy on Jim, as he's been through enough,
in her view. Returning, she lays into Alec for interfering, and
brushes aside his protests that he was only looking after her
interests, by telling him she's certain his real motive was to
get back at Steve Macdonald. She tells him to go.
Toyah sneaks into Ken's house through the back door.
It's her first lesson. Ken tells her he wants to establish some
ground rules - that if her sets her work, it must be done properly,
on time, and it must be legible. He explains she needs to gain
some self esteem before she can really start to improve herself.
He asks her if she ever found school interesting. "The teachers
used to pick on me", Toyah replies. When asked if she had
given them cause to do so, she nods. "What if you didn't
understand something, did you ask ?". "They'd only think
I was thick". Ken lays down his final condition, that if
she doesn't understand *anything*, she has to ask him to explain.
She goes off home to fetch her school books, ready to start.
Over at Kevin and Sally's house, the cuckolded husband
is brimming with misplaced confidence about the future. He reckons
that if his garage and car dealership are a success, he'll need
a full time receptionist. "You'd be perfect", he suggests
to Sally. "It sounds like a recipe for disaster" is
her reply. [I couldn't work with my wife either !!]
Hayley buttonholes Mike Baldwin in the Rovers, and
asks him if there are any vacancies in his factory. He is as rude
and curt as only Mike can be, and dismisses the idea out of hand.
Hayley leaves, deflated.
Quickly back to the Websters' house. [I'm hopeless
at numbers, and who lives next door to who else.] Sally is preparing
another culinary delight, this time it's microwaved shepherds
pie. Kevin tells her that if they had their own business, they
wouldn't have to fit in with other people's timetables and they
could eat when *they* wanted to. Sally tells him why she thinks
it's a really bad idea, if they were together every day they'd
never talk of anything other than the business. [And besides,
where would lover boy fit in ?] Anyway, she likes her job at Mike's
factory. "What's so special about working over there ?",
asks Kevin. Obvious cue for the phone to ring at this point, but
the caller hangs up when Kevin answers. [Come on, Kevin, you ought
to be able to work this one for yourself...]
Audrey's celebration is in full flow at the Rovers.
Fred congratulates Alf, but Alf tells him that he shouldn't be
in any doubt about why Audrey has stood for council, she's doing
it for herself, not anyone else. "I'll tell you something
else and all", he adds, "I didn't vote for her !".
[What a fabulous touch.] Spider arrives and gallantly offers his
congratulations and accepts a drink. Fred proposes a toast to
Audrey. Spider vows that he will continue to fight the "war".
Hayley tells Roy how Mike didn't give her a chance
to prove herself. Roy tells her he will help.
Spider tells Lorraine that he is getting his life back
together again. "As long as it doesn't involve Curly",
she replies. "Oh, you don't fancy him then ?", he asks.
"No, I *don't !". Pause. "I fancy you..."
Roy approaches Mike, and informs him he has an unfortunate
way about him, and can be very patronising. In return, Mike asks
him if he wants a fight ! Roy sticks at it, despite Mike's attempt
to keep bringing the conversation to an abrupt end, and finally
persuades Mike to accept a wager. £100 of his, against a
job for Hayley, if she proves herself more capable as a seamstress
than anyone else in the factory. Mike accepts, and tells her to
turn up the following afternoon for a trial. Alma asks him what
Our final visit to Kevin and Sally. She still doesn't
want to be with him all the time each and every day. The phone
rings again, and Sally answers it this time. We can faintly hear
Greg's voice on the line. "Who is it ?" demands Kevin.
"Nobody", says Sally. Kevin grabs the receiver and demands
to know who's on the other end. Greg hangs up again, and Kevin
dials 1471 to find the caller's number. Sally looks guilty as
she realises what Kevin is doing, but he puts the phone down,
none the wiser. The caller withheld their number.
This episode was written by Ken Blakeson.
Well, I've just re-read all that and spell-checked
it. It seems a bit drier than usual, n'est-ce pas ? A quick read
through my notes gives the same impression. I'm left to conclude
it was the programme itself - nothing really jumped up and grabbed
me this week. A lack of sparkle. We need Ashley back, to brighten
up the screen.
It looks like Curly's hopeless infatuation is about
to finally expire. Praise the Lord. However, as Jim continues
to improve after his accident, there are worrying signs that
Rita is going in the other direction after hers. We wonder how
much longer Greg and Sally can keep their affair a secret, although
with the likes of Kevin and Maxine around, one might suspect
the answer is: forever. I suspect that someone like Janice is
going to rumble them first. But it's never going to arouse the
same amount of interest that we used to get watching the likes
of Ken and Deirdre and Mike. No sirree Bob.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): **1/2
More next week, and then I'm taking a wee break.
Just for a change, not, we open chez Webster, where
it is post-breakfast. Kevin comes in to the living room to find
Sally dancing with the gurrrllls. If I were young and hip enough,
I might recognise what they're dancing to - I'll have to leave
that to Mike Plowman. They're obviously playing 'Musical Bathrooms'
as well, because as soon as the music finishes, the gurrrllllls
are sent upstairs.
All that excitement!! Surphie, or it might have been
Rursie, is so excited that she asks if they can have another disco
Kevin has decided that he'll bring a printout of the
accounts home tonight so that Sally can start to learn how to
do the books and the VAT. Sally reiterates for the nth time -
she does not want to work at the garage, she likes the job she's
got, at the factory, with her mates.
In the Kabin, Leanne is angling for short term Summer
Holiday employment for 'My Nick'. Rita isn't buying this, and
in any case she's got a new assistant lined up - 'he should be
here soon'. Leanne is worried when Alec walks in. He tries to
explain that he reported the McDonalds to the Health and Safety
people in the interest of the public, even though it was against
Rita's wishes. Rita insists that it was for her to decide, and
that she can see that Alec only did it to get back at Steve McDonald
- again. She sends him away, suggesting that she's marked his
card, she knows what he's doing.
Ken breezes in, apologising for being late. Leanne's
look is priceless when he says 'well, Leanne, your turn to teach
me a few things now'.
And here's Janice, trying to leave for work, but can't
find her handbag. She soon finds that RToyah is nearly sitting
on it - and, shock, horror, is Reading a Book, a concept that
is anathema to a Battersby. And in the school holidays too. RToyah
explains that she's fed up of people thinking she's thick, she's
going to get an education. Janice tries to convince Toyah that
she supports her - she could go off to College, train for a proper
career - In an Office! She could be an executive, with a handbag
with a gold chain. RToyah doesn't want to work in an office, because
that wouldn't be Green enough for her. Janice is lost, and goes
Disco over, and hands washed, Sally crosses the Street
to work, meeting Maxime as she leaves the Kabin. She asks about
Maxime's dirty weekend with Greg, to hear that it was brilliant,
the hotel was gorgeous, and Greg was, well, Greg really. Sally
is a little put out, but carries on to work.
Curly and Spider are trying to remove Election stickers
from the window of Curly's car. Lorraine happens by, Curly tries
to make conversation, but there's no flicker of the romantic flame
he seeks. As she leaves, Curly comments 'What am I gonna do?',
meaning about Lorraine, but Spider misunderstands and suggests
Only one scene since Sally went to work, and already
it's lunchtime and the knicker posse are off to the Rover's for
lunch. On the way out they meet Hayley, who asks if MB is in because
she's got an interview with him. The factory girls, Janice in
particular, comment that she shouldn't be hired because their
daughters have already been turned down for jobs.
Sally dawdles a bit as she spots Greg striding toward
the factory, but he doesn't stop to talk, merely gives her a brief
glance. She goes off with the girls.
Inside Underworld, Greg tells Mike that he had a good
morning - he's selling knickers faster than they can make them.
This can only be good news for Hayley. - Mike promises Greg that
he can deliver, and Hayley that if she's got the skills, he's
certainly got the work. He gives her half an hour to prove herself
as a highly talented sewing machinist. Hayley is delighted
In the Rover's, the knicker posse are still mithering.
In a perhaps unprecedented scene, all the girls get lines. Janice
imparts the news that she's heard from Les that MB is going to
take Greg on permanently. Sally is the only one who is interested
in this prospect. Janice thinks he'll become impossible, bossing
them about, finding fault and so on. Sally doesn't agree with
this expected behaviour, and Janice sneeringly asks how she seems
to be 'in the know'? Sally says she's just assuming.
Betty wants to know why Alec is so miserable, with
such a long face. How much money has he lost? Nothing else could
have that effect. He tells her about his misunderstanding with
Rita, and how someone should be held responsible.
Nick is looking in the Weatherfield Gazette for summer
employment. He has an idea when he sees Kevin opening the garage
doors. Kevin hears him out, and agrees that he is snowed under
with work. Nick is talking about how being a mechanic should be
'in his genes', and the strange thing is that in this scene he
bears more than a passing resemblance to the late RBrian. Kevin
offers him a job, starting immediately.
He goes off to share the good news with Leanne, but
she gets in first with her grumbles that Rita wouldn't employ
him, and to cap it all, she's taken on her old teacher, Boring
Barlow (Leanne's words, not mine!). It's just not fair! Nick employs
acting emotion number 2 to tell her that it doesn't matter, he's
working at the garage. 'Nice one' says a much happier Leanne.
Stadtler & Waldorf are trying to plan a night out,
because Steve wants to stay in to watch football. Muppet 2 says
she's broke after her weekend with Greg (remember she booked it,
thinking he'd pay?), so Mup1 offers to buy the drinks if they
have a girlie night out. All bets are off when Greg walks in -
Fiona can tell that Mup2 would rather be with him tonight, and
Sally seizes her opportunity to speak to Greg at the
bar, demanding to know why he is shutting her out. He says he's
being careful. Sally offers to work late, but Greg suggests that
she meet him in the bar of The Regent Hotel at 7pm instead. He
takes the drinks to Maxime, leaving a troubled Sally.
Monday 27 July
END OF PART ONE
Well, Our Hayley has been busy. Mike cannot believe
how much work she has got through - she had finished the work
he expected her to struggle with in the half hour, and found some
more to fill in the time with. She has done more than the knicker
posse would do in double the time. Recalling his bet with Roy,
he comments that 'I might have known that Roy Cropper wouldn't
bet on a non-starter. Can you start tomorrow?' Hayley, and nineteen
million viewers are delighted.
Nosey Betty Williams just happens to call on Rita to
see how she is. and suggests how lucky it was that Alec was there
for her. Rita sees through this, and can see that he's been talking.
She thinks he's very selfish, and says that 'if I'd thought there
were another side to him with genuine human feelings, I'd know
my brain was addled.' Betty tells her that this falling-out has
affected Alec deeply, indeed she's even seen him undercharge for
a round of drinks.
The Maud Grimes is trying to order 'a tea and a fancy'
in the cafe, but RToyah has her nose in a book. Maud teases that
the book must be a trashy teen novel, but RToyah proudly tells
her that it's a John Steinbeck, a GCSE set novel.
Hayley comes in to the cafe to tell Roy about getting
the job, which delights Roy as it will mean they can see each
other every day. Even better, she's decided that she ought to
move closer, and has been to the Estate Agent's, seeking local
particulars. Roy suggests the new flats in Victoria Street (not
those being converted by Steve, surely? Yes, they will be) and
that they could go round and look at one. You wonder if Hayley
is thinking that Roy is suggesting that 'we' could look rather
RToyah serves Maud's fancy with a throwaway 'there
you go'. Maud seizes on this development in the English language,
commenting that she is the second shop assistant to use the phrase
today, and 'what is wrong with 'there you are' when I'm not going
anywhere, I'm stopping here?'. Toyah decides it's time she went
home, and goes round to the Kabin.
In the Kabin, Ken tells Toyah that he's just finishing,
but he's just going to nip over to the corner shop. Leanne can't
understand why he's telling Toyah that, but thinks that it must
be because he can't stop being a teacher, can't stop being boring.
Toyah says being boring is better than being ignorant like Leanne.
Ken comes back in with his teabags and a carton of orange juice,
Leanne asks if he's been paying Toyah to start up his fanclub!
Ken is confused, and hurries out after Leanne.
Kevin is telling Sally all about employing Nick, but
she is more interested in going out to see Rita - well, it must
be nearly 7pm. Kevin asks her not to be too long, because he wanted
to open a bottle of wine with her. Sally angrily tells him that
Rita has not long come back from death's door, so he's being selfish.
And leaves him to get the gurrrrrllls' tea.
Ken is very impressed that RToyah has nearly finished
reading Of Mice And Men and is very pleased that she is committed
to improving. He tentatively suggests that they 'firm up their
arrangements', which Toyah takes to mean money. He is very surprised
that she still doesn't want Les and Janice to know about these
extra curricular activities. They talk about the book, and Ken
suddenly realises the chasm between Toyah's abilities and dreams
when it appears that she has totally misunderstood, believing
that 'bucks' refers to rabbits rather than dollars, and a cat-house
is a feline domestic residence.
Oh look, Sally really has gone to see Rita. Rita is
telling her how she feels sorry for Alec, but feeling sorry won't
change him from being selfish. She is very pleased that Sally
has come round, but tells her to get back to Kevin and the gurrlls
and do the dutiful wife and family things.
As she leaves, Sally enjoys another private smile.
She's free to see Greg, now.
Mike Baldwin is in the Rover's, telling his lovely
wife Lama the mis-spelling how he surprised himself today by employing
Hayley Patterson. Lama is astounded, she cannot believe that Hayley
can even sew, let alone 'like an angel', as Mike describes.
Spider arrives, Lorraine hurries to serve him. She
tells him that she made a mistake in telling him how she felt
about him. He tells her that he likes her, she's really cool,
but nothing could happen between them, even if they wanted it
to. He doesn't explain why, but he doesn't need to because Curly
walks in. Spider is trying not to get in the way of Curly's attention
It must now be 7pm, because Sally is descending the
staircase at The Regent Hotel, and soon finds Greg in the corner,
reading the evening paper. She asks 'Are you waiting for someone?'
and then proceeds to suck his face off his head. Yeuuurrrggggh.
Afterwards, Greg pours the red wine, and Sally starts to tell
him about Maxime's version of the weekend. Greg tells her that
there is nothing in it, but he can't just dump her, he has to
let her down gently. Sally says he's just using her, but Greg
doesn't want to talk about Maxime any more - all that he wants
to talk about now is Sally and himself. He indicates the key to
room 16 , and asks Sally if she's brave enough to risk it? Sally
smiles, and dares, picking up the keys and leaving.
Hayley is helping Roy out at the cafe, grating cheese.
He thinks she should keep herself to herself over at the factory.
He warns her about the knicker posse as being a bit rumbustious,
'in fact if some of 'em were lads they'd be in an institution'.
Hayley looks a bit stern, but reminds him that she can look after
herself, indeed, she knows more about being one of the girls than
he does. Roy begins to think he's overstepped an unstated mark.
Kevin is poring over the VAT books when Rursie, or
is it Surphie, comes down looking for Mummy. She's got toothache,
and she only wants Mummy. Daddy's comfort just won't do. Kevin
tells her that Mummy is still over at Auntie Rita's, and will
be home very soon. A little voice pleads for Mummy, so Kevin decides
to ring her at Auntie Rita's to ask her to come home soon. He's
just about to dial the number when Sally comes through the door.
Kevin is annoyed at the late hour, and tells her that he was just
phoning Rita's when she came in. Sally, wondering if she needs
an even bigger cover story, is relieved to hear that he hung up
And Surphie, or was it Rursie, never got another disco
after tea. Shame on you Sally, neglecting the gurrrrllllls.
And that's yer lot, start & finish chez Webster.
Episode written by Maureen Chadwick.
Dear Update Readers,
Wednesday 29 July
Having tired momentarily of prose, I thought I'd take
a leaf from dear Glenda's book and do this Wednesday's update
in verse. Note the fact that I didn't say 'poetry'. I am as aware
of the Trades Descriptions Act as the next man. Just call it
lighthearted doggerel. Don't worry: it's ultra clean and respectable.
There are no expletives in it and you won't find a blowjob for
love or money. So here goes:
The opening shot?
A big lunch-box
(Oh dear, are we in for shocks?)
No, it's one Roy's packed a-plenty,
Knowing that Hayley's is empty.
And so, with knickers all unfurled,
Hayley starts at Underworld.
But woe is she, for all the staff
Complain because they think she's naff.
She sews and stitches like a dream,
She puts the rest to shame.
And so to her they're awfully mean:
They moan and curse her name.
"She must be Baldwin's spy", they say:
"Someone from Time and Motion!
"She'll stitch us up, she'll make us pay!
"She'll cause a big commotion!"
"Surely she can't be for real;
"She's far too nimble, far too quick.
"I bet her hands have never slipped;
"I bet she's never felt a prick."
Though Hayley may be cabbage looking,
She's really not that green;
Deep down she knows what's really cooking,
And why they are so mean.
So armed with sweeties, her endeavour
Is to win them over;
Her ploy is really rather clever,
And soon she's deep in clover.
She does her own work, then does theirs;
She says it is no bother.
By lunch time they're all best of friends
And laughing in the Rovers.
But Roy does not trust Baldwin's girls
And so he starts to moan.
But Hayley says, "Despite the op,
"I *can* still hold my own."
* * *
Kevin needs a right-hand man
To help him in the garage,
To mend cars and, when that is done,
Mess with his undercarriage.
And so he takes on Whoopsie Boy,
Who's overjoyed, it seems.
"I'm great at mending cars", he lisps,
"It must be in the genes."
(The only thing in Tilly's genes
Is endless loads of schlock,
An inane grin, no acting skill:
A chip off the old block).
He bares his six-pack to the girls
And doesn't think it sinful
(But stops short of dropping his keks
To flash his tiny ring-pull).
Kevin's enthusiasm knows no bounds
But Sally thinks he has no grounds:
Whatever happy tune he's humming,
It's not with him that she'll be coming.
She tells Kev she's off to buy wine
Then rushes off to Peter Pine.
"I've only got a minute, so
Let's hit the sack, all systems go."
But just as Sally goes all runny,
Blandford starts to talk of money:
"I hope you haven't spent your dosh,"
He says as Sal begins to slosh.
"Don't worry, Greg, I'm not that mad,
"There's 25K to be had."
Then with a kiss our Sal departs
And leaves that ravager of hearts...
...Alone with plans and scams and schemes
And lots of filthy lucre dreams.
He then, with several hours to kill,
Rings Maxime for a quick cheap thrill.
That talentless dim-witted muppet
Doesn't know she's just his puppet
And that, deep down, his only goal
Is money, via Sally's hole.
The guy's evil personified;
To every girl he's met he's lied:
When their defences they let down,
He jumps right in, all clad in brown.
* * *
Vera's mad and venting spleen,
She want to know where Alec's been.
She's so afraid - and here's the rub -
That Rita's sights are on the pub.
But Alec's shown his heart to Rita
(The one almost gassed by a heater):
"I love you, Rita, can we wed?"
"Alec," she says, "you're off your head!"
"You're old, you're bald, you're sad, you're fat;
"In fact you're just a stupid prat;
"Your dangly bits are worn and rusted;
"Worst of all, you can't be trusted...
"I don't believe a word you say,
"I just wish you would go away."
These aren't the things he wants to hear
And so he leaves...and wipes a tear.
* * *
Lorraine comes tripping down the Street
To snap and snarl at Spider.
She wants to know why he has cold feet
(She want some Pork in Cider).
"If you like Curly more than me,"
She says, "I hope you're happy."
But Spider tells Embalmed Spice that
He's not that sort of chappy.
"My moral code is such," says he,
"That I don't do the dirty
"On mates who fancy mutual friends,
"However brash and flirty."
In hushed tones Spider then admits
That Lorraine he does fancy:
"I'll soon have my hands on your tits
"And prove that I'm no nancy."
"But first I must inform my mate;
"That's etiquette, I think.
"Even though this news he'll hate:
"He'll probably turn to drink!"
That night, Lorraine says Spider's sinned
By keeping her just dangling.
She then throws caution to the wind:
For Spider's tongue she's angling.
Her lips meet his, their tongues collide,
A puddle floods the floor.
And something slowly opens wide:
(You're wrong: it's just the door!)
Who's standing there, his mind a fog?
Oh dear, it's poor old Curly!
He looks bewildered as they snog:
His best mate with his girlie.
The programe ends, the music swells,
The credits start to roll:
Another thirty minutes of
Pure pleasure for the soul.
It wasn't boring in the least
(Naturally - no Barlow!)
For afters, I've another feast:
An hour or two of Carlo!
So farewell Update Readers dear,
You all next week I'll greet.
We're off now, Him Indoors and I,
Upstairs to make ends meet.
* * *
That's all, but before I go:
Question: What's the difference between Joan Collins
and a Kit-Kat?
Answer: You only get four fingers in a Kit-Kat.
(What, did you think you'd get through one of my updates
without even a tiny bit of filth?? Gullible lot, aren't you?)
Friday 31 July
Hiya folks!!!! Bit late this one.. erhummmm. My apologies.
As mentioned elsewhere, this episode was screened during the
York Ping weekend and my dearest son was entrusted with the job
of recording the said programme. Not only did he fail to do that
on the Friday, but he didn't catch the repeat during the Sunday
omnibus either. Then holidays rapidly intervened and here we
are nearly four weeks down the line. Enter Anne (RAnnie) Wallace
to the rescue with a tape of said proggie... Annie, you're a
darlin'! what are ya? Anyway, that out of the way, hopefully,
this will be the last late Update from me for a while as this
little epistle (hahahahahah!! Are they ever?) brings me up to
So, what's been happening since I wrote my last Update
a few days ago? Well, not an awful lot. Had some of my York Ping
photos back, duly scanned by Annie, so we'll get these up on
the web as soon as possible. The postman called this morning
with a colour scanner I bought - nice surprise, because when
I ordered it last week, I was told that there would be a 4 week
delivery cycle. So, we need to install that somewhere. Been spending
the rest of my birthday money in other ways as well. Last week,
I got round to replacing the knackered cassette tape deck I have
had for about 20 years and this morning, I got myself another
video recorder - this one will sit in the office, enabling me
to record what *I* want, without having to rely on errant sons
whose top priority in life is dossing about and demolishing vast
quantities of booze. Apart from that spending orgy, norra lot
else. No doubt the challenge of a new toy like the scanner will
prove impossible to resist....
The episode commences out in't Street, where Greg and
Maxine are having a tonsil swapping session. This revolting spectacle
is witnessed by Sally, who looks deeply envious. Heaven knows
why, as the rest of the nation reaches out for the sick bucket.
In fact, the extent of my revulsion precludes me from describing
this in any more details.
Further down the street, coming round the corner is
Spider. He is spotted by Toyah and Curly. What can we say, other
than Curly is not much chuffed about the episode the previous
night. You see, Curly had had his sights set on Lorraine, who
had her sights set on Spider .. and last night, she had pinned
down Spider for a tonsil swapping session with him. And Curly
had this deal with Spider that the latter was going to step aside
for the former, but, of course, it didn't quite happen that way.
Yet again, Curly was left out in the cold. To complete the picture,
Toyah had her sights set on Spider, but of course, she was beaten
to the punch by Lorraine.... Confused? .. well, its not an episode
off the American sitcom "Soap", but it could be....
Result is as follows, Spider saying it was not his fault, Curly
and Toyah mightily cheesed off (I think that is the euphemism?)
and out of sight, no doubt, Lorraine grinning like the Cheshire
Cat. Love, eh? Don't it cause a lot of pain? (Love Hurts - The
Everly Brothers, 1965!
Outside the factory steps, love is there, as manifested
by Roy. He is waiting for Hayley. She is just about to go into
the factory with the girls, who recognise what's been going on.
Roy had said things which had been misinterpreted (haven't we
all?) and he's doing the right thing - he's come to say he's sorry.
The girls offer Hayley some advice, make him pay!! But she's not
like that, is she? Thank heaven, she doesn't play games, she's
had enough hurt to realise the futility of it all. Anyway, once
the girls have gone in, Roy admits he was wrong, saying what he
did. He wants to be friends. Hayley knows that. She understands
why he said what he did. In the bag he's carrying, a peace offering
in the form of a pie for her morning break! What a sweetie!!!
I don't think I've cried as much watching Coronation Street as
when Roy and Hayley are together. Wonderful endearing stuff!!!
We are back at the Rovers and here is another sad love
story... that of Alec and Rita. Alec is the Jester in Gilbert
and Sullivan's "Yeoman of the Guard" "who sipped
no sup and who craved no crumb as he sighed for the love of a
lady..... misery me, lackaday dee, as he sighed for the love of
a lady...." Vera is talking to Jack about Rita, "no
spring chicken but still a good looking woman" she says.
She is puzzled at anyone being attracted to Alec, and what Rita
sees in him. "Company" is Jack's answer. She is concerned
about what could happen if Alec and Rita got together and whether
they would try to muscle in on the pub. Enter Alec. Vera is nosy
about what went on last night and asks Alec how Rita is. "How
would I know?" is Alec's tell-tale reply. She is in probing
mood, saying whatever was discussed must have been important for
Alec to go round so late. But Alec is not for telling her anything,
no matter how long she probes and makes that very clear to Vera.
The tone of his reply is enough to convince Vera of the importance
of the discussion.
At the factory, Mike is popping out for business and
leaves Greg in charge. In the outer office, the girls are talking,
commenting on how Roy is trying to get back into Hayley's good
books. Her response is that he is always in her good books. Sally
is looking for an excuse to talk to Greg - the pretext is her
tax. Janice remarks how it must be nice having a fella to cook
for you. Hayley agrees. In the inner office, Greg is saying to
Sally how he was watching her, she replies that she was watching
him and Maxine earlier in the morning, all lovey dovey. She is
jealous. Greg tells her that him and Maxine is "nothing like
us". Sally feels envious that Greg spends more time with
Maxine than with her. He spends nights with her. She wants to
know what Maxine was doing there last night, he must have been
waiting to sneak her in, the minute Sally went around the corner.
He tells her that now is not the time to discuss the matter.
Alec is telling Betty that Rita didn't want to know.
He had gone round there to tell her how he was feeling - this
didn't come easily - the way he had been brought up, feelings
were kept to yourself. He decided to speak out and so he did -
and she did the same. He should have known better, a chap of his
age. Betty explains how, when Billy was courting her, she kept
saying "no", "leave me alone", "don't
be so daft", she didn't really mean it... not deep down.
Alec replies that the difference is that Rita did mean it.
Mike Baldwin joins Fred Elliott at the bar - Fred buys
him a drink, asks "So how are things in the knicker industry"
and comments that in his trade they are not such hostages to fashion.
"A housewife will still want her stewing steak no matter
what she's wearing under her frock!"
Maxine comes over and asks Mike where Greg is. He tells
her that he employs the guy, but is not responsible for his social
life. One dejected and pensive looking Maxine.
The factory girls are also in the pub. Janice is quizzing
Hayley as to whether she has ever been married before or lived
with anyone. When Hayley replies to the contrary, she is asked
how old she is. "32" is her response. Ida enquires whether
"Mr Pastry" has got round to asking her. "Me and
Roy are really, just good friends" is Hayley's embarrassed
response. Janice finds this hard to believe, "What? Friends
with a fella and there's nowt in it?" When Hayley confirms
that this is the position, Ida says that this is "flying
in the face of nature"!
Ken pops his head around and asks whether Sally is
with them and is told that she had some shopping to do.
Janice continues her philosophical stroll "I don't
think I've ever been friends with a fella, even the one I'm married
to." Ida's riposte "Especially the one you're married
to" raises group laughter. "Well, I'm friends with Roy"
Alec has called round to Rita's flat.. he presses the
intercom... she lets him in.
At the café, Greg is explaining Maxine's overnight
presence. Apparently she turned up at the door five minutes after
Sally had left.. he could hardly turn her away (Sure! Sure!).
When Sally doesn't see the problem, Greg explains that if he explained
that he was seeing someone else, then she'd spend all her time
trying to find out who that person was and "when she does
everyone will know, including your husband." Sally recognises
the sense in the argument, but she finds it difficult seeing him
with her. she is also concerned that Greg will get fed up of her
(Sally), when Maxine is available and she can call round unrestricted.
"The more she does that, the more I think, 'when am I going
to see Sally?'" is the Lying Toad's reply. They arrange to
meet up in the evening.
Les has called in at the Café and asks where
Toyah is. When Roy tells him that she normally comes in after
school, Les tells her that she is not at school and asks whether
Roy knows where she is. Roy doesn't and tells him so, besides,
he is busy serving people.
Alec is explaining to Rita that he couldn't just leave
things the way they were. Rita concurs with the situation and
admits that she was almost on the point of asking him to come
round. She apologises if what she said sounded harsh or unkind,
she is still shaken up with everything, after the gas fire episode.
Alec regrets pushing the relationship, "I must have taken
leave of me senses!" When he asks whether he can light up
a cigarette, she offers a drink. In any case, she says, she wouldn't
be driven away by Alec, she wasn't embarrassed, she was very touched
by what he said. She points out that they see each other every
day, they live next door, he comes into the shop every day, she
goes into his pub, so what would be the point of even considering
changing that? "Well, none, there'd be no point, none at
all" is Alec's unconvincing reply. "Except for companionship
and affection and not being on your own at night?" suggests
Rita. Alec is surprised by this statement, "Well, yes...".
Rita suggests that they see how they go on and see what develops.
"What? You think something might develop?" is Alec's
hopefully question, but Rita says that she cannot answer that.
Alec tells her that the only reason he came over was to try to
save their friendship and if he's managed that, then that's enough.
"For now?" asks Rita. "For now.. " replies
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end
of part 1
"Now! We're going to have some fun today! Punctuation!"
oooooh what a tease!!! Well, this is Ken's opener with Toyah as
they start a lesson. When Toyah says that she is hopeless at this,
he tells her that it's absolutely vital. "It's like riding
a bike, once you've got it, you've got it for life." "The
only time I tried riding a bike, I fell off and cut me knee!"
is Toyah's reply. He goes about setting the content of the lesson,
but Toyah has her mind on other things. She quizzes him as to
what he thinks of Lorraine, the new barmaid in the pub, whether
he thinks she is pretty. When he replies that he hadn't really
considered the matter, she says maybe he is too old, but he denies
this. He is uncomfortable about the way that the conversation
is turning and brings it back round to punctuation.
Greg has popped over to see Maxine. He apologies for
not meeting her at lunchtime and uses the excuse of having to
deliver an order for Mike and then getting stuck in traffic. (Sure!
Sure!) He also wheedles out of meeting her in the evening on the
pretext of having to take out a buyer for dinner, again, at Mike's
request. They agree to meet up the following evening.
After he has left, Maxine is upset. She tells Fiona
that she knows he is lying , she knows for a fact, as, when she
saw Mike Baldwin in the Rovers, Mike had said that he hadn't seen
Greg. She knows that something is wrong, he is seeing someone
else, she realises that she doesn't know him.
At Ken's, we are discussing a conversation Toyah has
written between a "stupid man and a bimbo" and Ken is
going through the punctuation. On the other hand, Toyah is more
concerned as to what happens to clever men's brains when they
see someone who looks like a Barbie doll standing beside them?
When Ken tries to dismiss this as one of life's mysteries, she
comments that it is pathetic. The conversation then follows two
parallel paths, with Ken referring to the script written by Toyah
and bringing conversation into the picture, whereas Toyah is preoccupied
with what actually happens in that situation. She is frustrated
that she is wasting her time improving her brain, she might as
well invest in a bottle of hair dye, this being a reference to
the way that bimbos attract their men.
Back at the Rovers, Alec is more cheerful. He apologises
for snapping at Jack and Vera in the morning, Rita is getting
her strength back, he explains. She may be in the Rovers later
When he has left, Betty tells them that Alec is obviously
more cheerful after seeing Rita - it must have been something
After Betty has gone home, Vera is despondent. She
fears that if Rita and Alec get together, then their own future
at the Rovers will be threatened. She criticises Jack for not
Back chez Battersby, Les asks Toyah where she was at
dinner time... he'd popped into the café for a freebie,
to be told by "the barmcake that runs it that he hadn't set
eyes on you all day long". She tells him that she went to
a mate's to do some schoolwork and had kept quiet about it because
she'd only have got a mouthful about it from him. He asks why
she is doing schoolwork in her summer holidays and she replies
that she wants to catch up, so she'd get a decent job, instead
of something gross, like being a barmaid. Les expresses the opinion
that there is nothing wrong with being a barmaid.
Sally is telling her daughters that she is going to
have a few drinks with the girls from work. Kevin departs with
them for the swimming baths.
We are at the Rovers. Roy and Hayley have come in.
Roy orders a pineapple juice. He looks round at Hayley for her
order "the usual please, Roy". "And a pineapple
juice, please" is the classic addendum - peas in a pod or
what? Hayley explains that she was there at lunchtime with the
girls and they've been asking about her past, so she's had to
be a bit careful, but she likes them and feels she's getting on
well with them. She feels it's great to be part of a gang. Roy
tells her that he's never done that, not even at school. He pays
for his drinks in small change, a typical brilliant Roy moment.
Spider orders a pint at the bar from Lorraine. He tells
her that Curly saw them together and that Curly was upset. Lorraine
is not very complimentary about poor Curly.
At Greg's place, he and Sally are in bed together.
She is saying how she cannot help comparing herself with Maxine.
"She's single, she can come and go as she pleases, she doesn't
have to make any excuses." Greg tells her that "she
isn't the one I want!" Sally is afraid that Greg might get
fed up of her, only being able to meet her in secret. When he
says he'll see her everyday at work, she tells him it's not the
same. She says she felt really sorry for Kevin tonight, who thinks
they are over the worst of the marital problems and that everything
is going to be alright again. When Greg asks whether it would
be, if he were not around, Sally owns up... no, not for her, she
doesn't love him anymore, it's as simple as that. She finds it
difficult to believe that it would be possible to fall out of
love with somebody after twelve years, even though there is a
family involved. When Greg asks whether Kevin maybe knows more
than he is letting on about, she says that he doesn't suspect
anything, he's not that clever, he doesn't hide things, she's
the one that does that, maybe he would have been better of stopping
with Natalie. She tells him how pleased Kevin was arranging the
holiday and views her giving him the money for the garage as proof
of her love for him - what he can't see is that the money is the
only thing she can give him.
Spider has come round to make his apologies with Curly.
He insists he did not do the dirty on him, he did everything he
said he would do, in the end she took a fancy to him (Spider)
and he cannot help that, can he? Curly reluctantly agrees, "in
a way, you did me a great service." He shows him a photograph
of Raquel. Spider comments that she looks a bit like Lorraine.
Not only did he go out with her, he married her, he worshipped
her, he would have done anything for her. "And you know what
she did to me? She left me, she walked out. So thinking about
it, you probably saved me a lot of aggro. The thing is.. you should
be careful mate."
At the Rovers, Vera sees Rita having a drink with Alec
- her paranoia running in overdrive, she comments to Jack that
Rita is obviously looking to see what she's getting for her money,
a reference to her fear that Rita has her eyes set on the Rovers.
Spider is reporting back to Lorraine and telling her
that he has seen Curly and found out he was married to someone
once, what's more, she looks a bit like her. Lorraine is not flattered
as she fears being stalked by him.
Hayley is telling Roy that she is expecting to receive
an offer on her late father's house. So, she is going to need
to sort out where she is going to stay. Roy asks whether she has
thought any more about Victoria Flats. "No, not really"
is her reply. He offers to give her a second opinion should she
need one when she finds somewhere to live. Yet again, he's missed
a signal from her...... the disappointment registers on her face.
Sally and Greg are talking. He wonders whether it is
wise handing over the money to Kevin. She reminds him that this
is all she can give him, besides she has already handed over half
of it and there is another £25,000 lined up. That was going
to go into the house. He points out that she doesn't know how
long she is going to be living there - sure enough, she might
need a home, but it might not be that house and it might not be
with Kevin. It might be a different house with somebody else altogether.
.....it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Peter Whalley
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me?
Hmm. Not an awful lot of action. I certainly have
the firing squad lined up for Greg, he's a total waste of space,
Alec is being kept guessing by Rita. Will she? Won't
she? Heaven knows...
The finest parts of the episode? Two candidates. Firstly,
Toyah - who has a wonderful dialogue, or should it be a parallel
monologue, with Ken Barlow. She handles very well, the hurt and
frustration of being beaten to the punch for the object of her
desires. Roy and Hayley are in classic form - Roy paying for
his drinks in what seemed to be all the small change the café
had collected over a week's takings, and for missing a cue from
Hayley regarding where she should live. Hayley for delicately
fencing off the probing about her past and her relationship with
Anyway that's about it for now.. Until the next time,
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ Regards, Alan
Written by John
Laird, Peter Dewhirst,
CP Turner and Alan Milewczyk