Friday 2 October
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update.... We've
just come back from the Blackpool Contress and what a fabulous
time we had, despite it being Blackpool!! As has been said before,
it's not the place that matters, but the people... It was a real
joy to meet some lovely people, some we've met before, others
who have merely been names on the screen, particularly our friends
from Canada. The last few days have been and the next few will
continue to be days of hosting our guests and should provide
us all with some lovely memories. A big special mention of our
dear friends Kathleen McBride (Perfidia on IRC), Brian Marvin
(Uncle Betty), Gill Kasella (RBaz), Greg Wadden (Greggy) and
Sheila Mackay (Sunbuny), not forgetting new friends Sheila Richmond,
Darlene Wakely and Joan McClement - it's been a real pleasure
meeting you all. I'll do a fuller report next week as we are
running short on time and I want to get this Update out of the
way, but couldn't let the weekend pass without mention.
Talking of hosting, I hope our son learns some skills, based
on events over the weekend. On Saturday night, he and one of
his friends, Ian, went for a night out on the tiles, in Glossop.
On their way back home, Ian decided he wanted more of the action,
so he turned around and went back into town. The agreement, apparently,
was that Simon would put up Ian for the night. Anyway, Simon
comes home, locks up, head hits the pillow and goes straight
off into land of nod. He comes to with a start at 7 a.m. and
suddenly remembers the previous night's agreement with Ian. He
rushes downstairs to find Ian, huddled up freezing, in the porch,
where he had been since 3 a.m. Despite him banging on the door
and ringing the doorbell (and our doorbell is VERY loud), that
had failed to rouse Simon, who blissfully slept through it all.
Anyway... without further ado, it's time for the update, sponsored
by Cadbury's Marble
The episode commences with Kevin and Rita meeting up in the
Street. He tells Rita that, despite the message in Sally's phone
call saying he was hitting her, that had not occurred - he hadn't
touched her. Rita tells him she knows this, but recognises he
was probably not far off doing so, due to provocation. He couldn't
hit her, he tells Rita. Meanwhile, Rita is telling him how she
had told Sally that the way she was carrying on, she would have
no friends left and how Sally tried her patience so she can imagine
how Kevin must be feeling. At that stage, Sally walks by the two
of them and tells Rita that whatever Kevin is telling her, she
should take it with a bag of salt. Rita angrily replies to her
"do you think I'm not capable of making up my own mind? Give
us some credit. Anyway, I've told you what I think. I hope you
slept on it." After Sally has gone, she tells Kevin that
she hopes that she comes to her senses soon, because she is playing
a dangerous game. "That's what I keep telling her" replies
Kevin and he thanks Rita for seeing it from his side. Rita replies
that she is not interested in taking sides, she just wants what
is best for the little girls, because they are too young to stick
up for themselves.
Outside Freshco, Spider has been waiting for Anne Malone. When
he sees her getting out of her car, he introduces himself. He
is Norman Watts' cousin - Curly has gone missing and he is trying
to find him, he tells her. "Yes, you and the Police"
she replies, "how do I know you are his cousin?" She
wonders whether he might actually be a policeman. When Spider
denies this and finds it amusing that he could look like one,
she points out that the whole point of being a plain-clothes policeman,
is that he looks anything but. "Yeah, as I know to my cost",
he laughs, "but that's another story." He insists he
is Curly's cousin and tells her that Curly told him the whole
story in confidence as to how he was set up and that he knows
a lot more about her than she might imagine - he asks to speak
to her in private and she suggests that they continue the discussion
in her office.
At Roy's flat, he and Hayley are doing the washing up. She
is telling him that it would be nice for them to have a long weekend
away somewhere, a nice hotel. "I'd like that" replies
Roy. "Somewhere very luxurious, the Dales or the Lakes,"
she continues. "Or we could take tents" replies our
romantic hero. "It would be a bit chilly this time of year,
Roy" she tells him, "anyway, it's my treat, so don't
go out buying ground sheets and billy cans. What do you say?"
Roy is keen on the idea and says he will see whether Gail can
manage without him. "Right and I'll ask Mr Baldwin. I'm due
some time off" she replies. "In that case you won't
have to ask him, will you?" replies Roy. When Hayley tells
him that its just a matter of checking it is convenient, Roy continues
on his track - such an issue doesn't come into it, he maintains,
merely that he refuses to be beholden to Mike Baldwin and he'd
be happier if she just informed him. "Right, I will"
replies RHayley, "not worth falling out over." She kisses
him on the cheek and departs.
We move to the Mallets' house. Judeh asks Gareh how long he
has been fishing - she has found all sorts of fishing gear under
the bed, "tins, reels, all sorts of stuff." Gareh asks
her, in a concerned voice, whether she has opened any of the tins.
When she replies to the contrary, he is relieved, but clearly
has a guilty secret, "best not, just in case." When
she asks him to sort them out, he tells her that he cannot do
it now, as he has to practice on his drums. And with that, we
see one exasperated Judeh as our budding Gene Krupa bashes his
way into overdrive.
Spider is talking to Anne Malone - he is telling her that it
couldn't have been Curly responsible for the extortion letters,
going missing is out of character for him. When Anne asks who
else it could have been, Spider tells her that it was someone
very clever, someone with a grudge against him. Anne asks who
it could be and Spider tells her that Curly doesn't know. However,
he has a feeling that if Curly is going to contact anyone, then
it's going to be her - he then starts spinning her a yarn about
how what Curly had told him about her, what he thought of her,
how he felt about her coming back to work with him. "Never
in her wildest dreams will Anne know what she really means to
me" is the quote he attributes to Curly. It is clear that
this statement has taken Anne aback. Spider continues "but
I guess, after what happened with Raquel and every other woman
he's been involved with, his self-confidence was non-existent,
so he kept it to himself. Self-protection. He was terrified that
you would knock him back, so he never unburdened himself to you.
I understand that he led you to believe that he didn't like you.
Nothing could have been further from the truth." A devastated
and astonished Anne replies "if only he had said. Then none
of this need have happened." Spider tells her that he is
determined to prove Curly's innocence, because he reckons that's
the only thing that will bring him out of hiding. He asks Anne
to remember, that should Curly contact her, despite what he might
say, he is crazy about her and if she can think of anything that
can help clear his name, then she is to call him. He hands her
a piece of paper on which he has just written his contact information.
Vera is cheesed off with Jack's attitude to their holidays
- anyone else she knows would jump at the chance of a holiday
in Tenerife, she tells him. In that case, they are welcome to
his ticket, is Jack's reply. She tells him that surely he doesn't
mean it, after all, look at the fun they had last year in Las
Vegas. They are going to the Canaries with the sun, sea, and sand,
she tells him. "And lager louts" he adds. "No,
summat else beginning with S" she continues. "Stomach
ache" is Jack's classic retort. When she asks, in that case,
where he would like to go, after a brief pause "Newmarket"
is his answer - that's our Jack, a perfect life being race meetings
and gambling. When she says that she wouldn't like to go there,
his reply is "who mentioned owt about you going?" Vera
loses her temper and tells him that he is going on holiday whether
he likes it or not and he is going to enjoy himself, "so
At the café, Roy is telling Gail that he has a lot for
which to be grateful - if it wasn't for her, then he would still
be dragging his feet. He has never been one for taking the bull
by the horns. She disputes this statement, he surprised her when
he leapt in and bought the café, "quite the man of
action". He agrees that he can be impulsive, but he is talking
about affairs of the heart. "Is this leading somewhere?"
she asks. "Yes, the Dales or the Lakes," he replies,
"we'd like to take a long weekend" and he asks whether
this would be alright by her. "I'm sure I'll manage somehow"
is her reply.
She goes over to Sally who is also sitting in the café
and comments that Roy hasn't come down to earth yet. Sally asks
whether she has seen Rita today. When Gail replies to the contrary,
Sally goes into a slagging off session - she doesn't know what
has got into her recently, "she has suddenly started to tell
me how to run my life, as if she is any example. She practically
told me that I was selfish. She behaves as though I am not fit
to look after my own children." When Gail tries to calm her
by saying that maybe Rita is over-reacting, Sally replies "never
mind maybe. If she had her way, they'd be living with Kevin."
Gail points out that she might behave differently once she has
got to know Greg a bit better. Gail asks how Greg feels about
the girls moving into the flat. "Oh, he's fine" replies
Sally, "he's away at the moment, he's on business."
When Gail asks what he thinks about living with a ready-made family,
Sally confesses that she hasn't told him yet.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end of part
After the ads, it's Part 2
The second part of the programme commences back at the café.
Gail is asking Sally whether she is worried that Greg won't be
suited to child-rearing. Sally denies this, she just hasn't had
the chance to tell him yet, that's all. She tells Gail that she
has only had a chance to talk business when they have talked on
the phone. Gail says that she is all for Sally showing an interest
in his work, but isn't this taking things to extremes - Sally
then confesses that they have gone into business together.
Back at the Mallets, Gareh has been practising on his drums.
He apologises for disturbing Judeh and tells her to put her feet
up. She, however, has cleaning to do. He doesn't want her overdoing
things "you'll be polishing the cobbles next." He recommends
that she takes a break, which will be impossible while she is
at home, so he suggests her going away, maybe to stay with her
best mate, Jenny, whom she has not seen for years, while she has
Sally is telling Gail about her business plans for her joint
venture with Greg, how they need an office and a warehouse facility.
They can buy in top quality underwear without making it themselves,
so it's a matter of finding a buyer and selling it on. When Gail
asks how come it is so cheap, Sally replies that they don't have
the same overheads in Romania. And the strength of the pound helps.
Gail asks whether this is Sally's idea or Greg's, Sally replies
it is Greg's contacts. ".... And your money" adds Gail.
Sally maintains it was her idea to invest in the business, Greg
never asked for a penny, "he wouldn't - he's not that kind
of person. He's very kind and I love him." "I can see
that, Sal, I'm just being over-cautious on your behalf" replies
Gail. She adds that being in business she knows how easy it is
to make mistakes, over-expand. Sally pooh-poohs this, saying it's
a different situation, on a much bigger scale, to which Gail replies
that this is good reason to be cautious. Sally tells her that
Mike Baldwin is unaware of the position and Gail confirms she
will keep quiet about her secret.
Hayley has just popped into the café to tell her that
she has successfully sorted out her holiday break with Mike Baldwin,
"he were very amenable." Roy replies that's because
she is a good worker and not because Baldwin has an ounce of decency
in the man. "Anyway, subject closed" she says, but Roy
replies "if only it could be." When Hayley suggests
that they ignore Mike, Roy expresses his concerns that Baldwin
knows far too much about them for his liking. "About me,
there's nothing odd about you, Roy" replies Hayley. At this
stage our hero says "nor you, Hayley, and don't let anyone
tell you that there is..." (Oooh, sniffle, what a hero!!!!)
When Hayley accuses of him being too loyal, Roy replies "I'm
talking about being true to oneself, instead of all this hiding
away and convincing oneself that one is inferior" to which
Hayley comes out with the classic line "one is talking a
bit like Prince Charles, isn't one"!!!!! Roy tells her that
he doesn't see it as a joke - they have to stick up for themselves,
nobody else will.
Natalie is telling Des that it's years since she went to Hartlepool.
Des says she wouldn't recognise it, Marina, brand new historic
quay, "you can even watch the football under cover if you're
a masochist." He asks whether she is kitted out for the wedding,
which she confirms. He tells her that they are staying overnight
at the same hotel where the reception is being held, so there
will be no hassle regarding driving. Natalie tells him that there
is a bit of trouble about her being allowed time off by Alec.
When he advises her to tell Alec to take a running jump, Natalie
expresses her fear of the risk of losing her job. Des confirms
how important it is to him for her to accompany him to the wedding.
At the Rovers, Judeh is about to go off for her short break.
Gareh is full of the possibilities of him having a recording contract
in his pocket when she gets home. She wishes him well and they
leave the pub together, with her about to take the train.
The taxi has arrived to take Jack and Vera off for their holiday
flight. Jack is wistfully reciting his ideal holiday "sat
at home, reading a card from our Vera with a picture of a kangaroo
on it"!!!!! Vera is fully of excitement at the imminent holiday.
Alec is stirring it, in best Gilroy manner "go on Jack, you'll
have a wonderful time." We see the priceless picture of a
reluctant Jack leaving the pub to go on his holiday with Vera.
After they have departed, Natalie comes in and asks to have
word with Alec. He tells her that he has been expecting this -
he had heard from a third party that she was going to be letting
him down. She is going to a wedding, she says, she told Vera but
he wasn't around at the time. She asks whether it is a problem,
but Alec is playing awkward, telling her that it is certainly
inconvenient. She suggests that, in that case, she should have
a chat with Lorraine and persuade her to change her shift. Recognising
that he cannot hold out forever, he tells her that she could work
a couple of hours now "if you wanted to stay in my good books."
Realising that it isn't worth making an issue of it, Natalie says
that she will have to tell Des, as they were supposed to be going
out. Alec smirks as she goes out, having retrieved a point in
this game of one-upmanship.
At the pub, Spider is reporting back to Alma - he confirms
that Anne Malone is mad for Curly. He tells Alma about his conversation
with Anne and her reaction "if only you'd told me sooner,
none of this need have happened." He asks Alma what she makes
of that. But Alma recommends caution "she's a lot cleverer
than you realise." When Spider repeats Anne's promise to
call if she could think of any way to clear Curly's name, Alma
suggests that he doesn't hold his breath waiting for the call,
she is hardly likely to admit to being the one who sent the letters.
A tearful Anne is looking at a photograph of Curly "don't
worry, I'll think of something" says Evil Eyes. She lovingly
kisses the photograph.... what a basket case!!!
Gail has come into the Kabin for a word with Rita. She is concerned
about her conversation with Sally. Rita confirms she has given
Sally a piece of her mind and tells Gail that if she is here to
persuade her "to put things straight, you're wasting your
time." Gail confirms she is as worried as Rita, probably
more. Rita expresses her concern about the hold that Greg has
over Sally, which Gail attributes to love, whereupon Rita opines
that, in that case, "I think its one-sided." Gail discloses
her fears that Greg is after Sally for her money.
Natalie has popped back home to change out of her smarts into
her working clothes. Des is not pleased at her having to forego
a night out. However, her news that she has sorted out the weekend,
pleases Des. He tells her that it is ages since he saw the old
clan, she wont be able to get a word in edgeways. Natalie is clearly
concerned about the prospect of meeting Des' family for the first
time and asks whether there is anyone she needs to wary about.
He tells her not to worry, she should just be herself. Nat asks
how Des plans on introducing her. after some debate he suggests
"partner" being the appropriate designation. When Natalie
points out that they don't actually live together, Des replies
that there is no reason why they shouldn't - he has been meaning
to mention the idea, "what do you say, me and you? Proper
At the Rovers, Maude is asking Hayley whether living together
is all they expected. "We're both very happy, aren't we,
Roy?" is Hayley's reply. "Now we've taken the plunge,
should have done it months ago" adds Roy.
Spider and Alma are still discussing Anne Malone and how her
previous dismissal from Firman's was hushed up. Alma suggests
that if they could get the witnesses to come forward and give
a statement, it is possible they could blow her credibility. Alma
recounts how Anne had put something into Samantha's bag and accused
her of shoplifting and how a girl called Shula, who used to work
there. They decide to try to track her down.
Back at the bar, Roy is getting the drinks in. Mike Baldwin
barges in, ordering his drink. When Roy points out politely that
he was in the queue first, "Is that so? You'll have to shout
louder next time, won't you?" is Mike's dismissive reply.
In the background, we can see Hayley being agitated at Roy rising
to the bait. Mike gets served and Roy puts his order.
Mike goes into loud-mouth mode "I hear you and your friend
are going on holiday soon. Where are you going? Thailand?"
"Why do you say that?" replies a nervous looking
MVB: "Well, I thought you and your, er, partner would
go for the exotic."
RC: "I'm not with you."
MVB: "Well, be just up your street there....I mean, anything
RC: "I beg your pardon"
MVB: "Weirdoes, freaks!"
RC: "I resent that."
MVB: "Look, if she's not a freak, I'm the Queen Mother,
RC: "I think you'd better withdraw that remark."
MVB: "Why? What's the matter? Can't you take a joke?"
RC: "I mean it. I want an apology."
MVB: "Well, you'll just have to carry on wanting, won't
RC: "I'll have to ask you to step outside."
MVB (laughing): "You what? Have you heard what this lunatic's
just said to me, eh?"
Alec Gilroy: "What's going on?"
RC: "Come on! Outside!"
AG: "Look! I don't want any trouble."
MVB "Look! All I said was.... do you wanna tell him,
or do you want me to?" (said to Roy)
AG: "Tell me what?"
At this, Roy picks up the drink which has been served to him
and throws it at Mike's face (Cheers all round from the Contress
crowd at the Royal Glen at Blackpool. Nay! Most probably, cheers
all round the country!!!!!)
MVB (wet through, angrily): "Right, sunshine!!!"
(Alma tries to restrain Mike.) "That wasn't clever. Not
very clever at all."
Cut to Spider, who, having seen the events, raises a thumbs
up sign to Roy...
.....and with that.... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Phil Woods
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada
Well, how was it for me? A bit of a mixed bag. Saving grace
has to be that neither Greg nor Plank were in the episode. As
far as Anne Malone is concerned, as I the only one to find her
acting unconvincing? Much ado nothing with the Mallets.
So what does that leave? Ah, Roy and Hayley!!! Well, they
made the episode. The best bits of dialogue - him suggesting
camping, the "Prince Charles" quip and, of course,
doing what we would all like to do, throwing a drink at Mike
Baldwin after his taunting. We saw this with the rest of the
troops at Blackpool and you could have heard our cheers miles
away, as the beer hit MVB's face. Mind you, I *AM* having problems
trying to persuade "her downstairs" not to follow through
with the death threats towards Baldwin!!!! Hehehehehe!!
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take care...
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^, Regards - Alan
Sunday 4 October
This week, I have been mostly browsing... Graham Allsopp's
Who's Who site. Curious to see what past updaters wrote, I spent
many an hour randomly selecting updates from the last 3 years
or so. What excellent stuff. I was struck most by how much the
updates have grown in the last year or so. It appears that Dewey
and latterly Alan have been responsible for the ever- expanding
girth of the average update. (With an honourable mention to Nigel
Worsfold, whose other-worldly babblings must surely have found
him a place in a mental institution. Or Microsoft.) And in a
long, roundabout, fashion this is my way of getting around to
saying that I am going to have to rein in my Sunday updates slightly,
to about a perfect 8. It has been somewhat of a strain recently
trying to find 2 hours or so to write each one up, and with a
real risk of me losing my office Internet connection, I may be
forced to (takes deep breath) pay for my own dial-up. If that
happens, then I simply won't have the time to spend either, especially
if we can't get the computers shifted out of Number 1 son's bedroom.
I'll be vying for time with the latest shoot-em-up...
So, with nothing more exciting than that to lead in with (I
wasn't at the Blackpool Contress), let's move on to the latest
Sunday episode of our favourite soap.
We open in Roy's love-nest, where he and Hayley are having breakfast
and talking about Mike Baldwin's impromptu baptism the night before.
Roy rues the waste of half a pint of Newton and Ridley's, and
thinks it might have been a mistake all round. He is concerned
about the effect on Hayley, as she works at Mike's factory, and
wonders if she shouldn't give up her job and help him at the cafe
instead. After all, they don't really need the money as such.
Hayley tells him she likes working at the factory with the rest
of the girls, and it's something she'll just have to deal with.
Maybe she'll have a quiet word with Mike before the rest arrive,
and try to smooth things out. Appeal to his better nature. With
perfect timing, Roy pauses, and asks "does he have one ?".
Over at Gary's house, our ears are assaulted by his attempt
at drumming along to "Smoke on the Water", and a persistent
hammering on his front door. He opens the door to find Jim, somewhat
less than pleased to be listening to this racket through the dividing
wall at eight o'clock. [Don't worry if you don't have a mental
picture of the Street - neither have I.] Gary apologises and explains
that as Judy is away at a friend's house, he has been waking early
and it seemed like mid-morning to him. Jim suggests he might want
to sell the drum-kit, what with the baby on its way, but Gary
surprises him by saying he has an audition with a local band that
afternoon. [Gary mate, my twenty quid soundcard plays better drums
Hayley finds Mike in his office, reading a paper. He turns
round and tells her he knew who it was, as she was wearing far
too much perfume. "Not like real women", he says. He's
surprised she showed her face that day. Hayley tells him she likes
working there, but she'd like a word with him. "What, man
to man you mean ?", is Mike's riposte. She starts to tell
him that what she has done wasn't easy. The words are barely out
before Mike chips in with "what, having your wedding tackle
cut off ?". No, that was the easiest part, she says, she
means working with the rest of the women and trying to fit in
and be accepted. She can handle Mike's comments, but she doesn't
think Roy can, and asks Mike to keep the truth to himself. Just
then, Janice and some of the other workers arrive, and Janice
sticks her head in the door to offer her congratulations to Roy
for doing what they'd all wanted to do themselves. After she goes,
Mike tells Hayley that he'll try to be discreet, but can't promise
what might slip out, in the heat of the moment. [Ooh, that didn't
come out quite right !]
Les is collecting Toyah, freshly returned from her holiday.
He tells her she looks great, and thinks there might be a twinkle
in her eye. Excited, she tells him about this great bunch of girls
she was with, one of them could drink a whole bottle of vodka,
and then they were mooning at some lads [and this is not what
Les wants to hear, really] and that's how she met... HIM. Someone
by the name of "Dobber". [I had to stifle a laugh at
this, in front of the kids. Where I grew up, this was a term of
abuse, and was pretty much what you would call some bloke if you
thought he was a "dick", which was what it was taken
to mean.] Les hopes she didn't do anything she shouldn't have.
"You what ?!", says Toyah. It weren't like that, apparently,
cos they fell in love. The real thing. It might have been best
if Les could have rolled his eyes right back in their sockets
at this point, but we had to content ourselves with his hopeful
observation that Dobber probably lived miles away. In another
country, with a bit of luck. But his luck's out, as Toyah tells
that he practically lives round the corner. She went to his school,
even. And he'll be round to see her straight away.
Natalie and Lorraine are idly chatting behind the bar about
the weekend with Des' family. It doesn't seem to have gone as
well as Natalie might have hoped, Des said nothing to her or his
family about having asked her to move in with him.
Janice and Liz and Hayley arrive for lunch. Liz is fishing
for snippets of gossip about exactly what Mike said to Roy that
prompted his early bath. Just then, Mike arrives, and Janice suggests
a replay for her benefit. Mike says he'll buy them all a drink,
"to shut them up", and adds he'll buy one for Hayley
too, "as well as the ladies". He doesn't bear a grudge,
see. [Just a mile-wide cruel streak.]
As Les and Toyah arrive back home in a taxi, a nasty-looking
specimen of modern yoof is seen hanging about. We don't need a
sign-post to know that this is Dobber. He and Toyah snog enthusiastically.
She introduces him to Les, who shrugs a brief "hello".
Dobber responds with an overly chummy "how are you Les, y'alright
?", which if I had been Les would probably have incited me
to stick a fist down his throat and remove his lungs the hard
way. Thirteen million viewers cool to Dobber in the space of about
Alma is furtively shuffling through files in Curly's office.
She seems to have found something interesting, but is interrupted
by Anne Malone, and just about manages to excuse herself by asking
where the till rolls might be kept. In the drawer below, it fortunately
turns out. We then see some rather odd goings-on as Anne hands
Alma [a humble floor worker] some report to look at, then retracts
them with a "wrong ones" comment, and then produces
another set of figures, showing store growth and expansion plans.
Alma is as bemused as the rest of us, as to what this means. It
seems to satisfy the mad Anne, though.
How dare they ? In the middle of Corrie, we find Dirty Den in
the bath, humouring us with "life after soap" and "cleaning
up my act" quips. Spooky. Oh, and some *dreadful* life assurance
ads from Pearl, along the lines of "I hope you've made proper
provision for the kids, you might die or be horribly maimed tomorrow".
Sort of thing that almost makes you want to plan to die penniless,
just to keep commission out of the hands of this lot.
Gary has arrived at the "audition" - three young lads
with two guitars and a keyboard in a garage. It goes really badly,
as they all discover that not only does Gary have no musical knowledge
whatsoever, but his drumming skills are on a par with the average
"two pencils on the edge of the desk" office worker.
Don't give up your day job, Gary.
Alma and Spider discuss her unsuccessful attempt to get hold
of the address of the Bettabuys [or was it Firmans ?] employee
who knew the truth about Anne's attempt to get Curly sacked for
sexual harassment. They might know the street, but Spider isn't
too keen on knocking on dozens of strangers' doors. But he has
a cunning plan - something involving being nice to Anne... Mike
joins them at the bar, and Alma wants to know if he has been civil
to Hayley. Of course, says Mike, he's never been one to mock the
afflicted. As he raises his voice, and looks pointedly at Hayley,
she looks away.
Toyah and Dobber enter the cafe, and he orders two meals for
them. Roy hints to Toyah that he could do with a hand behind the
counter, but Dobber replies that this is "hard luck".
He asks Toyah what they're going to do that afternoon. "Oh,
you're not starting that again !", says Toyah. Dobber points
out that everyone else on holiday was "at it". Toyah
thinks he should respect her for not being so easy. At this point,
Roy dumps some cutlery on their table in a very off-hand fashion.
Dobber presses Toyah further. She thinks she will, soon. He asks
if her Mum and Dad are out of the house that afternoon. [Hey mate,
I think soon might have been weeks or months, not minutes !] Toyah
shudders at the thought of her parents' house, it wouldn't be
right. Besides, she hasn't got any, you know, precautions. Dobber
will "take care" of that. And he might be able to get
hold of his brother's motor. "Really ?", asks an easily
impressed young Battersby.
Gary calls at Jim's house, and tells him that the audition
didn't go well. He realises that buying a drum-kit and being a
proper musician was just a dream, and he's sold the drums. Shame,
so it is.
Natalie pops in to see Des, and asks him how he thinks the
weekend went. Before long, they are discussing what it really
means to move in together. Well, to be more honest, Natalie is
firing awkward questions at Des, and he is answering with ums
and ers. She realises that he is reluctant to make any real commitment
- he'd be happy if she sold her house and moved in, but it alarms
him to think of it happening the other way round.
Toyah is standing on the pavement, opposite her house, waiting
for her no-mark boyfriend. Janice spots her and tries to engage
her in conversation. Toyah is mortified less Dobber should arrive,
and mutters responses like "go inside" and "bog
off !". Naturally he arrives. In a hurry. In a bright red
dick-mobile. [Amazingly, the credits mention a "stunt driver"
- clearly specialist skills are required for driving at more than
5mph on the cobbled streets of Weatherfield !] Toyah gets into
his car, still sadly impressed, and some tonsil tickling takes
place. She asks if he had "got something" and apparently
he has. Janice walks over and introduces herself. She tells Dobber
she's heard a lot about him. "So what ?", says the charmless
oik, and drives off. [Tears, mark my words, it'll all end in tears.]
Des enters the Rovers, to talk to Natalie. He's decided that
he is serious about their future, and he'll make a commitment
if that's what she wants. Natalie points out she doesn't want
to be the latest in a long line of women who've moved in with
him, only to move out again soon after. He agrees that this is
probably a fair comment on his track record, but he's not proud
Spider relays the latest news from the battle front to Alma.
He found the right house, but the woman had moved on. However,
Anne wants to meet him. Alma is worried about what he might be
Janice is telling Les of her first impressions of Dobber. "I
wanted to slap him !", she says. [Didn't we all ?] Les was
impressed with his motor. "Anyway, why's he called Dobber
?", wonders Janice, "has he got something to brag about,
downstairs ??". [See !!] "What, like me you mean ?",
asks Les. Janice gives him a *withering* look.
Roy is locking up the cafe, as Hayley arrives home. He asks
how her day has gone, and in particular how she had got on with
Mike Baldwin. It's clear from her answer that Mike has continued
to make disparaging remarks, but Hayley tells Roy not to let himself
get worked up about it. He fears that Mike's snide comments may
be between themselves at the moment, but that he'll start talking
in public eventually. Hayley says they will cross that bridge
when they come to it.
We close this week with Toyah and Dobber. Not on a deserted
beach at sunset, nor in a country house hotel, nor even a meadow
on a summer's afternoon, but in Dobber's brother's car, in a lay-by,
next to a greasy spoon caravan. Dobber asks "how about it
?". Toyah gets around to admitting that she's a virgin, but
he says he'll show her what's what. "Let's get in the back",
he adds romantically. [This is broad daylight and all !] Let's
lower the curtain now before it gets any worse...
This episode was written by Sally Wainwright.
I've just realised we didn't see Sally or Kevin or Greg tonight.
What a pleasant change. And now, yet another character to really
*hate*. Dobber. I think it's fairly obvious where this storyline
is heading (especially as I have already seen Monday's episode,
but I'll not spoil it by revealing more) and yet it's been well
written to appear perfectly believable (okay, the location of
the final scene excepted) and perhaps even inevitable for a poor
innocent like Toyah. Janice already has his measure, but is it
too late ?
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ***1/2
Right then, off to the spell checker. Lordy, just as weighty
as ever. Still, if a new slimline update appears in the future,
don't say I didn't warn you !
Take care, John Laird
Monday 5 October
*groggy clearing of throat*
Yes, it's the notorious Post-Contress Update! I'm still recovering
from the quite remarkable lack of sleep and vast intake of alcohol
brought on by said Contress, so please bear with me in terms
of spulling errors, grammatical mistakes and general lack of
wit. I assure you normal (!) service will be resumed next week
but for now you'll have to bear with me as I slowly recover from
the wild, weird and wonderful Blackpool Weekend. If you're expecting
a run-down of all the perverted debauchery you'll have to ask
elsewhere since all I found were a group of lovely, charming
people from all over the world with whom I had great pleasure
talking... Err... Ok, I'll rephrase. If you want a run-down of
all the perverted debauchery you'll just have to offer me a larger
bribe than they did. ;)) Seriously though, everyone was rather
delightful and the lewd and lacsivious behaviour was kept to
a bare minimum (the naked man chained to a railing outside the
Pleasant Hotel at 8pm on Saturday night providing the "bare"
part...) although honourable mention in these stakes goes to
"Lusty" Vivienne Smith for boasting a proud scream
of "YESSS!" in front of a packed tour (mostly complete
strangers, I should add) at the World Of Coronation Street when
the question was raised whether anyone present had 'had' more
lovers than Elsie Tanner... ;) (Last count for Elsie was 27,
I believe!) Rumours/Protests that Vivienne misunderstood the
question and was actually saying "Yes" to something
completely different and far more innocent have been ignored
in the name of humilia..*cough*..humour, despite the fact that
they're quite likely to be true. ;)
Anyways, joking aside, I had an absolutely lovely time so
thanks are in order to everyone (attendees and organisers) who
made it that way... So lovely, in fact, was my weekend that I
almost allowed myself to turn in a *gasp* LATE UPDATE in the
name of rest but that just wouldn't do, so here's me best shot
on low-batteries... Enjoy! (And forgive!) :)
After the titles proclaim this episode as being sponsored by
Cadbury's Dairy Milk, we open in the presence of Les and Janice
Battersby, early morning. As Les sits glued to the credits of
a Breakfast TV show (you can hear the awful music...) Janice calls
down Toyah (who apparently is running a bit late for school, having
had a night on the tiles) before confiding in her husband that
she's concerned about "that lad", in reference to Toyah's
new, bizarrely nicknamed boyfriend, 'Dobber'. Les, only half-interested,
says it'll do the girl good to "enjoy herself" after
"that turn in London" but Janice is still *highly* suspicious
of 'Dobber' and worries that Toyah's schoolwork may slip as a
result of his influence. It's decided, albeit reluctantly (the
lure of spookily long running Breakfast TV credits seems to be
tempting him away from his fatherly duties!), that Les should
have a word with her, although not before Janice has performed
an obligatory interrogation first. The line of questioning is
none too fruitful, as Toyah lies and says she was "out",
"with her mates", "on the street" and "doing
nowt" so Janice leaves for work, leaving her husband and
daughter to have a heart-to- heart. He asks her to vow that she
won't do "owt daft" with her new boyfriend ("Drugs...
or... owt else") and, after assuring that he trusts her and
is just worried for her Mum's sake, he finally gets her to make
the promise. This pleases him as it means Toyah can get off to
school on time and he can go back to watching that fascinating,
eternally-running theme music on the telly.
Meanwhile outside, Roy is walking Hayley to work (hand-in-hand...
awww! :)) and making sure that she'll be alright. She assures
him she can handle it just as they run into the eternally chirpy
Martin Platt. They exchange a bit of inconsequential small-talk
as Nurse Platt disappears off to find a nearby five thousand to
feed. Hayley uses this incident to try and make Roy feel better
by mentioning that "there is life beyond Mike Baldwin, you
know... Everyone else likes us!" but Sir Royston still seems
very het up about the whole situation. The Lady In Red suggests
that they invite Martin and Gail around to supper again, "our
first supper party at your flat... as a couple", and this
seems to make him perk up a little. He says it's a "good
idea" and will ask Gail when he gets back to work. She kisses
him on the cheek and heads off to the factory. :)
Over t'road, Toyah, sporting a school-skirt from The Bev Callard
Wardrobe O'Skimp (TM) that would have gotten her a hefty detention
in my day, bumps into Leanne and they exchange words which come
round to 'Dobber'. Toyah confesses that Les and Janice are mad
with her because she was out late last night with a boy she met
on holiday prompting Lee to ask if this means she's "you
know" (oh, you *know*)... The truth comes out that not only
did she "you know" for the first time last night (argh!)
but she also neglected to "use precautions", something
which Leanne is displeased to hear, to say the least, and adds
she's not surprised the Battersby Elders are annoyed. "They
don't know what 'appened" insists Toyah but Leanne glances
down at her half-sister's belly and says ominously "They
will"... Rut roh... I think the penny drops.
In the MacDonald Household, Jim sits lifting weights with the
greatest of ease, to the complimenting tones of Occupational Therapist
Michael (as opposed to Psychotherapist Michael or Best-Friend
Michael, both of whom are available as seperate toys... "Life
in Plastic, it's fantastic!"). Michael-Doll thinks it's a
good idea for Jim to "branch out" now he's "got
some of his confidence back", adding that the MacDonald Household
and The Rovers aren't very "adventurous" before finally
putting forth the suggestion that Jim should take Liz out for
a meal somewhere. A change of scenery, et al. Jim isn't sure he's
ready for it.. "A room full of strangers and all that carry-on"
he mutters and mumbles, in his inimitably cynical way but the
Thankfully Thoughtful Therapist thinks this is just what Jim needs,
prompting the Irishman to say "You know Michael, you could
talk me into just about anything" before adding, "The
question is, what will Liz say?"... One wonders aimlessly
at this point if Michael could talk him into appearing on 'Ready
Steady Cook!' again. ;))) (For the non-UK viewers, I apologise
if that one made no sense...)
Meanwhile at The Cafe.. Sir R is humbly inviting Gail to a
meal. Gail seems a bit surprised and insists it's her turn this
time but Roy explains it's no problem "unless you think I'm
being pushy". The Perplexed Platt smiles, tells him not to
be silly, "umms", "ahhs" and then chirps that
she and Martin are free tomorrow night and would love to come
over. Roy says that if she feels guilty about it she can always
have him and Hayley over at a later date, before whipping out
his diary and suggesting that maybe they make a weekly thing out
of it. The Platts' one week, Roy & Hayley's the next! Gail
says she'll speak to Martin and smiles politely although it's
obvious from the look in her eyes that she finds this idea to
be somehow unappealling.
In The Rovers, as this is happening, Drinking-Partner Michael
(the latest in this range of hot and happening toys!) stands at
the bar buying a round of drinks as the two MacDonalds, who are
sitting close by, discuss dinner. Liz seems pleasantly surprised
that Jim has offered this and asks if he's sure he's up to it.
He responds with "Of course I'm up to it... The question
is are you? In case I make a fool out of meself" (You, Jim??
Never!!! Not you! Not Jim "Sober and Sensible" MacDonald!)
and she happily accepts the invitation, suggesting they just do
it and see what happens.
Janice walks in at this point and makes straight for the bar,
like any wise woman would. ;) Upon reaching her destination, she
discovers Roy and tells him their "drawing lots" on
him over at the factory about who gets to run his fan club! (Incidentally,
when they elect the president, I simply *must* sign up for a membership
card! :)) Anyways, Roy is obviously a bit wary of this attention
and tells Janice politely that a fan club "isn't really the
right attitude to take". She reckons it is because Baldwin
deserved everything he got (too bloody right! and then some!)
and that she thinks Roy's "really fab" (I reiterate:
too bloody right! and then some! :)) She then kisses him on the
cheek and scampers off to the other end of the pub, giggling.
Just then, the saloon doors burst open, the moody tones of Ennio
Morricone fill the air and Baldwin El Bastardo, the meanest bandit
in The West, strides up to the bar. "Flavour Of The Month,
now, are we, eeeeeh gringo?" he sneers in a heavy Mexican
accent, picking his blackened teeth with a splinter (Ok ok!!!
I'll nip the tacky Western crap in the bud..). Roy retains his
dignity and says "I wouldn't know" but Baldwin tells
him to "Enjoy it while it lasts" which instantly hits
the Terror Nerve with Sir R who asks, nervously "Meaning...??".
Before the swine can answer, Hayley enters and he merely says,
arrogantly "Oh look, here's your boyfriend" before adding,
even more viciously, "There was a King Harold wasn't there?
You know 1066 and all that? They all get in the eye eventually..."
and walking off, sneering. I was going to write something like
"The bastard! The absolute bastard!" here but decided
that would be a ridiculous understatement (Top marks to Johnny
Briggs however, for playing Baldwin at his very lowest to seriously
teeth-grinding effect... I'm convinced I'll need major dental
care before too long...). Anyways, Hayley can tell that Roy is
upset and asks what Baldwin said, getting the half-stuttered answer
of "Oh.. Nothing... Just the usual taunting...". She
tells him not to let it get to him but he can only ask "But
it does, doesn't it?" rhetorically, before heading back to
Superman Michael (Limited Edition doll available while stocks
last!) is sitting with Liz, as Roy leaves, and isn't much surprised
when she tells him about the forthcoming dinner. She catches on
to the fact that it was his suggestion and thanks him, gushingly,
saying "Oh, I don't know what we'd have done without you"
and such likes. He plays it modestly, as he would, so she thanks
him once more.
In The Cafe, Gail puts forth Roy's dinner plans to Martin who
is about as impressed as punk rocker in a line-dance. When she
adds that Roy wanted to make a weekly event out of it, Martin
gasps with shock, dead-against the idea of spending a night in
with good quality company as opposed to turning water into wine
before a crowd of cured lepers. "Perhaps we should knock
tomorrow night on the head then" he suggests, "Start
as we mean to go on" but is dismayed when his wife reveals
she has already agreed to it.
Toyah is sitting nearby and The Despicable Dobber walks in
(He's been in the Street less than 2 episodes... I already can't
stand the guy and am calling him names... Shame on me! ;)) to
sit down and smarm at her in an arrogant and smug kind of way.
In fact, he's so vain he probably thinks this scene is about hi...DOH!!
He wants to "blag" a free meal out of Toyah but since
she's not on waitress duty at the moment he has to take a raincheck.
Just then he spots Ken Barlow lurking about and exclaims disgust
loudly, as his apparent ex-teacher walks over. "Hello SIR"
smarms Dobber in a hideously false manner, to which Ken replies
"Hello Philip" (heh heh! heh heh!). They get into a
brief and obviously uncomfortable conversation about what 'Philip'
is up to these days and when asked if he's found a job yet he
retorts "No sir, unfortunately. How about you, sir? Have
you got a job yet?". Ouch! Ken leaves with a rather angry
look on his face leaving Philip to badmouth him behind his back.
Toyah seems, understandably, awkward and it goes without saying
she doesn't mention the Private Lessons.
Back in the Rovers, Spider is talking with Alma and gobbling
down peanuts at a rapid rate. He is, apparently, meeting with
RoboAnneMalone(TM) later on in the day and is somewhat nervous.
Alma offers her assistance but Spider stares wide-eyed into oblivion,
like a psycho cartoon character and declines... "Nah, you
can set up the bullet", he says, in a Frank Drebin kinda
way, "But it's me who has to bite it!". I half-expected
him to turn to the camera and say "Red Rock Cider: It's not
red and there's no rocks in it", but mercifully the scene
ends and cuts back to...
...The cafe, where Dobber/Philip gets up for a pee. Conveniently,
Leanne comes in right about now and asks Toyah rather incredulously
if that's the boy she's seeing. "Phil Dobson???" she
exclaims and Toyah responds with "Yeah?? You used to fancy
him!!" (eh? News to us!) before Leanne says that this was
when she was "thirteen and didn't know any better" (This
all seems a bit *too* convenient, no?). Apparently, he's notorious
for "using women and dumping them" or "getting
them in trouble with the police" but Toyah insists that the
two of them are "in lurve". Gargh, not *AGAIN*! Jon
Lindsey/Deidre Rachid... Greg Kelly/Sally Webster... Dobber Dobson/Toyah
Battersby... And that's just in the last nine months alone!!!
I really hope they do something a bit more productive with this
one. So, back to the show, Leanne tells Toyah rather forcefully
to go to the Doctors' in the afternoon and get a morning after
pill, informing of all the details ("it works for 72 hours
after the event", "it's all confidential these days",
etc...) and ends her speech with the threat that if she "doesn't
want to be pushing a snotty nosed kid around for her 17th birthday"
she should get to it, pronto.
END OF PART ONE
The adverts are as unconvincing as ever. Hearing a bloke exclaim
"Direct Line Rescue??? Is that new???" with boundless
surprise just seems ridiculous in the light that adverts for this
service have been bombarded down our throats for seemingly eons...
Load o' rubbish soooo... on with...
Roy, diary back in hand, is telling Gail in T'Caf' that Hayley
is "delighted" about the Dinner Party. Gail, however,
reports that it won't be so easy to do the weekly thing, making
the excuse that "Martin might find it a bit of a problem,
you know, working shifts", so Roy suggests they all "play
it by ear". This isn't quite the response Gail was after
so she prompts politely "Don't you have any other friends
you'd like to have round? I mean, we wouldn't want to monopolise
you.." but Roy insists that if he felt they were "imposing"
("there's nothing worse than people imposing on you",
he muses) he would tell them.
Over at a table, Dobber is being an arsehole to Toyah, something
I wouldn't recommend for his health while Mike Plowman prowls
the Earth! :) They discuss "last night" and Toyah suggests
that in the future they should "use something" so they
don't "catch things". He sneers indignantly that she
"won't catch owt" off him before adding snottily that
if it's that much of a problem they should just forget it altogether.
Yawn, yawn, who brought The Bumper Book Of Cliche's back onto
the Corrie set? More to the point, who let this wanker run free
with it? (I'm sorry if I'm going against the grain here, especially
since it's early days in this storyline but as I mentioned earlier
I'm sick to death of these "Evil, nasty man with *blatantly*
see-through lies" -vs- "Innocent naive woman in love"
stories coming so quickly one after the other and I certainly
think that in the light of the superb Toyah Tales we've had recently,
Georgia Taylor is capable of so much more. I, personally, was
much happier seeing her character go doo-lally over Spider Nugent
than this wally... (All those comments are purely IMHO, I should
add... Plus, as I said, this *is* early days yet... I may be forced
to eat my words on this subject, who knows?))
Anyway, Natalie is moving into Des' house, it would seem, and
is unpacking a lamp. Des thinks this is silly since he has plenty
of lamps himself but Nat insists that it's just her way of making
herself feel "at home" before adding that "that's
the difference between men and women. You lot can live anywhere
as long as it's 'okay' whereas we like to make the place our own".
He smiles and says, almost sarcastically, "I'm sure whatever
you do, it'll look great" as he unpacks a tremendously unexciting
porcelain ornament. This leads to a snog. Not sure what else I
can say, here, really. As I said at the beginning of this, I'm
half- asleep and the more I type, the later it's getting!
Ken emerges from the Kabin and catches Janice on her way home.
He wants "a word" with her and explains that he saw
Toyah at lunchtime in the Cafe with a boy he "used to teach,
Philip Dobson" prompting a sigh of "Not 'im again"
from Janice who then asks "What was he like?" and is
unsurprised to hear that 'Dobber' is often in trouble with the
police for petty stealing and the likes (*snore*). Speak of the
Devil and we cut over to the Cafe, which is almost closed. Dobber
(Does that name sound soooo "Home And Away" or WOT??)
enters, asking for a "pie and chips... on the house",
but when he's told that they've stopped serving hot meals he decides
to settle for "a tenner out of the till". Toyah looks
a bit shocked and just then, Hayley enters, multiple bags under
her arms. Gail jokes that she must be "shopping for Christmas"
but Hayley smiles and says it's for tomorrow night's meal since
Roy is "making something special" ("if a job's
worth doing, it's worth doing well!", he adds, proudly).
Ever the gentleman, he offers to help his girlfriend with the
bags and they stumble up the stairs with the assistance of Gail.
Of course, the fact that all three are now out of the room leaves
Toyah free to, admittedly with a look of utter guilt on her face,
remove ten pounds from the cash-till, as the evil Philip looks
on, grinning like a failed audition for "The Omen III".
Jim and Friz, meanwhile, are sitting down for a meal in rather
impressive surroundings for Weatherfield standards. ;) Candles
everywhere, nice lighting, even a polite and unpatronising waiter!
They ask to view the Wine List and exchange small-talk. As they
do this, a dubious looking gent in a suit gives Liz the typical
"Mmm.. let's go back to my place" looks from a darkened
corner of the restaurant... Liz eyes him back, nervously. Hmm...
Just like Hollywood.
Meanwhile, at their humble abode, Les and Janice sit in the
living room discussing the situation their daughter has landed
herself in. Les says he had the talk with her this morning and
everything seems ok but Janice tells him what Ken said. "You
can't stop her from seeing him", reasons Les, holding his
wife's hand in a rare act of compassion "But what you *can*
do is make sure she behaves sensibly". The front door opens
and, sure enough, it's Toyah and Devil-Boy. Les offers the two
of them a seat but they want to go upstairs, a prospect which
displeases Janice to the extent that she *demands* vehemently
they stay down in the living room before adding it's not that
she doesn't trust Toyah: "It's just I don't like the company
you keep". Dobber takes this as his cue to leave but Les
defends him, by saying "Aw, c'mon, she didn't mean it like
that, son". Not the best thing to say as Janice retorts "Oh
yes I did... I mean, DOBBER? What kind of a name's that? Y'sound
like a horse!" leading to the riposte: "Yeah, well at
least I don't look like one!" (Obviously, this kid *wants*
to be added to Mike Plowman's Hit List asap without passing "GO!"
or collecting £200!). Les throws the "mouthy little
squirt" out in a torrent of abuse and sends a Tantrumming
Toyah to her room.
I'll be brief with this scene, since it left me so underimpressed
and my batteries are running out, rapidly: Spider is visiting
RoboAnneMalone(TM) at her office and she is questioning him about
his lie/confession the other day that Curly has a crush on her.
He blags it in much the same way he's done so far and she falls
for it hook, line and sinker. The Robot admits that she had a
big crush on Curly, also and then they both agree that Curly was
set up. When asked if she has any ideas on whodunnit, RoboAnne
says "Yes, I have actually..."
Back to the Battersbys' now, where Toyah is coming downstairs,
sulkily, and heading for the kitchen. The door goes and Janice
instantly reckons it to be Devil-Boy but thankfully it's only
Leanne who heads straight for the kitchen also ("I'll just
make meself a coffee", being her excuse) to talk to Toyah
who has, apparently (God knows when!), been to the doctors' for
the Morning After Pills, which she is presently taking with a
glass of water. Leanne is glad she took the advice but says sternly
"and next time... take precautions" before leaving back
to the living room, oddly without a coffee. C'mon, continuity
I'm amazed at the amount of *really* short scenes in tonight's
show, it seems to cut back and forth all the time, so apologies
for the possible disjointedness of this update. We're back with
Spider and RoboAnneMalone(TM) now, as they discuss conspiracy
theories for the upcoming Hollywood animated-movie "Who Framed
Curly Watts?". The 'Bot starts to reel off a long story which
doesn't sound too far removed from the truth about how a co-worker
had a crush on Curly but the affection wasn't returned so, unable
to cope with rejection ("Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned",
she says, tackily), she set the poor guy up. When quizzed as to
who this culprit is, RoboAnne points the finger at ALMA BALDWIN(dunno
about you but I'd guessed this about five minutes ago)! Apparently
Alma confessed her alleged love for Curly to RoboAnne in a moment
of weakness. The Bot suggests that her and Spider "set up"
Alma with ransom notes, in much the same way as Curly was set
up... Spider says he'll "do anything to clear Curly's name"...
I begin to wonder where Scooby Doo is at this point.
At the posh restaurant, Jim has wheeled himself off to the
restrooms, dropping his napkin by mistake on the way out. Mr Dubious
in the dark corner takes this opportunity to approach the now-solo
Liz and say, smoothly "Your friend dropped this", handing
the napkin back to her. She thanks him and he tells her that Jim
is a "lucky man" (oh dear, oh dear, *SOMEONE* doesn't
watch Corrie ;))) adding "so would I be if you'd ever care
to get in touch" while handing over his business card. Liz
(unexpectedly!) lies and says she's a "happily married woman"
so Senor Sleaze oozes away back into the corner again. Just then
Jim returns and realises that the odd-fellow had been hitting
on his companion. Liz insists that nothing happened but Jim is
now angered and decides to go over and start yelling at the guy,
threatening that he would "batter" him if he wasn't
in the chair. "You think you've got the right cos I'm paralysed?"
he asks, but the anonymous stranger leaves in silence. Liz says
there was no need for it but Jim, now set off on a familiar trail
of bitterness and jealously accuses Liz of "enjoying"
an "able-bodied man" coming on to her... After putting
up with his ranting, she gives him the Inverse-Midas Speech: "You
don't change do you? You ruin everything you touch, Jim"
and then the credits roll.
So that's that. Sorry I can't be more enthused but it was,
on the whole, a rather average episode. Certainly not a bad one
and not lacking in strong scenes, but there's something about
this Toyah storyline that's worrying me... Can't put my finger
on it right now, mind. Of course, my tiredness didn't help things
but still, I'm sure we'll be back to normal next week. :) No further
comments, yr'honour. Battery death imminent!!!
Take care! :) The Rattler
This Monday Update was sponsored by James Ray's
Gangwar (what I was listening to) and Stella Artois (what I was
Wednesday 7 October
I have bravely[read stupidly:)] taken the plunge to
step into the much esteemed shoes of CP to do the Wednesday updates.
However, this will be on alternate weeks and to give you some
variety, I believe Roz Mitchell will be covering the alternate
Wednesdays with me, awaiting confirmation.
Already I've suffered with first night nerves resulting
in me taping over Wednesday's episode so had to wait for Sunday
for the repeat omnibus, hence the delay for which I humbly apologise.
Ive only done two updates previously so be gentle
with me kind viewers and allow me the same privileges as Sally
Webster...the occasional cock up!!
Enough of this pre-emptory drivel, on we go with last
Tonights episode opens in Chez Battersby. Janice is
trying to insult Toyota's intelligence by trying to bribe her
with a shopping trip and a promise of clothes. [Well it works
for me:)] However, RToyah isnt as green as she's cabbage looking
and sees right through Les and Janice's attempts to sweet talk
her away from Dobber. [ I cant say I blame them. I mean, if your
daughter cam home saying she was in love with someone who sounded
like they were named after a garden implement, wouldnt you worry?]
And surely, can i be mistaken, or did i see Les in the kitchen
making breakfast? I thought he needed a map to show him where
the kettle was!
Over in The Kaff, Roy tells Gail that he is still worried
about his altracation[hmmm...Mr malaprop I presume] with Mike
Baldwin. Roy then brings up the subject of the till being short
by 10 pound. He asks Gail if she gave the wrong change to anyone.
She rightly asks him the same thing and tells her it could just
as likely be him.
Whilst La Mouton fluffs up the bouffant ready for work,
she asks Michael [Lets get physio, physio, lets get physio...]if
Jim has told him what happened at the restaurant. Jim is still
feeling ultra sorry for himself and says that Liz only got chatted
up cos she was "in the company of a raspberry"[frankly
Jim, if its fruit we're talking about, Id say you were more of
a lemon, so you are!]. Jim seems to think that Liz is just a bit
pissed off about what happened and he tells Michael that thats
how they are with each other. "Thats why we married, thats
why we got divorced, and thats why we got back together again"
Over at the salon, Audrey is onto the jobcentre to
try and recruit some fresh blood to train up in blue rinses and
marcel waves. Maxine is earwigging whilst hayley tries to explian
how she wants her hair doing. Maxine is being her usual vacuous
self and Audreh finally sorts Hayley out with an appointment,
proving that she can do two things at once whilst Maxine has problems
with one thing at a time. Audreh tells the person at the other
end that she has seen lots of people reading little cards "well,
those that can read". Job specification according to Audreh,
get on with people, initiative, and no body odour. Nice to know
she's got priorities aint it!
Dobber picks Toyah up from School. [Get rid of him
Toyah! now! cries the nation] She tells him that they have to
be careful and then he pulls off at 90 miles an hour in the car...and
no seat belt for Toyah.
Michael and La Mouton are in the Rovers. Liz guesses
that Jim has been saying that its her fault about what happened
in the restaurant. Michael says its typical of someone in Jims
position. Liz says no, just typical of Jim.
Mike Baldwins at the bar as Hayley walks in looking
for the girls from the factory. "Not here says Mike, except
for Liz and she's busy. Try The Kaff, you get all sorts hanging
out there!" [boo hiss boo hiss]. She then reminds him that
she's finishing early and asks if he's forgotten. No he says.
He hasnt forgotten anything about her.
Liz tells Michael that she doesnt want Jim, mobile
or paralysed. Michael tells her that Jim doesnt want her pity.
"In the end, thats all he's got!" she says. [Funny,
but it doesnt seem that long ago since Liz was telling Jim that
there were 50 ways to please your lover]
Over at The Kaff, the original whingeing pom, Martin,
is telling Gail he'd rather be chewing his toenails into attractive
topiary arrangements than have dinner with Hayley and Roy[well,
he didnt really say that but you get the gist!] Gail tells him
that he'll enjoy scintillating conversation with two interesting
people and the Plattypus asks who else is invited![On one hand
I can see martin's problem, I mean who wants to discuss the pro's
and cons of Wainwrights locomotives, but on the other hand, since
when have the Platts had such a whirlwind of a life that they
can afford to be bitchy about being asked to dinner by Roy and
Hayley, or anyone for that matter, they ought to be grateful quite
Over in the corner of The Kaff, Spider tells Alma of
Bunny boilers latest plot to incriminate her and make out that
she is the one obsessed by Curly and that she, Alma, is the one
out for revenge. Alma finally suggests what everyones been saying
for weeks. Get Ann Malone on video doing the dastardly deed.
Here endeth part the first...
Part two beginneth with... La Toyota doing the tonsil
tango with 'The Garden Tool', in a car, in a car park, somewhere
in Weatherfield. Dobber continues with his emotional blackmail
and asks Toyah to take 40 pound out of the till. The reason? She
has to pay her half of all the expenses of him driving her round
in the countryside looking for ideal spots for a back seat pasa
doble! [Dont do it Toyah! Toyah has become a fast favourite with
me, acted well, she inspires interest and care about what happens
to her character] Dobber tells her to take it off the customers
and not ring it into the till.[how come Roy didnt suggest Toyah
earlier when he was talking to Gail?] As she gets out of the car
Leanne strides over and Dobber speeds off after mentioning Toyahs
'great legs'. Leanne asks her if she'd taken the second Pill."Of
course, Im not stupid" says Toyah.[the jury's still out on
Back at the salon, Fred is deriding Fiona. Maude says
how Fiona appealed to the younger generation but Audreh will appeal
to a wider clientele. Fred says show Audreh will need more than
pensioners perms to keep it going. Audreh and Fred[sigh, my hero]
discuss staffing problems. Maxines paranoia reaches a climax as
she takes out someones rollers. Maud speaks up for Maxine but
Audreh says how she's "known enough blond heads to recognise
a flibbety gibbet when she sees one! What she needs is reliability
Back at The Kaff, Hayley tells Roy about seeing Mike
Baldwin but plays it down so that Roy doesnt get angry again.
Roy suggests she forgets about him and lays the table ready for
dinner. [womens lib is alive and unwell at The Kaff]
[still in the kaff] and Ken asks Toyah why she doesnt
want her extra tuition and Toyah says how she gets skitted at
school for being a swot. Ken tries to reassure her by saying how
she has a talent which didnt show at school[hmmmm...and just what
would that be ken?] ken gives her the 3 quid for what he's had
in the cafe but after he's gone she pockets the money. Martin
returns, makes a few sarcastic comments to Ken about having dinner
with Roy and Hayley and then goes to speak with Roy. "Mmmm
something smells good" says Martin.
Over at Freshcos, Alma is watching Spider and Ann Malone
in the freezer. [I know someone who'd love to be checking Spiders
goods out in the cold storage, dont I Glenda:)] But Trev, the
security man comes back just as Alma is about to retrieve the
Back at Chez Battersby, Janice is giving Toyah the
money for Ken's tuition.[we know where thats going, dont we girls
and boys!] Toyah asks about the money that Janice was going to
use for the shopping trip. She says it would have been on tick.
Toyah suggests getting a credit card. "I'll be in t'poor
house with one of them, I know what im like!" Les tells her
that theyll be in the Rovers later. "I thought you didnt
have any money" protests Toyah. "I dont" says Les.
Back at The Kaff, dim lighting, candles and Roy and
Hayley and the Camel and the Platypus are having dinner. Martin
says how he wished he'd seen Baldwin's face when Roy had thrown
the beer at him[was that really a week ago when we were all at
blackpool] Hayley wonders what Alma sees in him and Martin says
"you can say that about all couples" Martin continues
with "what does Rita see in Alec? what does Roy see in Hayley
for that matter. Everybodys different, some are more different
than others". A look of knowing passes between Roy and Hayley.
Martin continues his unwittingly cringy but ironic diatribe."I
used to think it was jus a case of big ones, small ones, fat ones
and thin ones till i started working there." Gail tells him
"none of your 'bodies of Weatherfield stories' Martin, especially
the amputation ones." "You'd be amazed what you can
cut off and sew back on these days" says Martin. Hayley is
shifting around conspicuously on her chair as Gail tells him that
no one wants to hear about that, Hayley in mid-cringe, agrees.
Outside, illuminated by a convenient lamp post, Garden
Tool Boy and Toyah are in his penile substitution vehicle, oops
I mean souped up Ford Escort. and he's having a go at her for
only getting a fiver. She says it was quiet in The Kaff and that
she has to be careful. She tells him that she hasnt had a real
boyfriend before[you still havent sweetie! and i should know]
and that RLeanne says .... Dobber tells her to shut up about her
leanne, he's not doing it with her is he.[oh the sweet age of
romance is not dead.] Toyah tells him that she can get more money
on friday when she gets paid and her mum gives her some money.
Dobber says he cant keep shelling out [For what may i ask?] They
drive off, Toyah still hasnt learnt to fasten her seat belt]
Back to the meal, Martin asks why Baldwins got it in
for them. Hayley says its her and Roy says that its because she
works too hard. Gail suggests inviting Mike and Alma round. Hayley
doesnt think that will work.[a bit like inviting Vlad the impaler
to a steak barbecue!] Martin compliments them on the meal and
Roy suggests doing it again sometime, like next week?!!
In the Rovers, Maxine interrogates Fred about Audreh's
plans for staff. Maude offers some advice in her own inimitably
subtle fashion. "What she's looking for is reliability and
what have you given, late mornings, leaving early etc." You
can see Maxine thinking this through, its painful to watch the
machinations of her poor vacuous blond head.
Alma meets up with Spider and tells him about not getting
the tape. Spider tells her that if they dont get the proof, Curly
will not be able to come back to the country without the police
arresting him straightaway.
WWWelll, tth th thats all for now folks, I leave you
in the trusty hands of Roz for this Wednesday's update and Ill
see you all next week.
Bye for now,
Ruth aka Roofy
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
Friday 9 October
At long last, I've got round to doing my Blackpool
Ping report. Do take alook !
Have fun folks and thanks to everyone who made it
an enjoyable week!!Anyway... without further ado, it's time for
the update, sponsored by Cadbury's Dairy Milk
The episode commences with Spider catching Alma unawares
in the Street. He is anxious to find out whether she has managed
to get the video tape from Freshco, which, they hope, will incriminate
Anne Malone and provide the evidence necessary to get Curly off
the hook. She tells him that she's not had a chance to retrieve
it, but Spider is concerned that the store may record over it
and they would lose the evidence. She promises to do her best
- she will watch the security guard and seize her chance.
At the Salon, Maxine is finishing off with a client
and afterwards, Audrey remarks that, judging by the body language,
the client didn't seem very pleased. Maxine tries to make light
of this, but it is clear that Maude's previous words to her have
sunk home and she is concerned about the security of her job.
Audrey is reading a letter and Maxine changes the topic of conversation
- Audrey says the letter is from her solicitor, everything is
going well and this time next week, the Salon will be Maison Audrey
- Maxine goes into brown-nose mode, telling Audrey how much she
likes the name, "It's so French" says Maxine. "Yes,
European" agrees our Audrey. She needs something that reflects
her - modern and stylish, she continues, which is what she will
be looking for in her staff. When she asks Maxine, whether she
has finished, our Max finds some extra work to do, some mirrors
which need wiping. Audrey is impressed by her attitude, telling
her that she applauds initiative and hard work, that's what she
will be looking for in the new staff. She tells Maxine that she
needs to pop to the Town Hall for a short while and asks whether
Maxine can be left on her own. "Any time" replies RMax.
At Freshco, Alma has sneaked her way into the security
office to do the deed. She makes her way to the video recorder
and removes the tape, which, she hopes, will provide her and Spider
with the evidence they need against Anne Malone. Just at that
point, Anne comes into the office and catches Alma red-handed.
She takes the tape from her. Alma tries to explain that things
are not what they might seem, but Anne is cock a hoop at catching
Alma and tells her what she thinks - she has caught her stealing
Company property and tells Alma to wait in her office.
At the McDonald's household, Jim is being taken out
by Michael, who says not to worry and promises to Liz that he
will look after Jim, just as she does.
Back at Freshco, Anne switches off one of the security
monitors and attaches an "out of order" sticker to it.
Audrey is discussing business matters with Fred at
the Salon. She tells him she thinks Fiona went wrong with her
marketing. "Dead important, is that!" booms our hero.
It was never snappy and perky and modern, she continues, brand
identity is important, something that says 'Audrey is something
really, really special.' "She is that, especially in my eyes"
slavers Fred. She tells Fred that she gets a lot of elderly people
coming into the Salon - the problem is they are "old",
but in her terminology they are not old, "they're just advanced
citizens." So she'll be able to do deals for them like 'the
Advanced SuperSaver'. "That's a train ticket isn't it?"
replies our hero. "Yes Fred, yes. You're catching on,"
beams Audrey, as she points out how, if someone decides to go
on an outing to Cleethorpes, they will go and buy their Advanced
SuperSaver and then they'll think "I must get my hair done,
as well." "Why, it's a stroke of genius is that, I say,
a stroke of genius!!!" replies Fred, "you'll have a
whole chain of Salons before you can say 'split ends'. Oh, you
can service me any time, Audrey." At that point, Maxine comes
in with tea for the troops, well, for the generals, anyway. She
is well past her going home time, but had found "a few odds
and ends to do" to put her in Audrey's good books - Audrey
agrees that Maxine can go off home.
At the Mallets', Gareh is busy decorating - in comes
Judeh, unexpectedly. She hadn't been expected back until the following
day, but she missed Gareh too much. She calls him over for a "snog"
- she is delighted with his handiwork and is pleased that he even
remembered to cover the furniture - she comments that it appears
to have grown. He pulls back the covers to reveal a double cot
and tells her that he sold his drum kit to buy it. She is overjoyed
at his thoughtfulness and they embrace.
Toyah is about to leave the café with the "Boyfriend
from Hell" aka Dobber. Gail asks to speak to Toyah in private
and while handing over her wages, tells her that the till was
£10 short in the last few days. She tells her not to take
it the wrong way - she knows it's not Toyah, well, not deliberately
anyway, but tells her that just because she is in love, to be
careful not to let her mind wander off her duties. Toyah looks
Spider is talking in the Rovers to Lorraine about Anne
Malone. He tells her that Anne won't get away with her plans.
Lorraine tells him that he has to go to the police but Spider
is not convinced - it's only their word against Anne's and as
far as the police will be concerned, Curly proved his guilt by
running away. He tells Lorraine that Anne Malone has asked him
to be her go-between, an ally. If only he could get that tape
before going to see her, then he would have something with which
to bargain, to confront her that she has done something illegal.
At that stage Alma comes in - Spider is pleased to see her and
asks whether she has the tape. She, however, tells him that she
has been sacked.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end
of part 1
After the ads, it's part 2
The second part of the programme commences at the Rovers with
Alma, Spider and Lorraine. Spider pronounces that Anne has gone
too far this time, while Alma is concerned what Mike will have
to say about her getting sacked, at her age, for theft of company
property. Lorraine tells Spider that he will have to do something
now, something sensible, he is trying to out-think someone who
is off her head, she tells Spider. How can she possibly be outwitted?
Anne wants Curly, so the way out is for Spider to tell Anne that
the only way she will get Curly is if she creates a safe environment
for him to return to. When Spider asks how are they going to do
that, Lorraine tells him that this is not his problem - all he
has to do is to tell her that this is what she has to do to get
Curly back and leave it for her to fix. Until she straightens
things out, he is to advise Curly to stay where he is. Spider
is overcome by this brain-wave and rushes off to do the necessary.
Michael has called round to the McDonalds and Liz is
rather surprised to see him. She asks whether Jim has forgotten
something. He tells her that he has been to a number of seminars
and thought it would be more useful to see Liz while Jim was busy.
Liz asks him through. He wonders how long she will be able to
keep this pretence going.
At Freshco, Anne Malone rings Trevor the security guard
and tells him to go to the front entrance of the store. She tells
him she is going home and she wants him to be the visible side
of their security. He is not to leave his post, no-one is to get
Liz is telling Michael that what she said earlier was
merely the result of frustration, than anything. When challenged,
she admits that she DID mean SOME of what she said, but every
relationship has got its problems, hasn't it, she muses. Michael
wonders whether this should lead to one of the partners to lead
a life of pretence. Liz is puzzled at why Michael is discussing
this with her. He tells her that he takes more of a holistic approach
- he believes that a client is unlikely to get much better until
all the different aspects of their life are in some sort of harmony
with each other. Liz scoffs at the prospect of harmony in the
McDonald household, "harmony, oh yeah, yeah, we get a lot
of that around here." Michael points out that as Jim is not
going to get better until he is living in the world of reality,
if Liz doesn't love him anymore, she would be better off telling
him. Liz is outraged at the intrusion and tells him he should
mind his own business - she wonders how he might feel if she came
sniffing around his marriage. He replies that it might have helped
- Liz is puzzled by the reply and Michael looks to leave, but
Liz presses him to explain. He does - he tells her that when you
are working in the helping business, sometimes you get so focused
on the needs of your clients, that you might not even notice the
needs of the people a lot closer to home - and sometimes they
need you a lot more. He confides that his wife had found someone
who could give her the attention she needed at the time and they
both seemed happy - he sees the children regularly and they're
both happy, so we're all..... "happy?" volunteers Liz.
Michael is embarrassed by the situation and tells her he needs
to go back. When Liz finds out that the training session is due
to finish in an hour's time, she offers him a drink, which he
Anne Malone makes her way to the Deep Freeze Room,
to do some sabotage work. She opens the door, lets herself in
and pulls the heavy door behind her.
In the car, Dobber and Toyah are talking - she is asking
him about his father, is he old? "Yeah, about 35, or summat,"
he replies. She asks whether she will get to meet him but Dobber
is not very happy at this prospect. Toyah asks why not and wonders
whether he is ashamed of her. He denies this, but points out that
they should be thinking about keeping a place of their own and
not of meeting his folks. She is starry-eyed at this prospect
and points out that her sister got married at her age. He pooh-poohs
the idea of marriage but says that if they got their names down
with the council, she could keep nicking until they got the deposit.
She tells him that she is not going to steal anymore - it's stupid.
Spider is outside Freshco and tells the security guard
that he has come to see Miss Malone. He admits he is two hours
early for his appointment and asks whether he can wait for her
in the store. The guard replies that Anne Malone doesn't wish
to see anybody and tells him to "bog off."
Liz has been telling Michael about the "life and
loves of Liz and Jim". You want to sell the screen rights
to that, jokes Michael and she agrees, "if Liz and Richard
can do it, and I expect that somebody will do it about Liz and
Philip one day as well, I should get in there while there's still
room." She asks him to confirm that his professional advice
is to be honest with Jim, which he does. Liz bemoans the sense
of failure she feels about it all, there was a time he could have
given her a way out - she should have taken it, but she was in
love with the idea of being needed - she tells Michael that this
was a strange new feeling in her relationship with Jim, she had
never felt needed before, at least not by him. "And now you
do and it's not really enough," adds Michael. She agrees
with his statement, pointing out that the scene in the restaurant
had brought out the feeling in her of being desired. She apologies
for being so open, but Michael dismisses her protestations. She
continues, the feeling was nice and it had got her wondering what
it would be like to be held again properly and as soon as she
though it, she felt guilty. He points out this is understandable,
she is a nice person, it is only human to feel that way. She admits
to being a very confused human. Michael makes to leave, the session
will soon be finished - he tells her that he would be very happy
to continue the conversation some other time, if it has helped
her. She admits it has. "All part of the service," is
Anne is still in the freezer room, merrily at work
carrying out her sabotage. The Security guard has come into the
store and goes over to a stack of beer cans just outside the Freezer
room. He picks one off and opens it. As he does so, he notices
that the freezer room is not secured. He takes the padlock and
locks the door securely, leaving Anne Malone trapped inside.
Michael is leaving and is telling her she has nothing
to feel guilty about. There is a test for situations like that,
it's very unprofessional, he has never done it before, in fact,
if anyone found out, he'd be struck off immediately. She is intrigued
and asks what it is. Having built up to the moment, he then kisses
her. She expresses outrage. Having realised he has overstepped
the mark, he apologies for his indiscretion. He is flustered and
apologises for going too far. Liz is outraged asking whether this
is part of his therapy. He denies that and confesses that he must
have felt like that man in the restaurant when he had looked at
her. He apologises again and makes to leave but Liz' mood has
changed - she asks him to hold her and when he does so, she tells
him he may kiss her. They embrace passionately.
Anne Malone has finished her deed and goes to the door
of the Freezer Room. Realising she has been locked in, she starts
banging on the door, but to no avail. Meanwhile the security guard
has gone back to his office. He sits down in front of the monitors,
but, of course, the monitor which could alert him to Anne's problem,
is switched off. Oblivious to what is going on, he drinks his
Back at the pub, Alma is asking Curly how it went -
it didn't, he tells her. However, the security man had told im
she had gone home, the only thing he can do is to go to the store
in the morning before it opens.
Back at Freshco, Anne Malone is frantic.... She is
still locked in the Freezer room, her cries of help unheard by
the security guard.... .....and with that.... 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? One of those coming to a
head type of episodes, as Michael makes his move on Liz and Anne
looks like coming unstuck in her plot to set up Curly and now
Alma. The salon is in the middle of a handover, with all the
uncertainties that this situation brings - new brooms and all
that... Meanwhile, Gareh and Judeh start preparing for parenthood....
Good moments.. well, for me, the Ice Queen becoming
Apart from that, a competent middle of the road episode.....
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ Regards, Alan
Sunday 11 October
This week I've had to leave the preamble until the
end, to make sure I had time to actually get the update written.
There's only a few minutes left before the bell goes [metaphorically],
so not much time to ramble on about the trivia and minutae of
my life over the last seven days.
One nice interlude in an otherwise rather uneventful
week was an invitation to the evening reception after a college
friend's wedding. This was our first remarriage for Mrs L and
I, shows we're reaching that sort of age, I suppose. Some of
the other guests were folks I'd known at college and had hardly
seen since. A quite unfathomable 17 years, in one or two cases.
The really funny thing is that they hadn't really changed much
at all. Perhaps we haven't either. Shows what a fine upstanding
undergraduate I was all those years ago !
But that's enough nostalgia, let's hasten off to Weatherfield
to see what's going on in the lives of the residents of Coronation
The episode opens noisily with Spider hammering on the metal shutters
outside the Freshco store. It is clearly the next day. The security
guard opens up to find Spider demanding to see Anne Malone. The
guard protests she is not there, but Spider rushes inside anyway
and starts to search the store. [In case anyone is wondering,
security guards are in the main very poorly paid and yes this
probably is about the level of intelligence and fitness to be
found.] Spider notices the red light on the walk-in freezer. The
guard tells him this means someone is inside, but that can't be
right, no everything's pretty knackered in the store and it's
just faulty. Still, he'll open up and check. Their jaws drop as
they peer in through the cold misty air and see Anne sitting in
a chair, spraycan in hand. And very very dead. [Now call me picky,
but I think it more likely that she would have been curled in
a ball on the floor. Still, the outcome is the same.]
Sally is angry with Rowsie and Surphie, as someone
has spilled orange juice on the carpet. But worse, on some of
Greg's precious CDs as well. There'll be trouble, and poor wee
Surphie gets the thick end of it from her mum.
With no further ado, it's back to Freshco where the
SOCO [Scene of Crime Officers] are taking photographs of the Ice
Maiden. In the manager's office is Spider and the bumbling DI
Fox[?]. The detective [actually "dick" would be appropriate
in this case] tells Spider that he thinks he was lying earlier
when he'd said he'd seen Curly around town. "You're my prime
suspect now", he tells Spider. Spider is alarmed. "Book
him Stanno !", says rent-a-cop. [I wish I could remember
where that line comes from...]
Jim Macdonald is full of enthusiasm after the seminar
the night before. He thinks he might re-train in computing, and
he's taking up basketball in his spare time. He puts Liz on a
spot, without realising, when he observes that Michael hadn't
stayed long at the seminar before rushing off, only to return
later "in a right state". Poor Jim has obviously forgotten
what an evening of passion with Liz can reduce a man to !
Sally rushes into the cafe to pick up a sandwich. Gail
asks her how Greg is taking the news about having Sally's girls
to stay. Sally admits that he still doesn't know about it. Anyway,
it's not a problem, as "he loves them !". "He'll
have to...", mutters Martin as she leaves.
Natalie has hired the entire Edwin Shirley trucking
fleet to transport her belongings, and Des is shocked at how much
of it there is. "I'll have to move out to make room for you
to move in !", he says. But there's more, as they say. He
asks if she'll be selling the rest with her house, but it turns
out that she has decided not to sell up just yet, and will be
renting her house out instead.
Down at the police station, the farce continues between
the DI and Spider. "You've got form", says the boy in
blue. "It was environmental protest !", protests our
hero. The DI accuses Spider of being Mr Big, with Curly just a
pawn in his evil plans. Spider has been "involved" with
the store earlier, in the great prawn incident. "What, someone
threatened a fish, and you killed a human being ?", asks
the boggled DI. Spider asserts that Anne has set them all up.
However, the detective has an ace up his sleeve. "Who in
their right minds would find Mr Watts attractive ?". Spider
is led back to the cells while further developments develop
[Just stare at this spot for a couple of minutes. . . . There.
. . Exactly like the adverts.]
Natalie and Des are having a drink in the Rovers. Des is sulking.
He showed her his, and she wouldn't show him hers. Or rather,
he was prepared to sell his house, and now Natalie has changed
her mind about selling hers. He disappears off into town. Some
plan is afoot.
Mike is endeavouring to get his workers back to the
factory. He asks Sally where "lover boy" has got to.
She tells him he's due back any time, after all, he's out getting
new orders isn't he ? "Not so as you'd notice", replies
Mike. Janice adds her tuppence-worth - "Maybe he's all mouth,
like his Dad". Sally looks annoyed.
Over at the Macdonald homestead, Liz is just about
to leave for work. There is a knock at the door. Gosh, what a
coincidence. That'll be Michael, says Jim. "I know what you're
up to !", he adds chirpily. Liz is aghast. [What, was my
hair all messed up the other night ? Me blouse undone ? Me skirt
hitched up too far ?] "What do you mean ?", she asks
and rushes off to answer the door before Jim can say any more.
Sure enough, it's Michael so it is. They have a whispered conversation
just inside the front door, and Michael apologises for the night
before, and tells her they need to get their relationship back
on a strictly professional basis. Liz leaves as Jim calls Michael
through to the back room. He tells Michael too, that he knows
what's going on. Michael's eyes dart about the room as well. But
Jim has decided that Liz and Michael have decided to buy Jim a
computer, and nothing else. Michael tells him that he could approach
a Forces organisation, Jim being an ex-soldier, but Jim wants
to stand on his on feet [as it were].
The wanderer returns. Sally is overjoyed to see Greg
back at the flat. "Say hello to Greg, girls !", she
cries. Rowsie and Surphie, bless them, muster no enthusiasm at
all as they mutter "hello". Greg hands Sally a big bunch
of flowers. [Vastly overrated in my opinion, flowers.] The girls
demand to know if Greg has brought them anything too. [Acting
the adults off the stage in this scene !] Greg has an idea - on
the way home, they can call in at the corner shop and get some
sweets. Sally needs to be alone with Greg all of a sudden, and
we get the "girls, off to your room" line. Greg notices.
"Their room !", he wonders. Sally starts to explain
how she had tried to tell him, several times, and of course Kevin
has agreed. Greg is annoyed that he wasn't consulted at all. He
points out how small the flat is.
Back at the police station, Spider is looking much
happier, while the DI looks like a bulldog who's been stung by
a wasp. A search of Anne Malone's house has turned up some incriminating
evidence that backs up Spider's story and in addition Alma has
made a statement to much the same effect. They have also found
the missing videotape in the store [the one showing the meeting
between Anne and Spider - sorry I've kind of forgotten what it
was about exactly]. The detective will let Spider go, after he's
made a token point of detaining him, on behalf of all the meat-eaters
in the world.
Straight back to Greg's flat, where he is attempting
to win over the girls by plying them with sweets. Sadly, he gets
their names confused. Don't worry, says Sally, it'll work out.
He wonders what's for dinner. [And where's me pipe and slippers
while you're at it, woman.] Sally tells the girls that Greg likes
Italian food, and they love spaghetti, so... Greg decides he's
not hungry after all. It's time to talk, and Sally gets as far
as "girls..." before Rosie mumbles "we'll go to
our room !". [Boy, these kids are going to be seriously disturbed.]
Sally lays out her defence - he always knew she had children,
she couldn't leave them with Kevin, that's why we went to the
solicitor, to get custody. Oh and by the way, she's been to see
another solicitor, and things are moving along now. *And* she's
been looking at houses ! Greg is angry, but backs down quickly,
claiming to have been preoccupied with getting their business
off the ground. Sally suggests they could read the girls a story
before they go to sleep. Greg decides he'd rather pop down to
the pub, and unwind there. Then when he gets back the brat^h^h^h^h
girls will be asleep, and he and Sally can spend some time together.
In the Rovers, Lorraine welcomes Spider back. They
sit down with Alma. While they're pleased to be off the hook,
they'd never imagined Anne might end up dead. Lorraine wonders
if Curly will return now. There is some mild joshing about setting
up a private investigation business.
Leg fans may be cheered up by the sight of Liz lying
on Jim's sofa. He chides her for falling asleep in front of the
TV. [Standard operating procedure in our house - Mrs L conks out
5 minutes before the end of every programme !] Jim has already
made up his bed, and suggests that Liz should sleep upstairs as
she obviously is in need of a good night's kip. He tells her that
he knows what she is planning with Michael, and no thanks. Liz's
eyebrows shoot up again. "You and Michael, and the computer
!". "Right !" says Liz, relieved. And absolutely
none the wiser.
It's time for bed over at Greg's flat too, and Sally
has made up the sofa bed in the lounge and turned on some more
romantic lighting. Clad in a silky nightie, she hears Greg arriving.
He spoils the mood by asking what's wrong with their bed. She
tells him the girls can't sleep in the lounge as they have to
go to bed so early. He makes to go into the bedroom to hang up
his jacket, but Sally tells him to stay out, lest he wakes the
girls up. Angrily, he hurls his jacket across the room instead.
Sally tries to placate him, telling him yet again that they "can
make it work". Greg has a face like thunder.
We finish up tonight's episode at Des' house, where
Natalie is also waiting for her man to return. And return he does,
with an estate agent's sign in his hand. What's that for, she
asks him. Des is determined that she should sell up and move in
with him permanently. As his wife ! Natalie is taken aback. "Marry
me", says Des. "Yes", says Natalie, and they embrace.
This episode was written by Peter Mills.
This episode was perfectly missable. It had a tired,
going-through-the- motions feel about it, only enlivened by a
couple of amusing little moments from Rosie and Sophie. Further
dissection is probably unwise !
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): *1/2
Let's hope for better next week ! See you then.
Greetings, Update Fiends!
Monday 12 October
Well, what can I say? If the whole idea of an Update
is to inform those who were unfortunate enough to not catch an
episode exactly what they *missed* then here I present this week's
"N O T H I N G ."
Oh, alright, that's a bit of a cop-out but even so,
this has to be one of the poorest episodes I've seen since the
Darren Whateley story a few months ago (which never *did* properly
end, did it? Not that I'm complaining, mind!). As a result, I
really don't feel like going into excessive detail about half
the scenes so this week's proceedings will be of a slighter slimmer,
duller volume than is normal. Here's hoping for better next time
We start on a high note... Well, the Dairy Milk sponsorship
ad and the theme tune, anyway. After that it's all downhill with
a bullet. Greg and Sally are asleep in the makeshift bed she has
made out of the couch. The gurrrrls burst into the room fiending
for "Breakfast!! Quick! Quick! Breakfast!" and Rursie
makes it quite sternly clear she wants "Cornflakes and toast!"
(adventurous, eh?) while Greg murmurs something about the time
(it's apparently 7am...). As Surphie squeals out her desire for
an egg with her breakfast, Sally gets out of bed in her nightie
and shows us far more of her flesh than I, for one, ever wanted
to see. Thankfully Greg doesn't get up at this point but he does
inform us that he's naked under the covers *SHUDDER*. Sally tosses
him a dressing gown and proceeds to shuffle the gurrls into the
kitchen for their first feed of the day while the Gruesome One
himself lies in bed looking royally peeved.
So from one mismatched couple to another, it's over
to Des' place where he approaches Natalie at the breakfast table
and gives her a loud smacker of a kiss on the cheek, asking her
to tell him again that she'll accept his proposal. She says they
have "things to talk about" and by this she means Children.
She explains how she already has one and how Des, of course, is
notorious in his desperation for one. She also makes it abundantly
clear that there's no way in Hell she's going to have another
one so if that's what's on his mind, he should nip it in the bud
right now... Err... Figuratively speaking, that is. He reassures
her that he's not interested in kids (eh? This is Des!) and that
he's in love with *her* and not "non-existant babies".
They kiss and she says she's off out to her house to check the
post. Des is confused and suggests it could wait awhile, especially
since there's no guarantee the postman will have even brought
anything! Natalie, however, is smarter than this and insists that
he always brings her something... "Every day?" asks
Des, perplexedly... "Every October 12th, yes" she chirps,
as she heads for the door, "and so far, this has been a really
great birthday!" The word "DOH!" could sum up the
look on Des' face quite adequately. :)
Now it's back over to The Valley Of The Bland, where
the Gruesome One sits alone with the two gurrls who have now finished
their tremendously exciting brekkie. He asks, stiltedly what they're
going to do at school today and what their favourite lessons are,
but gets very little response from the two wee tykes who look
terrified of him, quite frankly. When he asks Rursie who her best
friend is, she replies "Mum is!" and then, speak of
the Devil (or at the very least, the Devil's Whore ;)), Sally
appears to send them off and get their coats on. Greg tries to
persuade her to let the gurrls stay with Kevin tonight or at least
stay with a childminder so that the two of them can sort out some
"business things" (funny business, more like!) but the
more he pleads, the less impressed she is with the idea. As a
sidenote, *why* has Greg started dressing like Kermit The Frog?
I think he looked a lot less daft when he was in brown all the
time, and that's saying something!
Alma enters the cafe, as if walking on eggshells, and
is greeted by a surprised Gail, who engages her in conversation.
Alma isn't in the best of moods and Gail muses on the "terrible
death" of RoboAnne Malone. "And such a pointless death
too!" (AMEN! Such a pointless !$&@ing *storyline* altogether
if you ask me!) sighs Alma, "She was so young". Spider
enters, looking shaken and stirred in that order, as Alma sits
down. He apparently hasn't slept a wink and can't get RoboAnne's
corpse out of his mind. Alma, however, is more concerned with
her job interview that afternoon with Aiden O'Donnell, the new
Regional Manager for Freshco but, despite her nerves, wants to
get it over with as soon as possible... And so endeth the scene.
Hmm... I'm unimpressed with the whole story, personally. It just
doesn't fit in with the general 'feel' of Corrie, for me. Death
by freezing just isn't really the sort of thing that is generally
played for laughs on the show and although the storyline has provided
a few decent giggles and I can't say that, myself, I could care
a toss one way or another if Malone died, it just well... it just...
err... (I'm looking for a better phrase here and failing)... it
just isn't Corrie, is it? Anyway, enough whinging, the story's
basically over now...
Des bursts into the back room of the Rovers (where
Smiley Spice (aka Lorraine), Alec and Natalie are sitting) carrying
a modest Birthday Bouquet of flowers for his fiancee. She accepts
the bouquet with pleasure and Des wonders aloud if she's told
the others' their news yet. Of course, she hasn't yet ("I
didn't know you could be so coy!" he exclaims) so he takes
the opportunity to make it common knowledge. "You're marrying
him??" splutters Alec, "No wonder you kept it to yourself!"
(lol!). Smiley Spice is a bit more sympathetic, saying that if
Des has asked her she "wouldn't have been able to keep her
mouth shut" which prompts Des to joke that it was a tough
choice between her and her Aunt. There's some brief and fairly
bland banter exchanged between the four of them and the scene
ends with a kiss shared between the newly engaged couple.
Oh and then it's over, so it is, to my dear friend
whom I never tire of (cough), Jim MacDonald. He's at home, strapped
into some physiotherapy contraption in his living room, lifting
weights and telling Action Man Michael that he wants more physiotherapy
sessions and more time in the gym. Apparently he's "raring
to go" (I sincerely hope he's not referring to Liz at this
stage!) and convinced that if he gets more exercise he'll be out
of the wheelchair "as quick as a flash". Michael tries
to put the kibosh on his enthusiasm and warns him to "pace
himself" so as he doesn't burn out. Jim explains he *is*
pacing himself but that he "moves fast" before going
on to recount how when Liz went upstairs to bed last night he
was busy lifting weights downstairs still. Michael (unprofessional,
I must say!) is far more concerned about why Liz is sleeping upstairs
than he is about Jim who, not knowing any better, says it was
just because she needed sleep in a proper bed without him around
since she was so tired. Michael slips into deep thought (well,
as deep as he gets, anyway) for a few seconds but his Perky Patient
snaps him out of it and reminds him to get on the 'phone to the
Physiotherapists quick-smart-like to arrange for more sessions...
Ahh, at last some more likeable characters emerge in
the Kabin where Alec is buying an engagement card for Natalie
& Des. Leanne and Rita are highly amused that Des didn't even
know his future wife's birthday ("Does he know her name and
address?" quips Lee) but Alec insists that such things are
"mere details" when you're in love but, of course, Leanne
thinks Des and Natalie are a bit "past it, for all that"
anyway... Rita asks if Alec is going to buy a birthday card too
but he states, indignantly, that the engagement card is "all
the Rovers can afford", adding, in hilarious Gilroy style,
"Betty *is* a pensioner, you know!". An unshaven Kevin
Webster (maybe he's growing his moustache back to please Glenda's
Mam? ;)) is maliciously lingering in the background and Leanne
asks, cheerily and naively, if he likes the card. He wonders who
it's for and appears somewhat shocked when he is informed with
typical Battersby subtlety ("Oh, didn't you *know*?")
that his ex-lover is to be married to one of the Street's most
Over at Underworld, Gruesome Greg, still in Kermit
The Frog costume, is hunched over a computer, looking tense (possibly
as he peruses alt.fashion.terrible-disasters). Sally busts him
and he jumps a bit. He thought the factory was empty for lunch
but apparently Sal has stayed behind to escort him to the Rovers.
He grunts that he's busy doing something "private" but,
after a bit of prompting and some double checking that they're
alone, eventually lets her in on his little game. "It's this
thing on the internet, right", he begins, "called the
CSVU... and there's these tiny pictures of us and all this man
calling us names..." ;) *bzzt* No, I'm only kidding. It transpires
that, in actual fact, he's transferring the entire Underworld
Database of contacts, suppliers, customers and workforces onto
a single floppy disc (big database eh? ;)) to use for he and Sally's
gain. His plot, which he dubs as being "Industrial Espionage",
is to steal Baldwin's business away from right under his nose.
Sally pretends to be dead-against the idea but the dollar signs
are visible in her eyes, as Greg wraps up the proceedings, grabs
the disc and takes her to lunch.
END OF PART ONE
The ads are generally as lacklustre as ever, I'm sorry to report.
I've never seen *anyone* get even a tenth as excited about frozen
peas, of all things, as the woman in the new Birdseye Frozen Peas
advert. It's really quite disturbing. The best one this week is
probably the one for the Goldfish Guide (I still have no idea
quite what this is, BTW) in which a guy who's been attacked by
perfume sprays in a department store is accused of being a "Casanova"
and a "Don Juan" amongst other things by his frantic
and tearful wife. Yes, it's as dumb as it sounds (possibly even
dumber) but at least it's a break from cars and cosmetics.
I'm reminded at this point of a rather fine US Punk Rock record
(a pint if you know which one!) which began it's latter half with
4 men with loud New York accents yelling in unison "Here's
the second verse! It's worse than the first!"... Quite apt
for this episode, really...
Friz sits alone in the pub as Michael approaches her,
looking desperate. She warns him to be careful as Jim is nearby
in the toilets and continues to moan that she was trying to avoid
Jim but he tracked her down and followed her to the Rovers. Michael
proceeds to rant on, breathlessly, about how even though he knows
what they 'did' (see John Laird's Sunday Update) was wrong he
is sure she feels the same way he does and she can't "just
ignore it". She avoids the point and tells him to be quiet
as, sure enough, here comes Jolly Jim ("What about ye, Michael!").
Michael regains his composure and informs his patient that the
Physiotherapist has agreed to let him have more sessions. Jim
maintains that Michael can "perform miracles" and offers
to buy him a drink, but it's declined, as the uneasy-looking 'Miracle
Worker' has to leave in a hurry...
A rather displeased-looking Kevin crosses the road
from the garage to the, presently empty, Webster Household and
is accosted by his buddy, Martin. The Perky Platt wants to take
the Manic Mechanic for a drink in the Rovers' but Kev's having
none of it and when questioned, he admits he has no desire to
talk to Natalie, having heard (second hand, no less!) the news
of her engagement. Martin thinks Kev is seriously overreacting,
tells him not to worry about it and suggests he just "stick
to the important things", which in this case means going
in and saying simply "Two pints, Barmaid" and thinking
nothing more of the whole affair. When Kev reluctantly agrees
to meet up later on, his good pal reminds him that at least this
wedding means she'll be out of his life forever before attesting
that the Woeful Webster should be "glad". Unfortunately,
the expression on Kev's face at this point is pretty much the
anti-thesis of gladness...
Fookin' Hell! It's Mark LaMarr! Actually, on closer
inspection it isn't the irritatingly smug gameshow host, it is
in fact the curiously non- Irish Aiden O'Donnell, Freshco's replacement
Regional Manager who is as smarmy and sickly as they come... It's
also time for Alma's interview with him in the office once belonging
to RoboAnne Malone. To be frank, this whole scene had me falling
asleep at the wheel it was so badly written so I'll sum it some
equally poorly written sentences. In a nutshell, he asks Alma
to be the new Manager, in place of Curly but she believes Curly
will be back and wouldn't want to usurp his position. Eventually
it becomes obvious that he's only offering her the job in return
for her keeping quiet and not talking to the press about the tale
of Nutty Malone, so Alma's pride gets the better of her and she
walks out claiming she has her "loyalties in the right order"
and that Freshco's integrity isn't high on the list. *yawn* Why
are they putting such a fine character (and actress!) like Alma
into such a dreadfully contrived storyline?
Sally enters the Rovers with Gruesome Greg, who seems
to think he's at a fancy dress party, sporting the most garish
green shirt and even greener tie combo I've ever seen him clad
in. Kevin, at the bar, nursing his pint, grunts "What're
you doing here?" to them almost instantly but Sal pleads
with him to just leave them alone. As this is Kevin, her request
is typically ignored and he asks where the kids are. When she
replies that they're with a childminder he plows into her, sarcastically
yelling "I thought you couldn't live without 'em? You needed
them? You couldn't eat, you couldn't sleep? Then as soon as *HE*
rolls back, you dump them!", something which obviously enrages
Sal no end. Greg forcefully tells Kevin to go home, to which the
mechanic responds loudly "NO! It's *her* who does just what
you tell her, not me!", as a nearby Martin pushes his pal
to the other side of the bar, warning him to calm down. Sally
is shaken and leaves, followed quickly by Greg as an irate Alec
Gilroy walks over and asks Kevin if his "domestic dispute"
is over, only to be greeted by sarcasm. "Just keep serving,
Alec" he grunts, with that look in his eye that screams 'I'm
gonna get *plastered* tonight!', "I'll shut up from now on".
This is a lie since, as soon as Alec departs, Kev turns his attentions
to Natalie, telling her in no uncertain terms that Des has "had
one woman after another" and "doesn't even remember
half of them"! Nat tries to defend her honour and points
out, indignantly, that the least he could do is congratulate her
but Kev doesn't think this is in order because, in his opinion,
she's making the "biggest mistake of her life"...
Over at the MacDonald household, Friz is clearing up
the plates after dinner as Jim tells her he's managed to squeeze
an extra physiotherapy session into his schedule. She thinks he's
going too fast but (again!!!) he attests he's all fired up for
a speedy recovery before harping on about how he has Michael to
thank more than anyone for his progress. "He put me back
on the road to recovery and pushed me half way down it",
he states, oblivious to the fact that his supposed 'Saviour' is
sleeping with his partner! Liz gets uneasy and frustrated, telling
Jim that Michael is nothing special, is just doing his job, etc,
before claiming it's only Jim who is to be accredited to his own
progress. Jim gets all soft and tells her gently that she's had
a big part in it too. For having faith in him... For believing
in him... He then asks if she'll sleep downstairs with him, tonight.
She looks dreadfully uneasy which isn't surprising since he's
just poured out great love and respect for the two people who
are screwing him over the most, behind his back!
Kev, still propping the bar up, looks suitably pickled.
Natalie reluctantly pours him a pint and warns him that this is
definately going to be his last one for the night as the camera
cuts ever so briefly to Spider and Alma, sitting on the other
end of the pub. Spider congratulates Alma, at length, for "refusing
to be bought" by the Corporate Beasties (TM) but something
on her face suggests she's not so proud of her latest career decision
as he is... Whoop whoop, then it's back to Kevin who is slurring
on about how "good" he and Natalie were, together. She
pleads with him to just go home but this drives him to desperation.
"I still want you", he whines, continuing with "Don't
marry Des! Don't go anywhere near him!" before ending his
drunken ramblings on a nicely placed albeit utterly absurd bombshell:
Ironic cut now to Sally at home with Greg: "I
hate it when he makes a show of himself in public" she says,
blissfully unaware of the *huge* duck's arse he's just made out
of himself *after* she left! Greg tells her to just ignore her
Horrendous Husband and this prompts her to change the subject
over to the aforementioned pirated databse. She thinks it's wrong
to steal from Baldwin since he "employs" them and "trusts"
them, but Greg is adamant that if the shoe were on the other foot,
Baldwin would do the same... "We don't have to run our business
the way he runs his", maintains Sally but Blandford insists
that she'll get used to this sort of behaviour (which, apparently
is his idea of "business") once she... wait for it...
"Toughens up"! The look on Sally's face actually expresses
something almost.. nearly.. yes, nearly there.. akin to doubt
and even slight distaste for her boyfriend's plans. Maybe she's
finally making progress?
Speaking of Baldwin, he is sitting in the Rovers, at
a table, characteristically slagging off his wife, telling Alma
that she is ridiculously underqualified for the managerial job,
that she's no experience, "no idea" (!) and that he's
totally amazed they offered her the position at all. She defends
her abilities but Mike launches into a tirade explaining that
she would have, logically, taken the job since surely Curly would
rather see her in the position (when he comes back) than some
"complete stranger". Thus, he reckons the only reason
she didn't take it is because she knows she's thoroughly incapable.
Of course, all this does is fuel her fires and I have a sneaky
suspicion that she may well be changing her mind slightly in the
Cutting back to the bar, Kevin is getting increasingly
wound up as Natalie tells him there's nothing between them any
more. Alec wanders over to see if there's a "problem",
but Kevin violently snaps at him to mind his own business. Thus,
Alec enlists the help of Mike Baldwin to chuck Kev out for the
night, (an opportunity for Baldwin to sneer at Alma with a quick
"See? This is what happens to losers!"). He tosses the
screaming mechanic out of the door before proceeding to taunt
the poor drunkard further once they're out on the street, accusing
Kev of being a "fool". "I'm not the only fool here,
though am I?" laughs Kev, as the only decent moment in the
whole show looms forth on the horizon. "I'll tell you something
you'd like to know" he snorts, ominously, but Mike just continues
to take the piss right until the bombshell is dropped: "Greg
and Sally", growls the World-Weary Webster, "They've
set up business together... They're taking what's your's right
from under your nose... Stealing your orders... Right in your
face and you can't even see it can you? They're both laughing
at you! So who's the fool now, Mike?".
As Kevin stumbles down the street, laughing his head
off at this revelation, a Bewildered Baldwin slinks back into
the Rovers and the credits roll...
So there you have it. Aside from that final little
bit of comeuppance for a certain cocky swine, a really dire episode,
by my mileage, hence the dodgy update and total lack of enthusiasm
on my part. The Jim/Liz/Michael love triangle is rapidly becoming
infinitely more tedious that the never- ending Kevin/Sally/Greg
one and the RoboAnne Malone plot gets my vote for by far the
worst one this year and the dragging out of it is a surefire
cure for insomnia. Let's hope all of this rot gets wrapped up
asap and we can resume to the normal service of pure televisual
magic that we're used to... Til next time, take care! :)
This Monday Update was sponsored
by Autechre (what I was listening to) and Stella Artois (what
I was drinking)...
Wednesday 14 October
Welcome to the Ruthie 'n' Rosie Show. Yes, those intrepid
adventurers, following their daring voyage to the very heart
of the Blackpool Ghost Train, are now bringing your their tour
of Weatherfield, alternating Wednesdays.
Tradition seems to indicate that I should start with
some sort of personal preamble. Well, I'd really like to draw
a veil over what has been Not One Of My Better Weeks but one
bright star that shines through is the postcard now sitting on
my desk. It shows a lovely picture of Durham Cathedral shrouded
in trees, and comes from my daughter Karen Spry, who is now settled
in to St Aidans College, studying history (and not modern languages
at all :/), and so far loving every minute. One to treasure,
My scratch video got used up for something else. So
I had to go through my precious collection of 40s film noir and
weepy musicals to find a tape to sacrifice on the altar of Corrie
updates. I settled on "To Have and Have Not" - you
know the one; Humphrey Bogart, in Vichy French territory in WW2
and with the means to aid the escape of the resistance but too
cynical to do much about it, falls for a femme fatale and sacrifices
himself to the cause. What? You thought that was "Casablanca"?
No, this was the big budget version of the same basic story with
a top director (Howard Hawks), and real stars, and one unforgettable
moment (Lauren Bacall: "You know how to whistle don't you
Steve? You just put your lips together and blow"), but despite
all that, nothing like as good. There's a moral in there somewhere,
about how big budgets, stars and high tech don't necessarily
make a better product. So it is with CS; I do feel that some
of the grittiness of old black and white Corrie's from the 1960s
has been lost.
Talking of films, HTV scheduled the 1994 film of "Maverick"
to follow Corrie last night. That's the recreation of the old
TV western with Mel Gibson in the role immortalised by James
Garner, with the wonderful and rather underrated Garner in a
guest role. And, said the HTV continuity announcer after the
trailer for it, it's "more a case of High Noon in Weatherfield..."
From a shadowy doorway on a dusty street, a sinister
figure emerges. A lone gunslinger - gaunt, unshaven, mean - looks
Oh sorry, it's not Lee Van Cleef after all. It's our
Kevin. Hi Kev! No answer. Looks like he's had a bad night.
The camera pans to a car that most definitely does
not belong on the rugged frontier. (Cars are a comparative rarity
on Coronation Street, there seems to be no passing traffic and
no parking problems, which is surprising for a street which has
a higher level of affluence and economic activity than the average
for an inner-city. I must ask Cllr Audreh how Weatherfield Council
tackles traffic management). This particular car is conveniently
open-topped so we can clearly see Alma and Mike, the latter looking
even more insufferably smug than usual.
"Someone looks rough" says Alma.
"MORNING!" shouts Mike, too pleased with
himself by half. "Is it?" mutters a morose Kev, posed
next to the cardboard cutout newsboy outside the Kabin, his hand
to his mouth as a megaphone proclaiming the news to the world.
Watch this newsboy, we'll see him again in a moment and he's significant
- Kevin has been blabbing too much.
It's just not fair the way Mike taunts Kevin. Poor
lamb, he's suffered enough and his head must be throbbing! Anyway,
he's clearly not impressed by Mike.
Anyway, underneath the excessive bonhomie, Mike is
in reflective mood. "I got it wrong, trusting that Greg".
And Alma has got it right, refusing the Freshco manager's job.
"Let the sharks swim with the sharks". Alma, he's happy
to say, isn't a shark. Nor is she, as she suggests, a pussy cat;
she's more like a cocker spaniel. Mike has a clear idea of a woman's
Janice and Liz are coming down the street and meet
up with Sally and Linda, all on their way to the factory. For
some contrived reason they all pause in front of the Kabin - that
newsboy again. Sally is blabbing now - boasting about how the
househunting is going. She and Greg are looking for something
modest - a five-bedroomed semi with a bit of a garden for the
gurls and a decent sized kitchen. She's seen one she likes with
a built-in dishwasher, oven, the lot, but Greg thinks it's a bit
poky. Janice is looking thoughtful. "She won't be inviting
us to any of her posh parties when she moves into a house like
that". She's no fool isn't that Janice, I still like her
Sheriff Baldwin is waiting at the factory door to greet
the workers, grinning evilly. "Morning ladies! - Ah Sally!".
Sally looks like the cat that's got the cream. "Where's that
feller of yours?". He's doing a presentation, is it important?
Michael looks more satanic than ever. "It'll wait" he
sneers. And as Sally goes on into the factory, we see gunslinger
Kevin, leaning against the doors of the garage, looking on with
hatred in his heart and meanness in his face.
Over at Freshco's, Alma, still in her Firman's uniform
(does she ever take it off and wash it?) knocks uncertainly on
the boss's door. It's about the managers job, maybe she should
take it after all. Wise Alma, listen to what Mike has to say and
do the opposite. She thought she was stabbing Cur... Mr Watts
in the back but maybe she should take the job until he returns
- keep his seat warm.
And at the Rovers Saloon, showgirls Lorraine and Natalie
drape themselves decoratively about an ebullient Alec as Des enters,
doing his best to be Gary Cooper. "Don't tell me she's driven
you to drink already" says Alec, a scheming twinkle in his
eye. "Got yer diary on yer?" says Des to Nat. "We're
rolling". The twinkle in Alec's eye grows to a sparkle; he
and Lorraine look on beaming. It's to be a Friday - unlucky for
some but not for seasoned racing man Des. Friday 23 October, 2pm.
Never mind that our Colin's not back till the following Tuesday.
He can't wait. And of course Lorraine can be Natalie's "best
Alec's scheming mind is working overtime now. Aside
to Lorraine he asks her to ring Betty to ask for a costing for
a finger-buffet for about 50, and why not in the Rovers? Left
to themselves it would chips all round and back home in time for
the 6 o'clock news. "They want taking in hand those two,
and I'm just the man to do it."
Back at Freshco, Alma is already being thrown in at
the deep end, with a series of conferences and training sessions
for new managers being set up. One is for 28 November but "surely
Mr Watts will be back by then?". We can't bank on it, says
the boss, and we want Alma up to speed ASAP. She's perplexed by
her predecessor's laptop, not surprising as it has a screensaver
with the words "Anne Malone" drifting lazily across
the screen. In blue on a red background, yuck, just goes to prove,
if proof were needed, that the woman was bonkers. And the anxiety
on Alma's face is distressing to watch.
Martin is in the Kabin, buying comics. He says they're
for the kids but I think we know better don't we? Do today's children
read the Beano? And here comes Des; like Will Kane he's looking
for support and not getting it from Martin at least - he's swapping
for nights and won't be able to give Des away. Still, Des is not
dismayed and goes hopefully on his way. Was Martin being a bit
obvious? he asks Rita, he didn't want to rub Des's nose in it.
Rita thinks Des Barnes ought to have known better than to ask.
Des has moved on to the garage, where Kevin is lurking
under a car. "If it's a service you want" says Kev moodily,
" you're gonna have to wait". But Des is trying ever
so hard in the Gary Cooper role without really succeeding. It's
nothing to do with cars. He wants to know what Kevin's game is,
he has no right to mess things up for Natalie a second time. He
has some avuncular advice for Kevin. "Move on. Sad what happened
with Sally and the kids. Sad you missed the boat with Natalie.
But you've got to try and sort your own life out".
Alec is positively gloating at the Rovers, I half expected
him to rise from the floor and float off into the sky. He shows
"a few random jottings" to Natalie, who not surprisingly
is horrified at the idea of having her wedding reception at her
At the aptly-named Underworld, devilish Greg arrives
looking nauseatingly smug, and his glance at Sally triggers a
look of pure marshmallow right across our screens. Oooh how sickening,
doesn't it make you want to slap her into reality! Never mind.
Reality is about to sock both of them full in the face.
"Greg, my son!" smirks the King of the Underworld
"Anything I should know about?" inquires
"Oh yeah, yeah" says the Prince of Darkness,
his grin growing ever more evil. "There was one piece of
news, just hang on". And Mike goes into his office, fetches
a binliner, and flings it at Greg. "Clear your desk and get
The saccharine look on Sally's face turns to horror.
Greg protests uncomprehendingly.
"Nearly forgot," continues Mike, "there's
one piece of rubbish you can take with you". There then follows
one of those priceless moments that make a whole episode worthwhile
- cut to Hayley, head buried guiltily in her work and away from
the onslaught, and slowly she looks up, like a frightened rabbit,
it's not me, she's thinking. That look is wonderful. My word that
Julie Hesmondhalgh can act, she really *is* good!
And with our lovers/schemers well entrapped in the
net set for them, it's
END OF PART ONE
I won't comment much on the ads, except to reflect sadly that
ads for Teletubbies videos and a new Disney film tell us Christmas
is almost upon us, and we've not even reached Guy Fawkes yet.
At the factory, Mike is gleefully completing his humiliation of
the wretched pair by telling the girls how they've set up their
enterprise using their hard work.
Janice: "Can't believe it"
Hayley (bewildered): "Sally, is this true?"
Liz: "So that's what's paying for the 5-bed semi?"
Janice: "Our jobs! - Look at 'im, don't look so
We move to the cafe where Martin is bringing in supplies
and we find Kevin, feeling as mean as ever, devouring pie and
chips. He's avoiding the Rovers after last night. Now, we can't
have a Western theme without a brawl, can we, and here comes Greg
now, storming through the door with murder in his heart. "Sad
little loser!" screams Greg. This seems to cheer Kevin up,
he smiles for once, if too smugly, and folds his arms defiantly.
Greg lunges at him, upending the table. Greg and Kev square up.
Martin intervenes to separate them, and in the background the
prim middle-aged ladies look on astonished over their tea.
Time passes, and at the flat Sally is looking tearfully
into the mirror (is she looking at last into her own soul and
seeing the mess she's made of it?). Enter Greg, fighting drunk.
"Howdy, pardner," he says. Well he doesn't actually,
it's "Cheers, partner", I guess I misheard. "When
the going gets tough, are you just going to roll over and play
dead?" Like a cocker spaniel I suppose, the compliant woman
Mike wants. "Don't turn on the waterworks".
Greg cannot see that he's done anything wrong. He has
his dad's morals. No, that's not true, Les Battersby does have
a sense of morality, albeit warped, as we saw in the Toyah-in-London
saga. His son has no moral sensitivity at all.
At the Rovers, the women are drinking their lunch (dinner
I guess it is in Weatherfield) all animated about what's happened,
with Janice leading the way. "Well she'd better not show
her face around me for a while I'll tell yer. Lady Moock now...".
All animated, that is, but Hayley, who is again looking priceless,
no doubt terrified of what Mike will blurt out next.
Des and Les enter the Rovers together. Les is in a
good mood, amazingly he appears to be about to buy Des a drink
and pay for it himself. Des, he says is celebrating. Lorraine
is enjoying herself, she's doing the coquettish saloon girl to
perfection (but I need to know something - remember I'm learning
- I thought it was really naff to show your bra straps but is
Lorraine demonstrating a new fashion tip?). Ah, we discover that
it's Les who's celebrating, he's won a bet with Des's help and
come into sixty smackeroos. "Hey, we could get a system going
At the flat, Sally is disconsolate as she prepares
to pick up the gurls. Greg has an uncharacteristic attack of remorse.
He should have thought (I didn't know he knew how to do this)
- Sally was humiliated in there. Quite. Hope springs eternal though,
he's looked at the books and the business may yet be viable. All
Sally wants to do is get away from the street, but that cannot
be because the new house will have to go on hold. Well, there's
Greg for you, business first, no room for tenderness, and it's
just beginning to dawn on the infatuated Sally that this relationship
might just be loveless and sterile.
Back at the Saloon the dynamic duo Des and Les are
doing synchronised tequila slammers (never could fathom that little
ritual) while Alec looks on benevolently. We're in party mood
as Alec, Lorraine and Natalie tease Des. Even Maud and Jim are
there in their wheelchairs, Jim is in regimental blazer for a
reunion and is looking surprisingly (to me) attractive; in this
mood one could get to like the man. Although he's not seen the
lads since the accident, he's looking forward to the night out
and it will give Elizabeth a break so it will. (Hoho!) And even
Spider is joining in the revelry though Les is sure Spider thinks
marriage is a joke - "I would if I was married to you!"
retorts Spider, nestling up lovingly to a contented Lorraine,
who can't help dropping a heavy hint. "Play your cards right
and you could end up best man. Tradition says you get to take
the bridesmaid home." Les puts in his own bid to be best
man. "You're top of my list, next to Bill Clinton" jests
Des. And Spider, in aside, adds "and Hannibal Lecter".
In amongst the throng in the Rovers we find Alma, Mike,
and - hello stranger! - Deirdre, where did she spring from? having
a celebration of their own. Mike is triumphal. Alma wants to celebrate
her new job despite Mike's scepticism "That's absurd, she's
a housewife not a manager!". Doesn't he make you want to
spit? GRRRR! Anne Kirkbride is presumably there for contractual
reasons. Poor Alma, she can't win. Even Spider is upset that she's
stepped into Curly's shoes. But I expect the pint she's buying
him with her thirty pieces of silver will console him.
The mood is more sombre chez Macdonald. Liz is not
enjoying a solitary drink when - here's a knocking indeed! It's
Michael the physio, I wonder what he wants when he knows Jim's
out for the evening?
Sally's arrived at the cafe, after hours, with Rosie
and Sophie in tow, needing a heart-to-heart with Gail. Sally doesn't
know that Greg has wrecked the joint. It's a private talk that's
wanted and the gurls know the form, off they are packed to find
chocolate biscuits while Sally's tears flow and Gail delivers
a piece of homely advice. Sally is kidding herself, why has she
got the girls with her instead of leaving them with Greg? Oh,
it's exciting at the office and in bed but what's it like where
it counts? Lonely, that's what, and it's at home where it's all
And as one liaison crashes in flames, another is about
to take off...
Michael the physio thinks Jim is doing so well he can
get by without him, he wants to take Jim of his client list. What
does Liz think about that?
"During office hours or at ten past seven at night?"
she rejoins sceptically
Michael, who is getting short of breath, feels he's
getting too personally involved with both of them. In fact, he
thinks by staying away he can stop thinking about Liz.
"Michael," says Liz dreamily, "I don't
want you to stop thinking about me, and I don't want Jim to come
And as their lips melt into each other, the credits
This episode was sponsored by Cadbury's Dairy Milk
and scripted by Jan McVerry.
Pretty good, not brilliant but not at all bad.
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
Friday 16 October
It's not been a particularly eventful week, after
all the activity of previous weeks, just trying to get back to
normal life, if there is such a thing in this household. Those
of you who read my rambling updates regularly, will be aware
of some of the frustrations I have been experiencing with the
excessive bureaucracy in my job, frustrations which have caused
me some grief, healthwise, this year. Well, I decided a few weeks
back that these were not battles I could win and what I now need
to do is to pursue career alternatives, which side-step those
frustrations, but enable me to capitalise on my skills and interests.
Although I am doing a job which is very different to my first
one after graduating, in a lot of ways, I haven't really changed
- I guess the difference is that now I understand better, who
I am and what makes me tick. Basically, the engineer is still
there, the curiosity with life, the desire to crack problems
is still important. Those who know me from IRC, have an inkling
of how important and satisfying it is for me to help people.
As I am a person with a high level of technical skill, I have
come to the conclusion that I would be better off in a technical
training/support role. So, over the next few weeks and months,
my activities are going to be directed towards that goal.
The other goal of building "a life" after
getting set in a groove also continues. I realised recently,
that I haven't been to a pop concert for over 20 years - a pretty
astonishing thing considering that popular music has been am
important part of my life for over 35 years! Well, it might take
something to get me moving, but when I do so, I don't do things
by halves!!! This afternoon I popped into Manchester city centre
to book for three concerts over the coming months, namely, Elton
John, Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond!!! Should be good!!!
While in the centre this afternoon (a Sunday), I was
reflecting on how life has changed over the years. The place
was a bustling hive of activity - alive with a great buzz - which
made me proud to be a Northerner and a Mancunian. I remember
the outrage I felt on a number of levels, just over two years
ago, when part of the centre was destroyed by the IRA bomb. Well,
there is currently a lot of building activity going on, the refurbished
Royal Exchange building is open to some new shops and cafes and
the buzz is definitely there. Hopefully, Manchester will become
THE place of the North, if it isn't so already. I also recall,
not that long ago, Manchester, in common with many other towns
and cities would be dead on a Sunday - it's so exciting seeing
it alive and thriving. I have no wish to get into Lord's Day
religious debates, but I do think Sunday opening is a great thing
for the place. What is also pleasing is the continuing redevelopment
of the centre - many derelict office blocks are being converted
into hotels and apartments, providing accommodation right in
the heart of the city. My father could never understand British
cities which were largely ghost towns at night, whereas, on the
Continent, cities were a place in which to live and play, as
well as work and shop. Well, I think he would be pleased, as
I am, to seeing Manchester addressing this issue, with some success.
Anyway, enough of this stuff... without further ado,
it's time for the update ...
Sponsored by Cadbury's Dairy Milk
The episode commences at the McDonald household. Jim
appears to be asleep downstairs as Liz comes down. She tries to
leave without disturbing him, but he is slowly coming round anyway.
He tells her he had a good time last night, at the regimental
get-together, so he did. He asks what she got up to. "Nothing.
Stayed in. Just relaxed. Watched the telly, that's all" is
Liz's reply (liar! liar! your bum's on fire!!!). When he asks
how come she slept upstairs, her excuse was that she thought he
might come back in the middle of the night. He jokingly says "So
you thought you'd sneak off without giving me a good morning kiss,
is that it, eh?" Liz denies this, kisses him and Jim is pleased
as she has now set him up for the day.
We are at Greg's and Sally is getting the girls ready
for school. He is trying to make light of the previous day's revelations
by saying that maybe Kevin has done them "a favour by opening
his sad, stupid mouth." When Sally sees this as a mind-game
with which to cheer up themselves, Greg points out that they might
have been waiting for months before deciding when to make their
move. Sally is concerned that the girls in the factory have turned
against them, but Greg has his sights set on the big house in
which they are going to live miles away, with a new circle of
friends. In the meantime, they are just going to have to grin
and bear it - he doesn't like living in this dingy little street
anymore than she does, he tells her, but it won't be forever.
Rosie pipes up to say that she likes living in the street. At
that point, Greg makes his move for work with a parting reminder
to Sally not to forget the cheque for the supplier. He tells her
to cheer up and they are going to turn this to their advantage.
As he leaves, Sally's request for the girls to say goodbye to
Greg is answered somewhat unenthusiastically.
At Underworld, Janice and new girl Linda are coming
into the factory. They are met by Mike who chastises them for
being late. "Right, now I've got all you *LADIES* here"
says Mike to the gathered workforce, emphasising the word 'ladies',
presumably for Hayley's benefit (Grrr!!), he wants to make an
announcement regarding Sally and Greg. Hayley is whispering to
Liz and seeing this, Mike yells "Patterson! I'm talking!
Shut your mouth!" The girls are a bit indignant at the way
Mike has addressed Hayley, but Mike continues. He tells them that
this morning, he has had another order cancelled, because they
have been undercut on price by guess-who. This is the third order
they have had cancelled since Friday and Greg has stolen enough
client information to cause them serious harm. He is warning them
that if this continues, he might have to reduce staffing numbers,
so if they see either Greg or Sally walking down the street, they
know who to blame for their predicament - the girls are understandably
annoyed. Janice comments that you can't trust anybody these days
and that she never liked either of them. She threatens to push
Greg's face in, should he show up at their home. Hayley is looking
visibly upset after Mike's jibes and Liz tries to calm her down,
"don't take any notice of him, he's just ignorant!"
It is the morning after at Des' place and true to form,
the female of the species is hoovering the floor, as Des comes
downstairs, looking rather worse for wear. He begs for peace and
quiet and tells Natalie that he's been sick - he apologises for
not making it to the bathroom on time, but Nat clearly believes
in responsibility and accountability, he will have something to
clear up when he sobers up. She suggests making him a "nice
big fry up" which he treats as a vicious thing to say. She
asks him whether he remembers what he said to her when he came
upstairs - he doesn't and asks whether it was embarrassing. "No,
it was just gibberish, all that sort of 'Natalie, I really love
you' and 'I think I'm gonna fall over'" is her reply. "Did
I?" he asks. N - "Yes. Several times." D - "Can't
remember. Can't remember leaving the Rovers. I can't remember
crossing the road. I can't remember anything. What time was it,
then?" N - "Late." D - "I don't make a habit
of this you know. I'm gonna knock alcohol on the head altogether."
N - "You are not giving up alcohol, mate! We're getting married
next week and I don't want one single sober guest at that do,
including you, is that clear?"
Des decides he is going back to bed but Nat has just
realised that they haven't invited any guests to the wedding,
not officially. Des confirms he has rung his parents, but Nat
confesses she hasn't rung anybody, not even her son, Tony. "Better
get on with it, then, hadn't you?" is his reply. As he makes
his way upstairs, the merry sound of the Hoover starts up again.
Janice is the Kabin updating Rita on events at the
factory yesterday and telling Rita how Mike had slung both Sally
and Greg out, after discovering their ruse. Janice recounts how
Baldwin has been losing orders because Greg has been round to
all Mike's clients, offering them better prices. Rita is shocked
that Sally was obviously in on all this. Now Baldwin is even talking
about redundancies, if any other orders get cancelled, Janice
tells Rita - it's all right for Sally, with her posh flashy boyfriend
and her mum's money, but most of the girls in the factory work
in that factory because they need the cash and not for the good
of their health. At that stage Sally comes into the shop and Rita
rapidly changes the topic of conversation. Sally says hello to
Janice, but our Jan is surprised that she has the gall to show
her face. Sally doesn't seem to understand Janice's remark, but
Jan is bitter about what has happened - when Sally tells her that
she hasn't hurt her, Janice's reply is that they will find out
in a few weeks when she cannot pay her own rent. With that she
storms out of the shop angrily, betrayed by a former colleague.
Sally still seems oblivious to what has happened - Rita explains
it's to do with the threat of redundancies, due to lost orders...
Sally appears shocked having had this simple piece of economic
logic spelt out to her and rushes out of the shop, after Janice.
She catches up with her in the street, but Janice is
in no mood for socialising and suggests that Sally would be better
off giving her a wide berth. Sally asks Janice to confirm that
what she has heard is true - Janice replies that Sally must have
known what was going on, but Sally maintains that she didn't think
it was going to affect people's jobs (hmm, at this stage, the
panel nominates Sally Webster for the Maxine Heavey Dumbo of the
Year Award). Janice is dismissive of Sally's naiveté, but
Sally maintains that the lost contracts are just a few bits and
pieces ("sure, your honour, I stole, but only a LITTLE bit!!")
and in any case, Greg found the work for Baldwin ("well,
your honour, I know I was using Baldwin's materials and his heating
and lighting and I didn't put a penny into his business, but,
hell, I WAS doing the work!!!"). Janice replies that Greg
is bad news and that Sally needs to open her eyes, whereupon Sally
tells her she needs to mind her own business. Janice says she
would "but it's a bit hard, you see with you parading your
doings up and down t'street." Kevin has been looking on at
the squabble and seeing him, Janice adds "and him, you're
both as bad as each other, pickled out of his brains other night
in t'pub. Made a right pillock of himself. Oh don't worry love.
He just asked Natalie Horrocks to marry him. She turned him down,
though...." She moves on and Sally asks Kevin if that was
true - when he replies that it might be, she accuses him not just
of opening his big mouth to Baldwin, but making a fool of himself
over Natalie again, as well. She is angry at his sanctimonious
preaching about her and Greg, while all the time, he was hankering
after getting into her knickers! She tells him that Greg is right
"you are sad"! "Sad, am I?" replies Kevin,
"at least I was drunk! What's your excuse, eh?" Touché.
Liz is at the Corner Shop with Deirdre, telling Maude
that she needs the job at the factory, where else is she going
to find somewhere as convenient for looking after Jim. Maude wonders
whether it will really come to Liz losing her job. Liz isn't sure
whether Baldwin is laying it on a bit thick, just to put the wind
up them - she adds that he is in a filthy mood, he is really picking
on Hayley, for what reason is not apparent. Maude comments that
there is always somebody that folk find to pick on. Liz suggests
to Deirdre that they meet in the Rovers at dinner for a drink.
Maude asks Liz how Jim is and we detect an embarrassed pause as
Liz eventually replies he is fine.
Les, full of the joys of the world, has popped in to
visit Des, who still looking rough after his night out. Des is
not mightily pleased to see him, but Les is full of the great
night out that they had. Des tells him he cannot remember, but
Les pooh-poohs this, "rubbish, you were having a great time,
laughing, cracking jokes, well, hey, it was a top night last night!"
Des doesn't quite see it that way - when Les asks him whether
Natalie is giving him a hard time, Des' reply that Natalie thinks
the whole thing is a huge response, provokes Les into this is
"fantastic! What a fantastic woman! This is a marriage made
in heaven, I'm telling you." He offers Des some hair of the
dog, but Des declines the offer. Just as Les is leaving Des to
lick his own wounds, he thanks him "last night, I was really
chuffed, Des. I mean, being asked to step in, instead of your
brother. Because, between me and you, nobody's ever asked me to
be best man before!" (Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!! Poor Des!
A hangover and now THIS piece of truth surfacing!!! The look on
Des' face is an absolute picture as the horror of what he has
done becoming evident.) He continues, "and I'm gonna make
you proud, I am. I'm not gonna let you down, honest. I'm really,
really chuffed that you've asked me. Because it's not as if I've
known you that long, is it? ... are you all right, Des?"
"I'm gonna be sick again..." is Des' honest reply to
this shock piece of news. In response to Des' request, Les gets
a bucket from the kitchen and agrees to leaves Des alone, but
promises to pop in later. He thumps Des on the back in delight.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End
of part 1
After the ads, it's Part 2
The second part of the programme commences at the Café
as Hayley is telling Roy about her anxieties concerning Mike Baldwin's
behaviour at work. She is afraid that everytime he opens his mouth
he will say something to drop her in it. Roy can only see one
answer, that of her leaving. She mentions that redundancies have
been discussed and she is convinced her name will be on the list
- Roy seems to see this as a way out, after all she would be better
off somewhere else. She says maybe Roy is right, that she should
not give Mike the satisfaction of sacking her. When Roy suggests
she rings Mike up now to tell him she is not going back, she changes
her mind again - why should she do that, she asks Roy, everybody
else there is fantastic, she loves being there, apart from Mike,
she is having the time of her life. Roy has run out of suggestions
and tells her doesn't know what the answer is. She says she would
have thought that, by now, Mike Baldwin would got bored of baiting
her, but apparently not.
Des is at the Rovers having the hair of the dog and
wondering whether it's a good idea. "Of course it is. One
pound forty" replies a highly focused Alec Gilroy. He asks
Alec where Natalie is, to be told she and Lorraine have gone shopping
for wedding clothes. Alec asks whether Des is having second thoughts.
"Not about the bride, no" is Des' reply.
Deirdre and Liz are in the pub. Dee comments how Liz
seemed a bit unsure earlier when Maude asked about Jim. Liz plays
it down, saying Jim is fine. Deirdre says she really meant whether
Liz was fine, to which Liz grasps the opportunity to discuss the
matter. Things are getting a bit complicated, she tells Deirdre.
At that point, Jim, who is sitting behind her with Michael, pipes
up to invite them to join them at their table. Liz is clearly
unable to continue with the conversation the way she had intended,
orders the drinks from Alec and just puts her concerns down to
"stresses and strains, nothing I can't handle." When
Deirdre remarks how good looking Michael is, Liz feigns ignorance
- she hadn't noticed, she says... as if!!!
Les has joined Des at the bar. He has been thinking
about his speech, he tells Des. Meanwhile, Des has been thinking
as well, wondering how he can get out of having Les as his best
man. He tells Les that he has been wondering whether he really
needs a best man, it'll all be over in a few minutes. Les insists
that it will happen - Des has asked him and he has said yes, it
doesn't matter what size do it is, his brother has let him down,
but "I shan't... and anyway.. what sort of a sad git would
you look like without a best man, eh, cheers!"!!!!
Meanwhile, Deirdre has sat down with Liz to join Jim
and Michael - she tells him she has heard a lot about him "all
marvellous, I have to say."
Back at Chez Greg, he has popped back home to pick
up from Sally the cheque for the supplier. She tells him she didn't
get it. He is flabbergasted, but she explains that she had a very
bad morning. He suggests that she puts on her coat and they go
down to the Building Society right now. She tells him she went
to the Society but came away without the cheque - she explains
that the girls are going to lose their jobs at Mike's because
of what she and Greg have been doing. He is dismissive, they didn't
take that much business from them, he needs the cheque, he tells
her. She tells him she panicked when she found how much money
they had been through recently, she had £50,000 in the account
not long ago, now she has less than £20,000, she knows where
it has all gone, but it was such a shock seeing it written down
in black and white. He tells her this is a bad time to be getting
cold feet, but she says that anyway the society is shut now for
the day. He loses his temper, what is he supposed to tell his
supplier? They are expecting a cheque in half an hour. She suggests
that she picks up the cheque in the morning, can't they wait?
He is very unhappy at the difficult position in which she has
put him, reminding her that he is doing all this as much for her
as for him, he would just like her to remember that. With that
he storms out.
At Underworld, it is nearly the end of the working
day. Mike is preparing to leave for the day and is locking up
his office. The girls are gathered in the outer office, clearly
concerned as to their employment prospects. Liz plucks up courage
to tackle Mike - if some of them are going to lose their jobs,
how soon are they going to know, she asks. Janice asks who is
going to be first, as some of them have mouths to feed. Mike tries
to reassure them not to worry about it, all they need to do is
to keep their heads down and get on with their work. When the
girls say they want straight answers and want to know the truth,
Mike's tone changes. "Oh, you like to know the truth, do
you? What about you, Hayley? Shall I tell them the truth?"
Janice is puzzled at Mike's question and why he is asking Hayley.
Hayley replies that it's up to him. "Well, the truth is..
I don't know" he continues, "I hope it wont come to
that, I mean I want to see this factory working just as much as
you do. That's about it." As he leaves, Hayley looks on rather
At Des', Natalie has returned from her shopping expedition
with Lorraine. He asks Natalie whether she rang Tony and whether
he was pleased. "Shocked, I think, is a more accurate description"
is her reply. Lorraine holds up in front of herself her dress.
Des approves "Mmm, gorgeous and the dress is not bad either!"
He asks to see Natalie's, but she insists on keeping to tradition.
She shows him the rings she has bought and hands him the one she
has bought for him to give to her, "so guard it with your
life, or rather, get your best man to guard it with his life.
Have you asked anyone yet?" Des tells her he has been thinking
he might not bother, it's going to be pretty informal and what
do they do, they just stand around, don't they?" Natalie
is insistent, he has to have a best man, everybody has a best
man. Lorraine adds that he doesn't want to look like "Billy
no-mates!" Poor Des, outflanked on all sides!!
At Jim's, he is telling Liz that Michael and Deirdre
seemed to get on rather well at the pub. "Did they?"
she asks, she hadn't noticed. Jim thinks it might be a good idea
if the four of them went out for a meal. Liz doesn't agree. Jim
points out that Deirdre deserves a decent fella, but Liz' reply
is that the last thing Deirdre wants is another man, after what
happened with the last one. Jim opines that Michael is exactly
the sort of bloke she should be going out with after the last
one. Liz accuses him of being insensitive trying to match-make
for someone who has been through what she has been through. He
apologises, telling her that it was "just an idea, no need
to get your knickers in a twist."
Back at the Rovers, Hayley is recounting the events
of the day to Roy and how she was convinced that Mike was going
to tell the staff about her secret.
Roy cannot understand why she is putting herself through
all this - Hayley asks why he was so nasty.
Roy cannot understand what she thinks she is gaining
- Hayley continues, why is he taking it out on her, just because
someone else has upset him.
Roy tells her she can get a job anywhere, she makes
friends, she fits in with people, why is she so attached?
The conversation synchronises with Hayley replying
that once you start running away, you are on the slippery slope.
And before you know where you are, you are permanently avoiding
people. She does not want to be like that
Roy understands this but suggests that sometimes you
have to put your principles to one side, do something for yourself,
if she is being made to feel this uncomfortable....
She tells him she is merely letting off steam to enable
her to cope. Roy points out, that at dinner time, she said she
would see how it went at work, well, it has got worse. Hayley
tries to excuse Mike's actions as being down to him being in a
bad mood as a result of the Greg and Sally business.
Mike comes into the pub at that moment and Hayley begs
Roy to ignore him. Roy is upset - does she think this won't happen
again, is she really prepared to let Mike poke fun at her, to
taunt her and treat her like dirt, everytime someone upsets Mike?
Mike looks over at the two of them and jibes "Good
evening, lads!" (GRRRRRRRRR!!!!)
Hayley begs Roy not to rise to the bait, but it's enough
for Roy. He gets up and leaves. Hayley runs after him, passing
Mike standing at the bar, grinning at his apparently witty comment.
Back at Greg's, he has come back and Sally asks how
he got on with the client. He explains he had to do a lot of talking.
Reluctantly, he admits they were alright about it eventually.
The children are watching the TV and he tells them to turn it
down, it's far too loud. When Sally asks if he explained, but
he interrupts "did I explain that the delay was due my partner
having had a bad morning, no I didn't. I am trying to put across
the impression that we are professionals and that we know what
we are doing, which isn't easy when you can't get a cheque to
them on time for stuff you have ordered." She says that what
she was trying to say had he explained he would get a cheque to
them first thing in the morning. "Yes! Of course! Apart from
the fact I'm due on the other side of Manchester, first thing
tomorrow!" is his dismissive response. Sally suggests that
she could take the cheque, it's no problem for her. He yells at
the girls, telling them to turn down the sound. He storms out
to go down to the pub, telling her its the only place where he
can get some peace and quiet.
At the café, Roy is telling Hayley that he cannot
ever remember being as angry as this. Hayley tells him it isn't
the answer, walking out of places. He asks her to hand in her
notice tomorrow. He begs her. She asks if she did, would it really
stop him from telling people? He points out that at least she
wouldn't have to put up with this nonsense, day in, day out. She
adds that, in any case, it's not that easy getting another job
anywhere, she has been without work enough times to know. He suggests
she works with him, but her reply is that Gail works there, he
doesn't need another person behind that counter. Roy is frustrated
at Mike having Hayley over a barrel, it cannot go on like this.
Hayley agrees - he can only keep treating her like this, while
he has something over on her, so if it stops being a secret, he
cannot do it, can he? Roy agrees, a bit puzzled as to where this
is leading. Hayley concludes she is going to tell the girls herself,
tomorrow - they are going to find out anyway, the way he is carrying
on, so what does she have to lose? She might as well choose her
own moment...... Roy looks on very worried as to what the future
.....and with that.... it is the cue for music and
Episode written by Sally Wainwright.
All material is, and remains, copyright property of
Well, how was it for me? Not a bad episode, largely
one of those set-the-scene for the future type of episodes. The
Greg/Sally relationship continues to fall apart, with some major
stresses and strains becoming evident. The Liz/Michael relationship
is set to take off and Des' and Natalie's wedding plans go into
Good moments.... apart from the pleasure of seeing
Greg/Sally starting to fall apart, the Roy/Hayley/Mike saga provided
the best moments. The dilemma facing Hayley in terms of disclosing
her past is coming to a head, with a wonderful piece of dialogue
between Roy and Hayley. The classic moment, of course, provided
by Mike Baldwin, "Good evening, lads!" - I would think
that many a TV set in the country would have had something thrown
at it in anger at that cruel jibe.
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^
Sunday 18 October
Absolutely no preamble today, as I have to be off
home for me tea and the grim prospect of explaining to Mrs L
just why another chunk of savings has disappeared getting her
car fixed. It was "steaming" yesterday, and she'll
be steaming today...
We open in the flat above the cafi, with Roy and Hayley debating
the merits of Hayley "coming out". Hayley thinks that
although Mike Baldwin knows, and is being nasty about it, she
sees the rest of the women in the factory as her friends. Perhaps
it would be better if they knew the truth ? Roy reasons that they
have accepted her already, and that nothing has changed, so why
give them reason to alter their opinions ? As Hayley gets ready
to leave for work [it's Saturday apparently], Gail arrives. Roy
lowers his voice and suggests that Hayley has made her mind up.
She tells him she has, she's not going to take any more innuendo.
Gail tells Roy that he and Hayley are her favourite couple.
Over to our least favourite couple, and Greg is complaining
to Sally that her girls don't seem to know it's his day off, and
why's that telly on so loud ? Sally replies that things will be
much better in their new house. He bluntly tells her there'll
be no new house if they don't get this latest order agreed, for
which he *has* to have a cheque from her. Sally fairly grudgingly
agrees to collect the money that day. Greg sulks in the bedroom,
reading his paper in the relative quiet there.
Keeping up a united front, the women in the factory
are bemoaning Sally and Greg's duplicity. They swap stories of
how Sally is trying to be nice to all of them outside the factory.
Mike overhears, and advises them to have nothing to do with the
pair. They are "the enemy" in his eyes. One of the women
tells him he can't make them do that. He says if they want to
keep their jobs, they should heed his advice. Greg stole a lot
of information from Mike, and the less anyone has to do with him,
the better. He asks Hayley if she, in particular, has any view
on the subject. She doesn't rise to this, but Liz quizzes her
as to why Mike seems to be singling her out. Hayley says she thinks
she knows why, but then claims "it's nothing".
Wheesh back to Greg's flat, where the dutiful Sally
hands over the cheque. Greg decides he can see the clients straight
away [probably before Sally changes her mind and cancels the cheque]
and scarpers. Sally takes a phone call from Rita, who wants a
In the Rovers, Alec and Natalie look a bit short-handed
behind the bar, and are looking forward to the imminent return
of Jack and Vera. Les arrives, and engages Natalie in conversation.
It's not long before he lets slip that he's to be the best man.
Her face falls. At that moment, we are bedazzled by a riot of
colour as the Duckworths return, still clad in holiday attire.
[Of course, the weather right now in the Manchester area is pretty
dismal, very wet and cold - I always find it a real downer getting
off the plane in the casual T-shirt and near-freezing to death
on the spot !] They go through to the back, ignoring Alec's request
for them to get straight to work. Les explains to Natalie that
he saved Des' life once, and they have a special bond as a result.
She wouldn't understand as it's a man thing. Further shocks in
store tonight as another long-lost character returns - this time
it's Steve Macdonald. [And how we all wish he'd gone for good]
Alec greets him with his usual bonhomie...
In the back, Jack and Vera's cheerful facade is dropped,
as we realise they'd had a miserable time. Jack was fed up with
having to pay nearly for every drink, and Vera was fed up with
how many drinks he'd had anyway. And he'd always been asleep when
she was up for a bit of you-know-what. It was the heat, he says.
Natalie pops her and they both tell her they'd had a great time.
"I'd go back tomorrow !", says Vera, adding "on
my own !" after Natalie returns to the bar. "I'll bet
you would", mutters Jack.
It's the end of the shift in the factory, and Mike
tells the women he'll see them next week, if they've not gone
to work for the enemy. He thinks they won't, as surely no-one
else could pay as well. [!] "What about you, Hayley, it'd
be harder for you to get another job ?". "You know,
with our little secret ?", he adds. Hayley challenges him
to tell them. No, no, she should tell them, he swore he wouldn't.
Hayley takes a breath, and reveals she is a transsexual. She used
to be a man, called Harold. She tells them that Mike knew the
truth, and had been dying for it to come out. They all look dumbstruck
at the news, and no-one manages to say anything of any note. Hayley
apologises for having kept everyone in the dark, and says she
hopes she'll not regret telling them the truth now. By the looks
on the other girls' faces, that seems by no means certain.
Nice ice-cream ? Good, now wash your hands and be seated comfortably
for part 2...
The factory women have decamped to the Rovers, in an obvious
attempt to spend the entire morning's overtime before their better
halves get to see any of it. Liz bumps into Steve, and asks him
what he intends to do if his Dad arrives. Steve says he'll say
nothing if Jim doesn't. [It's a bummer isn't it, when you can't
talk to your father properly, just cos you once tried to kill
him.] The women discuss the obvious - the nasty one from Emmerdale
[who we're not going to like, are we children ?] says there was
"one" on the Eurovision Song Contest [who won, in fact].
"I switched off at that point", says our modern woman.
Liz asks if it really matters.
Alma arrives. Mike is quick to tell her that he said
nothing, that Hayley had revealed her secret to everyone. Alma
is alarmed, and wants to know where Hayley is. Locked in the ladies
loo, apparently. Alma rushes off to find her. After she leaves,
Jack and Mike have a "I don't belieeeve it" conversation.
Alma finds Hayley outside the factory, heading off
home. She wonders *why* Hayley had said anything. "Now I
don't have to worry about them finding out", she replies.
Alma tells her she *has* to come to the Rovers, and not hide herself
away. The fact that everyone *will* be talking, is a reason to
go, not to run and hide. They head for the pub.
Jim and Michael are also heading for the Rovers, when
Jim spies Steve's car parked outside. He tells Michael who it
belongs to. Michael asks if they should go somewhere else. "No,
why should I ?", reasons Jim-lad.
Jack tells Vera about Hayley. Get away, she replies.
He asks Janice if it's true, what he's heard. Les is incredulous.
That Roy Cropper's piece, she's a fella ? Not any more, Janice
tells him. "What, has the removals van been then ?",
Liz tells Hayley she can come and join the rest of
the girls if she wants. It's too soon for Hayley, though, and
she declines. Michael walks past and Liz beats a retreat back
to her seat. Jim points out Steve to Michael, who advises him
to leave Steve alone.
Des and Martin arrive. [Yep, it's like Grand Central
today.] Natalie is furious with Des for claiming that he'd not
organised a best man, when in fact he'd asked Les. The best man
himself greets them, and spreads the word about Hayley. Not much
is said, although Martin is sceptical. Les tells Natalie that
he hopes her and Des have "checked each other out",
as he wouldn't want them getting any nasty surprises on their
Sally is over at Rita's. Yawn, yawn, everything's going
so well, oh Sally can't you stop and see what you're doing, it's
my life and I'll do what I want [copyright The Animals], what
about other people, the girls in the factory, we had to take some
work away, oh had to, had to, is that what Greg said, like taking
Rosie and Sophie away from Kevin, is that what Greg said too,
I'm not standing for this, oh Sally please stop and think about
what you're doing, Sally, Sally, why am I talking to my front
Gail and Roy are closing up the cafi. Martin arrives
and greets Gail. He tells Roy what he has heard being said in
the Rovers. [Quite tactfully, really.] Gail is almost rendered
speechless. But it's not true, is it, she asks Roy. Why are they
saying that ? Roy admits that he's not surprised what Hayley has
revealed, because it is true, it's been their little secret. [Never
one to be doing anything in a perfectly ordinary fashion, Roy
has throughout this scene been clutching a small pot of flowers.]
He sits down at one of the tables and stares at the door after
Jim has decided he's not going to ignore Steve, and
wheels himself round to ask his son "what's this [you being
here] in aid of ?". Steve tells him he's entitled to drink
where he likes. Jim says this only applies up to the point where
he's back on his feet. Then Steve will find out what he's entitled
to. Jim departs.
Les goes off for lunch, passing Hayley on his way.
"Alright... Harold !" he says gleefully. "You fooled
me ! Mind you, I've never looked that close. I've never wanted
to !". [What a complete shit.] Hayley burrows her head into
the collar of her anorak. [She and Roy must *boil* under the studio
lights in their favourite coats, I'd imagine.] Alma tells him
just to go away. She tells Hayley that not everyone will be like
that. "We'll see", says Hayley. She thanks Alma for
her support, and heads off home.
Natalie is still bending Des' ear about Les. Either
Des finds a way to tell him, or she will.
More sympathy and understanding in the Rovers, where
Linda [the nasty one, remember to boo and hiss every time she
appears] reckons she won't work with Hayley, the "pervert".
Liz seems alone in not agreeing with this attitude.
Les spies Greg returning to his flat, on *his* way
back to the Rovers. He invites Greg to join him for a drink. Greg
decides this will be better than putting up with Sally's pesky
kids, and says he will be along. Les rolls up his chip wrapper
and kicks it along the pavement. On the way, he challenges Liz
to a tackle. She won't play ball [sorry !] and Les tells her she'd
do better to keep her legs together. [Truly terrible double entendre
there.] Michael is just leaving Jim's house, and he and Liz have
another exchange along the lines of how their relationship is
a mistake, and Michael could see less of Jim as that would ensure
he wouldn't see so much of Liz either. I expect this is all becoming
a little too familiar by now.
Sally is very steamed up at being told her business
by Rita. Greg says how great it is that his latest deal is on
after all. "So we can still move after all ?", asks
Sally. Of course, to a place big enough for both of us. Sally
has to remind him about the girls again. He thinks maybe they'll
need a bit more new business first. Sally complains she never
sees him. Perhaps she could come into the office on Monday ? That'd
be great, the place needs a good clean, opines Greg. [Bwahahah,
Sally you are a fool...]
Hayley finds Roy still sitting in the cafi, deep in
thought. He tells her Martin had told him what was being said.
She is surprised it has got round so fast, not just in the factory,
but in the pub, even in the street. He looks a bit angry and asks
her if she had thought what this revelation would mean to *him*.
After all, some will think she's strange, and others will think
she's very brave. But what will people think of Roy ? That he's
just desperate, to the point of not being able to find a real
woman. Hayley's face crumples, and he apologises straight away.
But he's still wound up, and he gets up and walks behind the counter.
He points an angry finger at her, and says she hadn't given any
thought of what it would do to him. Hayley buries her face in
This episode was written by Peter Whalley.
A right curate's egg tonight. Some terrible bits,
mostly with Sally and Greg going on and on and on, and Les. And
the return of the Undead. But on the whole, gripping stuff as
we watch Hayley's secret unfold, and the very mixed reactions
of those around her.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ****
Toodle pip, John Laird
Monday 19 October
When writing an update you soon learn that you have
to watch the episode concerned twice[at least]. Once at normal
speed and once with the finger hovering over the pause button
as you write down dialogue and try and capture the essence of
each moment in order to recreate it for eager readers. Particularly
those who don't actually get to see the programme at all. Its
quite a responsibility I can tell you. And we've all had to deal
with dire story lines and risen to the challenge [hopefully]
of at least trying to inject humour where the scriptwriters failed
on occasion, eg. the Kevin/Sally/Greg storyline.
However, I am glad to say that in the case of the
Roy and Hayley storyline, nobody has had to do this [nor wanted
to, I suspect]. Its been a delight to watch this on-screen relationship
blossom. We've all shared Hayley's secret with Roy and Alma and
now, thanks to a sensitively handled storyline, we are on Hayley
and Roy's side as we see them encounter their first, and probably
their most important hurdle in the relationship. Some may have
thought that Roy was being selfish in Sundays episode when he
asked Hayley if she had thought about how it would have affected
him and how he would have felt, after all, wasnt it she who had
made the life changing decision, gone ahead with, and I can only
imagine, a very difficult series of operations. But, Roy is right,
they are in this together and perhaps Hayley should have discussed
it further with him. We can only surmise that she hoped she would
experience a sense of relief which would far outweigh any repurcussions,
unfortunately, as we will see, she has opened a whole new can
of worms. As you will see from tonight's episode, the biggest
worm, not surprisingly, is Les Battersby. Let's hope that Roy,
who's a bright lad and is nobody's fool becomes the early bird
that catches that worm!
The opening scene sees Roy and Hayley at breakfast.
Roy would rather not open up at all but knows its futile to think
like that. hayley says how tempting it is to bury your head in
the sand. Roy reiterates that she did have a choice. He says maybe
it would have been easier to deal with if she wasnt working at
Baldwin's but Hayley points out "What about the Rovers, would
he [Baldwin] have stopped making his sarcastic comments in there?"
Then Hayley asks if it would be better if she moved out. She then
displays a geniune and touching naivete about the reactions of
the others in the street. Roy says how folk like them tread a
fine and difficult line, not easily accepted by others. She says
how she's never been so happy as when she's been with Roy. He
agrees. [What follows is one of the most touching scenes I've
seen for a long time, David Neilsen was brilliant]. Roy is annoyed
with himself and feels as though he's letting her down. Near to
tears [and he's not the only one] he says he's a coward but Hayley
reassures him and says how "its the bravest thing in the
world anyone could do, going out with someone like her".
He realistically points out to her that was easier before everyone
knew. "Does people knowing that I used to be a man change
the way you feel about me?" "I suppose, making me question
it more, if I'm honest, yes." says Roy. "I thought we'd
dealt with this?" says Hayley. "So did I" said
Roy. Hayley asks him again if he wants her to move out. They hold
hands across the table "No,course I dont, I love you"
says Roy. "I never thought Id meet anyone like you, I couldnt
face being without you know" he tells Hayley."Life wouldnt
be worth living." Hayley comes round to Roy and embraces
him. Roy tells her how, when he was younger, he used to lay low,
keep quiet, so people wouldnt pick on him. She holds him close.
We are then lurched brutally into the living room of
the Battersbys. Our first sight is Les's gob filled with half
masticated toast as he talks about Hayley and transexuals in general.
"What Im saying is, you cant just chop your tackle off and
call yourself a woman, cos youre not." Without repeating
every word of dialogue its difficult to recreate the crassness
of his tirade as he procrastinates on the subject of transexuals
and transvestites. This isnt to say that the script was crass,
it was good. It helped to portray exactly the kind of reaction
youd get from your lower than average neanderthal walking the
street. Les's verbal attack includes limp wristed affectations
displaying the characters total ignorance on the subject. [If
you've beeen watching the storyline and sympathising with Hayley,
its easy to become complacent and think that you understand every
aspect of it, the truth is, unfortunately that ignorance of the
subject, any subject, leads to fear, and its fear that drives
us into the offensive, no matter what the subject matter or situation].
Janice shows the natural fear that ignorance brings but without
the malice that Les is displaying. Toyah [bless her cotton socks]
corrects Les, who asks about silicon implants. She tells him that
they have hormone treatments to make them grow and to make the
voice higher. "Has that Roy been telling you that"?
"No, dont be so disgusting! I saw it on telly". [I wonder
if Toyah will write about this in her magazine? It would be a
great 'vehicle' for getting a few points across] Les reckons she
should stop working at the Kaff. "Look at that Roy, I mean,
real women woudnt go near him" sneers Les, and Toyah, with
a sideways glance at Les says "well, it takes all sorts doesnt
Back at the Kaff and Roy says "Its all stuff I
should have addressed before, I just put off thinking about it."
"Like me" says Hayley. He tells her that he's scared
of letting her down by not being able to be supportive. Hayley
changes the subject and says about getting breakfast and getting
dressed ready for work. "You're not going back in there are
you?" Roy asks, totally incredulous and not a little bit
annoyed at Hayley for, as he sees it, setting herself up for more
heartache. She explains how she needs the job but Roy cant bear
her being at the mercy of other peoples cheap comments. Hayley
placates him and says she'll look for another job if it doesnt
improve, but she thinks it will. Roy then insists on walking her
to the factory.
Along the street, Natalie is asking Des why he doesnt
tell Les that he's not best man. [Les and Des, what a double act!"]Right
on cue, Les comes out of his front door and shouts hellos to the
lucky? couple and tells them [and the whole street] how happy
he is to be best man. Des tells Natalie that he doesnt want to
tell him cos he's got his heart set on it. And Natalie, quite
rightly, sasys how she's got her heart set on a decent wedding
and it wont be with Les chucking his weight around. [I know how
she feels. Faced with the prospect of my [now ex]husbands choice
for a best man[what an oxymoron, and wasnt he just!] i insisted
on my brother being best man instead.] Les turns to Janice and
asks her for a fiver for a paper. "What sort of paper is
it? Burglars weekly?" Then Les spots Roy and Hayley at the
factory gates and begins his ugly tirade of insults, including
'freaks, weirdos etc.' "Live at Baldwin's factory, for a
limited period only, the Rocky Horror Show!". Janice's reaction,
Im pleased to report, borders on admiration for Hayley..."my,
that must take some guts, showing up like that." Les continues
his tirade as Baldwin arrives to open up. "I hope youre proud
of yourself" says Roy. "I didnt tell em, it was her
mate." Baldin grins back at him. "Im not your mate"
says Roy.."have no illusions about that" and off he
walks, head held high. [3 cheers!!] As Baldwin leads them in,
he cant resist another dig at Hayley, "after you...madam"
as he holds the door open for her. [grrrrr...]
We next see Roy back at the Kaff trying to electrocute
himself [not intentionally but did anyone tell him to unplug the
toaster before he stuck a screwdriver in to unblock it!] Toyah
walks in and looks at him sheepishly[his back is to her] She asks
Gail if its time true about Hayley being a bloke. "Used to
be" says Gail. "Do they have sex" asks Toyah. [Bless
her, the voice of the nation, put there to ask the questions that
people want to ask, but darent!] "They love each other, thats
all that matters" says Gail. [hear hear!!] "Listen,
I think its great about you and Hayley. I mean, she doesnt even
look like a fella does she!" says Toyah to a perplexed and
In the factory, Janice asks Hayley not to leave the
seat up in the toilet. When she notices hayley take her handbag
she asks "is it that time of month love?". Hayley looks
at her and she says, "dont worry, just teasing." However,
Linda objects to Hayley using the loo and says about all the germs
that men leave behind. "Im not a man says a Hayley."
End of part one.
Part two picks up where we left it. We're still in
the factory and Hayley must have her legs crossed by now waiting
to go to the loo. But Linda aint budging. Baldwin comes out to
see why the women arent working and Linda tells him that Hayley
cant use the toilet. He tells Hayley to use the gents, its safe,
he's the only one who uses it now that he's sacked Greg. But Hayley
stands her ground. Linda threatens union action when Baldwin threatens
to sack her. "What about her, it?" says Linda. Baldwin
says how he cant sack someone for wanting to use the netty!! Linda
goes on to protest how her cousin got pregnant by sitting on a
toilet and everyone just sighs at the stupidity of it, let alone
the fact that poor Hayley no longer has the equipment required
In the Kaff, Gary digs into pie and chips. Next minute
Les bursts hin and shouts at Toyah for working there with all
those weirdos. "Roys me mate" says Toyah. "I work
here. And if working here makes me weird an' all, good!!!"
[i hope she's as sensible about Dobber and gets rid of him]. Les
carries on shouting about all he's done for her, just to be at
the mercy of perverts.
The next scene is barely worth mentioning but I'll
give the gist. Blandford and Sally are in a suitably bland looking
office. Sally has the IT skills of a cavewoman and is struggling
at the computer. After taking a call about an order, Greg asks
her if she can do shorthand. "No" whimpers Sally, "but
I did give the office a good clean and tidy. [oh dear oh dear,
you can take the girl out of Weatherfield and put her in a five
bed semi, but you cant take Weatherfield out of the girl.] Apart
from Sally making a pathetic plea for a regular wage out of the
business[pathetic cos we can guess where all the moneys gone].
Nothing else happened. Now lets get back to the nitty gritty:)
The end of the day and Roy returns to the Kaff having
met Hayley from work. After saying goodbye to Gail, who kindly
suggests that they all get together soon, Roy and Hayley continue
their conversation. Hayley says how brilliant Gail is and also
Liz who stood up for her at work. Roy tells her about Les's showdown.
He tells her that he wishes he could hide behind a quiet desk
job, or a sewing machine..He dreads who'll come in next making
comments. He turns to go upstairs and says "Well, bed's been
made, we'll just have to lie in it."
In the Rovers, Les is drunk and telling Greg about
Hayley. Natalie tries to tell Les about not being best man. He
tells her about his friend whos got a marquee for them for the
Jim and Liz are talking and Jim is berating the departure
of Michael as a regular visitor. He wonders if he's offended him.
Des enters and Natalie immediately accosts him about
Les. She says that if he wont tell, she will! And she does!.
As she goes off into the sunset and into the street,
Des turns to Alec and says "I knew if I left it long enough,
she'd do it for me." [God, what a wimp.]
At the Battersbys, Les is surrounded by cans of beer.
[this guy gets drunk at really funny times of the day and evening]
and in the background is the Police singing "Message in a
bottle", nice touch:) After trying to dance with her and
trying to neck her, [ugh!]he falls into the armchair. At which
point she turns off the music and tells him that he's not going
to be Des's best man. Des was drunk and doesnt remember anything
and theyve only got Les's word that he was asked at all. Now kind
viewers, you are not going to believe this, but Les starts snivelling
and crying!!! Im still unsure as to whether he was pulling a fast
one, but Natalie the fool, falls for it and tells him its alright,
if it means that much, he can be best man. She leaves him to it
and shuts the front door on her way out. I still cant believe
she fell for it and, judging by the look on her face, neither
And thats where Mondays episode ends.
I'm sorry its such a long one but I felt justified
in including the dialogue and blow by blow account of the scenes
with Roy and Hayley as I felt they were not only important, but
well written and worth recreating here as best I could. I can't
go without saying how marvellous I thought both actors were but
especially David Neilsen. It must be very difficult to portray
someone with a gentle nature without making him look a wimp and
I think he managed that. Displaying his strong side . After all,
isn't acknowledging our weaknesses actually a strength? And on
that note Ill bid you farewell till next time.
Love and best wishes
Wednesday 21 October
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
Fooled ya? Hahahahah!! Well....., Chris who does Mondays normally
had to swap with Roofy because of work commitments, but then,
as Wednesday approached, that looked tricky as well, so here
I am. The very first episode I wrote was for a Monday, so after
today, all I need is a Sunday for a full set.... (No John, I'm
not offering, not just yet!!!) ... and the bonus for me, is that
I get a weekend off for good behaviour!!!
Well, it's not been a full week, so not that much
has happened. I've been enjoying myself upgrading the web-site
- thanks incidentally, for the kind comments - it's got a bit
more structure about it now and hopefully easier on the eye and
quicker to navigate around. Much of the non-Corrie stuff has
been completed, including a section on Glorious Glossop, with
photos shot on the one sunny day in the year, and some stuff
from our Pembrokeshire holidays, showing the dramatic coastline.
Next on the agenda? Well, I'll be putting up some family pics
and then attacking the Corrie section - I have a number of draft
FAQ sheets to help people get onto the IRC channel, etc and these
will be heavily reworked in the light of personal advice given
on the channel to newbies.
On a personal note, I have been saddened that some
of actions have had to be taken on IRC this week. For me, the
#coro_street channel is one of the happiest places around and
I certainly want to keep it that way. For that reason, I didn't
envy the dilemma, which was facing the channel founder, Greggy,
this week - action was taken to preserve the ethos of the channel,
after much heart-searching. From time to time, friends fall out
and when they do, they often go their separate ways. Friendships
then get polarised as to who is going to stay pally with whom
and what signals does it send as to what camp they are in. Many
of us want no part of that, all we wish is to enjoy the company
of our friends, have a natter, have a laugh. Wounds do take some
time to heal, but if they are to heal properly, then individuals
need to consider what they can learn from the experience and
what needs to change in the future. I do hope the wounds do heal.
For me, compassion, love, care and understanding of our fellow
travellers are pretty high on the list - I have no religious
faith, but "do unto others as you would have them do unto
you" is a code to which I continually strive.... Long may
it be so... here endeth the lesson... now, back to life...
Sponsored by Cadbury's Milk Tray
The episode commences with Jim bemoaning the fact that
Michael, his therapist has stopped seeing Jim. He is telling Liz
that he should have realised that Michael's friendliness was all
part of his beside manner (how little he knows how little he knows!!!)
to make the patient think of the therapist as his friend. He surmises
that inside, Michael is probably thinking "Oh no! I've got
to visit that whinging Mick again!" Liz disputes this, but
Jim doesn't see it any other way.
At Underworld, Hayley is working away hard at her machine.
Linda comes up and gives her a cup of tea, much to Hayley's surprise.
She explains that she has come over to apologise. (Wow! We are
all amazed at this volte face.) She continues that it was very
mean of her to try to stop Hayley using the Ladies. Hayley tells
her there is no need to apologise, but Linda is full of glowing
tributes. Not many people would have stood up to her, the way
that Hayley did, she continues, not even her own husband, "The
way you stood your ground, showed you had balls!!!!" Grrrrr!!!!
All of a sudden we are brought back down to earth as we realise
this has been another opportunity to get a quick cheap jibe in,
at Hayley's expense. The workmates all snigger at this wonderful
gag. Janice tells Linda that she should be doing some work, but
Linda replies that her machine is on the blink - Janice suggests
that Linda moves some of those rolls of fabric and Linda's witty
reply is "they're too heavy, that's man's work is that! Hayley?"
More laughter in the camp as Hayley looks visibly upset.
Des is telling Natalie that he never had her down as
being a soft touch. This is with reference to her abortive attempt
to tell Les that he was not to be the best man... viewers will
recall that she chickened out and took pity on him, after falling
victim to a waterworks display. She tells Des that it was the
way Les looked up at her, it was pathetic, like a dog after food.
Des comments that if Les were a dog, he would be a rottweiler.
And then her started to cry, Natalie continues - Des fells it
was all part of an act. Nat cannot understand why Les should want
to be best man, what's in it for him, she asks. "Bridesmaids,
free ale?" suggest Des, but Natalie feels that Les "genuinely
likes you and is talking this all very seriously." Des suggests
waiting until Les has got seven pints inside him, "he'll
be dropping his trousers and sitting in the cake!!" Nat reminds
him that it was Des who asked him in the first place - she then
tries to persuade herself that maybe Les will surprise them all
- but she doesn't look very convinced. "He's full of surprises
alright! He asked me once if I fancied a bit of wife swapping,
me and Janice and him and Sam" he replies. "Well, he'll
have some great material for his speech then" is Nat's rejoinder.
"Oh, don't, you'll give me nightmares!" replies Des.
Nat gets set to make a move - Des tells her that the stag do in
the Rovers is at 5:30, just half a dozen of them. He asks whether
her son, Tony, is coming to the party. Nat isn't sure, she's not
sure whether he is even coming to the wedding - he has this business
and will have to juggles his diary around, apparently. Des tries
to make light of it, by saying that the wedding is short notice,
after all and Natalie replies that she is sure that he will make
it, if he can.
Liz has turned up at Michael's offices to speak to
him. She tells the receptionist that she hasn't got an appointment,
she just wants a quick word with him. She introduces herself to
the receptionist, who, after buzzing through, tells her that Michael
will be available shortly.
Greg is packing up his briefcase at his office and
tells Sally that he is off to see Maggie Knight. With a bit of
luck, he'll get her to sign over lunch - he then asks what Sally
is going to be doing. Nothing for her to do, is there, she says?
He suggests her trying to drum up some business, speak to some
prospective clients.... when she asks what she should say, he
gets impatient and tells her she might as well finish reading
her magazine. She can contact him on the mobile, if she needs
him. When Sally asks Greg where he is meeting Maggie, the response
is "in a restaurant". Sally asks which one to which
he replies "does it matter?". Sally comments that she
hopes Maggie will be paying to which Greg's reply is that, of
course, she is not paying, she is the Head Buyer for the biggest
women's wear outfit in the North West - she could put a lot of
business their way. When Sally reminds him that he is telling
her they need to watch the pennies, Greg sarcastically replies
"oh well, I'll take her for a pie in the Rovers, then, shall
I? Look, this is an investment. I wanna impress the woman!"
Sally expresses her frustration at being excluded - she wishes
she was taken along, as she will be picking up the bill. Greg
diplomatically puts her off, that she is better waiting until
she has more experience and confidence before she meets someone
like Maggie Knight. She agrees that someone needs to hold the
fort, as Greg departs for his business lunch.
The phone rings. "Greg Kelly Designs" answers
Sally. It is Kevin at the other end. "Should it be not your
name as well, if you're partners?" he asks. He tells her
that he has had a call from the childminder, who will not be able
to pick the girls up from school. Sally agrees to pick them up,
as she is not busy this afternoon.
Liz has been ushered in to see Michael. She tells him
Jim is very low and she feels that it is because he has stopped
coming to see him. Michael is not surprised, it's a very intensive
course of physio. When she asks what they can do about it, Michael
suggests that Liz is going to have to help him through it. "Is
that it?" asks Liz. He doesn't know what else to say and
she replies that he could, at least, look at her. He tells her
that she knows the score, the only way he can stop seeing her
is if he stops seeing Jim. She says that doesn't sound very profession,
but he points out that neither was what happened between them.
She doesn't think it's very fair on Jim, he loses out because
of what they did... she tells him that Jim looks upon him as a
friend. Michael replies that Jim would think otherwise if he knew
what was happening behind his back. When Liz says that she is
sure they can control themselves so it doesn't happen again, Michael
tells her that he is having difficulty controlling himself right
now. He feels rotten about Jim, he knows he betrayed him, he will
stay away, he believes it's for the best.
Martin and Gail are talking about babysitting arrangements
bearing in mind the stag and hen night for Des and Natalie. Neither
Alf nor Audrey are able to help, she tells Martin. When Martin
asks whether they should ask Nick and Leanne, Gail suggests that
he can go and she will look after the children. Martin suggests
taking turns, but Gail tells him she is a bit embarrassed going
to Natalie's hen night, she'd be glad of an excuse not to go.
Hayley comes into the caf. She tells Roy that the new
girl has been creating some problems for her. "Pity they've
nothing better to talk about" sympathises Roy. Gale chips
in that the novelty will soon wear off. Hayley just wants a few
minutes alone with her book and sits down.
Enter Mr. Tact, aka Les Battersby. He has come to cadge
some money from Martin, they are having a whip round for Des'
stage do, they need to pay for a stripper, "well, you're
talking 30 quid minimum, that's if you want class. I'm just off
to the Dockers' Arms to check a couple out. All in the line of
duty, you understand." Martin tells him that Les is getting
carried away by events, but Les is insistent, it's Des' last night
of freedom, they've got to give him a good send-off. Martin tries
to point out that it is Des' second time around and hers', he
surmises that Des would prefer a more laid back affair tonight.
A few pints, a few mates, nothing too raunchy. "Oh right,
gotcha, give us a couple of quid for the paint.... The pink emulsion
to pour over his head before we chain him to the lamp-post"
replies our Les. ROTFL!!!
Toyah comes over to Hayley with a coffee. Les wanders
over and asks whether Hayley is going to be going to Des' stag
do in the evening. "Oh no, you're going to both. Stag do
and hen party" says Mr. Tact and he laughs at his witty quip.
Toyah tells him he is a prat, but he replies he is not a pervert.
Toyah discloses the porn mags hidden on top of the wardrobe. Les
maintains, however, that there is nothing wrong with a bit of
erotica, it proves he is a hot-blooded male, "not like Lily
Savage here." (For the benefit of overseas viewers/readers,
Lily Savage is a popular Liverpudlian drag artiste.) Hayley has
had enough and storms out. Roy goes after her, looking a bit helpless.
Gail agrees to hold the fort and tells Les he is barred. "Don't
worry, I'm going before I catch something," he replies.
Upstairs, Roy comes into the bedroom to find Hayley,
lying on the bed crying. He tells her that this is what he was
trying to protect her from. Hayley is upset and tells him that
far from protecting her, he just stood there without batting an
eyelid. He insists that the only way to deal with Les Battersby
is to ignore him. She must have known what she was letting herself
in for. She replies that she had to get it out in the open, otherwise
Mike Baldwin would have used it against her forever. "Now
everybody will use it against you" retorts Roy. Hayley doesn't
see it that way, some people have been really sweet, really supportive.
"I take it that's a dig against me" says Roy, looking
crestfallen. "You've not exactly stood shoulder to shoulder
with me on this one" is her reply. He maintains that he thought
it was a bad idea, she says she had hoped people would have more
important things to think about, but he sees that as evidence
of her having too much faith in human nature. She knew people
would be curious and they would take the mickey out of her, but
she didn't expect to be victimised like this, made a laughing
stock of. Roy tells her that people are very cruel. Her reply
is that they can be cruel to someone else, she has had enough,
she is leaving. Roy initially thinks she means leaving the factory,
packing in her job, but she clarifies matters for him, she is
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the End
of part 1
After the ads, it's Part 2
The second part of the programme commences back at Greg Kelly
Designs. Sally has brought the girls back from school and is showing
them around the office. They can both sit on her special chair.
Hayley is telling Roy that he was right, she shouldn't
have said anything to the girls at the factory. He replies that
she is over-reacting, she cannot just pack up and leave. "Watch
me" is her response. Roy tries to maintain that it won't
always be like this, she has to ride the storm and give people
time to adjust. "Les Battersby and Linda, you mean?"
she asks. "Even them, yes" replies Roy, "once the
novelty has worn off they'll train their fire on someone else.
You'll see, this time next week, they'll have forgotten all about
you." Hayley disagrees, she is the biggest scandal they've
had around here in years. Roy tells her that if she leaves, it'll
be like running away, she'll let them win. Hayley maintains that
she is not on a crusade, she doesn't want to be a martyr, all
she wants is a quiet life, it's all she has ever wanted, even
as a little boy, she was never ambitious, never wanted to do anything
special. She already WAS special, special in a way she didn't
like.... Roy maintains that she cannot go through all this trauma
and upset for nothing. Hayley admits to him that the last few
months since coming home from Amsterdam, being with him, the job
across the road, she never though she could be this happy....
He tells her that she will be again, but it is clear that she
doesn't see that happening around here. She wants to make a fresh
start, a long way away, where nobody knows anything about her.
Back at Greg's office, Sophie is sitting on Greg's
chair. Sally hears Greg coming in and tells the girls to show
him what good girls they can be. Greg comes in with Maggie Knight.
Whereas Maggie is friendly and says "hello" to the girls,
Greg looks irritated that the girls are present. After introductions
all round, Sally explains that her childminder let them down,
Maggie is understanding. Greg, however, is in sales "close
mode" and asks Sally for the cotton samples from Croatia.
Sally doesn't seem sure where they are, maybe they are somewhere
on his desk. Greg is exasperated but finds the samples and shows
them to Maggie, who is impressed. Meanwhile, the girls are asking
Sally if they can go home, but Sally quietens them. Greggy glares
Back at Roy's, Hayley is opening a suitcase and in
response to Roy's query, tells him she is going to pack. The sooner
she leaves the better, she doesn't intend to sit through another
week of insults at the factory, just for Mike Baldwin's convenience
and that if she loses pay, she doesn't care - money is the last
thing on her mind. Roy asks her where she is going to go - she
replies that she will stick a pin in the map, the world is her
oyster now. At that stage, Roy really starts to panic and tells
her he will go with her. She doesn't want this as he has a business
to run and a flat and anyway, she has brought enough misery on
him. He becomes frantic and tells her that if she goes, he goes.
She maintains that she wants to go somewhere where nobody knows
her. He points out that wherever she goes, she cannot be sure
that they won't find her secret again. She tells him that this
is a risk she will have to take. Poor Roy is distraught and says
it's not just the wagging tongues she wants to get away from,
it's him. "No, of course not" replies Hayley. R - "You
think I've let you down and you're right!" H - "You'd
be better off without me." R - "This was your hour of
need and I wasn't there for you." H - "It doesn't matter."
R - "I won't let you go Hayley, I won't let them drive you
away! We'll stand up to them. We'll show them. We don't care what
they say.....(he holds her head in his hands and gently kisses
her on the lips).... stay, Hayley, please... stay..." We
see the expression on Julie's face changing, as she realises the
extent of Roy's love for her.... (Tinky goes through a box of
hankies at this stage.....)
At The Rovers, it's the lads Stag Night out. Les is
being served by Vera. He takes one of the pints and pours some
vodka into it. He takes it over to Des, for him to drink. Natalie
is getting ready to go out for her Hen night and tells Vera what
she is taking for the do. She tells Vera that she will settle
up with her tomorrow, until Vera points out that she will have
more important things on her mind, she can pay when she gets back.
On her way out, she meets Maude who wishes her the
best of luck. Natalie bids goodnight to Des, telling him she will
see him tomorrow (we hope!) - "if I make it?" is Des'
reply as he tells her he feels slaughtered already and he's only
had two pints. She begs him to take it easy and asks best man
Les to make sure Des doesn't get too drunk. "Don't you worry
love, you leave him to me" is Les' reply (some hope!).
As she is leaving the pub with drinks and crisps in
the box she is carrying, Sally meets her - she greets Natalie,
"Finally managed to snare yourself a fella, then?" "I
take it that's your way of congratulating me" replies Natalie.
"At least all the married women in Weatherfield can sleep
safely in their beds at night" is Sally's riposte to which
Natalie points out that Sally still has her toy boy "or is
he getting a bit bored already?" Handbags at ten paces, folks....
Outside the Rovers, we see Roy and Hayley about to
go in. He is telling her that they are not outcasts, they have
as much right for drinking as anyone else. He asks her to hold
his hand, as they go in, any wisecracks and they are just to ignore
them, he tells her. They go into the pub.
Inside Des' house, the Hen party is in full swing.
Deirdre is telling Liz that Jim's physio is a bit of alright -
"yeah, he's a nice bloke" replies Liz. D continues to
tell her that she got the distinct impression that Jim was trying
to match-make them. "Ignore him" replies Liz, but D
tells her that she likes the look of him, "is he single,
do you know?" she asks. Liz informs her that Michael is divorced,
she thinks (!!!). Deirdre suggests that Liz invite her for tea
one night when he is around, but Liz tells her that the treatment
has finished now so she doesn't know.
The girls, including Janice, Lorraine, Audrey and Judy
are talking about childbirth. Audrey tells Lorraine that her boyfriend
wouldn't be much use in that direction, but Lorraine replies that
the younger generation is more sensible about having kids. Janice
doesn't see it that way, maintaining that Weatherfield Comprehensive
is full of pregnant lasses.
There is a knock at the door. Judy answers it to find
Tony Horrocks outside. There is an embarrassed pause as they face
each other and both obviously silently recall the accident in
which Judy's mother, Joyce, was killed by the car driven by Tony.
She lets him into the house. The girls comment that it's one of
the Chippendales (for non UK viewers, a group of male strip-tease
artistes). As Tony asks if his mother is around, Judy makes her
excuses and leaves.
Natalie comes back in from the kitchen and is delighted
to see her son, He has bleached hair and looks tanned and fit.
"Ooh, look at him! Back to his natural colour, just like
his mum" she says.
Back at Greg's flat, Sally has come back in to find
the girls reading some comics. Greg comes through from the bedroom
and comments that she took her time. Sally tells him that she
went for a quick drink to the Rovers. She just needed five minutes.
She concedes that he was right, she should have made other arrangements
for the girls. Greg is not in a good mood and tells her that he
thinks he has been tolerant, she moved the kids into the flat
without even asking him, most blokes wouldn't have stood for that.
She agrees that he has been very understanding. He puts his marker
down and tells her that she needs to start meeting him halfway,
which means taking the business as seriously, as she does being
a mum. She promises she will, once they get settled and they find
a house, everything is going to be different. He continues and
tells her that they need to set some ground rules, otherwise none
of this is going to work out. A subdued Sally puts the tea on.
Back at the hen party, Janice is asking what the matter
was with Judy. Maxine tells her that Judy's mother was killed
a few years ago and Tony was driving the car.
Tony is upset at having met Judy again, under those
circumstances. "Of all the people to answer the door"
he tells his mother. Natalie just puts it down to shock, she is
sure that Judy doesn't still blame him. Tony admits that he still
blames himself. Natalie says he could have prevented this upset,
had he rung her, but he explains that he hadn't expected to be
able to get away but a deal he was working on fell through. She
hugs him and says she thought he said he couldn't come because
he didn't want to see her, but he replies that he wasn't going
to miss her big day, even if she is getting married to a plonker.
Natalie's tells him he cannot say that, he doesn't even know him,
but he points out that it's all a bit sudden. She maintains that
his real objection is that he doesn't think anybody is good enough
for her. "Apart from my dad," he agrees. Her retort
is "well he IS a plonker."
Maxine has been eyeing up Tony and goes into assault
mode. She tells him he is looking well and asks whether he is
still a mechanic. No chance, it's a mug's game, he tells her,
he has his own business now, events, bands, a bit of deejaying,
that sort of thing. Maxine is impressed. Janice comes over and
tells him that this is a hen night and he shouldn't even be there.
Natalie suggests that he goes over to the Rovers where the lads
are having their do, but he tells her he would prefer to sleep,
he was up till four in the morning. "You always were a night
owl, I seem to remember" swoons Maxine.
We cut to Deirdre and Liz. Dee asks Liz what is wrong
with her, as she has hardly said a word all night. Liz' excuse
is that she is just tired, she is not in a party mood. "Looking
after Jim has taken it out of you" opines Deirdre. Liz starts
to confess, she wonders whether she did the right thing by moving
back in with Jim. Deirdre asks her to spill the beans. Liz tells
her that she feels so much for Jim in so many ways, but she doesn't
feel how she used to feel about him and she doesn't know how long
she can hide it.
Back at the Rovers the Stag night is grinding to a
close.... Les is in a drunken state, telling Des that being chosen
as best man is the greatest honour and he wants him to know, that
tomorrow he will be by his side every step of the way. Des is
totally oblivious to it all, having crashed out. Alec leaves the
pub for the night and Jack tries to close proceedings, as it is
Vera looks over at Les and Des, who are now both asleep
and suggests getting them upstairs to bed. Jack doesn't think
this is a good idea with his back. He asks Fred for his help,
but he declines as well, as his back isn't good either. When Vera
challenges him by asking about all the carcasses he lifts, his
drunken reply is "that's right, I've ended up with spondelolethosis(!!).
Jack recognises that the only option they have is to leave them
where they are. Jack ushers Fred out to his taxi, which has been
waiting for him for half an hour. Leaving the dirty glasses till
the morning and the drunken groom and best man asleep downstairs,
Jack and Vera make their way upstairs....
.....and with that.... it is the cue for music and
Episode written by Mark Wadlow
All material is, and remains, copyright property of
Well, how was it for me? I suppose, so-so, has to
be the only fair assessment. Another of those "leading up
to the big event" type of episodes, the big one here being
Natalie and Des' wedding, with some amusing moments. The Sally/Greg
storyline grinds on, with nothing to commend it.
The highlight storyline, of course, being the Roy
and Hayley saga. Some extremely painful moments here as Hayley
is at the receiving end of some pretty cruel cheap jibes from
her work colleague, Linda, and the ever predictable Les Battersby.
As ever the acting by David and Julie excels, played with the
appropriate sensitivity and passion. The most touching moment
for me, when Roy, realising he is about to lose Hayley, becomes
distraught and the passion flows, including a splendid, tender
kiss from him. Wonderful stuff...
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^ Regards, Alan
Dear Guests, ;)
Friday 23 October
Buttonholes firmly in place? Collars straight? Reached
a suitable level of intoxication? Excellent... Welcome to the
wedding of Mr Desmond Frances Barnes and Ms Natalie Felicity
Horrocks, brought to you courtesy of The Rattler and Annie, an
episode so good, we watched it twice and then decided it would
still take both of us simply to write the update!
After the relentlessly bleak episodes this week, we
finally arrive at one which lifts the spirit (and indeed had
us lifting our glasses!) and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy
all over. No lengthy prologues this week, let's get straight
to the fun! (Wahey!)
We open with a nifty aerial shot of the Rovers' Return,
within which an appalled Alec Gilroy surveys the fallout from
the night before (which if you've been keeping ahead, you'll know
was Des' stag party) and is startled by Les Battersby (startling
at the best of times, eh?) who is stirring tiredly in the corner
of the pub. However, this is really quite tame in comparison to
the sight of an equally worse-for-wear Des Barnes who appears
to rise from between the Bleary Battersby's legs (!!). Alec instantly
drops all the (apparently real) glasses he's been collecting and
the sound of six sugar-glasses breaking echoes around the bar.
It transpires that Vera has allowed DEZ AND LEZ (a great name
for a Blackpool end-of-pier comedy duo if ever you heard one,
eh?) to doss down in the pub and Alec is none too pleased. Vera's
defence is that it was because they were both too drunk to move
and on top of that DEZ was getting married in the morning. This
has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on Alec who maintains that
even if DEZ was having bypass surgery he still shouldn't be allowed
to stay in the pub. A tug of war ensues with the Grumpy Gilroy
trying to boot the hungover pair from his classy establishment
and Vera insisting that Des deserves a full cooked breakfast in
the back room. However, a unanimous decision is reached, regarding
Les, this being that he moves his shiftless carcass out the door,
tout-suite (and who can blame them? Not us!)!
Charlie West turns up outside No.6 with what looks
like an oversized Arabian Flying Carpet (but is in fact the famed
marquee booked for the festivities!!!) in the back of his truck...
A truck which is being driven by a bespectacled chap not physically
dissimilar to the absent Curly Watts (Conspiracy Ahoy!!!). Natalie
answers the door in her dressing gown and is greeted by the lecherous
Mr West (not that *nice* Mr West who works in the production office,
of course!) who greets her with "The mother of the bride!!!
HooooHoooo! And charming *sniff* with it!", this latter part
said as he gazes at her cleavage. A scantily dressed Smiley Spice
appears at the door and the assumption is made that she is, in
fact, the bride. Natalie haughtily corrects his mistake and states
that she is, in fact, the Lady Of The Hour. This matter aside,
he asks where she wants the marquee and pushes past her, conveniently
close to her aforementioned bosom.
Tony descends the stairs, looking every bit the failed
Chippendale, in poxy vest and not much else. "What's going
on?" he grunts, to which a suddenly enthusiastic Charlie
West replies "I don't know, but if participation's the name
of the game, count me in!!!". Natalie knocks this sleaziness
on the head by pointing out that she is the bride, Lorraine is
her niece, Tony is her son and, last but not least, the back garden
Charlie: "Quite... Well then, If you'll just get
some clothes on..." Natalie: (Bemusedly) "Eh?"
Charlie: (As if it should be obvious) "Well I can't get it
up on me own!!" Lorraine: "That doesn't surprise me!"
(WAHEY! The only decent line she's ever delivered! Perfect timing
Charlie has mistakenly assumed that the residents will
gladly help him erect the marquee. He couldn't be much more wrong
if he tried and when they express vast distaste at the idea, he
goes across the road to fetch his mate, LEZ!
DEZ, meanwhile, is tucking merrily into bacon and eggs
(no beans!) over in the backroom of the Rovers. He seems to think
he'll be allowed across to No.6 to get ready for the wedding but
Vera, true to the spirit of matrimonial tradition, has pre-arranged
for Jack to collect DEZ's outfit and deliver it, on time, to the
pub. Jack, upon returning from his duty, reports back that progress
is being made on the marquee, but it's shape is, as yet... indeterminate!
LEZ, meanwhile, has taken up a new hobby. Landscape
demolition. Unfortunately, he's honing his skills at this in the
Platts' back garden, in an attempt to erect a *verrry* shoddy
marquee indeed which looks every inch an oversized reproduction
of The Gumby's Official Head Apparel. Martin is alerted to this
horticultural vandalism (his dwarf conifer will never be the same
again!!! (ooer!)) by the sound of Charming Charlie yelling "GIVE
IT SOME WELLY, LAD!" and he's none too pleased.
Indoors, Alma has arrived with the comestibles and
has enlisted DEZ's help to carry them into No.6. She stops to
admire Natalie's wedding dress which has (oops) fallen onto the
floor and, just as DEZ is boasting about how much it cost, a rather
drastic rip is spotted on the shoulder! :o DEZ dashes out back
to confront the obvious culprit, his comedy buddy LEZ, but as
it happens, he discovers that good ol' Charlie West is responsible
for both stepping on and tearing the Bride-To-Be's expensive outfit
("I..I..I..were gonna say something about that!"). In
his anger, LEZ, feeling it to be his responsibility as Best Man,
brandishes a sledgehammer in Charlie West's general direction
and Charlie flees, dropping the supporting pole he was holding.
With this, the crappy marquee collapses. DEZ, at this point, is
horrified at the string of disasters that have befallen him already....
and he's not even married yet!!! :o
END OF PART ONE
We're then subjected to the usual pathetic lowest-common-denominator
adverts which seem to be the staple diet of the most expensive
commercial airtime in the UK, including a promo clip for an upcoming
album by a band so vile, so talentless and so dangerous to the
future of music as we know it, it beggars belief. Their name is
STEPS. The album is "STEP ONE" (bleh). Be afraid, be
very afraid and pray they never cross the Atlantic... ;)
So after vastly exceeding the stated dosage of antacid
tablets in a vain attempt to settle our nausea, we finally return
to the fun...
DEZ 'n' LEZ, comedy duo extraordinaire (available now for bookings...
weddings a speciality!), and their 'dummy' Charlie West are surveying
the tattered sackcloth which purports to represent a marquee.
It's quite clearly well below the par required for a wedding,
to say the least. LEZ insists that there is no problem as they've
got "a tent, some grub, some booze and THE SUN!" (speak
for yourself, mate... It's Sunday, It's Scotland, It's Shite...
(Err... the weather is shite that is, not Scotland of course...))
but DEZ remains unconverted, convinced that the wedding is destined
for failure. He's also still worried about Natalie's torn wedding
dress but, as if on cue, Alma and Hayley arrive with the newly
repaired outfit, professionally sewn together by Weatherfield's
Finest Seamstress Herself! DEZ is overjoyed and gives Hayley a
thankyou kiss before asking if she has any ideas for the ailing
marquee. Hayley takes up the challenge and Alma has a good idea
as to where she could find some suitable materials to improve
*Twilight Zone Music*
ALMA BALDWIN IN EVIL TWIN SHOCKER! As well as being
outside helping Hayley with the marquee, Alma is suddenly *inside*
with Audreh, admiring Natalie in her new outfit... The mind boggles!
There's a lot of activity and voiced admiration for the bride-to-be
as the preparations reach their end and the wedding car arrives
outside... It's a loooooong, white stretched limo booked by DEZ
especially for the occasion. Natalie is shocked but overjoyed
and gives DEZ a kiss for his troubles. "HEY!" shouts
Vera from across the street, "You shouldn't be doing that
until after the wedding!" to which DEZ responds, cheekily,
"There's a lot of things we shouldn't've done til after the
wedding!" (Boom! Boom!). As the limo pulls away, Hayley,
watching from the door of No.6, remarks to Alma on how lovely
Natalie looks and Alma assures her "That'll be you one day".
Hayley is unconvinced ("I wish...", she sighs, ruefully)
but Alma, supportive as ever, reminds her that laws can change...
We cut now to the notorious Weatherfield Registry Offices
(WHY are there no churches in Weatherfield anyway??) as the ceremony
is performed, the vows exchanged and Natalie Felicity Horrocks
becomes the wife of Desmond Frances Barnes... Amazingly, everything
goes smoothly (DEZ has looked after the ring himself rather than
leaving it in the hands of "Best" Man, LEZ!) and as
DEZ sweeps his new wife into his arms ("C'm'ere Mrs Barnes!!"),
a chorus of "AWWWWW"s rises from the assembled witnesses,
and of course the 18 million or so who didn't get onscreen. ;)
Over at No.6, the marquee has been suitably spruced
up and decorated with some expensive material from Underworld.
Hayley has saved the day with her artistic prowess! And what does
she get for her troubles? A vol-au-vent stuffed in her face by
a well-meaning, but somewhat forceful, Alma Baldwin! The Wedding
Party arrive at this point and are all suitably stunned by the
plush decor. Des remarks to the impressed punters that they have
Hayley to thank for it all and Natalie concurs that Hayley is
"absolutely brilliant". The festivities begin and the
action now flits from person to person as we are treated to several
conversations within the marquee.
"The Diabolical Dobber" (Now showing at a
cinema near you... Err, if you live in Soho that is...) has gatecrashed
and is helping himself copiously to the beer, much to Toyah's
embarrassment. Just then, Spider appears sporting a psychadelic
little number that appears to have been sewn together from the
disused remnants of Emily Bishop's wool collection (but it looked
lovely on him, OF COURSE, Glenda! ;))). He is introduced to Dobber,
who can't even be bothered to put down his beer in order to shake
hands and be a gentleman (no surprise there, I'd be surprised
if he could even spell 'jentelmon'!). Spider is then outraged
when Dobber attempts to buy some "blow" from him and
points out rather forcefully that he... does... not... deal...!
Dobber isn't bothered either way but Spider is clearly upset at
the assumption and, as he storms off, Toyah has a go at her new
'boyfriend' for upsetting one of her closest mates. "He's
not a mate, he's a DIVVY!" exclaims Dobber and the faint
sound of axes sharpening can be heard from within the Sunderland
area. ;) As he wanders off into the marquee, away from the outraged
Toyah, he manages to knock a full glass of red wine all over a
nearby Liz McDonald. This is obviously Corrie's artful attempt
at a reinterpretation of the classic album cover for Cradle Of
Filth's "The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh" which, for
the benefit of those who don't know, depicts a scantily clad lady
of dubious virtues drenched in a crimson liquid. And let's face
facts here, they don't come much more scantily clad or dubious
than Liz McDonald... Following this bit of arty tableaux, she
returns home to spray on a new frock.
The Rovers, meanwhile, is looking unattractive and
empty. Speaking of which, here comes Sally Webster (Meow!), looking
for Gruesome Greg. Suddenly, the atmosphere improves immensely
as Sir Royston of Cropper enters the bar, looking for Hayley,
replete with compulsary shopping bag accessory and choir of angels
singing his praises (well, ok.. no.. not really.. but the thought
is there..). Alec is a little displeased that everyone seems to
be using his fine establishment as nothing more than a meeting
point and tells Roy that Hayley is already at the wedding and
has been there all morning. This leaves Sally perturbed to realise
that she is the only Street resident without an invite to the
wedding. Despite DEZ's appalling tie, it seems he and Natalie
obviously have more taste than we'd previously given them credit
Cut to outside No.11. It's a sunny day on Coronation
Street... The usual street activity can be seen as two women with
shopping bags walk beside a glaringly out-of-place white catering
van that has positioned itself strategically beside Gail and Martin's
garden fence. It's a very nice catering van, you know... It's
white. It's parked. The sun is out. Hohum... hmmm... ahh... err...
Oh yes, and Michael has turned up on Liz's doorstep and after
about two seconds of "You can't come in" type dialogue,
he's in and it's tonsil ticklin' time. Bleh.
Back in the marquee, Natalie persuades DEZ to allow
her son Tony to housesit for them, whilst they're away on their
honeymoon [Note: Anyone who has this on tape ***should*** rewind
this scene and keep a firm eye on the background activity surrounding
LEZ's attempts to take photos, at this point...]. As the guests
muse passionately on the price of rhubarb, Dobber is re-enacting
the Antiques Roadshow with Ken Barlow and some of the more pricey
looking wedding presents. He's clearly intending to half-inch
one of them and Ken is foolishly offering up all the information
he would need to decide which one he could exchange for the most
"blow". It's concluded by Ken mumbling things like "Yes,
this is real silver" and "Yes, this is really nice"
that the Price Is Right for a rather swank claret server. Dobber
attempts to swipe it but is collared by an irate Toyah who is
appalled and demands it's return. The Diabolical One decides that,
with this, he's leaving but his date refuses to accompany him.
Good girl! Can we at last see the beginning of a wonderful break-up
in progress for these two??
As this goes on, Jim is looking for Liz all around
the marquee but she is busying herself at home with her latest
venture, Amateur Dentistry, which in this case involves a mightily
close inspection of Michael's molar cavities. I'm not sure if
her tongue is *quite* the appropriate instrument for such an examination
but this has never stopped her before so why should it now? ;)
In true William Shatner Overacting (TM) style, Liz implores Michael
that "You... know... what... we... should... do... (Spock)!"
and then proceeds to literally rip open the poor sod's shirt.
Michael would be in less danger and yet in an uncannily similar
position, were he being attacked by the Facehugger (TM) from "Alien"...
Back at the marquee it's time for the infamous Best
Man Speech (recreated in full, for your viewing pleasure):
Les: "Ladies and gentlemen... Give hush for the
best man... As you know it's customary for the groom's mate to
say a few words on this occasion. So here they are... First of
all, I've got to thank a few people, I've got to say a big thankyou
to the beautiful bridesmaid, Lorraine. I tell you what, if I was
ten years younger I'd be in there like a flash!" [Cue sickened
looks from Smiley Spice] "I've also got to thank Alma for
the wonderful, wonderful food" [Cue Alma pointing and gesturing]
"Oh yes, and Hayley for the lovely decorations" [Aha!
Redemption!] "As you know, I'm an old and trusted friend
of Dezzy's here, and we all know DEZ and Natalie and I'm sure
they'll be very happy together. I mean you know as well as I do
we're not talking novices here. This isn't the first time either
of 'em has been up the aisle and as well as their wedded partners
they've both had a few who weren't wedded... Well, they might
have been... but not to them! What I'm saying here is that they've
plenty of experience to draw on. I mean, there was a time we were
taking bets on which front door they'd be coming out which front
door they'd be coming out of in the morning! Well, they've now
decided they're getting a bit too long in the tooth for this sort
of thing and it's time to hang up their boots. Now I know it's
a happy occasion and a moment of rejoicing but there's bound to
be one or two people badly affected by this move... Like old Alec
over there... He won't be making so much money out of that machine
in the Rovers' Gents now that these two have joined forces!!!
Any road, that's enough from me... I'd like to bring on the stage,
my mate Dezzy... The groom!!!" [Cue furious cheering and
DEZ takes the stage and makes a short but sweet speech
paying tribute to his new wife whom he "loves to death".
Meanwhile... At the back of the marquee one of the supporting
poles is wavering alarmingly. Whoops! No, that's Lanky Liz entering
with the aforementioned spray-on fashion disaster. She explains
to Jim that she had attempted to clean her other dress but had
been unable to get the stains out (!), hence why she's been so
At every wedding someone makes a prize fool out of
themselves, in public. And in this case, from a wheelchair. Jim,
clearly overcome by booze and the occasion, makes his way to the
stage and its awaiting microphone. He says he wants to have a
few words, begins by paying tribute to DEZ and Natalie and follows
this by heaping gloriously misplaced praise upon his 'devoted'
ex-wife (devoted to what, exactly?). Liz seems to know what's
coming, as in the next breath Jim proposes to her in public, delighting
the assembled guests but horrifying Liz (who let's face it, is
pretty horrifying anyway).
Cue credits - This episode was written by Ken Blakeson.
Well, then... It was unanimous between us that the
wonderful background action in this episode by the guests in
the marquee was simply far too entertaining to ever sufficiently
convey in a mere written update. Our only suggestion is, for
UK viewers who have access to a video recorder, to watch it again
and for the rest of you, overseas, to tape this one and watch
it at least twice, possibly more, in order to catch the multitude
of seemingly spontaneous and utterly hilarious events going on
behind the main dialogue.
All in all, this is Corrie how it *should* be, damnit!
The whole episode was a joy to behold. Consistently entertaining,
well plotted, lively, uplifting and excellently acted all round.
Even the 2 dire scenes with Liz and Michael were worth watching
for the sheer O.T.T. nature of their antics.
More like this, please, waiter!!!
*** This episode was sponsored by IRN BRU!!! ***
Sunday 25 October
Once again, a minimum of preamble this week, as time
waits for no man, just like my tea in fact which definitely won't
wait long for me before it heads for the kitchen bin [we don't
have a dog, and I think it might defeat the hamster].
Let's head straight off to those familiar cobbled
It is the morning after the evening before, and over at the Macdonald
homestead there is tension in the air between Jim and Liz. Jim
is trying to apologise for springing a surprise marriage proposal
during Des and Natalie's wedding reception. Liz counters by hoovering
the lounge, and drowning him out with noise. He makes her stop,
and maintains he is sorry for what he did, it was the drink talking,
although he does love her too. She accuses him of being manipulative
and devious. "It's just emotional blackmail, what you did
!", she tells him. He assures her he just got carried away
by the occasion, and didn't mean to make her feel under any pressure
[something she's getting enough of from Michael, in all sense
!]. Liz tells Jim she needs time and space to think about what's
Above the corner shop, Sally has gone mental and decided
that the missing Greg must be lying in hospital somewhere, mortally
wounded. [Shows what an impact Greg makes, I can't even remember
him disappearing...] Anyway, none of the local hospitals have
admitted a large chunk of timber wearing dodgy clothes. In a nice
touch, the girls ask if Sally is OK, as she seems worried about
something. In return, Sally manages to snap at them. Not nice.
Also not very nice is the sight of Natalie's son, Tony,
in his vest in Des' lounge, surrounded by empty cans and wine
bottles and general post-party mayhem. The doorbell goes, and
he opens it to find Lorraine, come to see what sort of mess the
place is in, and to get stuck into tidying it up. She solicits
his help, but to be honest he doesn't look up to more than brushing
his teeth and putting on a clean shirt. And maybe not even that.
She asks him what he thinks of Des. Tony considers he's a better
bet than "that no-hoper, Kevin." [Bear this in mind
Janice is in the café, asking Gail if she has
any special pasties for Les' lunch, preferably one laced with
poison. It appears that Les' sin is simply being Les. [I suppose
that just about merits a death sentence.] Liz arrives, and Gail
and Janice set to asking her if she has given Jim an answer yet.
Gail is disappointed that there is no answer - she had a new dress
which she would have worn. Janice tells her she could always wear
it to Les' funeral if she gets her pasty recipe right ! In the
background, Toyah and Dobber are having a barney about something
or nothing [probably a free plate of food that he is trying to
cadge], and Janice observes how love's young dream is mirroring
her own experience with Les.
Next up, we see a customised black Capri arrive at
the garage, stereo booming away. It's Tony. [He can only have
driven this thing 20 yards !] He asks Kevin if he'll take a look
at the car as it's not running 100%, saying he doesn't get his
hands dirty any more. Kevin asks how the wedding went. Not bad,
says Tony. He observes how strange it would have been if it had
been Kevin getting wed, he'd have been Tony's step-dad. "Better
than that no-hoper, Des Barnes", he adds. [Subtle, huh ?]
Kevin inquires as to what Tony is doing at the moment. He's a
bit vague, something to do with promotions. Judy appears on her
doorstep and greets Kevin, before recognising Tony and looking
less than pleased that he is still about. Tony walks off, mobile
phone glued to one ear.
Jim is talking to Michael, his therapist. Clearly,
he's been trying to ask his advice about what to do about Liz.
Michael decides he really shouldn't get involved, but Jim points
out how close he has been all along and how much he has already
helped. He tells Michael how Liz is always singing his praises.
Michael looks guilty, and decides it's time he was off. Jim goes
to show him how he can almost stand up without assistance, but
Michael insists he waits until his new frame arrives.
A rare visit to the corner shop now, where Janice arrives
in search of some mushy peas for [you guessed it] Les' lunch.
Sally is also in the shop with the girls, who she sends off in
search of some biscuits while she tries to have a word with Janice.
Has Greg been over at their house, perhaps, and did he stay the
night ? No, Les was the only man there, and doesn't Janice know
it. We learn a little more than we need to know about the smell
from Les' socks, especially when he doesn't take them off in bed.
Maxine, who has been listening in, can't resist having a go at
Sally. "Has he [Greg] been out on the tiles all night then
- perhaps he found what he was looking for !". Sally scowls
More of the UK's most expensive advertising campaign, as Sky Digital
try to persuade me to part with staggering amounts of my hard-earned
cash in order to receive 57 channels of rehashed American soaps
and cockroach mud wrestling from Papua New Guinea. No thanks,
Rupe. And shock, horror, what happened to Captain Birds Eye ?
He's been replaced by Pierce Brosnan !!
Liz is hiding out at Deirdre's flat. Dreary asks if she's scared
Jim will propose again, if she returns to their house. She thinks
honesty is the best policy. There was some other point to their
discussion but frankly it was just another scene where Liz got
to making another decision about the future. Stay tuned for the
next one, where she'll decide exactly the opposite.
Sally looks despairing in the flat, when the door opens,
and in sneaks Greg. He starts to apologise, and says he would've
called, but... The sentence goes unfinished as Sally lays into
him about how worried she was about him. She rang hospitals and
everything. He says he met a client and signed a really good deal,
but felt he needed a bit of time to himself to think about everything.
He realises their relationship has been going backwards recently,
but wait til she hears what he has to tell her...
Tony walks into the Rovers, and greets Lorraine. Maxine
wastes no time in coming over for a chat, and it is mere moments
before they agree to go clubbing that night. They are an unattractive
couple. But at least the rest of humanity is safe while they are
together. The next arrival in the bar is Steve "lifeless"
Macdonald. [Obviously the sun has gone down.] Lorraine asks what's
happening with his Mum and Dad, and to fill in the gaps, Ken tells
him about the scene in the marquee. Steve is very unimpressed.
"I hope me Dad's not holding his breath", he says, and
adds "then again, perhaps he should". In the real world,
countless millions are making the sign of the cross at their televisions.
Greg tells Sally he's signed up one of Mike's existing
customers in a deal worth £20,000. He tells her they can
go looking for that new house now, order a car, put the gurls
down for private school. [Perhaps I should explain at this point
that Weatherfield is set in the grim North of England, where that
sum of money is enough to buy a small castle and retire early.
Just in case the pedantic few observe that on the rest of planet
Earth it would barely cover Greg's own fancy motor.] Sally's concern
about poaching Mike's customers is swept away in their general
Another house not seen much of late is Ashley's bijou
residence. This evening, Leanne arrives home and has to make conversation
with herself as hubby Nick is glued to the footie on the telly.
She switches this off to make a point, and they have a minor argument
about the fact that she has been out all day working hard, while
he has been sat on his backside. He asks if they are going out
that night, but of course he has no money of his own and it is
up to Leanne. Perhaps they'll make do with the Rovers - they will
get served if Lorraine is working that night. Toyah arrives, and
Nick heads off to the kitchen while she has a quiet word with
her sister. Toyah wonders if it is normal to find men irritating.
Yep, says Leanne.
In the Rovers, this year's winners of the least interesting
couple, Tony and Maxine, are dolled up for the night. She compliments
his suit and asks what he's driving. She nearly wets herself when
he tells her it's a Capri [aka Crapi] as that's what her Dad had
years ago. Tony reckons it's a classic car, tinted windows and
everything. They'll have to be tinted, says Maxine, as she'd not
risk being seen dead in it.
In come Nick and Leanne and Ashley and the long-lost
Zoe. Ashley is telling Zoe how he'd found several jobs down the
job centre for her. She looks really unenthusiastic. Cut to Judy
and Gary, and Judy telling Gary how he should just "look
at him, that Tony", and then telling him not to turn round
when he does try to look. Gary is of the opinion that Tony's not
worth wasting their breath on, her Mum would want her to concentrate
on the future.
Back at the Battersby's, it looks as if Toyah is stopping
in for the evening. Janice asks if Dobber isn't taking her out.
Toyah looks upset and Janice sits down and asks her what's up.
Have they had a row ? What's the point of men ?, wonders Toyah.
He makes her feel as if she should be grateful for his company.
The trouble is, that's how her mates are. But it looks as if it's
not enough for Toyah. Janice gives her a hug, and notices a love-bite
on Toyah's neck. There's one thing wrong with men, in Janice's
opinion. They exist. And they've only got one thing on their mind...
"Sex ?", wonders Toyah. No, their stomachs. There is
a knock at the front door. If it's Dobber, Toyah doesn't want
to answer it. Janice gets up to see who it is. "Never mind,
love", she says, "how about we get the chocolates out
The Rovers once more, and it's time for Michael and
Liz to have another heart-to-heart. He's heard about the scene
at the wedding the day before. Liz thinks she's just going to
pretend it never happened. Michael thinks Jim should know the
truth. And it should come from Liz. Reluctantly, she agrees.
Sally and Greg toast the future. Maxine is just leaving,
but not without another dig at needing chains to keep Greg from
wandering off. Outside, it looks as if she and Tony will be giving
the clubs a miss, as they head for his place.
Liz arrives home and is greeted by Jim. She tells him
they need to sort things out. He tells her it's all his fault,
he's pushing her too hard. But he wants one more chance. Will
she promise, if not to marry him, at least to stay with him, so
he has some motivation to get back on his feet, and then if that
happens, they can take things from there ? "Say yes",
he begs her, "tell me you love me !". Liz is silent.
The curtain falls.
This episode was written by Peter Mills.
Oh deary me. This wasn't very gripping first time
around, it didn't improve on second viewing, and it didn't get
any better as I wrote it up. All in all a big disappointment
after the wedding episode.
But, hey, we have a new couple to hate. More so than
Greg and Sally, there is now Tony and Maxine. Tony takes "uninteresting"
to new depths. And on the couple front, it looks as if Toyah
is getting the measure of Dobber. Smart girl. Let's hope there's
no nasty aftertaste in a few months time.
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): **
Back next week, John
If you've been keeping up to date with the update rota
you might well have noticed last week's little game of Musical
updates with everyone swapping around (ie: Ruth doing Monday's,
Tinky doing Wednesday's and Annie & I doing Friday's) but,
fear not, everything is back to normal now so here I am monopolising
the Monday Spot again whether you like it or not. ;)
But enough of this waffle, let's get onto the subject
at hand: Corrie. Friday's Wedding Episode proved with great gusto
what magic this show is capable of so why oh why are they resorting
to offering up such tripe as most of tonight's installment? The
unbelievable drop in quality in such a short time (3 days!) is
remarkable! Hmm... I really should be saving this sort of thing
for the epilogue shouldn't I? OK then, since you insisted... without
further adieu, ittttt's...
The show opens on a low note, downstairs in No.6...
No surprises here, Maxine has spent the night doing God knows
what with housesitter Tony Horrocks and has made herself at home
in one of Natalie's dressing gowns. Perhaps it was just me that
heard Maxine remarking only a few weeks ago that she was going
to stop just giving herself away to whatever man happened to come
along? Yet here she is again, gearing herself up for yet another
fall, it would seem... Just as she's hinting about moving up to
Leeds (Talk about a fast mover!!!), Tony's mobile 'phone goes
off and he walks outside to answer it. It's a quiet conversation
but you know as well as I do that he's up to no good and, as Max
attempts to eavesdrop on him, the only words we can make out are
"Yes, I'm grateful, I'm very grateful". When he re-enters
the room, he winks "Just a bit of business" to her,
dodgily, as if he's auditioning for a tenth rate Quentin Tarantino
Meanwhile in Le Chateau Batteau ((C)1998 David McMurray!),
Toyah sits reading "Romeo & Juliet", pondering the
mysteries of romance. She muses, cynically, to anyone who'll listen
(in this case, a bleary-eyed, half- awake Janice) that, in her
opinion, it's a good job that the Lovers in the play did die at
the end because if they hadn't they'd only have gotten sick of
each other's disgusting habits... "Like if Romeo's feet stink...
or if he can do burps that register 300 on the Richter Scale!".
The latter part grabs the attention of Les who, as he sits down
for breakfast, enthusiastically grabs the book and exclaims "I
didn't know they talked about things like that in Shakespeare!"
(lol!). Just then, there's a knock on the door and it's The Diabolical
Dobber! Toyah panics and asks Janice to get rid of him, but Janice
is having none of this and insists that if Toyah doesn't feel
the same way as her new 'boyfriend' and doesn't want to see the
lad anymore, she should do something about it. Toyah mumbles awkwardly
and unconvincingly that she does feel the same way but is sick
of noticing all these horrible things about him, like "big
blobs of wax in his ears all the time"! Les tells her that
nobody's perfect but, before anything else can be exchanged, she
scarpers out the back door shouting "Tell him I left for
school ten minutes ago!!!"
All is not well in The House Of Elliot. Leanne is under
the weather about, err, pretty much everything and all Zoe can
suggest is a night out. This appears out of the question, however,
since they only have £15 to last 'til the end of month,
something that Nicky (who, unfortunately, hasn't become any less
annoying or wooden in his brief absence from the show...) fails
to believe until Leanne reminds him of the telephone bill they
just had to pay (internet addiction, perhaps??). Nick suggests,
feebly, that he drops his college courses and gets a job, something
Zoe finds laughable considering the present state of the market.
Oops, not the right thing to say since it merely prompts a tirade
from Lee about how Zoe's hardly been looking actively herself
which culminates in the positivitely Eastenders-Level mopey gripe:
"There's got to be more to life than this! School was more
fun than this!"...
More jolly fun as we cut to that veritable Master of
Merriment, Jim MacDonald. Miraculous Michael lets himself through
the front door and presents Jim with a brand spanking new walking
frame (apparently he's ready to come out of the chair, already...)
before awkwardly asking how Liz is. Jim, who seems unable to so
much as spell "CLUE" let alone get one, says Le Friz
is ay-okay and assures Michael that she doesn't hold a grudge
against him for his impromptu proposal at Des and Natalie's wedding
reception. Michael, now realising Liz hasn't let her ex-husband
in on the truth yet, stiltedly takes this opportunity to tell
Jim he's applied for a job in Milton Keynes, has the interview
on Wednesday and, if he gets it, will start soon and have to move
away (please do, the sooner the better). Jim wishes him all the
best and hopes he gets whatever it is he wants. *yawn*
In Ye Olde Corner Shoppe, Zoe, dressed pretty much
the same as she's always dressed in denim jacket and green top,
asks Ashley if she's looking smart enough for... a job interview!
Yes, the supermarket on the other side of town are looking for
shelf-stackers and have asked to give her an interview this afternoon!
Wa-hey, excitement ahoy! Judy Mallett comes in at this point and
shares in this premature revelry, wishing Zoe the very best of
luck. Zoe asks her how the unborn twins are doing and Judeh laughs
about how it felt as if they were playing football in her stomach
previous night. "Nice isn't it, that feeling? Like little
bubbles inside", murmurs Zoe, staring into space... There's
a slight pause for grim looks all round and memories of Babeh
Kateh before Zoe smiles and says she has to be off now or she'll
be late. Just as she leaves, who should walk in, but Tony bleedin'
Horrocks, mobile 'phone in hand? Judeh looks mortified and hides
herself by the biscuit section as the man who ran over her mother
buys himself a cigarette lighter. Still yapping into his mobile,
he walks out without even giving Ashley a chance to hand him his
change and, as Ash notices Judeh's deep frown he says, in an amazing
impersonation of Roy Cropper: "Mobile 'phones make people
very rude, don't they?"
Meanwhile, Gareh is wheeling Jim into the Rovers and
ordering the drinks as Smiley Spice, at the bar, discusses Maxine's
love life. Max is getting all dreamy-eyed about her one-night-stand
with Tony and it's all a pretty nauseating conversation. She moves
on to asking Smiley Spice about Tony's mysterious job in Leeds
but it's soon revealed that neither of them have a clue what it
is he does (Before you ask, no there are no prizes for guessing
the legal status of his occupation...). Sometime during this short
exchange, Friz MacDonald has entered and sat down with Jim, who
is telling her about Michael's plans to hopefully move to Milton
Keynes... This does not please Friz one bit, who looks horrified
at the thought of not having any more lumberjack shirts to pop
open across bronzed muscular chests...
END OF PART ONE
Monday 26 October
Adverts! Really dire adverts! Yes, even though it's not so much
as Halloween yet, the Nation is already getting ads for toys and
pop-hit compilation CD's well in advance for Christmas. Oh yes,
and we have a thoroughly unwanted (not to mention unwarranted)
glimpse of everyone's least favourite warbling harpie, Celine
Dion, for good measure... Blech. Back to the show, methinks!
As Billy Connelly hangs about in the background of the Rovers
(Aye, I realise that was more of a gag for a Visual Update, but
if you go back and rewind the tape you'll see what I mean!), The
Baldwins stand at the bar with Alma recieving the usual put-downs
from her *ahem* charming husband. This time round, he is offering
her a job as his secretary, adamant that it'll be a break from
the big nasty world of management which she, of course, isn't
fit to handle (*cringe*). Alma corrects him and says that Aidan
O'Donnell (the new regional manager for Freshco, in case you'd
forgotten already... I know I almost had...) reckons she's doing
very well indeed in her new job and on top of that, she's actually
*enjoying* it. Mike is unconvinced and tells her not to come crying
to him when O'Donnell gives her the sack.
Over the other side of the pub, the MacDonalds sit
and share yet another tedious exchange of predictable dialogue
regarding the increasingly uninteresting Michael. Speaking of
tedious, predictable and uninteresting, here comes Steve "Googly
Eyes" MacD to start yet another row with his father. Blah
blah blah "Why don't you clear off?", yadda yadda yadda
"Shut up, you sad old git" (nope, I'm not even making
up that awful dialogue...) and before you know it, Googly is on
a roll, tantrumming in public and telling Liz that Jim is an embarrassment
to her and the rest of the world, that she needs to get away from
him and if she doesn't get away she'll be a slave to him for the
rest of her life. This hits a little too close to home for her
to handle so she forcefully grabs Cadaver Boy and tells him to
leave. Which, thankfully, he does and the scene comes to end...
At the Cafe, Toyah is in a world of her own, telling
Gail about how nice it was to be with Dobber in the sunny, tropical
Paradise of Spain but once it's all brought home to dull, grey
Weatherfield and she has to put up with his blobs of earwax and
his bad foot odour day in, day out, things just aren't as exciting.
"If we hadn't seen each other again after Spain, it would
have been romantic... tragic... to die for!" she gasps passionately,
obviously having O.D'd on the recent video release of 'Titanic'...
"But now", she moans, "it's more like Tom and Jerry"...
Gail just smiles and tells her to get on with the washing up.
The camera pans across the room to a table, where Nicky is mumbling
something of life- threatening importance about rhubarb to Leanne.
As the conversation gets within earshot of the viewer, it transpires
that he really doesn't mind quitting his college course to help
his young wife out with the high cost of living in Coronation
St. Maybe it's just Adam Rickett's indescribably frightful acting
(the bottom of barrel, undoubtably!) but I'm left unconvinced
of his sincerity. Still, regardless of this, Leanne buys it and
comes over all apologetic, telling him there's no need for that,
etc, etc and that she's sorry for moaning all the time about money.
They reach a compromise which, in this case, is that Nicky will
go to the garage and ask Kevin for whatever part time work might
be up for the taking... At this point, Dobber wanders past and
makes for the counter. The extent of his romantic greeting for
his 'girlfriend' stretches to "Gizzus some chips", which
she does (NB: Anyone else notice that she takes these chips *straight*
from the deep fat fryer using only her bare hands!?!? OUCH!!!)
as they discuss potential plans for the evening. She tries to
make as many excuses as possible for everything he suggests but
eventually they reluctantly agree to rent a video. She offers
to choose it and he accepts this, as long as her choice has "sex
and violence" in it! Oh, and he doesn't pay for his chips,
Over at some nearby cheap portakabin that is the Empire
otherwise known as Greg Kelly Designs, Silly Sally is putting
up pictures and petting plants, as her Gruesome 'partner' enters
the room, pleased with himself... Apparently he's secured yet
another of Baldwin's big name contracts (Sorry, but *how* is this
happening? One man working from a shoddy little room -vs- a fully
self-sufficient factory that's been running successfully for donkey's
years?) and he plans to take his gormless assistant out for a
right slap-up meal at a posh restaurant. The prospect of tofty
nosh excites them both to the extent that they commence face-sucking
instantly and begin to peel off each other's clothes right there
and then in the office... At this point I check the VCR to make
sure this is Corrie and not some dreadful porno tape. After all,
the acting is dire, the set is cheap and unrealistic, the dialogue
is unconvincingly poor and the characters onscreen are taking
whatever excuse they can to strip off...
Anyways, we thankfully cut to Deidre's flat (never
thought I'd be thankful to end up *there!*) where Liz is moaning
and whinging about the incident with Steve in the Rovers. She
admits to The Drear that everything Googly Eyes said was true,
that she is trapped with Jim, that she really feels nothing for
him, that it's no longer a "labour of love" to look
after him... Then finally she drops the bombshell that she's been
someone else and after almost no prompting whatsoever, confesses
that it's Michael.
As this is going on, Toyah and Dobber argue about her
choice of video (Don't worry, it isn't "Webster Does Weatherfield"...).
Toyah thinks "Romeo & Juliet" is appropriate because
it's got sex and violence in it but Dobber is convinced it's merely
full of "poofs in tights". He continues to moan about
how they "talk too much and even when they've finished they
haven't said anything" and Toyah, whose plan is obviously
working, reckons that if he isn't interested in the film he should
just go and have a drink with his mates instead. Dobber makes
a move towards her with the crude suggestion that they "go
upstairs" (argh! Don't do it, Toyah!) but she backs away
sharpish as apparently his trainers are omitting a "ripe"
odour (Teenage Les, anyone?!?)! Just then, Big Les and Janice
arrive home with some fish 'n' chips *and* a copy of "Die
Hard With A Vengeance" on video! This excites Dobber no end
and, before you can blink, the "Romeo & Juliet"
tape is on the floor, "Die Hard 3" is ready to roll
and Les is offering the lad a can of beer for having such "taste"!
As Toyah sits and mopes on the couch, Les turns to his new protege
and states, proudly, "Some people say I look like Bruce Willis,
you know, Dobber!"... Oh dear, oh dear and, again, oh dear...
I look at the clock at this point and realise it's
about time for another terminally dull scene at Blandford's Flat.
Sally enters with the gurrrls in tow as Greg is pouring some Scotch.
It seems Sally, who appears to lose approximately a thousand braincells
with each episode, hasn't understood that an expensive and incredibly
posh meal usually doesn't include the kids. Greg is bewildered
that she expected to take the gurrls with her to the top class
restaurant and gets a tad miffed, wondering why they can't just
get a babysitter. He gives up the fight as Sally spews her usual
standard-issue excuses, realises that it's going to be "burgers
and chips all round" and gives up all hope of his posh nosh.
I can't claim to feel sympathy for either of them.
Outside the Kabin, Leanne is taking down the paper
displays, with Nick waiting nearby, as an irate Zoe turns the
corner. Oh no! It seems Zoe didn't get the job and, as this is
both her first attempt and her first rejection, she decides it's
all pointless even trying again and reaches the false conclusion
that she's completely hopeless. Judeh passes by and asks chirpily
how it went but Zoe just snorts "Mind your own business"
and storms off into the distance. Just at this point, Kevin emerges
from the garage and Nick takes the opportunity to flounce over,
faff about, swish his hair from side to side, mince about the
place and eventually ask him for a part time job. Unfortunately
this request coincides with Greg, Sally and the gurrls coming
out of the flat and getting into their car, an event which Kevin
is far more interested in... As he waves, almost tearily, to his
daughters and palms Nick off with distracted one word answers
like "No", the Tiresome Tilsley continues to push before
Kev eventually snaps at him and tells him to go away jobless.
Back in The Drear's Domain, Liz's face is melting!!
ARGH!!! *phew* No, not quite. She's just been crying a lot and
her nose is running most distastefully and unflatteringly. She's
a woman with a lot of problems, it appears, and is pouring her
heart out to her bespectacled friend. She is torn between her
obligation to Jim and her animal attraction for Michael. She feels
it would tear her ex-husband apart if he found out (she's probably
right about this, too) but is ridden with guilt, despair, emptiness
and other rotten feelings. Even worse is that, with Michael now
planning on leaving, she is going to have to make some hasty decisions
about her future. To add one final insult to injury, Liz has booked
a meal with Jim for tonight and, in the state she's in now, she
doesn't feel she can go. Deidre Rachid, a veritable Oracle of
excellent advice, says "Tell him you've got a headache!"
(*rimshot*) and then casually suggests that Liz moves out of the
MacDonald household for good. Liz is unable to do this so easily,
however... "If I left him now", she weeps, "He'd
shrivel up and die"...
Maxine and Tony are engaged in a lewd gropey, goopy
snog session on the couch in No.6 when the doorbell rings. He
gets up to answer it. "Hey! I didn't Dial-A-Cliche!"
he shouts as he opens it to a shaven headed hard- case in a black
leather jacket. Ok, he doesn't really shout that but he *should*
have done, as the man at the door seems to have wandered in from
Cliches-R-Us. He carries two bin bags, apparently full of Tony's
clothes and says, shakily, as if he's in some piss-poor gangster
movie: "They've torched your flat! You've really upset Cal
Foster! You owe him money!"... Max pops her (air)head outside
but Tony ushers her quickly back indoors before sending the Walking
Cliche on his way, thanking him abruptly for the clothes and the
info. He walks back indoors and Maxine asks him what's in the
bags. He smarms her off with the excuse that he's sent for his
clothes because he's thinking of sticking around for a few more
days (wink) and naturally she thinks it's because he wants to
be with her some more... May I be the first at this point (assuming
Ian Harding hasn't beaten me to it!) to say "PUHLEEEEESE!!!"
at this truly merciless dollop of unadulterated dross that just
passed for a scene??? What the @!*# do they think this is? EastbloodyEnders?
PulpbloodyFiction? I despair at this abysmal excuse for a plotline...
Speaking of EastEnders, the camera is soon back in
the pit of seemingly infinite misery otherwise known as the MacDonald
Household. Jim is sitting alone in the living room as Liz comes
home and tells him she's been at Deidre's. Jim is feeling apologetic
and mournful, as he tells her he's really sorry about what happened
with Steve in the pub earlier and that he knows she's just hiding
her sorrow at the whole thing so as not to upset him. She lies
to him that she's fine'n'dandy and that he shouldn't worry about
her. He accepts this excuse, obliviously, and proceeds to call
the taxi ready for their meal out...
Cue Credits. This episode was written by Sally Wainwright.
What can I say? Like I mentioned at the beginning,
we've seen *very* recently indeed quite what heights of greatness
Corrie is still able to climb to so why are they feeding us pants
like this Tony Horrocks Gangster story? Why did tonight's episode
feel more like Eastenders than anything else? The only decent
scenes were the brief ones with Toyah, who thankfully seems to
be coming to her senses regarding Dobber in an amusing and endearing
way. Other than that though, this episode was one for the dumper.
Greg and Sally are becoming nothing short of embarrassing to watch.
Liz and Michael are a repugnant pairing and the despair, deceit
and misery associated with their illicit affairs is certainly
far from enjoyable to watch. Christ, even the younger members
of the cast, Leanne and Zoe, seem to be feeling as if the world's
caving in on them!
Really, this is pretty bad form. After the hilarity
and heartwarming nature of Friday's excellent Wedding Episode,
this is a comedown worthy of an Irvine Welsh novel. The sooner
the aforementioned mopey, grim and downbeat excuses for storylines
finish, the better. Here's hoping for a more enjoyable update
next week! :) Take care! :)
This Monday Update was sponsored
by The House Of Usher (What I was listening to) and Stella Artois
(What I was drinking).
Wednesday 28 October
What makes a man a man? When does a child become a
grown-up? If ever? Will this ridiculous woman ever stop asking
damn fool questions? These are riddles that recent episodes have
posed to those minded to answer such things - of course others
may well prefer just to watch and enjoy, using the updates to
catch up on missed episodes, which is fair enough. But I do try
to amuse, and add any little insights I can come up with, as
well as inform.
I try to take my cue from the HTV continuity announcer's
teaser, which on this occasion was "Now on HTV, it isn't
just teenagers who get up to snogging in dark alleys you know"
Which isn't a lot of help, at least not till we get
near the end. This episode, which was sponsored by Cadbury's Milk
Tray ("All because the lady loves..."), opens not in
a dark alley but in Sally and Greg's flat, at breakfast, naturally!
The children are excited and animated about last night's
trip to the Crazy Diner. Rosie and Sophie however, are more urbane
about it, though Sophie is still giggling. Greg has no inhibitions,
he is whistling cheerfully, which isn't quite what we might have
expected from the previous episode when he seemed upset at not
getting his sophisticated dinner a deux. As a bubbly Sally remarks,
"You're chirpy this morning considering you ended up with
burger and chips instead of lobster thermidor? (And I thought
he wanted a change from home food).
"I'm chirpy every morning" says Greg, as
something pink flies past the window saying "oink".
Little Sophie knows better - "Oh no you're not!" she
says, still giggling, and Greg and Sophie go into a pantomime
routine "Oh yes I am!" says Greg "Ask Rosie, aren't
I a chirpy chappie?" And Rosie, spoiling the moment, just
gives him a sulky "no!"
And you know, we can believe that Greg really *has*
enjoyed his trip to the Crazy Diner, he is after all still very
childish, has never grown up, though in any other moment he will
find this hard to reconcile this with his self-image as ruthless
businessman. I believe that this is the first time we have seen
Greg's soft and vulnerable underbelly, he can empathise with the
children if he drops his guard, but I don't think we're going
to see him let himself do much of that. But for now he's happy
to carry on the pantomime - Sophie has an instant photograph of
Greg enjoying himself in a silly hat, which Sally bought when
he went off to wash his face (one wonders at the nature of this
meal that necessitates face-washing instead of a mere napkin).
Well, this is bound to upset Greg, but he's happy to play the
blackmail victim, reaching for his wallet as he acts out the "Oh
No! If anyone sees that my reputation will be in ruins!"
Which of course is only partly play- acting to Greg.
At the Battersbys, Les and Dobber are slobbed out in
an exaggerated display of laddishness making the Men Behaving
Badly seem like Arthurian knights. They slouch in their chairs,
making automatic can-to-mouth movements and Les wields a TV remote
control. "Now here's something I never knew!" (there's
not much Les doesn't know, of course!). And at that moment Janice
enters moodily. "Hey Janice," says Les, "have you
seen this? Next time you do a stir fry love, if you cut the steak
against the grain it makes it easier to chew!" Les chews?
Well I guess he has to have some exercise.
This of course is all that is needed to set off Janice,
who is clearly feeling pre-menstrual today. "Oh aye! And
does that go for Spam, on t'odd night we don't have any steak?"
And all the impassive Dobber can say is "Another
can Les?" (Sorry CP, I like a rough diamond myself but I'm
afraid Dobber is just too gormless to be redeemable!) Dobber's
absence fetching more beer from the kitchen is Janice's cue to
shift up a gear, demanding "What's 'e doin' 'ere? 'E's never
away from this place. Are you sure it's not you he's after?".
Les can't cope with this challenge to his fragile and uncertain
masculinity which he tries too hard to assert (we've had a lot
of this lately, hence for example his treatment of Hayley). All
he can do is start with shock and put on a childlike hurt expression.
For Les, like his son, is still a child who has never grown up,
but unlike Greg has never learnt to conceal this behind a mask.
But now he's saved by the returning Dobber, and a knock at the
door which Dobber answers. It's Charlie, the suave businessman
and man of the world! Who pushes past Dobber and, ignoring Janice,
is greeted by Les in the living room.
"Charlie lad! Good to see yer! Sit down and make
yourself at home" (I hate to think what home is for Charlie).
And to the reluctant but obedient Dobber he adds a request for
more beer for Charlie, who it seems was "just passing".
Janice of course is not to be outdone in her own home.
"Just passing where?" she demands with arms severely
folded, "On yer way to yer turkey farm? Or is it your used
car lot that's taking up most of your time these days". Oh,
and Janice, who is playing a blinder tonight, still has an ace
up her sleeve - she starts up the vacuum cleaner and pushes it
fiercely around the feet of the three lads. Forcing Les to shout
"I'm starving!". But Janice is only moved to hoover
with greater ferocity. "I'm flaming famished" she bellows
over the racket. But she does turn it off when Les says something
she can hardly believe: "Do you fancy a fry-up?"
"Oh Les, would yer?" she asks half hopefully,
but in vain as Les nods, winks and looks knowingly at Dobber and
Charlie. She might have known and has certainly twigged now. "You
must be jokin' she cries, plaintively. Les, of course, would do
it himself if he wasn't entertaining guests. "Come to think
of it, I bet you could go a full English couldn't you lads?"
What Charlie says next I didn't quite catch despite
several repeats, but it might have been "I could eat a scabby-headed
horse, me". Whatever it was, Janice is neither impressed
nor mollified. And Les feels that Janice is embarrassing her in
front of guests. Well, she says, "Lucky you. I'd rather take
a pickaxe to yer 'ead but we 'aven't got one handy". Update
readers - put a bookmark in at this point because we'll be referring
to this remark again later. But Janice hasn't fired her last shot
yet. Charlie, showing a glimmer of embarrassment, rises to leave
but our Janice pushes him back into his chair. "No sweetheart,"
she patronises, you just sit there love. I'll go and embarrass
somebody else." And with that, she storms out, and a synchronised
popping of beer cans brings this splendid bit of farce to a close.
At the Macdonalds, Jim is engaged in discussion with
Gary while Liz cooks in the background. Gary wants a second opinion
on a job, he thinks he's overdone it on materials. And he's also
keen to help Jim by bringing him back into the world of work,
I suggest, though he's not shown much sign of this before. Jim
has physio this afternoon but Gary will pick him up afterwards.
As Liz puts Jim's soup before him he takes her wrist to check
the time (ostensibly). "He'll have heard by now" he
says enigmatically, but Michael is clearly on Jim's mind, as he
is also on Liz's because she starts when Jim explains about the
interview in Milton Keynes, and we cut to a close-up of the agony
on her face. Gary is just incredulous about Milton Keynes (maybe
Michael likes endless roundabouts though) but Jim thinks Michael
is going to have to get used to it because he reckons he'll get
the job. And Liz can't believe what she's just heard, it's the
first she knew about it.
Sally is at the cafe playing at being the sophisticated
businesswoman, ordering tuna on brown and an orange juice (this
would *never* do at an American lunch counter - dark or light
rye bread? Atlantic or Pacific tuna? Florida or California orange
juice...). She is reading papers over her lunch and Gail spots
the photo of Greg amongst them. "That's Greg in the Crazy
Diner... It was his idea!" (that flying pig again)... "e
had a great time". Gail remarks on how like a kid Greg looks
but this is lost on the besotted Sally. "We should take the
kids next time we get a day off. Rosie really wants to have her
birthday party there". And Gail, rather sarcastically, says
why bother, they could have it in the West Wing of that (pointing
at the estate agents leaflet). Sally and Greg are going to see
this property on Saturday and Sally's head is still way up in
the clouds. It's hard to dislike Sally, her naive innocence is
rather engaging sometimes but as the Sally/Greg storyline grinds
its relentless way towards tragedy it's those qualities that we
can see will be her downfall - Thomas Hardy would have loved this
story I think. She's not very bright, poor thing, and certainly
not streetwise or she wouldn't now be smugly telling the astonished
Gail how she and Greg have secured the lucrative Reubens contract
from under Mike Baldwin's nose. Especially not now we see Janice
in the background, emerging from the loo and stopping to listen
in disbelief, before passing behind them with a look that suggests
she's seen something left behind by an elephant with diarrhoea,
and sitting at a table to glower.
Gary enters the hospital physiotherapy unit and silently
watches as, painfully and amid a lot of puffing and gasping, Jim
takes a few steps with the aid of parallel bars and a therapist.
The therapist gives a jolly "Well done!" and Gary applauds
loudly. "That was amazing!" says Gary.
Jim: "Aye well you should see me with my tap shoes
on" Gary: "Fred Astaire, eh?" Jim: "Oh I'd
say more like Mae West, I spend most of my time on my back!"
But despite this nice bit of banter, Jim's masculinity
is in its own way under threat. Ever the perfectionist, he is
not content with the genuine progress of a man who was told he'd
be in a chair for the rest of his life not so long ago. "If
I'm going to propose to Elizabeth," he remarks as Gary pushes
his chair towards a tempting pint, "I want her to fall into
my arms, not the other way around, if you get my drift."
Back at the Battersbys, Charlie is telling Les the
tale of Nobby Clarke, a chimney sweep ("Now there's a job
you don't hear much of these days" interjects Les with the
blindingly obvious, as ever). Nobby's numbers came up in the lottery.
More laddish banter - "Lucky blighter" says Les. "Well
you wouldn't say that if you met his missus" says Charlie,
who may be a veteran of the music halls (sweeping up probably)
by these standards. So Nobby buys a big house in Knutsford, with
brass casts of his sweep's brushes in the garden and Koi carp
in the pond (for this is a working man's paradise) but he's still
homesick because he can't go down the Labour Club in his Roller
because blokes down there are tapping him for drinks (heaven forbid
- this is something Les and Charlie would *never* do). So "What
does he do? He thinks if the mountain won't come to Mohammed I'll
build myself my own little Mecca.
And at this point the hitherto inert Dobber intervenes
with his usual cry of "Any more cans Les?". Charlie
suddenly notices Dobber is there. "Shouldn't you be at school
laddie? We're talking business here". And it occurs to Les
that Dobber might make himself useful by going to Jackson's for
a sausage dinner (just one, the typically selfish Les momentarily
forgets the others), producing a ten pound note from behind him.
I wonder where he got that from? Tacitly reminded by Charlie he
amends the order to three sausage dinners and some beer (for ten
pounds?). Gormless Dobber whines that he'd rather have chips.
He really *is* stupid as well as malign! He leaves as Charlie
reveals the secret of Nobby Clarke's private Mecca. "Cobbles!"
we hear him declaim triumphantly, as Dobber looks disgustedly
at the setts in the street outside. "A gen-yew-wine cobbled
street!" I have a question - don't the utility companies
ever dig up Coronation Street? Surely for this reason only it
should have long gone to tarmac.
In the corner shop (Ashley's profile is being raised
at the moment and Rita is taking a break, so the denizens of the
street have clearly switched loyalty from the Kabin to the corner
shop), Janice is hunting in her purse for the tenner she was sure
she had. (Now we know the answer to our earlier question!) While
Tony Horrocks looks on clutching a bottle of milk (there are lots
of bottles to come in this episode and bottles carry some very
interesting symbolism). Ashley behind the counter is very sorry
but couldn't possibly offer credit - so flash Tony offers to pay
for Janice's groceries. "Do you two know each other?"
asks an incredulous Ashley, who seems to be in awe of Tony for
some reason. "Thanks," says Janice, still in fine fettle,
as they no doubt say in Weatherfield, "but I'll leave it.
It's all overpriced rubbish anyway, don't know why I bother".
And she turns on her heels, only to walk into Mike Baldwin.
Mike is not happy. "Hey, you're late," he
snaps, "should have been at your machine six minutes ago".
"What for?" fires back Janice "We're working our
socks off over there - for nowt. Because once that Reubens order's
gone we've 'ad it". And tells Mike in no uncertain terms
about Sally's bragging in the cafe. After which she storms out
and leaves Mike looking aghast, bringing part one to a close.
Actually I like the ads but I won't write about them here. Though
UK TV ads are works of art compared to those that punctuate US
daytime soaps. Anybody wanting an insight into the subject is
recommended to read Roland Barthes' "Mythologies", and
you will never see advertising in the same light again.
It's evening and we're in the Rovers, where Mike is
on his mobile phone and Deirdre stands next to him at the bar.
There's some pretty dismal stuff ahead and I won't linger over
Deirdre has been to the Job Centre but the only vacancy
was at Mike's place.
Ashley collects a pint and an orange juice (with or
without vodka) and the camera follows him to where Maxine is sitting
with Tony by the fruit machine. Deferential to Tony, he apologises
for the incident in the shop that afternoon. But he couldn't give
credit, even for eight pounds sixty. That would be the thin end
of the wedge. Maxine, in her own way, is also in awe of Tony.
"We're going out!" she says. Tony knows the owner of
the club, which gives him kudos in her eyes. Ashley is not the
clubbing type, he says, and Maxine will vouch for that. And he
passes on, leaving Tony to ask what else Maxine might vouch for.
He can't be jealous, surely? Maxine assures him "It was just
for a few months. He's a nice lad, he's dead generous" "What
with?" asks Tony, "The thin end of his wedge"
Liz and Alma enter. Liz goes off to sit with Deirdre
while Alma approaches a thoughtful Mike. "Eh, cheer up, it
may never happen!". Wearily, Mike wonders if he's getting
too old, he feels he's losing his touch. Good clients won't phone
him back, he employs a young man who shafts him, and the only
response to his ad in the Job centre is Deirdre.
"So employ her," says the shrewd Alma. "Would
she be any good?"
Maxine and Tony are nose to nose, though Tony still
holds his cigarette. And meanwhile, Ashley, Nick, Leanne and Zoe
look on and make fun. Maxine and Tony get up and leave. Leanne
and Zoe chase after, calling on the lads to follow, which reluctantly
Well, that bit of dross is over. Now then, in a nicely
ironic reversal we find at the Battersbys Janice and Toyah slobbing
out while Les looks crestfallen. "Cup of tea anyone?"
Silence. "Glass of lager?" Silence. Les becomes irritated.
"It was only a flaming tenner Janice! There's no need to
make a song and dance about it. I'll make it up to you, you know
I will!". At last Toyah speaks. "Don't hold your breath!"
Knock knock! It's Dobber again, and this time he's
carrying a tool bag, and yes, a pickaxe! Told you so! So now there
really is one to hand to sink into Les's skull, and I bet Janice
can't wait! "I don't believe it!" she says, "he's
Toyah can't come out tonight, she says dismissively
without looking at Dobber, she's got an essay to finish. But Dobber
has only come to lend tools to her dad. Well, it's a good question
to ask, what Les wants with tools, so Dobber obliges with an answer
- it's for "that job with you and Charlie West". "Well,"
says Les, exasperated, "you've spoiled the surprise now haven't
you lad?". Well, he'd been picking Charlie's brain about
"improvements out back - a barbie, flower tubs, anything
to improve the dump"
"In winter?" asks Janice, wearily. The lads
exit. "The sad thing," reflects Janice, "is they
think we believe them". "It's times like this you wish
you were a lesbian" replies Toyah. Now, I want to know if
Toyah is going to be revealed as lesbian, because this does seem
a rather clumsy way of going about it. Though I suppose we did
have the rather more tender agonising a couple of episodes ago.
But surely Toyah is going to realise more gradually, and with
mixed pain and pleasure? But then again this may be a red herring.
We shall see no doubt.
Back at the Rovers for more dismal stuff, and here
comes Michael, spotted by Liz and Deirdre. He joins them and tells
them about the interview, which of course Liz has only heard about
a few hours earlier and then from Jim. And she says, ruefully,
"Jim's got every confidence in you".
Gail and Audrey come in. All Gail wants is a quiet
drink, it's not clear why she's unsettled. Audrey comments that
half the folks around are born middle-aged. There's some banter
of the type normally associated with the men.
Audrey: "Look at Ashley, Kevin Webster. But they
pay for it in the end anyway" Gail: "How's Martin paid?"
Audrey: "He ended up with you..."
Deirdre and Michael make small talk but the repressed
passion of Liz and Michael is almost palpable, though Liz tries
to appear disinterested. Deirdre leaves only to be approached
by Alma, who asks her if she'd consider the Underworld job - right
now Mike needs somebody he can trust (but Deirdre?????) "Consider
it," says Deirdre, "I'd bite your hand off!" So
that's all right then, everybody's happy...
Maxine is on her own in the club, or rather accompanied
by the dour Ashley, which amounts to the same thing really. She's
got a bottle in her hand too, which she strokes lasciviously.
I told you there was lots of interesting symbolism in bottles!
The Rovers again. The poet Yeats wrote "The best
lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity".
Well, if this is true then Liz is one of the best, and Michael
pretty dreadful. Is the interview any of Liz's business? Yes it
is, she's the reason he applied for it. But she's angry because
she had to hear about it from (she spits out the name) Jim, and
he, Michael is about to walk out of her life. There'll be other
jobs in other places, and no doubt, adds Liz meaningfully, other
The club. Nick brings lots of phallic bottles for Maxine,
Leanne, Ashley and himself. Zoe comes bouncing up with two strange,
alien-like creatures whom she introduce as Ben and Ruth. They
both have mad eyes - call Mulder and Scully! "Ashley, says
Zoe excitedly, "it's a club, you should be dancing".
Zoe has been talking rather a lot to these strangers, she's told
Ruth that Ashley's a sort of guardian angel - boyfriend, landlord
and boss of her dreams.
Cut to Maxine, who greets Tony forlornly: "Hello
stranger!". She's nursing and stroking that bottle again.
Tony, as if we didn't already know his game, surreptitiously slips
Maxine a pill - "Might cheer us up a bit eh?" - and
abandons her to look disconsolate. He's even taken her bottle
to stroke himself...
Outside the Rovers. Michael and Liz are leaving. She's
anxious to know when he will go if he gets the job. He has to
give two months notice - but has some holiday owing. At which
point Gail and Audrey come staggering out. "Is this your
friend the physiotherapist," slurs Audrey, because she has
this pain in her back. Gail attributes this to senile dementure
and gin - and they go off giggling.
We're getting there, don't worry. The passion grows
yet more intense.
L: "I'm gonna go - there's no point in this and
Jim's expecting me" M: "Jim! It's automatic isn't it?
You don't even know you're doing it" L: "Doing what?"
M: "Putting Jim first. Is that why you avoid telling me the
truth? L: (eyes lighting up) He's ill! He won't always be like
that. And then I'll be free!"
At which Michael pulls Liz into a dark doorway...
Zoe Ruth and Ben are alone around a table. Ruth knows
Coronation Street, is Zoe living in a terraced house? No? One
of the new houses on the other side - now there's posh! Leanne
calls them to dance "Them two miseries are talking about
going home" And Ruth especially starts to dance in a bizarre
way, just to make sure we know she is sinister.
Back in the dark doorway:
M: (barely able to contain himself) "What are
you telling me? You want me to wait?"
No, what Liz is saying is he doesn't have to go, or
turn his life upside down because of her and Jim. Michael gets
more and more agitated, and starts shaking her. His former partner
had to leave three times before she broke for good, and if he'd
been in a wheelchair she wouldn't have gone, so he's sure Liz
won't leave Jim. And he's not going to wait and hope and wait
and have his hopes dashed, that's why he has to go now before
too much damage is done.
M: "Liz, go home, go home to Jim, I think it's
for the best"
And she's in tears as he pushes her aside and rushes
off. Leaving her sobbing as the credits roll.
"She'd be perfect!"
"OK, ask her"
"What, after all that's happened?"
"OK, I'll ask her!" says Alma, and she goes off pleased
Phew! That seemed to go on forever.
A real curate's egg of an episode, this one. Great
stretches of dreariness, but some lovely moments, and a real
tour-de-force from Vicky Entwistle as Janice, as nearly all the
best moments involved her. She gets better and better, she does.
Script by Jan McVerry
Player of the Match: Janice Battersby, a diamond among
Friday 30 October
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update.... It's been
an interesting week or so.... For my good pals on IRC, a quick
thank you for your love and care, you know who you are, you've
been really tremendous... now we move forward, eh??
We went to the theatre last night, a most pleasurable experience.
We spent the latter part of the afternoon in the centre of Manchester...
so good to see the place buzzing with activity. The new Marks
and Spencer's store is being rebuilt after the IRA bombing a couple
of years ago - this will be their largest store in the world when
it is completed and the whole project looks like it is progressing
nicely towards the planned November 1999 opening. The Royal Exchange
building has reopened with some new stores, while around the corner,
St Anne's Square seems to look lovelier by the day. Just a bit
further on, the Waterstones bookshop on Deansgate is in the final
stages of a major refit and will be the largest bookshop for miles
around when work is completed shortly - a real joy to visit. Incidentally,
this work is being done in advance of some major competition planned
from an American bookstore chain, due to open in Manchester, which
will revolutionise bookselling in the UK. I love books and love
browsing for hours, before I decide what to buy and we are set
to see coffee shops coming into bookshops, where customers can
browse in comfort. We went for a meal before our show to an Italian
restaurant for a quick pizza and that was an interesting experience.
Across the road was a Pizza Hut place, but we opted for a smaller
restaurant without that brand name. I have to say that the food
was far more imaginative, the surroundings more pleasant and the
staff more caring than in the large chain, evidence that the big
boys don't always get it right and that there is a niche for the
smaller outfits who take care looking after their customers and
think about their place in the market. The fact that the place
was continually full in the hour we were there, says it all...
power to their elbow.
We then went onto the show, called "Girls Night Out in
Ibiza." I didn't know much about the storyline, apart from
the fact that it was supposed to be a hilarious account of some
girls on an all-ladies holiday to the sunshine resort of Ibiza.
Trude commented on the predominantly young female audience building
up before the show, which started to get me worried as to what
we were about to get into. Well, all was revealed, well nearly
all anyway, as it gradually became apparent that this was a "chicks"
play - the half of the storyline I have described was true, the
half I didn't know about, was the their boyfriends/partners were
also at the resort, unbeknown to them, auditioning as male strippers
in a club - as the storyline unfolds we gradually see each half
of each couple coming together, to much mutual surprise. The female
audience was largely present to see the fellas getting their kit
off!!! Having said that, it really was a hilarious show, very
well done, reflecting these changing times of increasing "gurrl-power
- I have no problem with it, after all, if I can admire a well
shaped lass, then I don't see why the ladies cannot have their
fun as well....
So, a time of changes in a number of different fields, but
one thing doesn't change and that's 7:30 p.m. in the UK on Friday
night, when it's time for Coronation Street... ... so, without
further ado, it's time for the update sponsored by Cadbury's Crunchie.
The episode commences out in the street. Les Battersby and
Charlie West are looking at the cobbles in the street, they then
look up at each other and nod knowingly.
Meanwhile, we see Maxine coming out of Des Barnes' place, where
she has stayed the night with Tony Horrocks. She is extricating
herself unwillingly from his arms to go to work. She comments
as to how she feels like the living dead, but she is late for
work and doesn't want to get into Audreh's bad books and get sacked.
Tony, however, seems to be preoccupied with continuing his trampolining
practice on the mattress with her. They hug and kiss on the doorstep,
as Audrey sees her and does her yoo-hoo bit. As Maxine scoots
off to work, Tony tells her he's going back to bed.
Outside chez Battersby, we have the sight of Les talking to
Charlie West. Charlie has obviously a scheme in mind, but Les
is not convinced - it seems like hard work to him and we know
that this is anathema to the male species of genus battersbius.
But Charlie is insistent and tells Les that "it's easy money."
Now anyone taken in by that must be a couple of sandwiches short
of a picnic, after all there is no such thing as a free lunch
in life. But we realise soon that Les' concern is not related
to the actual task in hand, per se. It would appear that Charlie
has this contact who wants a lorry-load of street cobbles and
the plan would appear to be to dig up the street in the middle
of the night - what Les certainly isn't thinking of, is the risks
involved in the venture of lifting the cobbles, his concern is
how someone wants the cobbles in the first place. But then that's
why he's at the bottom of the pile and Richard Branson is laughing
all the way to the bank. Charlie tells him that he just doesn't
have his finger on the old trendy pulse, these cobbles are like
priceless stones and the yuppie types go mad for a bit of the
"old urban squalor." He tells about this bloke in Knutsford
who is "offering t...... a fiver a cobble". Even Les'
un-Mensa-like mind realises that a street-load is "worth
a .. a fair amount." Charlie's plan involves Les' muscle,
his brains - wow! A match made in heaven! And if Les is on, tonight's
the night! Les' reaction putting his arm around Charlie and giving
a thumbs up sign, confirms tonight it's all systems go.
The camera moves to the Ashley Peacock residence, where RAshley
is saying that he wasn't one much for clubbing, Zo, on the other
hand is saying that she likes it and it could have been a really
good night out if Nick hadn't been so miserable. Ashley points
out that it's the lack of money that was the cause, but Zo doesn't
see that as a problem, you can still have a bit of fun. She is
looking around the house for her purse - this is the one that
got nicked by them religious nutters, although she doesn't know
that. When prompted, Ashley, who hears no evil, sees no evil and
speaks no evil, asks whether she has lost it. We can almost hear
Homer saying "Doh" when Zo responds, "would I be
asking?" He tells her not to take it out on him, he was only
asking. She tells him that it had all her money, "about six
quid," but it's not the money that's the issue, it's a photo
of baby Shannon. Ashley surmises that it might have got lost when
she was in the club, dancing and suggests that she rings them.
But streetwise Zo knows better, nobody hands purses in, if she's
lost it there, then that's that, she tells him. Ashley attempts
to reassure, but without apparent success.
At Underworld, Mike is on the phone talking to a customer.
He's trying to retrieve an order falling apart because of Greg's
actions. In an attempt to salvage the order, he asks whether he
has ever let the customer down, he tries to discredit Greg by
questioning whether he can deliver, he should know, after all,
he fired him, he's unreliable... but the customer clearly isn't
listening, he's probably paying too much attention to the bottom
line. When Mike puts the phone down, he confirms to Deirdre who
is going through Mike's filing cabinet, that the regular Rubens
order has gone, Greg has stolen it from them, as he was able to
undercut them on price, 20% less. Mike is angry at the lack of
customer loyalty and asks Deirdre to get the client's file out,
but Dee drops a bombshell - the file is not there, it looks as
if Greg has taken it with him. "The scheming swine! You know,
I gave him his big break, I trusted him!" rants Mike. The
only way is to go through it the hard way - he tells Deirdre to
go through all the firms they have dealt with, who have placed
an order in the last three months, they will be the orders that
Greg is trying to steal. He resolves that if Greg wants a fight
then he can have one, he's not going to allow himself to be stitched
At the salon, Maxine is getting herself a coffee. Audrey notices
that it's a black one and remarks as to how appropriate it is,
anything to stop Maxine yawning at the customers. Max tells her
they went clubbing it last night and feels rough today. Audrey
comments that Maxine is not wearing suitable clothing for a salon.
When Maxine tells her that it is what she wore last night and
she didn't get a chance to change this morning, Audrey is horrified
- surely Max's mother will be frantic. Maxine reassures her that
she phoned her mother and told her that she was staying at a friend's
- she confides that she actually stayed with Tony and only got
about an hour's sleep. Audrey goes into "Boss mode"
and informs Maxine that she had her moments as a youngster - in
fact she did recently - but she never let them interfere with
work. (She omits to tell her that her solution was not to work
in the first place! Bitch! Bitch! Meow!!) She tells Maxine to
pull herself together, there are a lot of very good hairdressers
looking for work, she warns.
The scene at Underworld is no happier than earlier. Mike is
on the phone to another client. What more can he give him, he
asks? He is already offering the client 10% below Greg Kelly,
whom would the client rather trust, Kelly or Baldwin, he asks.
He agrees to go a final figure of 12.5% and when he puts the phone
down, he confirms to Deirdre that they have got the Ruben order
back. While Deirdre is pleased, Mike isn't so sure - he won't
break even on that order, he will be lucky to come out losing
only half an arm and half a leg. Maybe they should just forget
it, suggests Deirdre, but Mike is in a fighting mood. "And
let Greg Kelly do it? I'd rather go bankrupt and drag him down
with me." He goes into the outer office and announces to
the girls that from next week, until further notice, he wants
an extra hour's work at the end of each shift from everyone. Janice
asks what the rate will be. "Flat rate" is Mike's reply.
Janice isn't amused by this, until Mike points out that the bonus
still stands - if they don't like flat rate, they can have their
cards right now, he is giving it to them straight, if they don't
increase production, they will all be looking for a job at the
end of the month.
Jim is at the Rovers, buying a bottle of wine, red wine (nudge!
nudge!) - Liz is cooking, so thought he'd better buy some booze.
Ruth comes into the pub and Vera asks to take her order. She doesn't
want anything, as she doesn't drink alcohol, she tells Vera. She
asks if Vera can help her, as she is looking for a couple of young
people who live around here and, perhaps, Vera knows them. "Zo
and also Ashley, I think?" she enquires. Vera points her
towards the corner shop and as Ruth leaves the pub, Vera comments
that it is surprising to find Zo mixing "with the likes of
her." Jim expresses the view that Zo could do with more friends
like this visitor, but Vera adds that she doesn't like teetotallers,
a nasty lot in her experience. Jim's crowning comment is that,
presumably, in view of the volume of his custom, he is practically
the Pope in Vera's eyes.
At the shop, Ashley and Maude are talking, when Ruth enters.
She introduces herself and Ashley recognises her from last night.
She tells him that she is looking for Zo, she has found her purse
- when she shows it him, Ashley confirms, yes, that's the one
and that Zo was looking for it this morning. Ruth is pleased she
has found the right place, not that there is much money in the
purse, but there is a baby photo, she thought it might have sentimental
value. Ashley confirms that it does, it's the best picture Zo
had of her own baby and Maude adds that the baby died of meningitis.
After Ashley has thanked Ruth for bringing the purse round, Maude
suggests that he take the visitor to see Zo, she is sure Zo would
want to thank her in person. So they merrily troop off to the
house. ... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end of
After the ads, it's Part 2
The second part of the programme commences back at Tony's place.
Maxine has been knocking on the door, but Tony was asleep and
didn't hear her. She comments that she wishes she had been in
bed, but if she did then she wouldn't get up until it was dark.
"Audrey's been a right cow today," she tells Tony, she
feels dreadful. When Tony suggests that she ring Audrey to tell
her she is not well, Maxine fears she would be sacked - while
Tony isn't perturbed at the prospect as there are plenty of other
jobs, Maxine clearly doesn't see it this way. She says that she
cannot see him doing a proper job and comments that sometimes
he looks frightened. She asks where Des keeps his headache tablets.
Tony says he doesn't, but he has something which might buck her
up and get her through the afternoon - Maxine looks horrified
and replies that she would rather have a headache. Max asks where
he gets all these pills and Tony replies that they are from a
mate of his, nobody she knows and what she doesn't know can't
get her into trouble, can it?
Ashley is at his place, having brought Ruth round to see Zo.
He has to get back to the shop to let Maude have her dinner. After
he has left, Ruth comments that Zo and Ashley are very young to
be together, but Zo says they are not married or anything, but
Ashley is a nice lad, kind, although he wasn't Shannon's dad he
loved her. Ruth tells Zo that as soon as she saw the photograph
of Shannon, she recognised there was something very important
about it. Zo recounts the tale of Shannon's death - how she was
a lovely baby, but got ill and nobody had realised quite how ill
she was. When Zo wistfully recalls what a lovely baby Shannon
was, Ruth sympathetically agrees, adding, "she still is.
She always will be." She then goes on to tell her how Zo
is like her own sister, Naomi, she lost her baby too. Zo replies
that, in that case, she knows what it's like to lose a baby -
Ruth recommends the two of them meet, Naomi could help her, perhaps
they could both help each other. Zo doesn't appear particularly
keen to meet and Ruth backs off her suggestion.
Liz and Deirdre are talking in the Rovers about Michael. Liz
tells her that it would be for the best if Michael got this job,
but Deirdre cannot believe that Liz means this. However, Liz cannot
see a future for her and Michael - it's best all round if he moves
away, she tells Deirdre. Deirdre tries to point out that they
could have a future together, if she wanted one, but Liz replies
that she could not face it, seeing Michael on the side, meeting
him in secret all the time and then having to put up a front for
Jim's benefit - she doesn't think that Michael could stand it,
either. When Deirdre asks what the answer is, is she going to
be stuck with Jim till doomsday, Liz says that it needn't be that
bad, plenty of women settle for less - she tries to convince herself
that what she has to do is to work on her and Jim.
Greg and Sally have come into the pub. Greg asks Vera if it
is true that she has a bottle of champagne in the fridge - Vera
confirms this is policy, so Greg tells her he will have it. Vera
asks whether he is sure how much it costs and Sally picks up the
vibes that nobody likes them around there, now they are going
to think that they are "dead flash and all" (mebbe dear,
but you're still pretty common with it!! LOL!). Greg does not
seem perturbed, "let em, who cares?"
In the pub, Les is telling Dobber that they might be able to
let him in on the job that Les and Charlie have lined up. When
Dobber asks what he would have to do, Les explains that he and
Charlie are going to be the brains, while Dobber will provider
the muscle (funny how we've heard that statement before, albeit
with a subtle amendment). Dobber isn't happy at this - he doesn't
want to beat anyone up. Les reassures him that it is nothing like
that, all he has to do is to dig up some cobblestones. When asked
whether he is in on the deal, Dobber agrees.
Mike and Alma have come into the pub for a drink. Greg chirpily
greets him "good morning" and invites him and Sally
to join them in a drink of champagne. Mike replies that he wouldn't
take a drink from Greg if he were dying of thirst. When Alma tries
to shush Mike, Greg tells her that her old man is a bad loser,
"the number of times I've heard him say, 'all's fair in business'."
Mike tells him he knows nothing about business and that he will
be bankrupt in six months. Greg continues crowing at his own success
and tells Mike he is past it, he's had his day, he needs to move
over and tells Mike that he doesn't want to trample on him. Mike
has heard enough but is determined not to rise to the bait and
they take a seat away from the bar. Sally tells Greg that his
outburst was unnecessary, but Greg is still full of himself and
replies that Mike had it coming to him. Meanwhile, Alma tells
Mike she is proud of how he kept his temper and walked away -
Mike admits that it took some doing. He tells Alma that what Greg
doesn't realise is that all his schemes are going to come to an
end - he doesn't care what it costs him, he is going to break
Greg, resolves Mike, in a chilling prophesy.
Zo is pouring out her heart to Ruth and explains how, every
morning, she wakes up with Shannon on her mind - she cannot stop
thinking about her and missing her and wanting to hold her. Ruth
consoles her that she hasn't lost Shannon forever, they will be
together again. When Zo asks "do you believe all that stuff?"
Ruth confirms she does. At that stage, Leanne comes in for her
lunch break. Zo tells her that Ruth found her purse and that all
the money was still there. "Honesty lives, eh?" is Leanne's
surprised reply. Ruth makes her excuses and gets up to leave.
Zo thanks her for coming and tells her she feels better for talking
to her, she suggests that Ruth can come round anytime she likes
and she can bring her sister, if she wants. Ruth is pleased and
says she really believes that Naomi could help her.
At the caf, Ken is having something to eat, telling Gail that
he couldn't face cooking for himself tonight. Toyah comes up to
the table, bubbling with excitement and tells Ken she has finished
her essay. Ken invites Toyah to sit down. It appears she has read
"Wuthering Heights" and has written an essay on the
book - eight pages, she got carried away, she proudly tells him.
Ken promises to read it at home to give it his proper attention.
She tells him that she enjoyed the book once it really got going,
she never realised it was written before the song. Ken looks puzzled,
but having gone back about 20 years in his time machine, he recalls
"Oh, Kate Bush, wasn't it?" "I dunno, it was one
of them old singers," replies Toyah. LOL!!!! She admits that
she wouldn't have said so at one stage, she would have been frightened
of folk laughing at her. Ken recognises that this is progress,
nobody knows everything and there's no merit in pretending otherwise,
he tells her, the real merit is in the desire to learn. Gail comes
over and adds that she read Wuthering Heights when she was young
and thought Heathcliffe was wonderful, she used to wonder why
there were no lads like him around here! "I expect there
are," presumes Ken, "Toyah's boyfriend Dobber, possibly."
"Dobber? He's good at the wuthering, never quite reaches
the heights, though" replies Toyah in the Riposte of the
Episode, much to Ken's and Gail's amusement.
Back at Battersby mansions, Dobber is being kitted out for
his assignment by Les - the gear consists of a luminous donkey
jacket. Dobber isn't impressed but Les doesn't want to hear any
of that poncy talk, anyway these are our camouflage, he tells
him. A knock at the door reveals Charlie West. He has brought
in some lights ***, which he has stolen from the roadworks in
Albert Street. Charlie and Les are amused at this little caper.
When Charlie sees the overjackets, he comments that they add an
air of authenticity to the proceedings, anybody passing will think
they are council workers. "What, working in the middle of
the night? Never heard of that!" replies Dobber. "There's
always a first time, isn't there" replies Charlie, while
Les tells Dobber to stop moaning and grumbling. Dobber is concerned
what will happen if he gets caught, as he is already on a police
caution, but Les tells him he won't get caught, Charlie and him
are professionals and he promises that Dobber will get an education
tonight. At that stage Janice comes home from work. She is surprised
to see them all kitted out. Charlie tries to sweet talk Janice
"you get bonnier", he tells her, but she is not fooled
by his smokescreen. She wants to know what is going on, but Les'
non-committal reply is "just a bit of business, luv."
If Charlie is involved, it is monkey business, she tells him.
She notices their garb and asks what they are supposed to be.
"Cobblers" is Charlie's fast riposte. Janice thinks
that Charlie is being rude, but Les explains that's what they
are supposed to be "cobblers", working on the cobbles.
Charlie tells her that they have this special order, "a lorry
load of cobbles, supply and deliver." Les proudly adds "and
what's outside our front door, a street full of cobbles, just
waiting to be lifted." "Brilliant!" replies Janice
sarcastically, "that's typical of you, Les, is that, dirtying
on your own flaming doorstep." Les points out that are going
to work at the far end of the street, round by the Corner Shop.
It is easy money and she isn't to worry, she will get her share.
"Right lads!! A cobbling!!" is Les' cry as they all
troop outside much to Janice's frustration.
Tony and Maxine are on the settee, watching TV. She asks if
they are going out tonight. Tony tells her that he is unable to
do so, as he has some business to attend to. He suggests that
she goes to bed early. He needs to make a few phone calls, ring
a few contacts, she'd only get bored. She willingly takes the
hint, as she is tired, and leaves. After she has gone, he opens
his case. We see a number of sachets, containing a white powder
packet - obviously drugs. He phones his friend, Jason, he wants
"some more of the gear." He tells Jason that he doesn't
need it tonight and adds that he is not in Leeds, he knows it
wouldn't be very good for him. Jason is to ring him if he can
It is dark and Dobber and Les are digging away in the street.
Dobber is concerned that Charlie isn't there with his truck. Les'
reply is a classic "well you see, it sometimes it takes him
a while to find one that he fancies, okay?" "You mean
it's not his own truck?" asks the ever-bright Dobber. "He
just borrows them now and again, doesn't he?" replies Les
(no doubt, forgetting to ask the owners first, but what's a small
detail like that?). Dobber is getting concerned and tells Les
that he doesn't like what's going on, but Les tells him to be
At Jim's, he has just finished a lovely meal and congratulates
Liz on the wonderful meal and company. He tells her that he does
notice things, the effort she has made tonight, the candles, etc.
She tells him she enjoys it just as much as he does, but looks
awkward when Jim comments on the romantic setting. It works for
him, he tells her and he would like to show her how much it is
appreciated. He asks her to come over and kisses her, but she
pulls away, picking up the dishes to wash them. One of these days,
he promises her, they are going to have a dance together, they
might even dance together at their own wedding, if the new physio
is half as good as Michael. He says that he wishes Michael a lot
of luck in his new job. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the expression
on Liz' face tells a different story, one of desperation as to
how she is going to extricate herself from Jim.
Back in the street, Les and Dobber are still digging away and
Charlie pulls up in a pickup truck he has purloined. Charlie backs
the truck into position and apologises for the delay. There was
this trench in Albert Street, he explains. When he sees how much
they have dug up, he is not impressed, he could have picked his
nose better than that he exclaims. He urges them to load the wagon,
which they start doing. Charlie remarks how they used to say the
streets of London were paved with gold, but the gold is here,
in Weatherfield. Suddenly we see a car pulling up. Dobber is convinced
it is the police and runs away, dropping a cobble onto Les' foot.
Charlie is equally quick to make a move, jumps into the wagon
and drives off, leaving Les in agony, limping painfully home.....
....and with that.... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by John Stevenson. All material is, and remains,
copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me? A so-so episode really. Not an awful
lot going on, just preparing us for some major action in episodes
to come. It's pretty clear that Tony Horrocks is in some pretty
serious trouble and that we are being prepared for a developing
storyline here. Similarly for Zo - we know Ruth isn't as goody-goody
as she might seem, as she has stolen Zo's purse with an ulterior,
as yet undeclared, motive. The Greg/Sally storyline continues,
with Mike starting to regain ground - Greg being full of himself,
is full of the pride which comes before a fall. Equally, Liz
is getting increasingly frustrated as to how she can continue
with Michael, while Jim is full delusions and unable to recognise
the deceit around him. Light entertainment provided by Les Battersby
and Charlie West who look like the modern day equivalents of
Stan Odgen and Eddie Yeats, forever involved in scams which are
doomed to failure.
The classic one-liner of the week..
The prize goes to Toyah with her "Wuthering heights"
quip about Dobber.... Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next
time, take care...
Hugs and kisses from Tinky^
Written by John
Laird; The Rattler;
Ruth Carey & Rosalind Mitchell; Alan Milewczyk