Apologies in advance if this Update is a bit lacklustre, but I'm feeling a bit under the weather at the moment... Nothing I can't deal with, I'm sure, but having recently suffered a fate uncannily and eerily similar to that of Roy's Rolls, I'm currently sitting in a very wet and cold room typing this with a stuffy nose and aching head... But enough of my whinging, I shall brave the conditions and endeavour to bring you my usual rot about Corrie which, this week, seems to have taken a sudden right turn into the Mediocrity Zone with tonight's rather drab episode. So let's take a look inside:
We open on a low note in the Rovers (just before opening time) with Natalie asking Sulky Spice how last night's "essay" went. Lorraine tells her that it's complete and was about "town planning, local government and all that" (Can she even SPELL these words??) but, of course, Nat is smarter than this and enquires "Are you sure it wasn't about film studies" before chastising her niece for lying to her and sneaking out to the cinema with Ashley. A cringeworthy and highly embarrassing scene for all concerned, especially Holly Newman who, whilst I'm sure is a nice person, just isn't very good *at all* at this acting game. Thankfully, I can tolerate the bleating, whining, pouting and sulking routine that she runs through, prior to being sent into the backroom to help Betty with the sandwiches, since <SPOILER> I know that all of this storyline is leading up to her imminent departure from the show! Yay! :) </SPOILER>
Just then, Vera, in Hilda-esque cleaner's garb, comes out of the toilets (er, the rest-rooms, I should say, to clarify) with a mop in hand, having heard a knock on the door. It's Gareh Mallett! He has a favour to ask of the Duckworths and what follows is by far the best scene in the episode:
Gary: "I'd like you two to be Godparents to our twins. Christening's on Sunday so it's a bit of short-notice, but we'd really like you to do it!"
Vera: (Overwhelmed with joy) "We'd love to! Wouldn't we, Jack??"
Jack: (In suspicious disbelief, To Gary) "Why? Has someone let you down, like?"
Gary: "No, no, you were our first choice!"
Vera: (Beside herself) "Honest??"
Jack: "Give over! Why us?"
Gary: "I'm tellin' you, you're 100%, the pair of you! You're honest, decent folk. You're good company, a good laugh! You'd be a good example to them two kids!"
Vera: (Quietly, in amazement) "You know... No one's ever said owt like that to us, have they Jack?"
Gary: "More fool them!"
Jack: (Still a bit suspicious) "Is that what you really think of me, then? You sure?"
Gary: (Smiling) "Jack. You're the kind of bloke that'd do anything for anybody. There's no edge to ya."
Jack: (Proudly, to Vera) "Did you hear that?" (To Gary) "What else?"
Gary: (Laughs) "I just think you're as sound as a pound."
(An excellently acted piece of dialogue that serves as a good reminder as to what great players Ian Mercer, Liz Dawn and Bill Tarmey are! The surprise in the Duckies' expressions when someone was actually complimenting them was actually very touching!) Sadly, the joviality is broken up when Natalie returns from the back room and tells Jack forcefully to remove his pigeons from her property today, OR ELSE!
Over at the Kabin, Rita makes tea for Sharon, who doesn't appear to change T-Shirts very often and is *still* wearing the grey one with the cheeky pink monkey face on it (which, it seems she's had since she was 15!). Following Ian's outburst the previous night, The Big Red One enquires if everything is alright with her foster daughter's love life but, needless to say, Gurn-O-Matic defends her fiance to the death, claiming that he has a tough job with lots of driving and plenty of "things" on his mind, blissfully unaware that said "things" belong to Natalie Barnes... Oh, and speak of the Devil! Who should walk into the shop but Ms Barnes herself, here to buy a paper... "How was your holiday, Rita?" she asks and Big Red explains that the trip was great with the exception of Mavis' lengthy recitals of Wordsworth poetry (lol! Wish we could've seen that!). Sharon fires up into Wedding-Mode and starts harping on about her honeymoon and how they were planning to go to the Lake District but decided on Tenerife instead. Rita and Leanne try to shut her up for fear that the mention of weddings might upset Natalie (who, hard as it may be to believe considering her current behaviour, has after all just lost her husband)... After the Sleeveless One leaves, Big Red tells Sharon how insensitive it was to talk about The M Word in front of her but the Gurning Gaskell cackles "Ha! She can take it! She's hard as nails, is that one! Or has everyone convieniently forgotten that she wrecked Sally's marriage?", all the while treating us to a remarkable display of facial contortion. Surely her features weren't this rubbery back in 1982? :)
Across the road, Tyrone, who (Thank God) is mellowing out in an alarmingly simliar way to Dobber, enters Desai's Corner Shop and runs into Jack Duckworth. Jack laments the fate of his poor pigeons before the lightbulb switches on above his head and he wonders if Tyrone wants to look after them for him. "Oh, I dunno Jack... It's too much trouble" muses the young scamp, but he quickly changes his mind when he's told that he gets to keep the birds in his own backyard and that they're a great little earner, "what with the money from the racing and the breeding" (LOL)... "Great! Do they have names?" asks the suddely enthusiastic Tyrone but before Jack can answer, the camera cuts over to the other side of the store where Ravi has entered to check up on Nita and business in general. He is a little alarmed to find all the prices have been reduced but, upon being told that it's all in the name of healthy competiton, soon stops worrying and says he'll "take a look at the books" later that night, before leaving with a smile and a wave, Laughing Cavalier Stylee.
The Salon is busy-busy-busy since, with Audrey away in Canada, Internationally Reknowned Pop Songstress Tracy Shaw has been left to run the place single-handedly! Sharon is there, waffling on about how she wants her hair done for the wedding but Trac^H^HMaxine tells her that she just doesn't have the time to talk about it right now, since she has customers coming out of her ears! Maud Grimes, meanwhile, sits in the hotseat in front of the mirror (Did someone *GLUE* the poor dear to this seat?? How come no one else ever sits there anymore and Maud never leaves?) with curlers in her hair, eavesdropping on the conversation. She suggests that Traxine gets an assitant in, part-time, since Audrey would probably mind that a lot less than she would mind having to turn away customers... In a moment of utterly unintentional hilarity, Traxine turns to the camera, says nothing and just pouts with a "Take me, Hollywood!!!" look on her face. Does stardom beckon? ;)
A slightly bizarre scene ensues outside, as Rita bumps into Brother Cadfael, who is taking the freshly foil-wrapped gurrrls for a walk along the Street. They exchange small-talk and then Big Red asks about the custody decision and, more specifically, Kevin's reaction to it. Sickly tells her that "He's gone" and she doesn't know where to, but Rita is seemingly uninterested and just offers pleasantly to do some babysitting if ever the need arises. Perhaps something was cut out or perhaps Rita really *doesn't* give a toss about Kevin but either way this scene looked a bit strange to me. Anyhow, Sickly departs and Rita spots Nita (how cute, their names rhyme.. bleh) outside the Corner Shop. She walks over in an attempt to "clear the air" and ask "what's going on?" but The Winking One is typically stony and gives her the cold shoulder, barking "Why don't you ask Sharon?"
Speak of the Devil, the Forever-Gurning Foster-Daughter is over at the kabin *STILL* rabitting on to Leanne about how much she is looking forward to her wedding. Groan! <RANT> I remarked the first week that she re-appeared in my Updates that her constant overzealous witterings about it would signify disaster and wasn't I just spot on? It's so tedious to watch. We *all* know that Ian is doing God-knows-what with Natalie on the sly and blah, blah, blah, we've seen it all before. *WHY* do we keep suffering this slew of extra-marital (or pre-marital in this case) affairs? The storylines are tedious and 100% predictable as they develop (come on, how many times have you heard the old "He's working late tonight" excuse on Corrie in the last year alone?) and they *always* end up with rowing, fighting and screaming in the end. It wouldn't be quite so bad but it seems that just as one ends, another one starts up!!! And it always seems to be established female cast members (Natalie, Sharon, Sally, Deirdre) who are swept off their feet by unconvincing Johnny-Come- Latelys (Ian, Greg, Jon Lindsey, etc) who come and go as quickly as their flash cars will carry them. Bleh... </RANT> Anyway, I'm totally digressing... Rita storms into the Kabin and interrupts Sharon in mid- waffle, shouting about how rude Nita was to her. She turns around to see the 'new' video stall that Gurn-o-matic had erected in her absense and tells her to "get shut of it" since the Kabin "won't make a penny out of renting videos". She's quite right too since, as all video anoraks like myself will notice, all of the films on the shelf are from 1995 or previous and she's charging £2.50 a piece for them! Sharon looks a bit upset at having to get rid of them and all her other new ideas (ie: the bread and milk), whilst Leanne stands around with one of those "Please let the ground swallow me up" looks on her face. Marks out of Ten for the "Store Wars" Storyline? Nil.
Across the road, at The Rovers, Ashley is nursing a pint with a smug smile on his face and when Janice comes along and asks him how he is, he replies "Never better!" before winking at Lorraine and asking "Right?"... He continues by asking her, smoothly, what she thought of the film last night but since Natalie is standing right behind him, Sulky Spice feigns complete ignorance (not hard for her) and attempts to signal for him to shut up. He doesn't quite understand what she's trying to tell him (probably because she looks like some hideously over made-up circus clown experiencing chronic constipation) but he assumes it's rejection and sulks in his beer... Over at one of the tables, Leanne sits telling The Camp Crusader (who is doing a Stephen Billington (er, so to speak) and wearing a matching brown top and trousers) about how she "dreads going into work" because of all the fighting at the moment. The Eternally Eavesdropping Maud Grimes tells her that there's a spare job going at the Salon if she's interested but Lee doesn't think she's up to cutting hair. However, a nearby Jackie Dobbs is listening with much interest... Back at the bar, Lorraine scalds Ashley for giving the game away to Natalie that she was at the cinema last night (Forgive me, but didn't Natalie find this out from Fred already *AND* punish Lorraine for it in the first scene???) and, no matter how much he apologises, it doesn't seem to cut it with Sulky Spice who storms off in a huff. "I can take a hint!" mopes the Lurve Doctor, slamming his empty pint glass on the bar, "I'll see you around"... Aw, poor sod, why is wasting his time with this bimbo?
Behind him, Alison walks in and starts up a very uncomfortable conversation about Kevin with Sally, who is sitting alone and friendless (ha!) in a booth. It transpires that neither of them have heard a word from the Missing Mechanic but Alison seems like the somewhat more worried of the two, suggesting that they contact the police and check the nearby hospitals. Sickly is, as ever, oblivious to anyone's feelings but her own and merely bleats "Well, I thought he'd be back by now"...
END OF PART ONE
Well, aside from the unearthing of a Turkish Delight advert from a couple of decades ago without even bothering to so much as touch up the grainy film stock let alone reshoot it, the commercial break is uneventful as ever. I also can't help but wonder how many ads, since the dawn of time, have used Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man"? And, more to the point, why? :)
The latter half of the episode begins with a juicy, prime slab of Fred Elliot (Yum! ;)). As Janice eats some kind of pie at the bar, the Burly Butcher approaches and asks if she's seen Ashley today:
Janice: (Mischeivously) "Lorraine'd know!"
Sulky Spice: "Know what?"
Janice: "Where Ashley is."
Sulky Spice: (Petulantly) "I haven't a clue!"
Janice: (Aside, to Fred) "Maybe they've fallen out..."
Fred: "Oh you've not have you? Had a lover's tiff?"
Sulky Spice: (Irritatedly) "How could we since we're not even lovers?"
Janice: "That's not what I heard..."
Fred: "Me neither! I thought you went out together last night, in fact I KNOW you went out together last night!"
Sulky Spice: (Whispering) "Ok, ok, we went to the pictures but that doesn't mean a thing."
Fred: "Aye, it did in my day. I did most of my courting in pictures."
Janice: (Putting down her fork) "Ugh, what a horrible thought..."
Fred: (With great nostalgia) "Whaddya mean? It were a wonderful time! I once sat through two showings of 'The Dambusters' and never once saw the screen. Aye, she were insatiable was Sonia Bostock..."
Janice: (Getting up and leaving to the loos) "Ew, that's put me right off me pie..."
Fred: (Trademarked wide toothy Beagle grin!)
I've said it before but it's worth saying again and again. John Savident is consistently the most side-splitting thing on this show. His mannerisms, his facial expressions, his words, his bellowing accent. Were it not for Fred Elliot, the Street would be a far darker place! But anyhow, Lorraine makes it quite clear to Weatherfield's finest Meat Merchant that she is *not* interested in Ashley and, as Fred leaves the pub shaking his head, Gary Mallett enters and approaches Jim MacDonald who is, as ever, propping up the bar (or I suppose the bar is propping him up these days?)... Yet ANOTHER great exchange of dialogue ensues and I'm disappointed that the whole show wasn't as good as these scenes:
Gary: "What're you doing on Sunday?"
Jim: (Sarcastically) "Well, I couldn't rightly tell you without checking my diary but, suffice to say, if I'm not in here drinking I'll be at home watching the telly."
Gary: "Great. How d'ya fancy being a Godfather? It'll only take you half an hour!"
Jim: "Well I'm flattered, honest to God I am, but I don't need to tell you that I'm not the best example of humanity."
Gary: "Oh give over... Hey, Jack and Vera are up for it!"
Jim: "S'that right? Oh, I'll be in good company then! You're on!"
LOL - The usual first class delivery from Monsieurs Mercer and Lawson.
Over at the Kabin, Les Battersby is trying to swindle Rita (as ever). He tells her that last week the packet of 20 cigarettes that he's trying to buy were selling at far less than she's charging now but, thankfully, Big Red sticks to her guns and tells him that they're back up to "the proper price". The Boorish Battersby threatens that "if it wasn't for my daughter working 'ere, I'd report you to the department of trade!" before reluctantly buying the cigarettes and rushing out of the store. Leanne looks on in tedium and despair... Speaking of those two emotions, here comes Ian! Once again, he's in a rush (has he ever spent more than a minute's onscreen time in Sharon's company?) and, as he waffles on about some travel arrangements he's trying to make for the honeymoon, I slip into a deeeeep sleeeeep. I'm awoken by Ian's mobile phone ringing and apparently it's "Head Office" wanting him to "stop by Wigan" on his way home tonight... He tells Sharon it's unlikely he'll see her again tonight before making the usual hasty exit.
Meanwhile, at the back of the Rovers, Jack is packing his pigeons into a box for Tyrone, who is enthusiastically asking how to tell them apart. "Ah you'll learn, son" proclaims Jack, sagely, "They're all different and they're all beautiful"! As they leave via the back gate, Ian sneaks in... Sure enough, it was Natalie not Head Office, who was on the phone and unless Wigan is a slang term for her bedroom, he certainly won't be stopping off anywhere near it! They kiss in the back doorway and then she virtually pulls him inside by the collar of his shirt in a way that we haven't seen since Liz "Facehugger" MacDonald attac..err..seduced Michael Wall.
Back at The Salon, Saint Alma of Baldwin is getting her Holy Hair done by Internationaly Reknowned Pop Songstress Tracy Shaw. Breaking the silence with her cries, who should walk in but Jackie Gobbs, shouting her mouth off about the possibility of getting a job. "Is it true what I 'eard? Old Maudie Babes said you were desperate!" she squawks before continuing to boast (probably falsely) that she used to cut the Screws' hair in prison! Traxine explains politely that they're not actually hiring at the moment but simply gets a tirade of abuse for her troubles as Ms Gobbs tells her that she's "prejuduced", "a snob" and (wait for it) "a jumped up little tart"! Meow! "I don't want yer job and ya know where ya can stick it!" she growls, leaving a sighing Traxine to remark on how she could do without Jackie "as an enemy".
Across in the back room of the Rovers, Ian enjoys one of Betty's Shephard's Pies while Natalie (bizarrely) sits watching him eat. He quips that "if Betty is ever up for Cook Of The Yearm she's got my vote" as Nat tells him that he has Betty's vote too, for being "a very nice fella". "Ah, that's because she's got very good taste" smarms the sickening little rat and I collapse into unconciousness whilst the two of them swap compliments... In all fairness, Denise Welch is acting very naturally and very convincingly throughout but the sad truth is that this tried-and- tested love triangle plot has already been done to death and not even she can save it from the remarkable predictability.
Tyrone and Jack have now moved in the pigeons into the Dobbs' back yard and the wee lad is stroking one of them and gushing "Ooooh! I can hear it's little heart beating!" (as I said, he's really mellowing out!)... The two of them exchange very humourous dialogue about looking after the pigeons with Tyrone asking as many awkward questions as possible and Jack looking a bit stumped for answers! (I have to say these two work really well together and I'd love to see Jack becoming something of a role- model/father figure for Tyrone. Alan Halsall is rapidly going up my list as one of the best young actors that the show has. Let's see more of him!) Unfortunately, the scene is ruined as Jackie appears and starts yelling in that nails-on-blackboard Scouse accent about how they can only keep the birds there "over her dead body" (Yes please! Keep the pigeons, kill Margi!) because they're "filthy dirty creatures and they cack everywhere"! Regrettably, when threatened with GBH, Jack agrees to take them back...
Over in the Rovers, the Camp Crusader is posing at the bar and swishing his long golden locks around, when Traxine enters and gives him a "Help Wanted" (he sure bloody needs some!) sign to put up at his college, in case there are any hairdressing students looking for part time work. He minces punily, as the camera mercifully cuts across to a booth where Sharon is sitting with Alma and Rita. Janice walks over and asks if they're planning a hen night for the Gurning One's impending wedding and is surprised to find the answer is "no". Eventually, Gurn-O-Matic is persuaded to let Rita ask Natalie to "put on a few sandwiches" but she explains that Ian isn't bothering with a Stag Night since it would rather "have a clear head on the day"... "He sounds nothing like my husband", quips Janice, "You lucky beggar!!!"
However, to prove that Ian and Les really *aren't* too dissimilar, who should be kissing Natalie goodbye and leaving through the back door, his tie all ruffled and his top collar undone...? (Clue: It's not Les)... They waffle on about how quickly they've developed such strong feelings for each other and, despite Denise Welch's acting shining through, it's really quite tedious, since we all know he's leading her astray... Still, it must be the mark of an exceptional actress to still come across so well with lines as bad as that.
Meanwhile, on t'other side of the building, Jack is sulking about his pigeons, so Fred offers to take them off his hands. "I'll give you 50p a pound! But you'll have to pluck them first!" he bellows and, needless to say, The Jackal is not amused in the slightest... Rita approaches the bar and mentions to Natalie about Sharon's Hen Night, asking if it would be okay to get some sandwiches knocked up for the occasion. Ms Barnes is quite happy to do this and Rita thanks her before mentioning, sombrely, that she really does feel sorry for her about what happened to Des since almost the same thing happened to her with Ted... She explains that "Sooner or later you begin to look forward and realise that you've got a past as well as a future... I hope it's sooner..."
"You know what, Rita?" smiles Natalie, "I have a feeling it will be..." - Ut oh! Oh, how we cringed! Cue credits.
This'ere'un was written by Phil Woods and, as I already said, was far from brilliant, I'm afraid. There were one or two EXCELLENT bits of dialogue (Kudos, Phil!) but the ratio of poor:good plotlines is getting dangerously out of sync. I've already ranted about how much I hate love triangle plots so all I'll add is that the sooner this Natalie/Sharon/Ian dross finishes, the better (quids in we'll never see Ian again, I bet)...
The Store Wars are wearing out their welcome too, since it's neither plausible, fun or interesting. Thankfully, with Rita back things seem to be calming down a little on that front.
Lorraine is a huge waste of space. Every storyline she has been involved in for the last 10 months has been either a) pants, b) pointless, c) absurd or d) all of the above... This nonsense with her behaving like a big spoilt brat does nothing to change this statement. Seal her in a box with Rickitt and bury them both a good few foot underground.
On the good side tho, we had Fred's always brilliant dialogue, Tyrone and Jack's "bonding" and the Malletts' Christening preparations, but sadly this only comprised of a small part of the episode... Not to worry though, I'm sure we'll have a good'un next week when some of the nonsense dies down a bit. Hopefully I won't be so ill by that time as well!! Anyway, 'til next time! :)
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
Not a particularly eventful week - probably one of the highlights was last Sunday evening when we went to see Neil Diamond in concert at the Arena in Manchester. As I have said elsewhere, I first came across his song writing talents on the flip side of Cliff Richard's 1965 Number one hit "The Minute You're Gone". This, and a number of other tracks, were recorded in autumn 1964 in Nashville, including the flip of that hit, entitled "Just Another Guy". The next time I heard Neil's talents was in 1966 when his own records "Solitary Man" and "Cherry Cherry" were heavily played by the offshore radio stations around Britain's coast at the time - they were big hits stateside and launched Neil's career internationally. I have been a fan ever since, although I don't go for the Vegas star bit much. Anyway, what can you say? A flawless performance, slick presentation, great backing, brilliant lights - passionate lyrics performed superbly by a writer who knew how to wear his heart on his sleeve. I am not into poetry but do think of Neil's songs as poetry set to music, putting him into the same class as Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson and Paul Simon. Very much one of the major performers of my generation (and a real joy to listen to) - this was evidenced by the fact that his original single concert in Manchester planned for the day before was sold out within days and lead to a second night which was again, quick sold out.
If that was a high spot, the music world provided a low moment with the tragic death of Dusty Springfield from breast cancer, at the age of only 59. Dusty was another of those major performers of my generation and her love of black music helped with he acceptance of Tamla Motown and R&B in the UK. One of the most amazing soulful voices - probably THE female voice of my generation. I remember her being described in the music press in the 60s as a person with the most mischievous sense of humour and tales of her custard pie throwing episodes were legendary at the time. Rest in peace, dahlin'.
The handover of work continues slowly and I feel OK about that and I have lined up some interviews with the Careers service to get specific advice on particular career options I have in mind. Trude continues to work hard at school. Good news on Friday with Simon receiving a piece of paper he has been eagerly awaiting - the offer of a place at a local university on the place he wants. The offer is conditional on achieving specified grades in his "A" levels but this are realistic and achievable. Although it is at Manchester Metropolitan University, he will not be living at home - we are encouraging him to spread his wings and he is ready to do so. We have been seeing a more focused attitude from him of late, so let's hope this continues.
On personal/internet fronts, an IRC friend is coming over to the UK next week - Sue (Cork) from Kingston, Ontario - so we are hoping to do the Granada thing and have a mini-ping for her and for her daughter Sarah. Incidentally, on the ping front, it was lovely to see the piccies of the recent Brit Show Ping in Toronto, especially those of my alter-ego, Tinky Winky being photographed with Roy Barraclough. LOL, Jacqueline. There are two sets of piccies are available on Cork's web site, one by Cork and the other by Jacqueline - check out http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Pier/4213/ and enjoy.
What else? The naming of Baby Spice as Brooklyn (being the place the happy couple discovered Victoria was pregnant) has started a hilarious thread on the Guest Book. The starter for ten was, what if the baby had been discovered in Pekham? Can you imagine it, Pekham Beckham???????? ROTFLMAO. Well, we've had a load more, including Bald Mans Knob, Diddlibah and Humpybong (all from our cultural attache Jubblyjubs), Witless, Dildo, Come by Chance, Goobies and Happy Adventure (from Ian Charnley), Ongaonga Washdyke Faerie Queene (from Dale - that's ONE NAME, not alternatives), not forgetting Hetty Peglers Tump (also from Dale) and Llanfair PG (this is the abbreviated version - I think you missed out the "llantysyllio" bit - from Eric in Toronto). Still, with Fifi Peaches Trixiebelle around, we have high standards to live up to, in the "real world". Thanks one and all, what a hilarious read.
If you want to join in the fun have a quick look at Annie's Guest Book on http://homepages.enterprise.net/annew/cs/csgb2.htm
Anyway.... enough of that.... without further ado, it's time for the update....
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Nuts about Caramel
The programme starts at the Rovers, where Betty is reminding Natalie that they have Sharon's hen party lined up tonight, as she is getting married on Sunday. Natalie has forgotten and needs to lay on some sandwiches - she then tells Betty that she is popping out for a few hours herself later, she is going out with Ian. Betty remarks that Ian must be keen - Natalie says that he is, but she just isn't sure how she feels. She knows that it is too soon after Des, but you don't plan these things - she can hardly tell him to clear off and come back when she's finishing mourning for Des. Betty understands the dilemma facing Natalie and all she wants is for Nat to do the right thing. "I'll always mourn Des, Betty, but right now, I'm here, I'm alive and I'm lonely" replies Natalie - "awww" interjects Betty - "and I don't know what to do", continues Natalie. She asks Betty to keep the information to herself, she doesn't want to be gossiped about by all and sundry.
Cue for entrance from Vera, with Nat adding "mentioning no names." Vera takes you back a generation, reminiscent of Andy Capp's wife, a real Hilda Ogden look-alike, complete with mop, bucket, housecoat and headsquare - you can see her coming into Annie Walker's parlour, as the Queen herself is holding court. Vera comments about how "you could eat your tea off that floor" which is a prompt for Natalie to ask her to sit down and have a cup of tea. Vera is preoccupied - Jack is in a right state, he hardly slept a wink last night, she tells Natalie, "it's them pigeons". Natalie reminds her that Jack has had two months to get rid of the pigeons, but Vera's reply is that it isn't easy, after all, they haven't even found anywhere else to live. Natalie firmly puts the marker down - "tell Jack the birds have to go."
We are at the Kabin. Scouse Slagette makes her entrance "hi girls" which is met with indifference by Rita and Sharon. Jackie notices that there is no bread and asks whether the bread man has been yet - Rita tells her that he hasn't and won't be doing. "Wassup? Did he pinch yer bum? He pinched mine but you don't have to bother" is Jackie's response. This raises a snigger from Sharon but Rita isn't amused - she tells Jackie that the reason is the Kabin won't be selling bread any more and the Corner Shop won't be selling papers any more. "I liked coming here for me cheap bread and going over the road for me cheap papers" is Jackie's riposte. Rita tells her that those days have gone, she is happy to say. "You might be but I'm not. I believe in cut-throat capitalism, me" is the return. After Jackie has left the shop, Rita remarks to Sharon how that is a customer that Nita is welcome to.
At the salon, Maxine is busy working away as Toyah comes in. She wants a quick cut and blow dry doing - Maxine tells her that she can fit her in, but.. it will have to be Tom. You can see that Toyah is quite impressed by the good looking young lad - she asks Maxine who he is. Max explains that he is her new assistant, he's a very good stylist. "What? He's talented as well as looking like that?" asks Toyah. "Why? Do you fancy him, do you?" is Maxine's query. "Well, no, not really" is Toyah's reply, as she adds, more truthfully, "well, he is pretty fit, I suppose." Maxine asks Tom to "see to Toyah" - "It'll be a pleasure" replies Tom. As she sits down, Toyah bashfully explains that "I just want a trim and that." Tom tells her that she has very good hair and asks whether she has ever thought of a different shape. She tells him it's OK as it is - he agrees it's OK "but it could be really knockout." Putty in his hands, she capitulates "Yeah. Yeah. OK. Do whatever you want. I feel dead reckless today." A gobsmacked Maxine looks on, somewhat astounded at Tom's powers of persuasion.
At the Rovers, Mike is getting a drink in. Jack is serving - as he does so, Natalie comes in to lay the law down - those pigeons have got to go by tonight, she tells him, or else he will be leaving with them. Jack pleads for more time, but to no avail. Back at the bar, he explains his predicament to Mike - recalling that Mike has a yard at the back of his factory, he starts to ask Mike whether he would do the honours. "Forget it. put it out of your mind. I'm running a sweat shop, not a pet shop." Boom! Boom!!
"Jack lad! Have no fear! Les is here!" is the greeting from Les Battersby and Charlie West as they enter the pub. The Dynamic Duo have come to help Jack with his problem - Charlie explains that he might be able to help and very quickly Jack gets conned into providing both of them with a pint. "Do you know much about pigeons?" asks Jack. "I've flown em, bred em, shot em, plucked em and ate em" is Charlie's classic reply, "will that do ya? Hahahahahahah!" Oh dear, Jack doesn't look too happy!!!
Ian has come into the Kabin to see Sharon. Rita is asking him whether he is ready for the wedding. "More or less. Bit nervous actually" is Ian's reply. "So you should be. Brides are radiant, grooms are nervous" is Rita's quip, as she asks whether he has time for a coffee. He does, so Rita goes off into the back to do the honours, instructing Sharon to settle Ian's nerves. Sharon tells him that she isn't nervous, she can't wait to be Mrs Bentley - he needs to have a few pints at his stag do... which reminds her, where is he going to have it? No idea, is his reply, it's all down to the best man. She says that she hopes he doesn't get too legless, she wants him in good shape at that altar. As she stacks some magazines, we see the worried look on Ian's face - he takes the opportunity to ask her whether she is having any doubts about them getting married. If she has, then she needs to voice them now, before it's too late, he tells her. Totally oblivious to what is going on, Sharon misreads this as anxiety on his part and reassures him that she has never been surer - she embraces him. he caries on talking in his code and tells her that he would never want to hurt her - "but you never will" is her blind reply, "you couldn't." ... sigh... oh dear... As she embraces him, we see the look of torment on his face.
Round the back of the Rovers, Charlie and Les are being shown the pigeons by Jack. He is telling them that he wouldn't be getting rid of them, but he hasn't any choice. Charlie tells him that he would be parting with them soon enough, there's a good few of them on their last legs. "Aye, there's not many flaps left in them wings" adds Les. Jack tells him he knows nothing about it, but Les' reply is that he knows a lot about birds, "with feathers or without"!!! Charlie asks Jack whether he has raced his pigeons and Jack tries to bluff. Charlie calls his bluff by asking to see the medals. Well, there aren't any, replies Jack, he races them privately, whoever is first past the post picks up the winnings. Charlie and Les exchange knowing glances, realising that Jack is bullsh*tting. Charlie then says that whoever takes on the pigeons wouldn't be able to fly them anyway, as they would return back to the Rovers. "Of course, I could breed with them, I daresay" he continues with his pitch, "how much are we talking about?" The negotiations take a step further when Jack says that if they went to a proper home, he wasn't thinking of charging much. "Charging? I wanna know how much you're giving if I'm taking them off ya!!!" is the next card played by Charlie. Jack ain't happy but Charlie has a suggestion "tell you what I'll bring the van around this afternoon and take them away.... If.. you throw the coop in ... and buy us a couple of pints....(cough from Les) ... and for Les as well..." He holds his hand out to seal the deal - Jack pauses for a second, but what option does he have? His facial expression is one of reluctant acceptance. Seeing this, Charlie spits on his hand and presses it into Jack's to conclude the deal. Poor Jack - the look on his face!!
A delighted Toyah has popped in to see Leanne after her cut and blow - "what do you think?" she asks Leanne. "It's really nice, did you get that done in town?" replies Leanne. When Toyah tells her that she had it done at the salon, next door, Leanne is full of disbelief - Maxine isn't capable of doing that, she says. Toyah tells her it was the new stylist and "he's called Tom, he's very nice looking, you want to check him out."
Enter Janice - she remarks on Toyah's new hairstyle, but Toyah cannot stay, she has to go. After she has left an embarrassed Janice starts to explain about the money she has borrowed from Leanne - thinking that Janice is about to repay it, Leanne expresses relief. She has been afraid of Nick finding out. Janice drops her bombshell - the sub she had from work is now being clawed back by Mike and, to cut a long story short, she just doesn't have the money to repay her right now. Leanne realises she has made a big error of judgement "Nick were right, he said we'd never get it back." "You will, course you will. It's just you'll have to wait a bit longer, that's all" replies Janice. Great sigh from Leanne - what can she do, she is well and truly boxed in!!
Boxed in might describe the state of Jack's chicken coop. It's in the back of an open-top pickup truck, speeding down. Les is driving, Charlie is in the front passenger seat. Jack is sitting in the back, perched precariously next to the coop. "Les! Will you slow down? This is falling on me!! You lunatic!! Charlie!! Les!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" His cries go unheeded.
At the Kabin, Ian is about to leave. Sharon tells him not to get too plastered and to take care of himself. As he leaves, Rita tells him "I'll see you in church." Rita and Sharon laugh at this little joke. On his way out, who should happen to come into the pub, but Betty. She greets him, but he ignores her.
She looks puzzled, "what's up with him?", she asks.
When Rita remarks that she didn't know that Betty knew him, Betty replies that she has seen him at the Rovers.
"Ah, calming those nerves of his, eh, Sharon" quips Rita.
"Before the big day" quips back Sharon."
"What big day is that then, luv?" asks Betty.
"Sharon's wedding" replies Rita.
"It's him? It's him you're marrying?" asks a gobsmacked Betty.
"Yeah!! That's him!!" replies Sharon.
"So you see, Betty, the lad's got a lot on his mind" explains Rita jokingly.
"Yes, yes.... He must have" replies Betty, stuck for anything sensible to say.....
... 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 Charlie West's place - it looks like a cross between a car breakers yard and a council rubbish tip. The Terrible Threesome are painfully unloading the pigeon coop off the truck -the scene is reminiscent of Fred Carno's Circus. "Hey, wonderful air round here, that knows. Lots of that there hozone! (sic) It comes wafting off of t'sewage farm" says Charlie. Jack is gasping for breath - well for fresh air, anyway. Charlie promises "I'll feed em and I'll breed em." Les with his eye on the basics of life remarks "Not a bad life, eh. I could fancy that myself." Jack starts to give them advice as to the fact that the hens will never leave their own eggs, but Charlie knows all about it, "you're talking to an expert. They'll make better parents than what some folk do." They let Jack have some space to say his goodbyes. As they do so, Les says to Charlie "you've got a great place here, Charlie. I've always wanted a smallholding." Charlie's reply is priceless "well, Janice reckons you've already got one!" ROTFL!!!! There are a touching few seconds as Jack says his goodbyes - then he asks Charlie where the nearest bus-stop is. "Nay, take the van, lad. I'll not be wanting it again.... and it can't stay round here!!!!!" "No it can't" replies Les as they both snigger. Jack looks perplexed.
At Kevin's place, Alison is looking through the drawers when Sally comes in - she asks Alison what she thinks she's doing "you've no right to be in this house." When Alison says that she does as it is Kevin's home, Sally tells her it's the family home (Oh yeah? Since when, Sally?) and in case she hadn't noticed the family is her and her daughters!!! Alison says that she was looking to see if Kevin had taken his passport - she wonders whether he might have gone to Germany to see his dad. Sally sneers at her - she had already spoken to Bill and he hadn't seen Kevin. When Alison wonders whether Bill might not have wanted to tell her the truth, Sally gets into sanctimonious mode "well, obviously you don't know Bill. He's very honest, pity Kevin's not like his dad." Alison tells her that she has contacted the police - yet again, Sally jeers in a mocking voice "yes I know you did, they told me." Alison gets upset at Sally's tone and tells her that she was worried "he might have had an accident or something, not that you'd care if he had." Sally continues her obnoxious one-upmanship "you don't know Kevin very well. he's gone off to have a sulk somewhere because he didn't get his own way and he didn't bother even telling you. Well that gives you some idea what he thinks about YOU! Now I'll have your door key, please!" (Cut to Tinky Towers where Tinky is having to restrain himself throwing a brick at the telly - what a b*tch!) "Oh no I won't. I'll give it back to Kevin, IF and when he asks for it" replies Alison forcefully. Yay!!! I enjoyed seeing the look on Sally's face when she realised she hadn't won THAT point.
Back on the road, Les is taking Jack home in the van. Jack asks what Charlie meant by not wanting to see the truck again. Les explains tactfully that Charlie never uses the same one twice. "Oh right, he's selling this one, is he?" says Jack cottoning on, but not correctly. "No, that's a mug's game" replies Les, "you're into log books and MOT whatsits, aren't ya?" Jack is puzzled and asks whether or not this is Charlie's wagon and Les tells him that Charlie borrows one whenever he needs something shifting. "So he borrowed it off a mate of his?" asks Jack. "Don't be a plonker, Jack" replies Les, "he's borrowed this from wherever he's found it!" At last, Jack has understood. "Are you telling me we're travelling in a stolen vehicle?", he asks. "Not stolen" replies Les, "we'll leave this somewhere near the Red Rec. That's not stealing, is it?" Les then goes off into a diatribe about the desirability of some socialist utopia with communal ownership of all vehicles, like Holland where they leave their bikes standing and if you want one you just get on and ride off. Jack has had enough and demands that Les stops the truck. Although Les tells him they have miles to go, before they get home, Jack is insistent. "You and your mate, Charlie, are flaming maniacs" he shouts at Les as he gets out of the truck.
At the Rovers, it's hen-party time. Sharon and Sally have come in and it's two white wines to start off with. They are both in a great mood. Lorraine serves them as Sally tells her that Sharon is getting married from her place "where Hayley is baby-sitting as we speak." Sally promises to get Sharon to bed at a reasonable time so she can look beautiful for Ian.
The camera pans to Linda and Alison having a drink. Alison tells Linda that she doesn't like being in the pub when Sally is in. (Listen gal, I don't like being in the room when she's on the screen!!) Alison suggests going to the Flying Horse, but Linda isn't keen - she's obviously hanging around on the off-chance of meeting Steve.
At the till, Betty is sorting some change out, when Natalie pops her head round to say that she is off out for a couple of hours. Anyway, Jack is on his way, so she is sure Lorraine and Betty can manage - in her excitement at the prospect of another night out with Ian, Natalie doesn't pick up on the disapproving expression on betty's face.
Lorraine comes over to Betty - she's angry that Natalie has gone out again, leaving the two of them to hold the fort. Betty is in no mood for sympathy, "tell her yourself, I'm fed up of fighting other people's battles."
Vera has popped round to the Malletts - Gary asks her if she will be fine for the christening on Sunday. Of course, replies Vera, she wouldn't miss it for the world. Vera comments on how lovely the babies are and how Judy's mum would have been so proud. "Yeah, she'd have loved being a gran", Judy replies wistfully. She then tells Vera that they cannot really afford to put on a big do for the christening. Vera tells them that the reason she has come round is to drop off a present for the babies, christening gowns. Gary and Judy look delighted and touched by Vera's gesture. "Really nice them, saves them going up to t'font in their babygros, doesn't it?" jokes Gary. (Note for overseas readers, a "babygro" is an all-in-one suit for babies.) Vera is concerned, she hopes she isn't being pushy, but Judy is very touched by Vera's kindness and, with a hug, tells her "we think you're lovely, Vera, you're as good as a mum to me."
The hen party is in full swing at the Rovers. Leanne is at the bar with Janice, but she is not in happy frame of mind. Janice tries to get her to snap out of it and explains that just because she refund Leanne's loan, it doesn't mean she has to stay in every night like some nun. She promises to repay the money, but Leanne is angry and storms off home.
At another part of the bar, Steve and Jim are having a drink. Jim is ruminating on the institution of marriage and how many people look forward to marriage despite the consequences!! Steve exchanges glances with Linda - he makes his excuses and goes over to join Linda and Alison. This entrée is a cue for Alison to say her goodbyes "three is a crowd and anyway, Kevin might phone."
Back at the bar, Les has just come in and Jack is not pleased to see him, "you nearly gave me a heart attack. That is the last time I ride in any vehicle that you're driving." "Give over, Jack" replies Les, "when I get my licence back, you'll be forever cadging lifts." !!!!! "No licence! Driving! You want locking up!" exclaims an apoplectic Jack.
Time for the next round for the hen party and it's Rita's turn. She goes to the bar and asks Betty "can you do the same again?" Betty replies that she can, but her heart's not in it. Rita asks whether someone has been upsetting Betty. The reply from Betty is "Rita, you don't know the half of it." Rita insists on helping - they are old pals, if there's a problem, she is happy to share it. Betty tells her that it's Sharon's problem. Then she clams up, but Rita will have none of it - Betty just cannot leave it there. She tells Rita that the bar is not the correct place to discuss this and asks Rita to come round the bar.
Restaurant time for Natalie and Ian. He is continuing his patter, how he feels he has known her all his life. She tells him she feels as if she hardly knows him at all. "No problem, ask me anything at all" he invites. She tells him that she has been thinking a lot about his fiancée Nicola and how upset she must be since he broke off the engagement. He suggests that they finish off the wine and have a coffee at his place. Natalie replies that she would love to do so, but she has to get back to the Rovers, it's a busy night, could he take her home?
At the Rovers, the hen party is in the boisterous phase - the streamers have been let off, the girls are singing "she's getting married in the morning". They are all having a great time.
Vera is getting a drink in for Jack, much to his surprise. She tells him she knows how much those pigeons have meant to him. He tells her he is missing them and Vera tries to cheer him up - if they can get sorted with a suitable house, then he can have them back.
Round the back of the Rovers, Betty is starting to open up to Rita. She explains that she knows Sharon's fiancé, Ian, because he comes into the Rovers to see Natalie, "she's carrying on with him." When Rita tells her she must be mistaken, Betty replies that she were, "but it's been going on for weeks, he takes her out, you know - she's out with him now." The look of horror spreads over Rita's face as she realises that this could, indeed, be the truth.
Round the front of the bar, the girls are getting more boisterous - they suddenly remember that Rita was supposed to be getting the drinks in and wonder where she is. Betty comes through from the back and, when asked, tells them that there's something she has to sort out, but not to worry, she has given her the money for some drinks - great cheers all round. Sharon asks what Rita has to sort out - Sally suggests that it might be some sort of surprise for the wedding. "Could be, knowing Rita" replies Sharon, "Hey is that it, Betty? Have we guessed it, eh, eh?" Betty looks uncomfortable, but doesn't say a word. Cue "She's getting married in the morning" as the girls going into song, once more.
In the yard of the Rovers, Ian has brought Natalie home. They are locked in a passionate embrace. "You don't know what you do to me" confesses an amorous Ian, "let me come in." Natalie tells him "next time, I've got to show my face in the bar" as she kisses him passionately again. She tells him to ring her, he gets hold of her and kisses her again. As he leaves, she gets her keys and opens the door.
Inside, Rita is standing by the door. As Natalie comes in, with her back to the house, we see Ian outside in the yard. "Night Ian", she says, as she shuts the door. As she turns round, she sees Rita standing there. "Rita, what are you doing here? Is summat wrong?" she asks. Furiously, Rita replies "By hell, lady, I've met some hard faced bitches in my time, but you take the bloody gold medal". Natalie looks puzzled......
.....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 really enjoyable episode, slightly less things going on, mainly because of the concentration on developments in the main storyline, the wedding Ian/Sharon/Natalie affair, of which, more later.
One storyline coming to a conclusion was the end of the trade war between Rita and the Desais, as evidenced by one unhappy customer, Jackie.
Setting the scene for the christening was Vera, making a nice impact on the Malletts' heart - nice touch.!
Another scene setter for the future is the impact Tom Ferguson is having on the ladies as the new stylist at the salon. Let's hope he has acting abilities to match his good looks. Nice contribution, as ever, by Toyah.
The difficulties in lending money to friends or relatives were well handled, as Janice predictably fails to keep her word and repay the funds, well and truly dropping her daughter in it.
Cow of the week award goes to Sally, who is intent on scoring points, this time over on Alison as she wreaks her revenge on Kevin. She really is a nasty piece of work and I hope she realises how totally non-productive revenge can be.
Which brings us to the two key storylines of the episode, the humour being provided by Charlie West and Les in the saga of Jack's pigeons. What can you say? Corrie comedy at its best with some absolutely brilliant one-liners from Charlie " flown em, bred em, shot em, plucked em and ate em" West. You know that Les and Charlie are both rather iffy, to say the least, but the way this episode gradually unveils the truth is hilarious. Wonderful script, wonderful acting.
The main storyline, of course, the planned wedding and the Natalie, Ian and Sharon triangle. The final strands are now being unveiled for all to see and, again, well crafted and scripted. Sharon going to the altar, unwittingly manipulated like a lamb to the slaughter, Ian looking for a way out but being too spineless to be honest and tackle the issue head on, and Natalie full of caution and, in this case, being an unwitting third-party. Betty and Rita as the bystanders caught up in it all. Strikes me as being well done all round.
All in all, a really enjoyable episode with a nice mix of the serious stuff with some great comedy. There is a rather nice cosy warmth returning to Corrie these days and I don't mean in a negative dull way either. Friendships and relationships are the natural breeding grounds for gentle joshing, the harmless banter which we are seeing re-emerge on Corrie. Long may it continue... :)
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take care...
Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
I'd like to start this week with an apology. Barely hours after the mailing list had sent out last Sunday's update, containing a word of thanks to the splendid volunteer who had filled in for the previous two weeks, than I got an email from Jane Rice, saying it was very nice that I had thanked her in public for doing so, BUT... I should have been thanking Annie !! Aargh ! So, Annie, if you're out there...
Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry!
And furthermore, SORRY about that !
Lest anyone should thing I have completely lost it, there *is* a good reason why I mentioned Jane's name, but more of that later.
This week's show was an hour-long special, featuring a wedding and a christening. So, I have even more notes than usual and even less time for preamble, so we'll get straight on with the action.
But just before that. A quick teaser: You have just returned from the most expensive (but most enjoyable) family holiday ever. The next day is a major milestone birthday. The following Saturday is a big party and there's lot to do. What's the last thing you want to hear on the day after "life begins" ? Answer at the end.
For now, enjoy the Street...
A barnstorming start, as we pick up where we'd left off on Friday, in the back of the Rovers with Rita and Natalie having a rare old fight. [Verbally, at least.] Rita is completely disgusted. What sort of a trollop is Natalie, how could she do this, what were the pair of them thinking ? Natalie, for her part, is mostly confused. What is Rita on about ? On hearing that Betty had been the bearer of bad tidings, Natalie fetches her through from the bar. Betty tells them that she'd only passed on what she'd seen, that Natalie appeared to be involved with Ian Bentley. Yes, says, Natalie, I know him, but what business is it of anyone else ? Gradually, we work through the fact that he *was* engaged, but had broken it off, before Rita finally lets on that far from his fiancee knowing anything about it, she's in fact right there in the pub having her hen night. Natalie can scarcely believe that they're talking about Sharon. [An excellent start tonight, with Rita and Natalie showing what they can with some really good material.]
Briefly, we cut to the aforementioned celebration, where Sharon is admitting to the other women that the whole wedding is a bit of a compromise between Ian's wish for a quiet registry office do, and her dream of a traditional church affair. [Actually, it looks like she won most of the argument, although she did admit her wedding dress was more ivory than white.] She wonders where Rita, off to get the next round of drinks, has got to...
Straight back to the barely defused situation in the back where Natalie protests her innocence, saying she would never had got involved with Ian had she know the whole truth. Of course, Rita wastes no time in scoring a point by reminding her of her affair with Kevin. She warns Natalie to keep away from Ian. "Oh, don't worry, when I find him I'll kill him !" Rita is shocked to hear that Natalie doesn't even know where he lives, and is reluctant to enlighten her, but Natalie only has to mention that she *could* simply ask Sharon...
Steve and Linda are seen walking down the street outside. She's already complaining that he's not lavishing enough on her - how about a proper meal rather than a fried supper ? Steve deflects the accusations of stinginess by claiming that he'd been looking forward to something "a bit more exciting" than an evening in a restaurant. In no time, it's straight to the main course when they agree to pick up a bottle of something, champagne preferably, before going back to his flat to see what comes up. They nip into the corner shop, and Linda demands the most expensive bottle from Nita. A snip at 24 quid ! Steve goes through to the storeroom where he finds Vikram, who has been looking over his accounts. "They're a joke !", is his considered opinion. Steve mumbles something about not telling the tax man everything, but Vik is quick to point out that you have to tell them something, and the accountant even more. Another failed point from Steve is "it's not a crime !", and Vik puts him right by telling him that's exactly what it is, tax evasion. He tells Steve to enjoy his bubbly, while he still can.
Sharon is in full flow by now, spilling all the beans about the ceremony, her dress, the honeymoon. When she hears they are booked into the church immediately after the Malletts' christenings, she worries whether the vicar will have enough time. [You'll have to suspend disbelief on this one, as in my experience, C of E weddings always take place on Saturdays, and baptisms on Sundays.] Rita returns at this point, looking very uncertain what to say or do. Sharon spots her and asks her where she's been. "Oh, just talking to Betty about nothing..."
Natalie arrives at Ian's flat. "This is a... surprise !", he says. "A shock, do you mean ?", she replies. He asks her how she'd found out where he lived. Oh, Natalie's found out quite a lot about you, sunny Jim. He tells her she'd better come in. "Not disturbing you and your fiancee, I hope ? Oh no, of course it's traditional to spend the night before the wedding apart, where is Nicola, then, at her parents ? It *is* Nicola, isn't it ?", and with that, she walks into the flat past a worried-looking Ian.
[Bit of a shock for Brookie fans coming up next.] Eek, it's that mad Simon ! Oh, no, apparently he's not come to start a new cult, he's Gary's brother, Shane, fresh in from Saudi for the christening.
Off to "Changing Rooms" now, where that long-haired toff with the double- barrelled name has been let loose on a suburban flat and has painted every room a different primary colour. Or rather, it's Ian's flat, and Natalie is on the full inspection tour, while simultaneously grilling Ian. She found out about Sharon from Rita. What on earth did he think he was doing, the Rovers is only 50 yards from the Kabin ? Did he think no-one would notice ? Ian goes into full flannel mode, as he tries to persuade Natalie, and us [if we care] that he'd not meant to hurt anyone, it just happened, yadda yadda, there's something between us, how can I tell Sharon... Natalie sums it all up rather well, telling him he is weak and pathetic, and just wanted to have his cake and eat it. [Strange expression, that !]
The assembled Malletts are looking at the twins. Gary reminds Shane that he's supposed to be doing a reading in church. When Judy leaves the room, Shane remarks how the babies do look like Gary - that must have been quite a relief. Gary for his part doesn't want to be reminded of the pain he went through when Judy confessed she had slept with her boss around the time the twins were conceived [and for my part this is the first time we've really found that Gary had gone to his brother's house then, obviously not in Saudi at the time, where it was Shane who had persuaded him to go back to Judy and not think any more about it]. Gary asks his brother never to mention it again.
Ian has told Natalie that he still intends to go ahead and marry Sharon the next day. She's dumbfounded at this. He thinks he can still make it up to the poor girl, after all he hadn't actually slept with Natalie, and it's before the wedding, not after, anyway. She says the truth is that he's too spineless to tell Sharon everything now. He asks Natalie not to say anything to anyone. She seems amenable to this, not wanting her own name dragged through the mud as well, but can't vouch for Rita. He tries to apologise, but she tells him to save it for Sharon. As far as Natalie's concerned, it's finished. He raises the prospect of them remaining friends, but she cuts him down. [A few people have criticised Ian, or rather the actor concerned, for his performance, but I'd have to say he actually came over rather well. I think what we tend to forget is that many men are in fact completely hopeless with relationships, or emotions generally, and that appearing distant and awkward can be fairly natural !]
Back to the Rovers, where Jack is several sheets to the wind, apparently mourning the loss of his pigeons. Vera reminds him they have duties to perform as godparents the next day, and he'd better be in a fit state by then. She drags him away. As they go, Betty observes to Rita that the hen party is in full swing. Rita still can't decide what to do, worried that Sharon would be devastated to know about Ian and Natalie, but Betty remarks how much worse it could be if she finds out later, and learns that Rita had known on the eve of their wedding. The camera cuts to Sharon, who is showing off her engagement ring...
Oh, wonder of wonders, a whole slew of adverts which raised a smile tonight ! If I had more time, I'd tell you all about them. You'll just have to take my word for it ;-)
Next day. Sally is feeding the girls, who are all decked out in their bridesmaids outfits. Sharon, meanwhile, is having a bad hair day, and starting to panic about it. Sally has an inspiration, and goes out to see what she can do, just as Rita arrives. She tells Sharon they need a quiet word in private.
Steve arrives in the corner shop, and hands Vik a shoebox of extra invoices and stuff, asking him to give them the once over. He offers a pint in the Rovers later. Vik tells him it'd better be several, *and* there'll be a bill later. Steve's face looks even glummer than usual.
Back to Sharon and Rita - rather than just telling her straight, Rita is skirting around the subject by asking Sharon if she feels alright about the wedding, you know people would understand if she had doubts, especially if she wasn't sure how well she knew Ian, and how much she could trust him. Sharon twigs that Rita is hinting at something, and asks what's going on. "I just want you to be happy..." is Rita's reply. Sharon's face lights up and she tells her foster mother that she's blissfully happy when she's with Ian, she *dreams* of being his wife, in fact. [Oh sorry, I forgot to warn you you might need the in-flight sick bags tonight. Just hand them to the flight stewards on the way out.] Before things get any better, or worse, Sally arrives back with Maxine in tow. [She's going to run her fingers through Sharon's hair, in all likelihood.]
As Rita leaves the house, she's taken aback to see Ian arriving. Rather than engage him in conversation, she tells him curtly that his secret's safe with her. He asks her to hear him out, and they make their way to Rita's flat. Where he promptly puts all the blame on Natalie, telling Rita how the lecherous landlady had done all the running. He'd simply got caught up in it all. He swears he'd never looked at another woman since he got involved with Sharon. Rita looks unconvinced, but all too ready to think badly of Natalie.
Our first visit to the church next, where the vicar is having a quiet word with Gary and Judy. In the front pews, Jack and Vera are engaged in animated discussions about something they have seen in the service book, and as the vicar gets the service underway, they interrupt him with the news that Jack has never been baptised himself, and does this mean he can't stand as godparent ? The vicar confirms this, and tells the Malletts that they will need to find someone else. Quick as a flash, Les bounces off his seat and volunteers his services. Before poor Gary and Judy have to think too long about this, the vicar announces that he *could* baptise Jack first, and then he would be able to be godparent to he twins. This is fine with Jack, until it emerges that he too will need godparents, and while Vera can be one, they will also need another man. Les is on his feet again, but Jack manages to catch Ken's eye, and Ken says he'd be only too pleased to help out. [And don't think we've seen the last of Les tonight !]
Rita has returned to the Rovers, where she tells Betty what Ian has said, about Natalie being most at fault, and that he intends the wedding to go ahead. She's thought about, and feels he deserves another chance. In the background, Natalie has seen this exchange, and comes over to find out what the latest news is. Rita claims ignorance, and Natalie announces she's sick of all the whisperings and rumours.
Some light humour from the church as Jack interrupts the vicar again, this time during his own baptism ceremony, to say he'd always rather fancied being called Marlon, or Clint. Vera gets ready to clip him round the ear, and the service goes ahead, as John Harold Duckworth is duly christened.
Natalie has followed Rita back to her flat above the Kabin, and is protesting that she can't be held to blame for every failed relationship in Weatherfield. She tries to convince Rita that if it were up to Ian, he would have smuggled her off on his honeymoon as well as his bride. Rita scoffs at the idea, but Natalie looks determined to prove that he is still lying. She asks to borrow Rita's phone.
In a rather hammy and overacted piece, Ian's best man is wondering aloud how Ian had ever managed to get himself dragged to the altar in the first place, what about his "colourful" past, then, fnarr, fnarr. Ian tells him that Sharon is very persuasive... mind you, doesn't mean he has to change his spots as it were, just be a bit more discreet in future. [I think we all get the picture now.] Just then, Ian's phone rings, and he waves his friend off so he can have a quiet word with Natalie. She asks him if he'd meant what he'd said to her just before she left his flat, about their carrying on in some way ? Her tone suggests that maybe she could come to terms with this, and as he starts to say how much he'd like this, and how he can't imagine not being able to see her again, Natalie hands the receiver to Rita to listen in.
Another good ad. Mind you, most of the "amusing" ones these days seem to highlight the general ineptitude of the male of the species...
The vicar baptises the twins, as the proud parents look on. [Could Gary and Judy smile any wider ? Could they look any *more* like proud parents on such an occasion ? They're just so natural when they're on form, especially Gary.] In the background, though, Shane is not smiling as he checks all his suit pockets [a suit he has borrowed from Gary, having already forgotten to bring suitable attire] and realises he has forgotten to do anything about getting some material for the reading. He tries to duck it, but his father says he'll have to think of something. He has about 5 seconds to do so, as the vicar finishes up and announces that the twins' uncle has a reading for the occasion. Shane stands up and looks around a little nervously, before starting to recite the words of a song [yes, I know I'm allowed to cheat and we do find out later, but I did clock it as a Whitney Houston number, the one that starts "I believe the children are our future..."]. As he progresses, Gary grins as he realises where Shane's inspiration has come from.
The next ceremony is getting nearer, as Sally and the girls await the arrival of the the wedding cars. Rita arrives, and finds Sharon also ready to go, in her full regalia. We get the usual "you look beautiful" bit, before Sally and Rosie and Sophie go outside, and Rita stops Sharon from following on, stops her dead in her tracks in fact as she reveals that Ian has been seeing someone else.
Outside the church, Gary and Shane let Judy and Vera into the joke about the "reading". Gary is especially grateful that Shane hadn't brought his guitar along as well. [And Brookie fans will be glad to hear that Shane didn't blow the church up !!]
Sharon is in denial - this can't be happening to her. Rita tells her it breaks her heart to have to say all this, but it's the truth. Ian has been seeing someone else. "Someone I know ?" "Natalie !" "&*!&*!^*&" [OK, so I made that up, this is a family show.] Rita won't divulge all the details, but says she is sure that it was mostly Ian's fault. And before you know it, Sharon has decided that no, it must be *her* fault, for being too pushy. She claims she'd always known he'd had a lot of women in the past, perhaps this is just one last fling. Rita tells her not to fool herself that way - he had begged her to keep quiet about it himself. Sharon's not listening by now, she's decided he's truly sorry and is trying to protect her by keeping the truth from her on her wedding day. She resolves to go ahead with the wedding, and warns Rita not to say any more to anyone else.
A change of pace as we adjourn to the Rovers, where Steve and Vikram are having a drink. Vik waves his arms at Steve's "paperwork" and asks if this is some kind of double bluff ? Steve is confused. Vik explains he'd expected to see some signs of a profitable business, with the true extents of the profits being kept from the tax man, but instead he thinks Steve will be lucky to stay in business for more than a month or two. Steve is [easily] confused - he's got loads of work on. "You've loads of work, but you're not making enough profit !", he is advised. "As soon as it hits your bank account, it disappears !". Steve mumbles something about expenses, but Vik tells him that champagne is not a reasonable expense. He observes that Steve owes the bank a fortune, that his rent is exorbitant, and that his car is way too fancy for someone in his financial position. The problem is Steve's lifestyle. "And did you know there's six letters from the Inland Revenue in here ? SIX ?!" Steve deflates entirely. [Someone's switched Vik on tonight - he's been thoroughly hopeless at his attempts to chat up Maxine up til now, but this person who tore into Steve and demolished him, well he's a different beast altogether !]
In the church, Janice and Les sneak in just before the bride and her entourage arrive. [I'm not sure why - I'm pretty certain that, as a civil ceremony too, the public cannot be excluded from weddings, after all, they do go through the bit about "if anyone here knows any just cause or impediment..."] Everyone's attire is checked, and the bride-to-be walks down the aisle, accompanied by the gurls. [I think Rosie might even have managed a smile, tonight.] As Sharon reaches the altar, Ian leans over and tells her she looks fantastic. The vicar begins the service...
Back to Steve and Vik in the Rovers. Vik tells Steve that the bank won't want to foreclose, and they can probably handle that side, and the tax people, but Steve will have to tighten his belt. No more champagne, and the car will have to go. "You need A car", says Vik, "not one that costs 400 quid a month !" Sell it, or it'll be repossessed. And find a cheaper place to live, or even somewhere that's free. Finally, Steve learns that his largest expense is his wage bill - he should hire and fire, and at the moment, fire. [Bit difficult to believe that Steve doesn't pay the bare minimum to his workers, but there you go.] Right on cue, Gary enters and heads for the bar. He invites Steve round to the house later. "I'll think about it", says Steve. "You're the boss", says Gary cheerfully. [You work it out !]
Back to the church again, where the vicar has run through the bit about just cause and impediment, and starts with the vows, Ian first. Sharon looks at Rita, who looks back at her helplessly. As Ian finishes with the "forsaking all others" quote, Sharon's face collapses. She screams "liar !" at him and lays into him. [Very impressively, I might add.] He tries to calm her down, but she announces that she doesn't want anyone touching her, and runs off outside the church. Near the back, Les turns delightedly to Janice and observes that he wouldn't have missed this for anything. Ian spies Rita and accuses her of not having kept quiet about it all. Rita in return tells him how Natalie had tricked him, and she heard him betraying Sharon herself. At the mention of Natalie's name, Sally's ears prick up and she goes off after Sharon. Les, meanwhile, has spotted someone at the front of the church with a video camera, and is trying to wrestle this off the hapless soul, reckoning this'll be worth sending in to Jeremy Beadle. [I'm not sure I've time to explain this in great detail - JB has hosted a variety of shows involving the real and faked misfortune of ordinary folks, culminating in an especially tiresome one involving disasters caught on camera. Yes, some are funny, but some are deeply unfunny. I think this would fall in the latter camp.] Anyway back to the action, and Sally has found Sharon sitting sobbing on a gravestone outside [cheery places, churches aren't they ?]. Sally tries to console her friend, but it's fairly plain there's a good amount of spite involved as she tries to discover exactly how and why Natalie is involved. Sharon gets more angry as she realises what a fool she has been taken for, and vows to go and sort out that Barnes woman. "Don't do anything daft", warns Sally, "let me come with you [and I will] !"
Without further distraction, we see them arrive at the Rovers and push their way through the back, where they find Natalie. She is immediately defensive, and probably rightly so, and tells Sharon that not only does she wish that she'd never set eyes on Ian, but that she has if anything, not hurt Sharon herself, but done her a favour by letting her see what sort of man she nearly got married to.
Time for some relief from this, provided by a quick visit to the Malletts' home, where Gary and Judy look at the twins, asleep in their cots. [Have I remarked on how terrific these babies look and behave ? Two lucky, lucky, sets of parents out there somewhere.] Downstairs, Les is telling everyone how he'd stayed on at the church, and seen the spectacle of Sharon laying into Ian and walking out of the service. Natalie's name comes up. Jack ribs Ken about living up to his responsibilities as his godfather.
Sally leads a thoroughly despondent Sharon back to their house, through some rarely seen snow. As they walk off-camera, a tax pulls up outside Curly's house. It can't be ! It is !! Curly's back !!! He tries his key in the front door lock, but it won't turn. As he checks the other keys on the keyring, the door opens and the unedifying sight of Jackie and Tyrone Dobbs awaits him. "Who are you ?" he asks. "Never mind us, who are YOU ?", demands Jackie. Confused, he tells them his name, and that he lives here. "Not any more you don't, now shove off !", are Jackie's final words before slamming the door in his face. Curly looks about, wondering if he's got the wrong street, or town, or country, perhaps...
This episode was written by Mark Wadlow.
What a cracking episode ! A full hour of sheer delight. Drama, humour, you name it, it was there. (Still could have done without Sally, mind you.)
Can I stop typing now ? (Hey, be grateful it wasn't Me-left-cheek on duty ! He could've been up for a Booker prize for an hour's worth !!)
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): *****
And the answer to this week's brain teaser ? Well, the last thing you want to hear is that you won't have a job in a couple of months time. Especially when your partner's job could also fizzle out at any time. While we attempt to deal with this as best we can, I feel it only fair to bring my term as an updater to an end, and let someone with more time and commitment and enthusiasm take over. As next week marks a year (almost to the day) since I first ventured forth, that seems a suitable point to stop, after which you will have the undoubted pleasure of being serviced, on an alternating basis (!), by newcomer Jane Rice (Ricey) and the one and only... CP Turner.
Until then, take care - John Laird
Monday rolls 'round again, eh? I don't know where the time goes anymore, but it certainly seems to fly. Not just in real life (where it's currently set to warp speed) but in Corrie too, where *plenty* of changes have happened since my last Update a mere seven days ago! Some good, some bad but all in all, tonight's episode was a winner, IMHO, so let's get cracking rather than waffle on.
We open with the devastated Sharon sitting in Rita's flat, still crying her eyes out, following yesterday's aborted wedding. It's 6:30am and she hasn't slept a wink, nor has Big Red, it would seem who smiles and offers to make some tea. Sharon attempts to compose herself but it's no use as she blurts out "I wish I were dead!" and bursts once again into floods of tears. Rita attempts to comfort her by telling her not to think like that because what Ian did was "sly and ugly" and that she's "worth far more than any man like that"... Obviously, her Fretting Foster-daughter is completely ignoring the advice, dead-set on mulling over the whole chain of events in full and wondering what possessed her beloved fiance to cheat on her with Natalie. As she launches into a tear-sodden lament about how much she loved him, Rita starts crying too and before long so am I! (It's hard to believe, since a) I was slagging this storyline to High Heaven only a week ago for being so deadly dull and b) since I find it difficult to grasp just what she saw in that nodding git who was never around for more than 2 minutes at once... But despite the millions of flaws circling the dying plot like hungry vultures, I fail to find a single bad word to say about Tracie Bennett and Barbara Knox who both act their hearts and souls out in this scene... Maximum cred points awarded all round! VERY moving!) - Rita explains that they'll "be someone else, one day" but Sharon is unconvinced and sniffles "What? So I can wreck me life all over again"...
Cadaver Boy MacDonald sprints around the corner of Rosamund Street in his big black hearse and pulls up outside the Cornershop where he is met by 5V-Vikram (who has recently had a visit from the Personality Transplant Fairy, it would seem!). Vik tells Steve that he really can't afford to be driving a car like the Fulci-mobile and that it "won't be any use for pulling birds when you have to push it cos it's ran out of petrol", but unsurprisingly, the Great Rotting Undead tells him that he *needs* the car and *won't* get rid of it. "You asked me to take a look at your books and I'm glad I did", harps the Suddenly Sanctimonious Shelf Stacker, adding that Steve will be in "DEEP trouble" if he doesn't start cutting his expenses.
Over t'road, the Returning Rover Curly Watts exits through Emily's front door having apparently slept the night on her couch. "I can't believe what's been happening around here since I've been away!" he muses to the Benevolent Bishop and her nephew, both of whom nod in agreement and tell him how happy they are that he's back... He explains that he's overjoyed himself, having been to "some places" that they "wouldn't believe" (is this the next Corrie video? ;)), and all he wants is to get into his own house and relax. Sadly, Jackie Gobbs and Son are currently occupying the premises, but Curly is "sick of living life in a rucksack" and "didn't come home just to pitch a tent out on the Red Rec", thus he approaches No 7 and bangs away on the door, as friendly neighbour Gareh Mallett appears and offers to buy him a pint later in the Rovers and show off the newborn twins. The two of them are interrupted by Cadaver Boy who is shouting "Gareh! Got a minute?" from down the road. The Merry Mallett approaches his boss and asks what's up... Steve begins to awkwardly try and say something as Judeh, with twins in tow, appears from out of nowhere to give Gary his sandwiches. Upon seeing the sweet sight of Mother, Father and Two Bonnie Babehs, the Cadaver Boy suddenly decides that what he was going to say (no cash prizes if you guessed it, btw) isn't important and can wait until later...
Irritating Ian pulls up elsewhere on the Street and rings Rita's doorbell only to be faced with ROBERT SMITH from THE CURE!!! Wow! Err, wait a second, no... That's just Barbara Knox, her hair all messed up and her mascara streaming down her face... Anyway, he begs and pleads with her to be let inside so he can talk to Sharon, but Rita tells him in no uncertain terms that he's about as welcome in there as a turd in a punchbowl. "Have you any idea what you've done to that girl??" she spits with equal doses of venom and despair, "You didn't just ruin what should have been the happiest day of her life but you might just have destroyed what's left of it, too! How easy do you think it's going to be for her to trust another man after what you've done to her??" - The Nodding Ninkempoop is totally unfazed, even when Big Red growls "You've could very well have scarred that girl just as surely as if you'd thrown acid in her face"! Of course, it's not long before Sharon herself comes downstairs (looking surprisingly composed) and tells Rita to let him in... Ut oh! Once again, this scene is stolen totally by Barbara Knox's intense level of acting. What a star! Long may she grace the Street with her high standard of performance.
Back at No 7, Curly is greeted at his own front door by the sight of Tyrone Dobbs, who is not best pleased to see him. "Aw I knew you'd be back!", he grunts at our hapless adventurer, "And I figured you'd want your stuff back!" - With that, the Boy Dobbs chucks a massive bin-liner full of clothes at poor Curly and slams the door in his face. Seconds later, it opens again and Tyrone hands him a pair of leather trousers with the line: "Oh aye, and you can 'ave these 'n'all! Wouldn't want people gettin' the wrong idea about me!" (LOL!)... To add insult to injury, a full bucket of water is suddenly poured upon Curly's head from the upstairs window as the cackle of Jackie Gobbs rings forth from above! "YOU! MAD!! COW!!!" screams the Watery Watts (!) but Gobbs is unmoved and threatens that next time he tries to get in, it won't be water but instead a chip-pan full of burning oil! Needless to say, the Wanderer beats a hasty retreat back to Emily's house...
...And we're back inside Rita's, where Ian is (badly) trying to win back Sharon with his words and his incessant head-nodding. Amazingly, Sharon stands up to him with frightening force and tells him not to come all innocent with her after what he's done. He stutters and makes horrible excuses about how what he and Natalie did never meant a thing and that he never even "saw the wallpaper on her bedroom wall". His only defence seems to stem from the fact that he made it to the Church and he keeps repeating this, as if it's some consolation (what an arse)! "That's what scares me so much!" shouts Sharon, "That's what makes me almost want to throw up!" adding that if they HAD gone through with it then he'd probably "still be sniffing around that tart at the Rovers before [he'd] even finished writing his thankyou cards!"... He nods and nods like one of those absurd little dogs you put at the back of your car and it becomes apparent at the end of the scene that Tracie Bennett has acted him clean off the screen! I would hereby like to apologise for all the times I referred to her as "Gurn-O-Matic" and other derogatory remarks since, in the last two episodes, she has proved herself to be (when her lines are more than "Ooh boy, I'm, like, soooo looking forward to marrying this swoony dreamboat!") a gobsmackingly excellent actress. Boy, is my face red. What a star she is!
Meanwhile at the Kabin, Leanne is looking distressed and tearful, but quickly springs to attention as a customer enters. It's Janice, Warrior Princess, and instantly she notices that something is wrong. Lee sells her some cigarettes and tells her, shakily, that everything is fine and "never better" but if you believe that then you'll believe that Adam Rickitt's new single is going to be a very faithful Leonard Cohen cover version. Just as Janice is about to leave, her stepdaughter pipes up nervously "Err, could you just look after the shop for five minutes?", since she has to go somewhere unspecified, and with a bit of pushing, the deal is sealed... "Go on, but just hurry up", sighs Janice, heading behind the counter, "I just hope Baldwin doesn't come in for one of his mucky mags"... hehehe!
Over at Rita's, that cad Ian is certainly pulling out all the stops (short of being sincere, that is) as he calmly takes out Sharon's wedding ring and muses "So, what am I going to do with this then?"... Thankfully, she doesn't fall into the trap and spews "Ask yer girlfriend across the Street if SHE wants it. It's s'posed to be every man's dream isn't it? A woman with her own pub?"... Despite the complete inaccuracy of her statement (I can think of far nicer things to dream about! :)), he is surprised that she's finally standing up to him, so he plays the final and most deadly card: GUILT! "Ugh, it was always what you wanted!", he barks, raising his voice, "A couple of kids, somewhere nice to live..."
Sharon: "It was what you wanted too!"
Ian: "No! It wasn't what I wanted! Not what *I* wanted!"
Sharon: "Huh? You never said anything abo..."
Ian: (Standing up and interrupting her loudly) "NO! I never *SAID* anything because I *COULDN'T*! I couldn't stop you! I couldn't stop... it! There was never any room for what I wanted! It's been like a snowball! Getting faster... and bigger... and rolling down the hill, and, and, and...... and I've just been rolled up in it. Swept along by it!"
Sharon looks devastated and splutters "I can't believe you didn't want to marry me, what was going through your head??" to which Ian ruins the whole mood and shouts in a horrifyingly unexpected GLASWEGIAN ACCENT "Ah just wasnae ready forrr it!"... Huh!? Anyway, the strange regional lapse goes unnoticed and it appears it's a Point to the bastard as he's hit Sharon exactly where it hurts. "YOU MEAN MY LIFE IS IN SHREDS BECAUSE YOU WERE JUST TOO SPINELESS TO SAY NO???" she screams and all he can do is smile, nod like a bloody toy dog and say an insincere "Sorry"... "GET OUT! GET OUT!!!!" she howls, showing him the door, but as he leaves it's clear by the expression on her face that the rage is already turning into a massive wave of guilt. Ian: 1.. Sharon: 0.. regrettably. Once again, a scene that COULD have been pretty poor is saved by Tracie Bennett's sheer tour-de-force of a performance, which is a marvel to behold.
Back at the Kabin, Janice has made herself at home behind the counter with a cigarette and a soft drink (which I doubt she paid for)... Leanne returns, relieves her of duty and, as the Warrior Princess leaves, all becomes clear... From out of Lee's handbag comes... THE PREGNANCY TEST!!! Cue commercials!
The ads are merely an excuse to drill in the same few taglines that have been drilled into us for years. I'd say it's a good job that I don't believe everything I see on TV, but maybe if I did then I really *would* feel that a certain brand of moisturiser was like "warm summer rain on my face", that a certain brand of shampoo would keep my hair "looking and feeling great" and that an unnamed deoderant would make me feel "good and fresh all day"... In fact, come to think of it, for a mere £6 or so's worth of toiletries, it seems that I would be transported to some fabulous Utopia where everything is perfect.
Hmm, hang on, I think I'm just popping up to the shops... ;)
Ok, enough waffle, let's get back to the proper stuff. Curly is returning to Freshco for the first time since his return and is a little mystified by the presence of Ashley "The Lurve Doctor" Peacock, dressed in full butcher's garb. The Good Doctor explains about Fred's meat stall in the shop and Curly nods in bemusement. "Right then, I'll see if my job's still going..." he says, straightening his tie and heading into the back room for an even bigger surprise...
(Oh John! Oh Marsha!)
Frivolously assuming that we can handle such wild tension, the show now cuts to The Rovers where Brother Cadfael storms in to bring down the Wrath of God upon her arch-enemy Natalie Barnes... In full-view of a dozen rhubarb-loving extras, she spews forth venom that would kill a King Cobra at 50 paces, telling Nat to "get out of the Street and get out of everyone's lives" amongst other, not so friendly, things... As the Luckless Landlady tries to retain her dignity in the face of remarks like "You ruined my marriage to Kevin and now you've ruined Sharon's before she even got to the altar", Sickly's rage escalates until eventually she roars "And I'm not giving you another penny for that house! I'm moving out!" and storms out... Funniest moment of the night ensues when, as the pub descends into total silence, a nearby Spider Nugent peers over the top of his newspaper like a terrified Kilroy... "Same again, Spider?" asks Natalie, bending to pick up his empty glass... "Er, yeah", he says, nervously, hidden firmly behind the paper! Probably a purely visual gag but nonetheless one that had me in utter hysterics and reminded me one of the many things that sets Corrie head and shoulders above other soaps. After such a terribly tense and shouty scene, the whole thing is brought to a close with something so very funny indeed. When was the last time you saw such a working contrast in the likes of Eas... err, certain other soaps. ;)
Anyway, back at Freshco, Alma is desperately trying to explain to Curly just *WHY* she is sitting in his chair but the more she says about the likes of "Aidan O'Donnell" (the area manager who looked like Mark LaMarr... remember?), the more our hapless hero is confused... When he asks what's going to happen now that he's back (since, if you recall, Alma did say that she would only take the position UNTIL his return), she changes the subject and asks him how Kuala Lumpar was (or "Koala Lumper" (a very dangerous Australian pastime, I hear) as someone misspelt it to me last night! ;)))... He explains that he kept moving around there and never managed to find Racquel (awww nooo!), thus eventually decided to come home and turn himself in. Obviously, the police ran through the whole dreary RoboMadAnneMalone story to him and he was free to go. He then apologises for running away so quickly and tells her that the only thing he needs to do now is boot the Gobbs Family from his house... "Ah, that could be a problem", ahems Alma, "They're not squatters, they're tenants... They've got rent books, you see........ Because I, err, gave them to 'em..." - Curly looks as if he wishes the ground would open and swallow him up...
So it's back to the Rovers, where Jim MacDonald and his Googly-Eyed Son exchange some dialogue. It transpires that Steve has come up with a nice cost-cutter which involves him getting rid of his flat and moving back in with his dear dad (This is less than a year after he attempted to murder said 'dear dad', I should note)... Jim is surprised (as am I!), since he thought that the business was going well, but he says that he's very sorry that Steve is having a financial rut, adding that "I could hardly sit here and say that I don't need the company can I?"... The Great Rotting Cadaver Boy says he'd like to move in next week and Jim quips "Great, tell you what, I'll get some beer in!" - A strange scene and I have no idea where that could be leading to!!!
Meanwhile, Janice and Loathsome Linda sit across the room, with Linda going all mushy about Cadaver Boy, watching him breathlessly and cooing "Ooh, he knows how to treat a woman, you know, Steve does" (one is reminded of some arcane and horrible George Romero film footage at this point... *shudder*)... The Warrior Princess is, obviously, finding this hard to believe and warns that "he married Alec Gilroy's granddaughter, just for her cash"... Needless to say, Linda is ignoring all this and, as they stand up and make for the exit, she stops to talk to her little crush... As she asks if he wants a repeat performance of the other night, he grunts rudely and wonders if she's paying this time... She explains that of course she isn't because that's "what men are for", to pamper their female partners and pay for things. Mr Misogyny replies "Does it look like I've got a mug handle sticking out the back of my head?" and I try and work out which of these two characters I dislike the most... Bleh.
Leanne is at home, staring at the (as yet unused) pregnancy test kit and sitting at the kitchen table. THE CAMP CRUSADER (da-da-da-daaah!) returns home and squeaks "Hi! I'm back!" as if he's auditioning for presidency of the Joan Collins Fan Club... She is surprised to see him back so soon and, as he winces in cringeful falsetto (hopefully ***not*** an indication of his imminent singing career!) about how they should maybe go out tonight, she tells him that she's not in the mood for it... He wonders if something's wrong with her (what? besides the fact that she's married to a haircut with a mouth?) but Lee merely gets increasingly agitated with his wimpy little bleats and feeble attempts at delivering anything even resembling convincing dialogue, eventually storming upstairs and leaving him to preen at his beloved camera... With, unsurprisingly, no mention of the little blue kit...
Returning to The Rovers, Curly sits at a table with Emily, Spider and Maude wishing that he'd never come back. He explains that he *IS* grateful for all that Alma's done in his honour and he *IS* sorry for running off so quickly and unexpectedly, but nonetheless, all he wanted was to come home, kick his shoes off and relax, so the present trials and tribulations are most unwelcome! He groans that his only hope is to talk to the police in the morning and see if they'll help remove his gobby squatters, but Spider is somewhat less than enthusiastic, explaining that some of his mates are "expert squatters" and that the only way to get them out is by taking down the house brick by brick and building it somewhere else! Once again, Curly's face hits the floor.
The show wraps up in the busy Mallett Household with a very cruel and callous scene. As Judeh steps over a carpet strewn with nappies, leading Steve into the room, Gareh (bouncing a babeh in each arm, aww!) greets his employer with pleasantries and offers him a beer. Cadaver Boy declines and proceeds to tell him, in stunningly insensitive and cold monotone that he's "laying off a few fellas" and Gary is one of them. "Sorry Mate", he says, handing Gary a cheque for 'what he owes him' (apology not included!)... Gareh clutches the twins and looks mortified as Judeh's face turns to one of complete horror! What a b@st@rd!!!!
This episode was written by Phil Ford and, amazingly, considering the dodginess of some of these plotlines, was actually very good! The acting was of a higher overall standard than I've seen for awhile on the Street with only the usual suspects, who I won't name again, letting the side down.
It's good to see Curly returning and thrust straight back into the turmoil he's been going through since day one! We wouldn't have him any other way and it's utterly marvellous to see Kev Kennedy looking so healthy and radiant! Really good stuff there and, I would like to hope that his enthused performance signifies an improvement in his personal circumstances.
The show-stopper was actually the first scene tho, with Barbara Knox and Tracie Bennett. There are no words to do justice to the performances that both of these ladies have given in the last two episodes, following the exposure of Ian the Swine's affair. I said just last week that these storylines lead up to nothing of interest, but what this one has done is disproved my theory, since, if nothing more, it's given a chance for these two stunningly talented actresses to show off their remarkable skills... Kudos!
Elsewhere the Leanne/Nick/Possible-Baby-Rickitt-Monster story seems to be forming and this worries me. It's obviously going to be a sensitive topic (teenage pregnancy) and I am, joking aside, very worried about how a certain Mr Rickitt will be able to handle such dialogue... But who knows, maybe he'll surprise us all? Aside from that, tho, things are moving along at a nice pace (not too fast, not too slow) with a nice mix of high drama and quaint comedy. I enjoyed it! What more can I say? :)
Anyhow, next week, I'm taking a short break from the Updates (my first in 25 weeks!) so you will be treated to the Vitriolic Velocity of Jane "Ricey" Rice, Wales' own answer to Lydia Lunch, in my place. Oh, don't worry, she's a fluffy kitten at heart, really, I swear. ;) I hope you enjoy Jane's Update and, all being well, I'll return to the fray on the 22nd!
'Til next time! :)
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
It's been a real fun week on the personal front, with nothing much to talk about workwise. Heavy domination of Corrie, IRC, and my pals on the Net.
First of all, I want to welcome some new friends to this forum - Georgia Taylor (aka Toyah Battersby) and Phil Collinson, her boyfriend, who put in a number of appearances on the #coro_street channel during the last week. A real pleasure to meet such a couple of really nice warm friendly and unassuming folk.
It was a week of great laughter, especially on the Guest Book and IRC. My lovely pal, Jubblyjub in Queensland, Australia posted a message on the GB about looking to trade in one 44 year old male (her hubbie) for two 22 years year olds. Woohooo!! It turns out that snoring of said hubbie is the cause of the discord, but it started a hilarious thread on snoring and various remedies. Regulars to this forum will be aware of the fact that my dear wife is one helluva snorer herself, something which has been the cause of much mirth and hilarity in between the frustration of me having to wear ear plugs in bed to get a decent night's sleep. Anyway, within hours of this thread starting, I inadvertently got my own back - during the day, I had been working on some sound clips on the PC which I use as a fax server and I forgot to switch the sound down after finishing my work. Early the following morning, a fax comes in and - as the PC is just the other side of the partition wall from our bedroom - I hear the modem taking the call. One of the features of WinFax is that it can notify you when a fax has arrived - this it does by playing a wav file - in this case wfnotify.wav, which is actually a bugle wave!!!! So, at 6 am we hear this bugle going off. Trude, thoroughly confused and disoriented, was trying to work out what it was - realising my clanger, I pretended I was still asleep. The problem was, another fax came in a few minutes later, to be followed by the exclamation from Trude "Bl**dy h*ll,. I spend all day working with idiots, I come home and I'm surrounded by them and then in the middle of the night, you hear f***ing bugles sounding off!!!!" Needless to say, I was absolutely helpless with laughter, wiping away the copious tears streaming down my cheeks and trying to keep my ribcage in for fear of passing out from the pain of laugher. Anyway, the wav file has been renamed bugle.wav and dear Jubbly plays it whenever I appear on the channel. I tell you this, if we had more laughter like this, we wouldn't need Prozac and the like!!!
Our IRC pal, Sue arrived from Kingston, Ontario in the early hours of Thursday morning. Her hotel room wasn't ready, so we took her and her daughter, Sarah, for a quick tour of the City Centre, followed by a nice drive through the Peak District.
That night, a couple of good pals, Annie and Chris, arrived to stay overnight - a joy as ever to see them.
On the Friday, Sue, Sarah and I spent a few enjoyable hours at the Granada Studios Tour - being Comic Relief "Red Nose Day", Granada were in the swing of this, with Bruce Jones selling signed autographs for charity. (We also saw "pop star" type fever and adulation in action, as Adam Ricketts made an appearance for the screaming crowd of pre-pubescent girls at the main gate. Each to their own, I guess!) Always good to see the Street and hopefully, this time, the photos will come out OK!!! Bad point was Granada shutting early for the day and quite a few attractions being shut part-way through the afternoon, unannounced in advance. You wouldn't believe the palaver we had getting them to open the shop for Sue - after all, she'd only travelled 3000 miles - despite conflicting stories as to what was or wasn't open.
The following day, I am pleased to say that dear Annie managed to apply a hefty boot to the situation and get Granada to readmit Sue and Sarah, free of charge, to be able to experience the bits of the Tour shut on the Friday. Well done Annie!!
Saturday night was Cork's mini-ping night - in attendance, honorary guests, lovely Sue and the delightful daughter "Cookie" aka Sarah. In her honour, the other attendees, the Prince and Princess of Ping, Chris and Annie, not forgetting Trude and myself.... Oh and a few other guests too. Delightful Georgia (Toyah Battersby) Taylor and her fella Phil, who has established himself as a regular on the channel, plus a couple of Georgia's friends. A good fun night in lovely company. That's what it's all about!! Hope Sue and Sarah had a good time - we certainly had a great time in their company. Enjoy the rest of your stay!!
On a highly personal level, the evening was rounded off with some lovely presents that Cork brought over from various Canadian friends of mine on the channel - thanks ever so much, your thoughts and kindness are very much appreciated. Especially touching was a beautiful book of photographs of Canada entitled "Canada With Love" - this was signed by all who attended the recent Brit Show Ping in Toronto. It's not often I am lost for words - you lot certainly had me blubbing - thanks for the warmth and love and care. What the heck can I say? You've no idea how much your love means to me.....
Oh and by the way, this update covers the episode for 12th March 1999 - I wrote my first update for the episode of 16th March 1998 (a Monday), switching to doing Fridays from later that same week, 20th March..... For me a year of many contrasts, some real pain , but also joy like I've not known for years. Thanks for being part of my life in a most wonderful year and what a joy it has been getting to know so many lovely people..
Anyway.... enough of that.... without further ado, it's time for the update
Episode sponsored by Cadbury
The programme starts at Ashley's place. Leanne is peeking through the net curtains out onto the street, a glass of water in her hand, looking thoughtful and upset. Nick comes down the stairs and asks whether she is feeling sick. She is obviously pretty confused and preoccupied - she explains that she didn't sleep a wink all night and got up at 5. Clutching at straws, Nick tells her she has to go to the doctor's as the test might be wrong, but she dismisses his line of thought. He tells her surely the test must be wrong, she cannot be pregnant as she takes the pill.
Back at Emily's, Spider and Curly are just leaving. Spider is puzzled why Curly has hardly said a word about his holiday, no photographs, no boring anecdotes - he tells Curly he even cleared a space in his wardrobe specially, for the "My mate went to Kuala Lumpur and all I got was this lousy teashirt" teashirt!!! Curly explains that he soon snapped out of the holiday mood (hahahahahaha!!) and anyway, he hasn't got round to putting his films in for processing. But, he explains determinedly that he has decided today is the day he takes the house situation by the scruff of the neck.
In the street, Steve is loading up his car with tools (do us a favour mate, stick yourself in - mind you tools are usually useful). Gary walks by and remarks that, if Steve has a job on, then maybe he needs some help. Steve is short with him, but apologetic, the job is small and doesn't merit any other help. He sees that Gary looks desperate and tells him that, although things are a bit quiet right now, if he hears of anything, then he will let him know. "Thanks mate, anything.... Anything at all, you know how we're fixed" replies a grateful Gary. After he has moved on, we hear Steve muttering under his breath "you and me, mate."
The scene changes to Underworld where an attractive female sales rep is trying to get to see Mike. Deirdre is explaining to her that she has just missed Mike, as he has gone on a lunch appointment with a supplier in Bolton. Just as the visitor is asking when Mike is due back (as she could wait for him, because she has a number of calls in the area), the phone rings. Deirdre offers her apologies and goes to answer the phone. It's for Alison - Deirdre calls her and silently mouths "it's Kevin" to her. Continuing her conversation, Deirdre explains that Mike doesn't see reps without an appointment. Just as the rep is asking for Deirdre to book her in, who should walk in through the door, but an irritated Mike Baldwin himself. He walks past Deirdre and the visitor, explaining that the journey was a waste of time - halfway down the motorway, he had a call from the secretary cancelling the appointment. He sees Alison on the phone in his office, the door closed and asks Deirdre whether it is a personal call. Dee explains that it is and it's important. Mike angrily bangs on the door, asking Alison how many times has he told her, "no personal calls in work time." He chastises Deirdre, warning her that she needs to be careful, otherwise all the workforce will abuse the position. Deirdre introduces the rep, a Julia Stone, "from Mercury Fabrics", adds the visitor. "I'm sorry darlin', I don't see reps without an appointment " snaps Mike, still in an irritated mood. As Alison leaves Mike's office to get back to her bench, he continues snapping - she isn't to make a habit of it, he tells her. "And I make a point of seeing new clients over lunch, "offers Julia. He must be hungry after the wasted trip, so she suggests they could meet over in the pub across the road in, say, twenty minutes. "Is that supposed to sound tempting? It's hardly the Savoy Grill" retorts Mike, sarcastically. "And you're hardly Chanel" returns Julia. Yay!!! 15-all!! Mike pauses, duly put down and tells her, fine, he will give her half an hour. "Good, half an hour is all I need. See you over there" replies Julia, as she picks up her case and leaves.
At the Kabin, Sharon has just popped out of the shop to look at a window display she has organised. Pleased with her efforts ,she goes back into the shop. She comments to Rita that they should change the display more often. Rita replies that is exactly what Leanne has been telling her - she recalls how Mavis used to have nightmares changing the displays because she imagined there would a crowd outside watching her and she would suddenly realise she was stacking peardrops in the nude - oh my gawwwd what a thought??!! Sharon continues, they should run a poster competition. "Of Mavis? In the nude?" asks an incredulous Rita. Sharon's idea is to have something which involves the local kids, but Rita doesn't look very impressed and pulls a face. Rita asks Sharon to be honest, is she just doing this for her (Rita's) benefit, but Sharon tells her she needs to be doing something to take her mind off things - sitting around moping doesn't help, you only end up blaming yourself. Rita tells her she has nothing for which to blame herself, but Sharon feels that, maybe, she pushed Ian, she asks why, for the party or the frock? Did she want the wedding more than she wanted the husband? "Don't talk daft" replies Rita, but Sharon is being honest with herself, it's a fair enough question. "So what's the answer?" asks Rita. "Dunno" is the answer, "no-one wants to think they are as shallow as all that".
At that point, Nick comes into the Kabin to see Leanne. Rita calls her from the back. When she comes through, he asks what she is doing for lunch - "I'm not having one, I've got that 'Dentist's' appointment, this afternoon" (nudge nudge), she tells him. Being a plank, he twigs pretty quickly :) She tells him that the appointment is at half four, so she will see him at home. "Good luck" he wishes her as he leaves the shop. Leanne gazes into space, unhappy, worried, distracted.
Sharon wistfully comments to Leanne that it must be nice knowing you got married for the right reasons and how nice it must be, the pair of them together, happy. Leanne's face tells a different story, not that Sharon can see this.
At the Rovers, Betty looks rushed off her feet. She is the only one serving. Spider is propping up the crowded bar, as Curly comes in, looking purposeful. "Mission accomplished?" asks Spider. Curly replies that he has seen two different solicitors and got two different sets of advice. He remarks that he is considering going for the easy option and getting a baseball bat!!! LOL!!! In the middle of this, Jackie forces her way through the scrum to get a drink in at the bar. Anyway, Curly has managed to do one thing - get his slides in for developing, the problem is that he has nothing to view them on "not until I get HER out" he raises his voice pointedly, looking in Jackie's direction. Suddenly, he remembers, doesn't Emily have one? Ken, who has been propping up the bar nearby, interjects to say that it was actually Ernie's and he's ashamed to say that he borrowed it about 3 years ago and didn't return it. Curly continues, he has also made an appointment at Freshco's to see what excuses they have for pinning Anne Malone's madness on him. "I wanna see those creeps sweat", he adds. "Well, I'll drink to that", replies Spider "or at least I would if we could get a drink."
Mike and Julia are having their business lunch. She is showing him her catalogue (keep it clean!!!) and he admires one of the items. She tells him they get that from one of their suppliers in Portugal - would he be interested in having some samples made up? Looking at the catalogue he laughs and says "at that price, no thanks." She tells him they could be flexible "if the order was right." "How flexible?" asks Mike. Julia shows her lack of seniority by saying she would have to refer that to her manager. "You'll have to do better than that. You're new to this game aren't you?" he asks. Embarrassed, she replies "is it that obvious?" "Stands out a mile" he replies. "Still I enjoyed the sandwiches and I fancied a sit-down," looking at his watch "and now, I'm afraid I've got to go. Julia, it was nice not doing business with you" as he holds out his hand and shakes hers. She holds onto his hand for just a little bit longer than he expected and asks if she can get back to him and discuss the matter again over lunch, somewhere decent, his choice. Delfin's, he suggests - fine, she will have her sales pitch sorted out by then. "And a hefty expense account, I hope" he replies, as he gets up and leaves. As he does so, we see the expression on her face, he has clearly made an impression on her. (Hmm.. red wine next?)
Ken answers the door. Not Greeks bearing gifts (or even geeks bearing GIFs , it's Deirdre bearing butties. "One cheese. One turkey salad" she announces, "I thought I could bribe my way to a pot of tea and some stimulating conversation" she announces. "Well, you'll get plenty of that" replies Ken - Deirdre realises he's got company and looks to leave, but Ken insists she is very welcome to stay, although she might not thank him for it. At that point, the door opens to reveal Curly "Ah, Deirdre, you're just in time for Kakkadoo." (Spelling??!!) "Kakkawhat?" asks Dee. Ken explains that Curly has his holiday slides on show. Deirdre tries to get out of it, but Ken insists and she reluctantly comes in. Curly is in full flight - there is a projector screen in the room with a slide displayed on it. Curly is holding a wooden spoon, which he is using as a pointer. "Now this, is the ghost gum tree" he continues - we see Spider sprawled out on a chair looking as if he is suffering from terminal boredom - "now a little tip here for you, if you get lost in the outback" - "like you do" interjects Deirdre - "and you've forgotten your 'Factor 15', if you rub your hands up and down the bark and cover yourself in the white powder, it's an old aboriginal form of sun-block." ROTFL, Curly at his best in anorak-overdrive mode, he does it SOOOO well, reminds me of my slide-shows!!! LOL!!! "Fascinating" observes Ken. Curly switches to the next slide, "and this is....." .. "a termite mound" offers Spider. "Oh yes" recalls Curly, "I keep forgetting." Deirdre asks Spider whether he has been there. "Australia? I lived there. Well, till I got deported..... in an eco-community in Queensland.... The stories I could tell you..." Ken quickly takes the opportunity to collapse the projector screen "well, at least we know it's all in good working order, perhaps if you give Emily my apologies.." Rushing to his feet, Spider insists there is no need, "you hang onto it, cos Curly can use his own projector cos he'll be back at home soon." ROTFL.... Anything to stop Curly going through his slides again.... Oblivious of what's going on, Curly says it could be ages away, as we see Ken and Spider jockeying for control!! "You could reminisce all afternoon" says Ken, handing him the screen, "think of the adventures you could swap." ""There's plenty of em by the looks of it" quips Deirdre, as we see Curly holding a slide up to the light "Hey!!! Wait until you see Borneo." ROTFL.. wonderful scene.
The factory girls have come into the pub. Alison looks pretty pleased and she offers to get the drinks in. Janice tells her that they want to hear every last word of that phone call from Kevin. When Alison tries to get served, you can see that Betty is still under pressure in the busy bar. At that point, Natalie comes in from outside and seeing the commotion asks Betty what is going on. "You ask me. I send that dopey niece of yours out ten minutes ago for some crisps, haven't seen her since" replies Betty clearly irritated. Natalie makes her way into the back of the pub and sees Lorraine standing up, engrossed, reading a paper. "What are you playing at? There's people dying of thirst out there" she snaps angrily. "I'm coming! I'm coming" retorts Lorraine in a shirty manner. She goes through into the front of the bar and Betty tells her to serve the factory girls.
The girls are quizzing Alison as to what Kevin had to say for himself. Not much, explains Alison, he was only on for a minute. "A minute too long" quips Linda, getting her oar in. Alison explains that Kevin knew she would be worried, but the girls are not impressed, surely he knew she was worried two weeks ago, why didn't he phone then? Anyway, he's in Germany, stopping at his dad's, having been to France, as well. They barrage her with questions, "when is he coming back", "did he leave his number" and Alison looks intimidated by it all, "what is this, twenty questions?" Lorraine comes over with a tray of drinks and she and Linda exchange glares. Alison continues, she doesn't know when he's coming back, she tells them - Linda chips in, surely it doesn't matter when he comes back, Alison isn't going to be seeing him again? Alison starts to reply that she is not defending what he's done, but Linda butts in again. Surely Alison doesn't trust him, she's not going to take him back? Surely Kevin knew she would be worried, but he didn't phone her for weeks. And when he did, did he call her at home where they could have a proper conversation? Alison tries to defend Kevin, but to no avail, as Linda insists that Kevin waited until she was at work and Baldwin was breathing down Alison's neck because he doesn't want a long chat, he wants her off his case. This angers Alison as she gets really irritated by Linda's stirring and accuses Linda of having a go at her. Linda makes out that she merely doesn't want Kevin making a fool of her, but Alison is quick to rebut this "no, you'd rather make a fool of me yourself." "Well, you said it" replies Linda.
At the back of the Kabin, Toyah is looking at herself in a mirror, concerned about her appearance. Leanne, on a short fuse, gets irritated at her prattling - "it's only a spot", it will be gone by Sunday, she tells her. The shop door opens, it's Judy with a Bebeh Mallett in her arms, she needs some tissues quickly - the two sisters go through into the front of the shop and, while Judy is getting her money out, she hands the baby over to Leanne to hold. "Aww, isn't she lovely" remarks Toyah. "He!! It's William" corrects Judy, as she explains they are going a friend's for tea and she wanted to dress up, but now, she doesn't know why she bothered. She wipes her top and Leanne, looking agitated, hurriedly hands the baby back. As Judy leaves the shop, Leanne breaks into tears and announces to Toyah that she is pregnant, the doctor confirmed it this afternoon. Toyah asks "is that not good?" and seeing Leanne's expression, holds her, as Leanne breaks down sobbing....
... 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 Kevin's, erm, Sally's place. Alison is at the front door telling Sally that Kevin is now staying at his dad's in Germany. Sally looks relieved and says that she will ring him. We see Alison looking sheepish as she asks for Kevin's number - we also see the smug look on Sally's face, as she tries to make big of the fact that Kevin didn't give Alison his number, but Alison explains what happened at work. Sally goes to get the number.
The camera moves to Gary talking to Janice in the street. He is trying to find a job and is asking whether there are jobs going at Les' place. They've got a full crew, Janice tells him, in any case, it's an awful job, Les comes home stinking most nights. Gary tells her that he will do anything, he is begging not choosing.
Across the street, Sharon is unloading the car. She and Rita have been out to the Cash and Carry. Natalie comes out of the Corner Shop and pauses to make her peace with Sharon - she asks how Sharon is doing. Rita comes to the car like a protective mother hen, but Sharon tells her to carry on and not to worry. Sharon tells Natalie that she is wasting her time with this old pals act, it doesn't wash with her. Natalie tries to get Sharon to see that Ian lied to them both, they are both in the same boat - Sharon doesn't see it that way and asks "I bet you think you're a right good judge of character, don't you?" Natalie says she thought she was, but Sharon points out that the salesman side of Ian made him plausible. Natalie tells her that she didn't come over for a slanging match, but Sharon has got the knives out, as she tells her "you fell for Ian's spiel, because you're easy. You've got pushover stamped all over you. At least I fell for him because I loved him." Yeaouch!!
Back in the Rovers, Mike is crowing to Alma about the business lunch arranged in Delfin's. She is envious and wonders whether Mike would take her along in an advisory capacity. Mike comments that the new rep is so green she would probably fall for that. Alma asks what the rep is like - "gorgeous" chips in Lorraine who is clearing empty glasses from the table. "Gorgeous and gullible" laughs Mike, "a winning combination in a woman."
Natalie comes in from outside, clearly stung by Sharon's barbed comments. Lorraine asks her whether she is alright. Natalie says she is, but unconvincingly and tells her that she will be upstairs if needed.
Mike is continuing his conversation with Alma. He expresses the view that, perhaps things can get back to normal now Curly has returned, wanting his old job back - he can look forward to having a proper meal on the table and no more boring conversations about her sales figures. Alma says, that the firm might not want to take Curly back, as they might be so pleased with her performance - both she and Mike laugh, but for different reasons.
At Freshco's, Curly is being made to squirm by the Area Manager, Aiden O'Donnell, a Vic Reeves lookalike, just as tedious as his better known alter-ego. (For non-UK viewers, Vic Reeves is, I suppose, described as an 'alternative comedian', but the word 'comedian' linked in the same breath as V. Reeves is a trades descriptions infringement in my opinion, let's just say that lancing a boil is more fun..... still....) Does Curly have any idea of the problems he caused when he went on the run, he is asking, the hoops they had to jump through, the inconvenience he caused? Curly is as unimpressed by him as I am by Vic Reeves.... The Big Yawn is telling him that Head Office were going to sue, he could have lost everything. Is this not sinking in, he asks, looking at Curly, bored out of skull. "Aiden, may I call you Aiden" replies Curly, getting up and going on the offensive. He asks his manager whether he is familiar with the Iban (spelling???) people of Sarawak. He then goes on to explain that they are notorious headhunters and that Aiden has a little bit of the Iban about him. As his manager looks lost by this discourse, Curly goes on to explain that it is this need for scalps. He then expresses astonishment that someone as unstable and incompetent as Anne Malone could have been employed in the first place and appalling that Freshco would sacrifice his career to cover up for her madness. The firm owes him and owes him big-time and if he doesn't get satisfaction soon, then he will start thinking like an Iban himself. Aiden asks whether Curly is threatening him. "No, no" replies Curly "we managers like to think of it as ..... opening up a dialogue..." LOL!!!!
At the Kabin, Sally is explaining to Rita that she tried ringing Kevin at his father's, but he wouldn't even come to the phone. Rita opines that it's a bit petty (hmm, you're not entitled to feel angry if you've been taken to the cleaners then?) Leanne is in suspended animation, deeply preoccupied by her news, as Rita suddenly notices it is way past Leanne's finishing time - she is clearly putting off going home, but Rita, ignorant of Leanne's circumstances, gets her coat and sends her on her way home. She resumes her conversation with Sally and points out that Kevin is no longer Sally's problem. Outside, Leanne braces herself to break the news to Nick.
At Ashley's, he and Nick are having dinner as Leanne returns home. She doesn't say a word but her silent look at Nick is one of terror, tragedy, disappointment and despair. With horror, Nick reads the signals "I don't believe it" he mutters, as Ashley goes to get Leanne's dinner. Leanne breaks down into tears and mumbling that she is not hungry and doesn't need her food, she rushes upstairs, leaving Ashley perplexed, as ever. Nick looks totally despondent.
At the Rovers, Curly is cockahoop - he is telling Alma and Mike that he has got his old job back, Anne Malone's car and pay backdated to October, and it's all down to Alma. She tells him anyone would have dome the same, while Mike is equally delighted - in his condescending way, he comments that Alma is much better with a price gun than a projection chart. To show his undying gratitude, Curly tells Alma he will make it up to her, she can say goodbye to the "eight items or less" till!! Wow!! What a smooth talker...
At the bar, Boring Spice aka Lorraine is telling Plasticine Head aka Steve, that it looks as if he is stuck with her. He sounds enthralled, not!! He orders a drink and offers her one for herself - when he hands over his money, she sarcastically says "better make it a double, while you can still afford it". She starts to mouth off about his "easy lay" being in earlier, having an intellectual chat with her chums from the knicker factory. Meanwhile, Natalie has moved in behind her at the bar, within eavesdropping distance, but Lorraine does not see her. Steve is trying to ignore her while he is reading his paper, but Lorraine continues with her barbed comments, referring to some of the pond-life she has to serve. Betty overhears her remark and comments on it to Natalie. Steve tells Lorraine to give him a break, he is only in for a quiet pint. "And that's exactly what you're going to get" interrupts Natalie, as she starts to break up Lorraine's attack. "Well, it doesn't matter now, because I'm not that thirsty" says Steve as he holds his hand out for the return of his money. Lorraine turns on Natalie asking why she took Steve's side. "Because he's a customer" replies Natalie - "He WAS", corrects Betty. Lorraine replies that even though Sharon was a customer, it didn't stop Natalie sleeping with her fiancé. This has gone too far for Natalie, who explodes and tells Lorraine to get out, she cannot talk to her like that, she is sacked. For a second, Lorraine doesn't take in what happens, then the realisation dawns. "You mean it don't you? You miserable cow." Natalie tells her that she is sick of Lorraine taking liberties, to which Lorraine replies "Me? I'm the best barmaid you've got. I've got all my own teeth for a start!" (ROTFLMAO) Lorraine tells her how hurt she is, after all she did for Natalie after Des died, but Natalie has had enough and replies that she is no pushover, does she think she is some sort of soft touch? "You're a hard-faced ungrateful witch" snarls Lorraine venomously, "and a user. Stick your poxy pub!" With that she flounces out, leaving an embarrassed clientele.
Out in the Street, Steve has just left the pub and sees Gary and Judy wheeling the pram towards him. "Have you found yourself a job yet?" he asks Gary. "You're joking" is the reply. "Well, there should be one going in the Rovers in about 10, 9, 8, 7..." he looks around to see Lorraine storming out of the pub and continues "seven seconds...." Gary replies that, although he has drunk a few pints, he's never actually pulled one. Judy gets into gear "Well I have!! Wait there! I won't be a minute!!" as she dives into the pub.
In the Rovers, Natalie is furious at Lorraine's behaviour, telling Betty how they went on holiday together, she had lent her money, Lorraine was more like a sister than a niece to her. She cannot believe that Lorraine could be so cruel to her. Enter Judy. She asks Betty whether it is right they are looking for new staff? "You don't hang about" is Betty's reply. "I can't afford to be" says Judy and turning to Natalie she tells her "I've worked here before. Betty will tell you. I'm punctual. I'm nice to the customers and I'm a hard worker and all." "Does she answer back?" asks Natalie. "No" replies Betty. "Right! Start tomorrow" is Natalie's response. Result? One beaming face! One very happy Judy!!!
At Ashley's, there is a feature on the TV about the Lake District. There is an embarrassing strained atmosphere in the room. Leanne is sitting in an armchair. On the settee is Nick, with Ashley sitting, literally piggy in the middle. He shuffles about awkwardly and suggests going for a pint. Both Nick and Leanne turn him down and that's a good excuse for him to beat a hasty retreat.
Alone at last, Leanne says that Nick has hardly said a word all night.
"What is there to say?" is his reply but Leanne wants to know what he is thinking. "No you don't" is his hurtful reply. She tearfully begs him not to keep her at arms length, she is till the same old Leanne. He switches off the TV and tells her that he just doesn't see how it happened.
"Well, you're the one with the GCSEs." His reply that she was taking the pill and he doesn't see how it can happen by accident hurts her deeply. "What do you mean, you said?" she asks. "You see me take it every morning. You think I did it on purpose, don't you?" He doesn't reply. She nudges him, "You do, don't you?" He continues to say nothing. "Well, thanks" is her bitter, disappointed reply. "Lee, I didn't say that" he says, finally. "You didn't have to!" she replies. She breaks into tears. "What do you expect me to do? Crack open the champagne and pretend it's all going to be alright? I didn't want this either. It's not fair. It's just not fair." Nick holds her to calm her down as she continues "finding out that you're pregnant is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life... and look at us... ". She sobs relentlessly, full of despair.......
.....and with that.... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Jan McVerry
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me?
Interesting episode which closed off one chapter, as Lorraine got fired. I have to say that, when she first appeared in the programme, the Lorraine character showed promise as a bright, bubbly, cheery individual. Unfortunately, over the year, the promise was never realised. The character never seemed to develop and I suspect the actress didn't do much to help. Shame, but we move on.
As one door closed, another opened with the appearance of Julia Stone, as the sexy sales rep. Initial reaction, very promising, and, if the storyline spoilers are to be believed, then an interesting time lies ahead.
It was also be interesting to see how the Gary and Judy saga develops. Although Ian Mercer shows great tenderness, nevertheless, Gary is a fairly traditional male and I wonder whether we are going to see a storyline emerging which shows Judy as the person holding the family together financially, as Gary struggles to find a job. Could be some merit in outing the tensions which can arise through unemployment. If so, I have no doubt that those two will do it well.
We are also seeing Sharon looking back and examining her motives for wanting to be married - as I have said elsewhere, her original role in 1982 was as an individual passed around from pillar to post from one foster home to another and never really being wanted or loved or being happy until she and the Faircloughs met. I have always viewed her in this context and being let down by Ian, after wanting the stability that marriage would provide her, would be very bitter blows indeed. Well written and well acted. We are also starting to see some developments with her showing some initiative as regards running the shop, which should also provide an interesting storyline. Good interplay, incidentally, in the exchange between her and Natalie - the latter trying to make the peace, while the former looks for a way of putting Natalie down to protect her own credibility, for her own confidence. Nicely done!
Kevin looks set to make a comeback after his disappearance, having contacted Alison off-screen. She really is such a positive character and despite the easy temptation to feel slighted by Kevin's disappearance, she thinks primarily of Kevin and his welfare. A real gem of a warm character, with no malice about her, and, despite the apparently weak voice, not a spineless character. I think you can put me down as a fan.
Good to see Curly coming good, with some wonderful lines. He plays the awkward nerd sooo well. Wonderful touches during the slide show and interview with the area manager. Good interplay too, with Spider - what a great duo those two are. Great humour, well delivered - Curly is a very consistent and dependable character - and a real joy to having him back after fighting the personal demons in his life. Good touches also, incidentally, with Mike Baldwin playing the chauvinist husband, forever putting Alma down - I don't agree with the philosophy, but again, Mike is a very consistent character and does it well.
Turning to the main storyline - as the football commentator once said, a game of two halves!! Adam Ricketts' weakness in portraying the emotions in this powerful storyline is contrasted by Jane Danson's superb abilities. What a superb storyline for a young couple - an unwanted pregnancy, this early on in a marriage? A real gift for any actor or actress enabling them to investigate the mixed emotions when faced with such a terrible dilemma. What can you say? Jane was quite magnificent at exposing the pain and the uncertainties, while the "Plank" just sat there like some stuffed dummy. I do hope that the storyline works despite him.
All in all, a good enjoyable episode with a good blend of humour and emotion.
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take care... Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
Here we are, one year (less a day) from my first Sunday update. And this will be my last. If I were being honest, I'd have to say it's been a pleasure, a chore, a joy and a drudge, although generally not all at the same time ! Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write to me and either offer kind words of support and encouragement (not that my monstrously inflated ego needed any such things !) or the occasional criticism (often deserved).
In the best traditions of my more recent offerings, this is, of course, late. Today is in fact the day after the Academy Awards evening - perhaps I should offer a little speech, shed a tear or two, thank the entire production crew, or just break down in bits (sorry, Gwyneth, but you've blown any chance of sleeping with me after *that* performance) ?
Nah, tell you what, I'll just get on with the Update. Here it is then, the Mother's Day(*) episode:
(*) UK models only.
Mum-to-be Leanne is sitting in on the settee, staring into space, as Ashley keeps himself busy in the kitchen cooking up bacon and eggs. A menu for which she shows no great enthusiasm. The door bangs open, and in rushes Nick, fresh back from his acting cla^h^h^h run, all sweat and heavy breathing [that's for you Adam Rickett fans out there]. He plonks his frame down on the settee next to Leanne, who's obviously not happy that he's not spending every waking moment discussing their little, er, problem with her. [Leanne, you have much to learn about men.] Ashley interrupts their unease with some piece of dead animal or other [no, honestly] which he has jointed himself as a present for his Mum. "Oh, is it her birthday ?", asks a Tilsley. "No, it's Mother's Day, of course - you'd not forgotten ?!", replies Ashley. Not only have our own Romeo and Juliet forgotten, by the looks of it, but the extra significance of the day appears to have struck home.
Judy and Gary are admiring her cards from the twins. "It's just as well they can write already", says Gary, "they'll be able to sign on with me when they're older..." Judy tries to cheer him up by saying she'll only be a few doors away down the street, and he'll be fine looking after the babies anyway, but it's obvious Gary's not happy about not being able to provide for his own family. As Judy goes to leave, he stops her, asking if there isn't something she's forgotten ? He waves her breast pump at her - her face falls. "I hate that thing, it makes me feel like a cow !". [Yes, we had to explain this one to our kids ! Our daughter, 7 going on 37, went "eeyeeew" !!] He makes her promise to tell anyone who asks that his situation is just a temporary thing, and that he's not planning to let Judy go out to work on her own for any longer than necessary.
In the Kabin, Sharon is scouring the local papers for flats to rent. She sees one that looks quite reasonable, but remarks to Rita that in all honesty she'd be better off returning to Nottingham. [Eh, wossis, has Weatherfield gone yuppy and relocated to Didsbury ? Surely we're not expected to believe it's impossible to find reasonable accommodation there...] Rita assures her that she has a job and someone to stay for as long as she needs, but Sharon doesn't want to "impose" for any longer. She goes off to use the phone.
In the Rovers, Judy can only have been at work for about half an hour before she is fretting that Gary hasn't been on the phone every minute for help and advice. She decides to call him. Then she decides not to. Then she thinks he might have taken the twins out for a walk and "lost them". Betty, ever helpful, points out that Judy appears to be, er, leaking... [Yep, another few words of explanation for the kids !] She rushes off to tidy up. Betty remarks to Deirdre that they're only little for a short while, then they grow up and leave and you hardly see them. [No, we're back to children, not still on about Judy's boobs, pay attention at the back.] However, all is not lost as she confides that she'd received a lovely card and some flowers from hers that day. Deirdre says that's more than she's expecting, before an oddly familiar voice says "Hello Mum !" over her shoulder. Lawks a lordy, it's TracyLuv ! They hug, and then Tracy bursts into tears.
Leanne and Nick have recovered their powers of speech, and actually seem to be having a proper conversation about her pregnancy. After her initial panic, she has settled down and is able to look at it more calmly. After all, they have each other, and their house. Nick points out that it's not their house, and she'll have to give up her job, which means he'll have to stop his course. Nonsense, she says, the Government will pay for everything [a touchingly naive little theory there]. They agree that that having a baby is something they will *have* to cope with, no matter what.
TracyLuv [paler of face and darker of hair - like something out of the Addams family] reveals to Deirdre that she has left her husband Robert. Apparently he was always criticising her, and she could do no right. Finally, she'd decided she didn't have to put up with it, and packed her bags. She asks if it's OK to stay at Deirdre's place. Deirdre doesn't look all that enamoured at the thought. [Not least, she's got no upstairs any more, where Tracy can go and play her tapes !]
Judy reappears behind the bar, and asks Betty if it's obvious that she's got a wad of toilet paper stuffed down her bra ! Betty mumbles something, and leaves Judy to serve Jim. He orders a pint, and says he'll go round and see how Gary's getting on afterwards. She asks Jim if *he* can tell her bra's not entirely naturally filled, which raises his eyebrows a bit !
Toyah arrives to see Leanne, to ask her if she has remembered that they are supposed to be cooking tea for Janice and Les later. In the process, Nick realises that Toyah is in the know as far as the baby is concerned. She thinks it would be great to let her parents know - Nick says "no way". She wonders why, and he starts to half-heartedly explain that, well, it's not defi definite yet. "Well, I'm definitely pregnant !", retorts Leanne. She thinks he might mean they could put the baby up for adoption. No way to that. When he finally gets around to mentioning a termination, she loses it and says it's only something she's ever thought about when she's woken up in the past too drunk to remember what she might have done the night before. "It's only an option, something to think about", offers Nick, but the damage is done. Leanne storms out. Nick turns to Toyah and tries to tell *her* it's only an option, but she storms out as well.
My final chance not to tell you about all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful ads on Granada ! Truth be told, they went by at seven times normal speed...
Toyah catches up with Leanne outside. Leanne is close to tears, and tells her sister she really wants the baby, but is terrified at the prospect, especially as Nick doesn't seem to want to know at all. Toyah reminds her not to forget their Mother's Day treat later.
Jim is round at Gary's house. [Have I mentioned these twins look completely gorgeous ? Well, they do.] Jim tells Gary he's a very lucky man, being able to spend so much time with his children, "Steve and Andy had turned into teenagers by the time I'd noticed they weren't in nappies any more !" Gary says he has thought of lots of places to take them, they need stimulating, so they do. Jim looks askance at him, even more so when Gary has to admit he's getting most of this from a book on parentcraft that came free with all the baby stuff from the shop. "You'll make a lovely mother", he says mockingly.
Over to the corner shop now, where Steve enters and hands Nita the keys to her flat. He's almost finished doing the work she'd asked for, and will be back the next day to tidy up the loose ends. She is critical that he is knocking off work already, even if it is Sunday. He offers to take her out, if she'd like. "What about Linda, and the £24 bottles of champagne", she teases him. He says that's nothing serious, and gets her possible agreement to meet him in the Rovers later in return.
Ken and Deirdre and Tracy are gathered together in Ken's house. Ken suggests that marriage is all about compromise, how you have to learn to deal with accept any differences that arise. Tracy moves away from the nitpicking argument and says that Robert is always checking up on her, wanting to know where's she going. Is she sure he isn't just concerned about her, says Ken. No. Has he always been like this ? Not to start with. When did it start ? They seem to be getting too close to *something* for Tracy's comfort, and she cuts the conversation dead by saying that her marriage is over, and that's all they need to know. She tells them she's hungry - are they taking her out soon - and is off upstairs for a bath.
Sharon returns to the Kabin and tells Rita the flat had gone, and the landlord had shown her a right dump in its place. While her back is turned, Curly enters and Rita asks how he's getting on. Not wonderful, he replies, before recognising Sharon and saying hello. He muses for a few seconds, while he thinks of where he'd last seen her... "I stood you up and went to a concert with Terry Duckworth instead !", she admits. Curly gives them his "my life's always like this" look and leaves. Sharon tells Rita that Ian was just the latest instalment in her crappy love life.
The Battersby's [and Nick] has just polished off dinner. Janice is very pleased with the effort the girls have gone to. It is suggested that Les can help out by doing the washing-up - something he greets with the same enthusiasm he shows for working for a living. After a bit for argument, he resolves the situation by lamely suggesting he's run out of fags and will get some more from the corner shop. Toyah follows Nick into the kitchen and berates him for not being more supporting to Leanne. Over the table, Janice asks Leanne if everything's alright - she seems very quiet. Leanne tells her she's just worried about Nick finding out about the 200 quid that she'd lent her Mum without telling him.
Some more cheerful banter back at the Rovers, where Gary arrives, sans babies. Judy goes into a flap and demands to know what he's done with them. He tells her they've gone into town for a chinese takeaway, and maybe a spot of clubbing afterwards. "Garehh !!", she replies. No, no, Jim's looking after them, they'll be fine. Anyway, how is she getting on ? "I'm fine, but why haven't you rung before now ?". "Why ?", says Gary with a wonderfully deadpan face. "Well, you know, cos you might have got in a muddle !", she says. Gary keeps up his straight face. "Why ?" [Lovely scene.]
Curly is having a drink with Spider. He's been advised he needs to get a possession order on his house. Spider observes this means a solicitor, which means money. "I want me house back !", says Curly. "Well, why don't you just let yourself back in then ?"
Steve looks a little surprised when Nita arrives in the bar. He'd not been entirely sure she would turn up. She boosts his ego by admitting that there was nothing on the telly anyway.
Nick catches up with Leanne back at their house. He apologises, and explains he'd not meant to suggest that *he* wanted rid of the baby, just that he didn't want her to feel forced into going ahead with the pregnancy. She tells him she'd thought he didn't want the baby, but he points out that he'd not actually said that at all. They admit they're both frightened, but that they will cope with it together. He rests his hand on her stomach, and wishes her a happy Mother's day. [Aaahh ! Did I ever mention that our firstborn arrived on Father's Day...]
This episode was written by Sally Wainwright.
Another solid episode, with nothing particularly outstanding (well, maybe the scenes with Gary and Judy or Jim) and nothing outstandingly awful (although I'm tempted to mention Steve and TracyLuv here, neither of whom could act their way out of a paper bag).
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ***
Well, that's it. Term's over. The curtain has come down, and all that. Thanks once again for listening.
[Lairdy has left the building.]
Bore da, and greetings from Wales.
The Rattler is having a rest this week so I am stepping into his shoes. I'll try and do him justice (?!) but this is the first time I've ever done one of these, I'm rather nervous, and don't really know what's expected of me. Hope you like it. I'll be taking on a more permanent update roll soon, which I will be sharing with the inimitable CP 'he's wearing pink' Turner.
Hi Aunty Pat, lurking in Toronto, this one's for you! :-)
I'd taped Monday's This Morning with Richard and Judy (yeah, I'm that sad) and would like to say that, just like The Rattler last week, I have egg on my face with regards to Sharon. I'm saying this now as Sharon doesn't really feature much in tonight's episode. There was never any doubt regarding Tracie Bennet's acting ability but I didn't like Sharon. Until now. I have changed my mind. Sharon is wonderful and long may she stay in the Street. She was interviewed, by Richard and Judy, along with Denise Welsh, and what great chemistry they have between them. It would be very good indeed to see these two fine actresses do many, many more scenes together. I think Natalie and Sharon have the potential to become good friends (after this Ian thing is over) and Tracie Bennet said on the show, that she thinks Sharon will get over her anger towards Natalie.
So, with a nod in the direction of the Julie Birchill School of Writing, it's the Queen of Siam's Monday Update for 15th March 1999.
This episode was sponsored by Cadbury's Marble (yuck, that's sickly chocolate) and I was sponsored, or rather distracted, by the Tom Waits Tribute Album (what I was listening to). There, I've pinched The Rattlers rattle!
We start at the House of Elliot, where Lovely Leanne is phoning Rita to say that she is not feeling well and won't be in to work that morning. Rita tells her to keep warm and spend the morning in bed. Casper the Unfriendly Rickitt Creature, who is obviously reading his lines from inside his coffee cup, is pleased. The Lovely One asks him have they made the right decision. Is he happy? He says he is happy, excited (he could at least try to be convincing. Or is that just his 'acting'), and frightened to death. 'It's a bit of both you and me' he says. 'What do you reckon; my looks, your brains', she asks. 'My looks, my brains' he replies. That poor child.
We find ourselves round at Ken Barlow's house where he is telling his daughter, Mortica, that she can stay with him rather than her mother, if she wants. She says that she will stay with her mother but that The Drear was up too early for breakfast this morning (like most of the rest of us, sweetie). Ken tells her to phone her estranged husband Robert but she doesn't want to speak to him. She wants to start again. 'New life, new clothes', she says. Her and The Drear are going shopping that afternoon.
Marvellous Maxine is seen opening the shop for business. She is (amazingly, still) putting up signs that say Hair By Fiona Middleton. She looks up the street to where Nita and Googly Eyes McD are having a conversation. We are now allowed to eavesdrop on that conversation (something I could have lived without). Cadaver Boy wants her (Nita) to go for a drink and did she enjoy herself last night at the Rovers. Nita plays it cool (good girl). She tells him she thinks that there is a lot going on with him on the surface, but underneath there is nothing at all. (How astute of her. What a good judge of character that girl is). They arrange to meet at the Rovers later.
Gary is coming out of his front door and is having trouble with the pram. Jim comes to his aid. Rebecca (what a GORGEOUS baby) has scratched herself in her sleep. Gary was going to cut her nails himself but reckons he is too clumsy and didn't want to risk it. Jim advises him to get scratch mitts, 'they're like boxing gloves for babies'. He says that Our Andy (I was going to put R-Andy but my computer changed it to Randy) used to scratch his face when he was a baby and that he used to look like he'd 'been to bed with a role of barbed wire'. LOL! Gary is worried about how Judy and he are going to manage for money, now that he is out of work, and Jim says that if he wants to 'stick Steve one on the beak' it's ok with him. Priceless! (What a great double act these two are turning into, but more on that later). Gary is off to the Careers Office.
Over at the Salon. Enter Terrific Toyah. Enter Marvellous Maxine. 'What do you want?' asks Maxine. What's it to you?' asks Toyah. 'This isn't a social club' says Maxine, 'now buzz off'. Toyah says that she has come to make a hair appointment for Janice. Maxine can't fit her in until Friday. 'We're very busy', she says. 'Wonder why that is? Not coz of you', retorts Toyah.
Over at the Kabin, Rita is asking Ken if it really was Mortica that she saw in the street that morning. Yes it was, he says, she's having domestic problems (I blame it on Uncle Fester, myself). Enter The Terrific One, who is looking for The Lovely One. Rita informs Toyah that Leanne phoned in sick. Toyah is very concerned and says she will go around and see how Leanne is. Rita tells Toyah that Leanne needs peace and quiet and Toyah says 'I can be quiet'. LOL! The conversation continues re. Mortica, and Ken says he wishes there was more he could do to help; and how IS Stupendous Sharon? 'As well as can be expected' replies The Big Red. She asks Ken is she being selfish by wanting The Stupendous One to stay and not return to Nottingham. Not really, he says. If Rita wants Sharon to stay then she is not interfering, she's helping (ha! Only a parent could come up with that little gem!). After all, Sharon can always say no.
Back at the House of Elliot. Enter The Terrific One. 'It's your sister' (yeah, like she hasn't got a name, right?), monotones Casper the Unfriendly Rickitt Creature. The Lovely One tells The Terrific One (are you keeping up with these nicknames, folks?) that her and Whoopsie Boy have decided to keep the baby. Toyah is thrilled and says 'it's about time HE faced up to it' (good for you girl). She says that Les and Janice will be 'chuffed' but Whoopsie Boy, unconvincingly, tells Toyah he doesn't want anyone fussing around them and that she isn't to tell anyone. Yet.
Back at The Kabin, Rita is seen looking through an address book. She picks up the phone. 'Hello Vicky' she says. She exchanges pleasantries with The Vickster and then asks to speak to Alec.
END OF PART ONE
In the Corner Shop (oh no, anyone remember the awful 'Brimful of Ahsa on a 45, Brimful of Asha on a 45. Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom. On a 45' HEELLLLLPPP!) Nita is asking a lurking Tyrone if he wants anything. Janice Warrior Princess is paying for her shopping, when The Marvellous One comes in and says, to the Xena Like One, that she is sorry that she can't fit her in for her hair appointment until Friday. Janice is perplexed, she doesn't know anything about it. 'Are you saying I need me hair done? I like me hair the way it is', asks a hurt Janice. 'Janice, your hair is gorgeous' replies Maxine, 'it's just your daughter, she's a pain in the neck' and goes on to tell Janice that she is having a hard time running her business, with a lovesick Toyah hanging around Tantalising Tom all the time. Janice says it's not her fault if her daughter's got a 'bit of a crush'. Tyrone buts in and asks what's going on. Maxine tells him. Is she (pointing at Maxine) serious, he asks Janice? 'Well, I couldn't say, but I've never known our Toyah worry so much about her hair, if you know what I mean', she says with a wink. ROFL! Priceless. Nita then asks Tyrone (again) if she can do anything for him. No, he says and runs out. They all giggle having got the upper hand over a mere male. Yes! Girl Power Rules!
Janice leaves and Maxine warns Nita to keep away from Steve, and to be careful of him as he is trouble. He has so many notches on his bedpost that Maxine is surprised that it is still standing. Nita says she had sort of guessed that for herself.
In The Rovers, Mortica is telling Deirdre that she plans to use one of Robert's credit cards to buy her new clothes. (Which begs the question, how the hell did she get hold of it? My husband keeps his credit card under lock and key, thus forcing me to use mine).
Curly and Spider are on the other side of the bar discussing Curly going in and repossessing his house (yawn, I'm getting sick of this storyline. However, it's great to have the Curly and Spider double act back. When are La Dobbs and her gruesome son leaving the Street)? Spider starts talking about the underdogs (yet again) but decides that as Curly is his mate, his loyalties lie with him.
Back at the Salon, The Tantalising One is confronted by an angry Tyrone, who tells him to leave Toyah alone. Tom is baffled by the pathetic little creep's attempts to have a go at him and wonders what on earth he is on about. Maxine comes into the Salon and throws Tyrone out. (Tyrone, dear, you haven't got a cat in hell's chance so you may as well give up now.)
Back at the House of Elliot, The Amazing Ashley (aww) is looking, furtively, at Leanne and Casper cuddled up on the sofa. 'Maybe we should tell Ashley' she says. Casper says, again, that he likes it being their little secret. Oh, that ZIT! Hasn't he heard of Clearasil? 'What are you two whispering about?' enquires The Amazing One. 'Do you want cheese on you beans', he deadpans. LOL! (What an amazing comic timing Steven Arnold has. More of him later.) Leanne wonders what Gail and Audrey will feel about becoming grandmother and great grandmother, respectively. But, she says, it's their lives and anyone who says otherwise 'can take a running jump'. She thinks the pregnancy is the best thing that's happened to them but Casper looks unconvinced (again this could be due to his 'acting'. You can't tell).
Curly and Spider are in the street talking about Curly's situation. Spider says they can't just go in the house and take stuff. Curly says that Spider has changed his tune. At that moment Toyah emerges from her house wearing a sleeveless top, miniskirt and the most amazing pair of purple knee length boots. 'Aren't you cold' enquires Curly. 'Freezing' she replies. 'Well put a coat on then' is his sensible answer. (Ah, Curly, you forget, just like most of us tend to, that when you are young and in love, it doesn't matter if you freeze, just as long as you snare your pray). Toyah runs after Tom who has just emerged from the Salon. Would he like to go for a coffee? No, and isn't she cold? He tells her that her boyfriend has warned him off. What boyfriend? she asks. Tom then describes Tyrone and says bye to Toyah. She does not look amused.
A car pulls up in the Street. An angry young man knocks Ken Barlow's door. It's Gomez, oh all right, Robert, and he's looking for Mortica. He barges into Ken's house shouting the place down. Ken tries to placate him and tells him that Morty Baby is not there. Robert doesn't believe him. Ken tells him to 'search the house down, maybe I've hidden her in the bread bin'. LOL! Ken then manages to calm him down. Robert is sorry, he says, he just wants to save his marriage. Ken understands (blimy, is that an understatement or what?),
Mortica and Deirdre are in the pub. Morty Baby is asking, why should she stay in an unhappy relationship? Sharon is shown in the background scouring the papers, for, we are to assume, somewhere to live. Deirdre is worried about her daughter and wants to know what she is going to do.
Across the bar, Googly Eyes McD asks Jolly Judy for more drinks for him and Nita. Nita says she has to go. Googly Eyes says that maybe they should get a bottle of white wine (white?) and go back and celebrate her newly decorated (by him) flat. No, she wants to just stay friends. She asks, suspiciously, if all he wants from her is friendship. (Well, Nita, I suspect it is. If he'd wanted to pin you to his mattress, he'd have suggested a bottle of red). She then buys him a pint and leaves.
Rita enters the pub and asks The Stupendous One if she has had any luck finding somewhere to live. No, nothing that she can afford. Sharon doesn't know what to do. The Big Red says she can't help with that but she CAN help with some accommodation for now. Alec Gilroy has agreed to let Sharon have the flat at a reasonable rate. She hopes Sharon doesn't think she's interfering. 'I'm stunned' says Sharon, beaming from ear to ear (ah, bless her).
Back at Chez Barlow, Ken and Robert/Gomez are hitting the bottle. Robert/Gomez tells Ken that Mortica kissed his friend at a Christmas party (Bela Lugosi anyone?) Ken says that maybe he is over reacting. Don't know, says Robert/Gomez, she is looking a bit pale lately. (Okay, okay, I made that last bit up). Mortica has, apparently, also been out on a date with this guy, Dan, and not told him that she'd done it. (That's the way it works, sunshine. When people have a bit on the side, they don't tend to tell their partners about it). Ken says it sounds innocent. Robert is jealous and wants his wife back. Ken says he can stay with him tonight and he will try and get Mortica to talk to him in the morning.
Curly furtively, followed by Spider, opens his front door. Spider is nervous and wants to leave. Curly wants to see what La Dobbs and Tyrone (haven't thought of a name for him yet) have done to his house. They enter the lounge, which looks like a bomb has hit it. Tyrone is lying on the settee. Curly picks up the telly. 'Quick, get the remote' he says to Spider. 'It's in his hand' retorts Spider. LOL! They leave with the telly, giggling about the look on Tyrone's face when he wakes up. The parting shot of the episode shows Tyrone, wearing a face only a mother could love, lying on the settee clutching the remote control, blissfully aware that 'his' telly had been nicked.
This episode was written by Joe Turner
How was it for me?
Well, I really enjoyed doing the update but I didn't realise how time consuming they are. The other Updaters make it looks so easy. Now I appreciate all the hard work that goes into these things.
The main storyline was the teenage pregnancy. Jane Danson is (goes without saying) excellent as the female lead in this story but, Adam Rickitt? Oh, dear. Now, I know I'm not the first, and I certainly won't be the last, to say this but he really is appalling. Teenage pregnancy (as indeed is any pregnancy) is a very emotional subject and in the hands of a different actor (say Steven Arnold), we could have had some great drama over the next few weeks/months. However, I'm afraid Rickitt has turned it into a farce. I can't tell whether he's supposed to be acting unconvinced that Nick and Leanne are doing the right thing, or whether it's just his lack of personality or charisma coming to the fore.
What else? Maxine. I love Maxine. Tracy Shaw's acting skills have improved in leaps and bounds (says the Dame Judy Dench of Gwent). I would love to see Maxine get a decent storyline, one in which she triumphs for a change.
The Curly house situation is becoming tedious but it's great to see Kevin Kennedy back in the Street, and to see Curly teamed up again with his old sparring partner, Spider. They make a great double act. As do Ian Mercer and Charles Lawson as Gary Mallet and Jim McDonald. I love the scenes those too do together. They have such great on screen chemistry together and their joint scenes just exude personality and warmth.
Georgia Taylor, as the love struck Toyah, is excellent. She is also excellent as the teenager worried about her older sister, and who is quite rightly distrustful of her brother in law. What a star that girl is.
The Tracy Barlow marriage storyline looks like it's set to become boresville. As does the Nita/Steve McDonald one. It's just not credible. What is this power that Steve McD is supposed to have over women. He's hideous and a creep but still manages to have attractive and intelligent women falling for him. Never in real life, eh girls?
As reported on ratucs this week, Barbara Knox is leaving the Street (boo hiss. Don't go Rita) and it looks like, with Sharon moving into Alex's old flat, that this is the start of her being groomed for taking over the Kabin.
And as for Steven Arnold. Well, the man is priceless. Give Ashley a decent storyline, I say, give Ashley a decent storyline. Soonest, please.
And not a sign of Sister Ermintrude Webster in sight. Can't be bad.
So, that's it from me. Hope you liked it. The Rattled One will be back next week.
Hwyl fawr from Wales
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
A mixed frustrating week on the job front. It looks as if my experience puts me a notch above "enthusiastic amateur" but the lack of formal relevant recent qualifications marks me below professional level. The Microsoft Certification Route looks like a favourite - something to get my teeth stuck into. Frustration provided by the bureaucratic minions at the Job Centre, who prattled on about jobs rather than careers - does the system know how to cope with career changes or even the problem of professionals? I felt like a square peg ion around hole - I was been asked to sign a Job Seekers Agreement, yet I am not entitled to any major benefits, having been self-employed and with a partner working full-time - but they cannot tell me what I could be entitled to, unless I do sign up. The problem with the agreement is that, if I don't find a job in 12 weeks, having had to report back on progress every 2 weeks, they may force me to widen my search..... but I don't want a JOB, I tell them, it's a CAREER I want and with 15 years left until retirement age, I want it to be the right one. No communication! What the h*ll is in it for me signing one of these poxy agreements. I walk out totally frustrated!! Sigh...
Thank God for sanity elsewhere...
On the IRC front, some activity regarding a Ping 2000 proposed by my good pal Jubbly in Oz. Why don't we try to co-ordinate visits to coincide and get some serious pinging done? Brill idea and it looks like Autumn 2000 could be a fave time for Ping 2000!!! Woohooo!! I'll keep you posted.
Anyway.... enough of that.... without further ado, it's time for the update...
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Roses
The programme starts at the Glossop premises of the marriage guidance organisation, Relate - actually, Ken's place. Deirdre has beat a hasty retreat from her flat to join Ken for an escape committee breakfast. She has RTracyLuv staying with her (enough reason to want to commit hara-kiri, let alone escape from her whinging presence) - Ken has had a visitation from Tracy's husband, Robert. Dee is saying she could do with a break from family ties, having had her mother meddling in their lives and now her daughter staying, wanting them to meddle in hers. Ken looks on the optimistic side, at least Robert coming up to follow Tracy is a positive sign. Deirdre is not so sure, if they continue arguing. Ken feels that, given the fact they are going to have to interfere, the first thing to do is get them together and talking to each other - eat yer heart out Henry Kissinger. "What, us acting as referees?" asks Deirdre (.. and in the blue corner, we have the Whinging Waif...). "Facilitators" responds Ken in socio-babble speak. He thinks they are ideally placed to take on this role, being able to see both sides of the argument. That's another thing that's annoyed Deirdre, she admits she was irritated about Tracy not telling her about the other bloke she had seen, she might have known it was six of one, half a dozen of the other. "So there", says Ken in easy-peasy mood, all they need to do is to get them to recognise that, it shouldn't be all that difficult. Hahahaha!! Ken, matey, a word of advice - parting the waters of the Nile might be easier. Judging by the expression on Deirdre's face, she isn't convinced either.
Les is just leaving home for work - coming out of the house, he bumps into Scouse Slagette on the doorstep. She is looking for a handyman, i.e. she is on the cadge. She piles on the agony about how desperate she is. You get this tale of woe about how she cannot even leave the house and how she needs to get the locks changed. Les doesn't appear to be too interested, suggesting she needs to get hold of a locksmith until she tells him that she'd rather get hold of him. Les, being the bonehead he is and his mind preoccupied by sharing his dangly bits with her Grotesqueness, gets suckered. When she suggests she will even pay him more than he is getting down the canal, he weakens totally "Oh aye? Right!! I'm yer man" he slavvers.
Outside the Rovers, Vera is still doing her Hilda Ogden impression - headscarf, plastic gloves, brush in hand - a beguiling image. She espies Ashley on the other side of the road and proceeds to put both feet well and truly in it. "I hear you've got another lodger on the way. I only hope it's not another set of twins, otherwise you'd have to build an extension!" she shouts across the road. In Poland, the appropriate expression is Kurier Warszawski (The Warsaw Courier), the name of a daily newspaper - in other words, Gobalmighty. Ashley, of course, knows nothing of this bit of news, so Vera explains that she is referring to Nick and Leanne expecting a baby - haven't they told him, she asks? When he replies in the negative, Vera says that Leanne's mum and dad were telling everybody last night in the Rovers. Ashley feels that they must have got it all wrong, or they are making it up, Nick and Leanne would surely have told him. Having realised she has dropped a big booboo, she suggests he talks to them about it - the parting shot we have is of one of her classic Dame Edna Everage frowns.
Down the road, Gary is knocking on Emily's door. He is there to ask a favour, if she isn't busy, would she mind babysitting for them tonight? It's Judy's night off, he explains. Emily immediately agrees, in any case, she expects that Judy needs a good night off. Gary tells her that Judy doesn't know about it yet, he didn't want to build up her hopes.
In his car, Mike takes a call on his mobile. It's Julia checking whether he is still on for lunch. Of course he is, he tells her, and what's more, he's looking forward to it.
At Curly's place, Ty "Slobbo Dobbo" Dobbs is in teenage-son mode. Transfixed in front of telly with remote control in hand (ar yerse, ar reemember eet werl!!!) Slagette asks him whether he is staying in all morning. He answers the question with the question "why?" "Don't answer me 'why', just say" replies Jackie. "If I don't know why, I can't say" is his response. She explains that Les is coming round later changing the locks - as she has to nip out to the shops, would he fetch Les a cup of tea, to be nice to him. "Aww, be nice to him? How?" replies Ty!! ROTFL!! She explains that Les is doing them a big favour. Fair enough shrugs Ty, with the enthusiasm that only teenage sons can muster. Jackie goes into "caring mum mode" and asks how Ty is doing with Les' daft looking daughter. "Why?" replies Ty, as if it is of no interest or concern to him. "Don't really think about her much" he says unconvincingly. Jackie sees right through this and recognises "she's blown you out, hasn't she?" - but not to worry, as long as he doesn't mess things up between Les and her, she needs to keep him sweet, she plots.
Ashley has come back to his place to catch Nick and Leanne getting ready to go out for the day. Has he forgotten something, asks Leanne. "I think it's you two who've forgotten something, like you're expecting a baby." He explains that the whole of Coronation Street seems to know, bar him. The penny drops, as Leanne exclaims "me dad!" Ashley tells them he heard the news from Vera. Nick throws a hissy fit, but Leanne is resigned, it had to come out sooner or later. "Not like this! Not from him" exclaims Nick. "So you're saying that it's true?" asks Ashley, penny gradually dropping. Why didn't they tell him, he asks? Leanne tries to calm things, they just wanted to keep the news quiet at this stage. Nick is still angry and resents the fact that it was their news so "who the hell does he think he is?"
Having finished her cleaning duties at the pub, Vera is now at the salon, doing her Mrs Mopp bit, well, she should be, but she's too preoccupied with having a cup of tea to quench her thirst. Maxine and Tom look like they are up to their eyes and ears in it, but Vera is totally oblivious, prattling away. Once she's had a couple of cups down her, she'll be like a motorised Mrs Mopp, she tells them.
Sally is at the Kabin asking Sharon how the flat hunting is going. Sharon tells her she is "sorted, thanks to Rita" and Rita explains that she is going to be renting Alec's flat. Everyone looks pleased with this and Rita confesses it's a relief for her too, as Sharon had been seriously considering returning to Nottingham. "Not because I wanted to" replies Sharon, as she gushes on how Rita has been a real mum to her. "Yeah, she has to me too" adds Sally.
Enter Leanne into the shop. Having finished her business, Sally departs but a paranoid Leanne wonders whether everybody has been talking about her and whether that is why Sally has just left the shop. Rita and Sharon are a bit taken aback at Leanne's outburst - she explains to them that her father was mouthing off in the Rovers last - she might as well tell them as the rest of Weatherfield knows, she and Nick are expecting a baby. Rita's response is warm but cautious, Sharon's is warm too, but beneath the surface, you can detect some envy, "that's wonderful, Leanne, you're so lucky." Her facial expression changes to show real sadness and regret.
In the Street, Nick is having a go at Les for shouting the news of Leanne's pregnancy to all and sundry. Les makes out that they were excited by the news of their first grandchild, they only told a few people, but naturally, * they * must have told a few more. Nick is irritated, they hadn't wanted the news broadcasting, but Les had to have his moment of glory. Their voices are raised as the argument escalates. Martin sees and hears them bickering in the Street and comes over to join them. When Nick expresses how Les couldn't be bothered taking his feelings into consideration, Martin tells him to cool it "you're talking to a caveman" - he and Nick go off to the Rovers.
Slagette opens the door to Les, now the coast is clear, while Les is continuing his whinge that those Platts are all snotty nosed. Jackie asks whether Les has sorted the locks - he explains that the front door was a doddle, but the back door was very difficult - he's cursing and swearing away and shows her his bandaged thumb. She tells him to come round tomorrow night, with a nudge-nudge promise. Tyrone comes to the door, asking whether he can go out now - he is delighted "kewl" when she gives him his own key. "It's our house now, let them try and get us out" she states in her determined manner.
... 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 salon. Maxine and Tom are busy seeing to customers, while Vera is trying to sweep the floor around them. Maxine asks her not to do this while she is cutting customers hair. Vera just cannot seem to understand that she is getting in the way. The phone rings and Maxine asks Tom to take the call, but Vera gets to the phone first. "Hello, Audrey's Hair Fashions... ", then covering the phone she whispers to Maxine and Tom, "is that what we call it now?" Maxine shakes her head in disbelief, as Tom sniggers.
We are the restaurant and Mike has come in to meet Julia for their lunchtime appointment. He compliments her on her appearance and she replies by saying she is glad he could make it. "I'm really glad you're paying" is his retort. She has a bottle of red wine on the table and offers him some. He approves and she comments "I knew you wouldn't be a mineral-water man." He tells her that he has never minded mixing business with a spot of pleasure and she suggests that they do this again sometime. His manner changes and he abruptly brings her back on track by asking "don't you think you'd better show me what you've got to offer?" She agrees and adds that she is sure she has something he would want. "I wouldn't be too sure, I'm rather choosy" he replies coldly. She shows him her samples, but he is dismissive "what's new about these?" he asks. The fact that she can supply them at very competitive prices, she replies. When he asks "so where's the price list?" she asks him what he fancies for starters. He tells her he only has time for one course.
At the Malletts', Gareh asks Judeh whether she fancies a meal out tonight. She does but thinks it's pointless him asking as they will never be able to arrange a babysitter at such short notice. He persists in asking if she fancies it and she replies "if by some miracle, I could go, I would, but I can't." "Well, you can" he replies, telling her it's all sorted, babysitter and restaurant. She then starts getting cold feet but he insists the twins will be asleep and Emily would be fine looking after them. She agrees it would be nice. "So, where would you like to go?" he asks. When she replies that she thought the place was booked, he tells her he lied, he wanted her to choose!! Awwww!!
Back at the Rovers, Martin is having a drink with Nick. They are talking about Leanne's pregnancy and Martin is remarking how the news must have come as a big shock to the prospective parents. Nick agrees, at first they couldn't understand how it happened. He remarks that it feels weird thinking of himself as a father, but adds that both of them are OK with it. Martin replies that he doesn't know whether OK is enough, they are not much more than kids themselves. Is this what they really want, he asks. Nick tells him that he isn't looking forward to telling his mother but Martin replies "listen, with what you've got stacked in front of you, telling your mum is the least of your worries."
In another part of the Rovers, Deirdre is asking Ken what the plan is. The answer? Basically, to have everyone round to his place for a meal, he will cook the meal - Deirdre's contribution is to persuade Tracy to come along, he will persuade Robert. Dee doesn't fancy that suggestion and suggests they swap! When Ken tries to get her to talk to Tracy as she will feel Deirdre is on her side, Dee is having none of it - it'll need both of them to persuade Tracy, judging by the way she has been going on about Robert. They settle on agreeing to meet in the Rovers for a drink and he won't talk to Robert until the arrangements have been made.
At the restaurant, as the waiter is clearing the table, Julia asks him to bring another bottle of wine. Not for me, says Mike, but Julia insists to the waiter "just bring it, thank you." When Mike tells her that she will be drinking it on her own, she replies "Don't rush off Mike, you're wife's not expecting you home, is she?" She adds that they are just starting to enjoy themselves but he tells her that she is mistaken if she thinks she can flirt her way into getting an order. She tells him they can put the boring business to one side and have a bit of fun. When he asks her "what the hell do you take me for?", her reply, "I think you know", shocks him. He angrily replies "I happen to be a happily married man and I don't buy duff fabric. If you want to have fun, have it with somebody else. Alright sweetheart?" With that, he gets up and leaves the table. On his way out, he pauses for a second and looks back, angrily. Julia's composure remains unchanged.
Emily has gone round to the Malletts to baby sit and Gary is fussing around like some mother hen. Judeh injects some balance into the proceedings "I think Emily knows how to heat milk up." Emily tries to reassure Gary, after all she has probably spent more time looking after babies than he has. Gary recognises that he's going on a bit. Emily comments that she is just glad that the two of the them are awake enough this time to enjoy themselves.
At the Kabin, Nick has popped into see Leanne. He suggests getting a video in to watch and this idea meets with Leanne's approval. As she kisses him, Sharon returns to the shop and seeing the happy couple, her face changes as her unhappiness registers. Rita notices this and suggests a cuppa - Leanne volunteers to do the honours. After Leanne has disappeared into the back, Sharon's envy boils over, as she says to Rita "that should have been me, settling down to married life. Instead of that I'm on me own and renting an old man's flat." She tells Rita that she's not ungrateful, but she just wishes she has what Leanne has. Rita tells her not to envy other people's lives because she doesn't know all the details - Sharon agrees but it doesn't stop her wanting what she does see.
Gareh and Judeh are at the restaurant. Judeh is just starting to relax and comments on the sense of making time for these breaks. Gareh is preoccupied - he hopes Emily is alright and decides he'll be happier in his mind, phoning her to check.
Back at the Kabin, Sharon is saying to Rita that it doesn't feel right hanging onto the wedding presents. Rita offers to return them, if Sharon can label who gave what. Sharon is really grateful and Rita also offers to help her with the unpacking, whenever she's ready. Sharon agrees she cannot keep putting it off. Rita tells her that if she wants to make any changes in the flat, such as new curtains, then Alec won't mind, what is important is making the flat into her home. "I'll have to, because it's the only one I've got now" replies Sharon with a heavy sigh.
Gary returns to the table, clearly unhappy. Emily isn't there, it was Spider who had answered the phone. He had told Gary that the vicar had come round, Emily had gone home and left him in charge. "In charge of our behbehs? What's she playing at? She can't just walk off when she said she'd be there. What does Spider know about looking after behbehs?" Although Spider had told him everything was alright, Gary isn't happy. Neither is Judy!!! They get the hill.
At college, Nick is coming down the stairs with Miranda - she is asking him whether everything is OK. Fine, he replies. She tells him she thought he had seemed a bit quiet recently and wondered whether Leanne had been having a go at him. He replies that they are getting on great, but Miranda doesn't believe him. He decides to own up - Leanne has found out she's pregnant, he tells her, so they have had a lot to get their heads around, just recently. Miranda agrees and opines that he must have been worried sick. What is he going to do, she asks. Take it one step at a time, he replies, what else can he do? She asks what he feels about it, it wasn't planned was it? He agrees that he was scared at the outset, but they are both into it. "Both of you, or just Leanne?" asks Miranda. When he confirms that both of them are happy, she asks him whether he really thinks he is ready for the responsibility. "We know it's going to mean some changes" he states, but she corrects him. "Some changes? It's going to turn your whole life upside down. There's plenty of time later on to be playing happy families."
Judeh and Gareh return home, surprised to find Emily there - she is doing her knitting. She is equally surprised to see them, but had feared they would return. Gary asks where Spider is, to be told that he has gone home - gradually it emerges that Gary had jumped the gun. Emily informs them that Spider had come round to tell her the vicar was on the phone for her, so she had just popped back home for two minutes, while Spider kept watch. Unfortunately, during that time, Gary had rung and not given Spider a chance to explain the situation fully. Gary apologises, admitting he panicked. Judy gets annoyed because Gary got her in a panic - in any case, would Emily leave them in the lurch. Emily is explaining that there hasn't been a peep out of the youngsters since they left, they have been good as gold. Judeh shows them the takeaway that they had brought back home with them and Emily decides to leave them to it. Highly embarrassed, both Gary and Judy apologise, hoping they haven't put Emily out. Emily is clearly very annoyed and, as she gathers her coat and bag, true to form, the babies wake up crying. "There, they've saved that for you" she retorts. Judy volunteers to see to the children and curtly tells Gary to warm up the food. As she does so, Emily beats a hasty retreat.
Ken and Deirdre are with Tracy at the pub. She is telling them that, had she realised they wanted to talk to her about her marriage, she would have stayed at home. "I know you would have and that is exactly why I didn't tell you" replies Deirdre. Ken adds that all they are trying to do is to get her and Robert to see each other's point of view. "I already know his point of view" replies Tracy. Deirdre opines that this is obviously not the case, having heard Robert's side of the story, it isn't as black and white as Tracy makes out. Tracy goes into a tizz criticising Deirdre for going to see him - Ken corrects her, it was he who spoke to Robert and following that, thought there was room for a bit of give and take. "But you're not going to get anywhere, unless you make the effort to listen to each other" adds Deirdre. Tracy asks whether the dinner is Robert's idea - Ken tells her it isn't, what's more, Robert doesn't even know about it. "Well I think it's rubbish" retorts Tracy as she flounces off, leaving a frustrated Ken and Deirdre behind. "Well, we handled that brilliantly" comments an exasperated Deirdre.
The angry emotions continue on the screen, as Emily walks into the pub, still fuming and joins Spider at the bar. Much to Betty's surprise she orders a large gin and tonic. She confirms to Spider that Gareh and Judeh had returned to check and tells him that she had to control herself, such was her anger. It irks her that Spider couldn't be trusted to look after children and the implication that she would make an arrangement and not stick to it. "That's new parents for you" she concludes.
Alma is discussing Mike's lunchtime meeting with Julia and seeking his confirmation that Julia was offering herself to him. Mike verifies this, adding that she was desperate for the sale. When Alma says that she doesn't understand how a woman could lower herself that way, Mike replies jokingly that she probably fell for his irresistible charm. "Don't flatter yourself" quips Alma. Anyway, Mike tells her that Julia made a big mistake trying to pull a stunt like that. Alma wonders how many other offers there are like this which Mike gets from reps, she might have to insist that he only manufactures men's knickers in the future. "Trust me. This is the first and last time. She won't be after me again" responds Mike. "Yeah well, I hope not" concludes Alma.
The scene switches to a bedroom. Julia is sitting in her dressing gown on the edge of her bed, holding a drink in one hand. She is on the phone. "It's me. Do you want the good news or the bad news? ... Well, if you thought he was going to fall first time, wrong... why? Because he came over all moral on me.... The good news is, I know he's up for it......."
.....and with that.... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Maureen Chadwick
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me?
A so-so episode for me in terms of action, although the storylines have been pretty well done. The situation facing Ken and Deirdre in terms of how they help Tracy with her marital problems is being well covered, highlighting the difficulties of interfering in the lives of one's children, however well intentioned the motives. Corrie seems to be going through a phase of having past regulars of the cast back - in most cases, this is welcome, but I have to say that I have never liked Tracy, nor the actress playing her.
Les is continuing to live in hope as regards him bedding Jackie. Here I must own up, I am finding this path a bit tiresome. The one saving grace is Tyrone - wonderful lines and superb timing from a very able young actor. Adam Ricketts please take note.
We are now getting into the fallout following the discovery of a new pregnancy, the main storyline here being how to disclose this information to the outside world and the problems that can create. Also Miranda trying to get across some home truths regarding the upheaval and impact caused by a new baby.
On the subject of fallout, a wedding going wrong is being well covered by Sharon. A few years back a song entitled "It Should have been me" encapsulated the emotions pretty well and we now have Sharon looking enviously at Nick and Leanne, oblivious of the real situation behind the veneer. Good moral there.
Lovely touch of role reversal from Gary and Judy with Gary playing extremely well the part of the besotted dad, worried about the welfare of his brood.
Final storyline of any note, the Mike-Julia saga which is set to run. Obviously more here than meets the eye, but time will reveal more as the story unfolds.
All in all, nothing wildly exciting, but some competent script writing pretty realistically done.
Anyway that's it for now.. Until the next time, take care... Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
Well, I'm back, and I *know* I've got a backlog of Wednesdays to do, and they shall be done. The backlog arose from a combination of being up to my eyeballs, and a spell of black depression, but I believe I'm better now. The Wednesday slot has been taken over by the splendid team of Jane Rice and CP Turner, and meanwhile I'm taking over John Laird's Sunday spot and using this opportunity to get back into the rhythm. So here goes...
Before I forget, this episode was scripted by Phil Ford, and sponsored by Cadbury's Wispa Mint. The chocolate vignette at the beginning has a new variation, the attractive chocolate young lady falls gracefully and sumptuously onto a green velvet cushion. "Fall into Velvet!" says the caption.
It's early in the morning, and a weary-looking Sharon struggles into the Kabin with the morning newspapers. Rita, disgustingly bright and cheerful for that hour of the morning, greets her. "Hello! You're an early bird!". Sharon was up anyway, so she might as well do something useful. Actually, it turns out as Rita presses her that she hasn't actually been to bed much. Rita suggests that Sharon should see a doctor, she can't have had more than two night's sleep since the wedding day. "It's not a doctor I need!" protests Sharon sleepily. "Well, it can't be that Ian, not after what he did to you". All Sharon thinks she needs is a fresh start. And Rita brightens. "Well you can! Only this time you'll have me to help you!"
Leanne and Nick are sharing cornflakes at the breakfast table, wearing cast-off uniforms from the Star Trek wardrobe department. Leanne isn't feeling sick yet, a bit queasy but if anything more hungry. One feels that pregnancy will become Leanne if she's allowed to go through with it, though even Nick still has mixed feelings. "W..W..Well you're, er, eating for two now, he mumbles. Yeah, says Leanne, patting her tum proudly, I hope it enjoyed its cornflakes. Does she get cravings, asks Nick nervously? Oh no! And will tripe and jam do for tea? With pickled eggs and custard for afters? It's Nick's turn to look queasy, he couldn't see a joke if it came up to him in a large spotted bow-tie and squirted water in his face from a plastic daffodil! Well, he knows nothing about pregnancy, or babies, he doesn't know what to expect. She'll get fat to start with, she points out. Will he still fancy her when she looks as though she's swallowed a beer barrel? They hug, and try to reassure each other that they'll make great parents. And then Ashley silently enters, unnoticed, and looks on with an air of disgust.
Fred is in the salon, though one wonders what business he would have in a hairdressers, especially with the proprietor being away. He's chatting to Maxine, who has time on her hands, while behind them we see young Tom lavishing attention on Deirdre. "WELL ARE YER LOOKING FORWARD TO 'ANDIN' OVER THE KEYS OF THIS PLACE ON MONDAY YOU'VE 'AD THE RUN O' THIS PLACE 'AVEN'T YER!". Maxine tells the incredulous Elliot that she's rather looking forward to Audrey coming back, the place is spotless and they've been doing a bomb. Audrey, she reckons, is going to be pretty impressed. "OH WELL IT ALL SEEMS IN ORDER I'D BETTER BE OFF THEN" says the disconcerted Fred, and he leaves. We close in on Tom putting the finishing touches to Deirdre and showing her the mirror. "Oh it's luvly Tom, thank you very much!" she effuses as he flatters her mercilessly. "I reckon you've taken ten years off me. She pays the smirking Maxine, and to Maxine's consternation she finds a tip for Tom. "Another conquest to your list then!" she says to him. "Another notch on the barber's pole!" he says, though with sadness, as he is reflecting on having to leave come Monday.
Sally is in the corner shop, sharing concerns about Sharon. Rita has been trying to persuade a reluctant Sally to take Sharon out for the evening, but "I don't want to sound like a misery but I was hoping for an early night tonight". Rita has sent Sharon off to Roy's "to get us two butties for us lunch", but at this moment the lady herself returns "Hello Sally, has Rita been press-ganging you into cheering me up?" Well, as a matter of fact, says Rita, Sally was just saying, er... And Sally takes the hint, turning on a beaming smile and telling Sharon that she just fancied a night out and did Sharon want to join her - what about somewhere different? "What's wrong wi' t' Rovers?" asks Sharon, detached and chewing gum. With 'her' there? "This is where I live now Sally". And that Natalie will just have to take her chance. If Sharon is going to live on the Street, she's not going to stay in hiding for the rest of her life.
Out in the street, Les is passing by as Tyrone and Jackie emerge from their door. Jackie is flourishing her new key. "Nothin' like it is there?" says Les. You're own personal security! Especially for an attractive woman with no man in her house to protect her!". Tyrone pulls a face, in fact as Les pulls Jackie forward to confide in her he continues to grimace as Les and Jackie confirm their tryst for half seven that evening. Les goes off, pleased with himself, as Jackie takes Tyrone aside and insists that he's home no later than half eight. "Half eight?", protests Tyrone, "Who do you think I am? I'm a night spirit me, don't get goin' till half eight!". But he'd better be home by half eight, or else...
They walk off down the street, and the camera pulls back and pans to a corner across the street, where Spider and Curly are crouched ready to pounce like hungry predators. "Here's your chance" says Spider, "they're both out!". They charge across the street. Curly tries his key in the lock but it won't fit. Disbelieving Spider tries it but it won't fit any better of him. "Hey lads!" calls a scouse female voice from offscreen. It's Jackie of course, who we see tossing her key in the air and shouting gleefully from the end of the street "I reckon you'll have more luck with this one!". The lads just look crestfallen.
A taxi has pulled up just across the street from where this has been going on, and we see Gail and Audrey emerging. Audrey is complaining that her ankles are swollen up like balloons. They are received by a welcoming party; Martin comes running down the driveway, followed by the crew of the USS Enterprise, with Sarah-Lou and David bringing up the rear. There is a flurry of hugs, while across the street Les appears, smirking, raising a thumb in the air, and shouting "Wotcha Grandma!" Gail just giggles "What's he on about?", and Nick and Leanne look at each other, distraught and helpless.
"So what's been happening?" asks Gail, still very excited, once they are all back inside the house. "Oh, just the usual", remarks Martin, "I bet it's been more exciting in Canada". Gail has presents for the children, as soon as they are produced, Martin says "Let's go and play with them upstairs!", hustling the children out of the way and leaving Gail alone with Nick and Leanne. She senses straight away that something is afoot. Plunging her hands into her coat pockets she demands accusingly "What's up?". "Nothing" says Nick, sulkily. "No, nothing", says Leanne, agitated and nervous, "everything's fine Gail!". "It... it's good news really..." ventures Nick. Gail stares icily at them. "We're... expecting a baby" says Nick. Gail's jaw drops, she says nothing.
During the course of the advertisements, Gail has found her voice, and it's not a sympathetic one. "So, you're pregnant!". Leanne tries hard to be defiant and welcome it as great news, which of course it is, but Gail continues to be the ambitious and overprotective mother. "You're angry, aren't you?" observes the ever-incisive Nick. "Angry?" says Gail frostily, "I don't know what to think". "You're nothing but kids yourselves" she continues. How, wonders Leanne, did she know that one was coming up. "And didn't you take precautions?" says Gail, turning on Leanne. It's Leanne's turn to get angry now, it's all her fault of course, leading darling Nick astray. "A baby's a wonderful thing... But only when the time is right". This is too much for Leanne. "I should have known better shouldn't I! You'll always be a miserable cow!" And she storms off to her room.
Maxine is chatting to Judy over the bar of the Rovers. "Where's your boyfriend today?" asks Judy. "Who?" says Maxine, not sure which boyfriend belongs to which day of the week. "Mister Scissorhands!" says Judy, making an appropriate two-fingered gesture (no, not the rude one). "Oh," says Maxine, "he's a baby, and there i'n't enough room in the cot for two. But she does agree, giggling nervously, with Judy that he's a bit of all right. Anyway, he's about to disappear into the sunset in his little pushchair. Even though he's good - excellent even, and business is booming. "But Audrey's back on Monday isn't she". Judy suggests that, on the contrary, Audrey would welcome him, and it'd be a feather in Maxine's cap for finding him.
As Judy moves off to serve another customer we see Les and Janice on the far side of the bar. Does Janice want another one? She'd better not, not if Les wants something from the shop for his tea tonight. This is Les's opportunity to tell her that she needn't cook him any tea tonight, and Janice, for a moment anyway, is delighted - does this mean Les is taking her out? Ah! Hope springs eternal! But she does no better. No, Les tells her he's off to Charlie's with some mates, a few cans, a curry. "Oh aye, and what else?" asks Janice suspiciously. "A gang of blokes, a few cans o' lager, and a vindaloo, sounds a bit too innocent to me!"
Nick and Leanne are back home, and Leanne is no happier. "I knew it would be a disaster. She couldn't be 'appy for us, couldn't even pretend!" Nick is clearly not happy either despite what he says, he's sure his mum isn't trying to ruin everything. "Oh that's it innit, Mummy's boy, side with 'er!". he protests that Gail was shocked, and jet-lagged. "Face it Nick, I was never good enough for yer as far as she were concerned, I'm just a stinkin' Battersby aren't I?".
Curly and Spider sit at a table in the Rovers, silent, glum, and holding their chins in their hands. Tilt up to Ashley, just as miserable, at the bar, and Fred entering to join him. "WHAT'S UP WI' YOU? YOU'VE A FACE THE LENGTH OF AN UNDERTAKER'S OVERCOAT! 'AS THAT YOUNG SHELF- STACKER CAUGHT YOU EYIN' 'ER UP AGAIN?" It's Nick and Leanne, it's all very well for them but as far as Ashley can see they've not stopped to think about him. Fred is puzzled. He wants to know what's going on. Ashley puts him in the picture about the baby. "AHHHHH!" says Fred, indulgently. And then it sinks in. "'AVIN' A BABY? IN MY 'OUSE?" he asks, horrified.
Les passes behind them and the camera follows him to where Curly and Spider are sitting, still silent, glum, and holding their chins in their hands. Les puts his arms round them, still smirking. "By 'eck! The younger generation! I've seen more life in a stuffed ferret!". Curly looks away from Les. "You'd be a bit down as well, if you had a troublemaker squatting in your house". Les thinks it's time the lads had a lesson in principles. They've had a lot less trouble with Jackie than with Curly banging on the walls and whinging about nowt. "Look Les," intercedes Spider, "Give it a rest, can't you see the man's in pain?". Les delivers a lecture about supporting the homeless, and squatters rights, but Spider feels no compunction about supporting Curly, who after all is now the homeless one. "She hasn't just got my house" says Curly bitterly, "she's got everything that's in it!". Les wants to put Curly's mind at rest. "Safe as 'ouses, that 'ouse, now I've fitted them new locks!" This pushes Curly over the edge, but Le continues to justify himself. "She was a damsel in distress, frightened of being broken into! I was only being neighbourly!" Spider intervenes to stop Curly getting up and grabbing Les. "Yeah, that shows great community spirit Les, but I think you'd better go now before Curly loses his!". "That's the trouble with young blokes today," says Les, tousling the hair of a reluctant Curly. "No gallantry!"
Jackie breathes on a dirty knife and wipes it on her scarlet PVC dress before putting it on the table alongside a pile of white sliced bread and a bottle of tomato ketchup. There's a knock at the door and Jackie scurries off to answer it. It's Les, of course, rushing in the back way, grinning broadly, with a four-pack under his arm. "Hello Darlin'!" he greets her, adding, enigmatically, "Kevin!". "Yer wha?" says Jackie. "You know, Kevin Costner! Like in that film, 'The Bodyguard'!". Well, you can't be too careful, in this security game, that's why Les came in the back way. "Ay!" says Jackie, "especially with your Janice next door an' all!". So, Les was thinking, with a knowing tap on the wall, that - later - they'd better keep the noise down!". "I'll try!" she says, giggling, "I'll really try!". "By 'eck!" exclaims Les, "you could do a bloke an injury wearing a dress like that!". "Prawn balls?" asks Jackie. "Yeah yeah, something like that!" says Les. "Prawn balls for starters..." She minces off to the kitchen, pausing coquettishly to allow Les to pat her bottom on the way. Les turns looking *very* pleased with life.
Audrey rushes in to join Gail in the pub. She's late, she put her feet up for forty winks and jetlag got the better of her. "Don't worry about it Mam. What are you having? And I warn you, we're celebrating" says Gail, far from festively. "Nick... is going to be a dad" she explains, with some difficulty and managing to avoid implicating Leanne in the process at all. "That's marvellous!" says Audrey, after taking a moment to let the news sink in. But that isn't the correct response for Gail, they're far too young. Although, as Audrey points out, she was seventeen when she had Gail, and she seems to have coped - life doesn't have a timetable for that sort of thing. That's not good enough for Gail, Nick was going to University, what about his future? "And look at Leanne! Does she strike you as being the kind of girl who'll give up clubbing and new clothes for baby food and mucky nappies?" Actually that's precisely how Leanne strikes me, I'm sure she'd be a wonderful Mum if allowed to be, which she won't be of course, but Audrey agrees with me. At least, until Gail plays her trump card. "And what's your grandson's baby going to make you?". Sorry, too much for poor Audrey to cope with. She needs a drink quickly.
Sharon and Sally are drinking in an alcove. Sharon reminds Sally that it's her birthday tomorrow - she reaches the grand old age of thirty- three! She's getting maudlin - they were going to be just back off their honeymoon and celebrating together at home! He was going to cook up something special himself - a surprise! He certainly managed that didn't he! And now here she is, camping next door to her former foster mother, more broke than she's ever been before, no man, and no doubt over the hill. Come on everybody, say it for poor Sharon. "Awwwwwwwwww!". "Excuse me, if I don't fizz up and bang" she says, self-pityingly.
Over at Jackie's, Les belches loudly, over the empty foil dishes of the chinese takeaway. "That's the best compliment you can give your host in some parts of the world you know, a good belch!" How romantic Les, you sure know how to sweep a girl off her feet! Jackie continues to sweeten him. "You know Les, you're quite a knowledgeable feller when you get to know yer!" He's pleased with this. And she couldn't have made a better choice of food tonight - chinese food is the food of love! "Oh, is it?" she says. She, and we, glance at the clock on the wall - twenty past eight. "Er, why don't you get your jacket off Les?" she asks enticingly. He needs little enticing. Throwing his jacket behind the sofa, he flings himself onto it expectantly. "Won't be a minute!" says Jackie. "Take your time!" says Les. Unseen by him, Jackie surreptitiously removes his wallet from his jacket, opens it, hesitates, and slips silently out of the room. She takes the folding money from the wallet and slips it into her cleavage with a triumphant look.
Ashley is pouring out his soul to Uncle Fred in the Rovers. It's not that he's not happy for Nick and Leanne, it's just that they won't talk to him about it! Uncle Fred decides it's time to tell young Ashley about the facts of life - a young man like him doesn't want his house filled with other people's nappy liners and babygros! And besides, Fred doesn't like it - no children and no pets in his house. What about Shannon? Ah well, that were different. "STRIKES ME THEM PAIR ARE FIXIN' TO MAKE YOU A STRANGER UNDER YER OWN ROOF - AND THERE'S A SMELL! THE VARIETY OF FRAGRANCES A YOUNG BABY CAN PRODUCE IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO LATE-NIGHT ENTERTAININ' OF A ROMANTIC NATURE!". So that's that then! What's Ashley to do? Throw them out on the streets? But an Englishman's home is his castle - "IN ALL THE FORTIFICATIONS I'VE EVER VISITED I'VE NEVER ONCE SEEN T'REMAINS OF A NURSERY!".
Emily has joined Curly and Spider at the bar, and is ruminating about Les's part in the affair. "I knew Les Battersby was a scurrilous soul but this blackens even his reputation" she tells them, primly. Camera pans slowly across to Spider. "I wonder if Janice realises just how neighbourly he's being with Jackie Dobbs". Camera pans slowly across to Curly. "I can guess how she's paying for his labour as well. I wouldn't mind telling Janice that." "That would just be vicious tittle- tattle" warns Emily. Curly knows this all too well, but wouldn't it just make him feel better! "Mr Battersby will no doubt come to count the cost of his actions!" asserts Emily.
Mr Battersby is at this moment on Curly's sofa, with Jackie snuggled up to him. He is looking pleased with himself, she rather anxious. "Do you believe in Karma, Jackie?" asks Les. "Oh, isn't that that Indian nosh, you know, for wimps, the one that doesn't leave your bum like a flame-thrower the next mornin'?" That, explains Les, eruditely, is Korma. Karma is something he read about in the Readers Digest when he was in hospital, all about reincarnation and who you get together with in this life based on previous lives. This worries Jackie, will she get saddled with the same bunch of losers all over again? Les objects that he's not a loser, that something always happens just when they're on the verge of getting together, but "nothing can stop the power of fate!" And with this he leaps on Jackie and attempts to eat her alive. Poor Les, fate thwarts him again, in the shape of Tyrone coming home, plonking himself on the sofa and turning on the TV. Jackie pulls Les to his feet eagerly and pushes him towards the door, barely allowing him time to collect his jacket. "I'm sorry Les, you'll have to go - our Tyrone's like quick-drying cement once he's set in front of that television. And pausing only to take a note - one of Les's own - from her cleavage, she pushes him vigorously out into the street.
Les ducks furtively under his own front window. Outside the Rovers he finds Tyrone's friend Marcus and grabs him by the collar. "Couldn't you have kept your mate out for another hour or summat?" he demands aggressively. Marcus keeps his cool. No way, he promised his Mam he'd be home by half eight! Straight up, else he'd have got a right clobbering! Les is unimpressed, and storms into the pub, leaving Marcus to zip up his jacket and stride off into the night.
Inside the Rovers, deflated Les orders a drink for himself, and even offers Judy one. "Oh, in the money are we?" she asks. "Just enough to buy an attractive woman a drink, that's all". he reaches inside his jacket for note Jackie gave him, takes out his wallet to put it inside and... discovers the trick Jackie's played on him. "Why, the thieving, scheming cow!" he tells the world. "Hey Curly!" he shouts across the room. Emily and Curly regard him sternly. "Do you want to get into that Dobbs woman's house?" he asks. "You mean my house!" reproaches Curly. "Yeah, your 'ouse. I can get you in - it'll cost yer twenty quid." Les explains how the lock he fitted was one of a dodgy batch he got of a mate - the same key fitted them all. "You've changed your tune haven't you?" says Curly. "Call it Karma!" says Les.
Chez Platt, Martin brings over two glasses of wine (white - no hanky- panky here!) to Gail. He tries to convince Gail that things might not be so bad, Nick, he says, has got a good head on his shoulders. But that's Gail's problem - a baby will hold him back, how can he afford to go to university? How can they afford a baby? People manage, says Martin. Well, she's sorry, she's never even asked Martin how he's been getting on. He's fine, and of course he's missed her. How's the job going, she wants to know. He gets shifty now. Well, the thing is, there is no job now... What do you mean? asks Gail, concerned. "Oh, well, er, the thing is... I got the sack.". Martin avoids Gail's eyes, as she looks horrified at this second blow, as
The credits roll
Good, good, some nice stuff here. Obviously the biggest theme to this is Leanne's baby and various reactions to it. The clouds are gathering over Leanne, she can hardly contain her excitement over it, but it seems the baby is doomed as one by one her supporters drop away. There's some good comedy here too, as shown in the lovely exchanges between Fred and Ashley, and some rather predictable farce (but isn't predictability the very essence of farce?) in the Les and Jackie scenes. All in all an OK episode, not memorable but entertaining.
It was Jane Danson's episode above all, and to her I award this week's laurel for the outstanding performance.
Until the next time, Rosalind
Well, it's me again! I hope you enjoyed Jane Rice's rather darn fab Monday Update last week and I'm sure, like me, you'll be pleased to hear that she is now a permanent member of the Update Staff doing bi-weekly Wednesday episodes, I believe! Welcome aboard, Jane, I have every confidence that you'll do us all proud! :) Plus, it's good to have another Lydia Lunch devotee on the team. ;)
But for now, it's back to my stuff so without any more excess waffle, let's get down to business shall we?
After a quick glimpse at tonight's chocolate sponsors (Cadbury's Wispa Mint) things get under way morbidly in Plattingham Palace, where Gail and Martin muse about becoming Grandparents at such an early age. Gail, who tonight is sporting a delightful beige jumper, is deeply unhappy that Leanne has gotten herself pregnant and grumbles about how they should have taken precautions. Dial-A-Nurse Platt is, of course, on hand instantly to issue a Public Service Announcement that birth control pills "aren't infallible and even if you follow the instructions, you've got a one percent chance of getting pregnant each year" (?). It's Conspiracy Theories ahoy, however, as Gail asks frankly if Martin reckons they planned the pregnancy all along... "After all, they got married behind our backs..." she begins before launching predictably into "I can't see Nick doing it, but I DON'T KNOW ABOUT HER!" but Florence insists that they should be given a fair chance and that Gail should let them be...
Over at The House Of Elliot, Ashley is spreading toast and starts talking to a brick wall... err, Nick, even. He asks him if he slept alright after the row with Gail and then politely notes that it's usually best to "sleep on a problem". Nick simpers and bleats like a lost lamb and then Ashley states solemnly that there's something they need to talk about... "About the baby"... Unfortunately, The Lurve Doctor is interrupted as Leanne dashes frantically into the room, still very much hot-headed about yesterday's slanging match with her Mother-In-Law. "D'ya know what REALLY winds me up more than owt else??" she screeches, "It's that we actually CARE what she thinks!", adding for good measure a few unkind words about Gail and a quick snap at Ashley when he attempts to offer verbal support... Nick whinnies a bit and asks Ash what it was that he was planning to ask before he was so rudely interrupted. The Lurve Doctor has obviously lost his bottle to say what he was going to say by this stage and makes some excuse about him wondering what the baby's name was going to be. Leanne tells him that they haven't decided yet by a long shot, but he'll be the first to know since he'll "be seeing a lot of this baby, eh?"... Ashley looks suitably pained with guilt.
Meanwhile, outside on the Street, Ken and Deirdre cross the road, in front of fly-posters advertising a Puressence single and an Ozric Tentacles concert (glad to see good bands popping up in the background of Corrie! even if these posters have been there since December! ;)), discussing what to do about Robert and Vampira. It transpires that D has finally managed to talk Vampi into coming to a "reconcilation dinner" at Ken's house, with all four of them in attendance. "You know, Ken?" smiles Deirdre, "I think we've missed our profession. We should've been diplomats, bringing warring factions together!" - With a line like that, you *KNOW* that tonight's dinner isn't going to run smoothly!
Jackie Gobbs points her hideous head 'round the door nearby and hollers "Good Morning!" to a passing Les Battersby... (Whatever happened to Margi Clark? This time last year when she first appeared on Corrie, she was actually looking better than she had done for awhile... Now look! Yeuch! *shiver*)... Les feigns politeness and asks when he's going to get paid properly for fixing Jackie's locks, before telling her that he KNOWS she took his money and set him up last night. She laughs and says "You ever heard of paranoia?" which illicits the superb response "No, but I've heard of PARA-SITE! Which is what you are!" - Unfortunately, Les blows it severely here by telling her that she'd better not get too comfy since he's given Curly Watts a key to the new locks (doh!) before laughing and heading off down the road... "JUDAS!!!" she shouts after him. He pauses and turns back 'round with a puzzled look on his face. "DELILAH!!!" he shouts back at her! LOL! (Sadly, he doesn't break into a spoons solo at this point... ;))
Back at Plattingham Palace, it's still all doom 'n' gloom as Gail quizzes Martin about his job prospects. He tells her that he's been talking recently to Nurse "wot're you loike?" Delaney and that she says he should try again to get his old job back at the hospital. He feels that the chances are pretty good, considering their understaffing problems but wonders if he should lower himself to grovelling in order to get it. Gail tells him he has nothing to lose by doing so and he assures her that he'll give them a ring later this afternoon.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" shouts Rita, thrusting a card into Sharon's hands, over at the Kabin. Needless to say, Gurn-O-Matic is delighted that someone has remembered but is still pretty mopey about this whole life thing. "What is there to celebrate?" she sighs, "The mess I've made out of my life?" and I'm sure it's no coincidence that she's wearing black in this scene. Big Red tries to reassure her that everything will be fine and that the next 15 years will be the happiest ones she'll ever have, before offering to take her out for a birthday dinner tonight and assuring her that a present is also in the pipeline! Woohoo! :) Just then, Les bursts into the Kabin and accosts Curly who is busy thumbing through a copy of "STUFF" magazine (no kidding! the little perv!). The Boorish Battersby is all full of cheer as he yelps "Hey, I've just seen Jackie, you should've seen her face when I told her that I'd given you a spare set o' keys!" and Curly's face begins to melt like one of Salvador Dali's clocks. "She thought she was safe until you opened your big gob!" winces the Weary Watts, "She'd've left the house empty, but now she'll be on her guard!" - The truth dawns on Les that he is in fact a 42-Carat Plonker, as he mumbles "Sorry, mate". Curly storms out of the shop...
Over at the Fiona Middleton Salon (as it will seemingly be known forever?), Audreh enters and is shocked to find Tom standing there, stretching and combing the hair of some unlucky extra. "Have you got an appointment?" he asks, oblivious as to who she is and, obviously, this just makes her increasingly infuriated. "WHERE'S MAXINE?" she yells before revealing her identity to Tom's embarrassment. Right on cue, Traxine appears from out back and is a bit dismayed to find that her employer has returned from holiday... "I'd like to have a few words" states Audreh, ominously and Trax turns a, err, slightly lighter shade of, err, tan...
...As we cut outside to the Street, where Curly tells Spider the story so far about his battle with the Goddess Of Gob. Just then, the Mouthy Medusa herself sticks her head out of the upstairs window and croons "COoooOoo-eEeE!" in that nails-down-a-blackboard manner of hers:
Gobbs: "You don't get rid of me that easily, rat-features!" Curly: "You can't stay in there forever, Blondie!" Gobbs: "Can't I? I'll just get new locks fitted!" Curly: "You haven't got the money, Scally!" Gobbs: "I will have, once I sell that telescope up in the attic! See ya, Brush head!"
Ut oh! This means war! Not the telescope, surely?? Poor Curly looks crushed, as Spider shouts "Aw no, Jackie! That's below the belt!", no doubt yet another oh-so-subtle reference to the constant stream of phallic symbolism associated with Curly's telescope. ;) Just then, Toyah walks out from next door, dressed scantily in a mini-skirt, "HELLO KITTY" T-Shirt and red denim jacket. This sight gives Spider an idea as he asks her if she'd be willing to help he and Curly out if it meant getting that pesky Tyrone off of the Street and out of her way forever! They huddle together and begin whispering... A plan is hatched!
Back at the Salon, Traxine is being raked over hot coals by Audrey. Figuratively, of course, it's not *that* kind of establishment. ;) Councillor Cruel explains that she doesn't care how busy they were whilst she was away, it's HER who does the hiring ("and the firing, in case you'd forgotten!"), NOT Traxine. Justifiably, Trax (who is becoming less and less annoying with each week - hurrah!) tries to defend herself by saying "I was just using my initiative" and, to be honest, Audreh really doesn't have much of a leg to stand on but, as bosses so often do, she still tries to maintain she's in the right no matter what poor ol' Trax says or does... As they send Tom off to his lunch break, it's established that he will be kept on for an extra week since Councillor Roberts is going to be busy with council work for awhile. So to summarise... In the fine tradition of Business Management, Audrey has berated Maxine severely for taking on Tom for a couple of weeks due to an excess workload and has then kept Tom on for a further 5 days due to... an excess workload. Of course, as long as it's HER idea and not Max's then it's ok! Grrr... BTW, in the interest of fairness, I would like to point out that Tracy Shaw actually did really well in this scene and wasn't at all acted off the screen in the slightest by the mighty Sue Nicholls! Well done that girl! :) Let's see more of this, please.
We wrap up the first half of the show with a quick bit of silent comedy which is almost Benny Hill-esque, but not quite so unbearable. Toyah, still clad in miniskirt, sits across the road from Curly's House, waiting for Tyrone to peer out of the front window... Which of course, he does. She waves and pouts to him and, needless to say, he is transfixed. As she stands up and walks down the road, swinging her hips from side to side in a highly exagerrated manner, his eyes pop out of their sockets and he starts drooling... Needless to say, this all appears to be part of Spider's Master Plan and it appears he was spot-on, since Toyah is working well as the perfect distraction for the lecherous Tyrone...
END OF PART ONE
They really should put a warning up before subjecting a nation to the kind of hideous mind-rot masquerading as adverts these days. The same products, day-in, day-out, the same names, the same faces... ARRRRRRGHH!!!
Ah... That's better. Back to Corrie, where Toyah seems to have walked right back to where she was sitting before she started strutting away at the end of Part One. Hmm.. A continuity error or just her getting a bit of exercise? Anyway, forgetting about being pedantic for a second, Tyrone leaves the front door (Jackie warns him strictly not to be gone for too long) and approaches Toyah. "Oops, sorry, I didn't see you there", he mumbles in a vain attempt to pretend he wasn't watching her like a hawk:
Toyah: "I don't think I've ever seen you, actually Tyrone... Not *properly*." Tyrone: "Oh? What're you doing then?" Toyah: "Well, I was gonna go down the arcade, but it's boring on your own..." Tyrone: "I'd go with you, but, err, err, you haven't been that nice to me recently." (aww) Toyah: (Fluttering her eyelashes like a pro, now simpering in a wee girlie voice) "You know, I do this all the time. I'm so stupid." Tyrone: (Hopefully) "What?" Toyah: "Well... *sigh* When I fancy someone. It's like I can't admit it... I go all bolshy instead..." Tyrone: (Straightening his collar, nervously) "That right?" Toyah: "Yeah. And the more I fancy someone, the more bolshy I get... It scares most blokes off, they're all wimps." Tyrone: (Hurriedly stuttering with excitement!) "Well, er, it ain't put me off!!!" (Wiggles his eyebrows!) Toyah: "So, err... D'ya fancy coming then?" Tyrone: (Beaming from ear to ear) "Yeah, c'mon!" Toyah: "What about your mam?" Tyrone: "What about her!"
As they walk off, arm in arm down the Street, Spider (who has been watching from behind a corner) smiles sneakily... I must just say at this point: WHAT A SCENE! Undoubtably the show-stopper this episode, by far. Two excellent comic performances courtesy of Alan Halsall & Georgia Taylor who both played off of each other brilliantly. Tyrone's naive excitement was almost touching in a way and there were plenty of laughs to be had from this exchange, especially in the facial expressions. Top notch stuff!
Sadly, to totally counteract this display of quality acting, here comes the biggest waste of space this side of Ronan Keating. Yep, it's Casper the Unfriendly Rickett Creature (to nab Jane Rice's excellent nickname for him!) and he's in the Kitchen of Elliot, getting a (surprise!) lecture from his mam, who has dropped in briefly for this very purpose. Sadly she doesn't tell him that he should give up attempting to act and throw himself off a bridge, but instead opts to warn him of the duties that Fatherhood entails. He tells her she's wasting her breath but seems to be paying some dangerously close attention when she explains that nappies can cost up to ten pounds a week and that after they grow out of nappies, they'll need new clothes on a regular basis, etc. "You're going to be responsible for the next 16 years. You're going to my age before you can be really free" (Cor baby)... This last line seems to really hit him hard, or at least I assume that's what the script intended. His actual reaction is neither here nor there and, unsurprisingly, no different to any of his other 'reactions'. He stares aimlessly into space and I've seen more life in a stuffed toy. Needless to say, this whole storyline is falling flat on it's face for me, despite the best efforts of (the lovely) Helen Worth and (the remarkably talented) Jane Danson... I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way too.
Across at the Rovers, Curly has managed to get some Walkie-Talkies from the security guards at Freshco and he gives one to Spider who knows all about this technology from "keeping ahead of the dibble at Newbury"... He explains to Curly that he will stand at the back of the house whilst RNorman stands at the front and both will keep the other informed, should they see any signs of movement from the Gobbster (good job it's her and not Adam Rickett - They'd be there 'til Doomsday waiting for movement from him!)... Just then, Ken enters the pub and approaches Vampira who is sitting at a table, drinking Virgin's blood and mumbling secret goffick prayers to Andrew Eldritch. "Ah Tracey!" he exclaims, using her mortal alias, "I'm just about to buy the food for tonight. Is there anything you and Robert don't like?" - She doesn't let on about her aversion to garlic or sunlight and Ken asks a series of none-too-subtle questions in order to find out whether she's a vegetarian or not. She takes offence to this, assuming that he's asking this because of the way she dresses and tells him not to judge on appearances. He apologises and tells her that he's planning on making chile. "Not too spicy", she warns, "And no tomatoes, I'm right off 'em at the moment"... Maybe she'd prefer BLOOD Oranges? (Sorry, this is really awful of me, I'll stop with all the vampire jokes... ;) In all fairness, the Goth Look actually quite suits Dawn Acton...)
Now, unfortunately, my video tape ran out at this point and I missed a scene whilst fumbling rabidly with the tapes, but to summarise briefly, Curly and Spider are putting "Operation: Gorgon" into effect. Curly, it seems, has been standing on a corner of the Street for God knows how long waiting for her to emerge, whilst Spider is knelt down behind her back gate. She walks outside the front door, looking for Tyrone, and then heads back inside so, foolishly, Curly radios in to Spider over the walkie-talkies to tell him this... Unfortunately, this is at exactly the same time that she strolls out back and, of course, she hears the sound of Curly's voice across the intercom and realises what's going on... More "You won't get me out that easily!" rubbish follows. To be honest, happy as I am to see Curly back, I'm sick to death of this nonsenical storyline... And, beyond sick to death of Margi Medusa!
Sorry about that, anyhow... The second videotape resumes the action in the next scene at Ken's house where the reconcilliation dinner is about to begin. Despite he and Deirdre's best efforts to be polite, Tracey and Robert are having none of it, preferring to trade insults and jibes to each other in the most petty of manners... "Been rehearsing your table manners?" she asks before telling her mum that "He makes a disgusting noise when he eats!" - "Only to drown out the sound of your lies!" he attests and methinks you get the picture... As the bickering continues, Deirdre's neck tendons begin going brilliantly bezerk in that patented way that we haven't seen for far too long! Woohoo - Let's have a round of applause for the tendons, please, ladies and gentlemen! ;)
Big Red Rita (who tonight is wearing a BIG RED BLOUSE!) sits down with Sharon in a booth at The Rovers and carries across some drinkies. She is suggesting the idea of a pub crawl, but poor Sharon is still moping, nearly on the verge of tears. "I know I'm not a six foot hunk, but you know you've got me" suggests Rita comfortingly and is told by her foster- daughter that "you're closer to me now than anyone is"... Rita says she's glad to hear that their relationship is currently strong, since she "has a proposition to make"...
...And we cut back to the Borelow Household, where everyone is now sat at the dinner table although, sadly, things haven't progressed an inch. Robert and Vampira are still debating whether or not she's having an affair with a bloke called "Dan" (Daniel Ash??) and, needless to say, both are still at opposing ends of the argument. It's a pretty tedious case of "You Did!" and "I Didn't" for awhile and then it swiftly turns into Ken and Deirdre yelling at each other... Ken suggests that Tracey SHOULD have told Robert that she was going for a drink with an ex-Bauhaus guitarist, but Deirdre thinks this is ridiculous since there was nothing to hide or feel guilty about... Blah blah blah blah. Eventually Robert realises that this whole dinner is a farce and that the entire Barlow family are nutcases so he storms out, leaving Tracey to lecture Ken and Deirdre on how they can't stop arguing and how they brought her up badly by both having affairs (with Wendy Crozier and Mike Baldwin, respectively) whilst she was little, before finally declaring that they're "both hypocrites" and she doesn't know why she bothered coming to dinner. Meow! Sadly, she doesn't go upstairs to play her Bone Orchard tapes at this point... ;)
Over at The Rovers again, Ashley is approached by Mighty Uncle Fred, who escorts him over to a table and asks if he's given Leanne and Whoopsie their marching orders yet. The Lurve Doctor tells him that it's quite difficult to find the right words, but a Frightened Fred whispers "It'll be much more difficult when she's seven months and showing! What'll people say if I kick her out in that state?"... Ashleh nods reluctantly that "it will be easier in the long run" and Fred snaps "That's right! GET RID!" in agreement...
Finally, we cut across to a booth, where Rita is mulling over the past two years events with Sharon... She says that 18 months ago, when she used to run the Kabin with Mavis, everything was fine, but now, things have changed so much that she's become jaded. What with Mavis leaving, Alec and her falling out and Alf dying, there seems little reason for her to continue running the shop and thinks she should slow down and take things "a little easier". Bearing in mind that Sharon is in need of a new start right now, she explains that she's decided to... *drumroll*... pass on the Kabin to her! "I said I had a birthday present to give you and this is it... As of today, Sharon, the Kabin is all your's..." - Cue credits!
This episode was written by Martin Allen and, although nothing out of this world, was solid enough to sustain interest.
On the down-side we had Adam Rickett who has become so awful of late that you can't even tell whether Nick's supposed be happy or sad and, as a result, a lot of the plot is lost... The Curly -vs- Jackie story is dragging on tediously (although tonight's exchange between Tyrone and Toyah was priceless!) and should be stopped, asap, IMHO. Also, as nice as it may be to see Tracey back on the Street, the constant playground fighting of her and Robert has already become boring to these eyes.
On a more complimentary note, Barbara Knox continues to astound with simply thoroughly believable delivery of her lines. You'd be forgiven for thinking she *WAS* Rita Sullivan, especially in the last scene where she laments on all the friends she's lost. Very moving indeed... It'll also be nice to see Sharon being given the Kabin since hopefully this will give the mercilessly talented Tracie Bennett something better to do than mope around about that slimeball Ian.
Anyway, that's enough from me until next week. Til next time! :)
Bore da, and greetings from a very wet and miserable Wales.
As you are probably all aware by now, the inimitable CP Turner, and myself, are taking over the Wednesday slot on alternate weeks, and Ros Mitchell has, after being begged, bribed and gagged by CP, now switched to Sunday. I would just like to wish John Laird all the best and to thank him for his excellent updates over the last 12 months. Fear not, John fans, as he will be returning as guest updater from time to time.
I would also like to say that I have absolutely no shame in pinching some of The Rattler and Annie's character nicknames. So, when you see Short Rodney (Annie) the Lurve Doctor (Annie), Big Red (Rattler), Cadfael (Rattler), Operation Gorgon (Rattler), and Medusa (Rattler), the credit must go the aforementioned King and Queen of Updates. :)
I'm not a very happy bunny today as our cat, Harley Hemlock Davidson, has gone missing, I have assignments due, a headache, and I'm trying desperately hard not to go back to smoking ten B&H a day. So, it's a very crabby Queen of Siam's update for Wednesday 23rd March, 1999.
This episode was sponsored by Cadbury's Wispa Mint (and what a wonderful opening sequence), and I was sponsored by Lydia Lunch and Lucy Hamilton (what I was trying to listen to.)
We start off (do we have to) at the breakfast table in the House of Elliot, where Casper the Unfriendly Rickitt Creature (who has obviously just had 'action' shouted at him) tells his lovely wife, Leanne, that he has been thinking (she thought it was the toast burning). He doesn't have to go to University straight after College, he can take a year off. Loads of other people do. When he goes back the baby can go with him to a creche. 'If they have one' she says. 'They all have one' (no they don't, sunshine), comes his enlightened reply. He tells Leanne that if she wants to she can stay at home with the baby or they could both do part time jobs. Leanne just wants the three of them to be together as much as possible. At that moment, the Lurve Doctor himself comes down the stairs. It's Amazing Ashley. Casper tells him that he and Leanne were just talking about what will happen after the baby is born. Ashley looks awkward. Casper says, not to worry, they won't ask him to babysit all the time and that he could be the baby's godfather. Leanne agrees. Ashley looks even more awkward.
Curly is stood outside Castle Gorgon. Spider (who is wearing a GREAT jumper. I have one very similar) approaches and says there is no sign. He thinks Medusa Gobbs is still asleep. Curly says they can't wait much longer. Spider turns on Curly's car radio and the awful Jamiroqui blare out. Medusa calls out from the nest of vipers that is her bedroom window that, 'some of us are trying to sleep and that it will take more than Terry Wogan (er, confused) to get rid of her. When she goes back inside, Curly and Spider shout very loudly that they will both meet each other in The Rovers as 6pm, then whisper 'see you round the corner at half eleven'.
Over at the Salon, Gail is having her hair done (she must have been reading this week's ratucs) by Audreh. She is moaning (does she ever do anything else?) about how she wished she'd never gone to Canada. Audreh says that accidents happen (regarding the pregnancy) but Gail says she was thinking about Martin. Audreh asks what is Martin going to do? Gail says he is on the Nursing Manager's blacklist at the hospital. That's dreadful, exclaims Audreh, 'who is he'. 'Jeff York. Why?', replies Gail. Audreh looks pensive but shrugs it off to Gail.
We now go to a scene where a machine can be seen slicing meet. A booming voice asking, 'Have you told them yet, I say, have you said owt?' makes us all aware that we are at the meat counter in Firman's Freeqers (and are about to be treated to one of the funniest scenes on Corrie for a long, long time). 'It's not that easy' says Ashley. 'You're too easy. You don't know when you are being taken advantage of. And put your hat straight, you look like Frank Sinatra', replies Fred. (Oh, ROFLWTSDMFAUTCMBATST !! The look on Ashley's face is priceless.) 'Yes Uncle Fred'. 'Don't look at me like that. You are the public face of the British meat industry. So think on, wear your hat with pride. Now where was I ?' says Fred.. (Oh, ROFLWTSDMFAUTCMBATST !! again) Ashley (straightening his hat) 'Me being taken advantage of'. 'That's right', said Fred (oh, ha ha, LOL at my own rapier wit) 'It you don't get them out sharpish I'll have to do it. And I won't mince me words. The scene ends with Fred turning to a customer 'Yes love?'
At the Borelow Towers, Robert is apologising to King Ken and says he appreciates his help. Ken says he doesn't want either Robert or Morticia to be unhappy. Robert says he will get over it and is resigned to the fact his marriage is over. Ken says that if Morticia wakes up this morning (this morning? Surely some mistake here) and comes to her senses then Ken will let Robert know.
Next we are treated to a sight that almost brought mine, and the dogs, dinners up. (My husband managed to keep his down as he had left the room at this point to search for Harley). The dreadful sight is, wait for it, the manic grinning face of CADFAEL WEBSTER!!!!! Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhhh. She is sat in her car with Daphne from Frasier. Er, sorry, make that Sharon. Daffers has just told Cadfael about The Big Red's birthday gift. Sally is stunned and Sharon asks her whether Reet has 'gone a bit dotty'. LOL! Sally says that there were side effects from that carbon monoxide poisioning but that Reet seems to be ok now. Sharon asks Sally if the Big Red One has ever done anything like this before and Sally mentions the £5,000 that Reet gave to her, for the guurrls. After Ted died, Reet just wanted to be an honoury gran to Rursie and Surphie. Were there any strings, enquires Shaz? None, is the reply. Sally says how Reet has always been there for her and has treated her like a daughter. Sharon is still a bit concerned and Sally advises her that maybe she should talk it over with Reet.
At The Rovers bar Audreh is telling Gail she has just been on the phone to a council friend who knows 'this Yorkie chap' so he is going to have a 'quiet word in his ear'. 'Did you mention Martin's name' grills Gail. 'Yes, why'? enquires Audreh. 'Cos he'll go spare if he thinks someone is trying to help him get a job' (how ungrateful). Audreh says not to tell him, anyway he will be getting a phone calle soon. Martin is a good nurse (he's the ONLY one isn't he?) and he deserves a job. 'I wish I hadn't mentioned it now' moans the ever stroppy Gail.
Across the pub, sat in a booth, Leanne and Casper are looking through pregnancy leaflets. He wants to know if she'd asked about flying in case they go back to Canada? He gasps (I think). 'Is that what it (I presume he is talking about a pregnancy scan) looks like?', he asks. Leanne, beaming (bless her) replies 'the size of a bean, yeah'. (bigger than its daddy's brain, then). The Lurve Doctor approaches. Does he want a drink? No, he just wants a word. He's been talking to Uncle Fred about the baby. Uncle Fred doesn't want them to have the baby in the house. Leanne says, jokingly, that they will have it in the garden or in the shed, then. Ashley says he is not joking and then reality sinks in (well it does with Leanne. I think it's supposed to with Casper but I can't tell).
Curly is outside his house. Spider informs him it is all clear around the back. Curly looks through his letterbox. A pair of eyes stares back. LOL! 'I'll call the cops' informs Short Rodney. All of a sudden Curly and Spider turn to look at (DON'T LOOK, BOYS !!! DON'T LOOK !!!) Medusa Gobbs, her hair a mass of snakes, coming down the street. She warns them to leave Tyrone alone or there'll be trouble.
The Big Red is in her kitchen when Daffers walks in with a cardboard box (no, it's not Casper), She's done Rita's shopping. Sally had given her a lift. Reet asks her if she's thought more about her offer. Daffers says, as a birthday present, a box of chocolates would have been great and she'd have thought Rita was over doing it a bit if she'd given her a gold watch. 'But The Kabin?. The Business?' , she says. She asks what would have happened if she hadn't landed on Rita's doorstep. She tells her about the conversation with Sally and what Sally said. 'Did she now?' Rita does not look happy. 'What else has she been saying? This is Sally talking, questioning my motives. It's got nothing to do with Sally Webster'. Rita wishes Sharon hadn't told Sally and who else has she told. No one, she'd only mentioned it to Sally because she was having misgivings and can't they just go on as they are now. Rita looks hurt and says that it's not just about the shop, is it. Sharon is scared that Rita wants to make a commitment to her because 'I'm a lonely old woman', says Rita. Sharon looks awkward and says she's sorry.
Gail has just popped home to drop off some shopping. Martin has just had a phone call from the hospital. He's got a job interview tomorrow. Gail, faltering, 'oh, great'. 'No it's not, it's suspicious', he replies. He claims he has no chance, as it is Jeff York doing the interviews. So, why have they asked him in, she enquires? He doesn't know but he's not going to give them the pleasure of rubbing his nose in it. He's not going. Gail says they are crying out for nurses (they must be since he left, as he was the only one that worked there) and he says he will see how he feels in the morning.
Morticia is round her mum's, playing with the cobwebs. (Tracy, luv, if you're going to have your hair that black then you have to wear the make up to go with it, otherwise you just look washed out. I should know. When I was younger my mother used to reckon I looked like one of the walking dead. Now I just feel like one). She is moaning to The Drear that she's done nothing. wrong. It's just that (yawn) Robert doesn't trust her. Deirdre asks if Dan splitting from his wife had anything to do with her. No, he had split from her before that. All they had done was go out for a few drinks and that Robert should trust her. The Drear asks her if she'd been unfaithful with Dan and did he want an affair. No she hadn't and yes, he did. Deirdre is not amused. She is not surprised that Robert is angry and asks her daughter how she can be so stupid. She tells Morticia not to make the same mistakes she's made.
A bright and cheery Cadfael enters The Kabin and a gloomy and miserable Leanne is sent, by The Big Red, to go and get a couple of Eccles cakes. (At least she wasn't sent upstairs to wash her hands). Rita says to Sally that she hears she has been having a little chat to Sharon. Sally, brightly, 'About The Kabin?'. Rita, sternly, 'And about the money I gave you'. 'It just came up, I'm sorry. There's no harm done, is there?' enquires Sal. Rita, proving that there is nothing like a Big Red scorned replies ' What are you trying to do? Chuck a spanner in the works'. 'You what?' enquires a flabbergasted Sally. 'Cos that's what is sounds like. Of course, it all makes sense now, doesn't it? Were you hoping that one day I'd leave everything to you. That I'd lose contact with Sharon and Jenny and that you would get the pickings' fires Rita. Sally, stunned, 'Rita, that's a terrible thing to say, of course I didn't' 'Then why did you plant all this suspicion in Sharon's mind?' demands Rita. 'All I said was if she had any doubts to talk them through with you first. I said it for you as much as for her', is Sally's reply. Sally doesn't want Rita to get hurt and Rita, not looking convinced, says she will have to take her word for it.
Curly and Spider are at the bar in The Rovers when Medusa comes in and enquires, of Jolleh Judeh, how the babehs are because they had been crying in the night. Judeh apologises and says they both had colic. Medusa said it was no problem and she was just worried. She tells Judeh to complain if Short Rodney ever plays his music too loud, as she doesn't want to fall out with her neighbours. Spider asks Curly if he had heard that. He had. 'She makes me want to puke' (not just you, mate), he replies. Medusa informs The Likely Lads that Short Rodney is on duty at the house. Spider says they should go around, as there are two of them and one of him. Curly is convinced it will turn into a bloodbath with his blood. They leave the pub.
Across the pub, the Lurve Doctor approaches Casper and Leanne, who are sat down. Can he buy them a drink? No thanks, she says. Casper says that Uncle Fred is being insensitive by chucking them out. Leanne begs Ashley to try and get around Uncle Fred.
At Borelow Towers, Deirdre is telling Ken about her earlier conversation with Morticia. 'It's all so unnecessary' she says. Ken thinks Morticia has behaved naively. Deirdre makes them a cup of tea. She'll stay another hour just to let the Cobwebbed One think things over. 'Stay as long as you like' replies Ken. Aww.
Curly and Spider burst into Castle Gorgon. No sign of anyone. 'Perhaps he's out'. 'Bolt the doors'. Short Rodney appears. 'What do you think you're playing at?' he asks. Spider and Curly tell him to sit down. He wants to know what they are going to do. They obviously haven't thought of that. LOL! They all put the telly on.
Back at Borelow Towers, Ken and Deirdre are listening to Morticia's Cradle of Filth CD. They look very cosy together, her drinking tea and him reading. Is all this their fault she asks. Are they bad role models? Ken said Morticia only said that because she 'felt cornered at that dinner'. What are they going to do with their daughter who just won't admit she's at fault? Deirdre thinks she should get Morticia and Robert together in the morning so she can tell Robert what she's told her.
Back at Castle Gorgon, Spider comes in with some veggie pies (yum, let's hope they're Jamaican spicy pasties as they are the best!), some sandwiches, and some beer. How long are they planning on staying? demands Short Rodney. As long as it takes, replies Curly. Short Rodney complains that he and Medusa have no where else to go. Spider informs him that it will get rather crowded then, as him and Curly aren't going anywhere either. Short Rodney says that mummy can get violent, especially after a few drinks. 'She'll use anything; knife, bottle, glass. She's done it before. And the next thing, you know, cops are round and she's back inside. She's only out on licence' (hmm, is the future plot unravelling before my eyes, I wonder). 'Put one thing wrong and I'm in care and you (pointing at Curly) are in hospital.'
Rita is pouring some wine for her and Sharon. Daffers says taking on The Kabin will be a big step and is she ready for the task. And anyway she thought Rita wasn't keen on her way of running the shop when she was temporary manger. Rita says she would have behaved in the same way when she was Sharon's age. But what will Rita live on. She will come and work for Daffers, if she wants her too. 'Of course I do. I need to learn the business'. Sharon is going to give it a go (yay!). They toast The Kabin.
Back at Castle Gorgon, Medusa arrives home. 'Mam, we've got visitors'. 'Don't tell them anything, I've not done nothing wrong'. 'No, not the busy's' replies the little sprog. 'Curly'. Medusa wants to know what the hell Curly and Spider are doing there. She is not budging and she has got as long as it takes.
Episode written by Phil Woods
So how was it for me?
Well, I don't know enough (yet) about individual scriptwriters so I can't say whether this was a good Phil Woods episode or not. But I enjoyed it for a number of reasons.
The first being the absolutely wonderful comic duo of John Savident and Steven Arnold. These two are priceless and are far funnier than most so-called 'real' comedians. The scene at Firmans just had to be view to be appreciated properly, as there were as many sight gags as written ones. Ashley straightening his hat, continually slicing the meat and, most importantly, the expression on the two men's faces. Wonderful! Steven Arnold also showed, in his scenes with Leanne, that he can act pathos as well as comedy.
I think it's great that Corrie now has these wonderful comedy double acts; Ashley and Fred, Curly and Spider and (unseen tonight) Jim and Gary. The Curly house scandal was played mainly for laughs tonight with Alan Halsall, as young Tyrone, proving that he has great comic timing, too. The only thing that spoiled it was Mama Dobbs. I cringe when I see her.
There was some great acting from Barbara Knox, Tracie Bennet and Sally Whitticker as Rita, Sharon, and Sally. This Kabin storyline looks like it could provide some very gritty drama. I hope so. It was nice to see the old, almost nave, Sally Webster back tonight. She really didn't mean any harm by telling Sharon about the money and was genuinely shocked when Rita had a go at her. Sally thinks a lot of Rita, and this storyline may see friendships being blown apart. We'll have to see.
As for Ken and Deirdre, well, apart from Roy and Hayley, they are my favourite Corrie couple. The fit together like a hand in glove.
Also great acting from the underrated Helen Worth as the 'world on my shoulders' Gail, Sue Nicholls as the well-meaning Audrey. And, of course, Jane Danson, as Leanne.
Another reason I enjoyed the episode is because Rickitt wasn't in it too much. I just can't bear to look at him. And his 'acting' is getting worse. He makes Stephen Billington look like Alan Rickman.
That's it from me. Hope you liked it. CP will be here next week and I'll see you in two weeks.
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
A relatively quiet uninspiring week on the home front, with not a lot to report, apart from me finally completing some database work which will facilitate the handover of the business. Apart from hosting some friends (more on that next week) and Easter holidays for Trude and Simon, not a lot else to report.
Nice to hear the Pineapple Pingers had a great time in Australia over the weekend - I look forward to seeing some piccies up soon. Talking of Pings, Glenda Young is organising one in Manchester this coming Friday, so that should be a nice opportunity to get to meet old friends and hopefully, some new faces too.
And on the subject of World Mega Pings, my pal Jubbly was suggesting a week or so back having a mega ping in the UK, sometime in the year 2000. Obviously these sorts of events are such that no one date will be acceptable to all. December 2000 will be the 40th Birthday of Coronation Street and, no doubt, Granada will do something special to commemorate this event at that time. The problem is that December is a bad month for many, with Christmas looming, and its associated expenses and hassles. It is a very busy time of the year and for overseas visitors, not a good time to get deal on hotels and flights quite apart from the fact that the weather isn't brilliant if you want to do other things as well. The way it's shaping up is that Autumn (September) looks like being a prime time for most visitors, so that is increasingly coming through as the favourite for the Canucks, Renegades, Aardvarks and Possums PING 2000, hereinafter to be known as the CRAP PING 2000 :). More in due course...
Anyway.... enough of that.... without further ado, it's time for the update
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Roses
The programme starts at Snora Batty's - well, not really, although it was remarkably reminiscent of 'er indoors. Actually, we are at Curly's place and there's a battle of wits going on. Curly, aided and abetted by Spider, is determined to get his own home back Scouse Slagette, with Tyrone the Wonderboy, is equally determined to stay put. So there's this cosy tête-à-tête, with all four of them asleep in the living room. It's morning and we hear the milkman's van outside and the clunking of milk bottles. Slagette raises an eyelid and asks Curly for the time - it's five a.m. "Don't you think it was time you and your mate got home?" she comments, still half-asleep. "I AM home" replies Curly. Jackie - "You moved out." Curly - "Well I'm moving back in." J - "Okay. Well, a very reason for you to get goin', is that as soon as you close your eyes again, I'm gonna slope off into the kitchen, get me great big carvin' knife and do terrible things to you..... sweet dreams!" Curly - gulp!
It's the Weatherfield office of "Do as I say , not do as I do Limited". Ken is on the phone, with Deirdre alongside him, watching on. He is telling Robert that surely their marriage is worth one more shot. Robert is clearly asking him what's different this time - Ken repeats the question. Deirdre supplies the answer, that Tracyluv has admitted it's as much her fault as his. They agree to meet on neutral territory at the Rovers at 7. After Ken has put the phone down, Deirdre expresses her frustration with the whole affair, suggesting she would like to bang both their heads together.
Back at Curly's, the war of wits continues. Curly is still sitting in his armchair, hanging on for grim life, well possession anyway. Ty comes into the room and expresses surprise that Curly is still there. Jackie confirms that Curly and Spider stayed all night, but Spider has now gone, "so what do you think, shall we starve him to death or do him in." Tyrone helpfully suggests to Curly that he ought to get out of the place while he still can. Curly "This is my house. I'm not going anywhere." Jackie "You keep sayin' tha' and I'm gettin' sick of hearin' it." Tyrone "Mam, calm down, you know what you're like!" J "Oh I know what I'm gonna be like if he doesn't shift himself." T (to Curly) "Look, why don't you just go. She's gonna go mental, I know the signs." C, raising his voice "This is my house!" J (shouting) "Look, he's doing it on purpose!" T "Mam, calm down, eh?" J "How can I calm down when he keeps sayin' tha', eh, how can I?"
At that point Spider comes in - Jackie is somewhat surprised at how he has come in. He has a key, he tells her. J "Ow come he has a key?" she asks of Tyrone, who doesn't have an answer.
Spider has come in the food parcels, well, butties, anyway, from Auntie Emily plus a flask of coffee. Curly is delighted and starts to help himself, while Jackie starts going 'mental' - "what's going on? They're having a picnic in my house." C "It is NOT your house!"
Jackie loses it and lunges forward in a fit of rage, but is held back by Tyrone who reminds her that if she makes any false moves, the cops will be round and she will end up back inside, is that what she wants, he asks her. when she maintains that she is being provoked, Tyrone reminds her that if she loses her temper, then Curly has won.
Talking of knives, you can cut the atmosphere with one at Ashley's. He is embarrassed by the ultimatum he gave them to quit, but wants to reassure them that they have time. They tells him they understand, but the tone of the response suggests anger. Ashley tries to win them over by saying that it isn't really fair, they never complained when he and Zoe had Shannon here. Nick tries to make light of it all but quipping "well, we did, just not to your face." Leanne tells him "we know it's not you, it's fat Fred." Ashley admits that it's not entirely Fred's fault - he confesses that he finds it hard enough, him being on his own and seeing them together, "a baby in the house, as well, I just couldn't stand that." Leanne throws a wobbler at hearing this news, but Nick seems to understand. Ashley realises how bad this must sound and beats a hasty retreat. Leanne, having been cranked up, is determined to leave as quickly as possible. Nick tries to placate her and explains that "he wishes it was him. He wishes it was him and Zoe" (having the baby, that is).
At the Platt homestead, it's breaky time. Martin isn't sure whether it's worth bothering going for the interview, he'll only get turned down again, he insists. When Gail tells him that he won't get a job if he goes in with that attitude, Martin throws a hissy fit. He won't go in with that attitude, in fact, he won't bother going in at all. He reminds her that he has been once before and was made to feel "that small. It's the same bloke, it'll be the same message." Gail tells him that he might have changed his mind, but Martin thinks that " a squadron of pigs looping the loop over Weatherfield" might be more likely. At the end of her tether, Gail admits that her mother put in a word for him, she knows someone on the Hospital Trust and that she asked them to use their influence. Martin sees red at this interference and says that he definitely will not go for the interview now he knows this. He resents Audreh's interference and asks Gail whether she put her mother up this. Gail vehemently denies this, maintaining that she told her mother that Martin was going for the interview and that her mother did the rest. His pride is hurt as he points out the position he would be in if he got the job, that it would be because Audrey had put in a quick word. "And would it matter?" asks Gail. "Yes" he replies, "it would matter a lot to me, knowing I didn't get the job on merit, but because your mother happened to be a councillor."
At the Kabin, Sharon is telling Sally "it were like being mugged in reverse" referring to Rita's decision to give her the Kabin as a birthday present. "Somebody gets you in the corner and says 'you will have this shop and don't argue, 'cos I'll bash you' " - she admits she didn't really have much choice, but expresses the fear that Rita might wake up and change her mind. Sally tries to reassure her, that once Rita makes up her mind, she sticks to her decisions.
Enter Tyrone, asking for "twenty of me mam's fags, please" and Sharon says to Sally "See? I don't even know how old they're supposed to be. Sixteen? Are you sixteen?"
"Yeah I really am and I'm not even lying" replies Ty in all seriousness!! "I suppose you can be more honest as you get older, well, there's less to lie about." ROTFL!
As he leaves, Sally and Sharon agree to have a celebratory drink. At that point enter Leanne, furious at being asked to leave Ashley's house, "And why? Because I'm pregnant and Ashley can't stand the thought of us being happy", she rants. While the others are commiserating, Leanne says that she could refuse but right now, even if Ashley got down on his hands and knees and asked them to stay, she wouldn't. As Leanne makes her way into the back, Sally beats a diplomatic retreat with Sharon muttering "I wish I could come with you."
At the salon, another happy customer leaves, giving Tom a generous tip. When Maxine asks whether all customers give such tips, Tom jokingly replies that he is working on those that don't, in any case, he doesn't know whether he is still going to be here after tonight. He co-opts Maxine's help in asking Audrey if she has made a decision.
At that point, Martin angrily enters the Kabin. He tackles Audrey about her putting in a word for him. She makes light of the issue, merely saying that she just had a word with a colleague, but Martin is not mollified. It might look as if he put her up to it, he tells her. she tells him it was just a word that she put in, it happens all the time. "Yes and it's called corruption", he tells her, suggesting that the next time she is tempted to help, she shouldn't bother.
As he leaves the salon, Maxine takes the opportunity of tackling Audrey on whether she intends to retain Tom. Audrey, however, is hassled and the timing is wrong.
The impasses continues at Curly's. Slagette says to Curly "You haven't got a job to go to then?" Not today, replies Curly as Spider elaborates that he rang up Curly's work on his behalf to let them know he wouldn't be coming in. Curly turns the table and suggests that he doesn't need to ask whether she has a job to go to. This is like a red rag to a bull for Jackie, who replies "oh you can take one look at me and decide what type I am? Then you should see I'm the type that'll swing for you, if this goes on much longer. You and your helpful pal will be dog meat if you don't gerrout of here!" Curly repeats that they are not going anywhere because it is his house, but his comments fall on deaf ears, as usual. She tries to spin the line that she is living there and is responsible for bringing up a child, who will be at risk, if he gets his way and they end up on the street. Spider and Kevin don't see it that way and Spider jokingly comments that he and Curly are at more risk than Tyrone. This is enough for Jackie who gets to her feet, yelling "Last chance! Are you gonna walk out of here, or do I have to call an ambulance?" At that stage, Tyrone leaps to his feet to hold her back. He tells her that she doesn't have to do this, as he has phoned his dad, who has promised to come as soon as he can. Jackie is pleased by this and says that her husband will sort things out for her and that he would do anything for her. "He'd kill for me.. if I ask him....." Spider and Curly pause, then slowly look at each other, their looks a picture!!!
... 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 in the College refectory. Nick is sitting down to lunch as Miranda comes over him. It's not him who is supposed to be eating for two, she quips and asks how the mother-to-be is. Everything is fine, he starts to tell her, then he admits that they are going to have to look for alternative accommodation, but they have plenty of time, so it's not a problem. She points out that Nick's problem is that she is to accepting, whatever happens, everything is going to be fine, to be OK. When he tries to convince her it will be, she replies "Not on the evidence so far, which is that, at the tender age of 18, you've acquired a wife, you're about to acquire a child as well. what you haven't got, Nick, is a job, income, qualifications, any idea of what it is you're letting yourself in for. And now, it seems, you don't even have anywhere to live." (Sheesh, is that all, for a minute I thought this was serious :) !! )
At Curly's, Spider is taking the food order - "it's lentil and potato pie but Auntie Em wants to know whether you want red cabbage or mushy peas with it." Curly will have it just as it comes. But Jackie is trying to spread doom, gloom and despondency, as she tells Curly that it will be the last meal he has on this earth. "Shan't be long" quips Spider beating a hasty retreat. Jackie gets her money out and tells Tyrone to get down to the chippie and get fish, chips and all the trimmings - just for two, as Darren, her husband would be coming after work. After Tyrone has disappeared, she warns Curly that Darren will kill him. "This is my house" is the well-worn refrain from Curly. "Yeah and it's gonna be your grave and all" replies Slagette. Curly warns her that if there is any violence or even a threat of it, then he will call the police. Jackie does not seem perturbed by this threat. She decides to make him an offer - how about he gives her £1000 - call it relocation expenses. That way, she gets the money, he gets the house and no blood spilt on the carpets!!! "No. No. Why should I? asks Curly. "Because this is the easy way" replies Slagette. "THIS is my house" is the well-worn tune. She suggests that he goes down to the bank, while she puts Auntie Emily's lentil and potato pie into the oven. Either that or they wait for her fella. No, is the unequivocal reply from Curly. "You know what you done? You've just signed your own death warrant."
Nick is still talking over his problem with Miranda. He is telling them that their parents support them. "Financially?" she asks - well no, is the answer. "They'd let you live with them?" - well, he doesn't think he and Leanne would want that! "So they'll coo over the baby, I suppose it's better than nothing" is the riposte from Miranda, describing the actual extent of the support. When Nick asks what she suggests, is she saying they shouldn't be having the baby, Miranda replies that, thankfully, it's not for her to make that decision. "All I am trying to do, is to open those big brown eyes of yours to what is coming next." She gets him to admit that he didn't really want the baby, "then it happens and everyone gets excited and all your ambitions, plans to go to University, everything- it goes out of the window. Nick tries to maintain that the baby will not hinder him in his plans. "But you can't" states Miranda "once that demanding little tyrant gets himself born then your days of freedom are well and truly over. You wont even be young anymore." She tells him that all he is going to be is a parent, never mind being a student, husband or lover. If he doesn't want that, then she suggests he thinks very careful about what it is that he is doing, even whether he should be doing it at all...
At the salon, Vera has had her hair done. She is delighted with the job Tom has done for her and tells Audrey she has a genius working for her, he has made her look ten years younger. Audrey says that it was just her hair that Tom had seen to and Vera cackles "well he can do the rest of me later on". as she is about to leave, Audrey stops her and asks her to pay, oblivious of the arrangement Vera entered into with Maxine to clean the salon in return for a free hair-do. Vera sets her straight on the deal, which Maxine confirms, much to her own embarrassment. Audrey scathingly criticise Maxine for not picking up a duster herself, but Maxine points out that she was on her own until she hired Tom. "So you employed an assistant and a cleaner. Anybody else?" she asks. Nothing else, confirms Maxine, but while they are talking, she seizes the opportunity to ask whether Audrey is going to keep Tom on. Audrey replies that she has no option as most of the bookings are for him. Tom and Maxine look visibly relieved at this bit of good news.
Martin is at his interview and is telling Mr Yorke that, as he heard they had some vacancies, he thought he would apply for them. Mr Yorke tells him that they have a "vacancy on Casualty and one on Male Orthopaedic. Which one would you like?" Martin expresses his preference for the Casualty vacancy. "Start on Monday?" replies Mr Yorke somewhat tersely. "Why don't you drop by on Casualty and I'll let Sister know." Martin asks him what made him change his mind, to which Mr Yorke replies "as you said, we need nurses." In response to Martin's questioning, he confirms that there were no other reasons for him changing his mind - his own contract is up for renewal next month, and he wants to remain in the job too. Having said that, he wouldn't be giving Martin the job if he didn't think he was a fit and competent nurse.
At Curly's place, Tyrone is on the phone giving directions to get to the house to his father. "He's on his way" he says, putting the phone down. With the clock ticking, Jackie is reviving her previous offer "last chance and I mean last chance, I'll take £500 and we'll be packed and ready to go when Darren gets here." Curly and Spider exchange glances, "No, no. this is my house" is the relentless message. "Right! Right! Have you made a will, either of you?" returns Jackie quickly, "Right, Tyrone. Find a pen and paper, while there's still time."
At Ashley's place, he is embarrassed by his ultimatum to Nick and Leanne - he tells them to forget it. they say they understand full well - they are going to be evicted. He just didn't want them falling out, he explains. He leaves them on their own. After he has gone, Nick takes the bull by the horns and tries to discuss their impending parenthood - when the baby comes along, the wont be on their own, they will be parents. (You don't say!!!) they need to realise that, he says.
There is someone at the door of the Curly's place. Tyrone opens the door to his father. As he comes into the house, Jackie yells "in here Darren, quick! I'm being held prisoner by these two thugs." She tells him how pleased she is to see him. "These two, is it?" he asks menacingly. Behind him, Tyrone is making all sorts of encouraging gestures to his father. Jackie says that she has been "keeping them nice and fresh for you." "Good" replies Darren, slowly moving forward, "sorry about this" he says to a much relieved Curly and Spider. "No problem" say the dynamic duo. "Come home, I'm taking you home" says Darren to Jackie. Jackie is puzzled by this reply, this is where she lives, after all. Darren goes on to explain that if she carried on, she would end up back in prison - while saying this, Tyrone confirms that his mother has been on the brink all day. "And anyway," continues Darren, "your home's with me." Jackie asks him about "that tart that had moved in" and he confirms she has gone. Overcome with emotion at hearing from him that he wants her back, she breaks down crying and embraces him passionately. As Spider and Curly look on at this incredible spectacle, Tyrone tells them "You'se two don't know how close you came, you know."
At the Rovers, Sharon has come in with Sally for a celebratory drink. Judeh serves. After an exchange of pleasantries, the camera switches to Audrey and Fred talking together at the bar. Audrey tells Fred that Rita has given the Kabin to Sharon. Fred is somewhat surprised when Audrey tells him that, apparently, Rita regards Sharon as her daughter and wants her to take over the Kabin in its entirety. He tells her that such a move is a gamble he wouldn't care to take.
Martin and Gail come into the pub - Gail is heard to say "be nice" as Martin makes his way over to see Audrey. martin offers to get a round of drinks in, as he got his job back at the hospital today. While Fred is offering his congratulations, Martin thanks Audrey for her help. "That's not what you were saying this morning" replies Audrey with a hint of resentment. "No, but he's saying it now" says Gail. "A scotch and threat" orders Fred!!
Outside Curly's place, there is a car parked in the street. It's Darren's - Jackie comes out of the house with Tyrone, while Curly and Spider look on. Jackie is moaning loudly about how people don't know how to enjoy themselves in the street and how glad she is to be leaving. Kevin asks for her keys back and after she has handed them over, Darren escorts her to the car. Spider remarks to Tyrone "So, you'll be going home with your mum and your dad. That'll be nice" "Are you taking the mick?" challenges Tyrone, "I tell you what. I won't be unpacking my bags." With that, he gets into the car. "Drive fast babe" says Jackie to Darren, "can't wait to get you home. Seeya... don't wanna be here." As the car speeds off, we see a jubilant Curly proclaiming to Spider "We did it!! I got my house back."
Back inside the Rovers, Linda is propping up the bar. Judy asks her what she has lined up for the evening. "Nothing, just didn't fancy stopping in" replies Linda, but at that moment, enter Robert into the pub. "And happens there was something in my stars that said I had to be stood in here when he walked in" she continues. Robert is a bit perplexed by the comment. "Don't worry luv, I'm Linda and I'm buying so what are you having?" she asks.
Curly and Spider come into the pub. Curly cannot believe that it's all over and thanks Spider for his help. He couldn't have done it without him, he says. Spider has been pleased to help but says that if Jackie comes back again, then Curly will be on his own to sort things out and if Darren ever comes back, he will definitely be on his own.
Linda and Robert are talking, getting to know each other. He is telling her, much to her disappointment, he lives in Clapham, London. "Why is it every bloke I meet, they're either a thousand miles away or married?" she asks. "Ah well, yeah," replies Robert sheepishly, "sorry, I'm married as well, yeah.." "Couldn't you just have lied to me" she retorts.
Just at that moment, enter Tracy, followed by Deirdre. Tracy sees Robert at the bar, chatting to Linda and immediately thinks the worst. "He's only talking to her" opines Deirdre. "Yeah, just like I was talking to Dan" replies RTracy. With the Bee Gees "Tragedy" playing in the background, she wanders over to Robert. "Well you two seem to be getting on alright. Don't worry, I'm not going to interrupt. Just don't go pointing your finger at me again, when you're just as bad yourself." With that, she storms out of the pub, followed by an incredulous Deirdre.
Enter Maxine into the pub and seeing Audrey and Fred sitting down, goes over to join them. Maxine apologies that she is late, she was having a celebratory drink with Tom - he's delighted he is being kept on, she tells Audrey. "Ah well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about" replies Audrey. She takes Maxine over to the bar and tells her that she is correct, Tom IS good, very good. The problem is there are only two jobs in the salon - Audrey is one and if Tom is the other then Maxine can work things out for herself. Maxine incredulously asks Audrey to confirm that she is being sacked. Audrey replies "the way I see it, when you took him on, you sacked yourself."
And with the Bee Gees Tragedy still resounding...
... it is the cue for music and credits ...
Episode written by Peter Whalley
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me? Hmm, on reflection, not a particularly brilliant episode, largely to the absence of any strong storylines.
Tiresome Tracy is back, hopefully only for a short appearance, presumably to facilitate the getting together of Ken and Deirdre. Sigh.. yawn..
The pregnancy saga continues to affect Nick and Leanne - presumably a ploy to devise a storyline which heralds the departure of Nick. For that and the appearance of the luscious Miranda - who is an ace actress as well as being a gorgeous sight - we should be eternally thankful. The storyline would be a complete disaster were it not for the presence of Jane Danson as Leanne.
Martin gets his job back. Apart from demonstrating the conflict between principles and the practicalities of paying the mortgage and maybe retaining pride, what was the point of the nursing home storyline, then?
Maxine gets the push and Tom takes over, or does he? Where is this storyline leading up to?
Job relationships are also highlighted in the Kabin storyline. Is Sharon up to running the shop? A week or so back, she was being ticked off by Rita for botching up things during Rita's absence on holiday. Now it looks as if Sharon will get the Kabin. Don't get me wrong, I like the character and rate the actress, but the storyline doesn't quite ring true.
Final story is the end of the Jackie Dobbs squatter storyline and presumably, the departure of the Scouse Slagette. The comic interplay between Spider and Curly has been a joy to watch, as has the impressive performance of the young Tyrone, who acts his little heart out and projects some wonderful facial expressions. A nice talent there who shows great promise. Lovely twist in the storyline when you expect Darren to be sticking one on Curly and Spider, for him to flip the coin, offer no violence, merely to whisk Jackie away - nice one. As for Jackie, well.. the only thing that has saved her appearances in the last few episodes has been her dialogue, certainly her acting ability hasn't.
Highlight of the programme, Tyrone - throughout the show, with wonderful lines and a great performance.
Summary? Some nice moments but I've known better...
Well, I have to skip the prologue (as ever, eh?) this week, because even if I were to write about all the hectic rush that is my life at the moment, you either wouldn't believe it, wouldn't be interested, or perhaps even both. So let's take a trip to a place where things are far simpler, tonight's Coronation Street, which, by all accounts, was rather brilliant! A real gem of an episode, the likes of which we haven't seen for a good few weeks! Oh, and on top of that, it's the beginning of Spring and, as I sit and write this Update, it's actually sunny outside!! At 8pm! And the sun is only just starting to set! Thus, I think it's time to crack open a beer and crank up a classic Atrophy album on the record player. Sit tight! :)
The show opens at the Barlow Household, where Deirdre has woken up a little bit late and comes downstairs, rubbing her neck tendons (which no doubt go wild during her sleep), to find Ken at the sink, filling up the kettle. He is in a chirpy mood even though it seems that neither of them got to sleep until late. No, no, they weren't at the red wine unfortunately, but they were up worrying about Tracey and Robert, wondering if their plans to reunite the Brooding Bride and the Gormless Goon, err, Groom were working... Ken reckons that everything has gone well and tells The Drear not to worry.
So we cut to the Kabin where Rita is a little surprised to see Sharon already adding her personal touch to the shop's displays, by erecting a (rather bland) card-stand in the corner, supposedly to "jazz things up"... Traxine, nearby, is sprawled against the shop counter in a Playboy Bunny stylee, so Rita takes this opportunity to change the subject away from the boring card rack and onto her hair, which apparently is getting a trim today (horrors!)... She isn't sure of the exact time of her appointment so she asks Trax, who takes this opportunity to explain that she's been given the sack and would appreciate it if Rita would boycott the Salon altogether. Big Red instantly straddles the fence and says, in her most sanctimonious tone of voice, that she refuses to make any rash decisions without hearing Audreh's side of the story too... She then adds that she'll probably be gone for some time, since she plans on heading off to the Solicitor's Office later to finalise the details of The Kabin Handover. Sharon bounces and wonders if Champagne is in order for tonight, whereas Leanne, who is standing nearby, looks deeply displeased over the whole thing...
Hurrah, hurrah! It's Roy's Rolls Mk II! And in it we find Sir Royston Of Cropper talking to Gail about his enlightening Night on the Net with Curly Watts... "Yes, Gail, it was fascinating, there was this website ran by a man in Sheffield who knew exactly what was going to happen to us all a few weeks before it actually happened! With pictures!" he enthuses. *bzzt* No, only kidding. Of course, he's really been looking for sites that can offer suggestions as to how he may wed his beloved fiance, Lady Hayley of Patterson, without breaking any of the ridiculous laws that this country has shoved in their way. He is quite excited about one cyber-vicar (from Manchester) in particular who he is having a Real Life Meeting with (does this count as a micro-ping?) later on in the afternoon:
Gail: (With abject horror!) "You got a vicar off the internet!?"
Roy: "Yes, what's wrong with that?"
Gail: "Well, the internet's full of cranks, isn't it!?" (ROFL! Thanks, scriptwriters! ;) *wave*)
Roy: "Well, yes, it's true, there is a preponderance of strange-sounding Americans, but the man I've chosen looks very ordinary... very.... sober..."
ROFLMAO! Brilliant!!! He goes on to explain that he's seeing the man at 1pm and would like time off for lunch if that's convienient, although Gail wonders how this will fit in with Hayley's lunch hour. Sir Royston admits that his bethrothed does not yet know about his little net-voyage or about the "Sober looking vicar" and he would prefer to keep it this way untli after he's scoped the whole thing out for himself... Gail wishes him luck, sincerely, to which he responds that "this sounds very promising"!
Meanwhile, at FIONA MIDDLETON'S SALON (change that sign!), Audreh is in the midst of utter chaos with two customers mid-haircut, another two waiting on the couch looking very grumpy and a few skeletons scattered here and there, the bony remains of patient punters who waited to be slotted into the Hectic Haircutting-Schedule of Councillor R and failed. Yep, things aren't looking too good now that she's been forced to run the place on her own and the outlook doesn't seem any brighter (aside from the obvious vibrant red!) when Rita walks into the fray, wondering if she's got the right day for her appointment. Just as a nervy Audrey is explaining a slightly-biased interpretation of recent events, who should walk through the door but Tom! Needless to say, Mrs Millennium is over the moon, confident that her Stunning Stylist has returned to the ranks but it's all something of an anti-climax, I'm afraid. He's just come back to fetch his scissors! Doooh! "Oooh Rita, I don't believe that!" gasps the Fragrant Lady as her young protege smiles and leaves once more.
Oh damn, just when everything was going fine, we have to have the episode ruined by... (Drumroll)... (Can you tell who it is yet?)... (No prizes)... Casper The Unfriendly Rickett Creature! Yes, vapid little Nicky is sitting in the college canteen staring aimlessly into space like someone who's spent the last 20 years listening to Hawkwind. 'Predator' Peters, the art teacher, sits down next to him and asks if he's alright. He explains, in monosyllabic whimper, that he has had a letter from Uncle Steven in Canada and he wants to go and live over there permanently (look out, ronniecat, he's heading your way!! ;)), although he is at a loss as to how they will be able to have the baby there, with the cost of living so (apparently) high. Miranda tells him that the best idea would be for Leanne to have the baby over here whilst Nick establishes a decent University footing in the Land Of Maple Syrup and Beaver Tails, then fly over to join him at a later date. Rickitt nods slowly and says "Yeah"... and I swear I saw a string of drool appear.
Back across town, Deirdre has returned to her flat to check on Tracey and Robert. She is shortly greeted by the pair of them, neither of whom are wearing much and both of whom are fitted with smug smiles. Putting 2 and 2 together, the D assumes that her reconcilliation plans have worked. "There's no need to wonder", grins Tracey with the kind of expression on her face that suggests she's been drinking fresh virgin's blood all night, "Everything's fine"... Deirdre giggles and says "I'll leave you to it"...
...and with that we cut to one of the best scenes I've witnessed in a while!! In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you shouldn't even read this part of the update. This is something which should be seen first hand, it is so absolutely side-splitting and brilliant... At the very least, I would recommend that you get your hands on a screen-shot from this before reading ahead. There are some things which can't really be described in words, but for the benefit of you folk who rely on them, here goes nothing:
Sir Royston descends a strange flight of stairs into a room where twangy country and western chords fill the air. Walking across it, he is confronted by bales of artificial hay and many glowing neon BUDWEISER signs! As he braves his way (shopping bag firmly in hand!!!) past a Stratocaster guitar, a tambourine and some Stars & Stripes rosettes, he is suddenly greeted by a man in a sharp black cowboy outfit, who seems to appear from behind a giant cross! The man asks if he can be of any assistance. Roy stutters "I'm, I'm looking for the Reverend Winstanley", to which the Cowboy lifts his hat, holds it to his chest sincerely and drawls (in terrible affected Southern-twang) "Yer lookin' at him". Our hero is a little taken aback by all of this but introduces himself nonetheless as the Reverend goes wild, shaking him by the hand and hooting "Roy! Roy! The prospective bridegroom! It's a pleasure to meet you!", still in this ridiculous (and so obviously put-on) American accent... "Do you like my place?" he continues, bubbling with zest.
"Yes, it's, it's very unusual..." mutters Roy, politely and without much sincerity. Needless to say, being a man of little sincerity himself, the Reverend doesn't notice and proceeds to reel off his blurb, as Our Hero notices a small stage to his left.
Reverend W: "It's a stage, Roy. Every performer needs a stage and sure as Hell, I'm a performer. A performer of miracles!"
Sir R: "Miracles?"
Reverend W: (Dropping the twang and entering something resembling a Manchester accent) "Everytime I marry someone, Roy, it's something of a miracle. Bringing together two people in the eyes of the Lord!"
(At this point, Roy starts blatantly looking at his watch!!! Brilliant!)
Reverend W: "Two people who, through predujuce and narrow-mindedness, might still have been crying in the wilderness and if I hadn't happened along. I heard your cry, Roy, on the phoneline."
Roundabout now, Sir R realises that this isn't quite what he was looking for and attempts to fit a word in edgeways as Da Rev continues his spiel at a pace that would put Robin Williams circa 1982 to shame, explaining how he caters to "every taste" (except good taste, that is!) and can marry R & H "in a ski-lift, in an aeroplane, underwater, clothed, naked.. you name it, I'll do it!"... When Royston stops him to ask "What is the name of the Church again?" he explains that it's the (wait for it!!!!) "JOHN DOE REFORMED RESURRECTIONIST MINISTERIAL - THE HEART OF THE MID WEST", adding quietly "That's where I studied for my doctorate"...
"Ah, America...", sighs Roy deeply, his heart sinking even further, but he is perked up a little when the Reverend barks "Hell, why are we talking down here when you'll want to see the Chapel!"... Upon hearing that this Garish, Ghoulish room o' trash that looks more like The Grand Ole Opry than a Church isn't actually where they'd be having the ceremony, Our Interprid Hero smiles a little and, although still taken aback, agrees to accompany the Preacher up the stairs... To the Chapel!
So, luckily, we're right back where we left off. Now Roy is standing in the Chapel, upstairs, with the Reverend Marvin Winstanley. The Chapel seems restrained and is a whitewashed room with a few rows of red plastic seats arranged in a congregational manner. Together, they walk down the aisle as the Rev gushes "Simple's the word, Roy! Plain and simple! We're simple people! Noooo frillllls!"... At this point, the camera cuts to an overhead shot where we are 'treated' to a full view of the Chapel. There are two HUGE candelabras hanging from the roof above the plastic seats, garish religious posters pinned to the walls, a green stage at the front with (inexplicably) a few Menorahs on it (!), a huge wall painting above it of a yellow sun and, to cap it all off, a mammoth GLOWING NEON CROSS smack bang in the middle! If that's "no frills", then I'd hate to think what the Reverend would say to your average 1980's New-Romantic singer! Roy is, sadly, beginning to get sucked into the Rev's routine especially since he has an answer for everything. He (The Rev) is also pleased that R & H will be "his first transexual wedding" but, when Roy seems a little shocked by the guy's enthusiasm, he reassures the hapless Cropper by telling him that everything will be kept very discreet and quiet. "Whatever you want". He starts pushing for a date but (thankfully!) Sir R says that he won't be able to make any decisions without consulting Lady H first. "You just 'phone me as and when, Roy", drawls Marvin, "I'm here to help"... Well, personally if I were Sir R, I wouldn't phone the hypocritical little &~@! at all! The idea of marrying Roy and Hayley in a Chapel with a glowing Cross at the front and "JESUS SAVES! PRAISE GOD!" posters all over is totally absurd since it's, essentially, down to the regulations of this 'certain religion' that is grounds for these pathetic 'laws' in the first place! Why would anyone want to be married anyway, in the eyes of a God who didn't even allow it?? (Obviously, that is all purely my own opinion and nothing more, I should add...) But unfortunately, Roy, in his desperation and enthusiasm to be wed, seems to have bought the Reverend's Rubbish and leaves with a smile on his face.
Across town, at the Rovers, something amusing is happening in the background. Fred Elliot is seemingly chatting across the bar to someone, but when the camera pans round, it seems the person in his line of fire is Curly, who is staring face first down into his drink and actually looks asleep! Finally, the Mighty Butcher has sent someone to sleep with his banter!!! ... Sorry? What's that? The foreground? What's going on in the foreground? Err, oops, that's right, it's Rickitt again, the one person who is so patently non-diverting that he will actually deflect your attention to anything else that happens to be going on in the room every time he opens his mouth. In fact, watching wet paint dry is more exciting than watching him stumble about with the simplest of lines. So I forget precisely what was said, but he was chatting away to Stepdad Martin about his plans for Canada, as suggested by Miranda. Sadly for Nick, Janice is in earshot and is not best pleased with what she's hearing. "CANADA!?!?" she yells, "OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!" and then Curly, in the background, jolts back to life (ROFL!)... "You are NOT taking our Leanne or MY GRANDCHILD to Canada" is the Battersby's parting shot as she storms out of the pub, nearly knocking over Audrey Roberts as she goes... Fred offers to buy Audreh a drink and, upon hearing she wants a large gin and tonic (it's only lunchtime!), suspects that something may well be worrying her. She moans about her workload, which prompts a nearby Rita Sullivan to suggest the re-hiring of Maxine. "I will not give into Bullyboy tactics!" pipes Councillor R, "Not from Maxine Heavey nor Tom Ferguson!"...
...But while the Cat's away speaking of the Devil (err, or some phrase or another like that), Tom and Traxine are busying themselves going through the Salon's Customer Book, writing down names in a sneaky bit of industrial espionage! Yes, not only are they setting up their OWN Salon above this one, but now they're also stealing The Fragrant Lady's customers!!! Shock horror! They are nearly busted, when Emily Bishop comes knocking on the door for her two-thirty appointment but luckily they dash upstairs quickly... In an act of timing that could only happen in a soap opera, Audrey shows up only seconds later to let Emily in through the door, ready for her haircut. "I could've sworn I heard somebody in here", muses Emily but the Councillor insists "we've got the whole place to ourselves!"
There's trouble at the Kabin as Jane Danson, once again, puts in a performance of sheer strength as Leanne. Janice is explaining to her about the exchange that she overheard in the Rovers between Martin and Whoopsie Boy and needless to say, this is information which Lee finds absolutely horrifying. "Honestly, he's not said a word!" she gasps, gobsmacked by the news, before begging Sharon to let her have five minutes off to go across to the Rovers. Gurn-O-Matic isn't feeling generous and tells her "you've already had your lunch, it's my turn now" before leaving... Plan B is to frantically ask Janice to look after the shop for a little while again, but again she gets no joy since Janice insists she has a job of her to get back to! Leanne's frustration is immense as she desperately wonders what's going on in her husband's mind (probably nothing but the termites) that he's telling everyone except her. "CANADA? What about the baby?!" she cries and Janice tells her that "knowing him", he'll be over there "having fun", while she's giving birth. The look of utter mortification on Leanne's face is enough to drop jaws at 20 paces... So I may as well reiterate: What a brilliant young actress Jane Danson is!
Back at Borelow Towers, Ken and Deidre (all dressed in black! this Goth thing must be contagious!) are bidding farewell to Countess Bathory and her reunited husband. All four of them are ecstatic with the outcome of the reconcilliation and as Ken and Robert step outside the front, with the suitcases, Tracy and Deirdre exchange a quick Mother/Daughter conversation:
Tracy: "I really am grateful, mum..."
Deirdre: (Smiling) "That's what I'm here for!"
Tracy: "You're looking really well again. And me dad, too!"
Deirdre: "Yeah, I'm ok..."
Tracy: "I meant together... You look really well together..."
Deirdre: (Genuinely curious) "Do we?"
Tracy: (Beaming) "Yeah"
...and with that touching little dialogue, she leaves the Castle, in search of fresh blood and Christopher Lee. Let's hope that these last words are a prophecy for the future since, I have to admit, I'd like to see Ken and Deirdre back together and happy again. Because, well, let's face facts, no one else would want them would they? ;)
Over at Roy's Rolls, Gary is sitting with the twins, nursing a cup of tea. Jack Duckworth walks in and the two swap small-talk about the Mallett's current financial situation and what it's like to have behbehs around. "You don't fancy taking them off me hands for a little bit do ya?" asks Gareh but Jack has an urgent appointment with his bookie to be kept! He offers his Penniless Pal a small wager on the horses, but needless to say it's declined since Gary doesn't even have 50p for another cuppa! As he muses that he misses being out working every day, Jack takes pity and buys him another cup of tea... Poor Gary!!! You just *have* to feel for him! Suddenly, Sir Royston walks in and is greeted with gusto by Jack who yells "ROY, ME OLD BUTTON! HOW'S TRICKS?!" and gets a restrained "The...Tricks are fine, thankyou Jack" for his trouble, before our Knightly Hero heads off to the counter to tell Gail of his encounter with the Reverend. He is a little unnerved by it all, still, but anxious to tell Hayley about his findings and let her know that he's found someone who'll marry them... "I hope it works out ok", says Gail sweetly, but Roy doesn't look 100% sure anymore.
Leanne is sitting watching telly in the House Of Elliot when her wooden wanker of a husband comes home and tries to kiss her. Thankfully, her natural instincts are working finally and she darts away from him at lightning speed. He still fails to detect that something is wrong and goes to make himself a glass of Ronseal, as he admits that he has something he'd like to talk about. At this point, his good lady wife explodes into a fit of rage, explaining that she already knows exactly what he's going to say and wonders why he didn't even so much as mention it to her before going blabbing to all and sundry. He bleats and minces until he's acted off the screen and into endless oblivion without offering anything resembling an explanation. She tells him that she's not going to Canada, "not now, not after the birth, not EVER!" because, quite rightly, she doesn't want to be stuck overseas with no friends, no family and nothing but a screaming kid to look after while her idiot husband is out partying with his college friends. Unfortunately, she doesn't take this opportunity to grab a frozen rack of lamb from the kitchen and bludgeon him to death with it.
Meanwhile, back in T'Rovers, Curly, Emily and Sir Royston sit around a table discussing the Rev Winstanley.
Curly: "So he's not a real vicar then?"
Sir R: "He's a Doctor of Divinity, I believe!"
Emily: (With furrowed brow) "...and he was dressed like a cowboy?"
Sir R: "Well, not exactly a cowboy, Mrs Bishop, although there was the air of the Western about him... Mind you, he wasn't in uniform, it not being a Sunday!"
ROFL - Such priceless dialogue! The scene continues, as Lady Hayley enters the pub and Roy offers to buy her a Sherry, proclaiming that he has some good news.... and we cut across to the other side of the bar, where Rita has returned from the Solicitors and met up with Sharon. Gurn-O-Matic wonders if it's time to break out the bubbly, but a Reluctant Rita explains, sighing, that it's not *quite* time yet as everything has to go "at it's own pace where solicitors are concerned". Sharon doesn't mind, however, since she's quite happy to wait a little longer before the Kabin is officially her's...
"THE INTERNET!?!?!" spits Hayley in disbelief, having being told Roy's news. She is obviously aware of the "cranks" that inhabit the vast realms of Cyberspace. ;) She is disgusted that Roy has been all over the net spreading their secrets about but he explains that it's just a "tool of research" and that the only person who actually knows about their personal circumstances is Marvin Winstanley... "MARVIN!?!?!" gasps Hayley, obviously aware of the Paranoid Android of the same name... She is no further convinced when told that the Reverend is a "Doctor Of Divinity" (wasn't Timothy Leary one of those?) and even starts getting (justifiably) sarcastic, as Roy explains that she would be the first TS that has been married in Winstanley's Chapel. "Well, I'd hate to rob him of an ecclesiastical first!" she snorts, before putting her foot down and maintaining that she's going nowhere near the place. As the tensions escalate, Emily the Diplomat steps in and asks if they've met the new "and very progressive" curate of her Church (Progressive?? Neat! Is she into Marillion and Yes??)... They haven't made this aquaintance yet, obviously, so Mrs Bishop offers to introduce them, since she reckons it could be of some help. They both agree and, thankfully, the atmosphere cools down a little.
So we cut back to the bar, where Judeh is discussing the plight of the Salon with Councillor Roberts. It seems that Audrey has too much pride to just ask Traxine to come back and work for her and she boasts "I've survived today, I'll survive tomorrow" before rolling back her eyes and downing a massive gin and tonic... Coincidentally, Tom and Traxine are sitting nearby, drinking wine and planning their own business venture, having now reached the stage where all they need to do is name it and they'll be in business. Somehow I doubt this, since it seems implausible that they've gone through the tax registration process or anything 'official' but I'll let it slip since they do come up with a stonking name for the place... "A CUT ABOVE"! Tres witty!!! :)
The final scene features the Rickitt Monster talking to his wife about Canada some more, so naturally I fall into a state of instant slumber. But, if my subconcious serves me well, it involves them arguing and shouting about his plans and ends with him admitting that the baby is making it difficult for him to go to University and that, really, he doesn't want it at all. Quelle surprise. Leanne looks stunned as Rickitt starts squealing like a pig, attempting to act enraged. Cue credits!
This episode was scripted by Ken Blakeson and in the words of Bruce Forsyth: "Didn't 'e do well?" - Some wonderful dialogue here, most notably with Roy and the Reverend. Totally side-splitting stuff, which all you overseas viewers can look forward to!! :) In fact, there was really nothing at all wrong with this episode except for the Leanne/Nick scenes which have been tedious since Day One and are only spared from being Fast Forwarded due to Jane Danson's astonishingly high level of acting at the moment. Of course, if this episode is anything to go by, the general average has upped considerably with even Tracy Shaw putting in a fairly good show which makes you wonder if she's even the same person as the Muppet we knew this time last year. Now, let's ditch Rickitt and we'll be well away. ;)
Not much else I can say really that I haven't already mentioned during the main body of this Update.
So, all in all, thumbs up from me! 'Til next time! :)
P'nawn da, and greetings from Wales (for the second week running)
I shouldn't be here this week but CP has had an offer he couldn't refuse, which I'm sure he'll tell you about in his next update.
One of my lovely dogs has come to help me with this update. So, it's the Queen of Siam and Sam the Whippet's Wednesday Update for 31st March.
This episode was sponsored by Cadbury's Wispa Mint, and I was sponsored by Rowland S Howard (what I was listening to. And boy is he good).
We start in the street where the Witch in the Wardrobe is getting out of her car and entering her salon, which still proclaims the legend 'Hair by Fiona Middleton'. Marvy Max is watching from her upstairs window. She turns to Tom, who is in the flat writing out a sign. 'She's here, she's just going in'. 'Right, we'll give here a minute, then we'll go for it'.
Over in the House of Elliot, Casper the Unfriendly Rickitt Creature and Leanne are arguing. A tearful Leanne says 'So, what you're saying is that you want me to have an abortion? You've already said you don't want it.' He says he didn't mean to say he didn't want it, he only meant to say why. (?) 'I don't care why' she says. He says why do they have to have this baby because she just 'happened' to get pregnant (so, nothing to do with him then). 'We have a choice, the same as everybody else', he says. 'You mean the choice of me having an abortion?', she asks. He replies 'What we're talking about is not just us cooing over a baby for a few weeks. It's another human being to care and provide for when we don't even have a home of our own. If I'd asked you two months ago if you wanted a baby', Leanne interrupts tearfully 'what's two months ago got to do with it?' He prattles on in his whiny voice about how neither of them were ready then so why should her being pregnant now make a difference? (what a prat that bloke is). At this moment the Lurve Doctor appears and pours himself a glass of water. He deadpans (in the way that only Steven Arnold can) 'I don't know what's wrong with me. I slept right through the alarm.' LOL! He then disappears. Casper tells Leanne that they still might not be ready. Leanne looks at him in disbelief (as I did).
Marvy Max is stood outside the Salon being leered at by some bloke who's probably got a wife and 3 kids at home. Tom brings their new sign out. It reads 'A Cut Above: Maxine and Tom are now upstairs'. Marvy has to stand outside and collar their clients on their way in. She feels a prat and is worried that the Witch in the Wardrobe will come out.
Casper and Leanne come out of the House of Elliot and, ignoring Marvy's cheery 'Hiya', continue down the street, still arguing. She is saying that some people say it's better to start a family when they're still young, as they'll all have grown up by the time they're 40. 'Yeah, 40' he whines. She replies 'Look at our Janice, she's only got our Toyah and then she'll be gone in a year or two.' He sneers, 'Oh yeah, like you really want to end up like your parents don't you'. She turns on him 'don't you dare slag off my parents cos we all know where this has come from.' She tells him that The Camel has been feeding his head with talk of qualifications etc. 'The minute you open your gob I can hear her saying it.' At this moment Ravi Desai (yay!) walks up the street, excuses himself and walks past. They barely notice and continue arguing. 'It's not Gail. I don't know why you think it should be', retorts the Unfriendly One. 'Because of the way you've suddenly changed your tune. One minute you want this baby as much as I do and the next you're telling me to get an abortion.' He says he's not telling her anything but thinks they should talk about it. She says she'll never agree with him no matter how much they talk about it.
Over at the Kabin, the Big Red, Daffers and Ravi are talking. (I think I've fathomed out why Sharon is sucking lollipops all the time - she's trying to give up smoking. I recognise the symptoms). Rita is telling Ravi that she is giving the Kabin to Sharon, while she's still around to see it. 'Interesting argument,' he says, ' but don't mention it to my daughter. It might start her thinking.' A pale Leanne walks in. Rita asks her if she is all right. Leanne, looking anything but, mutters 'yeah.' Daffers says they are doing some spring cleaning today so she hopes Leanne is full of energy. 'Not really,' she says and slinks off into the backroom.
Ken has just walked into The Drear's flat carrying a bunch of flowers and is reading the card. 'Mum and Dad. Thanks for everything. Love the Black Metal Guru and Robert.' They say they hope Morticia and Robert make a go of it this time and stick together. Deirdre has a day off and does she want to go for lunch? No, she is busy so they arrange to have dinner this evening.
Natalie is walking towards the Salon. Maxine tells her that they've split with the Witch in the Wardrobe and that her and Tom are now upstairs. Vera approaches and moans that she wanted Tom but had to settle for Audrey instead because someone already beat her to Tom. Looks at Natalie and asks if it was her.
Ashley is delivering to Roy's Rolls. The lovely Maud conveniently calls him over to a table so that Emily, the Fairy Godmother of Weatherfield, who has just walked in, can have a word with Roy. She has had a word with the Curate. She has said that Roy and Hayley are friends of hers and that they wanted to get married in a church but that there were unusual circumstances. She has left it to the Royal Couple to fill in the details. She gives Roy the Curate's phone number so he can arrange a meeting.
In the Salon, the Witch in the Wardrobe apologies to Vera for keeping her waiting. Vera asks if Audrey, Tom, and Maxine have had a falling out. Audrey doesn't understand young people today. Try and help them (help? LOL!) and they just throw it back in your face. What does Vera want done with her hair? The usual (but take the headscarf off first). Vera tells Audrey that Maxine and Tom are working from upstairs. Audrey is confused. 'Don't tell me you haven't seen the sign outside and her stood there directing folk up' she asks. Audrey, to Vera, 'would you just excuse me for a minute'. Outside the Salon, she approaches Marvy. She looks at the sign and reads it. 'Maxine and Tom are now upstairs. Oh, are they really?' 'Yeah' replies Marvy, 'what do you expect us to do. You threw us out'. And, almost poking poor Maxine's eye out with her comb, Audrey replies 'I certainly didn't expect this Maxine. This is a blatant attempt to undermine my business and using my premises to do it in and all.' Maxine runs into the flat shouting 'Tom! Tom!' Audrey, waving her comb, chases after her yelling, 'Oh Tom! Tom! I want a word with Tom!' ROFL! The door slams.
Maxine and Audrey burst into the flat where Tom is doing Natalie's hair. 'We'll you've got a nerve, I'll say that. Setting up here over my head'. Marvy 'Yeah? It's my flat so I can do what I like in it.' Oh, really, we'll see about that lady', she replies. Tom says 'we're not taking any customers away from you.' Audrey, pointing at Natalie, 'you what? Who's this?' Tom, 'she was coming to me anyway.' Natalie, 'well I thought I was coming in for a bit of peace and quite.' Audrey says she's sorry. Looking at Maxine and Tom and still waving that comb,' you can finish her but that's it. I'm not having any more of this.' Tom, looking as if butter wouldn't melt, 'we're not doing anything wrong.' Maxine, 'yeah and it's my flat.' Audrey, 'oh, not for much longer cos I'm going to have you out of here lady. You can bet on that.' Then, turning to Tom, 'and as for you. If you think you can just swan in anywhere and set up where you like, you can think again laddie cos I am gonna have the Health & Safety down on you. So, you might as well pack up now. The pair of you. Right now!' She storms out. Tom, turning to a smirking Natalie, 'so, have you booked any holidays yet?' Maxine is grinning. Priceless!
In the Rovers, Ravi is telling Rita that he is worried about her giving the shop to Daffers. Is she sure she is not making a terrible mistake?
The Fairy Godmother of Weatherfield is sat in Deirdre's flat telling her that Blanche has been phoning her every day. Deirdre is sorry, she didn't mean to palm her mum off on Emily. Emily says she is quite fond of Blanche and anyway, all Blanche wants to talk about is Ken and Deirdre and whether they are back together. Deirdre says to tell her no although they are going out for a meal tonight. 'And don't tell Blanche'. They are only going because 'neither of us can be bothered to cook' (I know how they feel. We live off takeaways at Castle Siam). Emily has the look of a woman who knows that her work is almost done on this mission and it is now time to wave her magic wand for another couple who need some help.
In the Rovers, Rita is telling Ravi that she is not going to live forever (I think he's guessed that one, Reet). Ravi can understand Rita leaving the shop to Daffers when she's gone but why give it to her now. Ravi thinks she is giving here the shop to keep her here. 'Well, it's part of the truth.' 'A main part,' he says. 'Young people do what they want. You can't bribe them and you can't force them. How do I know? Because I've tried doing both and failed miserably.' 'Well, I'm sorry, but I don't like the sound of that word bribe', she replies, 'I'd say I've given her the shop as a mark of my affection for her'. Ravi, 'of course you have. Which is why you haven't stopped to think. What happens if she sells the shop and moves away?' 'She won't do that,' she replies, 'I know she won't. She loves being in charge.' He says, 'this week, yes, but next week she'll want something else'. She replies, 'I'm sorry but you're talking about someone you don't even know.' He says this is why he can take an objective view. What she is doing is extremely unwise. In about a year 'she will have sold the shop and gone over the hills with a check in her back pocket.' Big Red looks worried.
Casper walks into the Kabin where Daffers and Leanne are behind the counter. Daffers, brightly, 'Hiya love, come to take her home?' Leanne goes to get her coat. Sharon tells him to look after Leanne as she has been on a bit of a downer all day. 'There's probably a medical term for it. Pre natal strop.' LOL! Big Red enters just as Casper and Leanne are leaving. Is Sharon busy tonight? No. Then why don't they meet in the Rovers? There is something she needs to discuss with her.
Ken and Deirdre are in a restaurant. Deirdre is telling him about her earlier conversation with Emily. Ken says that maybe Blanche is right, maybe they should get back together. 'Your mother talked a lot of sense.' 'Not while I was around.' LOL! He thinks they should try again, that they were good together and that, for various reasons, neither of them had found much happiness with anyone else. An embarrassed Deirdre says they should order dinner.
Sir Royston and Lady Hayley enter a church, talking to the Curate who looks suspiciously like Noosha Fox. Hayley says' 'We're neither of us practising Christians but we do both want to get married in church. A church just like this one.' Noosha replies, 'nice isn't it? I know the building shouldn't matter but ,' Hayley interrupts, 'it does'. 'Neither of you have been married before?' 'No'. 'And you've both been baptised?' 'Yes'. Noosha says she will get the diary to see what dates are available. Roy, 'before you do, I think Mrs Bishop might have mentioned that there are unusual circumstances'. Yes. Noosha had been wondering what these were. 'I'm a transsexual,' says Hayley. Noosha is a little taken aback. Hayley continues, 'I was born a male so legally I still am though not in any other way. We know you're not supposed to marry us but we think that's wrong. And we hope you'll think that's wrong as well and that you'll feel you're able to do it.' They realise that there wouldn't be a civil side to the ceremony but what matters is it will be a 'proper wedding in a proper church'. Noosha replies, 'you'll have to give me time to think about this. And to pray about it.' Roy and Hayley look deflated. (Aww. You could cry for them, you really could).
Back in the restaurant and Ken and Deirdre are discussing their relationship. Would it have crossed his mind if her mother hadn't been going on about it since before Christmas? Probably. He says Deirdre has a problem admitting whenever her mother is right about anything. 'But she's not!' LOL! Why can't they stay the way they are, they only live 50 yards from each other. 'What's to be gained from moving in together?' 'Well, exactly that,' he replies, 'not being 50 yards apart, not being on our own.' She says they should just go out together to get to know each other better. 'But we've known each other 20 years,' says an incredulous Ken. Is he sure he is not just scared of 'growing old, growing old on your own so you need someone to look after you?' Partly he says. She's sorry, she shouldn't have said that. He said they need to be honest with each other or it will never work. 'Maybe I am frightened of growing old alone. But that doesn't mean that I just want anybody. I want you.' Aww. She doesn't know what to do.
A depressed looking Royal Couple enter the Rovers. 'I thought she was very sympathetic,' he says. She replies, 'so why couldn't she have just said yeah. Why does she have to pray about it?' Roy, 'well it's probably a very difficult decision for her.' Hayley, 'I don't see why. She's supposed to be a Christian, supposed to want folk to be happy.' Yes' he says, 'but she holds an official position within the Church of England'. 'So?' she demands. 'Well,' he replies, 'she's probably got to consult people. Bishops and suchlike. You've got to see it from her point of view.' Hayley, 'no I haven't. Just for once, I'd like somebody to see it from my point of view.' (oh Hayley. <hug>). She is sorry for going on at him and they order a drink.
Across the bar, the Big Red and Daffers sit down with theirs. Reet tells Shaz that she thinks she's being unfair by throwing everything at her at once. She thinks they should have a 'handing over period' where they run the shop together. Daffers thought that is what was happening already. Rita wants a 50% partnership. One day the Kabin will be Sharon's but not yet. Sharon, 'well sorry, but I thought it was mine already. But you've changed your mind. Is that it? You want to go back on what you've said. On what you've told everybody and on what I've told everybody. You've made a big song and dance about giving it to me and now you're saying you want to take it back,' she says angrily. 'I'm sorry you feel like that about it,' says the Big Red. 'Yeah, I'm sorry too. I'm sorry I believed you in the first place. Rita gives here one of THOSE looks.
At the House of Elliot, Casper is sat watching his wife do the washing up (lazy git). The Lurve Doctor asks him if he wants to go to the Rovers, and is Leanne all right. No he doesn't and yes she is. After Ashley has gone Casper tells Leanne he is sorry about today. 'If you want this baby, if you really do, then we'll have it ok.' He says that HE is not ready to have a baby but because she wants it, she can have it. 'Thanks!', she replies sarcastically. 'Doesn't make it right easy for me does it? You going ahead and saying have it. When you've just spent all day telling me how much you don't want it as if it will be YOU making all the sacrifices. And it will be me to blame when you don't get your precious qualifications. And we have to spend the rest of our lives living in a pokey little home like my mum and dad.' She runs upstairs. He looks blank (so what's new).
Over at Borelow Towers, Ken and Deirdre are settling down with a cuppa. (Blimy, they couldn't have had a very interesting night out. I usually pass out when I come in from a night out). She is telling him how fond of him she is but what if they were to give it a try and it didn't work out. That would be a nightmare. He says, 'Nothing in life is fully guaranteed' (apart from the Ronco Button-O-Matic, apparently), and that he will do everything in his power to make it work. She laughs. Ken, surprised, 'was that funny?' 'No no, I was just wondering what me mum's gonna say,' she replies. 'You mean? ' 'I'll give it a try, yeah, and see what happens. But you'll have to tell her,' she says. 'I'd be delighted' is his reply. And a nation cheered (well I did anyway, and Sam barked for joy) as the credits rolled.
Episode written by Peter Whalley.
So how was it for me?
Well an absolute corker of an episode with excellent acting from everyone involved. Well almost everyone. But we won't mention him.
I don't want to harp on about how much I love Roy and Hayley, and Deirdre and Ken, or how excellent the actors who play them are, or how much on screen chemistry the respective couples have. So, I won't. I am extremely glad that Ken and Deirdre are getting it together again. And I continue to hope that Roy and Hayley's wish will come true.
Elsewhere, looks like the Kabin War and the Salon War is hotting up. The funniest scene tonight was Audrey chasing Maxine into the flat. In fact, my gold star of the evening goes to Sue Nicholls as Audrey. The woman can go from playing an absolute angel to an absolute cow in the blink of an eyelid. Well done that woman! Also, there seems to be a nice double act brewing with Tom and Maxine. Also great scenes between Rita and Ravi, Rita and Sharon, and the three of them together. I wish Saeed Jaffrey, who plays Ravi, would be in the show more. I love that character. He and Rita have the potential to become good friends.
Jane Danson, as the tormented Leanne, was excellent, as ever. She has really put her heart and soul into her performance.
Well, that's it from me. I hope those of you that celebrate it have a good Easter and either CP or myself will be back next week.