Hello again. It seems like only yesterday that I was posting my last Update - oh, it was. Thank you to those of you who were kind enough to send me encouraging e-mails, they were much appreciated. CP sent me a congratulatory e-mail and we found we have an interest in common. RIGHT! The person who shouted "toyboys" can leave the classroom right now!
Without further waffle, I'll get down to business.
We open at the Baldwin residence where Alma is serving coffee to Mike and questioning him yet again about what is worrying him. You'd think she would know him better by now and realise he'll only tell her what he wants to tell her. He insists that all his troubles are over and tries to distract her by suggesting that they lunch out. Alma doesn't want to go because she her hair looks awful. (Nothing that a session with the Carmen rollers and a can of Elnett won't put right dear.)
Culture break - A little pome for you Pam Ayres "A set of heated rollers is every maids delight They save you wearing curlers in the middle of the night They keep you looking lovely When other girls do not And when your feet are freezing cold, your head is boiling hot".
We now return to our normal programming.
Mike suggests ringing Audrey to ask her to open up and do Alma's hair. In a rare moment of sensitivity he offers to make the call and says Audrey will realise that Alma needs cheering up. At this point, stirred by the memory of my gypsy ancestors, I have a vision of the future. I predict that Alma's hair will look no different after the Audrey Roberts treatment than it does now.
Meanwhile, on the Street, enter stage left a scurvy knave. 'Tis Tyrone and forsooth, he is on the cadge - as the Immoral Bard once said. (Actually, I was madly in love with a bloke called Tyrone when I was 14 years old, but that's another chapter of my memoirs.) Tyro tries tapping Kevin for a job in the garage but all there is for him to do is put t'kettle on and find the bikkie tin. (I like an early morning hobnob myself, as it happens.) Kevin spots Sally looking over the charred remains of her van and calls to Tyro to keep an eye on the garage until Jim comes in. He goes over to comfort Sally who has now realised that her complete stock of cheap, nylon knickers was in the van and has presumably melted. They must be the sort Sally wears herself which is why she is so easily overheated by unsuitable suitors. (I favour natural fabrics next to *my* skin; preferably someone else's skin.) But I digress ...
In the corner shop. Everyone's being boring ... Steve, rolls eyes ... Nita winks and purses her lips ... yawn, yawn .. at the end of which she refuses a date anyway. What a waste of time. Who cares? But soft, who enters? It's Camp Dad, who has bought a belated birthday present for his little girl. It is a silver bracelet with a sickly inscription. It is late because Camp Dad got it through a friend, presumably the Uncle in the Goodness, Gracious, Me sketches who can get anything half price!
At the Kabin, Toyah is attempting to wind up Leanne about Ashley fancying her but she is only succeeding in winding-up Arsenic and Old Face, who are already in a strop because Leanne was too late to do her turn at marking the papers up.
At the garage Jim wants to know why Tyro was left in charge. "'Cos I'm a mechanic." "And precisely what sort of mechanic are you?" asks Jim. "A natural" replies our junior hero.
I hope that Tyro is going to stay around the garage as I thinks that he and Jim will make an excellent double act.
As we come up to the commercial break we see Mike burning the incriminating photos.
After a few ads which fail to tempt even I, a seasoned shopaholic we return to the Rovers where Audrey and Alma await Mike. I am now able to prove my gift of prediction for Alma's hair looks exactly the same as before it was done. Another tonsorial triumph for Hair (not) by Fiona Middleton. Mike, of course, has a bit of sense and compliments the style and the styliste.
Vera looks on enviously. Why doesn't she have husband who takes her out for lunch? She moans to Jack that he never takes her anywhere. "Yes, I do. I took you out yesterday" "What" she says "to Roy's caf?" "Well I sat with you, didn't I?" replies her ever-loving spouse.
She tries to get Jack to take a day off so that they can go out but he has promised Natalie that he'll work. I don't know how he managed that 'cos she is the invisible landlady at the moment. Jack suggests that Vera should arrange a day out with Trish and family. I've got a better idea. Why don't they come back to visit? We'd like that on RATUCS.
Over in a booth Spider has bought Nita a drink and then gives her his present. He explains that it is a dreamcatcher and how it works. Nita is really pleased with it and gives him a big smacker on the lips.
The police come and pick up Sally's van and tell Kevin it's almost certainly arson. Sally later tells Sharon that she's frightened that next time the fire could be lit through the letter box. At least the girls will be safe, they would in all likelihood be in the bathroom washing their hands, so they'd have plenty of water and towels to hand to help their escape.
Sally calls on Kevin to collect the insurance claim forms he has been looking at for her. Unfortunately her knickers aren't covered (ooh er) as she didn't pay the business premium. He offers to help find her a new van and agrees to take the girls out the next day to give Sally a chance to get sorted out. At this cosy little scene Alison has a bit of a sulk. She later asks if it will always be like this and he assures her he is just being friendly.
In the corner shop Vikram has another go at making a date with Leanne. When she's gone Nita warns him to be careful. Honestly, advice from a woman who can chat up Steve McDonald!
Back in the Rovers Vera and Eunice enter, all smiles. Vera is off to Ryll tomorrow with Trish so she's happy. "Tea for two tomorrow Jack" trills the Lascivious Landlady. She tells him she'll give him something meaty; by the look on her face she is expecting Jack to return the favour!
Curly is standing at the bar when Spider approaches. He wants some advice and has heard that Curly has "extensive knowledge of the female psyche". He is confused by Nita's changeable behaviour toward him. And what are the sage and thoughtful words of advice offered by Curly? "Give her the elbow mate, she's playing games. Get out while you can" "Too late" sighs Spider "I think I love her" Aaaah!
Ashley is on the sofa waiting for Leanne so that they can watch a video, but she has been thinking about Toyah's warning that he fancies her, so she goes out to meet Vikram instead.
The episode ends back at Mike and Alma's flat. Alma is apologising for being selfish, she's been so wrapped up in her own problems that she has ignored whatever is worrying Mike. "Alma, you're too good for me" says Mike. "DAMN RIGHT" comes the reply from thousands of viewers who'd like to give him a punch on the snoot. The music fades in over some lovey dovey looks.
This episode written by Phil Woods.
How was it? A good episode but not a great one. As usual it was the interplay of certain characters that made the difference. Let's have more of Tyro and Jim, say I.
Well, this is the end of my Updating stint, unless I an called on to stand in again which I'll gladly do if needed. So I'll say Au Revoir.
I do apologise for the fact that this Update is running seven days late, but it's been one of those weeks. One of those fortnights, really, I should say... Unfortunately, by the point at which I realised I wasn't going to have the time or energy to do the Update, it was far too late to find a replacement, so I thought "Better late than never, I'll do it meself"... Thus, here it is, to be directly followed in another post by this week's to get myself back on track (Two in one night! Ooh, the stamina!)...
The show opens with Kevin and Alison in the car, about to take the gurrrls out for a day at the zoo. Sally shows up to wave them off and inform Kev that both tykes have been given a whopping "three pounds each" to spend throughout the day. His reaction is a polite "Oh, right" rather than an emphatic "thankyou", which doesn't surprise me since three pounds a piece will hardly even buy them a soft drink at today's inflated prices! Still, it's the thought that counts, I suppose... As the car disappears down the road, who should come driving in from the opposite direction, tooting his horn, but Mr Boring himself... Dull Danny, the 'hunky' market-seller! Needless to say, Sickly goes all gooey and grinny at the mere sight of him and it transpires that he's here to offer his services for the day, having heard about her van getting torched... Sure enough, faster than you can say "Bloody Hell, this bloke's dull!", she's invited him inside for a cuppa.
Cut to The House Of Elliot, where Leanne descends the stairs looking somewhat hungover from her night out with the Dreaded Five V's (Vile, Vapid, Vacuous, Vacant, Void Vikram in case you'd forgotten the full nickname ;)). Ashley is sitting on the sofa and proceeds to give her a brief and well-meaning semi-lecture along the lines of "I heard you come in last night.. or should I say this morning?"... When he goes as far as to ask where she went for such a long time, Leanne snaps his head off (metaphorically!), barking "Are you jealous or something??" - Obviously, he protests that he was merely taking an interest and is just trying to be a good friend, so The Battered Battersby apologises limply and retreats to the bedroom for some more rest, clutching her head...
...As we skip across to the Webster Household where Sickly is sharing a cup of tea with Dully, the hunky market-seller. He asks where her kids are and is a little taken-aback and **far too** embarrassed when she tells him that they're with their Dad. "Uh uh hhhuuh", he stutters, fiddling with his teacup, "I thought you were on your own"... She proceeds to explain that she's seperated and will soon be divorced, which calms him down somewhat (is it just me or is it *patently* obvious that, right off the bat, he wants to be considerably 'more than friends' with her??)... "I'm a free woman", explains Cadfael (is it just me or is it *patently* obvious that, right off the bat, she wants to be considerably 'more than friends' with him??)... They swiftly change the subject (arg) to Sally's van and she is adamant that it's an arsonist at work. The thing she's most upset about is the fact that she left all of her stock inside the van and won't be able to get some more in a hurry. Suddenly though, she has an idea (first time ever?)! - "Can you spare me five minutes, Danny?" (What *IS* she up to?)
Merciful cut then, to behind the Mallett Household, where Gareh is off to work, ladder in hand. Judeh thinks he's daft to go window-cleaning on a Bank Holiday but he is convinced it's a good step towards building up his round. He explains that hardly anyone is ever home between Monday to Friday to answer the door when he pops in asking if they want their windows done, reckoning that a Bank Holiday is a prime opportunity to strike these folk, since no-one will be out at work. His wife appreciates this, but also adds that she would rather they spend the time together as they don't get enough of this as it is. He tells her, merrily, that they simply need to make the most of the time they do have before they are rudely interrupted by one of the babies crying. As Judeh goes to attend to Wailing William, Gareh kisses her goodbye and whistles off into the distance with his ladder.
Over at Underworld, meanwhile, in the Office Of Mike Baldwin, Sickly and Dully appear, interrupting his (no doubt nefarious) chain of thought. "Whaddyo want?" he grunts at the Putrid Pair, and Sally responds that she's looking to buy some affordable fabric, since all her stock went up in smoke. Mike tells her that he'll sell to her ("I'll do business with anyone, as long as they've got the money") but that he can't sort it out in a day and she should come back tomorrow... "I hope you've got transport for this.." Baldwin begins but Danny, the Knight In Denim Armour, cuts him off, stating gruffly "She'll have transport, alright"... Sickly looks up at him and smiles with a simpering "My hero!" look on her face.
Across at The Cornershop, a borderline-surreal conversation ensues between Nita and Curly. He seems to be talking very loudly indeed about very little and it transpires, after much waffle, that he's looking to buy a wine that "wipes the boots on the old palette"... Perhaps he's trying to impress her somehow, but it doesn't work since she (with her back turned to him) responds to his nuttiness with polite shopkeeper-talk. "Ah, this'll do, the ol' red", hollers Curly, picking up a bottle from the shop, "It's earthy... VIRILE! Full of the Warm South!" - (Is he slowly metamorphosising into Fred Elliot!!?) Anyway, as the Manic Manager purchases the wine and exits stage left, who should walk in but the 5 V's Of Doom! Vile, Vapid, Vacant, Void, Vacuous Vikram! He wants not only a 40 advance on his wages (he gets 20) but also wishes to swap shifts with his sister at last minute notice, so as he take Leanne out for the second night in a row! Obviously, Nita tells him no, so 5V-Vik threatens to fake influenza tonight in order to get out of doing his shift!! Bleh, is there no end to this character's blatant hatefulness? Vikram is *definately* the new Nicky Tilsley - An utterly irredeemable character played by a totally reprehensible 'actor'. May I be the first to suggest that he is chopped up immediatedly and crammed into one of Fred's meat pies?
In Eunice's Guesthouse, Vera is getting ready for her day out in Rhyl with Ray and Tricia. The taxi shows up and Jack bids her a warm farewell... However, no sooner as she's out the door is Eunice allll over the Bewildered Barman! "So, Vera's away for the day..." she coos, seductively, "What shall we do today? It's a holiday, you're supposed to have fun... fun and games..." - Jack sees what she's got in mind instantly and explains hurriedly that he simply *must* get back to work at the Rovers, Bank Holiday or not... "You don't have to", she suggests, "I can phone up and say you're in bed.. It needn't be a lie!"... At this, he looks positively terrified but is thankfully saved by the bell as Gareh Mallett shows up at the door, wondering if the Guesthouse needs it's windows cleaned. "I'm here to offer me services!" he chirps and Jack spies his cue to leave... "Eunice here'll fill your bucket and she'll even wring your shammy out with any luck!" (MISSUS!!) coughs Jack, running out of the front door as fast as his heart will carry him.
END OF PART ONE
Part Two begins (as second halves often do) with a scene in the Rovers. Mike and Alma sit in a booth discussing dinner. Just then, Deirdre appears, glad to have caught Mike, and asks him all about an anomaly she seems to have found whilst balancing the books: "There's an invoice from Mercury for an ENORMOUS amount of fabric. It's far more than we usually have, it's almost ten thousand pounds! It's not even as if we've taken delivery for the stu..." - At this point she is cut off by Mike viciously snapping at her, claiming that he does *NOT* want to talk about work on a Bank Holiday. The D retreats to the bar, tail between her legs whilst Alma looks on in horror at the way Mike has just behaved. "That was a bit rough, call her back!" gasps the long-suffering Mrs Baldwin but, of course, her husband is unrepentant and refuses to do anything of the sort...
Just then, Gareh Mallett enters the pub and orders a pint from Jack, as they engage in a slightly cheeky conversation:
Jack: (Whispering hoarsely) "What 'appened?"
Gareh: (Slightly confused) "How d'ya mean?"
Jack: (Looking around to check that no one can hear) "At Eunice's..."
Gareh: (Merrily) "Oh, I cleaned the windows! There's quite a few of 'em isn't there? It's a big place..."
Jack: (Raising an eyebrow) "Is that all?"
Gareh: (Catching on to Jack's line of questioning) "Ah, no.."
Jack: (Dirty grin on his face) "AHHH!"
Gareh: (Lowering his voice, to meet with Jack's seedy tones) "Afterwards, you see..."
Jack: (Chuckling grubbily) "hehe.. aye?"
Gareh: (Whispering) "She made me a cup of tea..."
Gareh: (Slowly..) "She said.. I could clean her windows... every fortnight..."
Jack looks almost disappointed that Gareh didn't succumb to Eunice's charms. Perhaps it may have taken the heat off him a little? (More on this later!)
Back in the Cornershop, Ravi is lecturing 5V-Vikram on his attitude towards his job. "You've not been pulling your weight around here!" he tells him, sternly, but I don't need to tell you that the Vile, Vapid, Void, Vacant, Vacuous One merely reels off a string of half-hearted excuses in return. Ravi is having none of it and tells him that he *will* work the evening shift tonight and will have to "un-arrange" any plans he has, which prompts a storm of protest from 5V-Vik who whines "But I'm taking Leanne out tonight!" - Of course, his choice in women displeases his Father even further: "So young and already a broken marriage!" he cries "Vikram, what the Hell are you doing!? You've got brains so use them!"... Ravi leaves in a huff after this, as Steve MacDonald enters and is told by Nita that he is just the man she's looking for since the electric in her flat has turned itself off and needs fixing... She (foolishly) leaves 5V-Vik in charge of the store, whilst her and Cadaver Boy head upstairs.
Jack returns home from work to the Guesthouse and tries to sneak silently up the stairs. It doesn't work as he's soon copped by Eunice who grabs him and drags him into the dining room where she's prepared his very favourite meal, liver and onions... A good plan it seems, since as soon as Jack hears of the dinner, he loosens up and smiles. She has also lit a candle in the middle of the table and laid out a bottle of (ORCHESTRAL HIT!) Red Wine! "You sit down here", she coos, "Let me be your serving wench"... He gruffly chuckles with approval and says "Liver and onions.. Mm, Eunice, you spoil me!" - "Wait until you see what's for dessert!" giggles the Lecherous Landlady...
Steve and Nita are standing in her darkened flat trying to establish what's happened with the electric. I can't be bothered to explain the details of what he tells her but it seems that all he has to do is flick a switch a fusebox and everything's back to normal... Nita is very thankful and Steve plays on this, telling her that usually he would charge 40 (!) for that but luckily she's on a "Select List of One" for whom he'll do it for free. She invites him to stay for a cup of tea and "maybe even a piece of cake".
Outside, Sickly and Dully return to the Street. It seems they've been out shopping all day for a new van to replace the burnt one. She is very grateful that he's taken the time out to go with her and, to show her gratitude, asks him over to the Rovers for a drink, on her... As they head off down the road, the camera cuts to outside Nita's flat where Spider is standing. He knocks on the door and waits... She appears at the door, a bit flushed, as he stutters "Oh, er, hi, I just thought I'd pop round to say 'ello" only to be asked (politely) if he could make it another time since she's "up to the eyeballs" (ROFL! Is this a nice way of saying "I've got Steve 'Googly Eyes' MacDonald upstairs"??) at the moment and can't fit him in. He says this is fine and walks off happily, while she returns to the flat where Steve has made himself quite comfortable on the couch. Googly Eyes realises that it was Spider at the door and is well-chuffed that the eco-warrior has been sent away. "He walks around like he's some street-smart kinda guy", remarks the Great Rotting Cadaver Boy, "But what is he really? Some bloke in a woolly jumper who lives with his Auntie"... Nita tries to defend our Arachnid Hero by saying that he's "nice", but of course Steve reckons "nice guys finish last". At this point, she conveniently remembers that she's left 5V-Vik in charge of the shop and has to dash back to work, adding "You can see yourself out, Steve"...
Speaking of the 5 V's of Doom, he's currently outside The House Of Elliot (that was a quick shift change!!!), ringing the doorbell. Prince Ashley of Peacock greets him with a frown but Leanne, in the lounge painting her toenails, is only too happy to let the Vile One in... He announces that he can't take her out tonight after all, since he's been forced to work, then apologises insincerely and leaves... "It'll do you good to have a night in", comments Ashley who has been listening in on all this, "There's a good film on telly!"...
Back at the Guesthouse, love (of sorts!) is in the air, as the red wine is starting to affect both Jack and Eunice... They flirt hilariously for a few minutes before she puts things quite bluntly and states "You see, Jack, you're a mature man... Now, a young man, he goes at it like a bull at a gate, but I bet *you* know how to take your time", before reaching out, taking his hand and leading him to the couch. He suddenly realises that Eunice has far more in mind than a bit of harmless flirtation, as a look of sheer horror emerges on his face!
Meanwhile, in T'Rovers, Vera has returned early from Rhyl and wonders where Jack is... Judeh, who is serving, has no idea where he could be and wonders (as we all do) why Vera has come home so soon. It seems that little Bradleh got sick on the journey there and they were forced to call it a day... She decides to head back to the Guesthouse and see what's wrong with Jack, as the camera cuts to the other side of the bar where Leanne is flirting with Tom the Hairdresser (remember him??)... He asks her out and she replies "I'm always game for a night out, me", as the two leave the bar, giggling... Audreh is standing nearby and comments to Jim MacDonald: "She's got three lads on the go already, to my knowledge... The bloke in the Corner Shop, 'Ram by name, 'Ram by nature, I daresay! Then there's Tom, I mean I'm sorry to see he's been taken in by her... And young Ashley, her housemate. I mean, he may not be taking her out but he's taking her back in every night! You know, she's a right little trollop, I think!" - LOL! Jim just nods and murmurs in that precious way of his as we cut to a booth where Sickly and Dully are sitting... She's in the middle of thanking him (AGAIN) for helping her look for a van today when Kevin walks in to tell her that he's ready to drop the gurrls (who are currently waiting in the car with Alison) back home. Sickly goes to fetch the gurrls and doesn't introduce Kevin and Dully, unsurprisingly. However, the two of them do exchange the kind of dirty looks that only a couple of boneheads can.
Back at the Guesthouse, Eunice has straddled Jack atop the sofa and is sweating and panting "You're making me ill.. the frustration... All bottled up inside.. It's making me poorly..." (Strange Kudos to Meg Johnson here, BTW, for an absolutely 100% *perverted* performance!).. Jack points out that he has a pain in his chest, to which the Lecherous Landlady merely responds "Mmm, here, put it on me, Jack, that'll make it better" before rubbing her own chest against his! (and to think this was transmitted before 9'o'clock at night!!!) - "I knew you had feelings for me, Jack" she drools, "Don't fight it! Don't fight it!! I knew from the moment you walked into this house that we were fated, you and me!" - However, who should walk into the very same house at this precise moment? Sure enough it's Vera! Swiftly, seconds before Vee hits the living room, Eunice has dismounted poor ol' Jack and straightened her clothes up... Jack however, is not so healthy and is still lying on the couch... clutching his chest! "Vera!", he gasps, "I think I'm having a heartattack!!!"
The final scene is set at the Baldwin's Flat, where Alma and Mike are relaxing after a nice fillet steak meal. His mobile 'phone rings and, no prizes for guessing, it's Julia Stone. "I've got a new consignment of fabric for you", she says snidely, "Very revealing patterns. I forgot to throw them in with your last order.. They're a bargain at 10,000!" - He realises that she is attempting to blackmail him *even further* into giving her another 10,000 and puts the 'phone down on her, exclaiming "You can go to Hell!" - It seems she is already there, however, or at least she's in the company of the Devil... As the camera cuts to a new, unfamiliar surroundin, Julia puts her own 'phone down and says "I told you he wouldn't like it"... The camera pans across... A male voice says "That's the whole point. But he'll pay, don't worry. He's got no choice..." - Who could this person be?? *drumroll please* It's GRUESOME GREG KELLY!!!! HE'S BACK!! And, as they said when "Aliens" was released: "THIS TIME IT'S WAR!" - (Although, I have a feeling "This time it's BORE" would be more appropriate in his case...)
So, all in all, despite the rushed update, this John Stevenson-scripted episode wasn't a totally bad one. On the downside, I'm sick to the teeth already of Vikram Desai, who seems to have taken it upon himself, in Nick Tilsley's absense, to ensure we always have at least *one* member of the cast who's virtually guaranteed to ruin any scene he appears in. I was almost warming to the character when he became (briefly) Steve MacDonald's accountant but now it seems he's gone right back to being the brainless, sex-obsessed, lazy and irritating idiot he was when he first appeared.
The Baldwin Blackmail story is dragging a little. It was mildly exciting for the first few episodes but now it's getting silly. Especially Julia's (predictable) asking for *another* 10,000 on top of the first payment.. The fact that Blandford has returned doesn't help things and I pray this 1999 storyline for him isn't as finger-chewingly tedious as his 1998 one (yes, it *DID* last virtually all year!)... and of course, the less said about Sally Webster and her new fella the better.
Looking on the brightside, Meg Johnson is an absolute delight as the super-pervy Eunice Gee. Thoroughly ribald and far too cheeky for this early in the evening, but nonetheless a deeply humourous treat to watch. Also good to see Saeed Jaffrey back on our screens as Ravi Desai. As every updater will agree wholeheartedly, it *IS* impossible to get enough of this man's impeccable acting. He is pure gold. Sue Nicholls, also, is one of those cast members who brightens the place up at the moment. Audrey's little speech about Leanne was brilliant!
Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I have another Update to write before the night's out so I'll leave it at that... 'Til next time! :)
A CP Update with a difference, one which isn't accompanied by complaints from Kiwi volcano-dwellers :-) I'm filling in, while CP is, ermmmm, indisposed is the word, I think. Good heavens, these brown suede shoes *DO* feel odd ;-)
Breakfast at Sally's (not Tiffany's) - a mad rush to get the gurls out on time for school. The post arrives, shortly followed by a change of underwear. Who could the postcard be from?
In hospital, it's visiting time - the two women in Jack's life (so they think) come to see him, that's Vera and Eunice.Vera is anxious about Jack's health, Jack is either laid back or resigned to the slow tempo of things in hospital. Are they doing tests? - YES, has he had the results? - NO, has he had a heart attack? - DON'T KNOW! That seems to be the state of play. Still, things cannot be that bad, he says - if they were, then he would be in Coronary Care. Thank heavens for Eunice opening Jack's shirt, says Vee. Think nothing of it, is the gist of Eunice's reply. Thank God you were trained in emergency procedures, says Vee. Eunice and Jack exchange priceless glances!!!!!!!
Vikram chats up Leanne at the Kabin and asks her out to a party. The girl she say YES. Meanwhile Sally is showing her post to Rita - the postcard is from Greg - "how's business?" is the cryptic message. Well it gets the wind up Sally and she agrees with Rita's suggestion that the police need to be informed. He MUST be behind the torching of her van, thinks Sally.
Kevin is outside the garage. A customer has left his car locked, keys in the ignition. Luckily for Kevin, he is talking to Tyrone - a few seconds later - HEY PRESTO, OPEN SESAME - the door is opened. "How did you manage that?" asks Kevin. "Don't ask" is Ty's response.
Across the street, Sally's market stall pal, Danny, has turned up in his van. She gets in. They drive off. Kevin looks on. Ty comments about the guy having "the women eating out of his hands".
At the Corner Shop, Emily is shopping for some baking. She tells Nita that she is a hard act to follow, Spider was raving about her cooking the other night. Nita plays down the compliment. Enter Vikram. Now he has a date for tonight, he wants to swap over shifts with Nita. The girl she say NO.
Hospital time again. The good news is that there is no evidence of Jack having had a heart attack. The bad news is they want to do more tests, in particular, a stress test. But Vera is the ultimate stress test he tells the doctor.
At the Kabin, Tom is putting in a bid for Leanne's time tonight. YES, but not tonight, seems the gist of her reply. Enter Toyah to catch the tail end of the chat!!! Awww, one broken heart for sale!!
Sally and Danny enter the Underworld - I'm sorry, I'll read that again - Sally and Danny enter Underworld. Sally has come to pick up her stuff from Mike. She asks Deirdre whether they have heard from Greg Kelly. Mike surfaces at that moment to say that Greg Kelly is history - anyway, her stuff is ready for collection. She wants to pay him. We'll invoice you, snarls Baldwin. After Sally has left, Mike tears a strip off Deirdre for discussing the firm's business affairs. The phone rings, but she is told not to answer it.
Jack looks fetching in shorts - brings back memories, he tells the doctor, "Darting Jack Duckworth" - a few clubs had their eye on him. So did Vera. Guess who won? Time for the stress test - it's the treadmill - a chance to enable him to relive his glory days.
Time to finish for the day at the garage. Tyrone is enthusiastic - a few more nuts to tighten up. Kevin is impressed and asks whether he has thought of doing this for a living. "You kidding, people get nervous when they see me around cars" replies Ty. A few minutes later, Kevin has offered him an apprenticeship, "the pay is rubbish and you're up to your eyes in grease all day" is the smooth sales spiel, but for Tyrone, it's a dream come true.
At the Rovers, Steve gets uppity because Nita blew him out. He's not bothered (so he says). Some petty banter is exchanged. Spider is looking on, having a drink with Emily - he IS bothered. Emily tells him Nita has more sense than to get involved with the likes of Steve.She reassures him that he is still in with a chance and tells him Nita had really enjoyed his company the other night. "Really?" beams Spider. "Really" confirms Emily.
Sally has been to the police - they think that it could well be Greg who torched her van, she tells Rita. They would pick him up - if they knew where he was!!
Les enters the pub. Sally tells him she has received a card from Greg. "He always was thoughtful" is his amazing response. Sally is furious and warns him that if Greg shows his face then the police will be after him. Les accuses her of defaming his son's character.
At the Corner Shop, Playboy Vikram is shutting up shop early for his date. As he does so, Jim comes in for a pint of milk.Vikram refuses to serve him and suggests he goes round the corner to Rosamund Street. Jim is not impressed.
Back at Weatherfield General, the good news is that Jack can go home. The bad news is that the stress test results were not very good - as they suspected, he has angina due to narrowed coronary arteries. He has to come in for an angiogram to find out the extent of the problem. Meanwhile, he has to take it easy and not do any sudden exercise.
At the party, Leanne is in the swing of things. Vikram is curious about Nick - he ain't coming back and even if he did, I wouldn't want to know, is her reply. Interrogation over, they go off to dance.
Deirdre is telling Ken that she is upset at Mike snapping at her - Ken isn't too surprised and offers to have a word. Deirdre politely declines!!!
Ravi comes into the pub. Jim is confused and tells him about his exchange with Vikram. "You stay here, I'll personally get you a pint of milk" is Ravi's reply as he resolves to get to the bottom of the matter.
Deirdre decides to tackle Mike alone. He seems oblivious to the fact that his behaviour has upset her. When she summarises what has been happening, for the first time, he realises how things must look. He confides that it is nothing to do with her, but he is in a mess and doesn't know what to do.
Leanne is smashed out of her skull at the party. Vikram has an idea, they could have their own party back at her place .
Mike has confessed to Deirdre the full details about the Julia saga. He doesn't want to hurt Alma, he tells her. Deirdre cannot see an easy way out and foresees Julia coming after Mike for more and more money until she cleans him out and then telling Alma anyway. He should go to the police, she tells him.
Vikram has carried Leanne home in his arms. As they get ready for a good snog, Ashley comes down the stairs and plays the father figure. It's time for Leanne to go to bed and for Vikram to leave. "It's my party, this has nothing to do with you" says Vikram, "it's my house, it's got everything to do with me" replies Ashley. the two guys get into a scuffle but Ashley quickly gets the better of Vikram and throws him out of the house. By the time Ashley has come back in, Leanne has passed out on the settee. He carries her upstairs to bed.
Episode written by Ken Blakeson
BFN!! Alan Milewczyk
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
It's been a couple of weeks since the last one, many thanks to Vivienne Smith for stepping into my shoes last week - grand stuff and it looks like you've won yourself the Sunday Updater's tiara!! Welcome aboard!
Things are moving forward here - last week, I shifted all my "live" client files and binned the "dead" ones. The "dormant" ones which have to be kept for up to 7 years are now boxed awaiting collection. The health insurance claim is also going in. So the door closes on one chapter which has lasted the past 17 years. No regrets, I've learned a lot about life and myself. From a financial standpoint, I have up to about 3 years to sort myself and get the appropriate qualifications to enable me to do things in the computer field. In reality, it probably needs to be a bit less than that, but one step at a time....
Nice to have a micro-ping yesterday with Sylvia Dorman ("sfroms" aka as "Sylvia from Southport") who is over here, retracing her steps. Josef from Germany is also due over shortly, so we'll be meeting him and his wife Lisa. CRAP-Ping 2000 increasingly looks like becoming a reality sometime at the end of September 2000. Watch this space.
Can't think of anything else to say right now....
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Crunchie
The programme starts in the Kabin. An extremely harassed Sharon has the morning's papers piled up on the counter. They have obviously not been sorted for delivery and the paperboys are waiting. Jim comes in for his paper and seeing the fraught look on Sharon's face, he asks whether she is running behind. "I'm not" she tells him, "I shouldn't even be here" and proceeds to explain that, yet again, Leanne has let her down - she should have been doing the job an hour ago. At that point, Ken comes into the shop saying that he doesn't appear to have received his paper - Jim tells him not to worry, as no-one else has, and, by way of a tip, he would be wise not to blame Sharon. Rita has come in to help Sharon and between them they decide who is going to mark up and sort out which round. As Ken and Jim leave Sharon and Rita to catch up on the backlog, Sharon tells Rita that she has had enough - when Rita asks whether Sharon has phoned her, Sharon's reply is that, as far as she is concerned, Leanne has not turned in, so she has dismissed herself. The look on Rita's face reveals a belief that perhaps Sharon is being a bit hasty.
Back at Ashley's, Leanne is on the settee, glass of water in hand, popping some painkillers into the glass. Ashley comes down the stairs and asks whether she has a hangover - he isn't too surprised because of the state that she was in when she brought Vikram back last night - in his ever-thoughtful way, he suggests a fry-up as a great cure for a hangover "puts a lining back on t'stomach" - heave!!!
Switching to the Baldwin's place, Alma is telling Mike they should have gone away this weekend, maybe to that same place where Mike had the rag trade do, "cos we liked it there, didn't we?" Mike replies unenthusiastically that it was "alright". Anyway, she recognises that they have left it too late, so she will settle for a drink at lunchtime. As Mike picks up his briefcase, she tells him "no more worrying". "No more worrying" he repeats and she tells him that from now on they are just going to be happy - Mike puts on a plastic grin [99p from B&Q ;-)].
At the Corner Shop, Ravi is not a happy man - he is telling Nita how he was trying to have a drink at the Rovers, when Jim had collared him to tell him that he had been unable to buy milk because the shop was shut. His disappointment was that much greater to find that the shop WAS shut. "Not my fault" replies Nita, but Ravi doesn't see it that way, after all "who keeps telling me that she is in charge of the shop?". When Nita tries to explain that being in charge doesn't mean that she is the only person working in the shop, Ravi puts her straight - there was nobody working in the shop last night!
Tyrone comes to the counter to be served - he proudly tells them that the milk is for him and Kevin and how he is working at the garage, "I'm on the books there now, proper job and all, else I wouldn't have all this gear on, would I?" Awwwww, he is soooo endearingly pleased as Punch! :)
As Tyrone leaves, Vikram comes in. "Ah, the playboy of Weatherfield" exclaims his father, "the man about town"! Nita asks Vikram why the shop wasn't open last night - Vikram maintains that it was. However, when Ravi tells him he is witness to the fact that it wasn't when Jim McDonald wanted some milk, Vikram corrects himself "well, it wasn't open ALL night" because "it was dead quiet, there were no customers", Ravi exposes the flaw in Vikram's argument "well it would be, because it was not open." Nita tries to lay the law down and tells Vikram that this is not the point because he is paid to be there whether there are customers or not. Vikram pursues his stubborn approach and tells that that this is stupid - as they launch into an argument, Ravi gets exasperated and tells them to sort things about between themselves, as he is not prepared to see his investment in the shop losing money because they cannot organise between them, as to who should be behind the counter. All he asks is that, when he is out having a peaceful drink, he does not wish to be disturbed by people asking him why they cannot get milk. He storms out of the shop, leaving behind Nita looking equally exasperated. Vikram makes light of it all "oh he'll be alright, do you want coffee?" "NO!!!" is the vehement reply.
At Eunice's B&B, Jack is busy studying the racing column of the paper, while Vera is on her way out to work. She is concerned for Jack's welfare, but Eunice is able to reassure her that she will "keep my eye on him". Jack looks decidedly worried and asks how long Vera is going to be - not long, but she has to do her job, Vera replies. Eunice tells Vera not to worry "I know what I'm doing, I nursed my dad until the bitter end." Those words have totally the wrong impact on poor Jack. Vera tells Jack not to do anything strenuous and how she is going to tell Natalie she will have to manage until you are back on your feet. "Oh that'll be next week" replies Jack, anxious to get away from Eunice's clutches. Vera brushes away Jack's statement but he insists that he will return next week. Vera gets exasperated with Jack, despite him being at death's door, he still doesn't think it was anything serious. Eunice puts it down to men's failure to face up to their own mortality and tells her that her father was placing bets on the horses an hour before his heart stopped, "I had to go and collect the winnings meself"!!!! ROTFL!! Poor Jack, the expression on his face is priceless. Anyway, Vera has to rush to work and, telling, Jack he has to take it easy, she departs.
After she has done so, Eunice offers "if there's anything I can do for you, you've only got to ask." "No, nothing" replies a petrified Jack!!! Wonderful stuff!! She leaves him to get a rest with the parting shot "I think you're right! A couple of days, you'll be back on your feet and you'll be raring (she roars the word) to go." Oh dear, poor Jack!!!
Rita has called round to see Leanne, who explains "I'm sorry, I sometimes get these spells when I'm not right well and this morning were one of them." Rita asks what brought them on, but Leanne plays dumb. Rita takes the bull by the horns and asks whether Leanne was out last night. Sheepishly, she confirms this was the case. When Rita asks whether Leanne was boozing, her reply is defensive - that's her business, she tells Rita. "It can stop that way, I'm just trying to help, that's all" replies Rita. Again, Leanne reluctantly admits that she did go out for a drink last night, so what? "So, you can't go boozing and do early morning papers, I never could" replies Rita, "there's nobody can, which you've just gone and proved by not turning up". Leanne asks what happens now, is she sacked? Rita confirms that Leanne is on the verge of losing her job and asks her whether she wants the job. Leanne's reply that she needs it provokes the response that needing and wanting are two different things. Repeating her question, elicits the confirmation that she does want the job - Rita's solution is that Leanne is to get dressed, go over to the shop right now, apologise to Sharon and tell her that it will never happen again, "only you had better mean it, otherwise don't do it!" Wise words indeed.
At Underworld, Mike is telling Deirdre that he has still not told Alma the truth about his one night stand with Julia and how he is finding it difficult to do so, after Alma's cancer scare. Deirdre points out that, surely it is better for Alma to hear it from Mike, instead of getting some nasty pictures through the post. Mike is clutching at straws - "maybe they won't see Julia again, maybe she'll get run over by a bus, maybe she'll try it on with someone else and they will bash her over the head, maybe .... anything." "And maybe, she'll ring up and ask for more money" offers Deirdre. "Ah well, maybe.... I'd just have to pay" replies Mike, reluctantly. He recognises, he is "going to have to pay one way or the other, either in cash or in endless grief, when Alma finds out, so who says cash isn't the easiest?" He knows he cannot keep paying for ever, but he doesn't think that Julia will be coming back forever, she isn't stupid, she must realise there is a limit and to be satisfied with what she has got. "And if she isn't?" asks Deirdre. "Well, in that case, I'll just have to tell Alma."
At the Kabin, it's "explain yourself and grovel" time, although you wouldn't think so, listening to Leanne. Although she starts off well enough by telling Sharon that she had slept through the alarm, once Sharon reminds her that this isn't the first time, Leanne's contrite mood evaporates very quickly and she gets into a defensive argument, one which she cannot win. Leanne tries to plays the sympathy card by telling Sharon that she has been through a lot, with losing her baby and Nick leaving, but this falls on deaf ears. She tells Leanne that if she is just going to waltz in with a string of excuses then she doesn't know why she is bothering. "Neither do I" is Leanne's stroppy reply.
Enter Tyrone, for some mints and chewing gum. "That's for me and Kev" he proudly announces, "I'm working over there now...". Continuing to Leanne, he adds, "...and you can tell your sister as well, if you like. It's a proper job, and all that... look.. " He points to his clean overalls. "And if she doesn't believe me, she can ask me boss, can't she?"
After he has left the shop, Leanne and Sharon continue their row. When Leanne's asks what else she is to say, Sharon replies that she doesn't want Leanne to say anything, she just wants to know that it won't happen again. Leanne is still in petulant mood and tells her that she didn't do it on purpose and more or less tells her to stick her job. There is a pause as both realise that Leanne has been headstrong and she admits that she needs a job. Sharon backs down with the warning that this is Leanne's absolute last chance "next time you sleep in, you might as well stop there for the day."
Having cleared the air, she then asks Leanne who she went out with "were it a lad?" "Might be" is Leanne's bashful reply. She is reluctant to come clean, until Sharon jokingly tells her to spill the beans, after all she has just given her her job back. Leanne discloses the identity of her boyfriend. "Oooh, him!" is the reply.
There is a loud hissing noise as I realise that it's the nation's greeting to welcome the return of Greg, coming up the stairs of his flat. "Well, the contracts are there on the table, they want me in on it, all we need now is the finance" he tells Julia. When she asks what she could do, his answer is to the point - she could always try to get another £10,000 from Baldwin, it would come in handy. She wonders whether he would come up with it, Mike doesn't like being told what do - Greg has no such qualms, Baldwin will do a lot to save his cosy little marriage, he tells her. Julia is clearly reluctant and Greg jumps in "you're going to tell me you know more about him than I do? Learned that in your previous profession, did you?" Julia is upset "I'd like to forget what I did in my previous profession, if you think we ever can.... What I did with Baldwin, I did for you, because you asked me to." She tells him that she didn't enjoy it, not one single minute - Greg gets into his usual apologetic routine - we've seen it all before, of course, but I suspect that this is new to Julia, as he tells her he has been under a lot of pressure. She confirms "I did it for you... and anything else you want, I'll do that as well.... Do you want me to ring him now and ask for another ten grand?" As he is going out, he tells her they will do it tonight "it will be something to look forward to, hearing Baldwin begging and pleading. Don't know what I like better, actually, that or the thought of the money..." He kisses her on the cheek....
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end of part 1
After the ads, it's part 2
The second part of the programme commences at the Rovers - Judy is serving at the bar and Jim is asking Vera about Jack's progress. Vera informs them that Jack has been told to take it easy "but it's like telling fish to swim, he's never done owt else. !!"
Mike and Deirdre are having a quiet talk - Alma comes into the pub and joins them. While Mike is at the bar getting her drink, Alma tales the opportunity to quiz Deirdre as to whether she knows what is bothering Mike. Deirdre plays it dumb.
At Eunice's place, Gary plus the twins have come round to visit Jack. Eunice sorts out the fellas with tea and then beats a retreat. Jack explains his dilemma to Gary - a lot of fellas would think he had landed on his feet, he tells Gary, ten years ago, he would have lapped it up but not now. Being taken into hospital has frightened Jack and made him weigh up what is important to him, "like your health." "And your marriage?" adds Gary. Jack hesitates. "Not your marriage, then" Gary corrects himself. The way Jack sees it, his health is paramount and the best of preserving it, "is to get out of here." "And away from temptation, eh?" adds Gary. Jack continues that he is not to have any stress or agitation and under no circumstances is he to try anything too strenuous. He just has to convince Vera that they need to get out fast.
At the Corner shop, we have a rare sighting - Vikram at the counter, serving!! He asks Emily how she is and, just as Em starts to reply how nice it is to have some decent weather, Vikram spots Ashley in the shop. His pleasantness evaporates rapidly as he tells Ashley he is not welcome in the shop - he was thrown out of Ashley's house, so he is now going to throw Ashley out of his shop. When Ashley tries to explain that his actions were for a very good reason, Vikram puts it down to jealousy - that Ashley would like to be going out with Leanne and resents Vikram doing so. Emily tries, unsuccessfully, to calm things down, but their voices become raised to the point that Nita comes in from the back. Steve comes into the shop and looks on as the sparring continues. Ashley leaves the shop, much to Nita's displeasure - she tells Vikram to behave and, in no uncertain terms, informs him that SHE will decide who is barred from the shop. Nita apologises to Emily for the altercation, which Emily puts down to the coming of spring. When Steve asks what the altercation was about, Nita, says she will tell him over a drink tonight. Steve quips that this is a turn up for the books, he only came in for a loaf of bread, but this is just enough to make Nita snap at him angrily.
At Underworld, Deirdre is about to leave for the day. Mike quizzes her as to whether Alma was probing at lunchtime. Deirdre tells him that Alma seemed to think that he had something on his mind, but she reassures him that she told Alma nothing. Deirdre asks Mike what made him get involved with another woman, considering his fondness for Alma. Mike isn't sure why it happened - it's not as if he was unhappy with Alma or looking for somebody else. He thinks some more and surmises that he was probably flattered, didn't think it would do any harm, a bit on the side... Deirdre asks Mike what would have happened had Julia been on the level and not out to blackmail him, would he have seen her again? Mike concedes he would have done. "And again after that?" probes Deirdre further. Mike recognises what Deirdre is getting at, it would not have stayed as a bit on the side. He is confused, but can only tell her what he was thinking at the time - he knows he was stupid and he will do anything he can so that Alma doesn't get hurt, but what he cannot do, is to turn the clock back.
Back at Eunice's, Jack is telling Vera how, lying in the hospital bed had him thinking about how much time you have left and what you are going to do with it. Vera isn't really paying attention to him as she is concentrating on reading a book. He tells Vera he has come to the conclusion he doesn't wish to spend his remaining days here, in a lodging house. He wants the two of them to be together, with some privacy and without some Tom, Dick or Harry wandering in, every few minutes. She concurs, so he suggests that they get the money and buy a house. Vera is puzzled at what has got into Jack, all of a sudden. "I've flaming told ya" yells Jack "being rushed into flamin' hospital, not knowing whether I am going to get out or not." Vera is still puzzled - she wonders whether he has had a falling out with Eunice. Suddenly, the penny drops. "Here!! You haven't been.. misbehaving, have you?" "I have NOT" denies Jack, vehemently.
Just as Jack insistently denies this, Eunice pops her head around the door to tell Vera that she has been looking after Jack. Jack takes the opportunity of telling Eunice that he and Vera have been discussing matters and decided to find a house. Eunice looks hurts - telling them that she will be sorry to see them go, she hopes that they have been happy during their stay. Jack reassures them that they have been, Vera adding that she is still happy - it's Jack who has the itchy feet. "And you want your own hearth to put them on?" asks Eunice. "Yes, I suppose I do" replies Jack, "you see, I suppose, I've been the homely sort, deep down." ROTFL!! Really??
At Ashley's, Leanne is reading the paper. Ash supposes she will be stopping in and Leanne confirms she doesn't have the energy for anything else. Neither does he, adds Ashley, especially after a late night, not that he has that many late nights these days. The doorbell rings and Ashley goes to the door. It's Vikram, come to see Leanne, who calls him inside. He sweeps past Ashley, looking disgruntled on the doorstep. Leanne is pleased to see Vikram but wasn't he supposed to be working, she asks him? he tells her that from now on, HE chooses when HE works. He wonders whether she would like to come out and have a drink, that is, unless she has to ask permission, this being a reference to Ashley's protective mode. She makes her own mind up, she tells him - she will be delighted to go out, all she needs is ten minutes to get ready. Saying that, she rushes upstairs, leaving Ashley and Vikram looking at each other, daggers drawn.
Back at the Rovers, Ravi is having a drink at the bar with Rita. He is telling her about he has sorted out his staff problem and that he has laid the law down - he has told Nita and Vikram that it is their job to run the shop and that he doesn't expect to be disturbed when he is having a quiet drink. Rita says that surely he isn't having problems with Nita - she seems pretty keen. Ravi starts to confirm that she isn't the problem, "my daughter, I can ..... rely upon", just as Nita comes to the bar, with Steve McDonald in tow - Oh dear!! Life IS full of bitter disappointments!!!!
Steve orders drink for Nita and himself. Seeing her father, Nita greets him and tells him not to worry, Vikram is in charge of the shop. "So long as one of you is" is Ravi's reply.
Steve asks Nita what sort of game she is playing with him - he is puzzled at her putting him off one minute and then wanting to have a drink with him, the next. She tells him that it isn't a game, she just doesn't like being chatted up by the guy she is paying to fix her flat. She acknowledges that sometimes her pride gets in the way and that makes her difficult to be with.
Enter Mike and Alma. She is saying that they don't have to go out but Mike says they have to start to doing more together. He orders drinks for himself and Alma.
Round the corner, Ken is having a drink with Deirdre. "Your employer's at the bar" he tells her he asks whether Baldwin is still giving her a hard time. Deirdre tells him that all is fine now and pretends that she doesn't know what the problem was. Ken surmises that Mike's attitude is down to jealousy of himself - he appreciates that Mike did a lot for her, when she was in prison and he doesn't have a problem with that, but Mike clearly sees himself as Deirdre's protector and now that he (Ken) is on the scene, Mike doesn't like that, he opines. Deirdre tells him she thinks Ken is wrong, but Ken insists "he is not only a small man, but a small-minded small man. He can't bear the thought of us being happy together." The look on Deirdre's face says "if only you knew the half of it", but, fortunately, she doesn't disclose Mike's secret.
Enter Vikram and Leanne. Who do they bump into? Nita and Steve!!!! Nita asks him what he is playing at, their father will go mad when he sees him. "Why should he?" replies Vikram, "he's having a drink and so are we!"
He comes to the bar and blatantly calls out "hiya dad!" Ravi asks him, "if you're here and your sister is also here, who is running the shop?" "Pass!" is Vikram's cheeky reply.
"Where have I gone wrong?" bemoans Ravi to a bemused Rita. She tells him he hasn't gone far wrong, he has a lovely family, even though they are not keen on standing behind the counter. Ravi agrees, reluctantly, as long as he isn't harangued by customers wanting to be served milk.
Mike pays for his drinks and, as he does so, his mobile phone rings. He is annoyed at the intrusion but he will just get rid of whoever is calling. That's OK, says Alma. "Hello, Baldwin here" "And it's Julia here" says the voice at the other end. Mike's face changes dramatically. "Hope this isn't too inconvenient" she continues. Mike makes his excuses to Alma for some privacy and moves into a quiet corner.
The camera switches to Greg's flat. Greg asks Julia what is happening, as she has her hand over the telephone mouthpiece. She tells him that it sounds as if Mike is in a pub. "Oh, we're upsetting his evening, are we? What a shame." sniggers Greg.
"What do you want?" asks Mike. "Like I said, I've been thinking. I don't think ten thousand's enough" replies Julia. "You're not getting any more money" snarls Baldwin. "I think another ten thousand should cover it" continues Julia, ignoring his protestations. "No way. No chance" replies Mike. J - "Well then, your wife's gonna receive all the copies of the photographs." "It's too late. I've already told her" bluffs Mike.
Julia mouths this piece of news to Greg, who instantly dismisses it as a bluff.
"There's got to be another ten thousand or......" continues Julia. "I've told you.... NO" replies Mike as he cuts off the call.
At the other end of the line, Julia tells Greg that Mike has just hung up on her. "Okay then" replies Greg - he pauses a second , deep in thought, then adds "let's do it........."
And with that... ... 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?
Lovely comedy moments provided by Jack in combination with Vera, Gary and Eunice - essentially, the everyday banter with partners and with friends. Wonderful stuff. Sadness, I suppose, because it looks like the setting of the scenes for Jack and Vera bowing out of Corrie.
Interesting seeing Leanne going off the rails in her pursuit to blot out her marriage and to catch up on lost time. I do have to say that I am slightly confused as to whether Ashley is playing the part of a jealous aspiring suitor or a boring father figure - whatever, I'm finding him a bit tiresome these days and he's in the running for a smack in the chops for the way he is carrying on. For me, Ashley has great comic potential as well as a gentle serious side, the "little old man" routine doesn't sit easily with me.
Ravi and the kids is another interesting situation. Family businesses are fraught with problems and we are seeing some of them in action, right now. Ultimately, providing employment for one's kids may be nobly intentioned, but I doubt the real value behind it. the conflicts between Nita, Vikram and Ravi are being well explored in a gentle way, although I am getting disappointed with Vikram - my considered reaction is that he comes over as a tad lightweight for the part. Nita is coming out of her shell a bit more - although she is hardly a nasty character, I suppose I have found her a bit stand-offish. Ravi continues to be a joy in every scene in which he appears.
Another individual providing great joy is Tyrone - what a delight seeing him as pleased as punch about his new job, wearing his clean uniform and telling everyone proudly that he is working. A real delight!!!!!
The major storyline, of course, is Mike's infidelity with Julia and the subsequent blackmail. I know it's the done thing to slag off Baldwin, but I think the scenario is being pretty well played out. For a guy who believes money oils all the wheels it is quite understandable that Mike should seek to pay off Julia, even though, in his heart of hearts, he must doubt whether he will get away with it. Again, much as I like the Alma character, Mike's explanation for being tempted, that of being flattered by Julia's advances, does have a realistic feeling about it. Deirdre's probing about his intentions reveals the fact that he hasn't really thought through the implications.
For anyone who has been cheated upon, this must be a difficult storyline to view from Mike's perspective. It does, however remind me of a scenario about 10 years ago in a previous business I ran. Over a period of a few months, an employee embezzled a quantity of cash from the business and it was interesting examining the sequence of events, in hindsight. She had accrued some debts (buying items from a clothes catalogue), which were proving difficult to repay. She was tempted by the occasional cash which was around in the business at the time - I am convinced she "borrowed" it, with the genuine intent of repaying it, but very soon afterwards, found herself caught in the debt spiral, "borrowing" more and more in an attempt to get out of the problem. An interesting psychological process occurs where someone does something which they know, in their heart of hearts is wrong, yet they convince themselves otherwise. I believe we have the same scenario here. The other parallel is that, as with theft, these events are rarely a one-off - somebody gets away with something once and they believe that they can repeat the feat. The guilt perspective changes over a period of time. I've never been in that situation and don't want it to look as if I am making excuses for Baldwin - he is hardly my favourite character. I can, however, understand the sequence of events which leads to his current dilemma. Life is rarely clear cut!!!
The other interesting point was the secrets you would keep from your partner, i.e. Deirdre not telling Ken about Mike's one-night stand with Julia and the subsequent blackmail. I suppose that, before this scenario, I might have said that, personally, I wouldn't have any secrets from my spouse. I would concede, however, that Deirdre was totally justified and correct in not disclosing this piece of information to Ken, because of how he would react to it. It raises quite a dilemma which I haven't explored before, because I would have viewed the issue in very black and white terms.
On that philosophical inconclusive point, a quick summary. Pretty good episode, nudging the plot on a bit, with some nice dialogue and comic moments.
Anyway that's it for now.. well, I can't stand here gabbin', I've got pies to shift. Until the next time, take care...
Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
Well, if you've kept up then you'll know that this is the second Update I'm writing in one night (in order to catch up on the alotted schedule)  so I'll skip even the slightest sembelence of a prologue and jump straight into tonight's show...
 = Actually, this is wrong. Although that was the original plan, I fell asleep half way through and had to continue the next night! :)
The episode opens in the Baldwin flat where Alma is concerned about Mike's state of mind. He's snappy and she remarks that this doesn't surprise her what with strange sales reps knocking at the door at all hours (she is of course, referring to Julia Stone's impromptu house call on Sunday). "Sorry", he says with the sincerity of a gnat, "I'm just under a bit of pressure at the moment.. Don't worry, it'll pass.." - or so he hopes!
Over in the Kabin, Spider is asking Sharon if she stocks a particular specialist magazine and it seems that she doesn't... Either that or, like myself, she can't catch a word that he's saying. I have rewound my tape of this episode about four times so far and still, for the life of me, I can't work out what the name of the magazine he wants is. It's "Eco" something, but that's as far as I've got (Suggestions on a postcard please)!... Nonetheless, good ol' Gurn-O-Matic tells Spider that she'll try and order it for him, an effort for which our Arachnid Hero is grateful for, as he leaves with a smile on his face. Just then, Ken Barlow enters and is looking for Rita who, it seems, has gone on a "Retail Therapy Course" (ie: Shopping trip) in Manchester... The reason that Ken wants to see the Big Red, however, is that he's confused as to why there is a note in his paper asking him to pay his bill when he did this very thing only yesterday... Sharon looks for a record of this transaction in her little black book but finds nothing. "I paid Leanne yesterday" maintains Borelow, "I gave her a twenty pound note" and upon hearing this, Sharon begins gurning in dismay.
The MIGHTY Fred Elliot is purchasing a bag of groceries in the Corner Shop and is overjoyed to find his "standards of exactitude are being maintained" (translation: Quite surprised it seems that Nita gives him correct change! lol!)... Unfortunately for her, Audrey enters just as the Burly Butcher is leaving and she gets caught in conversation with him:
Fred: "Can I say again what a pleasure it was to have your sweet company yesterday? I can't wait until the opportunity presents itself so that we can do the same again." Audrey: (A bit embarrassed) "Thanks, well, I'll let you know, eh?" Fred: "Until then, I will say ADIEU!" (Waves extravagantly)
As he leaves the Shop, Audrey looks somewhat bewildered and wonders what she is going to have to do in order to fend off his manly advances (arf arf)! At this point, Curly bounces in through the door and fires up yet another amusing conversation:
Curly: (To Audrey and Nita) "Ah, Audrey! I'm glad I've caught you two together! What do you reckon to warts?"
(There is a stunned silence... Nita looks totally confused and Audrey looks a tad embarrassed.)
Audrey: (Subtly) "Well, I've never suffered with them, Curly..."
Nita: (Raising an eyebrow, in a Spock-like manner) "You want a chemist, Curly.."
Curly: "No no no! Not warts warts! WARTs in capital letters.. Weatherfield Association of Retail Traders.."
Audrey: "Ooh, that bunch of old duffers.."
Curly: "Nah, things have changed since Alf's day. They're looking now for people like me." (raises hands to mimic a rolling slogan) "IF YOU'RE IN BUSINESS - YOU'VE GOT WARTS!"
Audrey: "Well, if you're looking for new members, don't look at me. I've had my fill of grumbling old gasbags at the town hall!"
ROFL! - Totally silly exchange I know, but delivered well enough to raise a few hearty laughs. Anyway, with Audrey firmly against the idea of joining the WARTs, Curly turns his attention to Nita, who is curious about what they do (as am I!) and how it may benefit her... He asks her to meet him for a drink at lunchtime during which he will explain all and, amazingly, she agrees.
Back at the Kabin, Leanne finally arrives into work (with a happy new (shorter) haircut!) and is, once more, late. Needless to say, The Gurning Gaskell is not best pleased and she's even less overjoyed about the small matter of Ken Barlow's missing twenty quid. "Would you like to tell me what happened to it?" she asks, angrily... (Cut!)
Sir Royston Of Cropper (YAY!!!) returns to our screens and serves Jack and Vera two coffees (note to overseas viewers: When you watch this part of the scene, please watch Roy's hands!) in the Cafe. He wonders if Jack is okay after his heartattack, before remarking to Gail "It must have been a near-death experience and they do say that sometimes people see glimpses of the Other Side" who responds "If Jack *had* had a glimpse of the Other Side and it had been lying around on clouds all day, I don't think he'd've bothered to come back"... Vera thinks that Roy does have a point about Jack coming very close to his end, adding that in future he really should take it easy, starting with quitting his cellarman job at The Rovers. "Don't be soft!" yelps Jack, "I'm not letting whatever happened to me turn me into some kind of flamin' invalid!"
Meanwhile, in Mike Baldwin's Underworld of Delight, The Darklord Himself is telling a shocked Deirdre all about Julia's little visit to his flat. The D is stunned that Mike's blackmailer had so much gall as to actually show up and have tea with Alma and tells him sternly that the best plan would be to 'fess up about the whole affair: "You may have to! The more desperate this woman gets, the bigger the odds are against you!" - All of which makes perfect sense of course, but Baldwin just sighs and groans, even when D explains that "it's better she hears it from you than down the phone from that poisonous little minx!" (LOL! Great turn of phrase!)... When Mike *still* refuses to tell Alma, Deirdre is forced to paint him a picture of the reality of the situation. "Well, then" she says, in a matter-of-fact tone, "She's got you just where she wants you. Cornered.. and scared"...
Cut back to the Kabin (zzz) where the Leanne -vs- Sharon War is still raging, as the two of them search frantically for Ken Barlow's missing 20 quid. "Blah blah blah"... "Yadda yadda yadda"... A waste of two fine actresses (Jane Danson and Tracie Bennett) ensues as the two of them bitch about whether or not Leanne has stolen the money (!). Just as they reach fever point, Natalie walks in holding an "POSITION VACANT - BARMAID" card that she wishes to put in the window. Leanne, acting on impulse, tells her not to bother: "If you want a barmaid, I'll save you the bother. I can smile, I can get the top off a bottle, I'm honest and I've had it with this place!" she shouts, storming out of the door in a huff and heading, presumably (judging from the next scene she appears in), for the Rovers.
Over at Roy's Rolls, Gail catches Sir Royston in a contemplative mood as he reels off Shakespeare quotes regarding death. Needless to say, The Puzzled Platt wonders what has brought all this on and is met with a bizarre response from Roy: "As you well know, I'm not a particularly religious person but that doesn't preclude me from speculating about the possibilites of an afterlife and, as Charles Froman said 'Why fear death? For it is the most beautiful adventure in life'" (Oh my God!!! Is Roy turning into a Goth!?!) - Gail searches him for crimpers, black hair dye and battered Sisters Of Mercy records, but upon finding none of these simply says "An adventure it may be, Roy, but if you don't want your customers keeling over from starvation, I suggest you start feeding 'em!" which brings our hero back down to Earth as he furrows his brow and goes back to preparing some beans... At this point, Audrey walks in, horrified upon hearing Gail's greeting for her: "Well, I can't cook as good as what you had yesterday with Fred, but I'll try me best!" - It seems that the Burly Butcher has been out telling every Tom, Dick and Harry about he and the Councillor's lunchdate, something which displeases The Fragrant Lady greatly to say the least. She confides in Gail her true feelings about Fred, admitting that it was okay to be "game for the odd round of innocent flirting" with him while Alf was around but now Alf's dead and gone, she realises that Fred has "got himself a new set of rules", a pretty scary thought indeed considering that she certainly doesn't feel the same way.
Speak of the Devil, Fred is over at the Rovers with Ashley, proposing a toast to "the fair lady Councillor, Audrey Roberts"... His nephew is, rightly, concerned that perhaps Fred is being a little premature in "getting the hots for Audrey" considering the recent death of her husband. The Butcher of Weatherfield, however, is adamant that he doesn't "have the hots" and is "wooing the fair lady with care and discretion"!! Behind the bar, meanwhile, Leanne is pulling her first pint ever, for Spider Nugent. He's well-stoked about the quality of the pour and tells Natalie so... The Sleeveless One is "umm"ing and "ahh"ing about it, still in two minds about employing Lee, but the Bubbly Battersby puts forth a great sales pitch, ending with the priceless line "I've got booze runnin' through my veins, me!"... Natalie muses "that doesn't surprise me, with Les Battersby as yer dad" before giving in and handing her the job of barmaid on a trial basis! Leanne is ecstatic and thanks Natalie profusely whilst bouncing up and down, at which point an impatient Mike Baldwin, who has been standing around waiting for a Scotch for about two minutes, reminds the barstaff of his request...
"Get one for me too" comes a voice from behind him... It's Julia Stone!! He tells her to get lost, adding that she won't get another penny out of him (for about the third time this week - Zzzz) but she simply smiles and enquires innocently "Not even if I told you who's *REALLY* blackmailing you?"
END OF PART ONE
Back at Underworld, Mike is informing Deirdre of what Julia has been telling him whilst we've been suffering the commercial break. It seems he now knows that "a man who has something against him" (could be one of millions!) is pulling Julia's strings and he has arranged to meet with the suspicious Ms Stone after work to hand her some cash (an undisclosed amount) in order to find out who it is. Mike is glad to hear that there is a "puppetmaster" involved since this clears up the big question he had of WHY she was doing this to him... However, Deirdre thinks that he should know better than this and adds that they've been given no reason whatsoever to trust Julia. As always, Baldwin ignores her advice and states that the meeting will go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, over at t'Rovers, Spider buys Nita a drink at the bar. She's happy to accept an orange juice and he purchases a bottle of lager for himself. Just then, Curly shows up and asks Spider "Ah, you gettin' 'em in mate?" adding "Glad you could make it, Nita!" - Spider sighs, gives Curly *his* bottle of lager and orders another as the two Shopkeepers adjourn to a booth, minus the Eco-Warrior. Our poor Arachnid Hero of course has no idea that they are simply talking about WARTs (Weatherfield Association of Retail Traders in case you're skipping earlier parts of this Update ;)) and his eyes turn a jealous shade of green... The camera moves away towards Jack and Vera who enter the pub and are greeted pleasantly by Fred Elliot and Natalie, both of whom are glad to see the Duckies are fit and healthy. "Ah, smell that!" proclaims Jack, "Hops and hotpot! That smell alone is enough to sustain a man!"... Vera isn't convinced and frowns even further when Jack enthusiastically tells Natalie that she can expect back to work shortly, as soon as the hosptial finishes all their tests on him.
Across the road, Rita has returned from her 'retail therapy' and is concerned to find that Sharon running the Kabin alone, especially when she hears that Leanne has left and got a new job at the Rovers (All in the space of one day - only in Weatherfield!)... Big Red is thoroughly unconvinced by Sharon's assertion that Leanne nicked Ken Barlow's paper money and, sure enough, within a matter of seconds, she's recovered the missing twenty pound note from inside the paper book ("the first place you should look"!) where it was left. "I employed Leanne because I trust her!" she lectures to a Sheepish Sharon, "Yes, she has her faults. But so do you.. and going off at half-cock is obviously one of them!"
Jack and Vera have, meanwhile, made it across the road to from the Rovers to the Cornershop, where Nita is engrossed in a W.A.R.T.s leaflet. The Duckies are *still* engaged in debate about whether or not Jack should "resume an normal life" by going back to work and Vera, in her state of worry, knocks some nearby packets of cake mix onto the floor. As her husband reaches down to pick them up, he suddenly experiences a pain in his chest and grabs himself, gasping. "What's wrong?" gasps Vera and, although Jack attempts to pass it off as mere indigestion, she forces him to take a puff on the medicated spray that the doctors gave him.
At the House Of Elliot, Rita comes over to try and sweet-talk (in vain) Leanne back into the Kabin. No matter how much Big Red assures her young assistant that she is a trusted and valued member of staff, the Boozy Battersby is not swaying. A barmaid she will be, will be, a barmaid she will be (as they say in the folk songs)! Even when Rita says "I'm sure Sharon is sorry for jumping to conclusions", all she gets in return is "Well, she should try jumping a bus next time!" - Ouch!
So we cut to Underworld, where the meeting between Mike and Julia is underway. She asks him for the money (still an undisclosed amount) and he pleads with her to reveal the name of her 'boss'... "But how do I know you won't just give me the first name that comes into your head?" he says, grabbing her arm harshly... As Julia utters the words "Greg Kelly" in response, the Bastardly Baldwin's face turns white with shock, disgust and revelation! The rest of the nation turn green with nausea as eyes glaze over in antipication of the tedium to come.
Over at T'Rovers, Spider is contemplating the bottom of a beer bottle when Curly comes over and offers him another drink:
Spider: (Refusing to look Curly in the eye) "Enjoy it, didya?"
Spider: "Your drink... with Nita..."
Curly: (Oblivious to Spider's tone of voice) "Oh that, yeah... Nice girl.."
Spider: "And attractive..."
Curly: "Yeah, and bright.. Full of good ideas... Just what I'm after!"
Spider: (Bitterly) "Well, I hope you two will be very happy together..."
Curly: (Realising something is up) "Are you alright, Spider?"
Spider: (Wincing) "Look! I'd *like* to be able to tell you to keep your hands off her..." (Quietly, sadly) "...But she isn't mine. I'm not getting anywhere with her... So the best I can do is.." (Sincerely) "..wish you both the best of luck..." [Aww, what a gentleman!!]
Curly: (As the penny drops that Spider is jealous) "OH NO! When I said I was 'after her', I didn't mean I was AFTER HER! Well, er, I mean I am AFTER her but I'm only after her for WARTs!"
Spider: (Look of horror and confusion!)
Curly: "Weatherfield Association of Retail Traders!"
Spider: (Relieved) "Ahhh... oh, sorry mate..." Curly: "God, you have got it bad haven't you?"
LOL - Whoever paired off Kev Kennedy and Martin Hancock deserves a medal. The two are excellent. That above dialogue, while it may not seem hilarious in print, was really quite side-splitting thanks to the superb delivery on both parts. Definately one of the highlights of the episode!
Anyway, we soon cut to behind them, where Deirdre and Alma are sitting having a drink. The Long-Suffering Mrs Baldwin is worried about where Mike has got to and wants to go across to Underworld looking for him but Deirdre, knowing full well what he's doing, tells her to stay for just one more Gin and Tonic...
...As Mike is still engaged in conversation with Julia, trying to get to the bottom of her relationship with his brown nemesis Greg Kelly. It seems that the Evil Blandford has told his pretty young assistant (God, I'm talking like a narrator off "DangerMouse"!) that Mike put him out of business, hence why he has sworn revenge. Baldwin, of course, wants to hear all this (and more) straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, so, once more grabbing Julia firmly by the arm, he escorts her out of Underworld heading towards the car... "You're coming with me!" he says, which prompts a slew of protest from a terrified Julia who screams "No, you don't know what he's like!" (Oh yes we do!)... Luckily for her, as they step outside, Audrey (who is walking down the Street) waves to Mike and inadvertantly distracts him for enough time to give Julia a chance to break free! She's off like it's the 100 metre dash and unfit Baldwin has no chance of catching her, much to his raging frustration... As an obviously bewildered Councillor Roberts asks "What's going on?" and Julia's car whizzes off down the Street, Mike screams "WHY THE HELL CAN'T YOU MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!?" and shakes his fist skywards... Ut oh... Cue credits.
Well, since the high points of tonight's episode were all dialogue-based it should come as no surprise when we discover it was scripted by the Mighty Phil Ford. This man is an absolute gem, as proved once again by this script... However, the episode on the whole is rendered only slightly 'above average' as opposed to 'brilliant' simply because there are almost *NO* current plotlines which are pushing my buttons in the way they should do.
The Greg/Mike/Julia saga has already gone on too long and is becoming a bit on the tedious side, despite Johnny Briggs' high level of acting. Fiona Allen has proven in the last few shows that while she may be able to act well as the mean blackmailing "poisonous little minx" Julia Stone, she only comes across as simpering and unconvincing when the tables are turned on her character. As for Mr Billington, we shall have to wait and see until he gets some more screen time before the jury is out on whether or not his acting skills have improved during his absence. One can only hope!
Elsewhere, the Leanne/Sharon/Rita Wars are equally dull and predictable, even with the level of talent involved, but luckily it seems the lid has been sealed on these as of this episode... Unfortunately, this still doesn't wipe Vikram out of Leanne's life but we can surely aim for this next!
On the bright side, the developing (or not-so-developing) relationship between Fred and Audrey is quite humourous as is the one between Spider (who is rapidly becoming one of my favourites again after a brief lull) and Nita. However, one thing missing from tonight's show, that we've grown accustomed to over the last few weeks - TYRONE DOBBS! Where is this golden nugget of a lad?
Still, that's the lot from me this week and it looks like I may well be taking a break next week if I can find a quick stand-in (see posting elsewhere on RATUCS)... Hopefully I'll see you all in a fortnight! 'Til next time! :)
Dzien dobry - another zloty, another day. Greetings from the People's Republic of Glossop. I speak to you from the Polish enclave. We have temporarily lost contact with the Queen of Siam, but I am authorised to proceed on her behalf. Once the insurrection has been quelled, power will be restored.
Tonight's episode sponsored by Cadbury's Caramel, commences in the street. Sally is about to go to the market with Danny. Seeing her, Mike Baldwin rushes across to ask if she knows the whereabouts of Greg Kelly. She doesn't have a clue and doesn't want to know, she tells him. Mike tells her that he heard that Greg had a flat a few miles away, Swinton way, but he isn't sure. Sally hopes Mike is wrong as she doesn't want to see Greg. Mike, however, tells her that he cannot wait to find him.
At the Corner shop, Spider is buying some bread - although Nita tells him that it's yesterday's, Spider doesn't mind - he wants it to make some toast for breakfast. He is anxious to invite her out for a meal and reminds her, falteringly, how they discussed him cooking her a really good vegan meal. She remembers - after all, she is sort of semi-vegan (sic), to which Spider replies you are either vegan or not, you cannot be semi-detached about it. It's a bit early in the day for the lecture, she tells him, jokingly. He wonders whether she is free for dinner tonight? Or later in the week? Or, how about next week? Nita puts him off gently and tells him she's very busy right now. Spider laughs off the excuse (not too convincingly) and whistling nonchalantly, leaves the shop.
At the factory, Mike confers with Deirdre - he is convinced Sally is telling the truth. She is no friend of Greg's and if she knew where he was, then she would have told him. Deirdre suggests checking out Greg's flat and Mike informs her that he hung around outside for 3 hours last night without any luck. The neighbours had confirmed there was a man in the flat, they had heard him, but not seen him, doesn't know his name, typical for a flat. When Deirdre says that maybe Julia lied to him and picked an address off the top of her head, just to squeeze a final payment from him, Mike admits the thought had crossed his mind. What if she is lying about Greg behind the blackmailing, Deirdre asks? No, replies Mike, the whole thing stinks of Kelly and, after all, if Greg wasn't behind it all, she wouldn't even know he existed. He decides to go back to the flat and wait until someone is in. Deirdre tells him he should have taken Julia with him - he replies that was exactly what he was doing, only Audrey Roberts walked past and started taking a great interest in events - he could tell what was going on in her little mind "Who's that bird with Mike Baldwin?" Then Julia legged it and he couldn't very well go after her, could he, not with Audrey's beady eyes on him?
We move to the caf, where Audrey is telling Gail she is convinced something was going on between Julia Stone and Mike when she saw them outside the factory last night - people like Mike always have someone on the go.
In the caf, Spider is asking Curly for his help, but Curly is sceptical, Nita is not going to fall for it. Spider insists it's worth going for, as a favour.
Gail cannot see Mike parading a girlfriend openly in the street, but Audrey thinks that men like him get cocky and think they can get away with anything. She wonders whether she should say some thing to Alma - much to Gail's horror, as Audrey has no proof of anything untoward. She advises Audrey to keep out of things. Audrey agrees to think about it, but decides to keep a close eye on the situation.
At the market, Sally is busy at her stall, selling underwear. Danny asks whether she is hungry and if she fancies a coffee and a chicken sandwich. As he goes to get the refreshments, we see Greg across the road. He has been watching Sally, unseen by her.
We switch to the Rovers. Jack and Vera have come to see Natalie, who wants to know whether or not Jack is ready to come back to work. He plays down his health problems and says he is ready. Vera, however, is concerned, but Jack says he will be careful, he won't be that doing much anyway. "Not much danger of that, in my opinion" quips Natalie.
At that point, Leanne comes into the pub. Vera tells her that the pub is not open yet. Natalie announces that Leanne has joined their team as the new barmaid at the Rovers. Jack looks delighted and offers to show her the ropes - "not much wrong with Jack" comments Natalie.
In the Corner Shop, Curly is busy getting in the provisions. He tells Nita that he doesn't do much cooking, so it's a nice opportunity to do something special when friends come round. It's just a dinner party, he tells her. She remarks that he must be upwardly mobile and asks s whether his guest are from Freshco's. "No, no, just a few mates", he tells her. He invites Nita as if the thought had just occurred to him - Nita rumbles straightaway. Would this group include Spider, by any chance? Yes, concedes Curly. And would it have been his idea, asks Nita? No, no, well, yes, sort of, concedes Curly. She confesses that she has no romantic interest in Spider and that Curly should put him straight. However, she wants to take Curly out for lunch - to pick his brains.
At the bar, Fred is having a drink with Audrey and Ravi. She has to make a move for the salon, as they have clients lined up in a few minutes. Fred has a dinner date with Audrey tonight and confirms he will pick her up at 7:30.
After Audrey has gone, Fred explains to Ravi that they are going out to a posh new restaurant which has opened in town, Delphine. Ravi tells him he has heard of the place, it's where the jet set mingle. He asks whether Fred had trouble getting a table. Fred confesses that he hasn't booked, to which Ravi warns him that he cannot just count on going there without a booking. "Natalie?" yells Fred, to find her standing right behind him. He asks her for the phone book and belatedly goes to check the place.
Vera is hanging around the bar, watching Jack like a hawk, terrified something might happen to him. it doesn't exactly set Jack's mind at rest.
Kevin comes into the bar and orders a drink. Seeing Leanne, he asks whether she is working at the pub instead of the Kabin. Kevin remarks that Les must be pleased having a barmaid in the family. Both Leanne and Natalie say that Les is aware that he will not get any free drinks.
On ringing the restaurant, Fred finds they are booked solid. He tries a bit of name dropping, he tries the Square Dealer approach, but to no avail. Putting the phone down, he confirms to Ravi that there ARE in, but not till a week next Thursday. Ravi remarks that Audrey will not be best pleased.
When Greg returns in his car to his flat, he sees Mike lurking outside - talking to Julia on the phone, he discovers that she told Baldwin about the location. "You cow, well it's not going to do him any good. Just you wait until I catch up with you, darlin'" he threatens.
Back at the Rovers, Mike returns to find Deirdre and Alma having a drink. Unfortunately, Alma has to go back. Deirdre tells him he has had loads of calls this morning, but Mike says he will catch up with them - he resolves to return to Greg's flat later on. Deirdre warns him to be careful, Greg is nasty, he hits people, "he's half your age and he's bigger than you" adds Deirdre. Pause for thought for Mike.
At the bar, Natalie tells Fred she has heard that he has a date taking Audrey to some glamorous new restaurant - Fred confirms this but admits there is a snag, they cannot get in. Natalie depresses Fred a bit more when she tells him that Audrey will be disappointed as she has bought a new frock in anticipation of the event. Off he goes to break the news to her.
Curly is reporting back to Spider, but doesn't have the heart to break the bad news to him, so he plays down the tone of his conversation with Nita. He tells Spider that Nita told him she doesn't like dinner parties. When Spider asks Curly for his honest opinion as to whether he is in with a chance with Nita, again, Curly chickens out "of course you are, there's always a chance."
Gail and Martin come into the pub and are surprised to find Leanne behind the bar - Gail says that she thought you had to be eighteen to work behind a bar. Leanne confirms this is the case, but she isn't far off that age, anyway she needs the job and asks Gail to keep it to herself.
When Fred goes round to Audrey's, she is dolled up like a million dollars - however, he has prepared to minimise her disappointment - the good news is that they have a table booked, the bad news is that it's for a week next Thursday. He tells her he tried everything to get a table, but with no success. It is a let down for her, so they have two choices. They can either go to another restaurant in the city - Audrey says that it's not the same - or alternatively..... he presents her with some flowers. "They're beautiful" exclaims Audrey. "But not as beautiful as you" replies Fred "or as natural. They've been genetically modified, a cross between a daffodil bulb and a sheep's ear-hole"!!!!! ROTFLMAO!!! "Also, vintage champagne for vous et moi, also, two of the finest fillet steaks which I am ready, willing and able to grill, if you'll point me in the kitchen. It's your choice, Audrey." Awwwww, what a sweetie!! he will cook for them both. Audrey is understandably overcome.
The evening is wearing on and Spider is getting more and more drunk - having found Dutch courage, he tells Kevin and Curly that he intends to tell Nita how he feels about her. They persuade him that he is not at his best and that he would do better to go home and sleep on it. Spider agrees, but confirms that he is going to tell Nita. He departs in a somewhat pickled state!!
Gail is debating with Martin whether or not to let Natalie know about Leanne being under age. Martin suggests leaving well alone.
Rita tells Leanne she looks at home behind the bar and tells her that she will be missed at the Kabin - by her, at least. Leanne is pleased to hear this and thanks Rita for giving her the job in the first place, conceding that there are not many who would have done so.
Still in his glazed state, Spider has turned up at Nita's flat. He needs to talk to her urgently, he keeps telling her. She asks whether he has been drinking. He confirms this, saying that he needed to pluck up the courage. Nita tries to stop him as she feels he is going to be very embarrassed about it tomorrow. He tells her that he thinks she knows what he is going to say to her. "Ever since you moved in here, ever since I set eyes on you" he starts. He tells her he is really crazy about her and they would be good together if only she have him a chance. Nita is embarrassed by this declaration. She moves him towards the door, just as Steve arrives, holding a set of keys in his hands. Spider is devastated as he realises the implication of this and leaves.
However, it becomes apparent that the only reason Steve has the keys is because of the work he was doing in Nita's flat. When he tries to look for an excuse to hang on to the keys, Nita gives him short shrift and demands their return.
The working day has ended and Mike is back at the flat watching television. The phone rings - it's Alma telling him the car won't start. He agrees to pick her up. Just as he is about to leave the flat to pick her up, the phone rings again. Mike suddenly recognises the voice at the end of the phone. This time, it's Greg with the news that he saw Mike earlier, snooping outside his flat - he has now moved, so Mike will no longer know where he lives. He tells Mike that he has parked outside Freshco's and is thinking of having a word with Alma. He switches off the phone leaving Mike, at the other end, looking worried.
Back at Audrey's, she is telling Fred how much she misses Alf - Fred says that Alf was a grand fella and a happy one, because Audrey made him a happy man. "And it's no wonder, with you by his side" he adds. Audrey confides that Alf's only regret was not having a son of his own, to whom the shop would pass on his death. When she says that she expects Fred has similar regrets, Fred wavers and then admits to something - no-one else must know, but he DOES actually have a son, a fine lad, he's grown up, in fact - Fred fills up with obvious pride. "Aye, my son, me own flesh and blood." Awwwwww!!! (Ashley????????!!!!)
Mike has hotfooted it round to the supermarket. He confronts Greg in the car park - when Mike curses him for blackmailing him, Kelly denies any knowledge of Julia and tells Mike that he has nothing on him. Mike threatens to give Greg a good hiding but Greg just sneers at him. "I don't think so. I'd enjoy giving you the beating of your life. " Mike replies that Greg's speciality is beating up women. "That crack will cost you. You just put the price up" says Greg. Mike tells him he will not get a further penny from him, he has told Alma, she knows the lot. Greg calls Mike's bluff and threatens to hand over some photographs to Alma to remind her of what her husband does on the side. Mike caves in and agrees to pay up - Greg tells Mike that he will be in touch and speeds off. Alma has come out of Freshco's. She recognises Greg and asks Mike what Greg wanted. Mike tells her that he doesn't know, but whatever it is, he isn't going to get it.
Episode written by John Stevenson.
Regards, Alan Milewczyk
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
It feels like it's been a week of updates this last week - I did CP's on Tuesday (I think) from a week back, Ricey's on Wednesday, now mine and tomorrow I do Rattler's!! On top of that, I have test driven the concise Corrie Reports - still playing around a bit with the format. The idea is not to steal the thunder of the main updaters (of whom I am one anyway). It is to provide a brief and to the point (LOL with me around!! Hahahahah) summary to come out within a few hours of the episode - quick to download, easy to read. Feedback has been very positive. I am not looking to do the lot myself and would hope, as they become established that we get Report Updaters dipping in, doing updates on some sort of rota basis. At this stage they can be found on RATUCS, the Guestbook and on SPOTS, although we can organise an e-mail circulation list in due course. Let me know what you think.
I'm all updated out.....
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Caramel
The programme starts at the Baldwin's flat - as it's such a nice day, Mike suggests that Alma has a day off. Well that's what he says but we know differently - it's just a ruse to keep Alma away from Freshco's in case Greg Kelly finds her and blows the story of Mike's infidelity with Julia. He tries all sorts of ploys, without any joy. Alma wonders whether she is in the right house - isn't he the man who would bring back hanging for absenteeism, she quips? Anyway, she is busy at work and cannot spend the time off - in any case, she has to get the car fixed. She comments about how surprised she was seeing Greg Kelly last night and wonders whether Sally ought to be warned. Mike plays the whole thing down but says that he is seeing Sally later on.
Fred has popped in to see Audrey - he is telling her about the problems he had getting back home after the evening at her place. Apparently, the minicab driver got lost - "we went round Canal Street three times, I said 'what are you trying to do, get done for kerb-crawling?'" - but with Fred's navigation he finally got home. Anyway, he has dropped in to offer Audrey a lift into work, it's on his way, he tells her. Audrey jokes about what the neighbours are likely to think, her leaving the house with a strange man at this time of the morning? If they are that nosey, they would have seen him go in, he replies, quick as a flash. You'd better move quick or they will think a darn sight more, he adds. Audrey turns down the offer, but thanks him for the sweet thought. While he remembers, Fred seeks reassurance from Audrey that she will keep his confidence regarding the matter he mentioned last night. Audrey gives him the assurance he seeks, but then starts probing for details. Things happened in the past. Anyway the lad is well provided for when Fred dies. Fred isn't giving much away, apart from saying that he and the mother went their own separate ways. Audrey is intrigued.
At the factory, Sally has popped in to pay her invoice and is handing over the cheque to Deirdre. The new line is selling very well, she tells Deirdre and Mike. How about a range of colours, red, turquoise? Mike is pre-occupied by Greg Kelly and is not in the in mood for making decisions. When Sally asks whether Mike is worried by Greg, Mike plays this down. He tells her he has better things to worry about that Greg Kelly - Sally agrees, adding that she has lived in fear of him for long enough - but Deirdre knowing Mike, sees through the faade. After Sally has gone, he explains how he saw Greg in Freshco's car park and how he was going to tell Alma. Greg had asked for more money, but Mike managed to bluff him out of it - not for long, though, as Kelly will be contacting him soon, and he doesn't have a clue what to do.
Sally has left the kids with Gail at the caf, while she pops into the factory. She is asking them if they want more toast, as Kevin comes in. He is surprised to see them there and starts throwing a wobbler at Gail. Just at that point, Sally returns and Kevin makes a start on her - she never told him she was farming the kids out for breakfast, he snaps. He could have had them. Sally explains that it is only an occasional arrangement and, anyway, it's a treat for them. When the kids agree, Kevin concedes that it probably would be tricky anyway, with him staying at Curly's. He backs down and, after Sally and the gurls have left, he also apologies to Gail.
Spider comes into the caf and sits down at Curly's table. He is looking decidedly worse for wear after getting drunk last night. He is also somewhat bruised because he made a fool of himself with Nita, only to find that she is seeing Steve McDonald. Curly explains that Spider ought to be grateful she knows what she wants and tells him how he married Raquel, who didn't even love him. At least you know where this leaves you, he tells Spider. "Oh yeah? Looking like a right dork" is Spider's disconsolate reply.
At the salon, Audrey is humming, full of the joys of spring. Seeing this, Maxine asks her whether she had a nice time with Fred, last night at Delphine's. Audrey makes out that they decided not to go, "you know these pretentious French restaurants" and tells Maxine they had a cosy night in. Fred cooked, he's quite a gourmet, Audrey tells Maxine. "And it's only a short way from the table to the sofa" quips Maxine, "and no long taxi drive for the passion to wear off." They have a laugh together and Maxine agrees that Fred was a fine cook, he used to cook for them when she and Ashley were together. Audrey takes this as an opportunity to start probing Maxine about Ashley's family. When Maxine asks why the interest, Audrey replies that they were discussing families last night. "Sounds like you had a wild evening" quips Maxine. "You'd be surprised" replies Audrey.
At the Rovers, Jack is bringing in some crates of ale from the cellar. He looks to be struggling a bit and Natalie asks whether he is alright. Jack is still playing down the extent of the problem and puts it down to him stacking crates in the cellar. After Jack has gone, Natalie asks Martin for his opinion - he tells her that the hospital would have advised Jack as to what he could and couldn't do - in any case, knowing Jack, he will be using it as an excuse to skive. "That's a point" agrees Natalie - she then goes over to Jack and asks him to bring up some extra crates from the cellar. "No problem" says Jack, but it's clear that he is struggling. When Vera comments on Jack's appearance, he tells her that she is piling on the work a bit - when Vera says he should tell Natalie what the doctor said, it is clear he cannot, for fear of losing his job. Vera resolves to cover up for Jack and help him move some crates while Natalie isn't around. They sneak off into the cellar.
At the factory, Mike takes a call - it is from Greg in his car. "I'm just listening to some nice music on the radio. I don't know which is sweeter actually, that or the sound of you sweating" he tells Mike, as he informs him of their venue - 6pm tonight at the lay-by and they will finish their unfinished business. Mike stands firm and suggests that if Greg wants the money then he has to come round to the factory. Greg reminds him who holds all the cards - 6pm sharpish or the penalty clause kicks in, he warns Mike. This, to the sound of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "If you don't know me right now" - how apposite.
... and the theme tune comes in, on cue for the end of part 1
After the ads, it's part 2
The second part of the programme commences back at the Rovers. Audrey and Maxine are having a lunchtime drink and stumble on Ashley, much to Audrey's delight. She starts probing Ashley for details of his family life. Ashley obliges in his usual helpful way but is puzzled why Audrey is asking him about his family. She makes out that "other people's families are interesting."
Ashley innocuously turns the tables on Audrey and asks about HER family. She has a son in Canada, he understands. "Did he come over for Alf's funeral?" he asks.
Audrey tells him that Alf wasn't his father.
"Oh, so Gail was his step-sister then?" he asks.
"That's right" replies Audrey slightly uncomfortably.
"But Alf was Gail's dad?"
"Well, no..." concedes Audrey "her dad was someone else...."
"Oooh, so you married three men and had children by two of them?" summarises Ashley, totally oblivious to the embarrassment caused by his line of questioning.
Maxine is having difficulty keeping her face straight, as Audrey makes her excuses to cut short the discussion and leaves the group for a minute.
Then Ashley innocently says to Maxine "no wonder my Uncle Fred likes talking to Mrs Roberts, she's had an interesting life, hasn't she?"
ROTFL!! Wonderful stuff!!
After lunch, Mike is telling Deirdre about his phone conversation and that he is not prepared to meet Greg in some lay-by and run the risk of being beaten up by Greg's heavies, at least at the factory, he is on his own patch. He still doesn't know whether he will pay up. Deirdre implores him to tell the police - no matter what Mike does, she tells him, eventually Greg is bound to tell Alma about the affair. At least that way, he won't be lining Greg's pockets. Mike wonders, there must be some way of getting one over on him, but what? Deirdre reminds Mike what Greg is capable of, how he tried to kill Sally and now, frightening Julia. Mike tells Deirdre that she has to get Alma away from the place - he persuades her to meet Alma from work and take her away from here. Reluctantly, she agrees to help him, but it still doesn't solve his problem, she tells him- he might turn violent with Mike, once he discovers he has no money.
Later on, Spider seeks out Nita in the Rovers - he apologises for his behaviour the previous night. She tells him it doesn't matter, but he overdoes the apology by going on and on. Nita ends up quite exasperated. Steve comes back from the bar with a drink for Nita to hear Spider explaining that he was apologising for last night. After Spider has gone, Steve comments "that's what I like to see, a bit of humility." Nita replies sarcastically that "it's a rare commodity, these days, isn't it, Steve?" - ROTFL - but the barbed comment goes over Steve's head.
Jack comes up out of the cellar carrying a crate of ale - he practically bumps into Natalie. Close behind him is Vera - she DOES bump into Natalie. Vera recovers her composure quickly and mentions to Natalie how mucky it is down in the cellar. "It's probably not been cleaned since Annie Walker's days", she continues, "just wait till I see Jack." Natalie tells her not to be so hard on Jack, he IS a bit under the weather, after all.
It's finishing time at Underworld. Deirdre tells Mike she is off to Freshco's to head off Alma, but she still thinks it's a crazy idea, what if Alma won't go out with her. "You'll have to make her" is Mike's simplistic response. Greg is due in half an hour and Mike tells Deirdre that hew ill have to get Greg to see that he just cannot pay him. Deirdre asks what will happen if Greg turns nasty. To her relief, Mike admits that maybe he will have to call the police and he will have to bite the bullet as far as Alma is concerned. "Once she knows, then he no longer has a hold on me" says Mike. Once she has gone, however, Mike picks up the phone and calls in a favour from a friend. It's a bit of muscle!!
The scene shifts to Freshco's and Alma is on her way out, homeward bound. Surprise, surprise, who happens to bump into her, none other than Deirdre!! Deirdre wonders whether Alma fancies a drink. Alma replies that she is just off the drag her husband away from work. Deirdre tells her that she left Mike working late clearing doing a whole load of invoices - eventually she persuades Alma and suggests the new wine bar in the precinct. Alma doesn't think she is dressed well enough for that, in any case, she doesn't want to go too far, as Mike was in a funny mood this morning. She'll go to the Rovers but doesn't want to leave him too long. Deirdre sighs, but has no option other than to accept.
At the factory, the phone rings - it's Greg. He is furious that Mike hasn't kept his date. Mike sticks to his guns and tells him that if he wants the money then he will have to collect it at the factory. "You'll regret this" is Greg's parting shot. Meanwhile, at the factory, the muscle has arrived - a massive man who probably regularly blocks out daylight just by standing in the window. Mike explains the nature of the problem - someone has some photographs, Mike wants them but doesn't want to pay for them and doesn't want to be bothered by this person again, ever!! Muscle man sizes up the problem - his considered response "leave him to me" brings a smile to Mike's face, the first we have seen for days.
In the Rovers, Leanne is serving Vikram. He is chatting her up. She tells him that she will still be available, after 11pm and the good news is that she doesn't have to get up early to mark the papers.
Deirdre is having a hard time keeping Alma to stay in the pub. Alma says she must make a move, but Deirdre says that Mike had a mountain of paperwork to shift through. While Alma goes to the toilet, Ken walks in - Deirdre takes the opportunity of getting Ken to buy Alma a big drink, to delay her departure further.
Audrey continues probing Maxine regarding Ashley - Maxine notices the obsessive interest and comments on it. it's her turn to probe and she wonders whether it's some disease Ashley might have, and if he does, then she needs to know about it, because she might have caught it. After initially refusing to say anything, eventually, Audrey breaks her confidence and spills the beans - Maxine is to promise not to tell anyone, but Fred has a son. Maxine is not impressed to hear this, having expected something juicier, "is that it?" Audrey tells her that nobody knows. "Not even Ashley?" asks Maxine. "Especially not Ashley, why did you think I were quizzing him this dinnertime?" replies Audrey. "Oooh, so it's a big secret?" asks Maxine. "It's the biggest you'll ever get from me" replies Audrey as she tells her to keep quiet about the secret otherwise there will be trouble.
Over in Deirdre's corner, Alma has returned. Deirdre tries one last ditch attempt to keep Alma at the Rovers. "Where does Mike head for, when he's finished on a Friday?" she asks - "Well, here usually" is Alma's reply. "So sit down and enjoy yourself - he'll be here when he's ready" says Dee playing her ace. Alma accepts the logic of the argument and sits down.
Meanwhile, at Sally's house, it's time for bed for the girls - there is a knock at the back door. Sophie opens up. It's Greg - he says hello to her, picks her up and goes into the house. Sally hears the back door shutting and goes to investigate - she is horrified to see Greg there, holding Sophie in his arms. He tells her he has come to pay her a visit for old times' sake. He tells her he will not be long and goes to the phone, keeping Sophie close to him. when Sally asks for him to let Sophie go, he refuses, saying that she used to like a cuddle from her Uncle Greg. He rings Baldwin, "almost with you Mike, I'm just over the road, visiting an old friend. You didn't think I'd be stupid enough to just walk in there, did you? Now what about this money?" He puts down the phone leaving Mike hanging on at the other end, wondering what is going on.
And with that... .... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Martin Allen
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me?
Hmm, OK, not that scintillating, I suppose. Spider seems to be going nowhere fast with Nita - is this the end or just a temporary setback? She has said she isn't interested, but is that forever? Who knows?
Jack's storyline is moving towards an inevitable conclusion. There is a limit to the covering up which can be provided by Vera before something gives.
The Son of Fred storyline is intriguing. Is this Ashley we are talking about here? If it is, then the lad has a shock in store. If it isn't, then who will take over Fred's business when he dies? In that case, a surprise too.
The major storyline is now edging towards the denouement - the blackmailing of Mike Baldwin. How Greg is at Sally's, what will be the outcome with him holding them hostage?
A quick summary. OK, as I said, but I wouldn't go much further than that.
Anyway that's it for now.. well, I can't stand here gabbin', I've got pies to shift. Until the next time, take care...
Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
Bore da and greetings from a slightly freer Wales than it was last time I did an update. Only slightly freer though. We have one of Blair's puppets in charge and our strings are still being pulled from Westminster.
Thanks to Tinky for doing last week's update for me and also to Ivor Morrish for his proposition! And I'll say no more than that. ;) I was thinking of finishing with the updates now that CP has <sob> deserted me as I'm not sure if I'll be able to do one every week, but I have decided to carry on for a while to see what happens. So, I'm still looking for someone to share Wednesdays with.
Weren't those British Soap Awards a shambles, eh? And John Prescot is POPULAR? Since when? And on what planet? I wish Chumbawumba HAD been there. Give those anarchists a cigarette!
Anyway, enough waffling and on with the update for 21st May. This episode was sponsored by Cadbury's Flake with an opening sequence that is a take on an old Flake advert from the 1980s. I was going to quote a lyric by Half Man Half Biscuit regarding that advert but I fear it might upset a few people. If you ever need to know what I'm on about then the song is called 'Dickie Davies Eyes'.
Lord Hades is surveying his Underworld when the Drear comes in. She is surprised to see him and thought he might have things to sort our at home. He says Cleopatra isn't home as someone got to her before he did and it wasn't Deirdre was it. No, of course not. He is sorry he asked but she did warn him, didn't she. He said he had made the lovely Cleo understand he was a 'victim' in all this (ha! I don't think so sunshine). He reckons he will find Cleo and they will have a good talk.
Meanwhile, over in the Witches Wardrobe, Witchie Poo is bringing Cleo a cup of tea. (Why do they always make tea? It's disgusting stuff).
AUDREY - So how long have you been up, eh?
ALMA - Long enough. How could he do it Audrey?
AUDREY - Which bit?
ALMA - Any of it.
AUDREY - You know, there are plenty who think their marriage vows aren't for them. But, I mean, only Mike could let the whole world know about it with police and roadblocks.
ALMA - It's the betrayal that gets me. No. Not one. Betrayals. One piled on top of another. The woman. The lie. Then more lies. Then in the end I have to find out from somebody else.
AUDREY - I know. Let me run you a bath and you can have a nice long soak and a few hours kip, eh?
ALMA - It's like looking in a mirror that you've used for years and then suddenly there's a crack in it. And it distorts things. You know that things are never going to look the same again. Can't be put back the way they were.
AUDREY - So. A bath?
ALMA - Oh come on, I'll do it. I can't put you out any more.
AUDREY - Oh Alma. Now don't be silly, you are not putting me out. You can stay as long as you want. I'm certainly not having you go back to that flat because you think you are putting me out.
Over at Shrewsbury Abbey, the Manic Mechanic has arrived to take the girls to school. Cadfael is not sure if they should go. They want to go. As they are sent off to get their school bags, (they presumably washed their hands earlier), he turns to her.
KEVIN - Are you alright?
SALLY - I'm ok. Look Kevin, I don't want to fight about this.
KEVIN - Who's fighting?
SALLY - You seem to think it's my fault somehow. He frightened us witless.
KEVIN - I still don't understand why no one phoned the police straight away.
SALLY - He pushed his way in, he was . you know, what he's like. How could I ring the police? Even if they did come in two minutes, two minutes is a long time.
KEVIN - Baldwin, uh? I still don't understand.
SALLY - He thinks he can control anything, even Greg Kelly.
KEVIN - Yeah, well I hope he's learnt his lesson because if anything had happened to those kids I would've killed him.
SALLY - And then come looking for me.
KEVIN - Yeah, quite possibly.
The Lurve Doctor is stood at the bar of the Rovers when Marvy and Vidal come in. He's come into the Rovers to get away from the Necrobutcher who is always on his back at work (incest? Not that's a new one for Corrie). He reckons that the Necrobutcher wants him married with kids because apparently married blokes work harder due to responsibilities. Marvy excuses herself and the Lurve Doctor asks Vidal if he and Marvy are an item. No, just friends. The Lurve Doctor looks pleased.
Catatonia's 'Make Hay Not War' is now playing on the jukebox. This has absolutely no relevance, I just thought I'd mention it.
Across the bar, Garak and Worf sit down with Quark. Oops, wrong show. Sorry, the Drear and Ken sit down with their drinks.
DEIRDRE - You know it sounds as though Alma's doing more than think.
KEN - Well, you know my view. If she has walked out it's no less than he deserves.
DEIRDRE - Oh Ken, don't be so judgmental. Mike's made a mess of things but his motives were genuine.
KEN - Yeah, same motives as always. Protect himself at all costs.
DEIRDRE - Wish I'd never mentioned his name now.
KEN - Yeah well, quite frankly, I'd be happy if it was never mentioned again.
DEIRDRE - Oh, so when you ask me how things are at work?
KEN - I've been asking you, and you said fine. Slipped your mind that your boss is being blackmailed over some sordid little affair.
DEIDRE - He asked me not to say anything.
KEN - I bet he did.
DEIRDRE - Well then.
KEN - But you and me if it's going to work, we've got to share things. I don't keep any secrets from you.
DEIRDRE - If it had been anything else I'd have told you, but you'd react badly if I told you Mike was wearing a loud tie for work.
KEN - Yeah, but it was unfair of him to put all this on your shoulders.
DEIRDRE - He has been good to me. Do you think it would please Mike if he thought he could come between us?
KEN - He'd love it.
DEIRDRE - Precisely. So don't let him.
KEN - Sure
Over at Roy's Rolls, the Treen is putting the phone down. The Witch in the Wardrobe has just told her that Cleo is staying with her. The Royal Bride said she knew something was wrong as the girls have been gossiping at Underworld of Delight. The Treen says this is nothing new! She then tells Hayley about Lord Hades' affair. Hayley is stunned and says 'if Linda and them knew about that they'd really have a field day'. LOL! And goes on to say she won't say anything. Lord Hades comes in.
GAIL - Can I get you something Mike?
MIKE - Have you seen Alma?
GAIL - No. She not at work?
MIKE - Day off. She hasn't been in then?
GAIL - No. Do you want me to give her a message?
MIKE - Yeah, tell her I'm looking for her. You know where she is, don't you?
GAIL - Mike, I'm running a café, not an information service
MIKE (to Hayley) - You think you're a woman but you're not. You'll never understand the sisterhood. They think they're trying to be clever when all they're doing is getting in the way.
GAIL - Mike! DO YOU WANT SOMETHING OR...
MIKE - Judge, jury and flipping executioner. And I'm the flaming victim. (Oh no, you're not, sunshine.)
Back in the Rovers, the Lurve Doctor is leaving for work. Vidal says the Necrobutcher is a 'heart attack on legs.' The Amazing One reckons the Necrobutcher is a good man but just keeps it hidden. After he has gone, Marvy tells Vidal the he (Ashley) is treated like a slave. A rather bitchy exchange, regarding Ashley, ensues between Leanne and Marvy. Marvy and Vidal go to sit down.
Eunice Gee comes in and asks Vera for a large brandy. She says her sister Dolly's husband had died. 'He was doing that business with the sangria, down the throat of this big busty widow from Doncaster when suddenly he was on top of her. Well our Dolly ran out from behind that bar I did tell you she ran a bar didn't I it was a brain haemorrhage. His last sight on this earth must have been that woman's chest hurtling towards his face at a rate of knots.' Jack is smirking and says 'what an awful way to go.' The upshot is that Eunice has to close the B&B next week as she is going to Spain to help her sister run her bar. Vera wants to know what her and Jack are going to do.
Across the bar, Marvy is saying she feels sorry for the Lurve Doctor and tells Vidal about the Necrobutcher's 'secret' son. Vidal reckons that Marvy should tell him (Ashley) as he has a right to know.
Lord Hades has called round to see Cleo. Witchie Poo doesn't want to let him but Cleo says it's all right.
MIKE - Now I hope you're not listening to what she's saying.
ALMA - What makes you think she's saying anything? She's a friend. Look. What do you want?
MIKE - Do I have to tell you? I'm sorry. And I want you to come home so we can sort this out properly.
ALMA - What, so you can tell me more lies?
MIKE - I've had enough. I've told you everything. What more can I do?
ALMA - Well nothing, that's the point isn't it? It's not enough. I mean, whatever words you conjure up won't make up for the betrayal.
MIKE - I made a mistake!
ALMA - Oh, and what was that? Letting me know?
MIKE - NO! No, it was being vain enough to think a young bird fancied me. I mean, none of us are perfect.
ALMA - Yeah well, you're certainly not.
MIKE - Oh, and you are! Remember Steven Reid, your best friend's son?
ALMA - I don't believe that you're bringing HIM into it.
MIKE - No. You would prefer it if I'd forgotten all about him wouldn't you. But you'd have done exactly the same as I did, you'd have gone to bed with him and god knows what. But, he turned you down flat.
ALMA - You really are a spiteful little man aren't you?
MIKE - No, because you know you are EXACTLY the same as I am deep down, it doesn't matter how self-righteous you're feeling at the moment.
ALMA - Seeing how you know it all, tell me how you know that I'd have gone through with it, that I'd have taken the flattery all the way through and thrown seven years of marriage down the drain. All for the sake of a pretty face. Because I don't know that I could. And I'd like to think that I'd walk away no matter how tempted I might be. But YOU! YOU DIDN'T WALK AWAY DID YOU? YOU RAN! YOU RAN STRAIGHT INTO HER ARMS AND STRAIGHT INTO THIS SORDID MUCKY MESS AND THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US.
In the Rovers, the Refresher and Loathsome Linda are by the bar. Linda is telling the Refresher that the Manic Mechanic will never be free of Cadfael, as there are kids involved. 'Every time things get cosy between you and Kevin, something will come up.' The Refresher replies 'even you can't believe she planned to be held hostage by a complete psycho'. Linda, 'I was just saying.' The Manic One walks in 'saying what'. Linda, 'how terrible it must have been for your wife.' Refresher, 'ex wife.' Linda, to Kevin, 'oh, are you divorced now then?' He says soon. They have another drink. The Manic One says he's been to Shrewsbury Abbey to see if the kids are all right and says he feels sorry for Cadfael. Linda gives him a withering look. Eunice, Jack and Vera are talking. Eunice says you get attached to tenants 'like pets', but not as friends as Jack and Vera are. She says that if Jack and Vera want to buy the B&B they will get first refusal. They are shocked.
Over in the Witches Wardrobe, there is a lull in the fighting. But not for long.
MIKE - Have you calmed down now?
ALMA - You know, after bringing Steven Reid into this I don't think I can be bothered to talk to you.
MIKE - I just wanted you to realise that we can all make mistakes. Can't we have a reasonable conversation?
ALMA - Did you have a reasonable conversation with her or was it just lust?
MIKE - That is below the line, that is Alma. Look, I've always been a good husband to you haven't I? I've provided, give what I could, and I make ONE silly little mistake.
ALMA - It was just the once then was it?
MIKE - Yea it was, and that's all it was intended to be.
ALMA - Intended? Oh there was a plan was there? What was that? Give her the magnificence of a one-night stand and then kick her out.
MIKE - I wouldn't exactly put it like that.
ALMA - So it wasn't just a spur of the minute thing.
MIKE - Look, I don't want to talk about it.
ALMA - When? When did it happen?
MIKE - I can't remember. ALMA - You've had so many affairs that you can't remember this one?
MIKE - No, it was once. One night.
ALMA - So you said. BUT WHICH?
MIKE - All right, it was a Friday night. Ok, a Friday.
ALMA - But you never go anywhere on a... oh, it was the weekend you went away on that business trip. I might have known, and I wanted to come with you but oh no...
MIKE - That's why I came back on the Saturday morning, because I felt guilty you see.
ALMA - Hang on. So for one thing, this wasn't just a spontaneous thing. You weren't just swept away in a moment of passion. You planned it, even more lies, working over the weekend.
MIKE - I came back.
ALMA (pushing him) - YOU CAME BACK BECAUSE SHE KICKED YOU OUT. (Hitting him) WILL YOU STOP LYING. YOU'RE GETTING CARRIED AWAY ON YOUR OWN STORIES. SHE WAS BLACKMAILING YOU, RIGHT? ALL SHE NEEDED OF YOU WAS ONE NIGHT AND RECORDINGS FOR POSTERITY. SHE DIDN'T NEED A SECOND, SHE PROBABLY COULDN'T STOMACH THE IDEA, SO SHE KICKED OU OUT. AND YOU, YOU CAME CRAWLING BACK TO ME SAYING HOW MUCH YOU MISSED ME. OH, JUST GO MIKE, YOU DISGUST ME.
Over at the House of Elliot, Leanne is going out. As she does, Vidal and Marvy come in with a bottle of (white) wine. They didn't fancy another night in the pub. The Lurve Doctor is glad.
Back in the Rovers, Eunice is asking Jack and Vera if they want the B&B. They can't, they don't have the money. Why does she think they are working as a cellarman and a cleaner? They say they'll manage, they always have done.
Over at Shrewsbury Abbey, Cadfael asks the Manic Mechanic if he fancies a cup of mead. There is a knock at the front door. It's Sir Lancelot. Cadfael introduces her to the Manic One. 'I'm her husband.' 'Well we're separated' is her startled reply. Sir Lancelot looks awkward but Cadfael invites him to say. The sour Manic One says he is going. 'Just keep it down eh, last thing the girls need is waking up and finding another strange bloke in the house'. (ouch!)
Over at the House of Elliot, Vidal is just leaving. Marvy and the Lurve Doctor are sat on the sofa.
ASHLEY - Been a long time.
MAXINE (startled) - Eh?
ASHLEY - Me and you. You know?
MAXINE - Yeah, and a lots happened since then.
ASHLEY - I didn't think we'd be back here though, not like this.
MAXINE - This is Tom's idea you know.
ASHLEY - Eh?
MAXINE - But it was something I had to do.
ASHLEY - You need a lad to tell you to get back with me?
MAXINE - WHAT?
ASHLEY - Well, that is why you're here? No need to be awkward about it.
MAXINE - Look, there's something I've got to tell you.
ASHLEY - What?
MAXINE - It's about your Uncle Fred and Audrey.
ASHLEY - You think I don't know about him chasing her. Well, he's got his work cut out there, I reckon. There's no telling him.
MAXINE - It's about something he said to Audrey. I just wondered if you knew.
ASHLEY - He's not opened another shop has he? I've only just got used to Freshco?
MAXINE - It's about his son. Fred's got a secret son Ashley, and he's going to inherit everything.
Episode written by David Lane.
It's been a week since I saw the show so the impact has been lost on me now but I think a platinum star has to go to Amanda Barrie who is just totally stunning as the betrayed Alma. Gold stars to Johnny Briggs, as the lying and cheating Mike and also to the supporting players in this storyline, Helen Worth, who was excellent during Gail's café scene with Mike, and also to Sue Nicholls as Audrey (yes again!), who steals every scene she's in.
More gold stars (god I'm dishing them out today) to Tracy Shaw, who just keeps getting better and better, and Steven Arnold, as Maxine and Ashley.
Elsewhere, it was great to see the old Sally back. The She Bitch From Hell she's been playing recently didn't suit her and I'm starting to actually like the character again. I'm also warming to Linda. Jacqueline Pirie is doing a great job with her. Linda might be a bitch but she is just so funny with it - apart from when she's being nasty to Hayley - and I hope that the character is developed more.
That's it from me. Hope you liked it.
Hwyl fawr, Jane
1999 Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
I think I'm all updated out having probably written one too many over the last few weeks. I'm in the middle of updating my computer system, which will give me the processing power to do jobs requiring a bit of oomph, so I have to say that I am somewhat preoccupied with that lot. What's happened this last week? Well, some nice friends, some good pinging, some good chat and food and booze - yep, sounds OK to me :)
I'm not feeling very inspired today......
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Flake
The programme starts at Sally's. Kevin has popped round early to give her a hand, he thought she needed to get off earlier to pick up some thinks. He invites himself in and asks if it's OK to make himself a cup of tea. Suddenly Sally twigs what is going on - he is there checking up on her, to see if Danny has stayed the night. She tackles him but he plays it dumb. She isn't sleeping with him, she isn't even going out with him, she says, so there is no need to go checking up on her. When he denies snooping, she comments that he has never turned up this early before, but while she is at it, yes, he hopes she is going to be a bit more careful. She tells him she is hardly likely to make the same mistake twice and it doesn't help him going on about it. Kevin is not convinced - how much does she know about this Danny, he asks. She says she is going to be very careful before getting involved with anyone else and she is going to have to trust him.
At the Rovers, Vera is looking at accommodation adverts in the paper - not a lot of joy, they are either dumps or two expensive. Jack suggests asking Natalie in the short term, "over my dead body" is Vera's reaction.
Deirdre pops into the café to pick something up for Mike. She doesn't want to take sides but wonders whether it might help seeing Alma. Gail and Ken advise against it. Gail tells her that, according to Audrey, Alma is pretty cut up. Reluctantly, Deirdre agrees to leave things for a while.
At the Corner Shop, Ravi is around. Ashley has come to find Maxine - he is desperate to confirm that she meant what she said the previous night about Fred and his mysterious son. Maxine assures him it is the gospel truth. Ravi gets a bit put out that they are not buying anything and asks if they need any help. However, both Ashley and Maxine both leave the shop, without buying anything, totally preoccupied. "Nice one "snaps Nita, telling Ravi that they were regulars. He tells her he isn't happy with customers getting too comfy in the shop - Nita is irritated by his attitude and puts on her coat to go out. When he asks where she is going, he gets the blunt reply "Out, we're hardly rushed off our feet, are we?"
Eunice has popped round to the Rovers at Vera's instigation - she tells Vera she is willing to drop the price for Jack and Vera for a quick sale. Vera tells her they are not able to buy, but she has a proposition to put to her - why doesn't she do what she needs to do in Spain and leave the two of them in charge. Eunice chokes on her drink! Vera's case is that Eunice doesn't want to leave her sister in the lurch but it happy to do that to her regulars. Eunice tells her that they have no experience and it's hardly a cushy number, what if Jack has one of his funny do's? Vera replies that she has been keeping house since she was 13, in any case, what brought on Jack's last do? Eunice looks uncomfortable until Vera puts it down to stress and homelessness, not that she wants Eunice to feel guilty!! (Not much, LOL!!)
Linda tries to tap Hayley for the state of play between Mike and Alma. Alison says it's because she wants to know whether Linda is in with a chance with Mike. Linda reckons it's no joke, she knows Mike fancies her something like mad - nobody is as nasty as that by nature, it's a smokescreen, he's trying to disguise his lust!! He's doing a flipping good job of it, replies Hayley. At that point, Mike comes into the Rovers, to which Linda says that Mike is stalking her. Hayley asks whether they don't feel just a bit sorry for him. "Sorry? For Baldwin?" replies Alison incredulously". "Awww bless!" says Linda sarcastically.
Eunice tells Vera that she is being asked to make a big decision - she needs to think about it.
Sally comes up to Mike at the bar and asks Mike whether he is going to ask her how her children are. Presumably they are alright, he says, otherwise she wouldn't be in the pub boozing. When she expresses surprise at his reaction, he tells her that it was her boyfriend who started it all. Sally replies sarcastically that presumably it was nothing to do with him, but he tells her he is paying the price for his indiscretion. She replies that so are her children, so is Kevin and so is she. Mike realises that he is not the only one affected by the fallout and apologises. "You imagined the worst and everything was alright. I imagined the worst and it happened. I'm living my part, Sal. Sally's face shows that she realises the mess that Mike is in. Mike looks thoroughly despondent.
Alma has popped round to see Gail at the café. She doesn't really feel like seeing people, she tells Gail, but she was climbing the wall at Audrey's. She supposes she is going to have to think about going back to work, she cannot go losing her job now that she is a single girl. Gail replies that, surely, Alma doesn't mean that, but Alma doesn't know what she means. On the one hand she thinks she would be letting herself down if she forgave Mike - what sort of doormat would that make her, she asks? Gail tells her it's far too early for that. Alma continues, she's angry, livid, but she misses Mike and doesn't want to be lonely. She doesn't want to start again, but it's not something she would choose to do.
Deirdre comes into the café and joins them to mend some bridges. She tells Alma how sorry she is. "I tried Alma, honestly, I did, but he just wouldn't listen - he was so sure he could sort it out on his own", she says. Oh-oh!! Too much information!!! As Deirdre is saying this, you can see the expression changing on Alma's face. Finally she snaps. "When? When did he talk to you about it?" she asks.
"Not long" replies Deirdre, evasively.
"How long?" probes Alma further.
"Well it was before he...."
"For crying out loud Deirdre, just give me a straight answer" snaps Alma.
"About a fortnight ago" confesses Deirdre.
"You two faced cow" snarls Alma, "I might have known. I could slap you, the pair of you."
Deirdre tries to calm her down but Alma is furious and storms out of the café, leaving Deirdre wondering what to do.
... 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 Freshco's at Fred's meat stall. He is serving a buxom lady some corned beef "and I've put you a bit extra in, you look like you could do with building up." "You don't change, do you Fred?" she replies.
After she has moved on Fred turns round to Ashley, who is looking taciturn and asks him what the matter is, "you've got a face on yer like a bag of spanners." He wonders whether Ashley has learned anything in his job, especially about the social aspect. "it's very sensual is butchery" he tells him, "it's a profession for a passionate man and you've got milk in your veins." Ashley throws a wobbler and tells him to find some other mug to do his dirty work. Realising he has upset him, Fred says he was only joking. Ashley, however, wants to be treated with a bit of respect, he is fed up of having Fred poking fun at his expense. Fred offers to buy him a pint at the Rovers on the way home and Ashley can "even have a cherry in it, if you like, how's that for respect?"
Nita has popped into Freshco's to see Curly and hands over her CV. Curly starts reading it, but she doesn't want him to do it there and then. "What's the matter, you scared I'll spot all the lies?" jokes Curly, explaining that everyone lies on their CV, putting down pursuits such as "bungee jumping and creative cake decorating, whereas we all know you stop in the Rovers all night." What's next, she asks? If it's any good, he will pass it on, he cannot promise anything, he can only do his best, he tells her. That's good enough for her, she replies.
Alison has a moan to Linda - she is fed up of just coming into the Rovers. "It's handy for work" replies Linda. Alison explains that she used to think the place was great - she knew that she would always be able to bump into Kevin at some stage if she had missed him during the day. Now that's one of the downsides, he knows he can always see her here, it's about time he realised she had a life of her own, she moans. "Nice speech doll" quips Linda, "but I'll believe it when I see it."
Having had a think, Eunice tells Jack and Vera that she is happy to give it a go, it's a marvellous idea and better than leaving her property standing empty, waiting for a buyer. She won't be able to pay them much, but they will get free bed and board and full use of all the facilities. Everybody is happy all round. Vera asks when they are going to be shown the ropes - Eunice suggests them starting in the morning. After she has gone, jack tells Vera he needs to go back to the bar, but Vera isn't bothered. In fact, she is tempted to tell Natalie she can stick her mop and bucket where the sun doesn't shine.
Mike pops into the Rovers obviously looking around. Linda asks him whether he is looking for anyone in particular. "Looking for your cards?" replies Mike. When Linda says she isn't, Mike tells her "you keep that out (pointing to his nose), that shut (pointing to his mouth) and you won't get em!" Hmm, graduate of which charm school??? After he has gone, Linda comments to Alison "See what I mean? Chemistry." Alison sniggers because she doesn't quite see things the same way as Linda.
Deirdre calls round to see Alma to set the record straight - Mike was desperate, he didn't confide in her. She was on his back regarding the missing money and in the end, he had no choice, she explains. Alma disagrees, of course, he had a choice. Deirdre explains that Mike couldn't face telling Alma while she had the cancer scare - she couldn't sleep, faced with her dilemma but didn't want to take sides. Alma is not convinced - how could Deirdre pretend to be her friend and sneak behind her back, she asks. Alma sees her as part of the secret, she tells her to go as she is wasting both their time.
Jack warns Vera against saying anything prematurely to Natalie, after all, Vera will need her job back when Eunice returns. Vera is not convinced!
Curly pops into the Rovers and tells Nita that Freshco's are doing a recruitment drive for managerial staff next week. To her delight, he tells her he knows she will get an interview.
Fred is taking Ashley for his drink. Ashley has got some drink in at home, but Fred will not hear of it, drinking at home is desperation stakes he tells Ashley. "We want beauty, gregarious company, the cut and thrust of debate and as we'll not get it round here, we'll best make do with the Rovers!" ROTFLMAO.
On her return to the shop, Nita is assailed by her father, who is irritated that she was selfish enough to stay out all afternoon. She tells him she would have thought Vikram would have put in an appearance, to earn his wages for once. She then breaks the news that she wants to have next Wednesday off - she has an interview for a job as a Management Trainee at Freshco. Poor Ravi is gobsmacked but Nita tells him she needs a challenge, somewhere bigger. Ravi tells her that bigger is not always better, but she replies that she wants to see what it's like out there. Somewhere faster, fairer. She might not even get the job but she will be going in as herself, not Vikram's sister, the sensible dependable one, just her. she tells Ravi she feels boxed in at the shop, neither Ravi nor Vikram treat her like the manager of the shop. She wants to make a fresh start and be treated like everyone else. "You want to join an English corporation and you think they'll treat you fairer than I do?" asks Ravi, as he storms out of the shop.
Ashley is being a real misery in the pub, much to Fred's exasperation, who thinks that Ashley would prefer to be out with his pals.
Jack tells Vera that he is lucky to have the job at the Rovers, they mustn't upset Natalie. He is afraid of having another do and getting sacked - he is dead weight at the moment and feels very vulnerable.
At that point, Natalie comes to the bar to tell them that someone has thrown up in the toilet and asks Vera to sort it out. Jack, ever paranoid, volunteers.
Deirdre is telling Ken about how she was at the receiving end of Alma's vitriol. Enter Audrey to add to her woes. The exchange between Audrey, defending Alma and lambasting Deirdre, provokes Gail to pull her mother away. "You asked for that" is Ken's ever-helpful (not) riposte.
Mike comes back to the flat to find Alma on her way out. She tells him that "your little chum" Deirdre came to see her today. She is clearly jealous of what Mike has with Deirdre and is annoyed at not being trusted by Mike. Why did he go straight to Deirdre? She is tired of arguing. She is taking what she can right now and will sort out a van for the rest of the stuff later on. She is going and not coming back
Ashley has finally persuaded Fred to come back to Ashley's place on the pretext that the Rovers was too noisy. Fred thinks that maybe Ashley is sickening for something. Anyway, Ashley gives him a drink and comes to the point. He wanted to ask Fred a question, but not in a public place like the pub - he has been told that "you've got a son. I say, I've been told you've got a son." ROTFL!! Fred denies it all vehemently. Ashley reveals that he heard the news from Maxine but it was Audrey who told HER. Anyway, it doesn't matter, as it looks as if she got her wires crossed....
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?
Sally and Kevin - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!
Deirdre, Mike and Alma - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!
Vera, Jack and Eunice - nice touches of comedy, this is a lovely trio.
Ravi/Nita - at last!! Nita wants to branch out, she never felt right in the shop. Ravi would be fine anywhere.
Linda - ooh, isn't she wonderfully baaaaaad!
Fred and Ashley - nice touches of comedy. Great duo.
Apart from those comments, not a particularly scintillating script.
A quick summary. OK, I've known better.
Anyway that's it for now.. well, I can't stand here gabbin', I've got pies to shift. Until the next time, take care...
Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop....
Right, well firstly an apology is due. I'm fully aware that the updates are in a bit of a state at the moment to say the least and I'm very sorry that, in missing out last week's I have contributed to the delays. I posted a message on the RATUCS group asking if anyone would like to write last week's for me since I was exceptionally busy (some fun things, some not so fun things unfortunately) and got a 'massive' *zero* responses. Then, very kindly, Alan Milewcyzk offered to fill in the position, should no one else, but considering he had already written something like 100 updates that week on top of upgrading his entire system, I decided this would be horrifically unfair on the poor teletubbie and told him I would write it myself... Anyway, push came to shove and here I am, *this* Monday with still no update for last week. To be honest, I'm really not much less busy this week than I was last and to add insult to injury, I have remembered that I didn't even tape last week's episode, since I had hoped to get a stand-in and was far too busy having a near-religious experience (okay okay, I was watching Marc Almond in concert at the Coventry Arts Centre, but it was almost the same!)... So, essentially, what I'm saying is that last week's Update is a bit of a write-off from this end. However, never fear, because if you've been paying attention to RATUCS and the Corrie Guestbook, you'll notice that Alan M *has* been posting a Corrie Daily Report each episode which is about 150 lines or so (nearly an update in itself!) on each installment of the show. I hope that this will suffice for last Monday's and apologise again for the lack of Update. (Either this, or we could do what Dewey did last year when he missed one out: Wait 8 wks for the Canadians to get the show and then have one of them do the Update (remember David McMurray's truly *legendary* stand-in?).. It's up to you! Any takers for that?)
So, on a brighter note I'm going to attempt to get back on track myself with tonight's Update. I have a drink, I have a record playing, I have a computer keyboard - let's go!
The show opens on a bright sunny day in the Street, where Sally (with the Gurrrls) and Martin & Gail (with Sarah-Lou and David) are loading themselves into cars, all set for their holiday in JaneRiceland (or Wales, as it was known before she took it over ;))... It seems the great weather has done everyone the power of good, since all are smiling (even Rosie The Brood manages to almost crack a grin) and swapping amusingly twee pleasantries about buckets and spades. Just then, Kevin walks over to wave goodbye to the gurrrrls and you'd think that he would be about to start a shouty scene up with Sally but, LO, he simply hands her a wad of cash for the gurrrls' spending money and wishes her a good time! As the two cars drive away, a lonely housewife by the name of Janice "Cinderella" Battersby clutches an empty milk bottle to her heart (apologies to Paul Weller) and wishes she too could afford to take a holiday in the Wonderful Wilds of Wales, "like normal folk"... Les, who is standing nearby with one of his trademarked grins plastered across his face says that she shall indeed go to the ball and should "Have a little faith" in him adding "Have I ever let you down?"
A metre or two down t'road, Mike Baldwin knocks on the door of No.1 and is greeted by that snarling doberman, Ken Barlow, who's defence barriers spring up straight away... Obviously, Mike has come to see Deirdre and attempts in vain to placate Fido with a dog-bone and some smooth talk.
Ken: (Growling) "She'll be at the factory in 10 minutes - can't it wait until then?" Mike: "If it could, I wouldn't be here." Ken: "She's virtually running the place for you nowadays, I hope you're paying her for it!"
Mercifully, Deirdre appears from upstairs at this point and hurries Ken back to his Kennel (KEN-nel, geddit? I slay me!), apologising to Mike for his attitude ("Sorry, you were on his territory, he doesn't like it!")... It seems Baldwin has come round to ask if D could open the factory for him and get the girls working, since he has some 'business' to attend to. The 'business' is to find the missing negatives of he and Julia Stone engaged in intimate negociations. "She's out there somewhere", he says in his best Clint Eastwood, "And if the police won't find her... I will!" just prior to spitting out a black lump of tobacco and disappearing down the Street to the tune of a long-forgotten Ennico Morricone composition.
Prince Ashley of Peacock, meanwhile, is not a happy camper. He sits in the House of Elliot, pondering a cup of coffee (at 9:30am) and is asked by a concerned Leanne why he hasn't gone into work... "I'm sick of being taken for a mug by people like my Uncle Fred", he explains sternly, as the telephone rings, "That'll be him right now, wondering why I've not shown up at work"... Ashley refuses to pick up the reciever and when Leanne finally forces him to talk to his Uncle Fred on the line, he merely grabs the mouthpiece, barks "I know what you want and the answer's no! I'm not coming in today because I don't feel like it" and hangs up violently, telling a shocked Leanne that Fred "only wants someone to do his donkey work for him and he can go find another donkey"!
Across t'road at t'Rovers, Jack (who is looking more and more like Bela Lugosi with each day that passes) is caught having a nap in the back room by Natalie, who is a little concerned, considering his recent spate of ill health. He explains wearily he was only "resting his eyes" and is feeling "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" which is about as convincing as Leonard Cohen making the same claim... Leanne gets into work at this point and has found a packet of cigarettes lying on the bar, which she assumes belong to Jack. He denies all knowledge and when she tries to offer them to him anyway, admits that he's actually stopped smoking once and for all. "Good for you!" chirps Nat, "When was the last time you had one?" - The Jackal looks solemnly at his watch and proclaims gravely, shakily "Two days... Twenty-three hours..... and... thirteen minutes.... Approximately!" (ROFL - I *heart* Bill Tarmey btw, he is an absolute master of the most subtle comic timing! I also think I'm possibly one of about 10 people in the world who owns a CD copy of his 'classic' "Time For Love" album... :))
A white camper van comes speeding into Coronation Street. But this is no ordinary camper van. It has a huge rubber dinghy tied to the top, fishes painted down the side, a spluttering smoking exhaust that is probably as environmentally friendly as an atom bomb and, best of all, a gloriously tacky plastic shark poking out of the front! There is only one person in the world who this could belong to and, yep, you guessed it... The arrival of this deliciously bad vehicle heralds the return of SIR CHARLIE OF WEST (Sorry, Diane, I know you were expecting Sir Charlie Of Whelan)!!! He steps out of the van (which pulls up outside Le Chateau Batteau), Les in tow, and greets Janice (who has appeared to see what all the noise is about!) with his usual charm:
Sir Charlie: "By 'eck, Janice! I dunno how you do it, luv! You get bonnier every time I see yer..."
Janice: (Royally underimpressed) "Oh it's you... What the flaming Hell's that?"
Les: "What does it look like?? It's a mobile home!!"
Toyah: (Who appears from behind Janice) "Mobile slum, y'mean..." (LOL! Pefect timing!)
Sir Charlie: "Hey, hey, hey.. Give over! Top of the range, this!" (He loudly twangs the plastic shark at the front, at this point - did I mention how much of an asset to the show this man is? Give him a permanent role!!!!!) "Film stars use these on set!"
Janice: "For what? Toilets?"
The hilarious exchange continues, as it's established just why this monstrosity has been brought to Le Chateau B. It seems this is Les' idea of taking Janice on holiday. He has already decided that the two of them (and Toyah, much to her resounding regret) are going to take this beastie on the road and head to (ut oh!) Wales. There is *no* talking him out of it now that he's rented the van off of Charlie... Sir West shivers and enthuses "Phwoar, I wish I were goin' with you, Janice. It'd be a passion-wagon and no mistake!" (ROFL!), adding with a (king) leer that "If Les ever leaves you Janice, y'know where I am!".
Back in the Rovers, Vera and Natalie share an exchange about cleaning with Vee suggesting that Eunice's B&B has much nicer, wipe-clean surfaces than the Rovers, thus she "doesn't have to do owt". Natalie suggests cattily that this (ie: Doing nowt) should suit Vee "down to a tee" as she prowls off to serve a customer and the camera cuts to Ken and Deirdre sitting at a booth. I have to admit that recently I have stopped referring to Ken as Borelow or Barflow due to the fact that I actually thought I was warming to him. His role in Toyah's private tuition and his reconcillation with Deirdre had actually turned him into a pleasant, almost human character but now it seems he's back to being the arrogant pompous git we all know and, in a strange perverted way, love as he waffles on to D about how Mike is exploiting her for too little pay. She explains "he stuck by me when I was in trouble and I'll do the same for him" before leaving Ken to bore his beer to death, as the camera cuts away yet again to Jack, emerging from the cellars looking like Dracula rising from the Grave, in order to serve a waiting Sir Charlie who offers to buy the Busy Barman a drink. Jack declines at first, but Sir West's powers of persuasion are such that he is talked into a red wine, under "doctor's orders"... Charlie takes this moment to explain how "doctors know nowt" and what Jack needs is "some fresh air", before proceeding to plug his camper van which will be available for rent in 2 weeks time (ROFL!) so that the Duckies can "sleep under the stars together"... Jack's response is priceless: "Me and Vera sleeping in a van? I'd rather sail round the world... on me own... on a rubber duck!"
Back on t'Street, Les (sporting a fantastically loud hawaiin shirt) is loading up stuff into the camper van and telling Toyah in no uncertain terms that she is coming along whether she wants to or not! He refuses to let her have the house to herself since she would only "have the lads in" ("The lads round here? You must be joking!" is her riposte!)... Janice, who is trying to keep the peace and attempt to at least have a half- decent holiday (even though she's been reluctantly ordered to drive due to Les' ban), tells Toyah that she might be able to pick up some lads on the beach which at least calms her enough to sulk a bit and board the van, as Les shouts "WAGONS-HOOOOOOOOOO! ROUND 'EM UP AND GET 'EM OUT! YEEHAW!"... Highlight of the scene *had* to be Mike Baldwin, however, who throughout most of this dialogue, was seen in the background of the shot, walking around the van, looking at it and shaking his head in *utter* disbelief! Shame... I actually thought the plastic shark was quite tasteful... ;))
Mike soon makes his way back to the Underworld of Delight where he meets with Deirdre in his office. He's been looking long and hard (MISSUS!) for Julia Stone with no luck. No one at the Rag Trade Ball seems to have spoken to her and she's a woman who leaves few traces as to her whereabouts (try Channel Four, Mike! I hear she's appearing in a comedy sketch show on there! (and who says I can't distinguish television from reality?)), thus he seems to have hit a brick wall... Except, however, there is one idea he has... Deirdre he believes could help him by talking to the police, as a witness. This, he thinks, may make them increase their search for Julia. She isn't fond of the idea at first (obviously, considering HER history with the cops!) but eventually caves in and agrees to it.
The Mighty Fred Elliot is STOMPING down Coronation Street like a man possessed, heading for the House of Elliot. He pounds on the door and is soon let in by Ashley, who it seems has been expecting him.
Fred: "I want to know what you're playing at!"
Ashley: "I told you on t'phone. I didn't feel like working today..."
Fred: (Angrily) "What kind of talk is that?! You're not a woman!" (Oooh! Get him!) "Now see, I've been doin' your work all morning at Freshco when I should've been at the shop! I.."
Ashley: (Bravely interrupting) "You think you're pulling wool over my eyes. I know you've got a son and I'm not going to be taken for a mug!"
Fred: "I thought we'd straightened all that!"
Ashley: "You mean, you thought you'd fooled me. I'm sick of your lies. I'm sick of being laughed at behind my back, I'm sick of your promises, how you'd see me right and how the business'll be coming to me. But I'm finished, I'm not working for you any more. If you want someone to do your hard work... Get your son to do it."
For once, Fred is silenced.
END OF PART ONE
The Battersbys' Shark-fronted Chariot comes to a noisy halt somewhere on a lay-by in Wales. "Ok, Mr Navigator..." asks an impatient sounding Janice from behind the wheel, "Where are we?"... Les claims cheerily that he needs to study the map before asking "Is Bay Colwyn the same place as Colwyn Bay?", indicating that they are well and truly lost. "You can't be lost in a camper van, can you!" states Les, profoundly, "Because wherever you are, you're in your home! That's the beauty of it!" (He has a point, really, for a change - I'd love to take a journey in one myself some time :))... At this point, Toyah notices a funny smell which she believes is coming from the engine, but her remarks are ignored as the van starts up again under Les' instruction: "As long as you've got water on one side of you and mountains on the other, you can't really go wrong in Wales can you?" (Jane? Is this true?? :))...
Back closer to home, Fred is in the Salon, enraged, berating Maxine and Audrey about their gossip. "It's right what they said in t'war", he rants, "Careless talk costs lives!!" before informing them that Ashley has packed in his job at Frescho: "I've trained that lad.. Worked on him like an artist - taught him all he knows about the butchery trade, it's all down to me... But now, he's been knocked off balance, he's been thrown right out of flunter (?!)... All for folk talking foolishly out of turn!" - Audrey attempts to defend herself but the Burly Butcher is having none of it. When she suggests that it is probably *he* who has said something hurtful to Ashley, since he's always "trampling on the poor boy's feelings", Fred shouts emphatically "*Never* in this world!" before stomping out in much the same state as when he arrived.
At this point, we appear to switch channels to "Friday The 13th Part 666" as proceedings cut to Camp Crystal Lake, Wales... Yes, if any of you have ever watched more than a few "Stalk'N'Slash"-style horror movies set at holiday camps, you'll know exactly how they start. The first reel of the film usually consists of the various characters saying how much they're enjoying their stay at the camp site, how this vacation is going to be the best one they've ever had and how everything is just beautiful with the world. Of course, at this stage, they have no idea that they are to be tormented by a usually grotesque and horrifying boogeyman before the movie ends... The same could be said about the scene we now witness, as Martin, Gail, Sally and the kids all lounge about on lovely garden furniture outside their caravans, waxing lyrically about how beautiful the scenery is, how glad they are that they came and how great the holiday is going to be. Martin and Gail even share a little kiss which is, as all horror buffs will know, is a big 'no-no' since the ones who display affection in public are usually the first to be got by the boogeyman. ;) But, since everything seems nice and peaceful for them all right now, we'll leave this tranquil scene and cut back to The Rover's...
...Where Eunice is making a fond farewell to Jack and Vera by buying them a bottle of Moet & Chandon (a fine champagne indeed!!)... She's off away to Spain it seems ("The people, they're so, how shall I put it? So spontaenous - especially the men!") and I'd like to take this opportunity to just (once again) commend Meg Johnson on her BRILLIANT comeback as Eunice over the last few months. She has been an absolute treat and delight to behold in all of her scenes and I sincerely hope that they fetch her back to the show as soon as possible. What a star, I hope you're all applauding her whilst reading, at this point. ;) Anyway, as Eunice cracks line after line of shockingly blue (but deeply funny) innuendo, Jack goes to fetch the champagne and has a bit of trouble opening the bottle. Eventually, he manages it, but whilst Vera, Eunice and Natalie share some laughs and some bubbly, Jack slumps off into the shadows to take a puff from his Angina Spray... I hate to say it, but it looks like he's a lot more ill than he's letting on.
Meanwhile, in Wales, the Battersby's Sharkmobile has broken down on a pretty deserted backroad. The only thing for them to do is for Les and Toyah to push it along and, eventually they seem to have reached the entrance to a holiday camp (no prizes for guessing which one!). The camp's owner appears with one of his young, virile assistants (whom Toyah takes an instant like to!) and explains that he doesn't want this hideous vehicle parked on his grounds but Les protests that it's been broken down and is pretty much unshiftable... The Camp Owner has no choice but to help him move it somewhere.
Back at No.1 Coronation Street, the door knocks again. This time, it's our friend the Gloomy Copper. Yep, the utterly cheerless policeman (bring back DS Wyatt!!) who has been dealing with Greg Kelly's case wants a few words with Deirdre (on the instruction of Mike Baldwin), as he's been told she is a witness to Julia Stone's blackmail... Once more, Ken (who is preparing something in the kitchen), starts protesting wildly as soon as he hears that this man is here about Baldwin's case, but Deirdre shuffles him out to the Rovers so that she may have a proper conversation with DS Moribund or whatever his name is.
Back *at* The Rovers, Eunice has put her straw hat on which indicates it's farewell time (*snivvle*)... Everyone wishes her a "BON VOYAGE!" as she leaves and then Natalie takes a moment to mention to Vera that just because the Duckies are now technically running a boarding house doesn't mean they can skive their duties at the Rovers. As the Sleeveless Supervisor heads out of earshot to serve Mike Baldwin, Vee threatens that one day she'll "take the mop to her!" (lol)... Unfortunately, Ken Borelow enters the pub just as Mike is purchasing his Scotch and needless to say, takes this opportunity to start trouble, accusing the Underworld Darklord that he's "dragging Deirdre" into his "sordid private life" and his "furtive affairs", adding that D has had "enough police investigations to last her a lifetime"... You know, as noble as Ken's motives might be, the absurdly pompous way in which he makes his case almost for a split-second makes you want to side with Baldwin (horrors!) but thankfully the moment passes as Mike downs his Scotch and exits the pub, leaving Ken to get a ticking off from Natalie who wonders whether or not he was here to drink or just start a fight!
Way away in Wales, "Friday The 13th Part 666" continues with our Happy Holidays families admiring the campsite restaurant (admittedly, it's well swish!)... They are totally pleased and glad that they picked such a wonderful campground. Then... all of a sudden... (this is the moment when the spooky Rick Wakeman musical score kicks in!)... young Sarah-Louise looks out of the window to see a girl in a pink shirt and utters "Doesn't that look like Toyah Battersby?" - The realisation slowly sinks in as Sally exclaims "Hey! That *IS* Toyah Battersby!"... Martin's eyes widen... The suspense mounts... The Rick Wakeman keyboards spin out of control, as a camper van being towed by a tractor wheels past the window, followed by ... the campsite owner... and... THE GROTESQUE AND HORRIFYING BOOGEYMAN HIMSELF! LES BATTERSBY!!!! "OH NO!" screams Martin, his face resembling an Edvard Munch painting, "Tell me I'm dreaming!" - The sweat pours from his wide-eyed, pulsating features... "I'm not tho, am I?? IT'S THE FLAMIN' BATTERSBYS!!" (Top Points to Sean Wilson here for his absolutely MANIC delivery of the last couple of lines!)
Tonight's final scene is surprisingly quite emotional. Fred is sitting in the living room as Ashley comes home and wonders why he's there...
Fred: (Quietly, I say, very quietly) "I own this house, Ashley, I'm entitled to enter it..."
Ashley: "You can have it yourself, I'm moving out. I'm going to find myself a new job and somewhere new to live."
Fred attempts to get a word in but, for once, is unable to as Ashley continues to protest about how he's been treated of late by his Uncle and how he *knows* Fred has a son and has been taking him for a ride a.n..d.... Fred cuts him off and a silence befalls the room:
Fred: "You're right, I've not been frank with you and I admit it..."
Ashley: "About time!"
Fred: (Quite shakily, by his standards) "I want to be straight with you, Ashley... You see I..." (Pause, swallows hard, whispers) "It's very difficult is this..." (Raises volume a little) "I have got a son...
Ashley: (Angrily, between gritted teeth) "I knew it..."
Fred: "Aye... It's you. I'm not your Uncle Fred, Ashley. I'm your father..."
Ashley looks suitably stunned! It has to be said that I'm sure everyone watching this show *KNEW* this was coming, but even so the build-up to it has been immense and the final showdown tonight between Ashley and Fred was played so brilliantly by John Savident and Steven Arnold, it was actually very touching and even tense... An excellent closing scene - cue credits!
So how was it for me (to steal Alan's catchphrase)? Not bad at all. On the whole, this John Stevenson-scripted episode was played mainly for laughs and it succeeded with the likes of Sir Charlie of West (who is ALWAYS a treat) and the whole Battersby Holiday Saga (Bruce Jones *IS* genuinely funny when his character isn't being totally dislikable and, of course, Ms Entwistle and Ms Taylor are both on top form as ever!). I *want* one of those plastic sharks for the front of my car too.
The drama here came mostly from the final scene in this episode and I have to admit that the whole "Fred has a son" storyline has gripped me far more than it probably should have done. Perhaps it's just the quality of the acting or perhaps it's just that there's always this doubt as to what's actually going to happen (it seemed too obvious at first that Ashley would be Fred's son)... It worked well for me, I must say, and tonight's confrontation was no anti-climax at all.
So, on the whole, crackin' stuff! Nothing really bad in this episode which makes a nice change (look ma, no Vikram!)... It's good to see some nice light-hearted stories getting air in time for the summer. :) That's me lot then for this week. Hope you enjoyed it enough to forgive me for missing last weeks...
'Til Next Time! The Rattler :)
P'nawn da and greetings from a rat oops, sorry Royal family infested Wales.
And what a crap week it's been in telly land. My beloved 'Xena: Warrier Princess' and 'First Wave' are coming to the end of their current seasons. <sob> How on earth will I get through the summer without a weekly dose of the drop dead gorgeous (but slightly short) Sebastian Spence. <more sobbing> And I've just read that 'Deep Space Nine' and 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' are in their final seasons. <even more sobbing> Still, at least they're bringing back 'Buffy: the Vampire Slayer' And, of course, there's always 'Coronation Street'. Talking of which, I think I'd better get on with it.
My lovely whippet Sam has come, yet again, to help me. He's happy and sleepy at the moment as he's just had some corned beef (Fred Elliot would be proud).
We start at the House of Elliot where the Lurve Doctor is sat in a chair and the Necrobutcher has been sleeping on the sofa.
FRED - Have you been sitting there all night?
ASHLEY - Do you think I could sleep after what you told me last night?
FRED - No, I suppose not. Still, it's nice to know you're talking to me this morning.
ASHLEY - You'll be late for work.
FRED - I'm not going to work.
ASHLEY - There's no need to stop on my account.
FRED - If I have to spend the rest of my life on this sofa I'm not shifting until we've sorted this out.
ASHLEY - Sort it our? How can we sort it out?
FRED - By talking. There's no problem that can't be solved if the parties concerned are prepared to communicate.
ASHLEY - We were talking all night.
FRED - And we'll talk all day if that's what it takes.
ASHLEY - What do you want me to say? Yippee, me Uncle Fred's me dad. Last night you told me my whole life was a lie. Me mum's not me mum anymore, me dad's not me dad and me Uncle Fred's me not me Uncle. Me head's spinning so fast it feels like it's gonna explode. Why did you wait so long to tell me?
FRED - When Beryl agreed to bring you up as her own, I swore never to tell a soul she wasn't your mother. You don't make a promise like that lightly.
ASHLEY - Except you broke it last night.
FRED - I didn't have much choice did I. Look, I've been aching to tell you since you've been born but I promised I'd keep me distance. Do you remember your first school sports day? No? Well, I do. You were seven. You won the egg and spoon and the sack race and you'd have won the three legged race an' all if they hadn't tied you up to Billy Bunter's big brother. I was so proud of you. I thought me heart would jump straight out of my chest, I wanted to come and grab you in me arms and hug you
ASHLEY - Don't talk like that, it's not right.
FRED - It is.
ASHLEY - No it's not! It's a lie! A GREAT BIG DIRTY LIE. THE SAME LIE YOU'VE TOLD ME EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 22 YEARS!
In a caravan somewhere in North Wales (thank god it's up North, and not down here, we'd have had to move). Peat Bog Man Battersby is saying 'of all the campsites in all of Wales we have to break down in one with Florence flaming Platt in it.' Xena and Toyah aren't happy. Boggy says that Charlie West will see them right. Xena is sceptical. Boggy, 'Charlie is a good mate. When he finds out we're stuck he'll be out of here quicker than you can say one of them long Welsh names.' (Les, dear, we only have these long place names to confuse the tourists). There's a knock on the door. It's Owen. He wants to know how they were getting on with fixing the van and does Boggy want him to have look at it. 'No need Taffy' comes his reply. (LOL! My father's nickname was Taffy. And he was Scottish! Still, it was his English friends that started calling him it. They were probably from Devon. ;))
Back at the House of Elliot, the Necrobutcher is sat down drinking, presumably, the dreaded tea.
ASHLEY - Have you seen me mother? Me real mother?
FRED - When you were born she vanished like a puff of smoke.
ASHLEY - She never bothered to get in touch?
FRED - Weren't you she were running away from. It were me. She used to work for us in this old shop in Nelson Street. Good worker, mind. Never afraid to get stuck in. It were a year since Sybil died and I don't mind admitting, her death hit me hard. I'm not making excuses. I knew what I were doing and so did Kathleen.
ASHLEY - Kathleen?
FRED - Aye. Kathleen. Pretty girl. Bright as a button. Dark hair, with a touch of red. Must have been some Celtic blood in there somewhere. (oh Fred <squeal> you've just described me! Except you got the name wrong) It probably seems a sordid business to you. A middle-aged butcher courting an innocent young girl who worked for him. But I cared for her. I did. And all this were before she became pregnant. When she told me she were expecting, I asked her to marry me.
ASHLEY - What did she say?
FRED - Near as dammit she laughed in my face. She were young. All she wanted to do were run away. But I wouldn't let her take YOU away. So, we made a compromise. Beryl couldn't have any kids of her own so we agreed that the best thing to do were for her and Sam to bring you up as their own. It seemed like the best solution at the time.
ASHLEY - And everybody lived happily ever after.
FRED (in the best line of the show) - Now listen to me Ashley. I love old black and white movies but life doesn't come in black and white. It comes in one colour only. Dirty, muddy and brown.
Meanwhile Lord Hades has hired Magnum PI to find the Praying Mantis.
Back in North Wales, Owen is trying to fix the Battersby's van. Peat Bog Man comes over, and pushing a lovesick Toyah out of the way, enquires of Owen, 'oi, what do you think you're doing?' Xena says she asked him to have a look at it. Owen say's the van is 'dead' and Les replies 'and we're buried.'
JANICE - So did you get through to Charlie West? Is he gonna come to our rescue?
LES - Is he 'eck as like. He's only bogged off to Benidorm.
JANICE - YOU WHAT?
LES - We're right up the swannie.
JANICE - You didn't know the Platts were gonna be here did you?
LES - How could I? It's bad enough having to live in the same street as Florence without having his sour face ruin my holiday.
Harry, the campsite owner, comes over and says they can't stay at the campsite while their van is being fixed as it is for static caravans only. Owen says they are in luck as there is one empty.
LES - That's a very kind offer. A welcome in the hillside, like.
HARRY - Aye. I think you'll find our rates are very competitive.
LES - Rates? What rates? I thought you were offering to put us up for free.
HARRY - Oh, no. This is a caravan park.
JANICE (to Owen) - Right, well I suppose you'd better show us this caravan.
OWEN (looking at Toyah) - My pleasure.
LES - Janice!
TOYAH (beaming) - I don't mind stopping here.
LES - We can't afford it.
JANICE - Yes we can.
LES - Janice! That's my beer money.
JANICE - Take a deep breath Les cos from now on you're gonna be getting drunk on sea air.
End of part one
In the flat above the Cornershop, Ravi is having a go at his bright and beautiful daughter. He fears she wants to give up the shop due to teething troubles. She says it's because she wants to achieve something on her own and not because her father owns the shop.
NITA - Answer me one question then? What happens when you die? (oh Nita, LOL!)
RAVI - That's a morbid kind of a question.
NITA - What happens to the shops then?
RAVI - So you want me dead now?!
NITA - You know very well that the shops will go to Vikram. If I want to do something then I've got to do it outside of the family business. So, I'd be grateful if you could stop all this fuss.
RAVI - Is it so bad for a father to want to keep his daughter close to him?
NITA - But it's only an interview!
RAVI - But you're bound to get the job. You're bright. You're beautiful. I'd give you a job in a second! But when you start this brilliant career or yours where will you live?
NITA (surprised) - Sorry?
RAVI - The flat about the shop goes with the job. If you don't want the job
NITA - Make up your mind! Either you want to keep me close to you or you want to make me homeless! I'm not a little girl anymore dad so you can stop trying to manipulate me. If you're really that bothered about the flat I'll pay rent!
Ravi huffs as we switch back to North Wales. The Battersbys are coming out of a caravan. They'll take it. (Note for non-Welsh readers/viewers - there is more to Wales than caravan sites. Honest).
Back in the Rovers Vera comes in to tell Jack that she needs his help at the B&B. Jack reckons Natalie has asked him to do a few extra hours. Cleo comes in and asks for two G&Ts. The Witch in the Wardrobe is sat in a booth waiting for her friend. The Necrobutcher comes in.
AUDREY - Oh, Fred. Now. Everything all right between you and Ashley?
FRED - NO! Things are not all right. Things are most decidedly skewiff as it happens.
AUDREY - I feel terrible, it was all my fault. I should have kept my big mouth shut.
FRED - I had to tell him the truth.
AUDREY - What truth?
FRED - I'm his father.
AUDREY - You what? Fred Ashley is your son?
FRED - Yes, he's my son. And he's not best pleased with the sudden change in his parentage. I don't believe it (strange, I didn't see Victor Meldrew walk in). I've done it again, I say, I've done it again. Shared my guilty secret with the biggest blabbermouth in Weatherfield.
AUDREY - Oh now Fred, honestly. My lips are sealed. They can torture me. Whatever. I won't say a word. I promise.
FRED - AYE. THAT'S WHAT YOU SAID LAST TIME.
Over at the House of Elliot, the Lurve Doctor is talking to the lovely Maud.
ASHLEY - You don't seem that surprised.
MAUD (laughs) - There's very little that Fred Elliot could do that would surprise me.
ASHLEY - Well it's knocked me into the middle of next week and [sorry, couldn't make the next bit out]. If he was so proud why did it take him so long to tell me? MAUD - Probably he knew how upset you'd be.
ASHLEY - So it's better to keep telling me lies?
MAUD - If he thought the truth would cause you pain, naturally he'd try and protect you from that.
ASHLEY - Well, I didn't think you'd be taking his side.
MAUD - Oh, is that how you see it. A big fight. You verses Fred Elliot.
ASHLEY - That's how it feels sometimes.
MAUD - You're a lovely lad Ashley. One day you'll have kids of your own and I'm sure you'll make a great dad. But you'll soon find that being a good parent is not all that easy.
ASHLEY - It's not that easy being a Goodson [ha, gratuitous reference to the great, great, great Nick Cave maybe]. Not when you don't know who your parents are.
Back to Cleopatra and the Witch in the Wardrobe still sat in the Rovers.
AUDREY - Don't look now but your husband's just walked in.
ALMA - It's a free country.
AUDREY - I'm so glad to see you've got the right attitude, luvvie. Listen, you can hold your head up anywhere, sweetheart. It's him who should be hiding under a rock.
ASHLEY - Well I just want to get on with my life.
Natalie is telling Jack to go home. Take a break. (Is she kidding? How can he go home and take a break? He's married to Vera!). He doesn't want to.
Curly is stood by the bar. Ravi approaches.
RAVI - Mr Watts. I would be grateful if you'd stop putting fanciful ideas into my daughter's head.
CURLY - I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about.
RAVI - You've influenced my Nita into going for a job at Fresco. I don't take kindly to people poaching my staff. And I take even less kindly to your for trying to break up my family.
CURLY - From what I know of your daughter, she's not the type of young woman who would allow herself to be influenced by anybody.
RAVI - Forgive me Mr Watts, I think I know my own daughter.
CURLY - Well, if you think that Nita would be persuaded to do something against her will then maybe you don't know her as well as you think you do.
Lord Hades is stood behind them. He is on his mobile phone. The Cardassian comes in and tells him they need to go into warp speed RIGHT NOW! as the Borg are after them. Oh, and they've also lost an order over at the Underworld. He tells her he's hired Magnum PI to find the Preying Mantis. She tells him there are more important things than finding the Preying Mantis (like dodging enemy craft). As Cleo leaves, he says there is nothing more important.
Back at House of Elliot.
ASHLEY - You know what me Uncle Fred's like. He'd make you believe black's white if it suits him. But, me mam, she's different. I can't believe she's lied to me all these years.
MAUD - I'm sure she had her reasons.
ASHLEY - I'm not a child anymore. Don't I deserve to know the truth?
MAUD - You're asking the wrong person.
A booming voice yells 'ONLY ME ASHLEY'
ASHLEY - He's got his own key.
MAUD - Do you want me to go?
ASHLEY - I suppose.
FRED (entering room and looking at Maud) - Oh you're here.
MAUD - I was just leaving actually.
FRED - I expect you two have been having a cosy little heart to heart.
MAUD - that's right. And before you ask, yes I know the whole story.
FRED - Well, I hope we can trust you to keep it all to your self. (To Ashley) Unless you've taken out a notice in The Gazette.
ASHLEY - I've only told Maud.
MAUD - I'm no tittle-tattle. I know how to keep a secret.
FRED - Well, let's hope you can. Now I am sure you will understand that me and Ashley have a lot of talking to do.
MAUD - Be sure you let the lad get a word in edgeways.
FRED - I'll see you out.
Meanwhile, in a graveyard in North Wales oops, sorry, it's the campsite club Cadfael and The Treen are sat watching Florence and the kids jump around to the Spice Girls. (Oh scriptwriters, you obviously don't keep up to date with children's trends. The Spice Girls are so passé these days. Just ask my 12-year-old niece). Some bored teenagers shuffle around in the background. Cadfael says that she will mind the Platt kids while The Treen and Florence have some time to themselves, as it's the least she can do. Just then, Peat Bog Man and Xena walk in. 'Oh no!', says Gail. 'Oh just ignore 'em says Sal.' 'How can you ignore the Battersbys?!' They decide it won't spoil their holiday. Peat Bog Man and Xena are sat at a table looking really peed off.
LES - Is this the entertainment then? Florence doing his Spice Girls impressions. [LOL! I'd have to agree with him. The place looks about as exciting as thrush].
JANICE - Oh give over Les.
He makes his way to the bar where Toyah is chatting up Owen. Pushing some customer out of the way, he says to Owen:
LES - Call an undertaker. Your social club's just died. Oh no don't tell me you're in charge of the entertainment as well.
OWEN - Oh no Frankie Diamond is (he sounds fun doesn't he boys and girls?)
LES - Frankie Diamond? Never heard of him.
OWEN - Well he's an ex Red Coat. He's into disco, bingo, kariokee, everything (ooo, the excitement). He's very good.
LES - Well he'd have to be if he can get this place rockin'. I've seen more life in me vest. (ROFLMAO! Priceless!) When's he on.
OWEN - June.
LES - JUNE? We'll be gone by June.
OWEN - That's hen the high season starts.
LES - Flamin' Nora! Come away for a week and it feels more like a month.
Back in the Weatherfield House of Elliot, the Lurve Doctor is fiddling with a tray that contains bloody tea and biscuits again. (Why don't' they take up smoking and start to drink water. I could relate to them better then. But tea and biscuits? <heave>)
FRED - Leave 'em. Sit down.
ASHLEY - Just cos I'm your son don't mean I have to do everything you tell me.
FRED - It's a rum do. When you thought you were me nephew you were more obedient.
ASHLEY - Well maybe I was trying to impress you then.
FRED - And now?
ASHLEY - And now I don't have to. Now I don't care.
FRED (snatching tray) - You're too old to play rebel without a cause. Besides, we've got things to talk about.
ASHLEY - I'm sick of talking.
FRED - You were happy to jabber away to Maud.
ASHLEY - Well maybe I'm sick of talking to you. Maybe I should talk to me mam.
FRED - Oh no. I don't care what you think about me. You can hate me as much as you like but you're not saying owt to Beryl. I forbid it.
ASHLEY - I've a right to know why she's lied to me all them years.
FRED - She's a good woman is your mother. She has made sacrifices to bring you up. YOU HAVE WANTED FOR NOWT. IT IS MY MISTAKE; I'M THE ONE WHO OPENED HIS BIG GOB. IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT OUT ON ANYBODY THEN YOU TAKE IT OUT ON ME.
ASHLEY (crying) - I don't want to take it out on anyone.
FRED - Then lets leave it then shall we.
ASHLEY - I just want to know the truth.
FRED - I'VE TOLD YOU THE TRUTH! I SAID BEFORE I AM SO PROUD TO HAVE YOU AS A SON AND MAYBE DEEP DOWN I WANTED YOU TO FIND OUT. NOBODY TELLS AUDREY ROBETS OWT THEY WANT KEPT SECRET. BUT THIS IS WHERE IS STOPS. NOTHING'S CHANGED. YOUR MUM'S STILL YOUR MUM AND I'M STILL YOUR UNCLE FRED. EVERYTHING IS BACK TO NORMAL. DO YOU HEAR ME?
ASHLEY - I hear you.
FRED - Are you hungry?
ASHLEY - No
FRED - Well I am, I say, I am. Let's you and I have dinner somewhere.
ASHLEY - I don't wanna go out.
FRED - I'll tell you what. I'm sticking to these clothes. I'll go back to the house for some fresh uns and then I'll bring us back a nice piece of steak for us teas. What do you say?
ASHLEY - I'm not hungry.
FRED - No, but you might be later. Now you stay there.
After he's gone, the Lurve Doctor starts to cry some more. (Lucky the King of Siam wasn't watching with me. He reckons it's Ashley's main ambition to become one of the Tetley Tea Folk, and would have had a field day). He goes to the phone. 'Hello mum it's me Ashley.' Credits roll...
Written by Joe Turner.
And what a cracking episode it was. That's why I've repeated so much of the dialogue. I won't be doing that every week. Just think, I used to have a life.
Wonderful, wonderful stuff from John Savident and Steven Arnold as Fred and Ashley. It was a change to see those two play it straight but, by god, they do it brilliantly. I say, by god, they do it brilliantly. Platinum stars to both of them and also to Elizabeth Bradley as Maud.
A gold star to Bruce Jones as Les who simply hilarious this week. I'd much rather it when he is allowed to bring the comedy side to his character out rather than the nasty side we saw recently. Also great stuff from Vicky Entwistle and Georgia Taylor as Janice and Toyah.
Elsewhere good things from Saeed Jaffrey, Rebecca Sarker and Kevin Kennedy as Ravi, Nita and Curly. This looks like it's going to be an interesting storyline. Also, splendid stuff from the usual suspects Amanda Barrie and Sue Nicholls.
In fact, the whole show was a reminder that Corrie not just the best soap in the UK, but probably in the whole world! Even better than Pobol y Cwm. ;)
That's it from me. See you next week.
Hwyl fawr, Jane
Hiya folks!!!! ... Time again for another update....
A busy time upgrading my computer system, giving me the opportunity do some badly needed housekeeping - the downside is the time taken to do clean installs, but this is outweighed by the benefits. Half-term holidays for Trude, so a chance for her to catch breath. A bit short of time this week....
Episode sponsored by Cadbury's Flake
The programme starts at Ashley's. He is pre-occupied, while Leanne prattles on about running out of bog-rolls, asking him to get some from the supermarket, since he works there. He tells her he isn't going into work today. "Again?" she replies, commenting he has not been in all week. She asks if there is anything wrong with him but he dismisses her question by saying that he just feels like having a few days off. She reckons he gets special treatment because of who he is - when he asks what she means by that, she explains that she would be in trouble if she decided to take a few days off, just like that, it's obviously OK if your boss is your uncle. Ashley replies that Fred can sack him if he wants, he couldn't care less. She comments that Ashley has been really odd the last few days and asks whether everything is OK. It is, according to him. She clearly doesn't have a clue as to what is going on.
At Camp Battersby, the "Campers from Hell" are planning their day. Toyah has some exam revision lined up, Les is astonished at her revising on holiday and tells her he doesn't know why she is bothering, he never did. "Yeah and look at ya" is Toyah's riposte. Janice thinks it's a shame she cannot enjoy herself for a day or two, to which Toyah replies she might take her books down to the beach. Les thinks it's a great idea, but Janice tells him he has to help her tidy up the van, it's her holiday just as much as his. He suggests they should all go down to the club in the evening - this meets with an unenthusiastic response from Toyah who wasn't exactly thrilled with it. Les agrees it was like a morgue and moans about how they should be laying on some proper quality entertainment - if only he had his gear with him, he sighs. The non-verbal communication scores highly when we watch Janice and Toyah's reactions to this wish.
At the Corner shop, Nita tells Curly she is nervous about her interview, but he thinks she has no cause for concern, as she will walk it. Ravi is listening on, as nit1a asks about the likely questions to be asked at the interviews. Ravi adopts the high moral ground, saying it is privileged information and not fair on the other candidates. Curly gives her some interview tips, much to Ravi's frustration, who makes snide comments about Nita's lack of loyalty - he is bitter that Freshco is stealing his staff, as well as his business. When Curly replies that Ravi cannot be doing badly with his 5 shops, Ravi's response is that in a few years time, they will all have been swallowed up by Freshco - to which Nita replies that it is even more reason why she should make a move now. Touch!
Outside the van, Toyah sees Owen doing some repair work. She tells him she is off to the beach, he helpfully replies that the view along the path is beautiful and how he sometimes stays there for hours, just watching. Poor lass, she's struggling to get him to pick up on the signals!! When she tries to get him to come with her, he tells her he has a thousand and one jobs to do - how about later, in the bar, she asks, hopefully? His reply is that he is going to be behind the bar,
The Platts are off to the beach so Toyah cadges a lift, much to Sarah Lou's delight and Les' disgust. Janice sees an opportunity - they could have a couple of hours to themselves. She sprawls out on the bed, waiting for him, but he misses the hint. A few seconds later, his cause is not helped when she spots him outside, "helping" or more accurately letching after a couple of young ladies.
Hayley has popped round to visit Alma and to cheer her up. Hayley is upset for Alma - Alma tells her she is fine but just couldn't face going in. she woke up feeling cheerful in the morning but after a while "Wham! It hit me." Alma doesn't feel particularly badly about what Mike did - more a case of him doing it now at a time when she thought he would be beyond all that. When Hayley asks if Alma would take him back, Alma replies ominously that if she took him back right now, she feels that she would be humiliating herself. However, she is afraid of ending her days, as a divorcee. Hayley tells her that, for what it's worth, Mike has been hit hard too. Alma wonders whether she is being too hard on him and wishes she knew what to do best. Hayley suggests that they go shopping together. Alma gratefully accepts the invitation - it beats moping about the place.
Judy gives Jack his lunch in the Rovers - "no salt, no butter?", confirms Jack. "Watching your waistline" asks Ravi, "Me heart" replies Jack. Ravi feels that the secret to a long life is to indulge in life's little luxuries, not cut them out. "That's what I thought until I ended up in intensive care" explains Jack. When he tells Ravi that this was a few weeks ago, Ravi replies that Jack should be taking it easy, but Jack says he is fine now, as long as he doesn't lift anything heavy. This prompts Leanne to make a snide remark about it not being easy when you are a cellar-man.
At Camp Granada, Martin is doing a grand job entertaining the kids. Sally is envious about Gail and Martin being such an ideal couple until Gail reminds her that Sally and Kevin were thought of that way, until recently. Sally vows not to have anything more to do with men, ever. Gail prescribes time as a remedy "we all make mistakes, don't punish yourself for it."
Fred's sister, Beryl is having a drink with him in the Rovers, prior to meeting up with Ashley. She is furious with Fred for letting the cat out of the bag and feels as if she has been pulled through a mangle. Although Fred tells her he did ask Ashley not to contact her, she appreciates that Ashley's reaction was understandable. He is apologetic and accepts blame for the fiasco, but tells her that he felt that there has been enough upset. He explains how he told someone else that he had a son, not thinking that this would get back to Ashley - even then, Ashley had not realised that he was the son, but it had started him thinking and asking questions. She is upset at Fred not letting her know, but he tells her that things don't always work out the way they were planned. But the damage is done and in the long term, it may be for the best. Beryl is upset at everybody's life being turned upside down and in the messiest way imaginable, so she finds it hard to see the bright side.
... 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 Caravan Park, when Gail and Martin see the Battersbys in the club. Martin starts twitching to be told by Gail to ignore Les, "It's what you do in the Rovers."
Les is not impressed by the lack of entertainment on the site, "this social club's a khazi, we might as well have stayed at home" he tells Janice and Toyah. "There should be dancing girls, wet T-shirt competitions, cabaret", he continues. Les decides to complain to the management and goes up to the bar, where he has a word with Owen, where he tells him it is not on and there should be some entertainment. Owen has the solution and finds a set of darts, which he hands to Les. "is that it?" exclaims Les. Owen offers an alternative, a pack of cards!!!!! ROTFLMAO. Les tells him he meant live entertainment but Owen explains that they don't have act normally until high season. Les points out that there isn't even a dart board. Owen explains that... "yes, he only puts it up in high season" says Les. Owen offers to get the dart board from the storeroom. "I wouldn't mind but there's only two darts" replies an exasperated Les.
Curly pops in on Nita to see how she got on at her interview. She tells him it seemed to go well. Ravi gets into manipulative mode as her asks Curly whether he enjoys breaking up families. Continuing in this vein, he says that anything could happen to him, he might drop down dead, and where would they all be. Nita refuses to be deflected.
Beryl comes round to visit Ashley. She hasn't visited him in the house before and it is evident that they have drifted apart in recent years. She recognises he has grown up and has his own life to lead. He knows that they are not as close as they thought they were.
At the Caravan Park, Owen has taken Les and Janice into the storeroom. Suddenly, Les finds an amplifier and twin record decks - guess who volunteers to be the DJ? As Les rubs his hands in glee, Janice tells Owen he is going to be so sorry for letting Les in the room.
Beryl and Ashley are having their heart-to-heart. He feels bitter and cheated but she tells him, no matter what, she will always regard him as her son. "I'm your nephew" responds Ashley and he tells her that, at least Fred could own up to the truth, something of which she is incapable. She tells him that she was the one who brought him up as her son and nothing will change that. She was a good mother to him, he wanted for nothing.
Mike is having a drink at the Rovers when in comes Alma. She doesn't look amused and it soon becomes clear why. Apparently, Mike has cancelled her credit cards - he tells her she cannot have it both ways, if she isn't living with him why should she have the benefits? If she comes back, everything goes back to normal, he tells her. Alma is furious, throws all her cards down onto the table and storms out. Deirdre tells him his actions were ill-advised, to which a bewildered Mike says that he was merely following her advice to show Alma what she stood to lose. The sheer look of disbelief on Deirdre's face is a picture.
At the Caravan site, the party mood is in full swing as Les has got a disco going, much to Martin's disgust. Despite Gail's protestations, he tells Gail they are going back to the van. Janice, Toyah and Owen are drinking at the bar - Janice is remarking how Les is not afraid of making a complete fool of himself but Owen is gracious, "at least he's brightened this place up a bit" he tells them. Toyah continues her chatting up, asking Owen how far it is to the nearest town and whether they might go there. "I wish I could" is his wistful reply. "Do you ever get a night off" asks Janice. "Oh plenty, between November and March when this place is shut" is his reply. As Les puts on a smoochy number, Toyah asks Owen to dance with her. "I should be serving" is his shy response, but Janice insists he should, as Toyah leads Owen onto the dance floor.
Back at Ashley's place, he tells Beryl that he is upset at the deception and cannot understand why he wasn't told the truth. Surely the answer would have been for them to adopt him? It is clear that Beryl regrets what happened but, equally, found it more and more difficult to confront him with the truth. Ashley is bitter, especially as he had to grieve when his "father" died, why wasn't he told then? It wasn't the right time, as he was upset enough as it was, is Beryl's honest reply. Ashley is distraught at the memories, thinking his father was dead, when all the time, his real father was holding his hand at the funeral. This is why she would have preferred it if he had never found out, what you don't know, can't hurt you, she tells him.
The doorbell rings and it is Fred, who has come to face the music together with Beryl. Ashley explodes - he tells them both to get out and that he doesn't want to see them again. With that, he rushes upstairs, totally distraught, leaving behind Fred and Beryl wondering what to do next....
And with that... .... it is the cue for music and credits
Episode written by Mark Wadlow
All material is, and remains, copyright property of Granada Television.
Well, how was it for me? Some interesting issues being tackled in this episode.
The difficulties and frustrations of working in a family business are being well covered. I never felt comfortable with Nita in charge of the shop - the character just didn't seem credible in that role. What does stack up is the latent ambition and the need for a challenge. The manipulation practiced by Ravi is also well covered.
The problems posed by failing health and how that impacts on work are realistically portrayed by Jack, together with the paranoia and fear of losing one's job.
Mike continues to make a botch of it in his ham-fisted attempts to build bridges with Alma - not a good career move to cancel her credit cards at this point. It highlights the value of talking, keeping options open and not making any precipitative moves at this stage.
Comedy provided by the holiday from hell for the Platts, having failed to get away from the Battersbys - always good to see Les able to act the buffoon, a pity the involvement with Charlie West was so short-lived in this storyline. Good stuff.
Drama, powerful acting, sensitive script - just a few of the words to describe the current father/son storyline involving Fred and Ashley - although this particular episode was not quite as powerful as the previous episode's (which must go down as one of the finest bits of drama ever from Corrie), again this was a real joy to watch. We normally associate Fred and Ashley as a comedy duo, but this storyline has brought out some of the finest acting for a long time. This episode developed all the conflicting emotions in this sort of situation extremely well - in real life, I have come across a situation third hand with some parallels to this storyline and the coverage here is brilliant.
A quick summary - pretty good stuff. Not that much action but exploring well the issues involved in the situations portrayed - good script and well acted, especially the scenes with Fred, Ashley and Beryl.
Anyway that's it for now.. well, I can't stand here gabbin', I've got pies to shift.
Until the next time, take care... Tubby greetings and Tinkyluv from the Tinkster in Glorious Glossop.... Regards, Alan
Well, folks, another week goes by... and what a long one it's been! I feel as if it's a month since I last wrote an Update but nope, here I am again, a mere seven days on. Thankfully, Corrie is on top form at the moment and the last week of shows have been, IMHO, some of the finest episodes we've seen in ages, utterly superlative stuff with almost NOTHING to complain about whatsoever! Bearing this in mind, I'm sure you're desperate to read on, so let's skip a prologue and dance straight away down those famous cobbles into the Nation's Favourite Street.
(BTW, can you believe we're a mere DAY away from June? Woohoo, it's virtually summer already!)
Tonight's show opens at the Holiday Camp, in the Social Club area where Les is messing around with a tape machine, compiling some 'jingles' for tonight's DJing act as Janice and Toyah enter, all ready for a bus trip up to Rhyl for the day. Les, however, totally ignores their pleas for him to hurry up, assuring them he'll only be a few more minutes. He seems to have a quiz of some description planned for tonight, as well as his usual disco and ("it's a bit controversial, this"), he's considering adding a wet t-shirt contest to the bill (!)... A bored and unimpressed Janice intones sarcastically "Well, put us down then, me and Toyah, put us top of t'bill" which, of course, outrages Les who blurts "You wot? I'm not 'aving you, and as for her, that's perverted! She's my daughter!"... His wife reminds him that "everyone is somebody's daughter" which, thankfully, prompts him to confine the whole idea to the Dustbin Of History. Just then, Owen the sexy campsite assistant (TM) walks by and is stopped by Toyah who wonders if he's interested in going to Rhyl with them on the bus. Needless to say, he has to work today, syphoning out the contents of the septic tank to put it in the beer kegs (er, or something like that) despite it being a bank holiday (this boy NEVER stops working!). Janice goes off to make a bacon buttie, claiming that if Les isn't finished and ready to go in the next 10 minutes, he'll have to go without breakfast.
Meanwhile, at the House Of Elliot, Ashley is lounging in front of the Television watching "The Trap Door" (garish 80's children's TV programme with plastecine monsters, for the benefit of overseas readers - ALWAYS seems to be playing on Televisions in Coronation Street!) and eating chocolate cereal when Fred pops over to see how he's doing and offer him a lift to work today. Ashley would prefer to just "chill out" since it's a Bank Holiday but he says, reassuringly, that he'll be back at Freshcos tomorrow at 8:30am sharp... Fred appears to feel a little rejected about the fact that, after yesterday's talk (SIDENOTE: Said talk, in Sunday's Episode was one of the most staggeringly emotional scenes I've *EVER* seen in Corrie - utterly, devastatingly moving! If you missed this, you missed an all-time classic! But I digress...) Ashley is still not coming to work, but when Ash says he'll meet his, err, Uncle (?) in the Rovers for lunch, a big grin spreads across the face of the Burly Butcher who chirps "See you there, then!" and leaves merrily.
Over at the Holiday Camp, Les is about 20 minutes late getting back to the caravan for his breakfast, much to Janice's annoyance. Of course, Les couldn't give a toss, since he's the bearer of 'good news'. It seems Old Man Williams who runs the Camp has agreed to give them their Caravan pitch for free in return for Les doing his DJ Set every night until they leave! Janice is enraged by this, since she feels it defeats the whole purpose of the holiday, which was for them to be together as a family: "You'll be behind your mic, Toyah'll be wherever and I'll be sitting there like Billy No-Mates"... Her boorish husband's poor internal processor chip doesn't seem to compute such input (EMOTIONAL FAULT #F2478201: No Sense, No Feelings Error!), so he just laughs it off and wonders if she's up for some hanky-panky!
Back closer to home, Alma is at Audrey's getting ready to head out to work. The Lady Councillor herself enters and is shocked to see her current housemate heading out to work (wirrrk!??) of all places, remarking on what a lovely sunny day it is outside. Alma refuses to be tempted into skiving a sick-day so Audrey makes a compromise and suggests that they have a night on the tiles tonight, an idea which is reluctantly accepted. "Great!" chirps the Fragrant Lady, "You can contemplate life as a lady of leisure, because you know you can throw that uniform away once you get Mike's settlement! Just think about that!" (ahh, an ulterior motive for her recent generosity, how did I guess?)...
At T'Rovers, Nataleh serves Gareh and wonders why he's not at home helping Judeh with the Babehs, eh (eh?). He defends himself, claiming that she threw him out whilst she put the kids to sleep and it's his turn to give them a walk in the pram later that day. Interrupting this pleasantly innocuous little chat, Jack comes huffing and puffing out of the cellar, carrying (and having much trouble with) a large crate of beer. The Manly Mallett rushes to Jack's aid and valiantl escorts the crate from the cellar door over to the bar, as we cut across to the other side of the bar where Curly and Ashley are discussing something over a pint or two... Fred appears and makes his usual flamboyant entrance, slapping them both a friendly greeting on the back and asking jokily if Curly has come on behalf of Freshco to "poach" Ashley as well, since that's what he did with Nita Desai. As the Butcher proceeds to order a bag of nuts from Natalie ("Make them Kashews! Let's push the boat out!"), Curly maintains his honour, claiming that he didn't "poach" Nita, she came to him wanting a job at Freshco, etc etc. Ashley, a little irritated that a perfectly normal conversation has been turned to the subject of the store moans "Might as well've gone into work today, at least there we get paid to talk shop"... Meanwhile, over where we were previously, Natalie seems to have a proposition for Gareh (MISSUS!)... She would like him to help her with the shifting and carrying part of Jack's job. It's not that she wants to be rid of the Duckie altogether since she believes he's a great barman and a valuable member of staff, but she also knows he's not capable of the heavy work anymore and would love Gary to be able to do an hour a day of lifting for a fair wage of course. Obviously, the man from Mallett, he say "yes".
Meanwhile, in North Wales, Toyah sits by the side of the swimming pool moping until Martin Platt comes over to see what's wrong. It seems she was waiting for her parents at the bus stop for an hour "looking like a right mug" and they never showed up, thus the trip to Rhyl is obviously out of the question for today... At this point, Les bounds into the pool- area and starts extravagantly greeting all the bathers, reminding them at top volume what a rockin' disco it was last night and that there's another one on tonight! Janice, meanwhile, stands on the other side of the room being accosted by Owen who wants to talk more about what they did last night... She shuns him politely, telling him that now is not a good time, adding that she'd had a few drinks and can barely remember "last night"! We cut back to Les, who is chatting to a woman in a bathing suit called Theresa... "Oi, Theresa, here she comes now, my lovely lady wife!" he boasts, pointing to Janice who is heading towards him, "And she's not just lovely but she's game for a laugh!" - At this point, Les leaps across the room, swiftly grabs Janice, lifts her up as she protests vehemently, then throws her (gracelessly) fully-clothed into the swimming pool in front of a room full of cheering bathers... This, apparently, is his idea of "a laugh"... Janice is furious as she attempts to swim out of the pool and, at this point, Martin remarks to a tremendously embarrassed Toyah "I know, I know, sometimes you wish you were an orphan"...
At the Baldwin Flat, a shady Private Detective is talking to
Mike just before presenting him with a huge bill ("it's better
to pay as we go along") before telling him that he's made
very little progress in finding Julia Stone. He doesn't believe
that Julia Stone is her real name but can't offer much more information
than that, since he has no leads to go with. Mike is furious as
he shouts "this is the last cheque you'll get off me!"
before ranting about the police, who he thinks should've solved
this case themselves already... Yawn. Perhaps it's just that the
other storylines going on right now are infinitely more interesting
but this was the only scene all night that sent me half to sleep.
The words "Who" and "cares" spring to mind,
this 'blackmail' plot has gone on far too long... Luckily tho,
it's a cut to the commercial break now!
END OF PART ONE
Aiiiieeee, the pipes! The pipes! Whoever's idea it was to put bagpipes in the new Kit-Kat chocolate bar advert should be sacked! If there's one noise that really shouldn't be heard at 7:45 in the evening during a nice relaxing screening of the Nation's finest drama serial, it's bagpipes! I have trouble thinking of a more urgent and stressful sounding instrument! But anyhow, the torture lasts for about ten seconds, and, after a few equally brain-numbing ads, we soon return to the show.
Outside the Platt Caravan, Martin and Gail sit at a plastic table enjoying a bottle of wine together, whilst Sally has taken the kids down to the beach. They share a little bit of cute smalltalk which soon leads, inevitably, to Les Battersby:
Martin: (Eyes bulging) "Sorry, I'm turning into a B.B.B.BATTERSBY BORE!" (rofl! Sean Wilson never fails to make me laff with these lines!)
Gail: "Aw Martin..."
Martin: "It's not *just* him..."
Gail: "What, it's Janice and Toyah as well?"
Martin: (Getting irate) "No! It's not THEM! It's just the *likes* of him, we get 'em in work all the time. Battered and boozed, still givin' it loads... I mean, I go to football matches with Our David and they're down at the touchline getting all steamed up about a game! A game of football!"
Gail: (Trying to calm him down) "They're just yobs..."
Martin: "Yeah, well, but sometimes it seems they're taking over the world. I'm not being a snob here, Gail, but I just wanted to bring the kids here and get them away from all that, to relax."
Gail: (Smiling) "They've had a great time, and you know you can't wrap them up in cotton wool, they've got to find out for themselves.. We're lucky they've had good teachers."
Martin: "Yeah, we've not done bad have we?"
Gail: (Laughing) "Bad? We've done flamin' brilliant! Cheers!" (Toasts her wine glass)
Martin: (Laughing too) "Yeah, cheers."
Aww - Martin and Gail are such an underrated couple on this show, but as I've said so many times before, I think they're just tops! Largely of course due to the endearing performances of Sean Wilson and Helen Worth, both superb and such natural actors who shone in this scene. Martin's frustration at not being able to get away from the brickheads of this world wherever he goes (amen, brother, I know how you feel!) was well- portrayed and, shucks, they're just so sweet together when they have these little talks every now and then. That's what I think anyway. :)
So, back to the Rovers, where Emily is entering with an annoyed Curly who it seems has been to see a film at the cinema and come away disappointed due to the fact he couldn't hear the movie over "the sound of popcorn crunching and drink slurping and girls going out to the toilet" (just the girls? Do men not go to the loo anymore, Mr Watts??). Emily offers to buy him a drink but he insists that in fact, it's Nita's (who is standing nearby) round right about now... Why is this? Well, he's recently had some news from a colleague of his that the confirmation of a job offer at Freshco is on the way in the post to her as we speak! She's, of course, chuffed to bits about this but we shall have to wait and see just what her father has to say... I can bet it won't be pleasant, tho!! Across the room, Alma and Audrey enter dressed up to the nines and order two large drinks off of Jack... Lama insists that she doesn't want to stay long for fear of "bumping into Mike while dressed like this", but the Carefree Councillor is all for having as many drinks as they can, adding "this is precisely when you want to see him, make him remember what he's missing out on".
As we cut back to North Wales' premier Holiday Camp (yes, they *ARE* playing Black Lace's "Ag-A-Doo" in the background here), Les is still apologising to Janice for throwing her in the pool. She's not happy because her watch, which her "father bought her for her 18th birthday", has broken by going into the water, but Les ignores this and steps the ARSE-O-METER into 5th Gear, laughing "Bought? Ha, if you say so"... Ouch... Just then, Toyah enters and he grabs her firmly by the arm, urging her to "get up and dance, make the place look busy!" - Needless to say, she'd rather chew tinfoil than dance to "Ag-A-Doo", suggesting that he gets Gail (who has just entered) to do it instead... "If I'd wanted Pan's People, I'd've booked 'em!" (ROFLMAO! Classic line!!!) he howls, adding "I'll put something more happening on, now you get up there and strut your stuff, kid"...
Audrey and Alma are still in the Rovers, as the latter protests at the length of time they've been there, mentioning that the restaurant will be closed if they're not careful. The Fragrant Lady assures that it's one of "those bar/restaurant places that open til late" which worries her companion even more, who frets that it'll be full of "thirty-somethings with mobile phones" (she's right too, nauseating places!). Of course, Audrey tells her not to worry and heads for the bar to order another round ("What's your's? Milk stout and a bag of pork scratchings?" LOL!), as we cut to a table nearby where Nita sits with MIGHTY-MAUD and Emily, worrying about how to tell her father about the Freshco job offer. MIGHTY-MAUD is supportive, telling Nita that Ravi *should* be proud since she is "taking all the things he's taught you and taking them out into the big wide world", but Emily can understand how Mr Desai must be feeling... We soon cut away from this pleasant (not to mention well-acted (Support the campaign to keep Elizabeth Bradley in the show until the end of time!)) scene to behind the bar, where Natalie is *very* subtlely attempting to explain her plans for Gary to Jack. She assures Dynamo Duck that his barman duties won't be usurped by Gareh since he'll only be doing the "donkey work" and won't be near the bar. "Obviously, he'd be answering to you, as your assistant", she adds temptingly, "but of course we won't tell him that to his face"... Jack thinks it would be a good idea too, though hides much of his excess delight in the name of pride.
Back in North Wales, Owen nabs Janice as she walks across the campsite and tries to get in a heart-to-heart conversation that she is certainly NOT in the mood for. She basically tells him to bog off, but he is quite persistant and keeps pressing her for a talk about feelings, adding that she doesn't seem happy at all with her life.
Janice: "Look, you don't know the first thing about my life..."
Owen: "I know you work your fingers to the bone and no one notices. I know you crack jokes, funny jokes, and no one laughs... and when you're with Les, what you think doesn't count. You're invisible."
Janice: "You've got some nerve....."
Owen: "Sorry, I just see that. I see it and it knocks me sick. Janice, you're funny, you're kind, and generous. Your eyes go all crinkly when you laugh. You're lovely.."
She attempts to push him away with the suggestion that he's far too young and naive for her, adding that "last night was a mistake"... "Janice", he whispers, putting his hand on her shoulder, "Last night you admitted something to yourself. You deserve better"... Her face shows that he's hit a nerve... Well, folks, I know the dialogue may seem a tad trite in print and I know I'll probably make a few people's eyes pop out when I say this, but there's an incredible (but *REALLY* *REALLY* subtle) chemistry between these two actors (Kudos to Richard Harrington as Owen - *terrible* accent but a great performance nonetheless!) which makes their scenes together quite tense and believable.
Just as things get exciting though, we're forced back to the Rovers, where Alma and Audreh are *still* drinking (sorry to say it, but the Holiday Camp storyline is *FAR* more enjoyable than this). Sure enough, there are no prizes for guessing who should walk in just as they're about to leave. If you guessed CHARLIE WHELAN, then... I'm afraid to say you have far too vivid an imagination (yes, you Ms Johnston ;)) since it's only Mike Baldwin and, sure enough, Alma finds this very hard to cope with. As she leaves, she turns back and tells him guiltily "This is the first night out I've had, the first one!" but all he says in return is a casual, grunting "Sweet'eart, It's not my business anymore" before turning round and ordering a large Scotch... Ooooh, get him! Behind the bar, Judeh thanks Jack for his being so good about Natalie letting Gary help out with the cellar duties... He tells her that between the two of us, he's *glad* of the help. He'd just rather not tell the boss this. :)
Across the room, Ashley and Fred sit having a chat in a booth. Ashley wants him to "back off a bit", since he's worried about the two of them "living in each other's pockets" now that they've agreed to spend more quality time together. He wants to keep things as they were, something which initially seems to hurt Fred.
Fred: "But we've so much catching up to do..."
Ashley: "No we haven't, think about it... You know more about me than my own mother does, well, Beryl I mean. Most lads my age don't even want to talk to their parents if they can help it. Me and you, tho, we work together, we drink together, you're me landlord."
Fred: "But when all's said and done, I'm your..." (mouths the word silently) "...Father..." (goes back to his normal tone of voice!) "...and now you know, I want the world to know too!" (he starts to make a hand gesture for a shop sign) "ELLIOT AND SON!!!"
Ashley: (Firm, but not aggressive) "No."
Fred: "Whatdya mean no?"
Ashley: "In my head, me dad's me dad, that'll never change. You'll always be my Uncle Fred..." (he puts his hand gently on Fred's shoulder) "...but I'm closer to you than I ever was to him."
Fred: (Tentatively) "Are you?"
Ashley: (Smiling) "Course I am... I don't want to sound ungrateful, just truthful..."
Fred: (Smiling too) "Well then, I guess it's like they say. If it's not broken, don't fix it."
Fred: (Whimpering a little) "But... But... ELLIOT AND SON! Doesn't it sound... seductive?"
Ashley simply smiles and shakes his head... It has to be said, yet again, how brilliant these two are. This scene was very low-key compared to yesterday's earthmoving showdown but even now, the acting skills of this pair shine through in glorious technicolour. John Savident recently won a British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance but as he and Steven Arnold have proved over the last week or so, they are both capable of *infinitely* more than just comedy acting. This recent storyline with Ashley's parentage being revealed has been one of the most gripping, emotional and exciting plots they've had on Corrie for awhile, thanks in no small part to the acting involved. Massive applause from this corner!
The final scene tonight is almost equally as gripping. Toyah and Gail stand at the bar of the Social Club in North Wales' Premier Holiday Camp wondering where Janice is... Just then, Les' voice barks across the room like a bad dream as he proclaims "I wanna see you storm the floor!!" just before playing Status Quo's *AHEM* 'classic' "Rockin' All Over The World" and getting on the dancefloor himself for a little boogie, whilst all the while shouting enthusiastic "Get up here!"-type claptrap into the microphone. Toyah looks on in despair, confiding in Gail that she's never been so embarrassed... However, at this point, Les accidentally, whilst dancing, has crossed the bare wire of the microphone lead with an exposed wire on the stereo and suddenly experiences a *VERY* nasty electric shock indeed! Martin, as per usual, is on hand to offer medical advice, shouting "DON'T TOUCH HIM, HE'S HAD A SHOCK!", getting someone to turn the power off and asking someone else to call an ambulance as he goes to check Les, who is now lying unconcious on the floor... Toyah runs to him and starts panicking tearfully as Martin starts pounding on Les' chest, gasping "His heart's stopped, I've gotta get it going!"... Gail runs off to find Janice as Martin, with a slight bit of hesitation, administers the kiss of life to Les...
...as Janice gives a kiss of an entirely different, and FAR more passionate, variety to Owen outside behind the Caravan, obviously seeing sense in what he'd told her before. They are interrupted by Gail (don't worry, she didn't see anything), who shouts "It's Les! He's been electrocuted!" - The look on Janice's face turns, within a space of seconds, from casual, contented bliss to total panic and overwhelming guilt as she runs back with Gail to the Social Club... Inside, Martin has managed to get "a faint pulse" out of Les (better than usual, then ;)) and is told by the manager that the ambulance has a fifteen minute drive to make before it can get to the camp... Toyah is crying her eyes out at this point and is terrified that her stepfather may not last this long, but Martin tells her calmly that it'll be ok, before getting her assistance to roll Les over. Janice comes running in and heads straight to her unconcious husband, screaming "What happened!??" - Toyah tells her, fretfully, that Martin saved Les' life and that he could've died... Janice starts crying to and wraps her arms around Les, holding him close...
Wow. It has to be said that words really cannot do justice to the power of this scene. There are a million actors and actresses who would simply have read out the lines from the script in the way they were written but Sean Wilson, Georgia Taylor and *ESPECIALLY* Vicky Entwistle gave it *far* more than that, making it a poignant, explosive moment indeed. Like I said, words fail me. Brilliantly executed stuff. Well done to all involved!
This episode was written by Jan McVerry and was, as with all the episodes this week, quite excellent. I've commented far too much during the update itself to form a proper epilogue without repeating myself, but all in all, this was a top-notch piece of TV drama. The Mike and Alma story is the only one that I'm personally not getting much enjoyment out of at the moment although, that said, it *IS* being well-played. I think it's just overshadowed by some of the other plots going on at the moment, like the stunning Fred/Ashley scenes and the Holiday Camp Saga.
Let's hope we can have much more of the same with Corrie at this high standard... File under Top Drawer Entertainment... 'Til Next Time! :)