Have plenty of tissues at the ready, another weepy night tonight!
We open in the Peacock/Elliot household, Ashley is still in his dressing gown and Fred starts telling him to shake himself, thereās a shop to open. Ashley tells him heās got to look for a new nanny, and Fred is shocked. He thinks Claire is ungrateful, and has no loyalty, until Ashley tells him he told her to take the job. Fred is convinced Claire doesnāt want to leave, and that Ashley doesnāt really want her to either. He reckons sheās very fond of Joshua and Ashley too. Ashley thinks heās talking daft. Fred hopes that things will change by the time sheās worked her notice out, but Ashley tells him sheās leaving tonight, the Stanfords are flying out to Florida and Claire is going with them.
In the back room of the pub, Bev is nursing yet another hangover while Shelley remonstrates with her. Bev is sure Deirdre will never forgive her, and wonders if she should go round and apologise. ĪAgain?ā Shelley splutters, and Bev groans. Shelley wonders what Charlie will say when he finds out.
Meanwhile, over at the Barlowās, Deirdre is beating eggs and fuming. Ken tries, as usual, to pour oil on troubled waters, saying she got hold of the wrong end of the stick and sheās probably mortified now. Deirdre now understands where Ken got the idea from, but how does he think she feels? Deirdre is also worried that Bev might have voiced her suspicions to other people, her reputation is at stake.
Back at the Peacock residence, Ashley is now dressed and Fred is off to work. He tells Ashley that if the agency hasnāt got a suitable nanny, they can try other agencies, they are entitled to a monthās notice. Just then Claire arrives, and Fred storms off, telling Claire that they want their heads banging together, as Ashley goes off to answer the phone. Ashley gets off the phone and tells Claire heās been ringing round agencies but they havenāt got anybody. She seems relieved and says she didnāt really fancy Florida anyway, but prefers Blackpool. She burns too easily and has to wear dark glasses and a polo neck. They seem to forget themselves for a moment and laugh together about this. Then Ashley tells her that was the agency back on the phone, a new girl has registered and sheās coming for an interview. Claire seems a little crestfallen by this, but collects herself and goes off to get Josh changed.
Out in the Street, Todd sees Sarah about to go into the caf to work, and calls her. He tells her heās got an interview for the porterās job at the hospital. She can see he likes working at the hospital, it counts for a lot liking the people you work with. At that moment Vera opens the caf door and demands to know if Sarah is going to stand there nattering all day. Sarah sighs and follows her in.
Walking along the street, Maria and Nick also have interviews on their minds. Nickās interview for a new job is tomorrow and Maria is delighted to think that he might soon be earning more money. Just as they part company she tells him she wants to cook dinner that evening. ĪYou?ā Nick is incredulous, but she tells him to tell his mother at lunchtime. He says he will.
Mike Baldwin is just getting out of his car at the factory as Nick hurries past him. Just then Penny King draws up in her car and hoots to get Mikeās attention. He goes over and she asks if he will help her with interviews tomorrow for managers for her factory. He says he will, but thought she might not have been speaking to her after he told her he didnāt want things to get too heavy between them. She assures him she never gave it a second thought, and he seems amazed. They agree to meet at the Rovers at 7pm to go through the interview questions.
Deirdre is just stepping through her front door as Charlie walks past. She tells him about Bev telling Ken of their supposed affair, and Charlie says he bailed out just in time.
At Ashleyās house the doorbell rings, the nanny has arrived for her interview. Claire offers to make herself scarce, but Ashley asks her to stay around and see what she thinks. He goes to the door and brings in Claire Mark II (Wendy)! This girl is similar colouring to Claire, is wearing her hair in a pony tail the same as Claire is wearing hers, and also has on a pink t-shirt. Ashley tells her that Claire is off to a job with her own flat, car and holidays abroad, and apologises that he canāt offer her the same. Wendy says its all right, sheās easy to please. Claire indignantly starts to say that so is she, she never asked for any of it. Ashley says its because she is such a brilliant nanny that she was offered the job. They then sit down on the sofa, as Wendy coos over Josh, and Ashley starts the interview. Claire looks on uncomfortably, from the doorway.
Over in the butcherās, Audrey is chatting to Fred. She thinks maybe it is a bit soon after Maxine for Ashley. Fred says you canāt choose, and heād be a fool to let Cupidās arrow go past, it might be last one in his quiver! Talking of Cupidās arrows, Audrey asks if thereās anything Fred would like to tell her, and so he tells her about Penny King. She warns him not to go proposing, and he tells her heās going to take things very slowly.
Back at Ashleyās, the interview is in progress. Wendy seems to be giving all the right answers and Claire looks increasingly fed up as she leans in the doorway. She interrupts once or twice, telling them the things Josh likes and dislikes. She also takes her hair out of the pony tail and lets it loose around her shoulders. Ashley asks if sheād go and put the kettle on, and follows her out to the kitchen. He asks what she thinks, he thinks Wendyās all right, but gets the impression that Claire hasnāt taken to her. Claireās face is a picture before she turns to him and says that she thinks Wendy is very good. Ashley goes straight back into the living room and offers Wendy the job. Claire looks sadly on in the doorway.
Ashley then shakes hands with Wendy, saying heāll be in touch to sort out a starting date. Claire shows her out.
At the Platt household, Gail is just going back to work when Maria comes in with two shopping bags. Gail says if sheād known Maria was coming in for lunch she would have made her something. Maria notices a pan full of peeled potatoes sitting on the cooker. ĪWhatās that?ā she demands to know. Gail, stating the obvious, tells her itās the potatoes for tonight. ĪBut Iām cooking!ā Maria wails, ĪI told Nick to tell you.ā Nick looks up from the table and admits he forgot. Gail says never mind, Maria can cook another night, sheās doing a pot roast tonight, sheās already got the meat out. Maria pouts and says sulkily sheās already got this - and waves the shopping bags aloft. Nick butts in and says maybe they could have the pot roast another night. Well, what Nick wants, Nick gets as far as Gail is concerned, so she says ok, and maybe Maria could use the potatoes anyway. Maria says that actually she was planning something a bit more special. Gail smiles serenely and says sheāll look forward to it. After sheās gone, Maria strops a bit more. Nick wonders why, she got what she wanted. ĪYes,ā moans Maria, Ībut now Iām on flippinā trial, thereās no way I can cook beefburgers now!ā
At the hospital, Todd runs into Karl. They chat a bit about their experience in the lift the day before, and Todd tells him he is applying for the porterās job after all. He tells Karl that he and some of the lads are going for a pint after work and invites him to join them.
Claire has called in at the butchers with Josh to see Ashley on their way to the park. Fred has gone to see his accountant, and Claire asks Ashley if heās told his dad yet about Wendy. Ashley says he hasnāt, heād only go on. He then gives Claire a long, lingering look and tells her that Fred is very fond of her. Thereās a long pause as the two of them look at each other, and then Claire says, awkwardly, that she could always stay on after Wendy starts, to show her the ropes. Ashley says he thinks that would be confusing for Josh, and anyway heās rung Wendy and she starts tomorrow, he didnāt see why Claire should miss out on the Florida trip. Claire looks crestfallen yet again, and says heās right.
In the caf, Maria rushes in clutching a magazine and asks Vera how to get the zest of a lemon. Sheās cooking the meal from a recipe in the magazine, but doesnāt know what the zest of a lemon is. Jack looks up from a table and tells her to grate the peel. Vera wants to know how on earth he knew that, and he tells her its amazing what you learn from daytime tv. She says right, he can put it into practice and make tea tonight.
Charlie comes in and Jack congratulates him on seeing Bev, a barmaid, he can get free beer now. Charlie doesnāt seem too pleased and tells him he wonāt be leaving his wallet at home just yet.
Audrey is just locking up the hairdressers when Ashley walks past. She tells him Fred told her that Claire is leaving, and Ashley says yes, itās her last day. Audrey thinks Ashley will miss her more than he is letting on. Ashley is cross to think what Fred has told her, if he felt like that he wouldnāt be getting rid of her. Audrey says oh, itās getting rid not letting go? Ashley doesnāt like it when Fred talks like that, Maxine was his whole world. Audrey tells him gently that she knows she was, just like Alf was to her, but that feeling fades, real life takes over, and thatās how it should be. She tells him it doesnāt mean they are forgotten, it just means he has to start living his life, or start a new one.
In the pub, Bev slopes out of the back room, Shelley needs her in the bar now that Ciaran has gone home. Fred comes in and calls her to serve. He orders drinks for him and Mike who is standing at the bar, and then one for Audrey who arrives. He then goes off to the gents, and Audrey tells Mike about Fred liking Penny King. Mike is stunned, especially when Audrey tells him that she thinks the feeling is mutual, and how theyāve had a grand time on holiday together in Yorkshire. Mikeās jaw drops almost to the bar!
Deirdre comes in and asks for a word with Bev, who looks very sheepish. Deirdre wants to know who else sheās told, but Bev swears there was no one. She apologises and says she got her wires crossed. Deirdre is understandably cross, and points out that she told her there was nothing going on, she should have believed her. Bev wonders if they can put it behind them but Deirdre says they canāt and she doesnāt think Charlie can either. Bev is horrified to learn that Charlie knows about it. Deirdre then storms out.
Ashley is looking at a photo of Maxine with Josh when Claire comes downstairs, sheās put Josh down for a nap. Ashley tells her heās not trying to get rid of her, sheās been brilliant and Wendy wonāt be a patch on her. Claire says of course she will and heāll soon forget all about her, but Ashley protests that he wont. Sheās rung the Stanfords, they are going to pick her up from her mumās at 8pm. Ashley gives her a cheque for her pay plus an extra month. Then he tells her she canāt go without saying goodbye to his dad, so they decide that she will go home and pack and come back with her bags. The Stamfords can pick her up from there instead. She says she would like to put Josh to bed for one last time.
Episode 2, Monday, March 1.
Late, I know, but the Farmers Union kept me! I taped both episodes and I'm very grateful to Anne for warning me to stock up on tissues -- I needed them and you might, too.
We open in Ashley's kitchen we he is sitting with a newly talkative Josh. Claire comes back and they make smalltalk (very small, in Josh's case) until Ashley says: "Josh got you a present." Claire opens it to find they are sunglasses. Josh even manages a line of his own here. "Can I open it now?" Claire asks. "Yes," says the wee man. Fred comes in and demands to know what's going on. There are suitcases in the hall. They tell him and he is quite shocked. He thought Claire was going to work out her notice. "It's all organised," Ashley tells him. "The new nanny starts tomorrow." He suggests they open some wine to celebrate, but Fred protests there is nothing to celebrate." Of course there is. "Who wouldn't want to be nanny for a millionaire." Er . . that young lady in the corner, by the looks of it.
At Gail's house, Gail wants to know what the smell is. Orange? No, it's lemon, Maria tells her. "Lemon chicken? Ambitious," says Gail. On the sofa, Nick is offering David £2 to eat all his dinner. "What if it stinks?" David asks. "Five and I'll say it's the best meal I've ever eaten.'' Maria asks Nick to step into her kitchen for a moment. Mini-crisis time. The chicken is pink. "Should I put it in the microwave for a minute?" Nick makes a non-committal noise. David wonders how much longer he will have to wait -- he's starving.
Fred demands to know what Ashley thinks he is doing. Ash says he's making everybody happy. "I'm not happy," Fred points out.
The lemon chicken is ready, quite some time after David's usual mealtime of 6pm. Nick bravely takes a bit and looks surprised. "It's delicious," he says. Gail takes a bite and also looks surprised. "It's good to know someone can step into the breach," she says. Maria mentions that the chicken is quite dry, but Gail says it doesn't matter because there is plenty of sauce and sauce covers a multitude of sins. "What's that mean?" asks Maria. Gail changes the subject and mentions how warm the food is -- many people forget to warm the plates. David is tucking in. "Best meal I've ever had," he says, "and I'd say that even if he wa'nt paying me." Maria is told the full story of the £5 bribe, which Nick claims was not serious. But she is horrified that he would have so little confidence in her ability. She slaved for hours over this meal. David says she can cook for him any time, and asks what is for pudding. Maria is aghast. She hasn't made any. Gail says there is some cheesecake in the fridge. That cheers up David, but it's Maria who is simmering.
Fred and Ashley have found Claire's passport while she is upstairs with Josh. "Take a good look at her while you've got the chance," Fred tells Ashley. "She'll be gone in an hour." Ashley says he's going to the shop. There are six carcasses that need jointing. "You can't run away," Fred says to Ashley's retreating back. Upstairs, Claire is confiding in Josh. "I don't really want to go," she says. "Block!" says Josh. "But I can't say that, can I?" "Block," says Josh. "I wish you could talk," she says. "Block. Block," Josh insists, waving one at her. "I wish you could tell me how you really feel." "Block, block block!" But we viewers know she is no longer talking to Josh. "But maybe you don't feel anything," Claire says. "Maybe it's only my wishing for things that aren't really there." She is crying and tells Josh she'll stay upstairs with him for a while.
In the Rovers, Bev is apologising to Charlie, but she can't even look him in the face. Vera is eavesdropping. Charlie tells Bev he 's only there for a quiet drink. When Bev leaves the bar, Vera sidles over the Charlie and compliments the work he did on her extension. Then she asks him straight out: "Have you and Bev had a falling out, have you?" In a corner, Mike and Penny are talking. He asks her why she didn't tell him about going away with Fred. She replies that he didn't tell her about his holiday. "It was just a golf trip," he says. She asks why he wants to know about her and Fred, and Mike tells her he's worried about Fred. Fred is very vulnerable. It's none of Mike's business, Penny insists. She asked him for help with the interviews, not for advice on her love life.
Fred tells Claire the notes she made on Josh's likes and dislikes are very comprehensive. She asks where Ashley is and Fred says he has gone to the shop to joint some carcasses. "There's not much romance in the language of butchery," he explains. "He loves you, you know. . . (Claire's whole face lights up) our Josh. Loves you to bits. We all do." He asks if she will reconsider leaving, and mentions the wages. But Claire tells him it's not about the money. "Are you not happy?" She says she is very happy. "It's our Ashley, isn't it?" "It's time for me to move on," she insists. "It's a great opportunity." "You've fallen for him," Fred says. "I can see it in your face." Claire lets her feelings show on her face and says she's tried not to fall for Ashley, she knows it's wrong. "Nay, nay, lass, it's not wrong" Fred says, bending to clutch her, gripping her arms (I love it when he's like this). "I think he feels the same way about you." He gets her to admit that she will stay if Ashley asks her, but she has just half an hour before Mrs Stamford comes to pick her up. Fred sets off to fetch Ashley with the parting comment: "The Peacock skull may be notoriously thick, but I think I can knock some sense into it."
Mike walks into the living room with Claire. I thought I'd written down the wrong setting for him here, but he was really in Ashley's front room, though I'm not sure he's been there before. He's called to see if Fred wants to go to the pub for a drink. "Oh," says Claire, "You've just called to see if your mate can come out to play." Mike looks quite entranced.
Over at the shop, Ashley is hacking away at some meat. "What are you doing?" roars his Dad. "Come and stop her going! She'll stay if you ask her." But Ashley says he can't do it. It wouldn't be fair to deny Claire this opportunity. "Do you not like her?" Ashley says he does like her. "Do you want her to be happy?" "She will be happy insists Ashley. "She'll have everything she wants. "SHE WANTS TO STAY!" roars his exasperated father. Ashley says she'll change her mind once she gets to Florida. "I know it's time to let her go." "She's not some lion cub you're releasing into the wild," Fred says. He demands to know if Ashley loves Claire. "You shouldn't be asking me that question." "You great big clod, it's the only question that matters," Fred says. "I can't love her," says Ashley. "I'm a married man and I love my wife." Fred points out that Ashley's wife is dead. "Yes, but that doesn't stop me loving her."
Back at the house, Claire is confiding in Mike that in her job it is hard not to get emotionally involved. "It ties me up in knots, sometimes." She says that maybe if we all stopped worrying we'd find out that life's a lot simpler than we think. Mike decides he can't wait any longer and gets up to leave.
In the shop, Ashley is explaining that it's too soon. "Really?" asks Fred. "How does it work? Have you a date set? Have you it marked in your diary, the date it's not too soon and Maxine becomes just a cherished memory?" Ashley says he will know when the time is right. How? "What would Maxine want?" asks Fred. "Do you think she'd want you hiding in here while that lovely lass walks out of your life forever?" He accuses Ashley of running away, which Ashley admits. "I'm running away because I'm scared." "Good!" says Fred. "I'm glad you're scared. Because I'm scared 'n'all -- scared you're about to make a stupid mistake and lose that girl forever." He urges Ashley to talk to Claire and tell her how he feels. Ashley finally agrees and Fred says he'll go back and tell Claire Ashley is on his way.
On his way, he sees Mrs Stemford arrives and suggests she wait in the car while he fetches Claire.
Ashley leaves the shop, without bothering to shut or lock the doors, and sees Mrs Stamford waiting. He waits around the corner.
In the Rovers, Bev is offering Deirdre a free drink, admitting it's a token gesture. Deirdre is not ready to forgive or forget. Bev scuttles away out the back and Shelley and Ken try to persuade Deirdre to at least forgive.
Fred is telling Claire that Ashley will be there any minute, but she doubts it. Mrs Stamford comes barging into the house to take Claire away. "Oh," she says, noticing Fred. "You can bring her bags."
Ashley dashes into the Rovers just as Charlie is on his way out. Charlie is followed closely by Shelley, who urges him to give Bev another chance. He says to tell Bev to stop fretting. There are a lot more important things in life.
Fred is outside talking to Claire by the car. But she says it's too late and she cries as she kisses him goodbye.
In the Rovers, Ashley has ordered a double Scotch. He's still wearing his bloodied apron, but Mike doesn't seem to notice as he tells Ashley what Claire said: That life is simple. It's us worrying about it that makes it complicated. Ashley dashes out.
"They've just gone. RUN," Fred shouts, and Ashley is off. But it is too late and he can't catch up to the car. He stands in the street, totally bereft, all alone.
And as we wait for the theme music, he spots Claire in the shop!!! He goes
in and she says she couldn't go without saying goodbye. She'll get a taxi to
the airport later.
"You can't go," he says. "I've got to. They'll be waiting for me," says Claire.
"It's best for all of us if I go." Ashley says she looks lovely. "Please stay. I'm asking you. My Dad said if I asked you, you'd stay.
"i need you here with me. When Maxine died a part of me died, too. The part that lets you love somebody. But then you came into my life and everything changed, not like some massive thunderbolt, but in a slow, gentle way -- so slow and gentle I never seen it coming. You woke me up, Claire. When I look at you I don't see grey, wet Weatherfield. I see sunshine and the sun and flowers. Please stay. Not for Joshua. For me."
"I'll be in so much trouble," she says, her face beaming. "I love you," he says. "I love you, too." They kiss and Claire remembers her suitcase and clothes. Ashley says they'll go and fetch them. "In a minute, eh," says Claire, and they kiss again.
(I thought Fred was standing outside the shop watching them, but I rewound the tape and realised the camera was inside the shop and it wasn't Fred, it was a couple of carcasses!)
Evening all. Baby free zone tonight
Tonight's episode starts not surprisingly with Ashley and Claire the next morning, while they are going on about their newly declared love for each other, young Joshua luckily unaware of all this, is playing in his cot after having his breakfast, both Ashley and Claire seem slightly uneasy with their new relationship.
It is Nick's interview for the new job today and Gail suggests that he buy the doctor's car when he gets the job, Maria is just coming down the stairs now and just catches the end of the conversation, Nick reckons he may have a surprise for her at the end of the day.
Ashley has turned up for work now, Fred is already there and seems slightly surprised to see Ashley so soon thinking that he and Claire would want to spend some time together, Fred thinks Ashley has upset Claire but Ashley says they are both still nervous of each other, Fred reckons a grand romantic gesture is required!
At the factory the football team has been published and training will start soon, Nick arrives just in time for work and Mike tells him he will be out all day and gives him his orders.
Ashley has returned home for his break, Claire is getting Joshua ready to take out, once they start talking things seem to be getting a bit easier, Ashley is going to take Claire out for a romantic evening.
Mike has turned up at Penny's factory to help with the interviews, Penny calls the next applicant in - and shock horror it is Nick Tilsley!!!
Back in the street Ashley gives Claire a kiss while Norris, (open-mouthed and speechless - that makes a change) Maria and Candice look on, Norris cant wait to congratulate Claire and Candice cannot believe that someone would give up a car, more money, plenty of paid holidays to live in Weatherfield (frankly nor can I but there you go!). Norris offers Claire his congratulations. Maria has told Audrey the news about Claire and Ashley so it will be all round the street in about five seconds now. Maria then tells Audrey of the problems she is having with Gail, but she adds, if Nick gets the job then they will be off from Gail's clutches.
If Maria only knew what was going on at the same time - Nick is getting a hard time from Mike Baldwin who seems to have taken on the role of inquisitor for this interview and Penny is not getting a look in, Mike asks about a reference from the current employer (himself) and punctuality and commitment from employees. Mike then dismisses Nick without so much as asking Penny if she has any questions. Oh dear Nick - I wonder for how much longer you will be working.
At the Rovers Audrey and Gail are having a drink, Audrey brings up the subject of Maria, Audrey thinks Gail is being critical of Maria and the only reason that Gail asked Maria to move in was to stop Nick from leaving, Gail then leaves Audrey to it as she is not going to change her attitude towards Maria.
Mike and Penny have turned up now and the topic of conversation is Nick and where and for whom he will be working, if he doesn't get the job at Penny's firm I cant see him being at Mike Baldwin's for much longer!
Ashley also arrives now for pint and Audrey also says she is happy for them.
Nick has arrived home and tells Gail that Mike was conducting the interview, looks like the car will have to wait but Maria is more interested in making sure the deposit can be continued with than any concern for Nick.
Over at the Kabin Sally is trying to sell tickets for "Grease" to Emily and Norris, as both are music lovers they are keen to miss Rosie - however, despite Emily's bid to escape the dread performance by saying she hasn't got any money with her Sally gives her a ticket and says she will see her later in the Rovers. Its Norris's turn next and he says he wont be free, Sally says its on for a few days and will be back tomorrow to find out what day he will be free. Penny pops in for a packet of crisps and then is followed by Fred who invites her round for a sandwich as they are better than crisps, looks like both Norris and Audrey have arranged the big romance between Ashley and Claire going by their comments.
Claire has arrived now for the night out and Fred finds out they are going for a pizza - how romantic. Fred is quite happy to do the babysitting as Penny will be keeping him company.
Back at the Rovers Sally is having a drink at the bar - trying to get the courage up to sell more tickets to unwilling victims I suspect, at one of the tables Emily, Ken and Norris are discussing Ashley and Claire, Sally makes her way over and asks Emily for the £5 for the ticket, Norris suggests she sells Ken a ticket, Sally has gone one ticket left, Ken however doesn't want it as the gazette will be sending him some tickets so that he can do a review. Sally's little eyes light up when she hears this and offers to buy Ken a pint as doing the review will be good for Rosie's career - not if he says the truth it wont.
Ashley and Clare are enjoying their pizza and generally getting to know each other better, Claire says she would much rather be with Ashley than anywhere else, "really" says Ashley - he doesn't believe it himself either... This all starts getting quite tedious then
Over to Fred's where Penny is having the mega size sandwich, when she leaves Fred gets a quick peck on the cheek.
Ashley and Claire are outside the restaurant and Ashley looks like he is suffering from indigestion or something Maxine shaped and decides to walk home, he leaves Claire with the fare for the taxi and says he will see her tomorrow - is this the end of the new relationship!
That's all folks!
I do realise that I have not been here for three weeks and this update is running late. However it is my birthday weekend and I have been otherwise occupied - Corrie therefore came last.
Events on the Street are copyright Granada Television plc, written by Ken Blakeson, directed by Ian Bevitt and sponsored by Cadburys.
Ashley is feeding Joshua. Ashley is reluctant to discuss his evening whilst Fred is surprised that Claire is not upstairs. Ashley still has his concerns. Fred regards Penny's arrival in his life as nothing short of a miracle. Claire arrives and Fred tells Ashley to take his time before going to work - Fred will open up. Ashley and Claire discuss the way the previous evening ended. Claire knows he is not over Maxine - whom he still loves - as he admits. Claire thinks it best if she goes at the end of the day. Claire does not want that - but she cannot complete with an absent ghost ever time they get close. Ashley apologises and tells Claire that he wants her under his feet. After Max died he only had the baby to live for - but now there is someone else - he tells Claire he loves her and he is sorry for being so stupid. He does not want anything to come between them again. They hug and she is happy.
Nick and Maria are discussing his interview and the impact on going to work for Mike. Nick is not going to apologise to Mike - despite Gail's comments that Mike makes a very bad enemy.
Ken is asking Kev to look at the car and then explains that his review of the show has to be fair and honest. Kev knows exactly what he means.
Fred is on the phone asking Penny to go out with him for the evening. Ashley arrives at work and is a much improved mood, no longer pensive - but on top of the world and he puts his arm around Fred. Fred says the house will be empty - and Ashley and Claire can use it all.
Mike summons Nick into his office. They discuss his job application. Nick wants responsibility. Mike tells Nick he will get nothing from Penny King. Nick asks if he is being sacked. But Mike tells him he will be getting a raise and will be taking on more responsibility. Nick thanks Mike who sends him out to work even harder.
Sally wants a posted put up in the window and then tries to sell tickets to Rosie's show to everyone in sight. Liz and Bev refuse as does Norris. He refuses to attend anything which is of amateur status - he has no inclination of sitting through two hours of caterwauling teenagers.
Nick's good news is being celebrated in the Rovers and Maria makes her pleasure clear. Gail uses Maria's departure to suggest a little treat. She reminds Nick of the little sports car she has seen. Nick reminds her that they are supposed to be saving but evil Gail waves her magic mouth and convinces simple minded Nick that Maria will probably enjoy driving around the Lakes in a little open top number. Nick gives it a second thought and decides that investigating buying a car might not be a bad idea.
Fred tells Audrey that he thinks Penny King is serious about a relationship. Audrey points out the age difference but Fred seems convinced. Audrey reckons anyone would be lucky to get Fred (except herself of course - she turned him down some time ago as we all recall).
Ashley asks Claire to stay for dinner - she wants to go home and get changed - she will pick the wine up on the way back.
At Kev's they are eating dinner. He tells Sally about his chat with Ken and the probable absence of favours. Sally is convinced that Rosie will get a good review because she is talented. Sally then tells Sophie that if she had a talent they would encourage that. Sally tells Kev that he must talk Sophie round who is not get as much attention. Kev reckons that Sally is trying to live her life through Rosie - he does not reckon that Rosie is as talented as Sally does - certainly that she is not a Catherine Zeta Jones. He departs to the pub to talk to someone more normal.
Nick shows Maria the new sports car he has bought - he has used his savings and Maria immediately clicks that it will mean that they get to stay at Gail's even longer. Boy is she angry!! She knows he does not want to leave his mum. Gail wanders up as Maria storms off. A smile plays around Gail's mouth as Nick follows Maria to try and talk her round (reminder Gail learnt all of this trickery at mother-in-law Ida's knee - what comes around goes around one might say).
At a restaurant Fred is wining and dining Penny. Fred reckons that she should have numerous staff to see her home. She admits it is a long time since she has been out with a man. She and Preston were not a perfect couple. They may even have stayed together because even if not happy she was secure. Fred asks if she has considered getting married again - Penny responds that she might if the right person comes along. At the end of the meal Fred asks her to join him for a drink. He reckons she deserves the best. Fred wants to ask her a question - will she marry him? Penny is flattered and surprised. Fred tries to withdraw the offer. She wants to think about it - which is a surprise to Fred - so he tells her to sleep on it.
And Claire arrives looking very smart - and Ashley tells her to open the wine - the corkscrew is by the fridge. She looks at the fridge door and he has spelt out "I love you" with the magnetic letters that all families with children have. She sees it, smiles and he says he meant what he said. They kiss several times and Ashley is dragged upstairs by Claire and Joshua starts crying. Ashley goes back downstairs.
Three cheers for Kev. Ashley - are you sure? Fred - you silly old buffer - how many is it now? Sal - listen to Kev. Penny, just say no. Nick - do you understand anything. Gail - when did you become quite so devious? You were unable to handle Leanne as I recall.
K Richard W
We start tonightās episode with Nick and Maria still arguing about the car. Maria is slamming around the kitchen looking for honey and Nick is trying to justify why he bought the car. David comes down and adds to the shouting by saying that they have woken him up. Gail then swans in and remarks about them still arguing about the car and asks Nick for a lift into town - and offers to put petrol in the car. Maria storms off to the caf for breakfast and Gail looks delighted.
Ashley and Fred are recapturing the proposal and Ashley looks perplexed at his fatherās behaviour. Claire comes in and looks pleased to hear Fredās news. Its Ashleyās day off and so Fred has set an answer machine message should Penny ring. Claire wonders why Ashley is being so unsupportive and he explains that he has seen it all before.
Les is packing the cab with Cilla's bags and queries whether the place she is going to is a destination for a hen weekend - she promises to make it up to him when she comes back.
Dev then rolls up with Karen and Steve - Karen has had extensions and so is now supporting a rather odd looking hairstyle. She then has a quiet word with Dev and asks if Tracy is still around.
Audrey and Maria are walking back in the salon when a car beeps them. Audrey queries whether it is Nick and Maria tells her how fed up she is and that Gail is undermining everything she does - Audrey looks concerned.
Liz is lying on the sofa in Karen and Steveās flat, red silk dressing gown, loud telly and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth when they both walk in. Karen looks less than pleased but tries to be nice about it. Liz says that she wasnāt expecting them back so soon. Karen then goes off on one about Tracy and that she and Steve have spoken about it and that she is not going to ruin their lives - she then walks out. Liz and Steve look at each other with raised eyebrows.
Mike is in the factory when Penny comes in waving a pair of knickers as a truce flag about the Nick situation. Mike tells her that he doesnāt care what happened. Penny then confides in Mike and tells him about Fredās proposal. He tells her that she could do worse.
Dev and Steve are in the cab office and Dev is winding Steve up about the honeymoon and the topics of conversation regarding Tracy and the baby. Liz walks in and starts having a go at him in her annoying voice going on about your daughter and my granddaughter. Steve gets really cross and says that Tracy was a one night stand and he does not care, love or want the baby and that is that.
Penny and Mike are stocktaking and Penny is still going on about Fred and what to do. She comes to the conclusion that she doesnāt want to marry him but telling him will be like kicking a puppy - Mike tells her that she must put him out of his misery.
David is lying on the sofa and Maria walks down stairs with her hair in a towel. Nick walks in with a bunch of flowers and some honey - she also asks for a lemon and David gets sent out to buy one. She tells him why she is cross and he apologises about the car he then tells her he loves her and they both go soppy. She asks for a drive in the car and he suggests that they look for flats at the same time.
Fred comes in and is disappointed that there are no messages - he suggests ringing her but Ashley tells him not to hassle her and that she will contact him when she is ready.
Back at Gailās she is folding shirts whilst chatting to Audrey. Audrey remarks on Nickās car and is taken aback when Gail tells her that it was her idea for him to buy it. Gail immediately retorts ćyouāve been speaking to Moaning Mini thenä. Audrey doesnāt like that comment and tells her that she is a lovely girl. Gail then goes off on one about how many girls looked at Nick when he was driving his car and that he should be playing the field not hooked up with a back street hairdresser who is using him for her passport out of Weatherfield - at this moment Audrey snorts and reminds Gail that Nick is only a gopher for Mike Baldwin. She then warns Gail that if she continues to interfere she will drive them away like she did with Sarah and Todd.
Pennyās mobile rings and she tries to ignore it but Mike wont let her. She eventually answers it and its Fred. She is evasive with him and tells him that she is busy and that she will get back to him as soon as she has made up her mind. Mike calls her a chicken and says that if that was him on the other end of the line he would have got the message. She retorts that if it was him on the other end of the line he might have got a different answer. Mike looks scared at this until Penny tells him she was only joking.
Fred is pouring himself a whisky and Ashley asks if he has rung her. Claire tries to look on the bright side and suggests that Penny might have been pleased in case she thought Fred hadnāt meant it. This cheers Fred up no end.
Maria and Nick are kissing and she is saying that he has more grovelling to do and they head for the bedroom only to run straight into Gail. A massive row then breaks out between Gail and Maria and Gail (on purpose) lets it slip that she suggested Nick bought the car. Maria goes mad at this and tells Nick that she is leaving. He patronises her and tells her not to be silly. She denies that she is being silly and that she is doing the first sensible thing in a long time and leaving and she storms upstairs.
Janice and Karen are chatting and drinking on the sofa at Karenās and Steve. Karen is going on about how everything is fine between her and Steve and then goes on to tell Janice how worried she is about being on the same street as Tracy and she is not sure how it will all work out and how Steve will cope having to watch his daughter grow up over the road.
Nick comes downstairs and tells Gail and David that Maria wont talk to him - Gail accuses her of playing games. Maria then walks downstairs with her bags and asks him if he staying there or going with her. He tells her that he is going nowhere - she wishes him and Gail a happy life together and storms out.
Penny is going on about her and Mikeās affair and how in love she was with Mike and that if he had shown any interest she would have left Preston for him but that he was too scared that Preston would have ruined his business. She then says that she doesnāt want to be stuck with an old man - she wants to forget Fred and wants Mike to go home with her - she advances toward him and they kiss ........
Thatās all for this week.
Hi everyone, here is the 1st episode of this evening.
It's morning, and Nick spies Maria walking along the street on her way to work. He rushes over to her, saying he's sorry for last night. She tells him that she isn't, it's the best thing she's done in ages. He asks where she's staying, and she tells him: 'Where I'm wanted.' He tries to tell her she's wanted at his mum's, and she replies, 'Oh please!' (I have to agree!) Audrey is just arriving outside the salon at that moment, and as Maria stalks off she asks what's going on. Nick tells her that Maria walked out last night, so Audrey tells him to make sure he talks to her today. Just then Nick's mobile phone rings.
It's Mike on the phone, reminding Nick that a big delivery is coming this afternoon, with another delivery tomorrow. When Nick asks what they will do with it all, Mike tells him it can go in the overflow stock room, and asks if he's cleaned it out like he asked him to. Nick confesses that he never got round to it, so Mike tells him to get Harry to lend a hand.
Behind Mike, in his flat, is Penny, clad in a dressing gown to signify the fact that they spent the night together. As she pours the coffee she comments that Mike is very hard on 'that boy'. She's not saying he should be soft, but there must be a happy medium. Penny is hoping that she and Mike will spend the day together, but Mike has plans for a day on the golf course. He tells her that he doesn't want any commitment to anybody at the moment. Penny is less than happy, she reminds him that he was happy to bring her back there last night. He points out that she invited herself, but he wasn't complaining, he enjoyed every minute of it. 'Wham, bang, thank you, ma'am?' asks a rather peeved Penny. Mike assures her that he has more respect for her than that, so why don't they meet up for a drink later in the week?
Over in their flat, Roy and Hayley have returned from their holiday. Hayley is dreading seeing Tracy and the baby. Roy says at least they got away from people pointing and sniggering for a while, or offering their condolences. Hayley wonders why they can't be treated like normal people, and Roy says he supposes it's because they aren't. They decide they will both go back to work, they have to face people sooner or later. They are looking forward to seeing the solicitor on Friday, some good news from him could make things seem very different.
Over at the Battersby's, Chesney is coming down the stairs clutching dirty football kit, Les hasn't washed it. He grumbles that it's Cilla's job, washing, and Chesney asks when she's coming back. Les tells him that she rang last night, she's stopping on a bit longer at her mate's. Chesney says he wondered how long it would last before she started playing away again. Les wants to know what he's on about. 'Going off with other blokes,' says Chesney, and Kirk looks up from his newspaper and asks Les if he's not heard that expression. 'Course I 'ave, you plank,' says Les, and he tells Chesney he shouldn't be saying things like that about his mother, it's not true. He brushes a bit of mud off the football kit and stuffs it into Chesney's bag. Chesney asks for a snack for break, he usually has crisps or something. Les looks round and in desperation picks up half of Kirk's bacon buttie and drops it into Chesney's bag. 'Errr,!' moans Chesney, 'It'll be cold.' Les assures him that's how they eat them in trendy sandwich bars down in London, and packs him off to school. When he's gone out of the door, Les wonders to Kirk where Chesney gets his ideas from. Kirk asks Les if Cilla could be up to anything. Les is having none of it, 'What?' he scoffs, 'when she's got the son of Errol Flynn keeping her bed warm for her?"
Over at Mike's flat, Penny is dressed and about to leave. They discuss the fact that they go back a long way, and Penny thinks they have a lot going for them, but Mike seems not to want to know. So Penny thinks she may reconsider Fred's offer, and asks Mike what he has to say about that. Mike thinks she should do what she thinks best.
At the factory, Janice, Karen and Fizz have stepped outside for a ciggie break. Fizz tells them that Maria is back at their flat, apparently it was Nick's mother that split them up. Janice realizes that's why Nick has had the hump all morning. At that moment, Nick comes marching across the road (where has he been?) and demands to know what is going on. Karen informs him they are just having a quick fag break. 'But you've just had a tea break,' says Nick. 'But you know how grouchy we get if we don't get us nicotine,' banters Janice. Nick tells her she's skiving and she knows it. Just then Hayley comes trotting up and asks Nick if she can come back to work, he tells her she can start straight away. Then Harry comes out and asks Nick to show him what needs doing in the stock room. Janice remarks that it's like Steptoe's yard in that stockroom and Karen says it's all right for nicking stuff from. 'Yes,' agrees Janice, 'those seconds go down a bomb at the market!' Nick, who reminds me of a teacher who has just lost control of his class, blusters that he'd better not catch anyone nicking from there, and tries in vain to get them all to go back inside. Just then Angie comes out. She reckons that if smokers can have a break, why can't non smokers? Nick tells them that from now on cigarette breaks are banned. Janice says they can't last a whole morning without a fag. Nick tells her to quit smoking, and pushes past her in the doorway. 'Ooooh!' they all chorus.
In the butcher's, Roy is buying mince and pies for the caf. (Vera has apparently let things slide). Claire is standing there with Joshua in the pushchair, and Ashley comes round the counter to see them both. Roy glances at them quickly and hurries off. Claire thinks it wasn't very clever of her to bring Joshua in after what Roy has been through, but Ashley tells her they can't hide themselves away, and he's going to give Josh lots of attention, and Claire too. He puts his arm round her and kisses her and Claire looks so happy she could burst. When she's gone, Ashley tells Fred he should take a leaf out of their book, slow and steady, became friends first then they had something to build on. Fred asks Ashley if he's heard how smug he sounds, and wonders if he can unpropose.
At the factory, Nick and Harry are looking round the stockroom. Nick tells Harry to just put all the rubbish to one side for Mike to look at and decide what to do with, then tidy up and lock the door when he's finished. He doesn't want the girls nicking the stock to sell at the market.
On the factory floor, Sonia has just signed for the delivery of the football kit for their five a side team. The other girls seem to have gone off the idea of playing football and wearing shorts now. One of them remarks that she'd rather play bingo. They are just asking Nick if he's going to come and watch them play when Janice saunters in. Nick demands to know where she's been. 'Toilet,' she tells him. He says she's been smoking, he can smell it. Janice tells him that just because Maria has walked out on him it doesn't mean he can take it out on her. Nick is obviously enraged at this, and announces that from thereon in there is to be no more smoking in working hours. The other girls are aghast. He tells Janice the good times are over, from now on she will have to graft - and she can stick that in her pipe and smoke it!
Fred has arrived at the caf with Roy's order. He turns and sees Penny sitting there. She tells him she doesn't often come in. He sits beside her and quietly tells her he was over hasty last week, he doesn't want her to feel under any pressure, what matters most is their friendship. She looks relieved and tells him that means a lot to her, too. He asks if she'd like a drink later in the week, no strings attached and she says that would be nice. He says he'll give her a ring.
The factory girls are walking down the street moaning about Nick's smoking ban. Hayley walks beside Karen, asking about her honeymoon and whether it bothers her living across the street from Tracy and the baby. Karen tells her she doesn't care and neither does Steve. Just then they see Tracy pushing the pram. She makes a flippant remark and Hayley has to hold Karen back, telling her not to let Tracy wind her up, she's not worth it.
Fizz, Kirk and Maria are at the bar in the pub. Shelley asks about Cilla and Kirk tells her she's still not back. He tells Fizz that Chesney reckons she's playing away. Fizz comments wryly that he should know. Les comes bouncing in at this point, and Fizz quizzes him as to Cilla's whereabouts. Les warns her not to cast aspersions, but Fizz tells him she's got history. Les's good mood evaporates as he tells her they've both got history, he's been in prison twice, but it's not the past that matters, it's the future, so she should zip it. He marches out.
Gail comes in and tells Maria she's sorry about her and Nick. Maria says she sure she is. Gail can't think why Maria would have it in for her all of a sudden, and Maria tells her it was she who broke them up. Gail says she gave Maria a roof over her head and a chance to save up. 'A chance to drop poison in his ear more like,' spits Maria, and storms out. Audrey has come in and heard it all and wonders why Gail looks surprised. Gail is not sorry they have split up, and Audrey tells her she helped to cause it. She wonders why Gail is being like this, they were as happy as Larry till she started interfering. Gail says they'll get over it, and smirks.
Nick is on the phone at the factory leaving Maria messages on her voicemail. As the girls come back in from their lunch break the phone rings and he rushes to answer it. However, it's just a customer wanting a large order by tomorrow. Nick tells the customer to get real - and then finds he's been hung up on. He tells Hayley he has to go out and leaves her in charge, and Harry is in the stockroom if she needs him.
In the taxi office, Liz is talking to Steve, trying to persuade him to take an interest in his daughter, he has responsibilities. Steve doesn't want to know. Liz reminds him that she lost a baby twelve years ago, she only lived 48 hours and not a day goes by without her thinking about her.
At the factory, Hayley comes to get Harry out of the stockroom to help unload a delivery that's just arrived, and Janice tells Karen she's going to have a mooch about in the stockroom to see if there's anything worth nicking.
Nick has arrived at Maria's flat. He tells her he knows it's not easy at his mums, but he never said it would be. He can't understand why she's saying that Gail was trying to split them up. Maria tells him she just has done, but he can't see it, Gail's trying every trick in the book and he's falling for it. Maria tells him it's weird, a bloke his age still living with his mother, he's even starting to look like a mummy's boy. She tells Nick to go and find someone Gail thinks is good enough for him.
In the stockroom, cigarette in mouth, Janice is going through the stock. Then she hears footsteps approaching and ducks to hide behind a rail of clothes, knocking the end off her cigarette as she does so. Harry comes in, glances round and then goes out, locking the door behind him. When Janice realizes she has been locked in, she laughs at first, and then sees that her smouldering cigarette has set light to the clothes hanging near it. She tries to put out the fire, but only succeeds in fanning the flames. She rushes to the door, banging frantically on it, shouting for help.
And that's where we leave episode 1...
Episode Two, Monday, March 8.
In the factory storeroom, Janice is screaming. In the factory itself, the music is turned up loud and the girls and Harry are boogying. Janice, in desperation tries to throw garments on to the flames to suffocate them. She can't be heard for the rousing chorus of "Sisters are doing it for themselves!"
Nick is on his way back to the factory when he is waylaid by his mother. He tells her it is over with Maria. "Come inside for a minute," says Gail, seeing he is upset. No, he has to get back to the factory. "Never mind the factory," she tells him.
Hayley thinks the music is a little loud, but the others tell her it is a new rule, introduced while she was away. They give Karen a hard time for her lack of singing ability.
Nick tells his mother that he really thought that this time he and Maria could make it work. "I wanted a future with her -- a life."
In the storeroom, Janice is coughing. She sees the window and tries to climb up the storage rack, but falls and the whole rack comes down on top of her.
In the street, Tracey and Steve meet by chance. "Leave me alone!" he says. But Tracey refuses. She won't leave him alone until he acknowledges the baby. Roy, who is sweeping the pavement outside the cafe, is listening to the whole exchange. "Haven't you ruined enough lives?" asks Steve, pointing towards Roy. Tracey asks what about Amy's life. "Won't you at least look at her?"
Gail tells Nick not to go to the Rovers. He ought to keep a low profile. She will make him a nice dinner. She says he won't want to see Maria in the pub. But he protests and says he won't be hiding away.
The fire alarm sounds and is heard by Kevin in the garage. He heads towards the factory. Inside, the girls think it's Nick trying to keep them on their toes, but Nick rushes in, wanting to know who has set off the alarm. As they realise it might not be a drill, Hayley spots smoke and panic sets in. Nick tries to get them outside in an orderly fashion, but has to stop Sonia from stopping to get her bag. Hayley rings the fire brigade and clearly gives the address. Nick is gathering up the cash box and business records. There is general pandemonium as everyone gets outside and Kevin and Tyrone rush to move the cars away from any fire.
Maria, Audrey and Gail have met in the street. Maria has a go at Gail, telling her she has won. Audrey tries to calm them down, but Gail tells Maria that of course she's glad the couple have broken up, because Maria isn't good enough for Nick. Maria says no-one will ever be good enough for Nick, as far as Gail is concerned. Audrey's attempts at peacemaking die when she is distracted. "What is that noise?"
Outside the factory, Nick is trying to count in the melee of panicked women. "Someone's missing. Who's missing?" he demands. Karen remembers that Janice went to the stockroom. Nick is clearly going to go back inside. Harry shouts at him to wait for the fire brigade. "Leave it to the professionals!" "There's no time," he replies, and rushes back in. Inside, the radio is still going, although it doesn't sound as loud, now. He grabs the fire extinguisher and uses it to bash open the door to the locked storeroom.
Outside, Norris gives his opinion: "Trapped in a locked room with a fire -- she'll be dead." "Shut up, Norris," Rita says.
Inside, Nick has managed to reach Janice, drag the shelving off her and pick her up. He turns to leave but the way appears to be blocked by flames.
Just as Maria is crying and asking why Nick went back inside when he didn't have to, Nick staggers out with Janice and collapses to the ground. There is general confusion with everyone getting in each other's way. Janice is not breathing. Karen rushes to her, but is pulled away by others as Hayley and Harry begin CPR. Maria cries "Don't die, Nick, don't die!" The fire brigade arrives and starts to instill some sort of order into things. An ambulance is on its way and a firefighter gets a portable oxygen supply to Janice.
Les and Steve have heard all the confusion and rush to see what is happening. Les is devastated to see Janice apparently lifeless on the ground and Kirk has to drag him away. "He wouldn't be in this position if he hadn't gone back into a burning building," opines the local public service advertising parrot. Rita tells Norris to shut up and do something useful, like getting some brandy. As Nick is being put into the ambulance, Gail and Maria argue over who will go with him. Gail wins.
In the hospital, Karl may be waiting for two ambulances to arrive from a factory fire, but still finds time to joke with Todd, who is cleaning the floor with one of those big rotary polisher things.
Back in the street, Karen is worried about Janice. Jan wasn't talking, just groaning. What if the alarm hadn't gone off? They could have all died. Steve is lovely with her. He tells her that the alarms did go off, she's safe and Janice is being looked after. She wants to go and make sure Janice is all right.
Nick is wheeled into the hospital and Martin, who is stationed near the front doors just waiting for patients who live in the Street, spots him.
In the cafe, Maria is sobbing her heart out to Audrey. Hayley is on a high, telling Roy that it was amazing. When it was needed, her first aid training just all came back to her. Maria is still upset. "What if he inhaled too much smoke?" she asks. She's read about how dangerous it can be.
In the hospital we discover that Janice's ankle is definitely broken and she is being taken for a CT scan. "If she hadn't been knocked unconscious she would have been dead before they got to her," a nurse tells Fizz. Pardon?
In the street, Claire and Ashley are strolling with Josh. Claire has checked the smoke alarms. Ashley says it's reminded him of how it was with Maxine's death. It's possible that you will leave the house and never see your loved one again. They agree they should cherish the time they have together. Mike's car is stopped as he turns into the street. He realises the fire is at the factory.
Karl stops Todd in the hospital and wants to know where his lawnmower is (ha ha). He says he's just been dealing with a young guy who was in a fire, "tending to the sick and needy" he says half jokingly. As they talk, Todd spots Sarah and rushes to her. "Is it Beth?" He introduces Karl to Sarah and Karl says he'll take them to Nick. Martin is telling Nick he's very lucky to have suffered only smoke inhalation and a burnt shoulder. When he finds out from Gail that Nick has saved Janice's life, he says he'll spread it around the hospital so the nurses treat Nick as a hero.
Todd asks Karl if Nick will be all right. Karl wants to know if Nick is the one Todd kissed, and asks him how the relationship is now. Todd says he used to like Nick but doesn't now. He says he just doesn't think about the kiss and, if anything, is embarrassed by it. "I'm getting married and we're having a baby," he says. "I'll see if I can get off early and be with Sarah."
Mike is talking about the fire with the firefighters when Les comes up. He wants to know how Janice is. "I know we're not together, but I still care," he says.
Janice has Fizz and Karen by her bed, telling her how lucky she is and that she'll be fine. What happened? "I don't know," croaks Janice. The girls wonder whether they still have jobs. Karen tells Janice she could have been killed. "Then what would I have done without you?"
Martin tries to get Nick's visitors to leave, but Gail is very reluctant. "Can I pop back later?" she asks. Martin says he can ring her. "I don't like leaving him," she says. As Audrey shepherds Gail out of the room, Maria enters from another door, catching Audrey's eye. Maria approaches Nick's bed and he seems determined to ignore her. She tells him Audrey gave her a lift to the hospital and she's been waiting until Gail left. "I couldn't believe it when you went running back in there. You should have just left her in there for the Fire Brigade." "I'm surprised you care," Nick says. Maria tells him that she loved him and can't just sweep those feelings aside. "You're talking stupid, Nick. I've been worried sick about you." She says she wanted to go with him in the ambulance but Gail wouldn't let her. "I thought I had lost you." She tells him that everything she said previously seems so stupid now. Why should Gail stop them if they love each other? "I love you more than I have ever loved anyone in my life." "I love you, too," he says, and they embrace.
Mike and the fire brigade investigators are outside the factory discussing what will happen next. The insurance people will send their investigators. Rita brings Mike a coffee, lacing it with something from a flask. "It's bricks and mortar," she tells him. He's had setbacks before. Mike tells her to look at the mess, though. "How long will it take?" In the meantime he will lose orders and the mess will cost money to put right. "It's as if someone's telling me to pack it all in. Maybe it's time."
Anne Logan and Margaret Carr
Tonight's episode starts in the ruin that was once "Underworld", Mike is there surveying the damage when Fred comes in to see for himself the state of the factory. Mike is not sure whether he wants to start again or head for the delights of Spain and golf. Fred reckons Mike will soon get bored with this and says he can help him financially until he gets back on his feet. Mike is grateful for Fred's offer but declines this and the offer of a pint and a bite to eat at the Rovers, this is so that Mike can go to the hospital to see Nick.
Over at Streetcars Steve is manning the phone when Karen comes in for a taxi to get to the hospital she tries to get it for free but no chance which is not surprising when Karen sees the bills from the wedding that have now started pouring in.
Mike has turned up at the hospital and Nick is dressed and ready to go. Mike thinks Nick is a bit of a hero especially when it comes to rescuing Janice! Maria comes in next and Mike leaves here to go back to the factory. Mike doesn't know that Nick wasn't at the factory when the fire started and Nick wants to keep it like that.
The girls from the factory have turned up to see Janice and says she cant remember anything, Janice doesn't believe that Nick rescued her, Janice or anyone else wont have to play football as the kit has all been burnt.
Blanche is suggesting to Tracy that she gets the baby christened which according to Blanche is a good way of telling all and sundry that the baby is hers and she will bring her up as Amy Barlow.
The girls have now returned from the hospital to Underworld, they arrive in a minibus as Mike Baldwin is leaving the factory, they want to find out if they have a future - Mike tells them he doesn't know if there is a future!
Back at the hospital Nick has gone to see Janice she thanks him for rescuing her, they both realise they will never be friends but Nick then asks if Janice was smoking, she admits she was smoking in the back room, Nick thinks Mike will have to know that Janice was smoking in the factory.
At the Rovers Harry is asking Mike if the investigation officer has found out what the cause is, Harry thinks it may have been someone having a crafty smoke as Nick had banned smoking, Harry was not in the stockroom as Hayley had asked him to help with a delivery, this is where Mike realises that Nick who should have been there wasn't! Mike then says that he and Harry will now try and get the truth about what happened.
Mike and Harry have turned up at the hospital to see Janice, Mike pulls the screen for privacy and then proceeds to question Janice as to what she was doing in the stockroom, when Harry says that he looked in the stockroom and didn't see anybody and locked the door Mike says that Janice was in the stockroom and why couldn't Harry see her, she was hiding because she was smoking says Mike, Janice has no recourse but to agree to this, she asks about her job, if the insurance company find out that the fire was started by someone smoking then no insurance payout, Mike tells Janice not to tell anybody she was smoking if the results come back negative from the fire investigation.
Liz meantime has turned up at Tracy's to see her grand-daughter, she wants to keep in touch with her, I hope this doesn't mean she is going to stay in the street!
At the Rovers Nick and Maria have turned up for a hero's welcome, Fred tells Shelley that all drinks are on the house tonight for Nick and Maria. Fred then goes off to join Penny, Clare and Ashley, Fred is still making a play for Penny but thankfully Shelley asks him to change a barrel before he makes a fool of himself. Penny thinks he is a good friend.
Nick and Maria are not intending to stay in the Rovers for too long, but before Nick goes back with Maria to her flat he is going home to see mum, only so that he can tell Gail that he and Maria are back together again.
At Roy's Rolls they are discussing the forthcoming trip to the solicitors re the baby, don't think they have much chance here.
Fred has put the new barrel on then Shelley asks Fred to look after the bar while she goes out for a quick visit to see Tracy. In Fred's absence Ashley is telling Penny about Fred, Penny says she has no intention of hurting Fred.
Charlie Stubbs is having a drink in the bar and asks Fred whether Mike will be starting up the business again and if so who will get the contract to refurbish, Fred doesn't think Charlie will get the contract if Mike decides to open up the factory again.
Shelley has also joined the "isn't the baby beautiful" club at Tracy's, Blanche brings up the subject of christening again and gets some support from Shelley, Tracy weakens here so looks like a chance for another confrontation at the christening.
Gail is surprised to see Nick at home so soon, she will be even more surprised when Nick tells her why he is there, However, before he gets a chance there is a ring on the doorbell and when she opens the door Mike bursts in to confront Nick as he was not there when the fire started and if he was then he may have been able to stop the fire from spreading. Mike tells Nick that he no longer has a job at Underworld even if the factory is put back on its feet - Nick you're sacked!
That's all folks!
Well it is Friday and I am back on duty at the right time. I hardly saw the episode as transmitted due to incessant interruptions from the mad family. Hopefully the video machine is back on song! Events in Weatherfield remain copyright Granada Television, were written by Catherine Hayes and were directed by Duncan Foster whilst being sponsored by Cadburys Dairy Milk Mint Chips.
Much of this evening revolves around Nick who starts the episode being instructed by Gail (yes thank to all of you that my brain has gone completely soft, when I wrote Ida last week I did mean Ivy - you can stop filling my inbox now thank you) to ask for his job back. Gail sticks the knife in over Maria. Nick has no money because of buying the car. Gail tells Nick to stay away from Maria.
Tracy is getting the baby christened, but she has not decided on godparents. Later Ken advises Roy and Hayley - the idea came from Blanche - Hayley gets quite upset over the news. They discuss Steve - he would appear not to want to know about the baby (Amy / Patience) who at this very moment is being cuddled by Liz who is being encouraged to look after the baby by Tracy. Indeed Tracy suggests adding Catherine in a nod to Liz's lost daughter to the baby's names. Liz rushes off crying.
Cilla has not returned yet and Fiz takes the opportunity to tell Les that her mother often gets delayed by other men; and that he was very willing to help Janice in getting her away from factory when it was on fire. Hayley is not going to help the other girls get money out of Mike and Roy re-enforces the position - they have things to do today (they are going to see a solicitor). Both Hayley and Roy are already wound up.
Mike is looking at the mess in the factory - is he getting to old to start again - when Nick arrives. Mike refuses to discuss the situation - he does not regard Nick as a hero - he was paid to stay on the premises and he was not there went the fire started. Nick asks for his job back - Mike wants his factory back and his son's future. Mike orders Nick to get out and stay out.
As he leaves he meets the factory girls and tells them about his sacking - this worries them. Nick sees Maria over the road and joins her. They discuss where they are going to live and what they can afford - as she notes anything is better than Nick living at home. Maria asks if Nick has told Gail - not so far he responds and she gives him both barrels and threatens to tell Gail herself. Nick knows that Gail will go off on one and is not ready for the abuse.
After the break the girls arrive at the factory and discuss the situation with Mike. He says he will pay them once he gets paid - he is broke as well. Mike is clearly unhappy.
Round at the McDonalds flat Roy and Hayley want to know about Steve's interest in the baby. A flat denial from Karen. Steve eventually says that he will not be exercising his parental rights. Liz is not happy with this - but says little. R&H are then advised by Steve that the baby is not theirs either and they would be best to leave alone.
Ashley tries to seduce Claire away from the ironing. She says that there is not enough time and she cannot relax - they get no time for themselves. They kiss and Claire admits it is the house - and then Josh proves the point by waking and he has to go and attend to the baby.
Audrey and Gail discuss the situation. Gail is sorry Nick lost his job - but at least he cannot throw money away. Audrey counsels Gail to let Nick leave home - but Gail does not believe Nick will leave home - he cannot afford it.
Mr Pomfrey the solicitor has listened closely to all that has been said but says that they have a very tenuous link to the child. There is little in favour of the Croppers and nothing which is worth pursuing in court - the child has no biological, legal or moral kinship to the Croppers. And the child has parents, two grandmothers, a grandfather and a great-grandmother all living in the same street. Gently he says that there is no action worth taking. There is no claim on the baby whatsoever.
At the hospital Martin wheels Janice to the exit - Les is the Streetcars driver. She is on crutches with a very bad ankle. To get into her flat Les has to carry Janice up the stairs on his back. He puts her on the sofa and rests her bad leg on the table. He does not particularly want to go, but Janice wants him to go. Fiz and Harry arrive - the latter with dinner and Janice says Taa raa. Janice did not want to see Les - but she does admit that he tried his best.
In the Rovers the wedding bills are arriving for Karen and Steve when they are approached by Nick over the flat over the cab office. £400 per month plus a month's deposit - £800 up front which might just help with the wedding bills. Penny invites Fred to lunch so that Ash and Claire get some space to themselves. Nick and Maria agree that they only way they can fund the flat is to sell the car (that should please Gail).
Later Nick arrives back at Gail's and he tells her that he is leaving. He tries to avoid telling her about moving in with Maria. Gail starts shouting at Nick - her little boy. Nick asserts that he is a grown up. David wants to know why they were arguing. Nick is going to leave - but Gail says if he leaves she never wants anything to do with him again - particularly if he is moving in with HER! Finally the scales are lifted from Nick's eyes and he is aware that Gail was truthful. Nick knows that she does not really care about him. Gail pushes Nick out of the house and does not want to see him again.
In the Rovers Liz is telling Steve about the Christening. Liz wants Steve to go. Karen is not happy when he sees them with their heads together.
Penny offers to help Mike - spare machines for the staff at her place so that he can complete his outstanding orders. Mike does not accept the offer and indeed seems as though there are problems on his mind.
And that is about it for this week. Back in 7 days.
K Richard W
Sunday 14 March
Welcome to Sunday, which I've swapped for my Monday shift. Out of force of habit I almost wrote this was the second Sunday episode!
We open with Audrey and Gail getting ready for a shopping trip. Audrey is saying she can't remember the last time they went to town together. Gail can't remember the last weekend she had where she wasn't washing and ironing. This, of course, brings up the reason why Gail isn't busy -- her lodger son and his girlfriend are gone. Audrey points out that Nick hasn't had an easy week, so it's no wonder he lashed out. Gail doesn't think he should be moving out when he's just lost his job. Audrey points out that at least they're not in one of the swish apartments they were first looking at. If they're settling for the flat above the cab office it proves Maria's not a gold digger. Gail thinks it would be better if Maria was a gold digger, because then Nick might see through her. Gail calls David, who objects to going shopping because he planned to go to Craig's. A quick mention of the potential for new trainers from Audrey soon changes his mind. The way to a teen's heart is bribery, it seems.
At the Croppers', Hayley suggests she open up the cafe for Roy, but he says: "Just because you've had your dreams trodden under foot, there's no need to malinger." Hayley points out that at least so far, despite her general character, they can't say Tracey has been a bad mother. Roy suggests her true ability as a mother won't be known until Amy is no longer paraded about like a trophy. He regrets the fact that their only hope of getting back Amy seems to depend on her being badly treated. Hayley suggests he go ahead and ask Tracey for her co-operation in getting their marriage annulled. A very pessimistic Roy thinks Tracey will refuse just to spite them, "till death us do part," he sighs.
In the McDonalds' flat, Liz is trying to persuade Steve to have something to do with the baby's christening. It's just one hour out of his day, she says. Karen comes in and wants to know what's going on, but Steve and Liz both claim they weren't talking about anything. Once Liz is out of the room, Karen tackles Steve again. "What's going on? She was doing that voice that I hate," she asks him. What voice? "The one I can't hear. Then when I come in she shuts up like a clam." Steve says she's being paranoid. He claims he and his mother were talking about going to visit his dad.
Fred cuts a fine figure, suit, smart tie, as he appears downstairs. It's D-day. Ashley teases him about it, while Claire makes some adjustments to Fred's cuffs. As he departs, Ashley comments that he hopes Penny says yes, because if the answer is no, it doesn't bear thinking about. "I heard that! I say, I heard that!" comes the shout from the front door.
Mike and Penny are together and he says he'd like to take up her offer of space and machines in her factory. He wants them to seal the deal with dinner, but she doubts Fred is going to let her get away with just a light lunch.
In the cafe, Tracey has just enough time to be nasty to Steve before Karen comes in and spots them apparently talking. Karen is looking for Hayley, because she's just had a call from Mike saying he will meet them in the Rovers. She is obviously still very suspicious of Steve. Roy tells Tracey he wants to discuss their marital status, in the spirit of co-operation, not making demands. He can demand what he likes, she says, "except your conjugal rights". Roy explains that he doesn't think they need to remain married. She quickly snaps that she doesn't have the money to pay for a divorce. Hayley jumps in and says she doesn't have to. There's something called "willful refusal to consummate". Tracey would be very happy to make it clear she didn't sleep with Roy. "I'll take out a full-page ad in the Gazette if that's what it's gonna take!" Hayley and Roy are tickled pink she's going to be reasonable. And while they're being reasonable, Tracey says, she won't be able to make her payment to them this week because she has to buy some christening things for Amy. Roy objects, but it gives Hayley an idea. If there's going to be a bit of give and take, perhaps Tracey would think of letting Roy and Hayley look after Amy occasionally? If you thought this was unlikely, you'd be right. "You're getting your husband back, love," Tracey says. "Don't push your luck!"
Les is on the phone, obviously to Cilla. Fizz is sneering. "How's your pal?" Les asks. "How's-your-father, more like," comments Fizz. She tells Les that Cilla won't be "coming home" but will just be making a pit stop, needing somewhere to sweat out all the cheap ale some fella's been pouring down her throat.
Blanche and Tracey are together with Amy. "Isn't she adorable?" Blanche says. "Mind you, they used to say that about your mother." Tracey asks Blanche to look after Amy, but Blanche already has plans. She is off to the pensioners' dinner, and there's a meat raffle! She's already bought a book of tickets. Tracey immediately says they should call off the christening. They can't afford it. She's living off the Croppers, "and you're holding out for a few scabby chops." Blanche turns the conversation to Steve. She thinks Tracey should get Steve to help support his baby. Tracey protests. Steve has made it clear he wants nothing to do with Amy. "he's more involved than the Croppers ever were," Blanche counters. "And you didn't mind making them pay."
Hayley and Roy are bickering. Roy thinks she sounded too eager when she was talking to Tracey, but Hayley thinks all she was doing was asking if they could babysit. Roy thinks that's shown Tracey what they want, and has put a sizeable chink in their armour. Hayley points out that the battle is over, so the armour isn't needed any more. Tracey comes in and says she'd like to take them up on their offer. "We'll do all the paperwork," Roy says. "Er. . . it is the annulment you're talking about." "No," says Tracey. "But there may well be some paperwork if she gets a heavy nappy." She says there is no-one else to look after the baby. Hayley almost snatches Amy from her.
Liz is in the Rovers, surrounded by a fug of cigarette smoke. She's obviously settled in for the afternoon, and asks Ciaran to "put another one in there." She offers to buy Deirdre a drink and Ciaran suggests they make up. Hesitantly, they do. Liz calls out to Karen, asking if she wants a drink. "I'm in a meeting!" Karen replies. Mike comes in to address this "meeting". That's once he can get a word in. He tells them he has arranged for them to work somewhere else. Several of them demand to know where it is, but he says a minibus will pick them up at 8am, outside Underworld. Over some protests, he says they will be paid from the time they start work, not the time they get on the bus. Is Underworld going to reopen or not? "That depends on you lot," he tells them. If they keep turning out top-notch gear and he manages to hang on to a few clients, maybe. "Forget the Rovers, this is the Last-Chance Saloon," he says.
Penny and Fred are having a drink before lunch. Fred says he offered money to Mike to help out, but Mike refused. He wonders if Penny, being in the same game, is able to give him any help in kind. For some reason she says she can't. When they are seated, Fred asks if she has made a decision yet, but she says she needs more time. He asks that when she does decide, she give it to him straight, honest and up front.
Steve hasn't finished work. He tells Karen Patrick has gone off sick. She tells him about the minibus plan. "I've always wanted to travel." She seems so odd that he asks if she's fallen out with his Mam. She says his Mam and Deirdre appear to have made up. "And if they start swapping Amy stories I'm done for." Steve doesn't understand what she means. She tells him Liz is a grandma, Deirdre is a grandma, Steve is the Dad. "And what am I? I'm nothing!" She's his wife, he tells her. She's his Number One priority and always will be. But she isn't convinced and suggests he make his mother his priority. What's she still doing here, anyway?
At Janice's place, Les appears to be putting away groceries. Janice comments on what a coincidence it was that Fizz left her groceries in the Rovers. Les says he didn't plan it. Janice's foot starts to itch inside the cast and Les is very solicitous. He helps lift her foot to the floor from where it was propped up. He remembers how painful his own foot was after he hurt it on the cobbles. Janice remembers it was only painful until he raided the drugs trolley. Les leaves, and you get the feeling they are more comfortable with each other than they've been for a long time.
Claire and Ashley are having a moment together, with Josh asleep, when Fred comes in. He is so cheery that Ashley thinks Penny must have said yes. But Fred says he's cheery because he's just spent the afternoon with a lovely lady who is considering his proposal with the care it deserves.
". . . which is how prehistoric creatures first moved from water to dry land . . .to be continued." Ahhhhhhhh, Roy is reading Amy a bedtime story. "It's no wonder she's asleep, comments Tracey, who has just come in with Hayley. Tracey says she'd better get Amy home, because she must be starving, but Hayley has given the baby a bottle. She comments that Amy's eyes follow Roy around the room. Tracey says Amy does that with everyone. Hayley says it's amazing how much more aware Amy is after just a few weeks. Tracey says you don't notice that when you're with a baby every day. "Well, you're obviously doing a good job," Hayley says. Tracey looks genuinely surprised and pleased. Roy mentions they'd be pleased to have Amy and give Tracey a break any weekend, or night, or day or afternoon. He's a bit over-eager. "I'll bear it in mind," says Tracey. "But let's not get carried away, eh?" (She's Canadian???) ;-)
Nick and Maria have packed up and are trying to leave Gail's while the family is out. Just as they get to the bottom of the stairs, Gail, Audrey and David come in. Gail accuses them of deliberately waiting until they were out so Nick didn't have to face her. Audrey gets Maria out of the house so Nick and Gail can talk. Gail says she thinks they both spoke out of turn. "I came here for my clothes, not your praise," he says. "Well, you won't get it," she retorts. As Nick leaves, he speaks to David. "Don't worry, she'll get over it," he says. "Just don't ever grow up."
In the street, Tracey sees Steve and tells him it's very rude to ignore the mother of his child. He helps lift the stroller up to the pavement. She tells him she has a proposal for him that will get her out of his hair forever. "No more awkward meetings. No more death stares across the road from Mrs McDonald . . ." and the focus changes and we can see one of those very death stares! As Karen crosses the road, Tracey tells Steve to come and see her tomorrow. Mrs Death Stare approaches her husband and is so angry she is quiet! She demands to know what was going on. "And don't deny it. She was on you like a fly on muck!" She says wherever she goes she has Steve's mother stirring things up. She says Steve might have forgotten their wedding, but she hasn't. (the volume is gradually increasing here) "Don't think for a second you've been let off the hook. Because if I catch you with her one more time then it will be me walking out -- of our flat, out of our marriage. And as an afterthought, she dumps her fish and chips all over his shoes.
The end. Oh, I love Karen when she's angry!
Monday 15 March
Hi everyone, here is the first of tonight's brilliant episodes. Some excellent performances I think, especially from Karen and Tracy.
We begin with Steve and Karen stepping out of their front door. She's telling him he has to do airport runs today, she doesn't want him hanging round there. Steve assures her he isn't going to go anywhere near Tracy Barlow. Liz then steps out of the door, saying she'll check what is on at the cinema and Karen offers to check for her in her lunch hour. Steve starts to say that she doesn't have to go to the cinema, and is interrupted by Karen who starts to ask what about their evening? Steve tells her he was about to tell his mother she doesn't have to go to the cinema, she can go somewhere else if she'd rather. (Big of him!) Liz assures them she'll be out of the flat. A brief look of triumph flashes across Karen's face. She links arms with Steve and they walk a few steps, she tells him to keep away from Tracy Barlow - and then who should come out of the Kabin but Tracy herself! 'Good morning!' chirps Tracy, and says she's sorry she can't chat, she's left the baby with her surrogate father - Blanche. 'See you later?' she says to Steve, with a swift raise of the eyebrows. 'Not if he sees you first!' snarls Karen. Tracy flashes a knowing (and infuriating) smile, and departs. Karen is so furious the mouth contortions go into overdrive. 'If you go anywhere near her......' she spits, 'I won't' says Steve, and Karen plants a swift kiss on his lips and pouts her way off across the road.
Across the road, the Underworld workforce is waiting for the mini bus to pick them up and take them to Penny King's factory. Sonia is moaning to Mike Baldwin that she has a dental appointment and if she keeps it she won't be able to get to Penny's factory. She wants the mini bus to come back for her. Mike isn't having any of it and tells her she'll have to miss it, but Sonia says she'll get charged because it's too short notice. Fizz and Hayley are chatting together as they wait for the mini bus. Hayley tells Fizz she's in a good mood, she had a good weekend babysitting Amy, and hopes there's going to be a lot more babysitting. Fizz asks if that's what Tracy has said, 'No,' says Hayley, 'but me and Roy have got plans'.
Tommy and Angie are talking outside the garage. Tommy wants to know why he would want to go and see a bunch of kids dancing on top of a car singing about being mechanics, but Angie's told Sally she'll go now, and she's bought tickets. Tommy is adamant he's not going and he not worried about offending Kevin, he doesn't ask him to go and watch Craig play footy. Angie tells him they'll see about that, and as the minibus arrives goes off across the road and gets in it.
At the Webster's breakfast table, Rosie, the Webster's star performer, is wailing about a huge spot that's come up on her chin, and also says she doesn't feel well. Sally thinks she should stay off school as she needs to be fresh for the show tonight, and says she'll write a note, 'Saying what?' demands Kevin, 'Rosie's spot was too heavy to drag to school?' Rosie rushes from the room. Kevin insists that Rosie goes to school and says he drop her off himself. He tells Sophie to get her stuff together and shouts up to Rosie. Sally is horrified, 'Don't make her shout,' she says, 'she's got to protect her voice!' Kevin looks askance.
At Gail's house, David (who seems to have shot up about a foot) is also preparing to go to school. Gail says she'll take him for a burger in the evening, but David looks doubtful. 'On a school night?' he queries. Gail's says they should spend time together. David reckons it's because she's upset over Nick, but she tells him she's spent too much time worrying about Nick and Sarah and he's the one who has suffered. He protests that he never suffers but Gail is having none of it, she'll see him later. David goes off out of the door looking rather less than thrilled.
Deirdre has arrived at Blanche and Tracy's. 'Ask her about the Christening outfit,' says Blanche. 'Oh yes,' says Deirdre, 'did you get it?' 'It's gorgeous,' says Tracy, and when Deirdre pulls it from the bag she finds it's a dress for Tracy, not a Christening gown for Amy. 'Ask her what she got for Amy,' prompts Blanche. Tracy starts to say how expensive Christening outfits are, and she'll only look like she's dressed up in doilies. She could be dressed up in newspapers and she wouldn't be bothered. Despite Deirdre being shocked and Blanche obviously irked, Tracy points out that she'll get more wear out of her dress, Amy would only wear hers once.
Maria lets herself into the flat above the taxi office. Nick leaps to the door, demanding to know what she's doing back. He has bought lots of flowers and was planning to put them into lots of vases around the flat and surprise Maria. 'What are you like?' laughs Maria, obviously pleased, 'In love with you,' answers Nick.
Out in the street, Sonia with mouth that is apparently half frozen, comes up behind Steve who is peering under the bonnet of his taxi clutching an oily rag. As she mumbles out of one side of her mouth asking for a taxi, coming up behind is Tracy, pushing the pram. Steve tells Sonia he's on his lunch break, she'll have to go into the office and talk to Eileen. As Tracy approaches, Roy spots her from outside the cafe and calls out to her. Steve glances over his shoulder and look of sheer panic that flashes across his face is a joy to see! He sticks his head under the bonnet of the car and tries to look busy. Roy continues to call Tracy over for a 'word'. She slaps Steve on the arm as she passes, 'Don't go anywhere,' she demands as, irritated, she crosses the road to speak to Roy. Steve looks up, wide eyed and horrified. As Tracy starts to speak to Roy, in the background we see Steve slam down the bonnet of the car, run to the taxi office, and then come out with Sonia.
Roy starts to tell Tracy how much they enjoyed looking after Amy. Tracy looks exasperated, 'Good,' she snaps, waving her arms in the air, and goes to move off. Roy starts to tell her of their proposition - they are prepared to waive the debt repayment in return for access to Amy, i.e. babysitting etc. 'You want to pay me to babysit?' asks Tracy. Roy says if she puts it like that, yes. Tracy glances over her shoulder at Steve getting in the cab with Sonia. 'Yes, fine,' she says, and tries to hurry away. Roy stops her, wanting to talk about the other matter, the annulment. Tracy is really exasperated by this time, as the taxi draws away. 'Oh Roy, I've already told you, the sooner the better,' she looks dismayed; Roy tells her his solicitor is sending the papers. The taxi drives off down the road - 'Fine!' snarls Tracy.
Sally is in the Kabin telling Ken she doesn't think many people will see it as it's theatre, it would be different if it were television. 'Not expecting much of an audience then?' queries Norris. Of course she is, Rita tells Norris that Sally is talking about Rosie's spot. Sally asks Ken not to mention it in his review, and Ken says he'll try and concentrate on the performance. Gail comes in then, and Sally goes off to do the 101 things she has to do. Norris comments on people who live vicariously through their children. 'Nothing wrong with wanting the best for your children, is there?' demands Gail. When she has gone Norris comments that it's like a minefield in there today. Rita agrees.
Over in the cafe, Roy is quizzing Sarah about babysitting rates per hour. Sarah seems to be missing the point, she tells Roy she doesn't want a babysitter. Roy tries to explain that he is trying to find out what a mother would pay per hour for someone to look after her child. 'If it was Nick,' says Sarah, 'a pint. David - a couple of bars of chocolate.' As she takes the plates to the tables, David comes in. He tells Sarah about Nick and Gail falling out and Nick moving out. Sarah wonders if her mother will ever keep her nose out of their business. David wants Sarah to have a word with Nick about making it up with Gail, she's doing his head in and it's going to get worse. Sarah points out that Nick wouldn't listen to her. David gets cross, it's always him that cops for it all. Sarah tells him she'll have a word with Nick but she can't promise anything.
Tracy is about to knock on Steve's front door when he comes out. She tells him he was meant to come and see her, and he tells her if he thought it was worth listening to then he would have, but he knows it's just another of her games. Tracy tells him he's wrong and maybe she should pop back later when both he and Karen are there. She has a suggestion, something that will make life easier for both of them, and she wants to talk to him about it inside. Steve isn't keen on that idea, but Tracy points out that Karen has gone off to the other factory in the minibus. He relents, and as they walk across to his front door, around the corner comes the minibus with the Underworld workforce inside, and a sulky Karen looking out of the window.
Inside the flat, Steve puts a bottle of champagne in fridge, in preparation for a night in with his wife, he tells Tracy. It was a wedding present, he has had to fork out on wine. 'If you're that skint,' remarks Tracy, 'you're not going to like my suggestion.' Steve says he knew it would be about money. Tracy is angry and tips Amy's baby bag out onto the sofa. 'Of course it's about money, how much do you think this little lot cost?' Tracy wants Steve to slip her fifty quid a week without Karen knowing, it will be easier than her having to force it out of her. Steve flippantly asks if she's going to send the heavies round, but she asks him how much a lawyer will cost him when she takes this to court. Steve protests that he has nothing, zilch, but she tells him that fifty quid a week will be cheaper in the long run, and Karen wouldn't be keen on them washing their dirty linen in public. Steve suddenly wants to know 'What is that smell?' Tracy asks if there's anywhere she can change her. 'Yes,' says Steve, 'across the road at your house.' Tracy picks the baby up, and asks Steve to hold her while she gets the stuff. Steve refuses, but protests when Tracy seems about to put her down on the chair. She tells him she bets he's never changed a nappy in his life, he should be grateful it's only money that she's after. Steve frowns.
Outside, Karen and co. are getting out of the minibus.(It seems to have taken a very long time to go just a few yards), and she, Fizz and Karen decide to go to the Rovers. They have only had just three and half hours work which they feel was hardly worth bothering with. They see Steve's taxi parked at the kerbside and Fizz wonders if he's skiving. Karen says he'll just be scrubbing the place spotless.
In the cafe Roy and Hayley are discussing negotiating reasonable access to Amy for the sums of money involved. Roy feels that they could be better than parents for Amy, they could be the adults she turns to when things aren't going so well at home, and when she reaches that 'difficult age' and feels the need to run away, theirs could be the doorstep she turns up on. (He's thinking a long way ahead I feel!)
In the Rovers, Deirdre and Liz are laughing together at the bar, while Karen and her friends are sitting at a table. Karen's mouth is going into overdrive again, as she snarls about the two of them getting all pally and playing 'grandma'. Angie starts to say that she can't blame Liz for wanting to see her own grandchild. 'Yeah you can,' snaps Karen. Deirdre spots the daggers looks that Karen is throwing their way and suggests they go to her house for coffee. Liz says they'll hang on for a bit, she's already been banned from the flat that evening, she doesn't want Karen to think she's been binned from there as well. Deirdre remarks that you could feel sorry for Karen if she wasn't so aggressive about it all. Liz says Karen is depriving Amy of a father, but Deirdre is glad Amy is with her mum, that is the important thing.
Just then Sonia comes in, moaning through half her mouth about the fact that by the time she got to Penny King's factory the others had gone home. They all giggle and offer to buy her a brandy. On her way out with Deirdre, Liz approaches Karen and asks if she phoned the cinema. Karen says she didn't but believes that in Manchester all three episodes of Lord of the Rings are being shown back-to-back. Liz says she'll sort herself out, but she won't be back early. After she's gone Karen remarks that if she does come back early she won't get in, the chain will be on, she's having Steve all to herself.
Out in the street, Kevin has just brought a poorly Rosie home from school. Tommy calls across the street that maybe the understudy has poisoned her. Sally comes out of the corner shop and is aghast to see Rosie about to go into the house. 'What do you mean, you threw up?' she shrieks, 'what were you doing?' 'Er, leaning over,' quips Rosie. 'You're well enough to back chat,' remarks Sally, as Kevin opens the front door and talks about getting Rosie to bed. 'Bed?' shrieks Sally again, 'what about the show, what am I going to tell people?' Kevin gives her another incredulous look.
In Steve's flat, Tracy has just changed the baby's nappy. She wants fifty quid a week to save his marriage, she tells him she can make Karen think he's up to something he shouldn't be. He tries to reason with her, they used to be good friends, can't she just let him try and make a go of his marriage, he never wanted any of this to happen. She tells him to pay her the money and she'll be out of his hair. He says he'll think about it and asks her to leave, so she asks him to hold Amy while she gets her stuff together. 'Can't you just put it in the pram?' he asks. 'She'll cry,' says Tracy, and hands Amy over. 'Don't you look a picture,' she says to a very awkward looking Steve.
In the Rovers, Mike has just walked in. Ken buys him a drink and moans to him about his having to review Rosie Webster's show. Mike suddenly notices his workforce sitting in the corner. 'What are you doing here?' he demands to know. Karen says they're having a drink and Fizz tells him that Penny King sent them home, there weren't enough machines. Sonia then gets into a argument with Mike over the fact that she never got any work at all. He gets cross and walks off as the other girls pull her back to the table. They give her the brandy, 'Get that down your neck,' says Karen, and Sonia then tips the drink all down her front. Obviously the dental treatment has affected her eye/hand co-ordination. Karen then decides it's time she went home to her Steve.
Out in the street, Nick has bought Maria some chips. Just then Sarah comes round the corner, she's been trying to phone Nick but his phone has been switched off. Sarah guesses he's avoiding their mum. Sarah tries to persuade him to call Gail and make it up with her, but he refuses.
In the Kabin, Blanche is telling Norris and Rita what a good sleeper Amy is. Karen comes in behind Blanche and asks if there's any chance of being served. Blanche ignores her and makes a comment about Tracy's financial state. Karen tells her that Steve is not interested and buys a packet of cigarettes. Blanche says she could buy nappies with that, but Karen doesn't smoke nappies. Karen assures Blanche that Steve is not going to waste one penny on Tracy or that brat of hers.
Karen lets herself into the flat, and wonders what she can smell. 'What have you been cooking...........?' she comes face to face with a guilty looking Steve, holding the baby! Her face is a picture as she struggles to make sense of what she is seeing. 'What the hell is going on?' she gasps, as behind her a door opens and out comes Tracy, minus her shirt, smirking. Steve's jaw goes up and down a few times before he can get a sound out. 'She was sick.........' he stutters.
And that's it for episode 1 - Absolutely brilliant!
The second episode begins with Tracy coming out of a room in a vest top with her blouse in her hand and Steve holding Amy and guess who walks in - Karen and of course all hell breaks loose - Karen demands to know what is going on - Steve weakly tries to explain but gets nowhere. Tracy brings up the subject of payment and Karen tells her she hasnāt got a chance.
Over at the Websterās Rosie is still feeling terrible - and Sally is trilling on about how the show must go on and she retells a story about watching Michael Parkinson interviewing Dame Judi Dench and that she admitted to being sick every time she went on stage and then Sally suggests that one day Rosie may appear on Parkinson! At this Rosie rushes off to the toilet.
Tracy is still at the McDonalds and Karen and Tracy are still screeching at each other. Tracy produces a form from the CSA which Karen instantly rips up and then threatens to beat her up if she ever comes to her flat again.
Sally is trying to do some warm up exercises with Rosie - la la la, pa pa pa etc etc - when Kevin walks in and wonders what on earth is going on - he is informed that they are enunciating consonants - he looks bemused - Rosie rushes off to the toilet again and Kevin tells Sally that she should not be doing this to Rosie.
Tracy has left and Karen is now having a go at Steve and asks him if there is anything going on between him and Tracy which he vehemently denies - she tells him that Tracy will never receive a penny because she has been so manipulative and nasty and that if she ever finds out he is giving her anything she will kill him. She then storms out of the flat.
Sarah goes round to Gailās to tell her that she is going for a scan with Todd and invites her along. Gail is delighted and Sarah and David exchange conspiratory glances. Audrey suggests a drink - Gail says that she cant because she has promised David a burger - he is more than happy to go to the chippy on his own - and thanks Sarah for his support.
Mike and Fred discuss Fredās marriage proposal in the Rovers. Nick and Maria come in and Mike jeers at Nick across the bar. Angela then says that she can only have one more pint because sheās got tickets for the show.
Rosie is sitting on the stairs - and in the kitchen Sally is still going on about the show and the taxis sheās booked etc - Rosie cant bear to hear anymore so she runs out of the house. Kevin and Sally hear the door bang and realise she has run off.
Steve is at the flat drinking whisky when Liz walks in - saying that she will only be there for a minute - Steve tells her she can stay as long as she wants and explains what happened.
Nick and Maria are in the pub when Sarah, Audrey and Gail come in - Maria and Nick finish their drinks and walk out.
Karen is over at Janiceās pouring her heart out and tells her how difficult it is living with Tracy over the road and that she is destroying their lives and the longer it goes on the bigger the wedge between her and Steve will get.
Liz is going on at Steve about seeing his daughter and asks him how he felt holding Amy. He tells Liz that it felt uncomfortable and that Tracy is bitter and twisted and he wants nothing to do with her or the baby.
Sally is phoning around Rosieās friends when Rita walks in. Sally explains that Rosie has run off. Meanwhile Kevin and Rosie are in the Garage having a heart to heart. Kevin is trying to explain why Sally is being like this and tries to liken it to him being a mechanic they then say corny lines about being hydromatic and then go back to let Sally out of her misery.
Ange is still trying to get out of going to the show by spinning a coin and seeing where it lands.
Karen leaves Janiceās and thanks her for listening. Janice then confides in her that she is going stir crazy in the flat.
In the street - Craig and David are debating whether to go to the show as they think it might be a laugh. Steve walks down the street and knocks on Tracyās door - she lets him in just as Karen turns the corner.
Rosie, Sophie Sally, Rita and Kevin set off to the show and Sally looks like an excited schoolgirl.
Steve offers to pay Tracy £50 a week as long as she does not utter a word to Karen and she stays out of their lives. She agrees looks smug and laughs.
Wednesday 17 March
Hello Folks Tonight's episode starts at Steve's - Liz has just made some tea as Steve comes in with another bill, he tells Liz about the payments he will be making every week to Tracy with the understanding that Karen is not to know! Unfortunately Karen comes in now so the whispering has to stop.
Over at the Webster's it is the day after Rosie's performance, Rosie is not happy with her performance although Sally's enthusiasm is bordering on the demented, the enthusiastic clapping at the end was probably to signify the audience were glad it was all over. Sally also tells Rosie she will be going to every performance - masochist or what!
Meanwhile back at Steve's Karen has also turned up on the scene and wants to know what all the whispering is and why it stopped when she came in. Steve thinks on his feet here and mentions all the debts they have because of the wedding and the cancellation fees.
At Roys Rolls Roy is concerned about the sticking front door while Hayley is more concerned whether Tracy will turn up or not.
Ken and Deidre are just on their way out to the street they are discussing the visit they are going to make to Tracy with an idea that Ken has to try and mend fences. The local paper delivery van turns up at the Kabin now as well so all will be able to read Ken's review. Ken is concerned that Sally may not be over the moon with the review.
At Todd's they are getting ready to go to the hospital for Sarah's scan, unfortunately she hasn't told Todd that Gail is going as well, Todd does not appear to pleased with this as he wanted them to go as a family.
Ken and Deidre have turned up at Tracy's now and Ken suggests to Tracy that Roy and Hayley are the Godparents, Tracy cannot believe this and is not happy with the suggestion. Tracy makes it clear she will pick her own Godparents.
Sally has turned up at the Kabin now to get a copy of the Gazette with the review, Norris guides her to page 32 after Sally has berated Rita for not calling her as soon as the papers were delivered - by my reckoning the ink is barely dry... and there are other customers. "A star is Born" says Sally triumphantly, fortunately for the music lovers amongst us it is not Rosie who has earned that accolade, her only mention was her name mis-typed to Dosie (Dozy?) Webster ah well the truth will out!
Groan more fawning over babies now as Liz turns up at Tracy's so its all grandmums together now. Then joy of joy's Liz says she doesn't know how much longer she will be around to which Tracy does her best to say that she will always be welcome. What is Tracy up to she seems almost human?
Todd, Sarah and Bethany have just turned up in the street so Gail can go with them for the scan. Todd when he sees Gail asks her if she would mind not going as Todd would like them to go as a family (Gail not included).
Sally is chasing round the street now to find Ken, not to thank him for the glowing report on Dozy oops sorry Rosie I think.
Tracy has turned up at Roys now and agrees to the suggestion that he has made to see the baby regularly, Hayley points out that this does not mean the whole debt will be cancelled. Tracy shows her human side again here - this is too good to be true, especially when she says that she wants Roy and Hayley to be Godparents at the christening Friday.
Sarah is having her scan now Todd is keen to know what sex the baby will be...
In the Rovers the two newly united grandmothers, Liz and Deidre are having a drink and discussing Steve's responsibilities, Tracy arrives at the bar and when they ask where the baby is Tracy says she is with Roy and Hayley and they are going to be the godparents, Deidre looks surprised, Liz looks disappointed. Sally Webster turns up at the Rovers, still on the hunt for Ken. When the drinks are sorted out Liz is asked if she would like to be the other godparent. Karen turns up at the bar so now the conversation changes again, Karen is going to end up paranoid with all these changed conversations and the whispering! Tracy speaks loud enough for Karen to hear and she speaks her mind about Tracy, Deidre not surprisingly is not too happy to hear these comments.
Sally has returned home now and Rosie arrives about the same time, no review yet says Sally, but this is rather spoilt by David asking how Dozy is, "who are you calling dozy"says Rosie (this is all getting rather confusing). How will Sally tell Rosie that she has a copy of the review.
Karen is visiting Janice, Fiz is writing on Janice's plaster while Karen is doing a good job of winding herself up about all the whispering and half heard conversations.
Todd and the rest have arrived back at Gail's now, Todd apologises for asking Gail not to go, Gail sees the photo of the baby - a boy to be.
Karen has tracked down Steve at Streetcars and asks him if he is going to the christening, Steve makes it clear he will not be going, luckily for him the phone rings now.
Sally Webster is still keeping watch for Ken, and finally runs him down as he returns from his meeting, he apologises for the misprint but the review was honest as Rosie was basically rubbish, unfortunately all but Sally can see this!
At the Rovers Nick is having a phone call when it finishes he announces he has got a new job to Maria, Mike is also there and reckons anyone who employs Nick is a bit of a mug.
Karen and Fiz are having a drink, Karen is still going on about the conspiracy, Ciaran hears this and tells her to be vigilant with someone like Tracy who goes round cancelling peoples weddings, "Who's wedding was this?" asks Karen and is some what perturbed when she hears it was her wedding. Karen is now going to kill Steve and then teach Tracy Barlow an unforgettable lesson.
Looks like Friday is going to be interesting!
That's all folks,
Friday 19 March
Good evening. Events in Weatherfield remain the copyright of Granada, were written by Carmel Morgan and directed Tracey Rooney.
Most of tonight's events are dominated by the feelings Karen is experiencing over her husband having fathered a baby by Tracy. And needless to say Steve's mother is not going to make it easy for anyone.
Steve finishes a shift and wanders into the flat to find Karen wearing the standard issue face from hell. Ciaran has told Karen how the jealous bitch had cancelled the wedding arrangements and Steve had been forced to book expensive alternatives which meant he was now deeply in debt. Karen is unhappy that a mere barman knows more about her wedding than she does. Steve reckons it does not matter as they still got married - but that hardly appeases Karen who knows that today is christening day because Hayley has the day off. She storms out and Liz (future godmother I would remind you) shimmers into view having heard every word, smiles and says "Blimey".
Todd is going to be interviewed for his new job today so in the Street we see Sarah wishing him well and young Bethany gives him a hug as he takes her off to nursery. Further down the Street Ken tells Sally that he has arranged an apology for the misprint in the paper and rather feels that another apology might be due. Sally stares elsewhere and Ken senses that motherly pride is unlikely to give way. Oh well he observes it is a busy day and my illegitimate grandchild is being christened. Even Kev feels Sal was out of line on this one.
Back in the McDonald flat we get to see most of Liz. I can only suggest you go to http://www.itv.com/page.asp?partid=331&DPParentID=&DPID=330 where you can for yourself a delightful picture of an attractive middle aged woman (and a little further down the same page is the christening party - see below). Liz is trying to persuade Steve to go to the church, but he is feeling quite attached to his genitals at present, thank you mum. So she demands a free cab ride to the event.
Round at Tracy's preparations are underway. Tracy is doing nothing whilst Deirdre and Blanche run round after her, by gum she's good at doing nothing - well apart from painting her nails a second time. The christening gown was made by Hayley - and Blanche wants to know if Hayley or Harold will be signing as a man or a woman. Blanche is ironing Tracy's dress. Deirdre is getting the baby ready.
Over at the cafe Roy tells Sarah about the poem he is going to read - Larkin - about the merits of an ordinary life - not likely in the Barlow household but Sarah reckons that the Croppers will impart some normality.
Karl gives Todd some advice prior to his interview and they shake hands as he bets a pint later that Todd will get the job. Later Todd phone Sarah and he says it has gone well and he will hear at the start of the next week. Whilst he is on the phone he spends a lot of time ignoring Sarah and watching Karl in the background.
Outside the church Liz attempts to convince Steve one more time to attend the christening. He refuses. As she gets out the car Liz observes that Karen has got Steve just where she wants him. Steve concurs that it is exactly the way he likes it. And he departs. Liz joins the party. Tracy, Blanche, Emily, Ken, Roy, Hayley and Deirdre. You cannot believe Deirdre's outfit. Photos are taken.
Karen arrives at the cab office but Eileen says that she has just missed Steve - he has taken his mother, dressed up like a dog's dinner or as observed by Jason "Whitney dressed up as Britney" (lovely observation - even Karen knows precisely what is meant). Anyway Karen knows where they have gone and in the absence of a free ride says she will flag down a black cab, which luckily she finds just outside the salon! At which point we see Steve return in the background.
Out of nowhere Sally has materialized in the cab office, apparently having been there for ages - very poor continuity. Sal is bleating about Ken's review to a completely uninterested Eileen who tells Steve that she might have dropped him in it with Karen as she told Karen about the freebie for Liz - and his wife had encountered a red mist descending. Steve guesses immediately that Karen is going to the church.
The service is underway and going well - Roy gets to read his poem "Born yesterday" by Philip Larkin.
On a completely different track we briefly visit the Rovers. Shelley is chatting to Charlie and ignoring Kev who is thirsty. Fred gives her a brief telling off. Bev and Sally discuss Charlie. Fred returns to the back room and wants a chat. Shelley is light-hearted but Fred tells her off for being facetious. Shelley's book keeping is poor and the takings are also down. Fred says this is a business and he needs a return.
Sally is showing Rosie the completely inappropriate outfit she is intending to wear to the party. Rosie is having none of it - and anyway she would rather that Craig accompanies her to the last night party. Sally's nose is out of joint. Kev arrives back with the Gazette and Sal finds the correction. Her daughter is no longer Dozy Webster - she is now Rosie Wobster!
Back at the church the poem does not go down well with Tracy when Karen arrives and demands to see Steve. Liz says he is not there. Tracy tells Karen she has had her dramatic entrance, Steve is not there so she can go. The vicar reminds everyone that they are in the House of God. Well says Karen, you need to change your door policy, pointing at Tracy, that one is well from the Dark Side (lovely line well delivered). Liz wants to take Karen home - so Tracy observes what a good godmother she has turned out to be. Karen is gobsmacked that Liz is a godmother (apparently no one thought it was a good idea to tell her). Liz refuses to turn her back on her grandchild - Steven's daughter.
Karen steps around Liz - "This is Tracy's big day" Karen observes " and she went to so much trouble for mine ... I feel I owe her - big time". Tracy backs off rapidly as Karen advances, whilst Steve arrives and runs in. He is too slow to stop Karen as she leaps on Tracy and grabs her around the neck. Karen recites the evil Tracy's steps to prevent their marriage as she holds her neck and hair. Tracy observes that Steve still married her - Karen responds by observing that she did not have to drag Steve into her bed! Karen observes that even with a visit from the personality transplant fairy and a huge lottery win Tracy would not be attractive to Steve as she attempts to break Tracy's neck. Eventually Ken and Steve separate the warring girls. Tracy says "Now she is a psycho"! Steve lets go of Karen but too soon enough she advances on Tracy and lets fly with a hand to her face knocking Tracy over. Indeed an advancing rhino would have been felled with that blow.
Karen bends over Tracy and warns that any more stunts will lead to a funeral booking and that is "Enough".
And if you have not had enough Suranne Jones then Ant and Dec's takeaway on Saturday night provided more evidence of her abilities.
Memo to the script team. Is there enough to keep Tracy and Karen at each other's throats for the next 20 years like Ken and Mike? This one can run and run.
K Richard W
Sunday 21 March
We start tonight with Steve getting out of his cab with a bunch of flowers looking up at the flat. Blanche rears her vicious tongue and says that he hopes they are not for Karen and accuses her of traumatizing Amy. Steve tells her that they are for Liz for Mothers Day and Blanche retorts that they will probably get a visit later from the Police.
Tracy is sitting on the sofa nursing her black eye and Ken tells her that she did deserve it which doesnāt go down to well with her. Deirdre asks that she doesnāt do anything stupid and then she gives Blanche a card. Blanche isnāt too impressed with just a card and remarks that Liz McDonald got flowers. She then says that she told Steve that the police would be visiting later to lock his wife up for GBH.
Back at the flat Karen is looking a little sheepish asking if Steve is making her a cup of tea ö and he tells her that good news travels fast and that everyone has heard about her little scene in the church and he asks her what she is planning next ö they have a little chat about it and Karen is smirking about being a good hit when Liz walks in and accuses her of bragging about it ö she then goes on again about her granddaughter ö Karen storms off and Steve dumps the flowers in his mums hands.
Sally is doing the ironing ö Kevin tries to persuade her not to as its Mothers day but doesnāt offer to do it himself. Rosie then comes in and says that she is going round to Lisaās. Sally mentions another musical that is coming up ö Annie ö and Rosie scarpers out of the house quickly. As they have the house to themselves (absolutely no mention of where Sophie is) Kevin suggests a romantic day in ö Sally instructs him to cook a nice dinner and she will finish the ironing and then they can go for a walk (who said romance was dead!!)
Todd tells Dev that he had an interview for a full time post at the hospital and felt he should warn him. He then gives him a box of chocolates to take to Eileen. Maya thinks this is really nice ö but Sunita chips in that they were the cheapest box. Blanche and Deirdre then walk into the shop and Liz is also in there. Blanche accuses Liz of being the enemy which she denies. Blanche then tells her to baby sit for a few hours which of course Liz is delighted at and is even more encouraged by the fact that she knows it will upset Karen if she finds out.
Karen is still really wound up by Liz and tells Steve that she has to go ö today. Steve protests that he canāt ask her to leave on Mothers Day.
Charlie is trying to flirt with Shelly but gets nowhere which attracts him even more. Blanche, Tracy and Deirdre then appear at the bar. Tracy spots Karen and Deirdre pleads with her not to cause any trouble. Blanche then walks over to her and winds her up even further by saying that Liz has apologised for what she did yesterday. This sets Karen off and she storms over to Tracy. Tracy blanks Karen and tells Steve that he should keep his rottweiler under control because otherwise it might get put down. Karen storms out onto the street and who should be swinging down the street but Liz and Amy. Karen loses the plot ö Liz goes on again about being allowed to take her granddaughter for a walk. Karen goes to hit her and Steve pulls her off ö Liz goads her into it ö but Steve manages to restrain her.
Charlie is going on about work while he looks Shelly up and down talking about long-term projects or making do with a quickie like a lean to. Jason has no idea what he is talking about and Charlie tells him that he has a lot to learn.
Fred walks in and Shelly decides to try and look like she is using her initiative and announces that because of motherās day it is two for the price of one. Fred looks flabbergasted and everyone tries to get free drinks. Fred announces to the pub that it is for one round only and makes Shelly look stupid.
Tommy and Angela are walking down the street when they spot Sally. Ange knows that Sally will ask her about the play so she stuffs loads of food in her mouth so she cant speak. Sally bounces over and is going on about how Rosie shone ö and then asks her about mothers day ö Tommy tells her that Craig was too busy getting ready for the big date · with Rosie. Kevin likes the thought of this ö but Sally has a fit and is not at all happy.
Karen is snuggled up on the sofa and tells Steve that she cannot cope with his mum there and if they have any chance of surviving then he has to ask her to leave. Reluctantly he agrees.
Dev is telling Maya how difficult it is to get someone reliable to work in the shop and jokes about her working there ö she thinks this will be fun and takes him up on the offer.
Shelly is sitting on the bench outside the rovers when Charlie walks up and tries to be nice to her. He then tells her that she looks really nice when she smiles öshe retorts by saying ö Wensleydale and when he questions this she replies Stilton ö and then calls him and his chat up lines cheesy ö he mentions something about a little black book ö she says something derogative about him and Dev having black books and at this he walks off with a swagger ö leaving her pondering.
Sally is still droning on about Rosie having to concentrate on her acting career and not on boys and that if she is not careful she will end up like Sarah Platt. Rosie walks in and Sally screeches at her to come in ö she accuses her of lying even when Rosie tells her that she did go to Lisaās and that there were lots of people there including Craig. She tells her that she cant see him anymore and says that the best he will ever do is end up as a mechanic like his dad and she will end up in a back street terrace wishing her life away ö how nasty is that ö poor Kevin just looks bemused.
Liz comes back to the flat trying to act all sweet and innocent about taking Amy out but Karen is having none of it ö Karen tells her not to take her coat off as she is going ö Steve then confirms this and says that it cant go on ö Steve looks guilty and offers to drop her anywhere she wants ö she walks away saying she doesnāt want anything else from him.
Back at the Barlowās Tracy is sipping wind and agrees not to get the police involved and has a nasty smile on her face. Deirdre asks her what she is planning and Tracy protests saying that Steve and her have an agreement which will keep her going for now but she will get Karen back which will hurt her more than a black eye.
Liz comes out of the bedroom and tells Steve that her and Karen will never get on but she doesnāt want to ruin her relationship with him. She then brings Katie up ö Karen having not heard this story before calls her disgusting ö Liz then embellishes the story by saying it was Steveās fault she lost the baby because he caused her so much stress. This really gets to Karen and she calls Liz sick. Liz then goes off on one and really lays into Karen saying that Karen is nothing but scum ö selfish, lying, money grabbing scum and she turns round and walks out. Karen is sobbing and Steve just looks shocked ...
Monday 22 March
We begin the episode with Deirdre spotting Liz across the street, with her luggage. She hurries over and Liz tells her she's had a bust up with Steve and Karen and is going back to Brighton. 'She didn't hit you as well, did she?' queries Deirdre. 'No,' Liz tells her, 'but she did kick me out.' She tells Deirdre she stayed at a B and B last night, and Deirdre says she should have come round to them, they would have put her up. Liz didn't want to be a bother, but asks if she can go back to Deirdre's house to tidy herself up a bit, the B and B was a bit grotty and she didn't want to use their shower. Deirdre picks up Liz's suitcase and leads the way.
In the McDonald residence, Karen is looking suitably sheepish. At first she's on the defensive, protesting that she was right to kick Liz out, and when Steve points out that he's not arguing with her, she tells him he didn't argue for her, either. He says it's difficult being as it was his mother, but he gives Karen a hug and tells her he made his choice and he's sticking with it. Somewhat reassured, Karen prepares to go off to work, saying she'll see Steve in the Rovers at dinner time.
Over at Fred and Ashley's, Fred is waxing lyrical to Claire about the attributes of a good sausage, when Ashley comes in. He comments that he wonders Fred knows what a sausage looks like these days as he spends most of his time looking out of the shop window, daydreaming - about Penny King. Fred blusters that well, he hasn't seen her in a good while and he might just give her a call, when Claire remarks that she must be busy with all the Underworld girls she's taken on. 'What Underworld girls?' asks Fred, he didn't know that Penny was helping Mike out, and Penny hadn't mentioned it to him. Ashley says that she probably didn't think it was important. With slice of toast in his mouth, Fred puts on his jacket and goes. Claire worries that she has said something wrong, but Ashley reassures her that she couldn't if she tried. He tries to hug her but she pushes him off, reminding him of their deal, and that Joshua is in the room. Ashley then suggests that he finishes work at dinner time and they go to Chester shopping for Joshua's birthday present. They can ask Grandma Doreen if she'll babysit, and he and Claire could stay the night in a hotel. Claire is delighted at this prospect.
While Jason unloads the truck, Charlie Stubbs is knocking on the front door of that day's customer. The door opens and there stands a glamorous, raven haired young woman, hastily pulling a silky scarlet robe around herself. 'Mr. Stubbs,' she purrs, 'You caught me napping. Dead on time.' 'Mrs. Fanshawe,' grins Charlie, 'we aim to please!' As she looks past him to eye up Jason, he tells her to go in and not get cold, he knows the way. Back at the truck Jason's eyes are out on stalks. 'Who's that?' he wants to know. Charlie tells him to get the radiator into the house before he gets carried away.
Walking down the street, Fred sees Mike out by his car. He stops to ask if Mike has any news about the insurance. Mike tells him it will take ages, and Fred tells him he should have taken up his offer of help. Mike tells him he never mixes business with pleasure, and Fred mutters that he accepted Penny King's help. Mike says that was to keep the girls off the dole queue, and anyway, Penny is more of a colleague than a friend, after all he used to do all the deals with her husband. He asks Fred if he's seen Penny lately, but Fred thinks she's avoiding him. Mike tells him she's been busy at the factory. Fred admits he's feeling paranoid, the takings are down at the pub and he's had a bust up with Shelley. Mike remarks that Fred's manager may have lost him a few bob, but his own manager managed to burn the factory down.
At Mrs. Fanshawe's Charlie and Jason are hard at work. Jason tells Charlie that if he wants to be alone with Mrs. Fanshawe just to let him know and he'll disappear. Charlie tells him he's being paid to do a job, not to slide off somewhere. Mrs. Fanshawe then comes in, dressed in plunge neck top and mini skirt, with tea and biscuits. She offers Jason a 'special' biscuit, telling him seductively that it's a 'Silky Secret'. When they're alone again, Charlie tells Jason he'll drink his tea and be off, he has a job to price up on the other side of town. Jason asks if he doesn't want to stay and 'see to' Mrs. Fanshawe, but Charlie tells him no, he's got other fish to fry, and anyway, Jason was the one who got the special biscuit.
Liz is cradling baby Amy, and talking to Tracy, who still has her black eye. Liz tells her she really appreciates being asked to be godmother, and Tracy tells her that she can come and see Amy any time she likes, and can stay with her, she won't kick her out. 'Unlike some,' remarks Liz, wryly.
Charlie is now in the Rover's, flirting with Shelley. Fred suddenly roars at Shelley from across the bar to get Charlie's drink poured and see to rest of customers. He tells her he pays her to pour pints, not chat up anyone in trousers she takes a fancy to. Jack Duckworth comes in then, and stands beside Charlie. He asks Charlie where his oppo is. 'Fettling a radiator,' Charlie tells him, 'and a very attractive married woman.' Shelley slams Charlie's pint down on the bar, furious with Fred. Charlie loudly sings her praises so that Fred can hear, and then flirts with her some more. In the background Bev looks on and glowers. Shelley moves on to serve Sunita, who remarks that she seems very friendly with Charlie all of a sudden. Shelley tells her that even if she was interested she wouldn't want to hurt her mother.
Back at Mrs. Fanshawe's, Jason is just putting the final screws into the wall. Mrs. Fanshawe appears, dressed once again in the silky red dressing gown. She leans seductively in the doorway, and pouts that she wants to have a shower. Jason tells her she can have a shower any time she likes and he'll go to the shops while she does. She tells him not to do that, but to look at a faulty thermostat in the bedroom. When he gets to the bedroom, he finds some sexy red and black underwear lying on the bed. He picks a garment up with the end of his screwdriver, and is just looking at it when Mrs. Fanshawe comes in and tells him she will wear it for him, when he's tested the shower out. She puts her arms round his neck.........
Jack and Charlie are still propping up the bar in the Rover's, and chatting to Ciaran who seems to have come on duty since Fred shouted at Shelley. Jack asks if Jason is turning out to be a half decent apprentice and Charlie says he is, especially working one to one with the customers as he is today. Jack then recounts his experience with a widow woman and her daughter in Loughbrough in 1963.
Fred and Ashley are talking about the forthcoming night away, and how Doreen is having Joshua. Ashley has booked a four star hotel. Fred apologises for always being in the way, but Ashley says it can't be helped, and anyway, them being away leaves the way clear for Fred and Penny.
Karen and Steve are standing a short distance away, Karen asks Steve if he's seen his mother. Liz then comes up behind them, and Steve turns round and says he thought she'd gone back. She tells him there's a taxi waiting outside. He says he's sorry it had to end up like that, and she says she's sorry if she caused any trouble, but she was doing it for the right reasons. They hug, while Karen shakes her head with a curled top lip. Liz tells her she's not giving Steve up that easily, he's her son, and little Amy is her granddaughter, and she'll be back to see them both whether Karen likes it or not.
Roy and Hayley are busy in the cafe when Tracy comes in, with Amy in the pram. She thought they might like to look after Amy while she goes to town. Roy starts to say they are busy, but Hayley trots round the counter with a frown at Roy and says hastily that they'll make time, they'd love to have her. Tracy tells them they can drop her off around five, and then departs.
With Mrs. Fanshawe in bed, Jason is getting dressed. She tells him that if she needs anything else fixing she'll call on him again. Mr. Fanshawe's plumbing is not what it used to be, it keeps breaking down under stress.
Fizz and Kirk are watching children's tv when Les comes in, all excited because Cilla is coming back tomorrow and he's looking forward to some passion. 'Pah,' scoffs Fizz, 'passion with 'er? You must be joking!' Les wants to know why Fizz is there at 4.30 in the afternoon. She tells him she only has a part time job for now. He asks after Janice and she suggests he goes round and sees her. she's stuck inside all day and would be glad to see anybody.
Jason walks into the Rovers, grinning like a Cheshire cat. They joke with him about what he's been up to and he tells them he doesn't want Candice to find out about it. Jason says he thought it was Charlie she was interested in, but Charlie tells him there's only one woman he's interested in, and looks at Shelley.
Roy and Hayley have arrived at Tracy's with the still sleeping Amy. Roy is convinced she has reached a stage in her development where she can differentiate between the different species of bird. (?) They took her to the park to feed the ducks, explains Hayley. Tongue in cheek, Tracy asks if he's saying that Amy could be an ornithologist when she grows up....Hayley has to explain to Roy that Tracy is winding him up. But they enjoyed having Amy and tell Tracy they'll have her any other time. Tracy quickly asks, 'How about next week?' She tells Roy he could take her to the science museum and brush up her physics.
Les has arrived at Janice's flat, he's come to see how she is. He tells her not to read too much into it, Cilla is back tomorrow. Janice assures him she has no designs on him. Les says they go back a long way, but they can still be mates. Janice is chuffed he's come round, she's been sat there on her own going stir crazy. He suggests taking her for a drink at the Rovers, no strings attached. Janice is delighted.
Over in the Rovers, Shelley is asking Charlie what Jason was looking so pleased about at lunch time. He tells her it was the satisfaction of a job well done. Bev is talking to Mike, disgusted at what she is hearing from Charlie. She tells Shelley she is going for a bath, and then Penny comes up to Mike. Fizz and Sonia are watching from the corner. They think Penny must be twenty years younger than Mike, and although her husband was nothing to write home about, he was well heeled. Fizz thinks Penny fancies Mike.
Mike, meanwhile, is asking Shelley for a packet of his cigars. She thinks they are out the back and will get them in a minute. Mike asks Penny if she's seen Fred lately, and she wonders why he's asking. He says he doesn't like to see Fred unhappy, and he is unhappy because he can't see her. Mike wants to know if she's going to marry Fred or not. Penny doesn't know, she doesn't think so, but doesn't want to talk about it.
Claire and Ashley have arrived at the posh hotel. There's even a swimming pool, and when Claire remarks that she hasn't brought her cossie, the receptionist tells her she can buy one downstairs. As they check in, they're asked 'Name?' and they both answer at once, Peacock / Casey. The receptionist assures them she only needs one name. Ashley fills in the card and they go off to their room.
In the back room of the pub, Shelley is looking in the cupboard for Mike's cigars. Charlie comes in quietly and shuts the door, he's come for a kiss. Shelley is flustered at first, but he tells her how much he likes her and gives her a small kiss. After a moment's pause, she kisses him back, with much enthusiasm!
And that's it for episode one.......................................
Hello, and welcome to the second half of another Monday.
We open with Shelley and Charlie still kissing. She points out that her Mam is up the stairs, and he says it could well be the element of danger that he likes. She wants him to go, but he says he's only just got there. Shelley hustles him away out the back door. Just as he goes, Bev comes down the stairs, wanting to borrow Shelley's shampoo. Phew, close call, that.
Karen and Steve are sitting eating takeaway chips. Karen wants to know if he's still mad at her, but he says not (in a tone of voice that means he is!). She wants things to get back to normal. Maybe they could do something tonight? "What, like celebrate kicking my Mum out?" Steve asks. Karen accuses him of sulking, but Steve puts his jacket. He has to be on the "switch" at the cab office for a couple of hours, he says.
In the hotel, Ashley is checking out the bathroom, which apparently has two sinks and a bidet. "Good, you'll be right to clean your boots, then," says Claire. She insists Ashley check out the grouting. He Dad said the condition of the grouting between the bathroom tiles was a better guide than any star rating system. She pops into the bathroom and check it herself. I don't know why, but somehow I get the impression she's a little nervous. . .
Back at the house, Fred is sprawled on the sofa eating a sandwich from a plate balanced on top of his belly. There are crumbs stuck to his face and shirt No, I have no idea how he ever got up, either. His mouth still full of sandwich, he rings Penny. He tells her answer machine he just thought he'd phone to say he's at home, he'll be in all evening and it would be nice to talk to her. "Oh, it's Fred, by the way, did I tell you?"
In the Rovers, Jack and Ciaran are giving Jason a hard time. They suggest he's tired because he's been "hard at it" all morning. They've heard he was "on the job" all day. They think he must be tired and Candice thinks he looks tired. Charlie comes back in through the pub door and the others wonder what he had to do and why it didn't take him long to do. Why leave at all if he was coming right back? Shelley comes in from "out the back" and seems a bit hyperactive. She takes Mike's cigars he's ordered over to him and comments are made about how long it has taken her to fetch them.
In another bar, which always looks like a student union but must be somewhere near the hospital (the country's first in-hospital club?), Todd is having a drink with Karl to celebrate getting the full-time porter's job. Karl makes a smart comment about his qualifications and Todd gets quite defensive, so Karl has to apologise and pacify him.
Uh oh. In the Rovers, "let's keep this a secret" has its usual Street meaning -- Shelley has just told Sunita and Charlie has just told Ciaran. But both tellees are sworn to secrecy by the tellers. (So, if "secret" means you're allowed to tell one other person within 10 minutes, Vancouver will be abuzz by Wednesday!). "I don't want her thinking I'm some kind of kiss-and-tell merchant," Charlie says. Ciaran points out that this is exactly what he is. "You've just kissed her, and now you've just told me!" But Charlie asks what his chances are of getting past first base. Ciaran doesn't know, but he does know what the biggest obstacle will be: "It's about this height, blonde hair, answers to the name Bev." There is a bit off fuss as Janice and Les come in together, although Janice insists they aren't together, just coming in at the same time. Though she does admit to Fizz and Sonia that Les called for her and helped her up the street.
Sunita asks Shelley what she would have done if Bev had been out. "I would feel like I was cheating on her," Shelley says. Ciaran has confessed that he and Shelley had a bit of a flirtation once, and that he has also slept with Bev. He says his best mate was seeing Shelley at the time, it never went any further with her. "So what happened to your best mate?" Ciaran gives him the potted history: Well, he ended up marrying her in the end, but only after he'd managed to go and get married to somebody else and then she found out and then Shelley found out and Shelley dumped him, then me and him fell out and then he moved away." He says Shelley's not really over it. He warns Charlie that he doesn't want to see Shelley as just another notch on a randy builder's bedpost. Bev comes into the bar all dressed up for a night out. She uses her cloak/wrap to good effect and positively swoops past Ciaran and Charlie, saying "Evening, boys," in her best Mae West style.
In the hotel, Claire and Ashley appear to be the least relaxed couple on a relaxing night away that I have ever seen. Ashley breaks the ice by giving her a quick kiss and things just look to be warming up when the phone goes. It's Fred, and Claire insists Ashley answer it in case there is something wrong with Josh. There isn't. Fred is worried about Penny. He's left six messages on her phone but she hasn't called back. He bemoans the fact that he proposed and when Ashley doesn't reply, he says, "You can disagree with me if you like!". Poor lonely Fred. By the time the call finishes, Claire is putting her jacket on. She is hungry and suggests they get something to eat then go back and have a drink and an early night.
In the pub, Janice, Fizz, Sonia and Les are looking across at Mike and Penny and wondering what is going on between them. They decide the two are probably cooking up some scheme to make life worse for their workers. Candice is with Jason and tells him there's something odd about him. Is he too tired to go back to the flat with her? No way. He's on his feet and they're off out the door as soon as she makes the suggestion. Charlie offers to buy Shelley a drink but she refuses because she is working. "So am I," he says, "but I'm not sure I'm getting through." Shelley assures him it's getting through, but says it's nearly bedtime. "Sounds good to me," says Charlie, suggesting they have a quiet, private drink. Shelley is very taken by this idea and acts on it immediately. "Les, do you feel like a lock-in? Charlie's idea. He suggested a quiet, private drink." Charlie protests to her that this wasn't what he had in mind. "Really? You'll have to try harder," she says. "I'm getting mixed messages."
Uh oh, No 2: Steve is at No 7, talking to Tracey. She tells him there is no need to sneak in through the back door and offers to wake the baby if he wants to see her. Steve just wants to get the money arrangements sorted and go. He's go the first payment with him, but wants to set up a direct debit. Tracey wants to know if he's going to be his back door man with his dirty fivers (ick). Steve tells her the money will be transferred to her account through Streetcars and Tracey will NEVER find out about it. Tracey agrees. Steve says he can never work her out. "That's what makes me so exciting, isn't it, Steve?" she smirks.
At the hotel, the researchers have let down the props people. Claire is teaching Ashley to play chess, using the contents of the mini-bar ("the gin can go forwards or backwards or from side to side"), including about a dozen tiny UHT milk servings. Yet everyone knows that if there are two people in the hotel room, there will be just three servings of milk with the coffee. Claire tells Ashley there will be a new rule. Every time they capture a piece, they must drink it. They're already a vodka piece short. "I drank it," Claire says. She shows Ashley how to psych out an opponent, then drinks another bottle. "I'll just drink this, then I'll make a move."
Back in the Rovers, Penny tells Mike it's time to make a move. She reassures him that the only thing she will share will him tonight is a taxi.
Fred is still at home. He seems quite distraught. He lights a cigarette, then hastily tries to wave the smoke away.
In the hotel, Ashley and Claire are both more than a bit tipsy. They decide they are both ready for bed and Ashley goes into the bathroom "for a quick check on the grouting". (Transparent plot, anyone?)
Karen is watching TV when Steve returns with a bottle of wine. "I don't want that. I want you," she tells him. She apologises for being a cow about his mother. But that's behind them. She wants to concentrate on "us". But there is one thing more. "And this is the last time I will say this, but if I ever find out there is anything going on between you and Tracey Barlow, I will kill you. Is that clear?" It is.
Of course, Ashley returns from the bathroom after a good gargle (yep, we saw him doing it) to find Claire asleep. In fact, she's snoring. And grunting. Ashley gets into bed and kisses her on the nose. "Ni' nigh." Awwwwwwww. Bless.
A very restless Fred has gone to his front door. He sees Penny and Mike leave together in taxi. But what's this? The Rovers' lights are still ablaze and there is a police car prowling past. Fred bursts into the Rovers and breaks up the party. He orders everyone home, despite Janice protesting that it's the best entertainment she's had all week. Then he bawls out Shelley, telling her she had no right to hold a lock-in without his say so. It's his name over the door and what's she's doing is illegal. Shelley accuses him of picking on her and says he's only upset because his love life isn't going well. Fred is furious. "You might be manager, but this pub is my responsibility, and that's got nowt to do with my love life and everything to do with being irresponsible." Just as Bev comes in, Shelley snaps. She tells Fred he can get some other mug to do the job. She's had enough.
[hum theme tune here]
Wednesday 24 March
Tonight's episode starts at the Rovers, Shelley and Bev are discussing the events of the lock in the previous evening, Shelley says she did the right thing and is going to take the day off as she is fed up being ordered about by Fred and needs to remind him she is in charge as manager, even though it is Fred's name above the door.
At the hotel Ashley and Claire have packed and are ready to go home, Claire is mortified that she fell asleep last night after drinking to much and apologises again to Ashley, "that's thirty-two times now" says Ashley and then she apologises again for spoiling their special night.
Fred is at the Rovers and is asking Bev where Shelley is, Bev says she has gone to the doctors, Fred wants to speak with her so there can be a frank exchange of views. Fred then seems to lose the thread (nearly made that Fred...) of his conversation, luckily Bev realises he is talking about Penny and her leaving the Rovers last night with Mike. Fred is more concerned about Penny than seeing Shelley when she returns.
The scene then changes to a litter strewn floor, where can this be, yes - its Les's place he is watching television, the front door opens and Les thinking it is Kirk yells out to him about the programme he is watching. Les hasn't realised the love of his life (Cilla) is back, Les is anxious to welcome Cilla back properly, Cilla wants a cup of tea first though. She asks him what has been happening, he tells her about the fire, Les asks her how her friend is - her friend it seems has changed from Charlene to Chantelle, Cilla manages to turn the conversation from this hiccup to how Les is.
Shelley is having a cup of tea at the cafe, Charlie turns up for a couple of sandwiches, goes over to see Shelley and asks her what she is doing tonight. The sandwiches are ready so off Charlie goes.
Back at the Rovers Fred is asking Ciaran if Shelley is back yet - no-one has seen her and Betty is not amused at having to come in on her day off.
Fred goes to have a discreet word with Mike regarding his intentions with Penny, Fred then brings up the subject of the shared cab, Mike assures Fred that nothing is going on, Fred then offers Mike doubles and triples of whisky by way of compensation.
The next to turn up at the Rovers is Cilla and is warmly welcomed back by Fiz, who tells Cilla that Janice and Les are back together after the accident she had during the fire. Oh dear! Cilla rushes out to confront Les and Janice while Fiz finishes off her pint.
At Streetcars Eileen is looking at the scan of the baby, Todd has come in to see her - looks like peace has been declared there, as Todd goes out Les comes in followed by an angry Cilla who demands to know what has been going on between him and Janice. Off she goes now to confront Janice.
Back at the Rovers Fred is telling Bev about the "misunderstanding" on his part regarding Mike and Penny, Fred then asks where Shelley is, "still not back" says Bev, "gone for test" says Fred now slightly more conciliatory now that his mood has bettered, he will just have a talk with her now - better than a frank exchange of views! Fred of course does not know that Shelley has just taken the day off.
Cilla has reached Janice's now and rushes in to confront her about Les, its then handbags at five paces as both grab handfuls of hair and between screeching at each other, Les arrives now and they both ignore him as they prepare to pull chunks of hair out, Janice eventually makes her see sense and somewhat reluctantly they let go of each others hair after Les counts up to three, (twice as well, just to show the first time wasn't an accident!) so that they can let go at the same time.
Maria sees Claire in the street and asks her how the night away went, Claire tells Maria what happened and is a bit uneasy about talking about their relationship - or lack of it!
At the butchers Fred is asking Ashley how the evening went, Fred then proceeds to tell Ashley about his lack of luck with women in general and Penny in particular. Penny then turns up which brightens Fred up no end and he gets an invitation to dinner on Sunday. Fred with an overwhelming display of gratitude loads Penny up with prime beef as she goes.
Todd has turned up the cafe now, and tells Sarah that he going out with some mates for a drink after work the next day, Sarah tells Todd to cancel it so that they can have some time together but he cant or doesn't want to which leaves Sarah in a huff as Todd goes off to work.
Fred is in a much better mood in the Rovers now, this is soon spoiled by Betty telling Fred that Shelley has taken the day off to teach him a lesson, Bev is invited into the back to have a serious word with Fred.
Cilla and Les are settling their differences - all ends with a kiss and a cuddle, who is taking who for a ride...
Fred is discussing with Bev Shelley's non arrival, Fred will be talking to Shelley regarding her position, Fred then offers Bev the managers job which Bev is a bit uneasy about taking.
Out in the pub Eileen is showing Vera the scan.
Shelley has arrived back now, Charlie is having a pint and is obviously there to see Shelley, Ciaran says Fred is in the back and she goes off to see him..
Meanwhile Fred and Bev are discussing the job and Bev says she will have to discuss with Shelley as she walks in and asks what she will have to discuss. Fred then tells her that she is not a responsible enough person to be manager and despite Shelley's rather pathetic pleading tells her that Bev is the new manager - here ends the episode.
That's all folks
Friday 26 March
This is Friday evening's update running a little late; I always get confused when the hour changes and I seem to be behind the Sunday evening update - so once you have read this it may all make a little more sense.
Events in Weatherfield remain the copyright of whoever currently owns it - either Granada or the new improved ITV plc or aliens from the planet Zog, judging by some of the recent goings-on, whilst the writing comes from the pen of Jayne Hollinson, it was directed by Kay Patrick and the sponsors remain Cadburys.
Ashley, Fred and Claire are eating toast and discussing the sacking of Shelley in place of Bev. Ash wants to spend the evening in the Rovers but Clare has other things on her mind and Fred agrees to stay out of the way. Clare is not happy.
Over in the Rovers Bev is claiming that she is merely taking over to let Shelley have a rest. Shelley says that Bev and Fred have stitched her up. Shelley wants a private word with Bev. Bev tries to explain to Shelley, but the explanation does not go down well. Shelley tells Bev she can run the place.
Sarah is telling Todd he cannot go for a drink after work - she wants to join him but he does not want her there - he does not want her checking up on him - he works hard and wants a bit of time out. He is belligerent and not understanding that she might want his company as well.
Maya and Dev arrive at the shop - she is going to work a shift - he reckons she will be bored and will only last to lunchtime. Sunita does not give her a friendly welcome. A little later Claire and Maria meet in the shop. Maria wants a drink later but Claire explains she is seeing Ashley and hoping for more luck. Maria knowing about the drunken stupor in the hotel says she has an idea and that Claire should see her later. Sunita bids Maria farewell and uses it an opportunity to explain to Maya about customer service. Maya is bored already. Sunita says she gets bored and Maya responds by saying that she is sure she can devise some anti-boredom plans.
Back at the Rovers Bev is starting to throw her weight around - and there is no hotpot because Betty did not have adequate preparation time (she lost about two minutes so is just being a stroppy old moo), Ashley has to settle for a ham barm instead. The Bev tells Shelley off for not arranging for the barrel to be changed by Ciaran - but she is not in charge any longer. Shelley gives Bev a piece of her mind in front of the customers and then tells Bev that she is on strike and goes and sits the other side of the bar.
Later Bev retells events to Fred who is less than impressed by Shelley's reported behaviour. Bev does actually try to get Fred back onside and asks for Shelley to be given another chance. In one of the booths builder Charlie, the most trustworthy and realistic character ever invented, is poisoning Shelley's mind against both Bev and Fred. She agrees to meet him that evening somewhere else. Shelley then goes over to Fred and without letting either Bev or Fred get a word in and she lets Fred have both barrels. She has slaved hard for Fred whilst losing her sister and her husband. She admits she has made a few mistakes. Fred can stuff his pub and the job - she resigns.
Later Fred updates Ashley - the latter suggest that Fred has handled it wrongly. Fred is glad she has resigned. Fred does not want to go out but Ashley tells him to get himself gone. Claire is arriving at Maria's for her preparation session.
Todd is enjoying a drink with Karl. Karl is teasing Todd and when Sarah rings Todd is reluctant to answer the phone. Sarah apologises and says Todd can have a break and he thanks her briefly. Todd is reluctant to declare his love. An angry looking young man arrives - apparently this is Robbie - Karl's boyfriend and he is looking both angry and jealous whilst acting very badly. Karl tells Robbie about Todd's heterosexuality. Robbie relaxes and apologises and departs. Apparently Robbie is a bit possessive like Sarah. Anyway Todd wants to get back but it is his round - so they have another one.
In the back of the Rovers Shelley is getting ready for her evening out with Charlie when Bev comes in and tells Shelley that she was trying to get her job back. Shelley is not convinced.
Maya and Sunita are drinking champagne and eating chocolate when Dev arrives. Maya calls him churlish when he starts complaining about there celebration of Maya's first day. This hardly placates him. Maya tells Sunita that Dev will pay for it - when Maya drags Dev off to bed to drink the rest of the champagne. Sunita is not happy.
Claire eventually arrives at Ashley's dressed in a very short skirt, a revealing blouse and lots of make up and is very nervous. Ashley cannot believe his eyes. She asks for wine and then says she does not want wine - she wants Ashley and starts tearing his shirt off - which cost £20 - she wants to be abandoned and has a prepared speech as to what she wants - Ashley to make the earth move! They kiss and then Ashley rebels - this is not what he wants - it is like he is with someone else - she is being all bossy. Her getup does not suit her. Claire gets upset. There is something wrong with all of this and she leaves. I am getting fed up with this. I can accept that Ashley had problems over Maxime but this is getting really silly, he had other girlfriends and this is simply ridiculous.
In a bar called Nexus Charlie and Shelley are discussing the earlier events. Charlie does not believe that Bev was really trying to get her job back. Charlie does want to discuss it - and indeed does not like the bar - no beer. He jokes about the wine and she laughs and he refers to her sexy mouth - they kiss and then Shelley remembers.
Sarah is be herself. Todd is wandering the Street with Karl and drops his keys. Outside the door they look deeply into each other's eyes and then Todd collects himself and says good night Karl. He does not go in immediately - he appears drunk and confused over various aspects of his life. And I have trouble believing the storyline. Yes good headlines catching stuff - but not honestly believable, somehow Todd cannot carry this one.
Charlie is complaining he is confused. One minute Shelley is giving him the come on and then she backs off. Shelley says she is not doing it for fun - but Bev. Charlie says they only went out for a couple of weeks and it was a bit of fun. Shelley states her mother's case - deep down she is vulnerable. Well says Charlie releasing the bombshell, if she is so vulnerable, how come she had a one night stand with Ciaran the barman? Shelley is thunderstruck and hardly believes it. Shelley cannot take it all in and dashes out and the titles roll. And on this storyline - well I suppose I can just about believe it, but then the whole thing is fiction so I suppose I do need to suspend belief.
See you all again next week.
K Richard W
Sunday 28 March
We start tonight with Bev, Shelly and Betty sitting at the kitchen table ö Shelly looking sour faced, Bev trying to make small talk and Betty looking awkward. Ciaran walks in and tries to make a joke which goes down like a lead balloon ö Betty warns him not to and tells him to get on with some work ö he sits at the table and she walks out. Shelly then goes on about people enjoying themselves and then tells a stunned Bev and Ciaran that she knows about their affair and that they are a couple of hypocrites.
Clare comes in and feels a bit awkward with Ashley ö he tires to tell her the reasons why he didnāt like her all dressed up ö in between their conversation ö Fred is flitting about talking about Penny and an emergency meeting with the Square Dealers. He tries to ring Penny to delay their meal but she is engaged and he worries that she is on the phone to someone else. We then go over to Pennyās phone and she is on the phone to Mike ö he has asked her out for a drink which she tells him she cant have because Fred is coming round.
Ciaran and Bev are whisper arguing about who told Shelly ö Bev is fuming and thinks it was him and he swears that he didnāt tell anyone. Bev then tries to have it out with Shelly and learns that it was Charlie who informed Shelly. Bev tells Shelly that it was a daft thing and that she regretted it and that she felt really stupid afterwards. Shelly then tells her mother that she doesnāt think she was stupid but two-faced, deceitful and nasty. Bev canāt understand why Shelly is so cross and Shelly explains that at the same time Bev was talking to her about Peter and trust and all the time she was having an affair with Ciaran.
Out in the bar ö Betty is grumbling about going home if this keeps up. Bev then tells Ciaran that it was Charlie who told Shelly and she is devastated that they were obviously swapping stories about her.
Ashley and Clare are still discussing the previous evening and Fred is still dithering. He eventually gets through to Penny and tells her he has been summoned to a Rectangular ö which is an extraordinary meeting of the Square Dealers. He asks if he can come later. She is fine with that and insists that he phones her when he is on his way. Nick and Maria come round and invite Ashley and Clare to the Rovers for a drink. Ashley offers to drive Fred to the meeting and then pick him up from Pennyās house.
Nick and Maria are going into the pub when they meet up with Todd, Sarah and Bethany. Todd is looking a little pained and Sarah explains that he has a hangover.
In the shop Maya wants to close early and Dev explains that he cant do that because people rely on him to open when he says he will and if he shut there would be bound to be someone who would be put out. As if on cue Tyrone walks in with Monica. Maya is disgusted that he brings a dog into the shop and asks him to take it outside. Dev canāt understand why she has taken such offence to it.
In the pub Maria and Nick are quizzing Ashley and Clare about their night. Ashley looks particularly embarrassed and they both say nothing about it. Maria offers to do her make up again if she wants and Nick grins inanely.
Maya and Dev are in the Rovers when Tyrone comes in ö Maya makes some remark about him not brining his dog in the pub so why did he bring her in the shop. He then winds her up and says that next time he will bring her to the pub as well.
Mike walks into the Rovers and his phone rings ö its Penny. She explains that Fred will be late and she invites him to her house ö he tries to say no but she really pleads so he agrees. Penny smiles at the phone.
Maya is still going on about Monica and has made a sign about no dogs which she sticks up in the shop. Dev reluctantly agrees and says that he has a thing about signs and that people are often quick to take offence.
Mike arrives at Pennyās and she admits that she is nervous about Fred coming round in case he proposes again. Mike tells her that she has to be cruel to be kind and she tells him that he was being cruel to be kind when he told her their recent liaison was just a one off. He tells her that he doesnāt want her to do something she will regret and he is being cautious because he realises now that you cant live forever.
Karl and Todd are in a different pub and Charlie walks in (small world!). Todd tries to talk to him about the night before but Karl says he cant remember anything.
The phone rings in the Rovers and Bev picks it up ö its Charlie for Shelly. She starts having a go at him about him spreading rumours. Shelly then comes down stairs and speaks to Charlie ö he asks her to join him at the pub.
Penny is still droning on at Mike and tells him that she doesnāt want to get married again so he shouldnāt worry about starting anything with her. Her phone rings and its Fred. She pretends she has a migraine and cancels him coming round. Mike is pleased and goads her about being such a good liar. She tells him they have the whole evening together and she might take Fredās advice and have a lie in. Mike calls her a wicked woman and smiles like a crocodile.
Karl is moaning about Robbie and Todd is moaning about Sarah and how possessive they are. Shelly then walks in and Charlie gets her a drink. She tells Charlie that she hasnāt come to see him but needed to get away from the Rovers and her mother.
Penny is slinking around in a silk blue dressing gown and tells Mike that she has the dinner she had cooked Fred. He tells her again he wont stay the night which she tells him to stop going on about it (at last) and she is fine that he will have his supper and go.
Todd finishes his drink and realises he must go home ö Karl tells him to blame him if Sarah is cross.
Shelly is having a go at Charlie telling him he did it on purpose even though he is protesting that he thought she knew. She tells him that he was fed up with her mother so tries his luck with her and when she said no he brought up Ciaran so that she would think her mother was a slapper and would go with anything. He looks bemused and wonders why she came.
Clare and Ashley are still going on about their relationship ö he says that he has to go and pick up Fred.
Todd meanwhile is creeping back into the flat. Sarah comes out of the bedroom and turns the light on. She is really cross that he has been drinking again and he pretends that he has been out with Jason. She tells him to clean his teeth and have a shower as he stinks of beer and storms back to bed ö he looks down trodden.
Mike is on the doorstep and kisses Penny who is still in her blue silk dressing gown and guess what ·. Ashley who still hasnāt realized that Fred has been cancelled is waiting outside Pennyās house ö of course he witnesses the whole thing and the credits roll ·.
Monday 29 March
Hi everyone, here is the first episode for the evening.
We open in Ashley's kitchen, he and Claire are discussing what he saw on Penny King's doorstep the night before - Mike kissing a dressing-gown clad Penny, before he got in his car and drove off. They break off from their discussion as Fred comes in, moaning, 'Never again,' and nursing a hangover. He takes a pack of frozen peas from the freezer and hold it to his head, telling them he knows how Penny felt, she cried off from their tete-a-tete with a migraine, and he hopes Ashley didn't disturb her. Ashley tells him he saw the house in darkness and just came home, and found Fred asleep in the chair, no harm done. Claire suggests he needs some fresh air, and after he's gone Ashley tells her that he's not going to say anything to Fred about what he saw, he could have been mistaken, Mike and Penny are working together after all, and his dad's been let down before. He's not going to say anything unless he has to.
In Todd and Sarah's flat, Todd is preparing for his first day in his new job. Sarah, still in her dressing gown is tired, and cross with Todd for staying out late drinking. He promises to come straight home tonight, and offers to take Bethany to nursery for Sarah. Sarah is feeling tired and sick and doesn't want to eat any breakfast, but is worried about letting Roy down again. Todd shows tender concern for her, he knows she didn't sleep well, and tells her he'll drop in and tell Roy that she's sick. 'You need your sleep, sweetheart,' he tells her, kneeling down beside her. He says that the two of them and and baby are what's important. 'And Bethany,' adds Sarah. Then she gets up and heads to the bedroom. 'Tell Roy I've gone back to bed,' she tells him.
Over in the back room of the Rover's, Betty asks Ciaran if Shelley is in today. Ciaran doesn't know, and thinks it's too early to start stirring things. Bev comes in with a tray of tea, and Betty notes that there's no cup for Shelley. Bev is just saying that she can't read Shelley's mind when the door opens and Shelley comes in. She tells them they won't see her behind the bar in a hurry, if ever, and the way she feels right now she doesn't even want to live there. She's going out, she says, and goes.
David and Nick are walking down the street. David tells Nick that his mum wants to make it up. Nick tells him his mum threw him out, and is always causing trouble. David says if she was sick or in an accident he'd come round, and in the end Nick says he'll think about it. Just then Martin and Katy come out of their flat and Martin calls out to offer David a lift, so off he goes.
Penny King drives around the corner and stops outside the factory. Fred accosts her as she gets out of the car, and asks her if whatever cured her headache will cure his. She looks a trifle flustered, especially when Fred tells her to make sure Mike takes it easy with her today! She stammers that they're just doing a bit of business, and he comments that once Mike starts he doesn't know when to stop. He offers to take her out for a meal that evening, but she asks him round to her house, she'll cook a meal for him.
Outside the shop, Maya and Sunita are disagreeing about how to display the flowers. Tyrone is at the post box with his dog, and tells Sunita that she might as well give in, Maya is always right. Maya tells him if he's boycotting them, to boycott the pavement as well, so that his smelly dog doesn't dribble all over the flowers. Tyrone marches off as Dev comes round the corner. Sunita exclaims that he's upset, but Maya scoffs that he's no loss, and goes back inside.
Charlie meets Shelley in the street, and asks if she's still mad at him. He apologises, saying he shouldn't have used what he knew about her mum like that. He asks if he can see her later, but Shelley tells him she doesn't like to commit herself. He knows where she lives, when he asks if she'll be in she tells him, 'Maybe, maybe not.'
In the factory, Mike is giving Penny the workforce's tax codes and national insurance numbers. He tells her they work harder at her place than they did there. She then tells him she met Fred outside and he's coming to her house for dinner. Mike tells her she should have made an excuse, but she tells him excuses don't work. He tells her not to blurt out something she might later regret, in the heat of the moment people get carried away. 'Like we did?' she asks flirtatiously. Mike changes the subject quickly, then he asks what she's going to say to Fred. 'That I don't love him and I don't want him,' she says. Mike thinks she should let him down gently, but Penny says she's going to tell him straight.
Ashley and Claire are in the Rover's discussing what Ashley saw. Ashley still thinks that Mike could have been with Penny for all kinds of reasons. 'Such as?' asks Claire.
Betty and Ciaran are just discussing how they're left to hold the fort, when Mike comes in. Claire presses Ashley into going to ask Mike what he was doing last night. Ashley is reluctant but Claire says he owes it to Fred. Ashley goes to the bar and then proceeds to grill Mike over how long he's known Penny and if he sees much of her. Mike answers him, but is clearly irritated by the questioning. Ashley goes back to Claire, 'You're right,' he tells her, 'they're seeing each other.'
Gail has called round to see Sarah, having heard from Roy that she's sick. She offers to pick Bethany up for her, and urges Sarah to go into town, to let her hair down, see friends, go to a movie or do whatever she wants, she'll have precious little time on her own when she has two babies. Sarah tells her mum that she's on her own quite a lot, Todd keeps going drinking with his mates. Gail says he's young, he should be having fun and so should Sarah. In the end Sarah is won round, it would be nice to do the shops at her own pace for a change, and thanks her mum.
In the pub, Nick is moaning about Gail to Martin. Martin tells him Gail is his mum, she always will be, no matter how long he and Maria lasts. Nick assures him they will last, they're not kids. Martin tells him it's coming to something when Nick's girlfriend is older than Martin's. Anyway, Gail wants to make the peace, he heard what David said.
Bev asks Betty if she can stay on that night. Betty is not too happy, she's worked all day, but says she'll think about it.
Ashley and Claire are still discussing Fred. Claire thinks they have to tell him, but Ashley says no, he's adamant, she must say nothing. She says she will say nothing if he says something, but Ashley insists that it will only cause trouble and tells her not to meddle. She says she won't.
Todd wanders into the hospital canteen to find Karl sitting there with a black eye. Todd is shocked and asks who did it. It turns out to be Robbie, Karl's boyfriend. Karl wants to talk to Todd about it after work in the pub. Todd says that he can't, he promised Sarah he'd go straight home, but Karl eventually persuades him.
Katy comes up behind David in the street, and jokes with him about being his stepmother, she tells him his dad told her to look after him. David tells her she's only a couple of years older than him, but she tells him it makes all the difference. He tells her to get lost and she goes off laughing, passing Nick as she does so. Nick comes over to David and offers him a sweet, and David asks what he thinks of Katy. Nick thinks she's all right, but David says he'd rather have Maria. Nick says so would he! David asks if he's coming round later, he's got to talk to their mum sometime. Nick says he might.
In the corner shop, Maya is reading the newspaper while Charlie browses the shelves. Dev introduces Maya to Charlie, and tells her it's not Tyrone so she needn't think she has to be offensive. He tells her to serve Charlie, and Maya asks if she has to. Sunita asks if such work is beneath her, and Maya says frankly, yes. Sunita says they can't all be failed solicitors, and Maya retorts that's right, some might have no aspirations at all. Sunita tells her that she aspires to chasing away their customers. Maya states that she's going to alter the layout of the shop to make it more attractive, but Dev is not happy with that suggestion, he tells her his other six shops are all set out the same way and that's the way he likes it. While they are debating the merits of this, Charlie pays Sunita for his purchase, and, winking, departs.
Claire is busy in the kitchen when Fred comes in, about to go off to Penny's. He tells Claire that when she opens the door she will fall into his arms. Claire is less than enthusiastic and Fred presses her to tell him what's bothering her. She tells him that Ashley doesn't want her to tell him, but Fred insists, so she tells him what Ashley saw when he arrived to pick Fred up the night before.
In the Rovers, Bev is very busy when Shelley comes in. Bev wonders if she's spent the afternoon with Charlie, but Shelley won't say, however, she does comment that Charlie's not married or engaged, and when Bev asks if she's sure, Shelley retorts that she learns by her mistakes, it's a pity her mother doesn't. She goes out to the back, and Betty comes in with her coat on. She tells Bev that she's going home, she doesn't feel well. As she is leaving, Fred comes in and Betty suggests that he'll help out. However, Fred has only one thing on his mind, he wants to see Mike Baldwin. Bev witters on that she's got no Betty and Shelley is playing silly beggars when Fred turns and shouts at her. He just wants to see Mike. Tyrone and Martin, waiting to be served, decide to take their custom elsewhere. Fred starts shouting again that he wants to see Mike, when Mike himself walks in. Fred takes him to one side and says, 'You and Penny are having an affair, aren't you?'
And that's it for episode 1
Episode Two, Monday, March 29.
Oh, that Mike Baldwin's a convincing liar! Fred tackles Mike about what Ashley saw, but Mike is a very quick thinker. He called around at Penny's late at night to put some tax papers for his workers through her door. She heard him, opened the door and they spoke briefly. That's why she was in her dressing gown and why he was on her doorstep. And Fred, poor, poor, gullible, trusting Fred believes the lying little barrow boy!! In fact, he buys Mike a drink. "Mike, you're a gentleman," he says, despite millions of viewers screaming "No, he's not!"
Then dear Fred dashes across the road to give the good news to Claire and Ashley, who are already in the middle of a mini-domestic about Ashley deciding to go back to the shop to change the display -- something he and Boris do at this time every year (I'm assuming they mean the posters and recipes and things, and not the meat display. . .) Anyway, Fred doesn't exactly help by bursting in with his good news and thus blabbing that Claire had told him what Ashley saw. Fred tells them that it just shows that you should never think ill of anyone, "because nine times out of ten you're barking up the wrong tree." When he leaves, Ashley just says to Claire: "We'll talk about this later," and goes off to change that display.
In the street, Les, Cilla and Chesney are discussing the high cost of groceries, and Cilla confuses everyone (including Chesney and me) by claiming that Chesney "wants to be a farmer". What she meant was that Chesney OUGHT to be a farmer, "coz it's them it all goes to". Hmmm, if she knew any British farmers she'd know that wasn't true.
Todd and Karl are also in the street. They are talking about the fight Karl had with his boyfriend. Katy calls out Hi, then Nick sees them, and Todd hustles them into the Rovers as if no-one will see them in there.
Penny is on the phone talking Mike, who has rung to tell her what the story is that he has just concocted. Mike persuades her not to tell Fred she's refusing him, because that would just make Fred suspicious again. (I can't work out who is behaving more strangely -- Penny or Mike. Why is he so against being honest on this? What is she gaining by stringing Fred along?)
At Gail's house, Nick has come to see his mother. He tells Sarah he has just seen Todd and "some mate" go into the Rovers. Gail offers to look after Bethany so Sarah can go to the Rovers, then gets David and Bethany out of the room by sending David upstairs to run a bath for Bethany. Then she and Nick apologise to each other. "I want to be with Maria, but I also want to be part of this family," he says. "I'm sorry about the way things turned out." Gail says: "You're my son and I love you and I'm sorry. Can I have that hug now?" They hug.
In the back of the pub, Shelley and Sunita are having a bit of a girls' chin-wag, talking about Charlie. It seems Shelley has said nothing to Sunita about Ciaran's being unfaithful while he was engaged to Sunita. Ciaran himself sticks his head in the door wanting some information from Shelley about who to ring if the cigarette machine is playing up. She tells him she's just bringing Sunita up to date on everything. "Don't worry -- your name's not been mentioned," she tells him. Sunita, in a teasing sort of way, asks him how he likes the new landlady, but he replies that he preferred the old one.
Penny and Fred and settling down with their drinks at her place and she is apologising for letting him down the night before. Fred mentions her having a quiet night on her own, and she mentions that she wasn't alone the whole time. About 11pm she found Mike Baldwin on her doorstep. She thought it was a very odd time to do it, but he'd been putting some tax details through her letterbox. She's afraid she was a bit sharp with him. Fred says he doubts if Mike even noticed, because he's obsessed with business and figures. "Mike's got a bit of a one-track mind." Of course, Penny knows that, but not in the way Fred means it!
Todd and Karl are talking in the Rovers. Todd wants to know if Karl was beaten up because he was seeing someone else. Sort of, Karl tells him. He does fancy someone else. Someone he works with. Someone he even has a drink with, sometimes. He looks meaningfully at Todd's drink. Todd asks if Karl fancies him, just as Sarah arrives. She starts questioning Karl about his face. Before he answers Sarah, Karl turns to Todd and says: "I do, yeah, like crazy."
Charlie has arrived at the bar and Ciaran is very sarcastic in his greeting. She asks if Shelley is in and Bev says she is not, before changing her mind and saying Shelley is out the back. "Can I see her?" Charlie asks. "Why?" asks Ciaran. "Got some more juicy tidbits you want to share with her?
At the table, Sarah has just told Karl he can stay with them, since he can't possibly go home.
Shelley and Sunita are chatting, apparently about Dev. Shelley wants to know if Dev will marry Maya. "If it's up to her they will," says Sunita. She gives any such marriage six months maximum: "Then he'll go from owning seven shops to three-and-a-half. Serves him right." Ciaran pops his head around the door and Shelley demands to know what he's lost this time. But he says Charlie is in the bar. She tells him she's not coming straight out, but asks Ciaran to tell Charlie she might be out later or she might not, and if Charlie doesn't want to wait then it doesn't matter. "You know how to knock the stuffing out of a man, I'll give you that, Ciaran says admiringly.
In the bar, Bev is having a go at Charlie, claiming he must have known the damage he was going to cause. "If I get the chance to cause you trouble, I'll take it," she warns him. "You and I are enemies now." Ciaran overhears this, and tells Charlie the daughter doesn't seem any more keen on him than the mother. He relays Shelley's message and Charlie settles in to wait with a beer.
Les and Cilla are in the bar and Les is telling Cilla that the reason they struggle financially is because most couples have two incomes (Hah! Lucky Janice didn't hear him say that! How long was he living off her wages?). Cilla doesn't turn a hair but moves her head about 30 degrees and asks Bev for a job. She is turned down. "I am trying," she tells Les. "But that's the only answer I get."
Katy and Martin come in and see Todd etc. Katy sees that Karl has a black eye and begins to question him while Martin goes to fetch their drinks. Katy offers their spare room to Karl, but Sarah and Todd say it's fine if he sleeps at theirs, even if they don't have a spare room.
Fred asks Penny if she's got over Preston yet. Tears appear to well up and he changes his phrasing, asking if she's yet able to think about the future. Suddenly her migraine is coming back and when Fred suggests he should go, she is quick to take him up on it.
In the Rovers, Charlie is talking to Martin, asking questions about the age difference between Martin and Katy. Shelley and Sunita come out and Sunita leaves. Shelley accepts Charlie's offer of a drink. Sarah and Todd leave, taking Karl with them. As Martin sits down with Katy, she gives him a hard time for staying chatting the bar instead of joining everyone.
Charlie is telling Shelley he is tempted to cut his losses and find somewhere friendlier to drink. She tells him that things were already difficult with her mother, and he hasn't helped.
Ashley comes crashing back into the house and proceeds to have a row with Claire, during which he manages to say that she is "sort of" part of the family and that he should be the one to tell Fred anything because Fred is his Dad. Claire is adamant that there is something going on between Penny and Mike, despite Fred's believing the explanation. She tells Ashley she feels she will always be on the outside, with him, Fred and Joshua on the inside. "I'm going," she says. "So you won't have to worry about me saying anything I shouldn't, because I won't even be here!"
Sarah makes up the sofa and goes to bed. Todd has made coffee or cocoa or Horlicks or something for Karl. He asks again if Karl fancies him. "You know I did," says Karl "You've known for ages." Todd protests, but Karl continues: "Oh, you haven't wanted to admit it, but you've known."
Penny has gone round to Mike's flat -- still painted that awful terracotta-y colour. She tells him how wonderful it will be to relax without having to watch what she says, in case of giving someone too much encouragement. She says it's probably her own fault for not giving Fred a straight answer, but Mike says it's too soon to tell Fred the truth.
Said Fred is back at Ashley's, saying he'd forgotten how good the company of a woman could be. Ashley isn't best pleased at this line of conversation and, when he manages to squeeze a word in, tells him father that Claire has left him. Fred says it'll all blow over and urges Ashley to phone Claire. But Ashley isn't so sure. "Talking's not going to do any good this time," he says. "She means it -- I know she does."
Wednesday 31 March
Tonight's episode starts at breakfast with the Peacocks. Ashley is sorting Joshua out, in the absence of Claire, Fred then comes down to remind Ashley that he will be out tonight for his do, Ashley is sure Claire will turn up - don't blame her if she doesn't..
Its also breakfast time at the cozy flat that Sarah and Todd share, now even more cozy now that Karl is there. Todd seems quite uncomfortable which is not too surprising, Karl is sporting a lovely black eye.
Claire has been staying at Fiz's flat she is unhappy as she feels she is being cut out of the more important parts of Ashley's life as she is not family.
Ashley meanwhile has rung Claries mum to find out if she is on her way, only to find out that she has not been home overnight.
Fiz has turned up to see Fred at the butchers, Claire has asked Fiz not to see Ashley which is why she is speaking to Fred about Claire. Penny King turns up now and as Fiz is expected at the factory owned by Mrs King she beats a hasty retreat to work. Fred asks Penny if she wants to go to the offal traders dinner - sounds like fun - Penny says ok until she finds out it will involve an overnight stay so she just about manages to wriggle out of that by saying she has an appointment earlier than mid-morning, when they would arrive back. Penny suggests they meet later, Fred immediately jumps in with a date in the Rovers at 5.30.
In Roys rolls Katy is trying to get some information out of Karl as to how he got his black eye, no chance!
Fred returns home to find that Claire hasn't shown up, Fred says she stayed in Fiz's, Ashley says Sunita is coming over to look after Joshua, Fred reckons Claire did the right thing although misguided. Ashley after some prompting by Fred decides to go and speak to Claire even though she may not like what he has to say.
Les has returned to his house rather exuberantly, he has been speaking to the landlord of "Turks Head" and reckons he has found a job for Cilla, she is not overpleased at hearing this, they then go upstairs to discuss this.....
Claire has turned up at Fiz's now to speak to Claire, she feels she is being taken for granted and as an employee rather than girlfriend. Ashley eventually declares his love for Claire I wont bore you with all the conversation, other than part one ends with kiss and make up time..
Part two starts with Cilla coming back from a shopping trip, Les is just going past in his cab and finds out she has got the job as barmaid, although according to Cilla it is something grander than that. Cilla has also been on a spending spree with money she apparently has not got, more on the old credit card? Cilla reckons she has bough classy clothes - the mind boggles!
Todd meets Karl in the street Todd seems very nervous about what Karl might have said to Sarah or anybody else. Katy has turned up as well now and she is going with Karl to the flat he shared with Robbie to pick up bits and pieces.
Gasp - Ashley and Claire have finally got together, and have spent a blissful afternoon - nuff said - comprendez vous?
Karl has arrived back at Sarah and Todd's flat and has brought some groceries for them and sweets for Bethany. Its about time Todd sorted himself out he is distinctly uncomfortable whenever He and Karl are alone by themselves.
At the Rovers Charlie is trying to have a pint, Bev is the only one behind the bar so he could be in for a long wait. Penny has turned up now for the 5.30 date with Fred keen to know what offal traders do to let their hair down, Penny makes a funny here when she asks if the swimming pool is kidney shaped. Fred is ready to go just as surprise - Mike Baldwin turns up, Fred buys Mike a drink and persuades Penny to stay at the Rovers to keep Mike company. Mike and Penny also look uncomfortable - what are they hiding?
Chesney has turned up at Fiz's with instructions for him to stay there until Cilla turns up, which she does and then follows a typical Cilla/ Fiz exchange of frank views.
Back at Sarah and Todd's - Sarah said this is the first time she has spoken to a gay bloke - Karl or Todd? Karl comes in mid conversation and then Todd is asked if Karl can stay there for longer, Todd agrees to this.
In the street Penny and Mike are going there separate ways after coming out of the Rovers, Claire has seen them and when Mike has gone on his way she goes over to Penny and prepares rather forcefully to suggest that she and Mike should not muck Fred about and that she is not a child (really) and Penny should speak to her as an adult.
Not a lot happening tonight folksPete Webb