Written by: John Stevenson
Directed by: Kay Patrick
Fred has lost his appetite. He's looking at his full English breakfast as if it just crawled out of a disused mine shaft. Ashley and Claire are oblivious – they're busy talking about the wedding, and Josh's role in same. Ashley doesn't want him dressed up like Little Lord Whatsisname. "Snooty?" suggests a preoccupied Fred. But that weren't the name Ashley were groping for. Claire wants a nice display of flowers at the wedding, even though she knows they'll be more expensive in the winter. Ashley says it shouldn't be a problem because the shop is doing well. Fred is looking grayer by the second, and Ashley finally notices and asks him if there's summat wrong wi't'bacon or did he drink too much last night. Fred mutters something about condemned men eating heart breakfasts: "I didn't believe it then and I'm damned if I believe it now!" he shouts, and leaves the table abruptly, leaving Ashley wondering what's wrong with him.
Vera calls out to Frankie in the street. Frankie is on her way to the caff to do Vera's shift, and Vera calls her a saint for being so kind. Then she asks if Frankie's had any post today, which she hasn't, so Vera thinks there's still hope that today will be the day the Duckworths finally hear that their house is going to be a museum. She's hoping it'll be Prince Charles (her nephew twice removed) who'll be performing the opening ceremony. Frankie tries to bring her back to reality, saying it won't be the end of the world if it doesn't happen. She looks like she might be about to tell Vera the truth, but at that moment Jack comes out of the house. He says that Frankie has been such a wonderful neighbour that, on the day of the royal opening, she should be their guest. Frankie doesn't look pleased: "Gee, thanks," she says, and walks off. Vera interprets this as Frankie being too overcome to say much. She tells Jack he's all heart.
Deirdre is clearing away the breakfast things at home, where Ken is taking refuge from Blanche and Wanda behind his newspaper. Deirdre is saying (hoping) that Wanda is keen to get back to her own house. Wanda says she is, but everything has to be put right first. "I mean, that house is a death trap. Termites, death watch beetle, condescension, woodworm. Leave that glass, Deirdre – it's only ‘ad me teeth in it." She fills up said glass with a liberal amount of gin, which finally lures Ken out from behind his Guardian to exclaim, "My goodness, Wanda! Is that neat gin you're drinking?" Wanda says it's purely medicinal ("which is why I don't offer it round, Blanche") and should really be on prescription. Blanche observes that the doctor who advised this medicine has been dead for twenty years.
Vera surprises Roy and Frankie by coming into the caff and saying she's ready to start work again. Roy is sorry to be losing Frankie, and offers her a permanent job. Leanne isn't pleased, because she was there before Frankie, and Vera reckons that Frankie is too nice to the customers. Roy has found himself in the middle of a diplomatic incident, but he says with a well-organised rota system there should be enough work for Frankie, Leanne and Vera. Frankie accepts the job offer.
Katie is outdoors cooing at baby Amy in her pram, with Tracy looking at her like she's daft. This is partly due to Katie's sudden fondness for babies, and possibly partly how silly she looks with her nasty streaked hair in bunches. Of course, Tracy is the right person to go to if you want to know about the joys of motherhood. "Just sixteen years to go till I get my life back," she says. Katie is going on so much about it that Tracy asks her if she's pregnant. Katie says she isn't, "but I wouldn't mind if I was." Now even Amy is looking at her like she's a sandwich short of a picnic.
Ken and Vera are in the Rovers. "You know, I haven't seen Ron Hepplewhite for years," says Ken, adding that he saw him go into the house with Vera. Vera says that was Henry Broxbourne from the north west conservation society. Ken comments that in that case, the two must be exact doubles and he's surprised that Jack didn't notice the resemblance, as Jack knows Ron Hepplewhite very well – from the Pigeon Fanciers Association. Pennies begin to drop for Vera.
Fred is in the back room of the Rovers, looking very miserable, and he isn't even cheered by Betty's news that "we've shifted some hotpots today!" She asks him what's wrong. He tells her about the card game, how he'd desperately wanted to beat Mike and how Mike kept raising the stakes, and how he lost. Betty comments that she hopes that's taught him a lesson. Then Fred tells her that it was the shop he lost, Ashley's inheritance. He says he hasn't told Ashley – he can't.
Vera is making telephone enquiries to the north west conservation society, and is told that she must have been misled. She hangs up the phone, and tells Tyrone, who's eating sausage and chips, that she's been made a fool of. She's really upset, and says they'll be sorry they deceived her. "And as for our Jack…" She picks a sausage off Tyrone's plate and symbolically rips it in half. Tyrone winces.
In a busy Rovers bar, Mike tells Ciaran to keep the change, as he's feeling prosperous. Fred appears behind the bar, and Mike says he wants to talk about the business – suppliers and so on. "Why should I help you?" Fred asks, and Mike says it's normal practice when businesses change hands. "You've got a nerve," Fred says, and Mike replies so has Fred, otherwise he wouldn't have held onto his cards for so long. He offers Fred a further gamble – a toss of a coin. If Fred wins, he gets his shop back. If he loses, Mike gets the Rovers. He pushes the coin across the bar. "Come on, Fred. Are you feeling lucky?" Fred stares at him for a few moments. "I reckon I've lost enough," he says, and Mike laughs.
Blanche and Wanda are winding wool, while Ken attempts to read a book. Wanda nudges him. "Kenneth, do you want to have a go with me walking frame?" she offers. He declines, but she thinks he needs the practice as he'll be needing one of his own sooner or later. "Possibly, but till then I'm perfectly happy to wait," he assures her. She offers him a game of cards. Ken's had enough, and says he's got to go to the library. "Ooh, me and Blanche can come with you," says Wanda. "Make an outing of it." Ken says he's really got to dash – the library closes in only three hours. After he's gone, Blanche tells Wanda to behave herself with Ken – no wonder Deirdre wants her out. Wanda says Deirdre doesn't appreciate him: "He's a belting bit of trouser, is Kenneth." Blanche warns her off, because Ken is attached. This doesn't deter Wanda, though. After all, Ken and Deirdre aren't even married, which to her thinking means that he's fair game. "Call me Little Dolly Daydream," she says, "But I see him and me in sheltered accommodation."
Jack is in the yard tending to his pigeons, and Vera comes out to put her revenge plan into operation. She says she's left a message with the conservation society for Henry Broxbourne, to tell him to come for tea on Friday, because she wants to discuss the plans for the opening. Everything has to be done according to her satisfaction, she says, otherwise she'll forget the idea of the house being a museum, and they can get rid of the pigeons.
Ken is back from the library, and Wanda is showing him her old photos. There's one of her and Blanche next to Weatherfield's last tram. "Good Lord," spots Ken, "You're standing next to Adolf Hitler!" But it's not the Fuehrer, it's Wanda's dad, who was the tram driver. Another photo features Wanda in a swimming costume with whalebone uplift. Blanche recalls her mother saying, "If it works for whales, it might work for Wanda." Ken manages to escape when Deirdre appears. "I really must peel the potatoes for Deirdre." "But we're not having potatoes," she says. "Yes we are, even if I have to go out and buy them," Ken mutters, propelling her to the kitchen.
In the pub, Martin is telling Ashley about Katie suddenly turning broody. He says as far as he's concerned, it's not going to happen. Then he goes home. Ashley is joined by Danny Baldwin, who starts talking about the card game. He gets to the bit about Mike putting up Underworld against the butcher's shop, realises Ashley doesn't know anything about it, and stops.
In a pub, possibly the Weatherfield Arms (a real live band are tuning their instruments in the foreground at the start of the scene), Jack is telling Ron Hepplewhite about Vera's call to the conservation society. Ron says he'll ring her, and tell her that Henry will be joining her for tea on Friday, and he'll guarantee her the Prince of Wales any time it suits her. Jack raises his glass to him: "Henry, you are a master," says Jack, apparently forgetting that (a) he's speaking to Ron and not Henry, and (b) they still have the problem of conjuring up the heir to the throne.
The phone rings at the Duckworths. It's Ron/Henry ("our Jack's pigeon-pushing pal," Vera tells Tyrone). He arranges to come for tea on Friday. "I can't wait!" Vera says to Tyrone after she's hung up. He asks what she's going to do. "You'll find out – and so will they!" she says.
Fred is at home, smoking a cigarette and wearing a haunted expression. Ashley comes in and asks him about the card game. Fred tells him about it. "Then it got personal between me and Baldwin. I wanted to beat him – I needed to. Just for once, I wanted to get the better of him." Ashley asks if it's because of Penny King. "Not just her," Fred says. "Whether it's women, or whatever, I always seem to end up holding t'mucky end of the stick, and Baldwin comes up smelling of roses every time. I was sure I had the beating of him, but he upped the stakes, and upped the stakes. There were no way I were going to cave in, no damn way." Ashley swallows hard, and asks him how much he lost. Fred can hardly say it: "I lost the shop. I'm sorry." Ashley is at first disbelieving, then angry. "God almighty, you sit there and you say you're sorry? That were my future! Not just mine, Josh's and Claire's, and you flung it all away with pride and stupidity! Do you know what you've done to me and them, dad? Well, I'll never forgive you! Never!" He storms out of the house, and slams the door, leaving Fred a broken man.
We start tonight's episode with Ashley and Claire in their kitchen. Ashley can't believe that Fred has gambled away the shop. Fred comes in and Ashley asks if he's thought about seeing a psychiatrist! Fred asks what he can do but Claire says he can't do anything. He asks for Ashley's forgiveness but he says no because he was more bothered about getting his own back on Baldwin than he was about his own family.
Dave is coming up to see Maria and Liz asks her how Tyrone took the news. Maria says that he'll just have to accept it as she can't turn down Dave as he's coming all the way from Newcastle. Liz says that she hasn't told him has she and Maria says that she will tell him.
Ken is nipping out to get a hair cut on the QT before a certain person arrives. Wanda? comes in and invites Blanche to a funeral. Blanche says she might come if they've sorted out the heating!
Ken is running away from the house and runs into Mike's car. Mike asks him if he's trying to damage his car and Ken apologises. Ashley sees Mike and asks if he can speak to him in private. He suggests the café and Mike says that will be very appropriate as it's next door to his new shop. Since when has the café been private!? Tyrone gets a call from Maria. She asks to see him at lunch time and they arrange to meet in the pub. Candice asks Maria if she's finally going to tell Tyrone the truth and she say's that she doesn't really have much choice. Candice says he'll be gutted. Maria just goes to start on Ken's hair when in walks Wanda? She says that his hair is like a Persian cat's and it's all natural! Wanda asks Maria if it's alright if she stays and watches and can she cut off a lock or two for her to keep! Ken walks out!
Ashley is trying to persuade Mike to give Fred his shop back. He tells Mike that the shop was his and Fred's life but Mike says that Ashley will always have a job there. Mike asks him if he knew that he put up his share of the factory and asks if Fred had won what he would say if he came to them asking them to give him his factory back. Ashley says he would understand what they shouldn't be taking but Mike says that they would tell him that he shouldn't have gambled with what he couldn't afford. Ashley says that Fred played because of what Mike did with Penny and it wasn't enough that Mike humiliated Fred he had to ruin him as well and storms off. Jack asks Vera about the tea party for the "conservation man". Vera says that she's got something special planned so don't eat beforehand.
Wanda and Blanche are moaning about the funeral. Apparently there wasn't even a decent hymn! Wanda asks Ken what he's doing about his funeral but he says he hasn't thought about it. She asks Blanche if there's a space in her plot but she says there's only room for her (and Deirdre if they all hutch up a bit!)
Ashley tells Claire that he's not going to work for Mike. Fred comes back from the solicitor who's been making up a contract for the shop. Ashley says that he should refuse to pay Mike but Fred says that that would make him a man whose word wouldn't be worth anything. Claire says he doesn't mean it and Fred apologises so Ashley forgives him.
Maria meets Tyrone in the pub. Leanne is asking Candice if Warren can get her and Jamie any tickets for the ‘do' but Candice says he can't, they've all run out. Maria has told Tyrone that she can't go because she's got a date with someone. Tyrone asks if it's the guy she met in Majorca and Maria looks shocked. Tyrone says he's not daft and he didn't say anything because he was hoping that it would blow over when they got back. Maria says she's sorry but Tyrone says she isn't and gives the tickets to Jamie and Leanne. Maria tells Candice that he knows she doesn't have to pretend anymore.
Mike comes into the butchers and asks about the contract. Fred says it'll be ready later and invites him round to the house. Fred offers Mike money instead but Mike says he wants Fred to honour his debt; it's the shop he wants.
Jamie offers to pay Tyrone for the tickets. Dave has arrived but he's lost his wallet so Maria has to pay his cab fare. Jack is telling the "conservation" man that they are very lucky that Vera hasn't found out about the scam yet. Candice goes off to the party. Dave asks Maria for some money for them to go out with and he'll pay her back tomorrow. Maria takes £200 pounds from the salons takings.
Vera says that she hopes they won't be let down with her pie because she had to use ingredients that were close to hand. Jack asks what it is and Vera tells him it's a very well known specialty, Pigeon Pie and he might recognize some of them!! Jack runs outside but finds that she hasn't cooked the pigeons. He asks what she was doing playing tricks on them but she asks what he was doing playing tricks on her. He says she deserved it because she wouldn't let him have pigeons but she says she likes a clean back yard. She says that his pigeons are going to be in her by if he doesn't get rid of them by tomorrow.
Fred and Ashley are waiting for Mike to arrive. Fred asks Ashley if he wants him to move out but Ashley says he's going no where. Ashley says that when Mike gets there they've got to stick together and show him that they are a family.
Vera is telling Frankie and Danny about Jacks scam. She says that she's told Jack that if they aren't gone by tomorrow she's going to cook them. Frankie says that Vera can move the pigeons into her and Danny's backyard and then Jack can come by whenever he wants to look after them. Danny doesn't look pleased! Ken tells Deirdre that if Wanda comes into the pub then he is going to be quite rude to her. He is going to tell her to stop following him and leave him alone. Warren and Candice are all dolled up for the party. Candice says they'll try to avoid all the press but sometimes you just can't! Leanne and Jamie join them and Danny and Frankie comment on how grown up they look. Danny asks Frankie if she's serious about the pigeons and she says she is. Wanda and Blanche come in and ask if it's alright if they sit with Ken and Deirdre. Ken reluctantly says it is.
Mike has looked at the contract and says everything is ok except Fred hasn't signed it. Mike asks if they've got an ashtray because he feels a celebratory cigar coming on. Claire says that he's wicked and he's got no feelings at all. Fred signs the contract and hands it to Mike. Mike says that now Fred has settled his part of the debt they don't need the contract anymore and sets it alight. He says he doesn't want the shop; he wants Fred to shake his hand and tell him that he doesn't have a grudge against him. Fred gets up and shakes hid hand and Claire says "Mr Baldwin, you're lovely"!
Maria is crying as she's going home. Mike comes out of Fred's house and Fred says he's a good man and to give his best to Penny.
Maria storms back in to the flat and tells Liz that she and Dave fell out and she told him that she never wants to see him again. Liz tells her that holiday romances never work when you get home. Maria suddenly remembers that Dave had lost his wallet and she realises that she needs £200 before tomorrow or Audrey is going to sack her!
We've recently seen excellent drama from Corrie and tonight it put across it's other strength--humour! Blanche was amazing tonight, you have to love those one liners. Oh and before we start, pop out to the shops to get me a pressie as it's my birthday tomorrow!
Tyrone is walking up the street and has the unfortunate experience of bumping in to a drunken Leanne and Jamie, who are full of stories of their ace night out. Candice comes over, looking a bit more composed and tells Tyrone it's a shame he wasn't there. When talk turns to Maria, he claims he doesn't care about her--as far as he's concerned she doesn't even exist!
Liz is doing her war paint in the flat (and let's face it, she looks like she needs it) and Maria is ridden with guilt over her theft. Liz advises her to come clean but Maria brushes that idea away.
Wanda is sleeping on the couch and Blanche comes through to tell Deirdre and Ken about a dream about being chased by a stuffing ball...Ken and Deirdre had a worse experience in the night however when Wanda attempted to climb into their bed!! When Blanche has gone, Deirdre tells Ken she is getting on to a friend in the council to see if Wanda's house really has got termites.
If you thought Wanda trying to get action from Ken or Blanche being chased by stuffing was scary, then you'd turn off at this scene. The Websters are dancing around in the sitting room (the less said about Kevin, the better) and Sophie is dressed up like a Christmas cracker...Ian walks in and is not as terrified by this sight as you may think. He has news that he has sacked his personal manager and wants Sally to take the job. Sally agrees to consider it as Ian sets up a night out with the Websters. As the Rovers is too common, Sally suggests the pizza place at the Precinct.
Audrey is telling a nervous Maria that she's taking the takings to the bank but it turns out that she's just off to get a new coat for herself. Maria's panic ends but she feels guilty when Audrey advises her to hang on to the man of her dreams when she finds him.
The excitement continues at the Barlow's as Ken and Blanche tackle a puzzle while discussing Deirdre's resemblance to a moose. Tracy leaps in, moaning that Wanda has spent an hour in the bathroom and dashes to the Rovers to relive herself. Blanche leaves to see Wanda leaving Deirdre to tell Ken that Wanda's house had no termites after all!
Leanne and Jamie are debating over where to go and spend the night. They decide on Les' house
Kirk is watching a weepie film and Maria comes in and unloads her woes onto him. Leanne overhears and struts in to gloat. She threatens to tell Audrey and Maria storms out.
Blanche and Wanda are dancing in the front room. Deirdre turns off the music and confronts Wanda. She avoids the subject but eventually comes clean that she made it up because she wanted a slice of family life.
Sally and Kevin enter the restaurant and Sally discovers Kevin has invited Tommy and Angela along. They sit down and indulge in some small talk. Sally tries to act 'upper class' but everyone else is just relaxing.
Leanne is telling Tyrone about Maria's theft, building it up to make Maria seem worse. Tyrone acts like he believes Maria deserves it.
Sally is still acting snobbily, saying she could give Linda Barker a run for the money (in the annoying stakes). Tommy begs Sally jokingly to take the job.
Blanche tells Ken and Deirdre how ashamed she is as Wanda prepares to leave. She tries to kiss Ken but he makes the old invisible cold sore excuse. She presents him with a cemetery plot before bidding him a fond farewell!
Sally accepts the job, but Kevin doesn't seem overly keen.
Maria is pouring out her money jar when Tyrone knocks at the door. When Maria doesn't answer he posts an envelope through the door. She sobs as she opens it to find 200 pounds!
So what have we learned from tonight's episode?
The following qualities are required to be Ian's personal manager: Reliable, hard working, organised, good with people, unbothered about footwear.
Wanda only goes to the bathroom once a week
Kirk has eight pound ninety pence in his piggy bank
Maria's coat is the same as Janice's
Angela started eating before anyone ordered
Tommy's nickname for Sally is Mrs Hitler
Most likely prospect: "They always make us wear daft outfits around the house" Rosie about Kevin and Sally
Most ludicrous plotline: "Don't be clever, Rosie" Sally
Most deluded individual: "I hate to take away your prized asset." Ian to Kevin about Sally
Biggest understatement: "I'm desperate" Tracy
Best Joke: "I Wanda what Wanda wants." Blanche. (isn't it funny how whenever Blanche tries to be funny it flops but every other time she's hilarious?)
Fact of the Day: "You may look stupid" Wanda to Tracy.
Tonight's star: Blanche for her hilarious one liners!
That's all from me. Tune in for more Corrie tomorrow.
Hi everyone, here is the first episode of Monday evening, sorry it's so late, I am really, really busy at the moment and keep being interrupted by visitors as well!
It's early in the morning – very early, somewhere around 2.00am and Hayley comes downstairs in her dressing gown to find Roy in the café kitchen, preparing the café Christmas puddings. She finds that he's boiling coins in a large pan of water, and when she asks why, he explains that he remembers the joy of finding a silver threepence in his mother's Christmas pudding, so he thought he'd add some coins to the café's puddings. Hayley is worried about Environmental Health, but Roy is sure they'll be ok as long as they are properly sterilized. (I just wonder what would happen if someone choked on one?) He is going to put 25 x 50p coins in, for the 25th of December, a customer finding one gets to keep it, and a dozen pound coins for the twelve days of Christmas. If a customer finds one of those, they are worth £5.00. The star prize, as in The Star of Bethlehem, is a £2.00 coin. That will be worth £25.00 to the finder. (I am just wondering how Roy is going to identify the coins that he puts in the puddings – couldn't someone present him with any of their own money? How will he know the difference?) Hayley thinks it sounds like a lot of aggravation and expense, but Roy assures her that they will still make a profit. Hayley tries to go back to bed, but Roy says she has to stir the pudding and make a wish. She gives the spoon a perfunctory drag across the bowl, and heads for the door. ‘What did you wish for?' asks Roy, ‘I wished for you to stop making a racket so I can get a few hours sleep before work!' Hayley snarls, as she slams the door behind her.
It's now breakfast time at Ashley and Fred's, and they are sitting at the table with little Joshua, who has to be the most gorgeous baby on TV! Ashley is worried that Josh is still hungry, so Fred says to give him more to eat. As Fred gets up and walks to the sink, Joshua says, ‘Don't go!' (Bless!) and Fred tells him, ‘I'm not going, I'm stopping here.' Fred is concerned that Ashley hasn't ordered enough turkeys for the wedding reception on Christmas Day, but Ashley is sure that there will be plenty, he tells Fred he doesn't want him wasting good food and good money trying to impress people. Fred stops in his tracks, and apologises, saying he just gets carried away sometimes, he doesn't do subtlety. Ashley assures him the poker game is forgotten, and tells him to do what he thinks best.
Over at the Barlow's there is some disagreement between Deirdre and Blanche about their Christmas tree. Deirdre wants to get the artificial one down from the loft, but Blanche thinks a real tree is much nicer. Tracy thinks the whole thing is a waste of time and money, and Ken tries to jolly her along, saying it's Amy's first Christmas. Tracy points out that it's the season of goodwill and they're arguing already, the same as always. Blanche seems to come to her senses then, and tells Tracy not to pay any mind to her, Amy will make it magical, it will all be different this year. ‘Yes, I'll have less space, less freedom and less money, whoo-hoo!' says Tracy bitterly. Deirdre tries to persuade them all to make the effort and make this a Christmas to remember for everyone. Tracy is convinced Amy doesn't have a clue what is going on. Just then, Amy speaks – ‘Did you hear that?' asks Blanche, ‘she just said Mama!'
Karen MacDonald is lying prostrate on the sofa, reading ‘Expectant Mother' magazines, and singing ‘Silent Night' rather tunelessly. (Bit hard to read and sing at the same time I would have thought!) She tells Steve that she has read in the magazines that babies can hear things from very early on and it helps their development. Karen wants the baby to be musical, Steve thinks they had better wait until it can crawl before they buy it a Stradivarius. Karen tells him that if the baby is born on time it will be a Leo-Rooster. (Star sign Leo, Chinese Year of the Rooster). She has already picked out a name for him. Steve wonders what if it's a girl, but Karen is adamant that it won't be. The name she has picked is obvious – Leo! ‘Leo?' Steve splutters, ‘what if it's born in December, will you call it Sagittarius?' Karen reckons it's a bit of class – if it's good enough for Tony Blair's kid, it's good enough for theirs. Anyway, it will be Leo, short for Leonardo, as in DeCaprio!
Maria and Liz are walking to work in the rain. Liz tells Maria again to come clean to Audrey about the money, but Maria tells her she doesn't need to, she has the money, all she has to do is put it back before Audrey realises it's gone. When Liz asks where she got the money from, Maria mumbles that she got it from a mate. Liz tells her that it's at times like these you find out who your friends are. As Liz rushes off, Tyrone comes along and Maria stops him to thank him. Tyrone tells her it's ok, as long as everything is sorted and she's ok. She thanks him again, and he nods and walks off.
In the factory, Danny walks in, bemoaning the fact that there are no decorations up. The girls ask about their Christmas bonus, but he brushes that aside, telling them that outside all the houses are decorated, it's like Las Vegas with cobbles, but they don't have so much as a bit of holly. He tells them that he has spent lots of money on decorations and will give them all the morning off to put them up. Sean asks if they're getting a tree, and Janice asks him if he fancies himself on top! Danny tells them no tree, and the decorations are for outside. The girls moan that that's no good for them, but Danny tells them it's for the good of the wider community and to get outside and put them up. Karen says she's not going outside in her condition, so he tells her she can be in charge of the kettle.
In the salon, Claire has come in for some advice about her wedding day hair-do. Candice wants to do the latest style, Audrey suggests something simple and timeless. Maria has the roll of money in her hand behind her back, just waiting for the opportunity to put it back without Audrey seeing.
The factory girls are putting large reindeer and a sleigh up on the balcony outside, and Janice calls down to Danny that she hopes there's nowt else. Danny tells her the sleigh doesn't guide itself, and the final part will be arriving later. ‘What, Father Christmas is it?' asks Kelly.
Claire meets Fred in the street, and, looking at the Underworld decorations, she suggests that he could do something similar to the butcher's.
In the salon, Candice is wondering whether to sell the rights to her wedding or not….(what planet is that girl living on?) Maria is still waiting for the chance to put the money back, and asks for Candice's help. At first, Candice refuses to get involved, until Maria tells her that if she's sacked Candice might end up working with a right cow – or Sarah! ‘Audrey,' calls Candice, and when Audrey comes into the back room she makes up a problem that needs sorting. Maria seizes the moment and replaces the £200.
It's lunchtime, and several locals are in their local. Betty comments that Hayley looks tired, and Angie says it's no wonder, Danny's had them climbing all over the factory. Kelly points out that it's better than being hunched over a sweaty sewing machine. Hayley says it's nothing to do with the decorations, Roy kept her up all night, cleaning his loose change! Sonia's eyes widen and she hides a grin. Roy indignantly says that he was boiling coins. ‘I've heard of money laundering, but this is ridiculous,' says Betty. Roy tells them about his plan for the Christmas puddings. They all like the sound of it, and ask to be reserved some.
Angie has gone to sit at a table with Tommy, and they talk about their Christmas finances and the fact that they've paid a large chunk now of Craig's computer.
At the butcher's shop, Fred is directing the hapless Boris in the placing of his attempt at Christmas decorations – a wooden sign with a turkey on it. Ashley comes along at this point, and Fred tells him the symbol for this years Association Conference was a cartoon turkey – Gobblin' Gordon, so Fred rang a pal of his and called in a favour, and here is Gordon, just in time for Crimbo! Ashley thinks it makes the shop look like a fried chicken takeaway.
The factory girls are crossing the road with Danny, on their way back to work. They stop to admire their handiwork of the morning, and Danny tells them they did a great job. Angie supposes that his gratitude won't take the form of a Christmas bonus? Danny won't be drawn on that subject, and the girls and Sean all wander in bemoaning the fact that they could do with some extra cash. Karen tells Janice that she and Steve have loads to get this Christmas, with the baby coming, she doesn't know how they're going to manage. Janice suggests she cashes in the car that she won, then she could have a right good spend.
Tracy takes Amy into the taxi office to see Steve. Tracy is down because she has no money to buy Amy any nice presents, but suggests that Steve buys Amy something nice. Then she tells him that this morning Amy said her first ever word – Dadda! Steve's face lights up.
In the salon Candice is wittering on to Maria about the great life she's going to have in the future (married to Warren, the famous footballer!) Then she starts to say that when that time comes she'll need to get her hair cut, but it'll be in a top salon, not a dingy little place……. ‘Like this?' Audrey finishes her sentence for her, and then sends her out to buy cakes. When she's gone, Audrey tells Maria that they need a little chat…….
Claire has arrived at the butcher's to see Boris on the step ladder still trying to adjust Gobblin' Gordon. There is now a large model of Santa beside him, clutching what appears to be an axe. Fred goes inside to switch on – and little Josh bursts into tears. The scene on the front of the shop shows Santa waving his axe up and down, right in front of poor Gordon's neck! Fred yells at Boris to get back up the ladder to change it, and that is when poor Boris falls from the ladder.
Audrey is showing Maria the crisp new notes and has realised that they are fresh from a cash machine, not grubby notes handed in by her customers. Maria, obviously thinking that the game is up, starts to confess, but is interrupted by Audrey who thinks it is Candice who has been taking the money, to pay for ‘the high life'. Maria instantly stops confessing, and goes along with Audrey's thoughts, saying that the main thing is she put it back. Audrey says that it is still a breach of trust and she will have to confront her about it.
Danny leads the girls out of the factory to see their decorations. There, on the sleigh on the balcony is a cardboard cutout of a girl wearing red underwear and a Santa hat. The girls are all disgusted, but, over at the garage, Tommy and Tyrone are gawping with their eyes out on stalks.
At the butcher's, Boris has been taken off to casualty and Ashley, Fred and Claire are in the shop. Just then, Claire's mum walks in. Claire's delight is short lived, as her mum hasn't come to see her, she's on Revenue business. ‘Mr. Elliot,' she tells Fred, ‘you've been selected for a random tax inspection!'
That's all for episode 1
We take up where we left off, in the butchers' shop.
"Is there owt in particular you would like to look at?" asks Fred. "Is it just the shop or the Rovers as well?" Yvonne tells him she will be scrutinizing every area of his somewhat labyrinthine business affairs. "It wasn't my decision --- I was sent here," she says defensively.
In the factory, Danny is gloating. He says blokes will be gagging to put their wives and girlfriends in underwear like the model Ms Christmas's. Janice points out that the blokes won't even notice what the woman is wearing. She asks Angela if Tommy could tell what colour underwear the model has. That's the least of his worries, Angela snaps. Hayley is worried because "that poor girl" is someone's daughter or sister. "She's laughing all the way to the bank," Danny says. He goes away and the girls are fuming. He's conned them again. Janice isn't so much worried by the undressed model. "It's not her, but him thinking he's put one over on us again." She rouses some support to plot revenge, checking that the others are with her. Karen is. Though it comes as a bit of a surprise to her that Janice isn't consumed with thoughts of how she can get revenge on Tracy. "I can't wait to see that cow's face when I tell her she's got to flog it."
Maria is visiting the garage to thank Tyrone. He asks why she didn't come to him for help -- she knew he would. "I couldn't after the way I'd messed you about," she admits. They agree they are still mates and she'll buy him a drink later. Once she's gone, Tommy tells Tyrone this is his big chance with Maria. As he's giving Tyrone advice on how to handle women, his eyes stray to Danny's Christmas erection (!) towering above them. Unfortunately, Angela comes out and catches him looking. "Put your eyes back in your head," she snaps, before asking if she can use the garage photocopier.
In the cafe, Shelley is just finishing her helping of Roy's Christmas pud, swooning over it. Candice asks for a helping, with custard. Roy explains to Shelley that the recipe was his Great-Grandma Cropper's. It was so popular that all her neighbours wanted her to make them a pudding. Unfortunately, great-gran was in the habit of sipping brandy while she made the pudding, which was all right when she was making one, but when she was making 30 . . . "The story has it that she began making them all year round," Roy says. "By the time she was discovered face down in the candied peel, it was too late. The Croppers have been teetotal ever since."
At the Peacock residence (or should that be coop?) Claire is worried about the progress, or lack of it, towards the wedding. Nick hasn't sent his measurements, so they can't get the suit altered for him. "You should be chasing him," she tells Ashley. The cars haven't been organised. . . She stops going on and admits it's the sudden appearance of her mother which has rattled her. "I just thought she'd come to give us her blessing."
Steve sees Tracy in the street and goes over to her and Amy. "Can she say. . .?" Tracey points out that the baby isn't a performing seal. She suggests he spend more time with Amy to increase his chances of hearing her say "Dadda". Steve has bought Amy a present and Tracey suggests he come round to give it to her on Christmas Day. Hah! As if Karen would let him out of the house on Christmas Day for that. And that's pretty much what he tells Tracey, who agrees not to mention the gift.
At the salon, Candice is turning down cakes because she's watching her figure. Designer dresses are not forgiving. "Or cheap," snipes Audrey. "I don't care as long and it's not my money," Candice says lightly. Of course, that sets Audrey off. "Why did you do it?" she demands. Maria can see which way this is going and jumps in to admit she took the money. Audrey is aghast. "You stood here not an hour ago and let me blame Candice!" Maria gets up to leave, saying she'll go and Audrey won't have to sack her. But kind-hearted Audrey, who has mellowed a lot since the days when she was more of a selfish social climber, sends Candice off to make some tea and talks to Maria. Maria tells her the whole story, but admits that no matter how nice to her Tyrone is, she just can't feel "that way" about him. "He doesn't make your heart race?" Audrey asks. She tells Maria that if she gives it time, she might grow to love Tyrone again. That's the way it was with Audrey and Alf. That taught her something important. "It's not the way a chap looks that counts, but the way he looks at you." Maria is very thoughtful.
"What? What!?" Fred is shouting into the phone in the shop"'E never told me!" It seems his accountant is on a Baltic cruise, "leaving me up the creek while's he's playing shuttleboard in Helsinki Harbour!" Ashley wonders what he's so worked up about. "Everything's above board, isn't it, Dad?" Er. "Yes!" shouts Fred. "Well . . . by and large. . . "
Madame Tax Inspector is going through the books. Quite why she's standing by the meat slicer to do it, I'm not sure. Is there no back office with a desk? In my experience, tax officials generally prefer a desk. Fred is just outside the door, smoking, and listening to Ashley berate him about why he would trust someone like accountant Bernie Bowden anyway. "He's always scribbling on his hands. He's got knots tied on every other finger, and I hate to guess what that terrible smell is." It's snuff, Fred tells him. He's got to the moaning stage. "Thirty years of scrupulous honesty undone by one bad bit of advice," he says. A call comes from inside the shop. "Mr Eliot!"
Inside, he is told that the wedding reception meat is in with the shop orders. "And you have done likewise with the reception items ordered by the pub. As it's for personal use, you will be listing it as drawings from the business -- you must have an established order of traffic between the businesses?" We see Fred mouth the word "traffic?" though he still has an ingratiating grin plastered over his face. "How do you treat the meat for your own consumption?" Yvonne asks. Ash has had enough and steps forward. "Well, we cook it, generally," he says. "We're butchers, not bankers. Everything goes through the books. And bullying my Dad won't make this wedding go away." He tells his future mother-in-law that the whole tax inspection thing is a sham. "The sorry state of these books only goes to confirm that my daughter is throwing her life away. Fred stops Ashley from going too far. "Don't burn what bridges you've got left, for Claire's sake."
Mysterious things are afoot in the factory. Sonia asks Janice if she managed to get something back in the drawer. "Yes, it's up to you now," Janice says. And Sonia saunters off looking less than innocent. Karen appears to have been spending her shift trying to find a solicitor to take her case to get money for the car, but no-one will touch it. She asks the others not to mention it to Steve, though, because she's promised him to give the feud a rest. Danny tells them he's organised a photographer from the Gazette to come round. He breaks off. "Did you hear something on the roof?" None of them did, so he carries on, telling them he wants their presence and support when the photographer gets there. "Where's Sonia?" he asks. "She's just nipped out to put her face on," Sean says, and the girls all snigger.
Ken is putting up the Christmas tree, reminiscing to Tracey about all the decorations. He pulls out a Bakelite number which his parents used to put on their tree. He hasn't noticed that Tracey has left the room and when Liz, Deirdre and Blanche come in, he's chatting away to nobody. Talking to himself is the first sign, Blanche says. "He'll not be able to find his way back from the toilet, next."
In the pub, Fred is updating everyone about Boris, who isn't seriously injured, "though he's got to wear one of them neck things for a bit. Shelley tells him what Boris needs is some of Roy's Christmas pudding -- it would give Betty's hotpot a run for the money. Fred is deeply offended by this, but Janice points out that with Betty's hotpot there's no chance of winning £25. "I've a mind to dob him in to health and safety," Fred grumbles when he hears Roy's scheme. "Oh -- from a man who's got employees dangling off ladders!" huffs Sean. Shelley can't work out what's got into Fred and suggests renaming the pub Bar Humbug! Tyrone and Maria are having a drink together. Maria doesn't look totally convinced that they are having a good time. Tommy is signaling Tyrone and advising him from a distance to seize the opportunity to make a move on Maria. But, to Tommy's disbelief, says he's going to watch the lights being turned on at the factory.
At home, Fred is telling Ashley they have to get their stories straight. "Facing down a tax inspector's bad enough, but one with an agenda . . ." Claire feels guilty. They've never given her anything but happiness, "and I bring this to your door."
Out in the street, the crowd is ready for the big lights-on moment. For some strange reason, the press are wearing security passes. Danny must have set up a checkpoint at the end of the street. Or maybe they've come straight from a rock concert. Perhaps the props department couldn't find any fedora hats with press tickets stuck in the bands. Danny makes a speech and finishes with: "and it only leaves me to say 'Merry Christmas, lads!" The lights come on and the crowd is thrilled, cheering and laughing. It's then that Danny notices the model now sports his face!
In the butchers' shop, they are confronting Claire's mother. Claire says that when her father died, her mother lost the ability to love. "A little bit of you had died as well. I used to cry for you, Mum, because I felt so sorry for you. Then all that hurt hardened into something horrible and bitter. You couldn't tolerate anyone enjoying the happiness you had lost -- not even your own daughter." Her mother can't take it any more, and gets her coat. "I'm prepared to overlook your behaviour this time, Mr Peacock," she says. "But rest assured I will be back tomorrow first thing." And as she stomps off into the night, Fred gives his almost-daughter-in-law a big hug.
Written by: David Lane
Directed by: Tony Prescott
We're outdoors on a grey, wintry morning. Karen is suffering from morning sickness – and of course, when Karen suffers, Steve suffers too. He tries to cheer her up by saying they'll go shopping in the afternoon for her Christmas present. She wants to wait, and get some stylish maternity gear. Liz comes out of the Kabin and greets Karen with the words every pregnant woman with morning sickness wants to hear: "You look rough!" She's off Christmas shopping, and Karen tells her that she and Steve aren't buying any presents this year, which means Liz won't have to bother buying anything for them. "Oh well, I've saved a fiver then," says Liz grimly. She goes off to do her shopping, and as Karen looks like she's about to retch, Steve hurries off himself, leaving Karen to be joined by Janice, Hayley and Angela on their way into work. They all stop to admire and comment on the factory's scenic display. Karen tells Janice she's not going to do anything about selling the car, because Steve's being really sweet at the moment and she doesn't want to do anything to upset him.
At the Duckworths' (where there's a *lot* of green and gold tinsel and a rather tastefully decorated Christmas tree), Tyrone is feeding beans to his dog, off his own plate. He's even using his own fork – ugh. Vera asks him what's up – he's lost his appetite, and he hasn't even walked the dog. He tells her he's worried about Maria.
Claire and Ashley are talking about her mum. Claire says their relationship is particularly bad when you contrast it with Ashley and Fred's relationship. She wants to ask Fred to give her away. They get all soppy, and Ashley says that every morning he wakes up with a big smile on his face because she's in his life. Their lovely mood is soon soured when they spot Claire's mum, Yvonne, waiting outside the shop. Claire doesn't even want to speak to her, and goes home. Yvonne asks Ashley to hurry up and open the shop because she's got work to do. He asks her whether she gets a kick out of hurting her own daughter. Yvonne replies that her work has nothing to do with her personal life, she keeps them separate. Unlike Ashley, she adds, who employed Claire as a nanny but soon found her to be "a convenient replacement for your dead wife. You might fool her, but you don't fool me." Ashley looks seriously annoyed.
It's all go at the salon, where Audrey is doing Blanche's hair, and Maria is doing Rita's. By "doing," I mean they're just faffing about with combs, but that seems to be all they're qualified to do at that particular salon. Audrey asks Maria how things are going with her and Tyrone, which leads Blanche to comment that they're "hardly Burton and Taylor." Maria has never heard of them, of course, so Rita helpfully adds that they were the Posh and Becks of a lifetime ago. Blanche isn't impressed with this comparison, as in her opinion Burton and Taylor were a lot more glamorous than a footballer and a woman who's famous for doing nowt. This last bit is overheard by Candice, who thinks ("Hello? Twenty-first century calling") that footballers are the most glamorous beings on the planet (even if they play for Weatherfield County, or whoever Warren is with). Audrey drags the conversation back to Tyrone: "he's a lovely lad. I've told Maria she could do a lot worse." "She already has done," says Candice. Miaow! Rita agrees that Tyrone is lovely, because he's trustworthy and down to earth. What's Blanche's perspective on this? "Trustworthy and down to earth is alright for the likes of our Deirdre. But if a lass with your looks has to settle for that then there's summat wrong somewhere." Not what Maria wanted to hear just then, one suspects.
In the butcher's, Ashley has made Fred a cup of tea. "Are you not having tea, Yvonne?" Fred calls out to her, "Or would that be seen as an inducement?" Ashley has deliberately not offered her one, but she's brought a flask anyway, "just to avoid any such misunderstandings." Ashley is holding a tray of some disgustingly bloody-looking meaty products. He holds one under Yvonne's nose. "Do you know what this is? Thought not. It's a heart." Butcher humour, eh? Even Fred winces, but Yvonne calmly asks Fred for bank statements. Rita comes in, and asks for a fillet steak. "Shall we take it off the cost of your papers, as usual?" she says. Not the most diplomatic thing to say in front of a tax inspector, and Yvonne is listening. Rita, oblivious to this, says that Audrey has just done her hair for the cost of her papers and a box of Christmas cards. "You know I *never* do that," says Fred. "All my transactions are above board and go through the books, every one every time." He silently mouths the words "Tax inspector" at Rita, who catches on and pretends that Audrey set her up to say that to tease Fred. Yvonne doesn't look fooled by all the false laughter.
In the Rovers, Maria is telling Claire and Candice that she hates owing money to Tyrone, because it feels like she's using him. Claire says that Audrey is being very good about it. Maria is feeling a bit spooked by the way Audrey keeps telling her she should get back with Tyrone, and how he reminds her of her dead husband. Claire suggests that Maria should borrow the money from Audrey to pay Tyrone back, then she'd only have to worry about being in the debt of one person rather than two.
Rita joins Audrey at the bar, and starts telling her about the faux pas at the butchers. "There was this hard-faced harridan from the Inland Revenue…" she says, and is overheard by Claire who has just come to the bar herself. Claire tells Rita that Yvonne is her mum, and Rita shouldn't worry as the only person Yvonne is interested in getting at is Fred.
In the cab office, Steve's headset and microphone are adorned with tinsel. Liz comes in, with some Christmas carrier bags. Steve tells her that they will be getting her a Christmas present, it's just that Karen wasn't feeling very full of festive cheer earlier. "I thought you'd done your Christmas shopping," Liz says. "Otherwise how come Amy has got a pressie from daddy?" This is overheard by Karen, who's just come in. "That's supposed to be a secret," Steve tells Liz. Karen stays hidden at the other side of the partition while Steve is telling Liz that Amy's present is a baby keyboard. Karen is upset, and lets them know she's there. "You are a flamin' rotten scumbag!" she tells Steve.
Karen, Steve and Liz are now out in the street having a massive row. Karen says she's getting used to Steve betraying her, but now he's betraying their baby. She wants him to go and get the present back from Amy. "You want me to snatch a Christmas present off a ten month old baby?" he shouts. This is all witnessed by Tracy, Deirdre and Ken, who've just arrived home in the people carrier. Ken assumes that it's the car Steve and Karen are arguing about. Tracy's just pleased to see them arguing, whatever it's about. Karen is absolutely losing it: "The car! The presents! It's all the same, Steve. It boils down to you letting that slapper come between us! How can I ignore that?" I'm seriously worried about Karen's blood pressure at this point.
Audrey and Maria are in the caff, wanting some of Roy's famous Christmas pudding. Maria asks Audrey if she'll lend her the money to pay back Tyrone. Audrey can't believe the nerve of her, but reluctantly agrees.
Karen has calmed down, and is in the pub with Steve. Deirdre, Ken and Blanche come in. "There's just always something there to remind me, i'nt there?" Karen says. "If it's not them, it's Amy, if it's not Amy it's that car." She tells Steve that there's something he can do about it, but we don't hear what it is because our attention is shifted to Tyrone and Maria, who've just come in. Then Karen comes up to Deirdre, Ken and Blanche at the bar, and says she wants to talk about the car. Ken says hasn't the car caused enough problems, and Karen agrees – "so why don't we sell it?" she says.
Meanwhile, Maria is giving Tyrone his money back, telling him that she didn't want him to think she only wanted him for money. "I'm just glad you wanted me for summat," smiles Tyrone the human doormat. He says he wants her to always come to him first if she has a problem. Maria says that makes her feel worse, because everyone is telling her that she doesn't deserve a mate like him. She offers to cook him a meal the next day by way of a thank-you. Tyrone is delighted and not a little flustered by this invitation.
At the Peacock/Elliott household, Fred is waiting to hear some news which Claire and Ashley have been waiting all day to tell him, and he's rather tense, wondering what it might be – could they be emigrating, or having twins? Claire tells him she was hoping he'd consider giving her away – "you're the nearest thing I've got to a dad." Fred says it's about the nicest thing he's ever heard, but he's not sure he should do it rather than Claire's mum. Claire says that Fred has made a big difference in her life, and she reckons if she hadn't have fallen in love with Ashley she'd have fallen in love with Fred (think about that for a moment, Claire – no, you wouldn't). Fred is moved, and agrees to give her away, sniffing back the tears. "I think I've got a cold coming," he says as he gets up from the table.
The Macdonald/Barlow/Hunt/Rachid axis is still in the Rovers debating selling the car. Deirdre is concerned that its resale value won't be as much as it was worth new, but Karen sensibly points out it didn't cost them anything to begin with so whatever they got for it would be profit. She says the only one who's paid anything for it is her – it's cost her a hell of a lot of self respect. "That's a bit rich, considering you never had any to begin with," says Blanche. Karen grits her teeth: "You know, you might be old, but that doesn't stop me from throttling you!" Ken, calming the situation down again, thinks that Karen has a point, as the car has caused nothing but rows. But Deirdre says it's also got them about as a family. Blanche agrees with this: "I've never been in owt so comfortable since Ida Hardwick's funeral. I rode with the family."
Fred comes into the pub, and Janice complains to him about his illuminated turkey flashing all night. "I have been dreaming all night long about being chased by a ten foot flashing bird," she says. Ciaran says he keeps having that dream, too.
The Barlows etc have now more or less decided to sell the car. Blanche says she's only an old lady who will be bullied into doing what the others want, so she excuses herself and leaves.
Yvonne comes into the Rovers. Fred offers her a drink, but she's only come to tell him that she's finished at the shop, and will be starting at the pub first thing in the morning.
Blanche has wasted no time in getting home and telling Tracy what's being discussed in the pub, and the two of them are waiting on the doorstep when Ken, Deirdre, Steve and Karen appear. It's obvious that Tracy isn't going to agree to selling the car. "Face it Karen, you've lost," she says. "You must be getting used to losing by now." "Oh no, it's you who's losing, love," Karen replies, "You could have thousands, and you don't even have to sell your baby." Tracy says she doesn't need to sell her baby now that the father is helping to support her – he's even bought Amy a Christmas present. "Or was that from both of you?" she says. Karen's response is typically restrained. "If I weren't pregnant," she says, jabbing a finger at Tracy, "I'd rip your flippin' head off!" Tracy and Karen continue to trade insults, Blanche continues to stir them both up ("she threatened to throttle me!" she says of Karen. "She wouldn't be the first one who's threatened that," observes Deirdre), and Ken and Deirdre attempt to be sensible. Eventually Steve has to take Karen off home, but as they leave, Tracy says that what frightens Karen most is the thought she might lose Steve to her. "In your dreams!" Karen says. "In my dreams," says Tracy, "Or in your nightmares?" She smiles a wicked smile.
We start tonight's episode with Karen telling Steve that the car just sits in the road while she has to walk everywhere. Tracy comes out of the house and Karen tells her that she hasn't won. Tracy says that they could do a swap with Karen having the car and her having Steve! Tracy says that she would be getting a good deal because the cars brand new where as Steve is well used and probably needs a good service! Ken tells Tracy to behave with a bit of dignity. Sally is off to her new job at the Davenport's garage. Tyrone tells Kevin and Martin about his ‘big date' with Maria tonight.
Maria asks Liz if she can join her and Tyrone for dinner. She tells Liz that she just wants to says thank you to him for the money. Liz says that she should just tell him that she doesn't want anything serious but Maria says she doesn't want to hurt him.
Shelley is deciding who to send Christmas cards to. She asks Charlie if he wants to send one to anyone but he says no. She asks if she can put his name on the cards as well and he agrees. Yvonne Casey (Claire's mum), the tax inspector, comes in and asks to see Fred.
Claire and Ashley are talking about her hen night. Fred gets a call from Shelley telling him that Claire's mum is at the Rovers. Ashley tells him to calm down because if she sees him in that state then she'll think that he does have something to hide. Ashley asks Claire if she's inviting her mum on her hen night but Claire says that's not funny!
Tyrone has come back from a test drive and he's been shopping. Tommy grabs the new shirt and shows it to Maria. He says that Tyrone will be expecting her to rip it off him tonight!
Shelley is on the phone to someone. She arranges to meet them tomorrow. Fred asks Violet if Yvonne is still ‘cooking the books'. She says she is and she's looking more miserable than when she started! Shelley asks Charlie if she told him that she's going away tomorrow because she's been invited to a brewery do. Charlie asks if he's invited but Shelley says he isn't. Ken apologises to Karen about Tracy. Karen says she doesn't know why Tracy wants the car because she never uses it. She asks why she can't have a key like Tracy does and Deirdre and Ken say that they don't know why. Charlie asks Shelley where this do is and she says she can't remember; the invitation only came this morning. Shelley says she'll find it later and show it to him but Charlie doesn't look convinced.
Fred offers Yvonne some food but she declines because she's finished there for today. Charlie comes in and Fred asks her if she means that she hasn't finished. She arranges to meet him tomorrow. Violet asks Charlie if he's lost something but he says it's more like he hasn't found something.
Ken comes back into the pub and gives Karen a key to the car. Deirdre asks Ken if Tracy knows and he says she doesn't. Charlie goes out and tells Shelley that she can tell him more about this do tonight. Karen decides to go for a drive in the car.
Charlie rings up the brewery. Tracy asks if Steve is coming with her but he says no so she drives off in the car. The brewery tells Charlie that there are no Christmas party's anywhere. Dun, dun, dun!
Tracy comes in the house and asks Ken and Deirdre where the car is. They tell her that Karen has it but Tracy says she can't have it because she has the keys so someone must have stolen it. Ken informs her that he gave Karen the spare key. Karen comes back and she has had ‘Steve & Karen' pasted onto the windscreen! Tracy says that she has got to get it off but Karen says it can't come off! Ken blames Tracy for it because she started the war between them. Deirdre and Ken seem very amused!
Fred tells Ashley that the news must be bad otherwise Yvonne could have told it them today. Ashley asks if Fred wants to tell them anything about the accounts so that they are prepared but Fred says that there isn't. Claire asks if they think she might be doing it to stop the wedding by getting them to pay so much tax that they can't afford it. Fred says that they won't let her do that.
Tyrone is off to his date with Maria. Vera tells Tyrone that Maria has changed from when they are younger. Tyrone asks if she means that she's changed and he hasn't but she says that she just doesn't want him to get hurt; she doesn't think that Maria is as serious about it as he is. Tyrone says he's hoping that she'll get more serious and if he doesn't try he'll never know. Vera says she's a lucky girl and tells him to enjoy himself.
Charlie asks Shelley about the do and why she wants to go. Shelley says it's because she's been invited and she's knows a few people who are going. Charlie says that he wouldn't go to a builders do without her and he's a bit surprised that she wants to go without him. Shelley says it's not like that but Charlie says that he thinks it is. Shelley asks if he wants her not to go and Charlie says that he had hoped that he wouldn't have to say it. Shelley says that she won't go if it means that much to him and he says it does.
Maria thanks Tyrone for the money and Tyrone says that he's always there to help her. She asks if he's going out anywhere tonight because she doesn't want him to think that he's got to hang around. Neither of them looks very happy.
Karen tells Steve she's happy now that she's got a key to the car. She says that she's very easy going if she gets her own way! Charlie asks Violet if she's going to this brewery do but she doesn't know anything about it. He says that Shelley isn't missing much. Sally tells Kevin that his garage is better than the Davenports. She says that it's very unorganised but she didn't say anything as it was her first day. Shelley tells Charlie that she doesn't understand why he doesn't want her to go to the do so badly. Charlie says that he'll think about it.
Maria notices that Tyrone is drinking a lot and he says that she would be if she was him. He says that it was great when she invited him round but she's made it really obvious that it was just to say thanks. Tyrone says that he loves her and then apologises for it. Maria says that she doesn't mind him saying it but now he is expecting her to say it back. He says not really.
Charlie decides to let Shelley go to the do if it's so important to her on one condition; that she tells him all about it when she gets back. She reluctantly agrees to.
Tracy is trying to scrape the ‘Steve & Karen' sign off the car. Karen shows Steve and he is very shocked. Karen tells Tracy that it's stuck on with super glue! Steve tells Karen that Ken was only trying to help and now she's stuck two fingers up at him. Karen says she was going to get it painted on the side in big letters but she thought it would take too long!
Maria gets a knock on the door. She tells Tyrone that she likes him more than she's ever liked anyone but as a friend. Dave is at the door; he's got her money. Tyrone says it's no wonder that she didn't want him to stay but Maria says she didn't know he was coming. Dave comes in and Maria gets him to tell Tyrone that she didn't know he was coming. Tyrone says he's going but Maria doesn't want him to leave. She tells him to calm down but Tyrone says it's not easy with the way he feels. He says he knows that he embarrasses her with the things he says but he can't help it. Maria says she loves him and Tyrone is VERY shocked! Dave says that he's always had bad timing and leaves! Tyrone asks her if she really loves him and Maria says that she does and tells him to stop asking questions. They kiss! Yey!
Mum's the word in tonight's episode as the drama centred around Claire's troublesome mum, Yvonne and also the return of the fantastic Bev Unwin, mother to Shelley.
We open in Maria's flat where it is the morning after the night before and Tyrone is beaming about the previous night. However, Maria isn't sharing his confidence in the re-blossoming of their relationship and is trying to usher him out of the door when Liz comes through wondering who was creeping around. "Don't say that," says an embarrassed Maria. "You make it sound like I have loads of fellers back here." "She doesn't," Liz assures Tyrone. "You're the first." (Let's all remember that Liz has only lived there for a week) A cheerful Tyrone leaves an exasperated Maria in his wake. Liz assures her that Tyrone's nice and asks for a weeding invite, an idea that doesn't seem to go down too well with Maria. Outside, Tyrone is swaggering down the Street happily. "Morning all!" he crows, even though there is no-one there.
It's breakfast time in the Rovers and Charlie brings up the brewery do, deliberately making Shelley squirm. He makes her think he is going to tag along but changes his mind. He tells her to have a good time and leaves for work.
Tyrone has been telling Vera about his passion with Maria (although hopefully in not too much detail) and she is pleased for him and that he didn't take any notice of her. He assures her he was always grateful for her advice. Vera tells him to follow his heart and he can't go wrong (Does that comment give anyone else negative feelings or did I just eat too much pork for dinner?)
Ms Yvonne Casey has called round to Fred and Ashley's to discuss the tax and Claire is so annoyed with her for turning up to cause trouble two weeks before the wedding (it's two weeks!? I'd better start my Christmas shopping!!) that she storms all of 10 metres away. Ashley arrives home and Yvonne starts talking financially. A worried Fred tells her to get on with it and she tells them that the overall sum they owe is a whopping............."twenty four pounds and nine pence" There is an air of bewilderment but Yvonne confirms the price.
Norris comes into the pub, pleased that he has won a fiver from winning a prize in Roy's Christmas pudding competition (which involves finding a coin in a bowl of Christmas pudding to exchange for a top prize of twenty five pounds but it could cost Roy a lot more if someone ends up choking on a coin!) Les and Kirk needless to say decide to participate. After all twenty five quid could buy Cilla about 15 of those simply stylish tops she wears....
Shelley is in a restaurant and is shown to a table.
Kirk and Les are tucking into Christmas pud and the ever so cunning Les drops a two pound coin into his dish and claims he's won the prize. However when Roy realises there is no mark on the coin that he scratched in, the devilish duo are caught out leading to a well deserved dressing down from Vera.
Shelley gets up to greet Bev as she arrives at the restaurant and the pair embrace.-BREAK-
Shelley and Bev are catching up. Bev is now the manageress of a pub and she asks how the Rovers is. Things turn tense when she asks about Charlie. Shelley tells her he's living with her. Bev tells her she only wants someone to make Shelley happy though she'd prefer it if it weren't him. Shelley asks why and Bev tells her because with him there she wouldn't be welcome and wouldn't feel comfortable there anyway. Bev asks if Charlie knows about their meeting and Shelley lies, saying he does.
It's dinnertime at Fred and Ashley's and Fred is deciding to go to the golf club to celebrate his relief. Claire is also relieved that she never has to see her mother again.
Bev is inviting Shelley to come and see her empire, so Shelley has to tell her Charlie doesn't know so Shelley will have to phone her. Shelley tells her that whatever happens, they must never lose touch.
Tyrone has come up to Maria's flat and is asking if she regrets the previous night. She assures him that he is the one she wants but, while he may be convinced, she certainly doesn't look it.
Charlie is quizzing Shelley about the brewery party again catching her on the spot with questions on food and speeches. To get out of it she starts to take sandwiches out to Claire's hen party but Charlie warns her that when she comes back she had better tell the truth.
Fred takes champagne over to the hen party and a shaken Shelley asks Ciaran to take the food over. She returns and tells Charlie that she has been to see Bev but he believes she has been having an affair. Shelley desperately tries to talk him round to see the truth but he can't believe or trust her now she's lied. She tells him she'll phone Bev and get her to prove it without her knowing that Charlie was there.
Maria is telling the assembled hens about Dave and Tyrone when Yvonne walks over and takes Claire aside. She breaks down and apologises for trying to ruin things. She couldn't bear to see them as a happy family and hates herself for it. Claire invites Yvonne to the wedding and she agrees to come.
Bev answers the phone and confirms they were out and suggests doing it again. Charlie now believes Shelley but orders her to tell Bev they won't be meeting again. Shelley looks upset but Charlie warns her she'll lose him if she doesn't (easy choice you would think) Shelley splutters to her mum that they won't be doing it again and hangs up. "Good girl," Charlie growls, kissing her and walking away. Shelley looks absolutely heartbroken.
So what have we learned from tonight's episode?
Yvonne adopts a very business like tone when saying "Twenty four pounds and nine pence"
The decorations in Claire and Ashley's home look like they have been put up by Josh
Least likely risk: "Don't work too hard." Shelley to Charlie
Most devastating punishment: "It'll be a long time before you see us in here again." Les to Vera about him and Kirk
Most observational (is that a word!?) person: "My daughter!" Bev upon seeing Shelley.
Understatement of the day: "He had a go at running his own restaurant but that didn't work out." Shelley about Ciaran.
Most vomit inducing imagination: "I was thinking about last night" Tyrone to Maria.
That's all from me tonight. Keep watching!!
Monday 13 December
Good evening, and welcome to the back room of the Rovers, where Charlie is still playing at "Keep her guessing". After his behaviour the previous night, making poor Shelley tell her mother there would be no more meetings, the bad advertisement for builders everywhere is in an exuberant mood, asking Shelley what she would like for Christmas. He offers her jeweler and perfume in an almost sarcastic tone, though he ungenerously says business hasn't been great this year. Shelley says any woman would be happy with jeweler and perfume, but what she really wants is for them to be happy and together. "I don't want anything coming between us, Charlie."
Tyrone is almost skipping as he arrives at work, doing his own version of Charlie's over-the-top happy mood. "It'll be money or a lass," says Tommy, and he chases Tyrone around a car to try to force it out of him. Kevin joins in and they trap Tyrone against a car window, wonderfully shot from inside the car. Of course, it isn't long before Tyrone admits to the others that he and Maria are back together again.
In the salon, Maria is also confessing, but this time to Audrey as she hands back the £200, admitting that Dave brought it back. Candice can't believe Maria would want to kiss Tyrone, "that fat, ugly midget." Maria points out that going for the tall gorgeous kind hasn't exactly been successful for her so far, and life isn't about fame and money. The dig is lost on Candice.
In the factory, Danny is another cheerful soul (where are they all getting their cornflakes now the shop is shut, and what is being added to the packets?). I got the impression that Mike would have loved to say "Bah! Humbug!". Danny tells Hayley that if the Christmas fund gets to £100 and the girls manage to finish the current order, he'll double the fund so they can have a really good party.
Cilla is fed up with Les going on about the £25 he could win if he gets the right bit of Christmas pudding. "You could earn it a darn sight quicker on an airport run," she says. She mentions that putting coins in pudding must be unhygienic, and a little light bulb (about 20W, I'd say) goes on over Les's head.
Dev is talking to Shelley. He and Sunita are back from her parents' place, but poor Sunita is still not recovered and is asleep in the car. They agree that Shelley and Charlie will come round to dinner because they might help Sunita cheer up. (Yeah, inviting folk round for a meal just when you're recovering from kidnapping, attempted murder and some nasty burns is always really stress-free!!) But as she suggests it, Shelley makes a quick glance to check whether this is going to upset Charlie. Luckily, he thinks it's a good idea.
In the cafe, someone claiming to be the head of Environmental Health for the council has phoned Roy. "We've received a number of complaints about food poisoning," the person says, suggesting the Christmas pudding is being blamed. Of course, it's Cilla, who tells Roy there will be an inspection next week. Roy asks her for a name, "for future reference" but she just repeats that she's the head of environmental health and then hangs up.
Dev and Sunita are back home and seem to walk in quite normally, but then Sunita has to double back and triple-quadruple-lock the front door. Dev tries to reassure her that Maya can't get to her any more. He tells her that he's organized for her to have lunch with Shelley and then Shelley and Charlie are coming around for dinner. And Sunita is thrilled.
Tyrone pops into the salon to give Maria flowers and to invite her for lunch in the Rovers. Quite offhandedly she tells him her break is at 1pm and she'll see him then. Gail is in one of the chairs with a cape draped around her. Either she's having a messy lunch or having what someone once called one of the salon's "hair don'ts", where the scissors clip and the hair stays exactly the same. In this scene, both hairdressers are holding their combs upside down. Gail still doesn't like Maria and hisses at her that it didn't take her long to get her claws into someone else. "I assume you'll be taking him to Ashley and Claire's wedding," she says, pointedly mentioning that Nick is going to be Ashley's best man.
At the cafe, Cilla Les and Kirk are trying to work out whether they would be winning if they buy the remaining 15 servings of pudding, at 75p each, in order to win the £25.
Over at the Cafe, Cilla, Les and Kirk have arrived and want to know how many servings of pudding are left. Roy tells them 15 or so, and they huddle off to try and figure out how much 15 times 75 pence is. They won't listen to Roy's quick calculation, but Les and Kirk almost come to blows over which number to "carry" in the multiplication. As they get themselves ever more confused, Roy recognizes the voice on the phone as Cilla's. He tells them they can't buy all the portions, but when they protest he rules that they can, but only if Les eats every portion! And you know that either he's going to regret this plot twist or we are.
In the pub, Sunita is telling Shelley how good and helpful her mother has been. Shelley looks a little wistful.
At the cafe, Les is on bowl No 7. He shows signs of flagging, but Roy whips him on with thoughts of the £25. Norris has been clucking on the sidelines, very disapproving of Les's trying to get the first prize by less than fair means. So when Hayley has to go back to work, Norris steps in with his notebook and an officious manner to make sure Les sticks to the rules and eats all the pudding himself. "Hands off the table!" he snaps at Kirk, who probably could eat 15 helpings of pudding with no ill effects.
Shelley seems to be surrounded by mention of mothers and family. Now it's Betty, who is not going to her Gordon's for Christmas, but who puts up with her awful daughter-in-law because you have to go the extra mile to stay in touch with your nearest and dearest.
There is trouble looming as Les has just one more serving to eat and there is still no sign of the £2 coin. He accuses Roy of making a mistake or trying to cheat and not putting in a £2 coin at all. Norris has to admit that Les has stuck to the rules, and Les demands the £25 from Roy. But then Betty comes in, asking for the helping of pudding that Hayley put by for her. And there it is in the fridge. Les demands it, saying he bought all the remaining servings, but Betty paid for hers in advance.
Maria has decided to be honest with Tyrone and tells him that Nick is coming up for the wedding.
In the cafe, Betty has found the coin, but Les and Cilla try to grab it off her. In the melee, Betty gets the coin and Cilla gets pudding and custard all through her hair! The coin has the secret file mark on it and Roy awards the prize to Betty. And it's probably this sight that finally does for Les's stomach and he rushes for the toilet.
Back at the Rovers, Shelley dials her mother's number, but can't talk. Bev knows its her and knows it was Charlie who made her say they wouldn't see each other again. She wants to visit Shelley, but Shelley says it would only make things worse. They decide to keep in touch by telephone.
In the factory, the girls count down to the deadline as Hayley runs up the last seams on the last item in the order. But there is only £95 in the kitty. "I must be getting soft," Mike says, donating the £5 to make up the £100. Of course, it means that his nephew must put in £100, so that helps. Danny keeps his side of it and the staff now have £200 for a party.
Shelley is still talking to her mother when she hears the door open and hangs up as quickly as possible. Charlie comes in and immediately accuses her of talking to her mother. Shelley says she was talking to Sunita. He won't listen and repeats his accusation. Shelley insists that Sunita wanted to know what Charlie liked to eat. At this stage I was very surprised he didn't dial 1471 to prove her a liar. He says she looks shifty and asks how she could go behind his back "after we agreed you wouldn't speak to her again!" As a panic-stricken Shelley tries desperately to think what to say next, the credits roll . . .
Welcome back, where we are still in the back room of the Rovers. Charlie says it again: "That was your mother. You're drinking in the poison she always give you about me." He shouts at Shelley and tells her she can't even be honest about it. "You're lying to me now! Who phoned who?" Shelley lies again and says it was Sunita. Charlie suddenly switches tone and says they have to trust each other. "I'd best get dressed," he says.
Gail goes into the salon to talk to Audrey. She says she's come in because she wants to get the Christmas arrangements sorted out. Nick is going to be busy with the wedding on Christmas Day, so perhaps they could gather at Gail's on Boxing Day. As she's talking, Gail darts some sideways looks at Maria. "David's really excited about seeing Nick," Gail says. "And so am I." Audrey asks if Gail has had an invitation to the wedding yet. She hasn't, but that's because she had a quiet word, Gail says. "I'm the widow of the man who murdered his first wife," she explains. She says that if she went to the wedding there would be more people looking at her than at the bride. "All I want for Christmas is my son home again." And she glances at Maria again. Maria looks very unsure.
In the pub, Charlie appears in a suit, to the delight of Violet and Jason, who tease him mercilessly. Shelley comes out and asks if she looks all right. Charlie pauses just a little too long before saying: "You always look beautiful -- (pause) -- to me." She knows he isn't sincere. And isn't that just what he wanted? She demands to know what is wrong. "You look great if you're going to be stuck behind a bar all night," he tells her. Is he saying she looks tarty? Shelley tells him to have a drink while she goes to change.
In the salon, Audrey is having a quiet word with Maria. Maria explains that she knew Nick was coming home because Gail had been at great pains to point that out earlier. "How do you feel?" Audrey asks. "You were engaged. You must feel something." Maria says she does feel something, but she's not sure what. "When we split up, at the time it seemed like the right thing to do." Now, she's not sure. "I really loved him, Audrey." Audrey gives her a hug but wonders what will happen when they see each other as chief bridesmaid and best man at the wedding. "There's nothing like a wedding to make emotions run riot."
Sally has called to see Kevin at the garage and she's full of the joys of the Davenport showroom, where there are leather seats for customers to use, a free coffee magazine and newspapers and magazines to read. Kevin points out that the Davenports will be charging for the cost of all that. The Coronation Street garage is doing some work on a car for the Davenports, about £65 worth. The Davenports will probably charge their customer £200 for the job. Sally goes off to put the tea on.
Next to the garage, Janice comes out of the factory and calls out: "She's on her way, Tommy. Best get your wallet out." Tommy calls back that he's skint, then Angela appears. She gets into the car with Tommy and Craig, explaining that they're going to buy Craig a computer. Kelly grumps to Janice that no-one ever spent that sort of money on her when she was a kid. "They're not going to now you're grown up, neither," Janice says.
In the pub, Shelley comes back down, this time wearing a suit. Charlie gives her a look, and when Shelley asks him what's wrong he says he didn't say anything. While she's a bit distracted, Janice comes in with Kelly and asks if Shelley will consider selling them some beer for their staff party -- at a discount, because they'll probably all come back to the Rovers anyway. Shelley agrees to sell them some crates at 10 per cent discount. Then she goes back to trying to get an answer out of Charlie. He tells her the suit is sending all the wrong signals. Suits are for strangers, not for friends. Hayley has come in with Sean and Janice and Kelly ask her where the kitty money for the staff party is. It's in the drawer at work, she says, and Sean points out they shouldn't be spending it yet. Janice tells them Shelley has agreed to give them discounted beer, so Hayley goes off to fetch the money. Kelly is pleased with the deal and says they must have caught Shelley in a good mood. "Nice one, Charlie," she says. "Keep up the good work." And Charlie nods at her and gives her a very sexy look and smile. The basket!! (Insert your own rude word).
Dev is lighting the candles on the dinner table, but Sunita suddenly becomes very upset. She can't stand the sight of the flames. Dev puts them all out and hugs her, calming her down and apologizing. He promises her it will all soon be behind them and he'll take care of her.
Shelley has every item of clothing she owns spread all over the room. She can't make up her mind which looks good, and isn't helped by Charlie repeating that they are all fine. She decides the problem is her, not the clothes. She makes the clothes look awful. "You're doing this to teach me a lesson, aren't you?" Charlie asks. He says she's punishing him for being honest when asked his opinion. In future he's going to lie and say everything looks fine. Shelley suggests calling off going out, because they're already late. That's the main fault she's got, Charlie tells her. "You're a bit too ready to let other people down."
Out in the bar, Violet is telling Katy that she and Jason are off to a club to hear a new band. Katy says she never does stuff like that any more. Violet says she's only doing it because she's trying to get Jason past R&B. That sets Katy off about Martin's CD collection. As Violet and Jason get ready to leave, Janice fronts up to the bar and tells Ciaran about the deal they have done with Shelley. He is a little skeptical, but Violet heard the conversation and backs Janice. Hayley comes back in, but tells the others the money is gone. "Don't wind us up!" says Sonia. "No," says Hayley. "Someone's had it and we've not had a break-in -- one of our lot's had it!"
The second half opens with a nice shot of the moon. I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps this is some televisual symbol that it's quite late, invented by someone who doesn't realise that for part of every month you can see the moon in the daytime!
At the Alahan abode, Sunita is cooking over what must be a flame-free gas cooker. Dev answers the door and ushers Charlie and Shelley inside. Charlie says it's his fault they are late. Dev asks where they got the flowers they have brought, and hears that it's from his rival's shop in Albert Road. Mr Patel is doing too well while Dev's shops are out of action. He must get them operating again soon. Shelley mutters to Charlie, asking if he's going to say something to Dev about doing the work on the Coronation Street shop. He tells her yes, but for her to keep out of it and not say anything.
In the pub, Hayley is going over what happened. Only she and Mr Baldwin had a key to the office, and he wouldn't have taken the money because he'd put the bulk of it in the collection in the first place. Hayley insists she didn't take the money. Janice tells her she believes her. "Out of all of us, you're the only one I would trust with my handbag." Sean points out that most of the factory staff knew where the money had been stashed. Kelly says it was none of them stood in the Rovers. "But ask yourselves who is going out and spending money like a drunken sailor while we're stood here." Hayley thinks it's unlikely to be Angela. "She'd hardly tell us how much she's spending." In another part of the bar, Martin is telling Katy his exciting news -- he's taken out an insurance policy. She's not really thrilled by this news, but he points out that he's made her the principal beneficiary. "That's really morbid," Katy says. Martin has to spell it out to her: "I've done it because I am really serious about you." Then the doors are flung open and Angela comes in. They've been out and bought Craig's new computer and some other stuff, Angela tells everyone. "We've spent a fortune! Right, I'm buying, what are you having?" And the factory staff just stand and look at her.
Mr and Mrs Alahan and guests have finished the main course and a cheesecake is announced. Shelley asks Dev how he's going getting the shops rebuilt. Dev replies that it has to be done soon. He's in the middle of getting quotes. So Shelley tells him Charlie would be happy to help. He does quality work and he could start right away because he's not got much work on. Plus he would give Dev a good discount because they're mates. There's a slight pause before Dev replies that it's something they can talk about. Charlie does not reply but says he'd really like some of the cheesecake.
Back in the Rovers, Angela is still at the bar when Tommy comes in. He's told that someone's nicked the Christmas party cash. His answer is that you can't leave money lying around like that. "There's always someone who will do the dirty." "We know that now," answers Janice. "We found out the hard way." Gail comes in and makes the announcement to Audrey, with Tyrone and Maria listening, that Nick's not coming now. He and his girlfriend are going skiing in Austria. Tyrone smirks. And Maria seems aware these comments are really meant for her.
Shelley and Sunita are talking on their own. Sunita says the flat doesn't hold too many bad memories for her because Dev is with her. But she never wants to set foot in the flat over the shop. Shelley says Charlie could do a great rebuilding job on it. Sunita agrees, especially since it was Charlie who got her out of there.
In the Rovers, Tyrone admits he had been worried Maria would see Nick and fall for him again. "I like being with you," she protests. "And he can't like you as much as I do or he wouldn't have got another girlfriend," Tyrone says. But nearby Gail is telling Audrey Nick doesn't have a girlfriend. She made that up. In truth, Nick isn't coming because he knew Maria and Tyrone were together again and couldn't bear to see him with someone else. "Because of her, I'm not getting my son home for Christmas." Kelly is saying the factory staff will have to cancel their party because she can't afford to contribute twice. "Who can?" asks Janice. Sean replies: "The person who stole our money." Angela suddenly realises what they are saying. Hayley tells her that no-one is accusing her. "Yeah, we are," insists Kelly. Angela is devastated. She thought they were her mates. With tears in her eyes she tells Tommy they're going home.
Violet and Jason are letting themselves into the Grimshaws' house.
At the pub, Shelley and Charlie have returned. Shelley is pleased they had a good night and she might have helped Charlie get some work rebuilding the shop. But Charlie snaps that he doesn't need help like that. First, she made it look like he couldn't get any work. "Then you pull the rug from under my feet when it comes to price. Dev owes me that job and maybe a few more. You made me look like some kind of wimp crawling to him to send a few bones my way." Shelley didn't mean to upset him. But he disputes this, saying she knew it and got a kick out of it.
Jason and Violet are sitting in front of the TV but he turns it off. She's a bit annoyed because she works nights and doesn't get to enjoy television very often. "Let's go upstairs before me mam comes home," he says. "You know I want you." She doesn't want to and he asks what her problem is. "The problem is you taking a sight too much for granted," Violet snaps. "It was a great night till you spoilt it." And she flounces off home, leaving a very puzzled Jason still on the sofa.
Wednesday 15 December
Written by: John Stevenson
(Directed by: Neil Alderton
Angela doesn't want to go to work, since her work colleagues and supposed friends think she's a thief. Tommy says that if she doesn't show her face, the others will think it's because she has something to feel guilty about.
Breakfast time in the Peacock/Elliott household. Ashley is talking on the phone, presumably to Nick about him not being able to come to the wedding. Claire and Fred are discussing catering. Fred says that in an ideal world he'd like to roast them an ox over a great open fire. Claire thinks people will be quite happy with turkey. Ashley tells them he's going to have to find a new best man. Fred can't do it, because he's giving the bride away, which prompts the bride-to-be to observe that Ashley is lucky to have his dad to back him up.
The workers are arriving at the factory. Hayley tells Janice that she was out of order to accuse Angela of stealing the Christmas money. Kelly believes that Angela is guilty, because of Tommy saying he was skint and then suddenly they had the money to buy Craig a computer, and Angela left the pub so quickly after she was accused. Sean agrees that it does look fishy. When Angela arrives, Kelly pointedly asks Sonia to watch her handbag while she goes to the toilet. Angela is obviously in for a rough day.
In the back room of the Rovers, Shelley is in her dressing gown and looking a bit rough. Violet comes in, not dressed at all appropriately for winter in a tiny vest with butterflies on it and a tiny mini skirt. Shelley says she didn't sleep very well, but turns down Violet's offer to tidy up the bar while Shelley goes back to bed. Charlie comes in, and makes some joke about hoping Violet left Jason in a fit state for work. Violet says that Jason was home early – and alone. She goes to make a start on the bar. Charlie is still sulking about Shelley talking to Dev about the shop reconstruction, and Shelley is still apologizing about it. Charlie is not ready to accept any apologies – he says he's going to find Dev "and try and undo some of the damage you did for me last night."
Also in her dressing gown is Katy. Martin's dressed, though, and eating toast standing up, which is bound to give him indigestion (I'm worrying so much about the health of the characters today). Katy brings up the subject of the life insurance, which she says is something that feels like a lifetime away when you're her age. Martin explains that when he pops his clogs, some of the money will go to his kids, but as she's his "significant other," she'll be the major beneficiary. Katy says that if she was his wife, it would have happened automatically – so why don't they get married? She's tired of being Katy Harris, she says, and she wants to be Katy Platt (I have to say, Ashley's proposal to Claire was a lot more romantic than this one). Martin says they will get married, but not just yet – she needs to finish school first, and he wants David and Sarah to still speak to him. "You're always so sensible," says Katy, damning him with faint praise as usual.
We see a door, from the outside. We see a female hand knocking on it. The knocker is Yvonne, and the door is opened by Claire. "Hello, Claire." "Mum!"
Yvonne has come to sort a few things out with Claire. She's brought a bag of Claire's things from home, including an old chess set her dad gave her. They reminisce about family holidays. The next thing out of the bag is a framed photo of Claire as a child, with her dad. Yvonne says that it was his favourite photo, and he took it to hospital with him and kept it on the locker by his bed. A tear runs down Yvonne's cheek, as she says that Claire's dad would have been so proud to give Claire away at her wedding, but since he can't do it, Yvonne would like to. Claire is crying, too.
Charlie and Dev are inspecting the burned-out shop. Dev gives Charlie the job. They shake hands on the deal, and Dev drives off. Charlie tells Jason that they got the contract to rebuild the shop, and maybe Dev's other shops too. Charlie is smugly pleased: "one of the best little earners I've had for many a long day."
Shelley (now dressed) and Sunita are in the Rovers back room. Sunita tells Shelley that the more she sees of Charlie, the more she likes him (but let's not forget she's suffering from post traumatic stress and therefore possibly not the best judge of character). "He is good for you," she says. "Yeah," smiles Shelley, "I know he is, but sometimes I wonder whether I'm good enough for him." Sunita tells her off for putting herself down: "Yeah, he is a good man. But you deserve him." Ooh, dramatic irony or what?
Violet is walking down the street, and meets Charlie and Jason. She looks really awkward about seeing Jason, but says she'll see him later in the pub if he's in. Charlie leers at her as she's walking away, saying she's "a lovely little mover." Jason pretends he and Violet are more intimate than they really are, just to save face with Charlie, but quickly changes the subject. Charlie decides they'll go to the Weatherfield Arms, to make Shelley wonder where he's got to: "it's good for her."
At the factory, Angela is feeling the pressure of everyone thinking she's a thief. Hayley tells her she doesn't think she's guilty, and offers to make her a cup of tea. But as they go to get it, Kelly is talking loudly to Sean about how the Christmas money is now sitting in Angela's kid's bedroom in the shape of a computer. Angela plonks her mug down, and says she didn't steal the money. Kelly asks her how come she managed to afford a computer. "Because I'll be paying for it for the next two years, you bad-mouthed cow," Angela tells her, and adds that the people doing the most shouting (ie Kelly) are likely to be the ones who are feeling guilty. Danny comes out to find out what all the shouting's about. Janice tells him that someone nicked the Christmas money, and Kelly accuses Angela, who denies it. Danny tells Kelly that if she keeps causing trouble he'll sack her. He and Hayley will search the factory top to bottom and try and find the money.
In the Rovers bar, Katy is now wearing a peculiarly gruesome combo of green and white checked shirt with a brownish cardigan (which looks like it could be one of Martin's) on top. Violet asks her if she ever gets sick of being part of a couple, because sometimes she looks really fed up. Katy says that's because she and Martin get a lot of flak from their families about their relationship. Violet doesn't think it sounds like much fun, but Katy says they're really happy. Then, after a pause, she adds that sometimes she wishes Martin was her own age, when she feels like being a bit daft and larking around. And right on cue, in come Candice and Warren, being a bit daft and larking around, kissing under the mistletoe. "Like them two?" Violet asks. "Yeah," says Katy, "Like them two."
Katy's significant other, and his former significant other the lovely Gail, are having a soothing cuppa at Roy's Rolls. They're also talking about Martin's age-gap romance. He says that he can cope with Katy's immaturity the way Gail used to cope with his. She says he was never as immature at Katy. Martin tells Gail about the life insurance policy, and she's annoyed to hear that the bulk of it is earmarked for Katy: "Don't you think you should put [your children] first, ahead of some girl you've fallen for?" "A bit like you put them first when Richard Hillman came a-courting," he replies.
Katy is sitting with Leanne, Jamie, Warren and Candice in the pub. "Does your old man know you're here, then?" Candice asks . Katy says of course he does – he's at the bar. She means Tommy. Candice says it's her other old man she was talking about. Leanne observes that if she was going to go for an older man, she'd want one who had money or looks, and preferably both. Warren is being a bit flirty with Katy, and of course Candice isn't happy about it.
Standing at the bar are Hayley, Janice, Kelly and Sean. Sean is now feeling guilty about them being horrible to Angela, and he doesn't think it was her who took the money. Janice is also coming around to this viewpoint, leaving Kelly as the only one who is still saying Angela is the thief. Angela and Tommy are on their way out, and Hayley offers them a drink. Tommy says not until Angela's had an apology. Sean apologises, and so does Hayley, but Janice says she won't crawl to them. So Tommy and Angela leave.
Claire, Ashley and Fred are at home, and Claire is telling the others about her mother's visit, and about her wanting to give Claire away. Fred says of course she must, and that he isn't upset at all. But straight away he's angling to be Ashley's best man instead. Ashley's not taking the bait.
Charlie comes home, obviously quite late, and Shelley is looking all tense and worried. He gives her a kiss, and she immediately starts apologizing yet again for interfering in his business with Dev. He tells her that he got the shop contract, and that the reason he didn't come home at lunch time was that it was a difficult negotiation, thanks to her meddling – he says all this with a cheerful, indulgent sort of look on his face. He tells her he loves her, she's a wonderful woman and he thinks the world of her: "And that is why I get so annoyed when you go jumping in with both feet upsetting people." He tells her that some of the things she says to her regulars are pretty tactless. "Are they?" she says. "Just as well I'm here to help," he says. He is messing with that poor girl's head, and it doesn't take a lot to confuse Shelley at the best of times.
Jason and Violet are in the bar talking about the previous night. She tells him he needs to hang back a bit more, because some things are better if you wait for them. Jason's satisfied with that, and Violet is all smiley. But then, while Jason is off to the toilet and Violet is pulling a pint, Charlie comes up behind her and says "My lad Jason tells me you're red hot at making a man happy. But I think he's kidding, I don't think he knows one way or the other." Violet looks angry and upset. "It's none of your business," she says. "That means it's none of his, either," smirks Charlie.
Jamie, Warren, Candice, Leanne and Katy are messing about with mistletoe. Candice kisses Warren; Jamie kisses Candice; Leanne kisses Warren – then Warren kisses Katy, and it's a bit more than the quick peck the others had. In fact it goes on so long that Candice pushes them apart and gives Katy a slap. This is witnessed by Martin, who's just come in. He looks livid, and turns around and leaves, followed by Katy. She says it was just a Christmas kiss under the mistletoe, and Martin replies that he saw exactly what it was, and so did Candice, which is why she slapped Katy. "And you looked like a pair of slappers, fighting over a teenage heart-throb," he says. Katy says she hasn't done anything to be ashamed about. Martin can't understand her – one minute she's wanting to get married, the next she's doing teenage snogging. Katy yells back at him that when she tries to be grown up and sensible, he pushes her into being a kid. He keeps telling her to act her age, but what age does he want her to be? She stomps off along the cobbled street.
Major health concerns in the Street:
(1) Fred is eating too many fried breakfasts.
( (2) Violet doesn't wrap up warmly enough when she goes out.
( (3) Sleep deprivation is taking its toll on Shelley.
( (4) Martin should sit down to eat his toast.
( (5) Angela is apparently unaware of the scalding risk posed by hot tea.
( (6) Katy is unaware of the violence risk posed by a jealous Candice.
Friday 17 December
We start tonight's episode with Warren apologising to Candice about kissing Katy. He says he only did it to see if it would make her jealous and it did which means that she cares about him. Candice says that she's not sure she does any more. Warren says that they belong together and he might as well forget about his football career if she isn't with him. Candice decides to forgive him.
Martin offers Katy a lift as an olive branch but she says she'd rather take the bus. Martin asks if she can afford to turn it down and Katy says that she can when he thinks he's being a really big. Martin says he is as she was the one snogging someone else but Katy says they were only having a laugh. Katy sees Sarah waiting for the bus and decides to walk instead. Sarah tells Martin that it's really cool seeing her dad bickering in the street with a school girl. David tells Sarah that she should be angry with Katy for snogging Warren but Martin says it was just a bit of fun that got out of hand. Sarah tells him to accept that he's too old for her and to stop embarrassing them.
Tyrone tells Fizz and Claire that he's not witty and he's not good-looking so what does Maria see in him. Claire says he's really nice but Tyrone says that's just another word for boring. He wants Maria to think ‘wow am I going out with him'. Fizz says he should imagine Maria saying that in a more hustled tone and asks why he can't just be happy to have her back. Tyrone says it's because he's scared of losing her and storms out. Fizz says that Tyrone is just a mechanic in greasy overalls and Maria is never going to see him as James Bond. Claire says that they could replace the overalls with a suit and give him the most important role in the wedding.
Kelly asks the girls if they should just say good bye to their Christmas party. Janice says that Baldwin is not going to stump up any more money and Danny says that he may be generous but he's not stupid. Kelly asks why they should just let Angela get away with taking the money and Sean says that they don't know for sure that it was her. Angela comes in and Kelly calls her lady light fingers! They start shouting at each other but Danny stops them and says if there's any more of it they'll all be on the doll. He calls Jamie into the office and asks him about the money. He says that he's done it before but Jamie says that that doesn't mean he's going to make a regular habit of it. Danny says he doesn't mean that but Jamie says he's knows what he means; when something goes wrong it's bound to be his fault.
Claire has told Ashley about having Tyrone as a best man but he asks if Claire wants their wedding to go wrong! Ashley says that he's not the sharpest tool in the box; a best man needs to organise stuff and Tyrone can't even organise himself. Claire says that maybe no one has given him responsibility before and this would give him a chance to prove himself to Maria. She says that Tyrone is feeling down at the moment and this would make him feel important and make Maria see him in a new light.
Violet asks Katy if she's in the dog house with Martin and she says she's in the dog house with him, Sarah, David and Gail so now she's got two families on her back. Violet says she's got Candice on her back as well but Katy says she doesn't care about her. Violet says that she doesn't know what Jason ever saw in her or Maria. Katy says it's probably the same thing he saw in Sarah; sex. Violet says she didn't know that Jason had been with her and asks Katy if there's anyone he hasn't slept with and Katy says her. Violet says that that makes two of them. Jamie comes into the café and Leanne asks why he isn't at work. He tells her that Danny accused him of steeling the money for the Christmas party. Frankie asks him why Danny is accusing him and Jamie says it's because he needs someone to blame. Frankie says that Danny has got no right and Jamie doesn't deserve that.
Martin is telling Ashley that Katy is acting like a teenager. Ashley says that he should put it down to youthful high spirits and mistletoe but Martin says that maybe she's seen sense. He says that Warren doesn't have any wrinkles and he doesn't have to swot up on the latest bands to have a conversation with her. He says he has to read her magazines whilst she's out just to keep up but Ashley says that just shows that he loves her. Martin says that it shows his age but Ashley says it's not age; it's paranoia. He says that he used to feel the same when he was Maxine because he could never understand why she was with him. He says he should just trust Katy.
Jason and Violet are at a fancy restaurant. She asks him what was so important that he had to drag him there. Jason says that they have been going out for a while and they haven't got past first base and he's getting pretty sick of it. Violet shouts if he wants to do it with her and she kisses him but he pushes her away. She says she thought that was what he wanted and he says it is but not like that. He wants it to be something special but Violet asks if it was special with Maria or Candice or Sarah. Jason says that it's different with her and tells her to forget it but Violet says that he wanted to talk so talk. Jason shouts that it's different because he's in love with her! Violet looks shocked!
Frankie storms into Danny's office and tells him that it's terrible that he accused Jamie of steeling the money. Frankie says that he didn't take it. Danny says that she doesn't know that but she says she does because she took it when she went Christmas shopping. Danny says he told her to take fifty quid not two hundred but Frankie says that you can't go Christmas shopping on fifty quid. Danny says that now he can tell the girls what happened but Frankie says he doesn't want him showing her up in front of them. Danny asks if he is supposed to say that the tooth fairy took it!?
Jason tells Violet that he has never felt this was about anyone before and when he's not with her he's thinking about when he will be. He tells her to say something and she says that the foods getting cold. She says that she can't say she loves him because she doesn't and she leaves.
Candice tells Katy that she owes her an apology but Katy tells her to get lost. She says that Katy wanted to try someone less withered but Katy says that Martin probably looks old to her because she's going out with someone who looks as though he's still in nappies! Candice says she'd rather go out with a footballer than a nurse and they're still together whereas she's heard that Katy has lost a boyfriend. Tyrone is telling Fizz that he's never been asked to be a best man before. Fizz says that Maria will be very impressed. She tells Claire that he's dead chuffed and Claire tries to tell Fizz that she doesn't know if Ashley is going to ask him but she walks off.
Tyrone tells Claire that he'll act surprised when Ashley asks him and that no one has asked him to anything important before. Claire goes and sits with Ashley and she asks him if she's thought about what she said. He says he has and he thinks she's right; they may as well make someone else happy as well so he's asked Martin! Claire looks shocked! He says that this way they make someone happy and they get someone they can trust.
David asks Martin if he wants to go for a kick about. He says yes and then he sees Katy. He apologises to her and says he was jealous. Katy tells him there was no need; he's just a kid. Martin says he's the same age as him and it's better than being 18 years older but Katy says she likes her men weathered! Martin goes to play football and kicks the ball accidentally to Warren. He shows off with some skills and then asks if he can play. Martin says no but then he sees Katy and changes his mind.
Jason is waiting outside the pub for Violet. He asks her why she went off and she says it was because she hates cold pizza. He asks why she is doing this and she says it's because he's getting on her nerves and she preferred it when he talked about sex rather than this love rubbish. He says it's not rubbish but she says that he doesn't know her. He says it doesn't matter but she says that they have nothing in common. He can't even string two words together without it sounding like something out of a comic book and how does he expect her to fall for someone like that. Jason calls her a cow and she says that now he is getting to know her. He says he doesn't like what he sees so Violet says he should dump her but he can't so she tells him to get lost. He walks off but she runs up to him and starts crying.
Danny makes an announcement in the factory. He has found the money so Christmas is back on. It was stuffed down the back of the draw. Hayley apologises to Angela and Danny says that it's sorted now so no more bickering. Sean tells Kelly that she should apologise. She offers to buy her a pint but Angela says only if she wants it chucked all over her and that goes for all of them.
Violet tells Jason that she loves him to. She says she's scared of getting too close because you might get hurt. Jason says he would never hurt her but Violet asks how she knows that. She says that the last bloke who said that to her was older than her and married. She says that it was someone that her parents knew and when they found out she moved out. She promised herself she would never let anyone get close to her again till now. Jason asks her if she really meant it when she said she loved him and she nods. He tells her that he will never let her down and she says he better hadn't!
Martin is trying to get the ball off Warren. Tommy comes over and tells him to act his age but he already is! He says that Martin reminds him of George Best (now not then!) but Katy tells him to pack it in. Tommy says it's Martin that should pack it in before he has a heart attack! Martin kicks Warren in the leg and knocks him over. He tells him that in future he should stay away from his girlfriend.
Sunday 19 December
Quite a confrontational episode tonight, with the reverberations from the Christmas Kiss leading to three dramatic showdowns. For the light relief we had Ashley with three best men and Chesney teaching Les about the birds and the bees! Priceless!
We opened the episode in the Baldwin household, where Candice is doing the bandage for Warren's knee. It's the morning of his debut and everyone is skeptical over whether he'll be able to play. I say skeptical but I mean just about certain that it won't come off. Danny is on the phone and he comes through to announce that the club doctor will see Warren. Danny assures his depressed son that there'll be other opportunities but tells him that he shouldn't have kissed Katy. Both Candice and Warren argue that he didn't. Frankie wants Danny to go and lamp Martin to make her feel better but Danny isn't going to.
Martin meanwhile is brushing off the seriousness of his tackle on Warren to Katy, saying it's just a football thing
The best man confusion still reigns over Claire and Ashley as he confirms that Martin is his best man. When she hears of what he did to Warren, Claire suggests he isn't suitable best man material whereas Tyrone is. But Ashley refuses to go back on his word.
Martin has admitted that he did kick Warren because of the kiss but he tells Katy that she shouldn't have kissed him. She repeats that it was all innocent and he tells her he's sorry but he still can't believe why Katy would go out with him and nor can I really.
Sally is excited at the prospect of helping to run the cake stall at the Oakhill fayre. Rosie comes through with a tin asking if she can have it but Sally is adamant it's for the hamper. Kevin suggests putting the cheap beans in the hamper but Sally is aghast at this and decides to take the girls shopping.
Ashley approaches Martin, who once again brushes off the Warren incident. Ashley assures him he's still best man.
Violet offers to take Jason out for a pizza to make it up to him and they share a lingering kiss before Charlie ushers Jason onto the site.
Tyrone, accompanied by Fiz and Maria is getting excited about his role of best man. Claire tries to tell him the latest developments but finds that she can't let him down.
Chesney is looking through a catalogue at bikes only to turn the page to lingerie with scantily lad models. Cilla spots this and believes Chesney to be a pervert and chases him upstairs. Les comes in and Cilla tells him to talk to Chesney about the birds and the bees.
Warren limps out to the taxi but Candice can't go with him as she's scared of needles. As the car goes past her, Katy waves to Warren, so Candice, with Sarah in tow, storms up to her and confronts a bemused Katy telling her not to wave at Warren. Katy starts sticking up for Martin and the pair exchange heated comments. When Katy says Warren isn't much of a kisser, Candice lunges for her only to be pulled back by Sarah. Martin comes over and intervenes. "That's right, run away!" crows Candice. "My Warren may never run again!" "Well don't worry, Candice," retorts Katy. "I'm sure he'll be running from you soon enough!" Meow!
Ashley is holding a conversation with Josh, offering him the role of best man for some random reason when Fred overhears and presumes he's being asked. Before Ashley can let him down, an excited Fred has popped out. Claire then comes in and informs Ashley that Tyrone is still in the running
Sally is unloading her shopping and Kevin is not impressed that she hasn't bought anything for themselves.
Katy is telling Martin that Candice started the fight.
Gail, David and Sarah are having a meal in the Rovers and Gail has something to tell them.
Maria crosses the bar and corrects Tyrone's spelling of confetti. Fred comes in and hugs Violet before announcing he's the best man. Martin and Tyrone both claim they are the best man!
Les is nervously trying to talk to Chesney about the birds and the bees and the lad, who seems to know more than he is letting on, is letting Les sweat. A cowardly Les faffs on before offering Chesney a can of pop.
Fred has decided to talk to Ashley to find out what is going on.
Gail is telling her children about Martin's life insurance and the shares. They look unimpressed even though Gail assures them Martin loves them no less.
Warren limps in to the pub with Danny and Martin decides he should apologise.
Ashley and Claire are bickering over the best man when Fred comes in with the huge bellow of "ASHLEY!!!!"
Charlie is telling Jason how he would hate for Violet to slip through his fingers and that he could teach him thing or two about women...
Martin apologises for his tackle but Danny is unconvinced it was a tackle and claims it was more malicious. Warren goads Martin who sees red again. An embarrassed Katy storms out as an argument gets underway and soon Martin has attacked Danny. Charlie breaks them up as Sarah looks on, mortified.
Chesney is now teaching Les about the biology of reproduction. Cilla comes in and Les informs her that Chesney could be a child prodigy. Cilla merely rolls her eyes.
Sarah storms round to Martin's house and as he rants about the Baldwins, she smacks him across the face, furious at his immaturity. She tells him she wishes he could be a father again but he's just obsessed with Katy. She doesn't know him anymore.
So what have we learned this episode?
-Warren's appointment with the club doctor was at 11pm
--Candice's shirt misleadingly quoted the word 'gorgeous'
--Martin and Katy listen to the same radio station as the Baldwins
--Sally has Freshco Economy beans
--Rosie wanted to eat a tin of Homepride sauce
--Confetti blocks drains
--Bikes and lingerie are neighbouring sections in Cilla's catalogue
--Ashley and Claire have one Christmas card
--The following duties are that of Ashley's best man: Wear a suit, organise a stag do and make a big speech in front of a lot of people
--Sally bought the following things while shopping: a tin of biscuits, a bag of walnuts, a Christmas pudding, self raising flour, glaced cherries, lettuce, two jars of mincemeat
--Confetti has two 't's
--During the 'I'm Ashley's best man" scene, one of the extra's laughed after watching the situation unfold.
AND BIOLOGY SPECIAL
--Boys and girls have different shapes
--Boys are flat and straight
--a fertilised egg is called a zygote
--a baby's sex is decided at conception
--You need two x chromosomes for a girl and an x and a y chromosome for a boy
--"I have eyes in me head!" Martin
Most exciting prospect: "That's the end for me and Martin" Katy
-Worst case of Pinocchio nose syndrome: "You're gorgeous, you're bright" Martin to Katy. But he redeems his lie with a truth: "I'm just a sad old git" Bless!
-Shortest conversation: "What else can he do besides football?" Frankie about Warren.
-Person most misled: "He's got talent" Frankie about Warren
-Most neighbourly person: "Great news! Sasha Robinson has chicken pox!" Sally
-Best grammatically structured sentence: "I'll be the bestest best man ever!" Tyrone
-Most uplifting prospect: "There's so much I could teach you" Charlie to Jason
-Understatement of the day: "It was a bad tackle"
-Most understandable confusion: "I don't know where he gets it from, but this lad's a genius!" Les about Chesney
-Most arguable statement: "It's a shame I had to smack you in the face" Sarah to Martin
That's all for tonight. We'll be back throughout the week to keep you updated over the festive period. Happy holidays and keep watching!!
Until next time
Monday 20 December
Les approaches Sally. He asks questions about oak hill. He's told its pricey and its none of his business. Sally then thinks he's trying to send Chesney to oak hill. Sally tells him he won't be able to afford the fees, and that you have to pass an exam before you can get in. Les tells her in an angry voice that Chesney would pass the exam standing on his head.
The factory girls are just about to start their party. Angela is going home although being asked to stay. She says no because there is too much temptation of stealing. Danny then ask who wants alcohol but Karen says she cant because of her being pregnant, Janice and Fizz says they feel tight on Angela, Hayley says she'll put the kettle on and Sean says he needs to be on a high first.
At the butchers Claire talks to Ashley. Fred starts moaning saying three is enough. He then goes on telling them that they should tell the other best men as soon as possible so they get over the disappointment. He is told they will decide what they are going to do.
Sally tells Kevin about Les wanting to send Chesney to oak hill but she thinks he won't be going. She mentions the amount of hours he puts in at the taxi firm and the amount of times he goes to the Rovers. Sally tells him that the only think they have in common with the Battersby's is a postcode
The factory party is not going to well, they are all just standing doing nothing. They argue about Angela saying she's loving this. Danny demands that Jamie go get Angela back. Jamie asks what's he going to say to her.
Cilla is not happy. She demands that they ring up Oak hill and get leaflets. She tells Les that she does not want that snotty cow looking down at her baby, she thinks they will get funds to send Chesney to Oak hill.
Gail comes round to Martins. She says that Sarah was mortified about yesterday. Martin says the life insurance didn't help either. Gail tells Martin Sarah just needs to be loved and remind that he's her dad. Martin says she should already know that but is told to spell it out to her.
At the factory Janice sings, Danny comments. They want to open their presents then go home. Danny gives them out. They come to Angela's and wonder what they are going to do with it. Karen jumps and says she will take it, just at the moment Angela takes her present. Every one is happy and starts to have a laugh. Sonia takes a picture. The party starts to get going now.
In the salon Candice is getting her hair done. Audrey tells Leanne she won't be long. She says its ok as this is better than sitting watch the tv. Candice talks about her night. Leanne says that rings a bell and Jamie must of mentioned it. Audrey tells Candice not to end up in a gutter. She says she will take it easy because she has to last the hold night.
Sally asks Rosie what her RE teacher is called. Sophie puts some vegetables on a plate beside her. She has an imaginary friend. They are told she's shy, has braises, and got moved up a year because she's clever. Sally tells her maybe she will be sent to Oak hill like Chesney. Rosie thinks they should not encourage her because it's stupid.
The party has kicked off now and everyone is enjoying themselves. Janice is sitting on Mike's lap. Karen comes up with a missal toe. They kiss and every one laughs. She says that Mike's lips are soft and for everyone to have a go, so Sean moves in for the kill.
Sarah talks to Martin telling him it's not about his money, its about Katy being his next to kin. She points out that's he's not even married to her. Sarah then tells him that Katy is his priority. Sarah asks that if she, David and Katy were drowning and he could only save one, witch one would he save. Martin says all of you, because he loves then all. They make up and sort out their difference.
At the Rovers Tyrone goes on about being best man to Ashley. He speaks about the speech and what he is going to say. He is excited and then goes to get drinks. Claire comes up with a solution, they can all be best men because there is a lot to organise. Tyrone tells Kevin and Shelly about what he is going to say in his speech.
At the factory party they are all dancing. Hayley in a disappointed way says she's drunk and going home. Janice asks Mike if he is going to go back to being a grump, she is told from now on he is available and cuddly. Karen gets up and goes to the toilet.
Cilla is on the phone. Chesney asks Les what she's on about. She puts down the phone and says that was the head master of Oak hill. Chesney ask his mum why she put on a funny voice, she tells him telephone voice. Cilla tells them that she's got Chesney invited to the Christmas fair. Chesney says that he doesn't want to go to oak hill.
Karen looks in the mirror and does not look good. She takes off the tinsel and anglers, her mascara is running down her face.
Candice is in the Rovers and argues with Leanne. Warren comes up behind her, they go to the bar and Leanne sends a text to Jamie asking him to bring vodka. Fred tells Martin and Tyron what you need to be a best man. Ashley tells them all he's not going to have a best man. Fred shouts what. Then Ashley says they are going to have three best men.
Sean talks to Karen outside and she's crying a wee bit, he puts it down to hormones and that every one gets emotional at Christmas. She tells him not to tell any one that she's going home, he promises. She walks round the corner and stops, she looks as if she's in pain.
Episode two, and I hope you have your hankies ready. Yes, it will be that traumatic hearing about Mike Baldwin turning into a nice guy! And sit down, you might get dizzy.
We open at Steve and Karen's flat. Karen is doubled over with cramps but tries to ring Steve. She gets his voicemail.
In the pub, Steve is on the phone to Eileen, who seems to be having some problems in the cab office. Liz is watching her son fondly. When he moans about nobody being able to think for themselves, she tells him to switch off his phone. He moves from talking about the drivers being like a bunch of kids to talking to his mother about his own expected baby. He really wants to give it a go, being a good father. "My son will never doubt that he's wanted in this world."
Nearby, Warren limps back to a booth complaining that they won't serve him alcohol, even when he said it was for Candice. Candice isn't bothered. She just wants to get going. Leanne has been doing her head in. Warren opens his mouth and says "About Leanne. . ." and there she is, appearing right beside them and offering to buy them a drink. Candice accepts but says she'll just have a small one because they're not stopping. "You're only getting a small one," snaps Leanne. She goes to the bar and orders a pint of lager, a white wine and a tonic water.
Fred has a notebook and is holding forth to Tyrone and Martin, reading a list: ". . . during t'ceremony, stag night organisation, speech -- the all important speech. I've put an F next to that because that's my choice." He opens his mouth to carry on, but Martin and Tyrone are both protesting. "Whoa, whoa. The whole idea of this list was to take turns choosing jobs," says Tyrone. "Who says you get first dibs?" "Do you want first dibs, Dobbs?" asks Martin, pulling a face. Fred points out that Martin isn't interested in the speech, "and you're a mechanic." So what's his point, asks Tyrone. "The speech should fall to a natural orator," says Fred. "Monkey suits, not monkey wrenches, if you'll forgive my bluntness." Tyrone and Martin still think it's unfair that Fred picks first, and Violet agrees. "'Aven't you got glasses to wipe?" demands Fred. Violet suggests they toss a coin to see who gets to pick first. "What?" asks Martin. "How are we going to do that -- heads, tails and if it lands on its edge? There are three of us." She suggests two of them toss a coin, then the winner tosses a coin with the third person, and the winner of that gets to pick. Tyrone seems quite happy with this, but Martin asks how they will decide who tosses first. The winner will have to win twice, but one person will only have to win once. Violet has the answer. Darts. Nearest to the bull gets to pick first. They agree and she hands over the arrows.
Leanne is at the bar, topping up the tonic with a half glass of vodka. She puts it away as Warren comes over to talk to her. "What if you and Jamie don't come out tonight?" he suggests. She tells him she's realised that Candice doesn't know she and Jamie are coming to the football do. He suggests they solve the problem by staying away, but Leanne says Jamie is over at the factory being slobbered over by Sonia, and when he gets away from there he's going to want something a little more glamorous. "It won't be that glamorous," he says. "I meant me." And anyway, she's all dressed up and where else could she go? She gets him to take the drinks over. Near the dart board, Fred almost stabs Tyrone as he steps into the line of fire. "Hey! Who said you could go first?" He tells Fred that the person throwing the first dart will have the advantage, because everyone else will have part of the board obscured by previous darts. Tyrone suggests they cut cards.
In the factory, Sonia is making lustful faces through the office window at Jamie, who's in there with his dad and Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike picks up an empty whisky bottle. "A volunteer, if you'd be so kind, my marvelous medley of machinists. Jan and Fizz aren't sure if they like this new Mike, but they agree he'll be back to his usual grumpy self tomorrow. Janice is drinking bubbly from a bottle -- with a straw. Mike hands her £20 and tells her to get whatever she wants with the change. Kelly can't believe her eyes. Mike asked Fizz exactly the same thing a few minutes ago and gave her £20. "If we wait long enough, we'll have one each," Fizz chuckles.
In the Webster household, the last woman in the Greater Manchester area who would leave a ground floor window open at night is just taking some Christmas mince pies out of the oven. She gets Kevin to open the window and puts the pies on the sill to cool. They're for the school fair. She tells Kevin she's a bit worried about Sophie's imaginary friend. It might be all right at home, but in public, what if people stare? "Well," says Kevin, "If they're staring at something imaginary they'll look daft." Sophie has crept downstairs and is listening. She nips around the corner just in time as Sally calls her. "Ebony Rae says you've been talking about her," she accuses them, saying her friend was in the kitchen. Kevin clicks to this straight away, though Sally is a bit bewildered. Kevin tells Sophie it's rude to eavesdrop and offers to tell Ebony Rae. But Ebony Rae has apparently locked herself in the bedroom and won't come out until she gets an apology. Sally goes back to get the mince pies but (shock! horror!) there is one missing. Sophie seizes her chance and says it was Ebony Rae. Now Sally is even more bewildered. Kevin heads for the door. He's off for a pint with Eric. "Who's Eric?" asks Sal. Kevin looks horrified and speaks towards the floor: "Don't take it personal, mate -- Rovers!" And he and Sophie giggle together.
In a Battersby household not too far away, Chesney is juggling something from hand to hand and blowing on it. Les and Cilla are tussling over a can of lager and Cilla demands to know where Chesney got the item. He says it's his and Schmeikel's. "Where'd you get it?" Cilla repeats. "I didn't get caught!" She tells him that's not what she asked. He confesses he got it from the Websters. Cilla is worried he's spoiled the surprise of them turning up at the fair. "No!" says Chesney. "I nicked it. I didn't talk to them." Cilla: "Good." She turns to Les. "Should I go tarty or posh?" Les has a definite answer. "Tarty. We can't afford new." Chesney doesn't want to have to wear a daft uniform at Oakhill, but Cilla tells him he's got no choice, even if he has to wear a welly on his head. "If it gets up her nose, you're wearing it!"
Warren has popped home, where Frankie is sewing a button on to Jamie's cuff. Frankie can't understand what the problem is, but Warren points out that Candice has dumped him for less before. Jamie refuses to give up a night of free booze, though. Frankie blames Leanne. "Why didn't she say something when she realised Candice was clueless -- I mean unaware?"
Karen is ransacking a drawer and finds a tatty piece of paper. She uses the number written on it to call the hospital and ask for the maternity department.
Down in the street, three very drunken, tinsel-decorated factory girls are shouting insults up at her for going home early. She tries to call Steve again and this time just whimpers into the phone: "Steve, please. Steve, please . . ."
In the pub, Liz is trying to persuade Steve to stay for another drink but he wants to get home and get the tea organised before she gets there. Liz warns him that he's better hope the baby really is boy, because Karen won't be prepared if it's not. She also warns him that twins run in the family. He thinks for a moment. "Make it a large one. I'll have a packet of crisps and all."
Those of you who are susceptible to vertigo should skip the next section, where Kirk is at the bar trying to get things straight: "Right, so you're drawing straws to see who takes first cut of the pack, to decide who throws the first arrow to aim their throw nearest the bull, to see pick who tosses the coin to decide who picks the first job for best man?" Tyrone: "Yeah." Kirk: "Top!" He nods his approval.
Ken suggest they start by discussing it, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate . . " "Don't set them off again," warns Violet. Fred says it's decided. "Oh, you're going to take my advice?" asks Ken. "No," says Fred. "But you're going to be us new umpire." He snatches the straws from Violet's grip. "You're sacked." Janice, Angela and Fizz come in and ask Steve where Karen is. Angela appears to be wearing Sonia's teeth. Fizz is the best drunk, as acting goes, I think. Steve's phone is bleeping with a voicemail message for him. He snatches it up and listens, a look of horror gradually moving across his face. He runs out.
Steve asks Karen if she's called an ambulance, but she doesn't want everyone staring at her. He says he can't drive her because he's had a drink. "I think I've lost him," Karen says. Steve tells her not to say that. He'll call a cab. "Not Streetcars, though," she says.
In the pub, Kelly and Sonia are holding each other upright as they stagger into the Rovers, wanting to know why the others left them with Danny and Mike. "Is there no more free booze?" asks Angela. "We were just on our way back." But the others say not to bother. "Mike was trying to get us to waltz," says Kelly. "He also asked us to nip back with a bottle of Scotch," Sonia says, waving a note in the air. "What are you all having?" At the dartboard, Martin throws and scores a bull. Tyrone accuses him of having his foot over the line, but Ken rules it was a fair throw. "So he gets first pick?" Kirk asks, pointing at Martin. No. He gets the first throw. Ken pulls out a coin. Martin is ready to toss it. "Hang about. Who's calling?" he asks. Tyrone and Fred look confused. "Nearest the bull," suggests Fred. Ken overrules him. He wants to get home some time tonight. He asks them what they would have called and one says heads and the other tails. "There you are," he says. "Hang about," says Martin. "How come I won and all of a sudden I'm out of the running?" He tosses the coin and it's heads. Fred wants a recount, but Tyrone says "I choose the speech." Kirk offers to help him. "I've got the gift of the gob me, innit." Fred looks as if he has bellyache.
At the flat, Steve has got some things together for Karen. "Where were you?" Karen asks him. She's got it into her head that when she needed him he was with Tracy and Amy. Maybe buying some more secret Christmas presents. Steve tells her he was in the pub with his mum, talking about Karen and Leo, "bragging about you both." She has another cramp but comes out of it make more accusations. "We need to be calm," Steve points out. "How big do you think he is?" she asks. "Do you think I'd know . . . if he'd gone." Steve tells her to be positive. "That's what's going to give him the best chance." They hear the taxi toot.
This causes confusion in the street, where Candice and Warren are waiting for a taxi they've ordered. "I'm not walking all the way down there in these shoes," she says. As she starts having another moan about Leanne, we see Leanne and Jamie come out of No 7. Their taxi comes from the other direction and Candice tells Warren to watch her get in because she's been practising. Danny and Frankie come along and see what is happening. Leanne starts a countdown as Warren admits to his Mum that he didn't tell Candice. Danny is very confused. "Tell her what?" he asks. Candice screeches as Leanne and Jamie get into the taxi with them. "Tell her what? What's he done?" Danny continues. "Learnt a lesson, I hope," says Frankie as the taxi moves away.
At the Websters', Sally wants Kev and Sophie out of the way so she can vacuum. She might invite the Davenports around after the fair tomorrow. As Kevin leaves the room, Sophie greets Ebony Rae and tells her to sit on the far side of the room. "Oh, so she's stopped sulking in her bedroom, then?" comments Sally. She tells Sophie to remember that tomorrow is Rosie's day, not hers. "In fact, I'm not sure that Ebony Rae should come with us." She switches on the vacuum cleaner. Sophie screams and lunges for the off switch. "Ebony! Ebony!" She pulls the dust bag loose. Sally can't work out what's happened. "You told her to sit over there, I heard you." But it seems Ebony Rae was practising not doing as she was told. "You've hoovered her up! You're a murderer!"
Karen and Steve are at the hospital waiting to be called in for a scan. Karen thinks Steve will hate her if she can't have any kids. He tells her he will love her if they have none or if they have a hundred. "Barren Karen," she mutters. They are called in and Steve tells her he loves her.
Chesney arrives home to be told his bath has gone cold. "Am I having a bath?" "I've had to," points out Les. Cilla tells them they all have to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. Chesney doesn't care about goals, but Cilla says he's lucky. She was bright but never got invited to any posh schools. "It's me you get your brains from, not your dad." Chesney says she told him she didn't know who his dad was. "No specifically," she admits. "But none of 'em were brain surgeons." Chesney wants to sneak Schmeikel into the school, but Les says that would be like sneaking the QEII into a fish tank. Chesney is sent up to his bath. Les suddenly worries that the fair might cost them something, but Cilla says it will cost just 20p. "What do you get for that?" Les asks. "The smug smile wiped off Sally Webster's face," trumpets Cilla.
Karen is ready for the scan. The technician/doctor/nurse explains it to her and says it detects the baby's heartbeat. For a moment Karen thinks she means she's found a heartbeat. But she refuses to say whether she has or not, "until I'm sure." Karen begins to talk any old rubbish at Steve, deliberately looking away from the screen. But Steve is fixated and as the device is passed over more and more of Karen's abdomen, you can see the realisation on his face that there is no heartbeat. The machine is switched off. "Mrs Macdonald, I'm afraid you've miscarried." There is a cry of anguish from Karen. "That's our Leo," she says, sobbing. And Steve is powerless to comfort her as the credits roll.
Wednesday 22 December
We start tonight's episode with Karen telling Steve that she doesn't want fussing over. He offers her some food but she doesn't want any. Steve says that he wishes he could do something to help so Karen tells him to hold her. She blames herself for the miscarriage but Steve says it was nothing that she did. Steve says at least it was only in the early stages of the pregnancy but Karen asks why she is making such a fuss then. Steve says they are going to get through it together.
Sally is trying to get Sophie up. Rosie asks her mum if she has to wear school uniform. Sally asks Kevin to talk to Sophie as she has to go to the hairdressers and then to the drycleaners. Kevin asks what the big deal is as they are only going to school for some carol singing but Sally says that as she is in charge of the mince pies every eye will be on her! Kevin says that she's got a very vivid imagination!
Karen is getting ready for work. Steve says that she needs time to get over what's happened but Karen says that she needs to get out of the house.
Kevin is telling Sophie that Sally is sorry for hovering up her imaginary friend but she doesn't believe him. He says that she's not dead and she's standing behind her but Sophie says that he must think that she's stupid!
Karen is at work and Danny says that she looks like the only one capable of doing any work. Karen says that that's the best part of being pregnant; no more hangovers and she's lost her smokers cough. She says that now she's here she feels like she could sew for Britain but she doesn't look it.
Blanche is moaning about buying a Christmas pudding! Tracy says that she might take Amy out somewhere but Deirdre says that the shops are going to be shut for five days so are they supposed to bring the shopping home on the bus! Blanche starts moaning about other things on the list then Tracy shouts at them to stop. She's just had a vision of what it's going to be like on Christmas day and she's dreading it!
Maria asks Candice about the party last night. She says it was cool and Audrey asks her if she managed to get out of the car alright! Candice says she did and she was blinded by all the flashes of the cameras. She says that it got quite rowdy later on and Audrey says at least she was there to uphold the standards of decently. Candice says that she didn't want to be a killjoy and she was really careful about what she drank but she still feels drunk.
Kevin and Sally are listening to the carol singing. Sally says she thinks it's beautiful and asks Kevin if he thinks that Sophie will be ok. Kevin says she will and tries to get a mince pie but Sally won't let him. She hasn't offered the head one yet and walks over to introduce herself. She tells the head that she thinks it's very important for the parents to help in school activities. She introduces Kevin and the head tells them that Rosie has settled in very well. The head leaves and Sally tells Kevin that they are really pleased with Rosie. She says it makes all the hard work and arguing worth while as their daughter is in the best school in Manchester and she's doing really well! Sally turns and sees Cilla, Les and Chesney trying to get in!
Sally tells Cilla and Les that they can't come in as it's a private function but they say that the head invited them. Sally asks why he would invite them and they tell her that they are thinking of sending Chesney to the school. Sally does not look happy!
Frankie asks Danny to stop Warren from drinking as he's got himself plastered all over the papers. Danny reads the paper out to him and there's a picture of him and Candice lying on the floor. Candice comes in and Warren tells his folks not to let her see the paper. She asks him if she did anything daft as she can't remember the end of the night. She asks him if he put anything in her drink but he says no. Liz asks Karen if she's alright and she says she's never felt better. Karen asks her if she's alright and then she asks Tracy if she's alright. Tracy looks shocked but says she's fine. Karen says she'd better take the beers to Janice and Liz says she thought it was hers but Karen says not in her condition. Tracy asks Liz if Karen is on Prozac! Leanne shows Candice the picture in the paper. Candice says that she's going to be in celebrities behaving naffly now but Leanne reminds her that she's not a celebrity. Candice asks her if she spiked her drink but she says no. Frankie tells Leanne that its business as usual when she lands up on her back with her feet in the air! Leanne storms off and Candice starts to cry but Frankie tells her that she's better than Leanne. Steve comes in tells Karen that it's killing him lying to people but Karen says that she's alright and there are a lot of people worse off than she is. Steve says that he thinks she's very brave and she tells him to smile as his mum is looking over.
Sally storms over to interrupt the heads conversation with the Battersby's. The head is asking Chesney about what he likes but Sally interrupts them and tells the head that they are only there on the scrounge and to get back at her. Cilla tells Sally that her Chesney is just as clever as Rosie. Sally says that when the head throws them out they should check their pockets as they are known thieves! Sally asks them how they intend to pay for the fees and Les asks how much the fees are. The head tells them that they are £1500 per term and Les nearly chokes! They decide that they prefer another school and leave. The head looks menacingly at Sally and then goes after Les and Cilla.
Janice asks Karen if she's alright and she says she is. Janice says she doesn't look it but she says that she's really happy. Janice says that during her pregnancy she felt sick and depressed all the way though. Janice tells her to leave early and Karen says that she has been feeling really low today. Janice says that it was the happiest day of her life when Toyah was born and Karen starts to cry. She says that she will go home and asks Janice to tell Danny.
Sally is telling the head that the Battersby's are the lowest of the low but he says that he can make up his own mind. He calls Les back and tells him that there are a few scholarship places available. He says they are designed for gifted children from less well off backgrounds and that if Chesney passed an exam he could go to the school for free. Sally does not look happy!
Tracy comes home and Ken says that they have been talking about Christmas. They have decided that they are going to make a special effort not to fall into the usual traps for Amy's sake. Blanche says they have got everything on the list that they were arguing about earlier. Tracy says she hopes they enjoy them as Peter has invited her and Amy to have Christmas with him and she is driving down tomorrow.
Steve comes home to find Karen sitting on the floor crying. He says he knew that everything wasn't alright but she says that she's only having a drink and a cigarette as she can now. He tells her it's not going to help and she should never have gone to work. He says he knows she's upset and it's going to take time. Karen says that she knows the baby was only a few weeks old but that was her son. She had lied awake at night and could hear him saying mummy and see him taking his first steps. She says that she did something wrong and she didn't take care of him properly. She was an unfit mother and now he has been taken away from her. She bursts into tears and Steve holds her.
Friday 24 December
Late - sorry about that, blame Lemony Snicket, a wedding and Christmas all of which have been getting in the way. And we have an hour to cover - your normal reporter is unavailable and a power failure has robbed Duncan of the ability to do half the update, so without any more ado over to the mean Street of Weatherfield where the writers (Stephen Russell plus surprise, surprise the one and only Daran Little) and Director (David Kester) are doing more than their level best to keep us entertained.
Fred and Ashley have had a great day in the shop - and are shut until Blanche - the crone of Christmas Doom - comes to collect her fowl - she did not want to queue. She demands exact change - and gets some free mince. Martin arrives to describe the stag night - apparently it is going to be civilized. Tyrone has other ideas.
Liz turns up at the McDonald's with a present for the baby. Steve tells his mother that Karen has miscarried. Liz tries to offer comfort but Karen is not accepting any. Steve is trying to explain to Liz just how Karen had been building grand ideas for the future. He tells his mother that this was the only chance to save their marriage - with Amy in the background Karen cannot relax - he already feels he has lost a wife as well as a baby.
Ashley tells Claire he loves her and he re-assures her that nothing is going to go wrong. At the top of his voice Fred announces that Joshua is fast asleep and the men depart for the evening. They gather at a posh restaurant - Fred, Charlie, Ashley, Mike, Martin, Boris and Tyrone. They are planning a nice quiet stag do - after all this place is so upmarket it would not let a stripper in - at which point the blonde booked by Tyrone and turns up sings a song about bakers and strips off her clothes. (Well she is blonde). Needless to say they are thrown out as the other diners look dimly on these events. They head to a nightclub, but are not admitted - gangs and stag parties are not permitted due to the problems such groups cause. The doorman says the club is full of young people having fun - not old people. So they all head off to the Rovers.
The Barlows are discussing the large turkey when Liz arrives to break the bad news and for once even Tracy does not look entirely happy. Tracy is loading the car ready for her trip to her brothers and sees Karen in the Street and tries to tell her how sorry she is. Karen rejects her advance. Karen returns to the flat and rages at Steve - she did not want people to know. Karen tells Steve she hates him and rushes to the bedroom. Later she emerges to ask why Steve has not comforted her. Steve reminds her that she was unfaithful with Carter. She tells Steve that their only chance has gone and goes out.
Emily is babysitting Joshua - she had come to settle her own demons to rest. Emily delivers some beautiful thoughts before seeing the dress - but when Claire opens the dress cover she rips the dress itself - Claire rushes around to Hayley to seek repairs.
Sally meanwhile is having a little rant about the Battersbys and Oakhill. Sally apologises to Rosie for murdering her friend. Turns out her invisible friend was black so she is a racist child murderer. Kevin knows she was taking the mickey and it is not to happen again.
At the Rovers the stag lads start drowning a few drinks - at last it is the first of the evening. Violet and Jason are getting on together a bit better. Anyway Ashley proposes a toast - they all know what happened - one man saw him through the dark times and has supported him - a friend and a father - Fred who is quite touched and suggests they talk football.
Karen watches as Tracy prepares to drive away in the "car". The Barlows all go back indoors and then Tracy realises she has left the bag for the baby behind. Karen, not realising that Amy is on board (she was the far side of the car) rushes across the Street and with her key unlocks the car and drives off. Steve wanders around the corner just as Tracy comes out of the house and goes into a high pitched scream that her baby has been stolen.
Now in the words of Lemony Snicket this is not a happy story and at this point I would advise you to adopt a hobby other than reading about the Street - needlepoint perhaps, knitting maybe. You want the second half - here we go a real roller coaster for you.
Steve tries to phone Karen but as she is driving she ignores the phone. Tracy goes indoors and alerts the Barlow clan. (Tracy it should be noted appears to be wearing a nice red anorak rather like Hayley). Ken tries to be calm, rational and re-assuring - but Tracy just carries on shouting at him. Deirdre and Tracy bicker. They rush outside but Steve has not yet managed to make contact. Tracy has a good old rant at Steve and tells him that Karen is mentally unstable. Eventually Karen answers the phone and Steve starts talking to her in a reasonable tone and apologises, but Karen hears Tracy in the background. Steve tells Karen that Amy is in the car and she turns round. Karen says she did not know the baby was there. Karen has yet another shout at Steve and how she was feeling. Steve tells Tracy to back off. He is making progress calming her down and is on the point of succeeding when Tracy grabs the phone and orders Karen to bring the baby back NOW. Karen cuts the phone off. Tracy throws Steve's phone across the Street. Luckily it is not broken. Tracy calls Karen a psycho - she needs locking up. Steve calls Tracy mad. Steve goes to get his car to drive around to look for Karen.
Blanche goes to the pub and tells Rita, Shelley and Liz about the abduction and the miscarriage.
Violet tells Jason - not tonight.
Cilla tells Les they have no food in - he suggests they gatecrash the wedding party - but Charlie points out they will be spotted. Later Cilla offers her services for the party - but not behind the bar - Shelley wants help with the food - so Les will get fed after all.
Steve lets Tracy in the car so they can find Karen and Amy together. Tracy threatens to kill Karen. Steve phones Karen but again the phone is turned off. Steve does not call the police - but his phone rings - it is Karen. Karen does not want to be ordered around by Tracy. Karen wants Tracy upset. Again Tracy screams down the phone. Karen wants Tracy to know what it was like to lose her baby. Karen cuts the connection.
Claire and her mother are discussing the past. Claire wants some children of her own. Her mother admits she has not been a good mother - she always put more energy into her work. She has resigned her job as a tax inspector. She realises she overstepped the mark with the inspection of Ashley's shop - Claire forgives her. Claire does not want to phone Hayley - nothing can go wrong. Mother and daughter are reconciled.
Fred is arranging a private party in the pub - Ashley wants to look his best. But they do not stay long - Fred prevents Mike from driving home and they all go back to Fred's - there is a bottle of malt on offer. Ashley sings "I am getting married in the morning".
Deirdre, Blanche and Liz are distraught. But they manage not to call the police. Steve and Tracy are driving around arguing. Karen calls again. She says "Red Rec, I'm on the Red Rec" and cuts the connection. Steve drives there - but the nearest gate is locked and they have to go to the far side.
Violet goes to Jason's house. She gets scared, a panic attack - she does not do what she wants to do - he has been patient - why should he suffer because of her feelings - if he still wants her - they should go inside because she is freezing. This tale gets darker yet I am told. Inside they cuddle, while she recalls simple life as a child. She tells him she loves him - he promises to say it in the morning. They kiss.
Shelley is missing her mother - and tells Rita as much. They share a nightcap. And Rita sings along to "Silent Night" as ...
Tracy and Steve find the people carrier blazing on the Red Rec - and no sign of either Karen or Amy.
Christmas Day is dramatic.
See you on next week.
K Richard W
Saturday 25 December
The car is in flames. Tracy says "Is she in there! Can you see her? Is she in there!" Steve shouts, "I don't know" Tracy "Just get her out! Get her out! Steve" The car goes off with a bang. Steve holds Tracy back as she yells, " She's still there! She's still there" Then sobs "She's killed her!" Steve on his phone says "Fire brigade. I need the fire brigade and an ambulance right now" Tracy crying "She's" she pauses "Dead"
Karen is sitting on the bench looking depressed. Les drives passed. He takes a good look and then shakes his head.
Steve "No! She's just trying to scare us" then tells her "Amy is not in there" Tracy shouting "Why would you risk your life trying to open the door, then?" Tracy then says "She's in there!" Steve "She can't be" Tracy's sobbing.
"Now it rains, and its too late" Steve trying to be reassuring "It is not to late" Tracy screaming "Look at it!" Steve "We don't know she's in -" He's stopped as both of them go flying to the round as the car explodes. Steve shouting, "Where's the flipping fire brigade?" Tracy "She's killed her" they get up "She's killed her" Steve's phone rings. Tracy "I swear to god I'll kill her!" Then "She's dead when I get my hands on her!"
Eileen: "Steve" he says "Hello" Eileen "Les has just called in. He's seen Karen" Steve "Where is she" Eileen "You know the bench at the salon?" Steve "Maxine's bench" Steve "She's sat there. It was something about the way she was" Steve "Is Amy with her" Eileen "I thought she was with you? Is she not with you? I thought you'd found them" Steve "Eileen, listen to me. Did she have a pushchair or any thing with her?" Eileen "I don't know. I'll call Les and get him to check" Tracy is in the taxi and starts to drive off. Steve shouts "Tracy! Tracy! Hang on! Tracy"
Claire picks up the phone, her mum says, "He'll think you're checking on him" Claire "I am" Claire's mum "Are you going to tell him about the tear in your dress?" Claire "There's no point in worrying him. Hayley will sort it by the morning" Then puts the phone to her ear telling her mum "Nothing's going to spoil tomorrow, Mum"
Ashley goes to answer the phone "Hello?" Claire: "You're home, then?" Ashley "yeah" Claire with a big smile "Are you drunk?" Ashley replies with "Not really" Fred's Voice: "Is that Claire?" Ashley "yeah" Fred " Well tell her, she's nowt to worry about. Every things in hand and you'll be delivered safe and sound on the dot" Claire's Mum "Wish him luck from me". Claire telling Ashley "My mum says good luck" Ashley " My dad says there's nowt to worry about" Claire says "That's all right, then" Claire tells her mum "Fred says there's nowt to worry about" Claire's mum "Little does he know".
Fred tells Mike "You know what's its like at Christmas, trying to get a taxi" then "You've got plenty of time to stop here and help me finish this bottle" Mike "And never was help more willingly given, cheers Fred" Fred "To the happy couple" Mike "The happy couple"
Karen sees the taxi pass her; she says "Steve" and runs up. In the car mirror she sees Tracy. "Oh, no". Tracy drives straight for her, Karen falls but gets up and runs. Tracy comes after her again and blocks her. Karen runs again towards the factory and falls over the step.
Steve's running along a street.
Karen banging on the factory door "Open the door! Open the door!" Tracy gets out the car. Karen "Hurry open the door" she falls in. Tracy Screams. Karen "Oh, god! Oh, keep her out!" Hayley "Who is it?" Karen "Its Tracy! She's trying to kill me!" Hayley wondering "Why?" Tracy shouting from out side "Let me in, Hayley. Let me in" Hayley "Right, Tracy whatever you two are arguing about-" Tracy cuts her up by saying "It's more than an argument. Let me in" Hayley "No. Calm down first" Tracy screams. Hayley "Calm down and talk about it properly! She's pregnant!" Tracy "Not any more, Hayley. She lost her baby. She lost her baby so she stole mine!" pause "She stole Amy and she killed her" She sobs and says "She killed Amy" Hayley shocked asks Karen "She – Oh my god. Is this true?" Tracy gets in. Hayley "Karen, where are you? Is it true" Tracy in an angry way "All right. Now were is she?" Hayley "Are you sure about this?" Tracy "Ye…Yes. She stole the car, Hayley, and Amy was in the back, and she set fire to it" Screaming "Now were is she". Hayley "I don't know" Tracy "Its between me and her now, so you'd better go" Hayley pleads "No, hang on" Tracy "Look, just get out" Hayley getting thrown out says "No! Tracy! Tracy!" Tracy searches for Karen.
Hayley meets Steve "Steve! Steve! I've just seen Tracy! Is it true?" Steve "Where is she?" Hayley "In the factory with Karen. She said Karen tried – is it true?" Steve "I don't know. Karen had Amy in the car. She set fire to it. Look I've got to go" Hayley "Is it true that Karen lost the baby?" Steve "Yes" Hayley "So she might have – Oh, god" Steve "Hayley get off! I've got to go!" Roy opens a window for the top floor "What's going on?" Hayley "Roy, you've got Amy! She's safe!" Steve "Is she all right?" Roy "Yes. A bundle of joy as always" Steve "Did Karen give her to you?" Roy "Yes. I thought it was strange. Is everything a all right?" Steve "Hang on to her for a few minutes"
Tracy still continues to search for Karen. She put a key into open a door.
Steve runs up to the factory door. Steve "Tracy! Tracy!" Tracy "Go away Steve!" Steve "Open the door!" Tracy "Too late" Steve "Amy's safe! She's with Roy!" Tracy shouting "No. I don't believe you! You're just trying to save Karen!" She gets the door open. Karen kicks it back. Tracy "Oh" Karen behind the door "Oh! God! No, It's true! It's true! I didn't hurt her! I gave her to Roy" Tracy "I don't believe you" Tracy smashes the glass. Karen "Aagh!" Steve "Its true! I've just seen her! Tracy Amy is safe!" Karen pleading "Now. Listen to him" Tracy "You're just pleading for you life! But it won't do you any good this time" Karen "Its True. I didn't touch her" Tracy "So why did you steal her, then?" Karen "I – I didn't" Tracy screams "Liar" Karen "Oh, god" and runs.
Steve "There's no need for this now! Open the door" Hayley "Will she not let you in?" Steve "Have you got any keys?" Hayley "I don't, but Danny might have a set"
Tracy "I remember you bragging about how good you were with a shoe once. It won't do you any good now" Karen holding her shoe to Tracy says "Look I didn't know she was in the car when I took it" Tracy "You're a liar" Karen "Oh, no. Look I didn't steal her! I just wanted the car, and then you started having a go at me again" Tracy "You know, I have nothing but sympathy for you when I found out you'd lost your baby" Karen "I don't want your sympathy" Tracy "I actually felt sorry for you" Karen screaming "Ah, God! No you never! It was a dream come true to you! I wanted you to know what it felt like!" Tracy screams and Karen runs and tries the office doors but it's locked. Karen "Oh, god, no! I didn't hurt her!" Tracy "Looks like you're trapped" Karen gets out the other door.
Danny "I gave them to Hayley" Steve "Is there a spare set?" Danny "Yes" Steve "Can I have them?" Danny "Mike's got em" Tyron "What's all the racket?" Danny "Tracy and Karen are trying to kill themselves in my factory" Steve "I'll have to knock the door down. Give us a hand" Tyron "Mike'll have a key. He might still be at Fred's" Danny "No. Don't go knocking" Ken comes out his house and says, "What's happing now?"
Karen is on top of the factory roof and sobs.
Hayley "Tracy. I've seen Amy. Open the door and I'll take you to her" Tracy "Why haven't you brought her here, then?" Hayley "Well it's raining and Roy thought that-" Tracy crying, "You're lying! You're just trying to save your mate! As soon as I open the door, Steve will be in here" Hayley "Steve's not even here!" Tracy "You expect me to believe that?"
Hayley's mobile rings. Claire: "Hiya, Hayley, its Claire. I was just wondering is every thing ok with the dress?" Hayley "Oh, yes, yes. No problem at all. I'll drop it round tomorrow Claire" Claire "Thanks, Hayley. You're a life-saver" Hayley "Claire" Claire "Lets hope there's no more hitches" Hayley "Claire. I need to ring Roy now, so if you wouldn't mind-" Liz "Oh, my god! Hayley! Hayley! This is Steve's car! Where is he? Is he all right?" Claire "What's? is there a problem? Hayley "No, nothing for you to worry about. I'll see you tomorrow, Claire. Bye" Claire's mum "So everything's all right?" Claire "I told you, didn't I?"
Steve "What the hell are you doing?" Fred "Maybe they're in the kitchen" Mike "I can't remember" Steve shouts, "Come on man, Hurry up!" Ashley "Keep it down. You'll wake our Josh" Mike "Oh, its ok. Its all right found them. O! O!" as Steve grabs the keys.
Tracy is on the roof and says; "The only way is down, Karen. And you won't be needing the stairs"
Hayley to Steve "Have you get them?" Steve "Yeah, yeah, Yeah" Hayley "Right its that one!" Liz "Oh, my god! They're on the roof!" Deirdre "Oh, no!"
Karen pleading "Look, Look. I lost my baby. I just wanted you to know what that felt like!" Tracy "You couldn't even call it a fetus! You couldn't carry a child!" Karen shouts, "God, I couldn't sell one!" Tracy shouts, "You'll always be barren, Karen and you know it. And that is why you did what you did" she hits Karen and the Christmas decorations falls. Deirdre "Tracy! Amy's safe! Stop it" Ken "Tracy, come down!" Karen "You don't deserve a child!" Tracy "You'll never have one!" Karen "And you'll never have my husband, that's what you really want. Innt?" Tracy pushes Karen and says "Me and you. All the fighting, all the arguments, they end right here" Karen screams as Tracy goes to him her. Deirdre "Tracy. No" Steve "Get off her!" Karen sobs. Steve "What is it with you two? Why do you – why do WE always end up like this?" Tracy "You were there, Steve! You saw what she did! Why are you protecting her?" Karen "Because he loves me and he hates you!" Steve "Shut up! And you, Amy is down there with Roy and Hayley" Danny enters "What is it eh? What's happening? See the mess downstairs? You're going to pay for that" Steve "Just send me the bill" Danny "I will, don't worry about that" Karen sobbing "Oh, Steve. She was going to kill me" Steve "I wanted to throw you off the roof myself" Karen "I couldn't feel any worse if you did. She actually ran me over. I need to go to hospital. I think I've broken something" Steve "I'll see you in the morning, then" Karen "What?" Steve "You heard" Karen "Steve, someone have actually tried to kill me and I am in a lot of pain. And may I remind you this is not the first time I have been to hospital this week?" Steve "So have I, Karen. So have I. And I ain't going near one again because I don't want to be near you tonight" Karen sobbing "I wanted her to know what it was like to lose a baby" Steve "And what about me, Karen? Eh? Did you want me to know what it feels like twice?"
Deirdre "Oh, Tracy! Oh my darling. Come on. It's all right. It's all right. Let's get you home"
This is the concluding half of Christmas Day's episode.
It's Christmas Day and, more to the point, Ashley and Claire's wedding day. Josh is excited by his Spiderman outfit and sprays 'KingPin' Fred with his web. Bless
Hayley arrives with the fixed dress to a delighted Claire. She offers Hayley a drink, but she has too much to be getting on with.
Meanwhile, chaos is rife in the Battersby household with Cilla ranting about religious TV and dog bones while her new tights are being chewed by the dog. Ahh, festive Battersby melee, can't beat it!
Karen arrives home for Christmas to an empty house and phones Steve, who ignores her call as he examines the burnt out car. Moments later, he picks up his phone and calls Tracy, who agrees to meet him.
Eileen is delighted that Violet has stayed for the night when she comes down with Jason, but is everything as it is being interpreted?
Beryl arrives and meets the best men. Fred is causing noise and Josh refuses to get out of his Spiderman outfit so a stressed out Fred phones Claire.
Steve is pleading with Tracy to drop charges against Karen but she points out that she crossed a line the previous night. Steve tells her that things will change
Fred is dropping Josh off at Yvonne's house when he is taken aback by the sight of Claire looking 'abso-flaming-lutely stunning' in her wedding frock.
As Steve heads for home, he sees Vera chucking Jack out. When Vera is out of sight, Frankie approaches Jack and offers to buy him a card while she's at the shops. He's delighted, until Vera comes out having overheard and orders him to get it himself or he gets no dinner. He ambles away and Steve crosses over to Vera and asks her if she never gets tired of rowing. After some ramblings she notices Steve seems upset and he tells her Karen miscarried. A sympathetic Vera embraces him.
The wedding car has broken down and Yvonne panics that there will be no means of transport on Christmas Day...
At the church, there's trouble as it is revealed the organist is paralysed so Fred asks the gathered guests who can play the organ as an undignified rabble called the bridal party dash to the church...
Karen is on the settee looking shaken when Steve enters. They exchange uncomfortable greetings. Karen asks him where he's been. "Thinking" he replies. Karen tells him to get the shouting over with so they can proceed with a normal Christmas, but he's not going to shout. After an apology, Karen picks up a present but Steve knocks it from her grasp, telling her to stop pretending that nothing happened Karen pleads with him that she didn't know that Amy was in the back of the car before trying to place the blame at Tracy's door.
After some rushed photos, Claire walks down the aisle to the theme of 'Summer Holiday' played by Norris on the organ. Claire doesn't seem bothered however, and smiles at her groom.
Steve is describing the scene involving Jack and Vera and reasons that he thought he and Karen were like that but he no longer does. Karen weeps.
As Fred makes a heartfelt speech at the altar, we cut back to Steve and Karen who are still having a heated discussion, Steve telling Karen that he was tempted to throttle her himself. Blanche and Deirdre share a warm festive moment as Tracy plays with Amy while over at the Battersby's, Les and Chesney are happily playing together. Eileen is on the phone to Todd as Violet, Jason and Sean enjoy their dinner. Back at the speech, Katy and Martin share a loving glance as Fred's speech comes to an end.
Jack is having dinner at the Baldwins and Vera is ranting through the wall about their row and that Jack got her a dress from a charity shop. Frankie invites Vera over for dinner but she refuses. She's happy as she is.
Karen approaches Steve. She's aghast that he thought she could actually kill a baby. Steve starts discussing his pain in the situation thinking he'd lost two babies and a wife in the space of four days. Karen sits down. Steve tells her that although he spent a lot of time wishing Amy didn't exist, she's here now and she is his flesh and blood. An upset Karen retorts that her flesh and blood was flushed down the toilet. Steve tells her that he's suffered just as much as she has. He walks through to the kitchen, followed by Karen who empties out her heart about losing her baby and that she just wanted to prove she could be a good mother. But it's all over in five weeks and she's angry that Steve expects her to care about Tracy who has put them through so much. She admits that she wanted Tracy to suffer. When Steve asks if she wanted him to suffer as well, she batters his chest with her fists, blubbing that he should've known no harm would come to Amy. The row continues and soon Tracy is getting the blame for the miscarriage, making Steve finally lose his nut with Karen and yell that it isn't her fault. The anger in his tone takes Karen aback.
The vows are being made at the church and in a romantic moment shared by most of the residents of the Street (Why haven't the Grimshaws or Violet been invited?) the bride and groom become Mr and Mrs Peacock
Steve sits down with a magazine but Karen isn't finished yet. She tells him to go to Tracy if he feels so much for her. Even though she's had a bad year, she doesn't need Steve's support, so go and see Tracy is Karen's latest point as she tears the magazine in a fit of rage. Steve argues that Tracy has been through a lot as well. Steve tells Karen that Tracy won't press charges but Karen is furious that Steve was with her while she was alone at home. The row is still heated and Karen is determined that she is the victim as Tracy tried to kill her. Steve attempts once more to get through to her, but she rampages around the flat, throwing over the Christmas tree and trashing the room.
Claire and Ashley walk out under meat cleavers and a snow shower. They are truly happy, as is Fred who believes that all's well that ends well...
As he says this, Karen is weeping but Steve has had enough and he tells her he will continue to see his daughter so she had better get used to her. Karen tells him to leave but he turns the table and tells her to get out. Karen breaks down...
Below in the Street, there is a white christmas as the place is like a scene from a Christmas card as the wedding guests return. As the romance of the occasion gets underway, katy pops the question to a surprised Martin
But as one marriage is made and another potentially could be underway, the McDonald's has officially hit the rocks. Steve is not going back on his decision--it's finally over between him and Karen and he is determined she should pack her bags and leave. As She breaks down, the credits roll over a snowy street...
I hope you all had a merry Christmas. I'll be back before long with the update for Boxing Day's equally dramatic episode.
Bye for now
Sunday 26 December
Well first let me offer my sincere apologies for the lateness of this report. Due to my internet shutting down, I have been unable to send this until now. I apologise for any convenience.
We open with Karen and Steve where we left them on Christmas Day. "Well say something!" urges Karen to a silent Steve. "Shout at me!" "I can't. I'm sorry." Steve replies. "I know I've hurt you!" cries Karen getting to her knees and grabbing Steve's hands pleadingly. "I can make it up to you! At least let me try! I can change! Just you tell me what to do, whatever it takes." "I want you to leave," Steve says quietly. "No, because you love me!" sobs Karen. "We love each other! Listen! You've got to believe that."
Steve tries to walk away but Karen holds onto his face. "Do you remember at the hospital when you said that we could get through anything!" reminds Karen. "Nothing's changed! All you've got to do is forgive me." Steve pushes her from him. "I do Karen. And that's the problem. I do every single time. Does it get any better? I tell you what, from now on, from now on I'll forgive you, no matter what you do. I don't think even you can top this one, but let's not take any chances--you're forgiven until death do us part. That's what you think love is don't you?" "Steve..." Karen begins... "Well if it isn't Karen, why do I hate myself!?" he cries. "Come on, you tell me the answers because you've got them all haven't you?" "I don't want you to hate yourself," Karen sobs. "Who else is there Karen?" Steve yells. "You!?" "I promise I'll never ever hurt you again," Karen says, tearfully. "Damn right," replies Steve with force. "Because when I get back, I want you gone.....out of my life." As he leaves, Karen breaks down.
Les and Chesney are still playing with Chesney's racing cars when Cilla comes down in a glittery outfit. Kirk returns home, without any food for anyone, but Cilla assures them she can get some while she helps out at the party.
Blanche is nagging Deirdre over the turkey, while Ken shares a sentimental moment with Amy, telling her that he's sent the money he would've spent on her to a starving child and his gift to her this and every year is his love (guess that counts out the MP3 Player then?) Deirdre and Blanche watch and, caught up in the love of the moment, Blanche kisses Deirdre's cheek. Awww.
Claire and Ashley are having their wedding dance while Martin takes Katy aside as they row over the proposal. Not able to cope with the pressure, Martin walks away, leaving Katy in a strop.
Maria wants to see Tyrone's speech but he is embarrassed. She assures him he'll be great.
Audrey tells Fred what a good job he's done. Cilla comes over and offers Audrey some champagne.
Yvonne is taking Beryl to meet some people.
Tyrone asks Martin to do the speech, but he's not in the right frame of mind.
Steve calls round to Liz's house and she knows instantly that Karen has upset him again.
Karen is clearing out flowers in a vase when she breaks down again, throwing the vase against the wall and collapsing to the floor in tears with an earsplitting screech.
Meanwhile, Liz is assuring Steve that everything will be all right.
Charlie opens a gift from Shelley and he's about to leave when she reminds him to give a gift in return. She is delighted to open some beautiful earrings.
Cilla puts more food into the bin bag she is keeping in the back. Fred tells her they need more champagne. Tyrone comes through and asks Fred to make the speech.
Steve returns home to a dark house. Karen is in the same position. "I can't leave," she tells him. "I know you want me to but I can't. You're the only person who can love me Steve. And I'm the only person who can love you. We're alone otherwise." "No," Steve replies flatly. "You know when we got married," Karen continues. "That was for a bet. It was never supposed to last. But it did. We're not like everyone else. we've got something special that no-one else has got You don't just throw that away. Sometimes when I see you my hear races. I get butterflies!" Steve lets out an exasperated sigh as Karen talks on.
"Just like when we first met. I'm sorry for what I've done to you Steve but you know what I'm like. You knew when you married me and you know now." "You're right," Steve answers. "I do love you, I need you." He leaves a pause and Karen's hopes are up. "But I don't want you, I don't want this. There is no us, it's just you. I've been living your life, it's all about your problems, your moods, your feelings. You never think about me, you didn't yesterday and you never will. You don't get it. It's not what you did to my daughter, it's what you did to me! So just once, do something nice for me---go." "So that you can play happy families with her!?" Karen spits. "I know you don't want her, you want Amy. Well I wanted my baby!" "We don't deserve a baby," Steve tells her. "And we never will." He stands up. "Now get yourself sorted. I'll pack your things." "No," says Karen, getting up. "I'll do it. You'd only crease my clothes, Steve."
Yvonne makes a heartfelt speech, thanking Claire and her family for what a fantastic choice she has made for her life. As Claire and Yvonne embrace, Fred stands up and makes Tyrone's speech distastefully until the last page where he discusses how he can only hope for the joy Claire and Ashley will share in their future. Fred finishes by voicing his pride and happiness as Cilla rolls her eyes in the background.
As Steve clears the remnants of the vase up,, Karen, looking more like her old self, comes out with her case. "I'm ready," she announces. "Where will you go?" Steve asks. "Don't worry about me, Steve," Karen replies. "I'm going to a friend's." "How will you get there?" "I called a cab...don't worry I called someone else." After a pause she continues: "It's time to say goodbye." There's an uneasy silence. "Don't I even get a kiss goodbye?' Karen asks. Steve shakes his head and Karen looks hurt as she leaves the house, and Steve, behind.
Cilla has brought the food out but Les' rowdy behaviour alerts Fred to the scene and he's furious but, Claire, realizing they haven't eaten invites them in.
Katy apologises to Martin for her bad timing but he tells her the answer is still no. She thinks he doesn't love her but he assures her he does, he just wants them to reach a joint decision when the time does come.
Karen strolls through the snow and with one last glare between herself and Tracy, she climbs into the cab and leaves Coronation Street behind for good.
So what have we learned from tonight's episode?
-Mike thinks he is funny.
-Maria hasn't noticed it's winter.
-Cilla rolled her eyes six times tonight
-Les fell over four times
-The brass band were playing outside in a snow shower to a massive audience of....Shelley! Who was telling them to get inside!!
Most difficult task: "I can Change." Karen
Most alike comparison: "Santa Cilla will bring you some pressies!" Cilla
Most generous grandad: "I didn't buy you a present." Ken to Amy
Most misplaced hunch: "You're going to be brilliant." Maria to Tyrone about the speech
Most vomit inducing image: "I held you to my bosom." Fred to Cilla
Thank you for your patience in receiving this report. I apologise again. I'll be back in, oh, an hour for my next report!!
Bye for now
Monday 27 December
Hi everyone…..here is the first episode of Monday evening.
We open with Liz ringing Steve's doorbell. As she stands at the door Deirdre comes along, and Liz tells her that Karen has gone. Deirdre seems shocked, and asks if it's for good. Just then Steve opens the door to let Liz in, and as they part company Deirdre asks if she should let Tracy know. ‘It doesn't make much difference,' says Liz. Once in the flat she asks Steve how he is. He protests that he doesn't need looking after, and he doesn't need her bad-mouthing Karen. Liz then offers to make him breakfast.
Ashley and Claire are busy preparing for their honeymoon to Paris. Fred is involved with telling little Josh all about trains and tunnels. Claire looks more and more uncomfortable until suddenly she exclaims: ‘I can't do it! I can't go through the tunnel, I can't stand tunnels!' She apologises to Ashley, saying she just can't get on the train. She thought she would be able to make herself, but she can't. She then declares that they will fly. Fred asks Ashley, ‘Have you not told ‘er?' and they then explain to her that Ashley has a phobia about flying.
Over at the Barlow's, Tracy joins Ken, Deirdre and Blanche in the living room. They tell her that Karen has gone, and Tracy must still be full of Christmas spirit, or something, because she is surprisingly charitable. ‘Well, she did love Steve, even I could see that,' she says. Just then the phone rings and Blanche goes to answer it. The caller asks to speak to Deirdre, and when she takes the receiver, Deirdre is surprised to find Bev on the other end.
Over at Martin and Katy's, Katy is in a petulant mood and says she hates Christmas. Martin asks if this is all because he has said he won't marry her. He asks her if she thinks all this sulking will make him change his mind, because it will have just the reverse effect. Katy says she's going out, and storms out of the door.
In the back room of the pub, Shelley is proudly showing off her earrings, still in their box, to Violet and Betty. Violet asks if Shelley knows what they cost. Just then, Charlie comes in and remarks acidly that Shelley can't like them much or she'd be wearing them. Shelley protests that she's keeping them for best. She then sends Betty and Violet out, so that she can try and placate Charlie (something that is becoming quite a regular occurrence). Charlie then tells Shell that another pub nearby is having a New Year's Eve party for regulars only. Shelley is a little doubtful as to whether they could do that, and points out that it would be up to Fred. Charlie then sneers at her that he gives her an idea and straight away she knocks it on the head. Shelley starts to mumble ‘No…….' as he storms off out of the door, with ‘No skin off my nose!' as his parting shot.
Katy has gone round to see her mum. She tells Angela of the events of the last few days and Angie is a bit shocked when she realises Katy asked Martin to marry her, but also seems pleased that Martin refused. She tells Katy that she said ‘No,' when Tommy first asked her.
Fred explains to Claire than when Ashley and Maxine went on their honeymoon, his fear of flying meant that while Maxine flew home, he got a boat and got home two weeks later. Just then Ashley comes in and declares that he has booked them on the 5pm ferry. ‘Glory Hallelujah!' exclaims Fred.
In Steve's flat, Jim MacDonald has called Liz from prison, on her mobile phone. They chat about Christmas and Jim asks who's there. She tells him that Steve is there and he asks about Karen. Liz tells him that Karen isn't there, she had to ‘pop out'. He then asks to speak to Steve, who takes the phone reluctantly, still with tears in his eyes. When Jim asks what he's been up to, Steve just mumbles, ‘The usual.' Jim rambles on about how good it is that Steve has a good woman in Karen, someone who will stand by him no matter what, and how he's looking forward to getting to know Karen properly. Steve finds himself unable to tell him what has happened.
Deirdre is putting on her coat, and telling Ken quietly that it was Bev on the phone, and she wants to see her at the Weatherfield Arms without Shelley knowing. Deirdre has no idea what it's about. Blanche comes out of the kitchen, her ears almost visibly flapping. ‘Are you going out?' she enquires. ‘Er…yes,' says Deirdre and tells her that she's going to meet someone. Blanche wants to know it she's meeting the woman who phoned and Deirdre admits that she is. Blanche is sure she recognised the voice……. Deirdre tells her it was someone she's never met, someone she works with at the Town Hall, and then she leaves. After she's gone, Blanche says to Ken that there are two things that Deirdre has never been any good at, one is making pancakes and the other is lying. She asks if Deirdre has told him who it was on the phone. Ken blusters ‘Oh, er, a friend at the Town Hall.' Blanche is adamant that's rubbish. ‘Hmm, it'll come to me,' she murmurs.
Back at Steve's, Liz is offering to move in for a few days to look after him. Steve reckons he's pathetic – he's thirty and looks like he needs his mum to look after him. Liz tells him it takes time to get over the break up of a marriage, and although she didn't like Karen she could see how much he loved her. Steve reminds her that he threw Karen out, so it won't take him a long time to get over it, and he's not going to be pathetic and miserable and have people feeling sorry for him. ‘I think most people have been doing that for quite a while,' quips Liz, but Steve tells her that he's not having people make wisecracks at Karen's expense. He's going to start again, he's got the world at his feet.
Martin is on the phone to Katy, and tells her he's in the Rovers. She's still with her mum and she tells Angie that Martin's not so bad, even though he won't marry her. Angie warns her not to do what her grandmother did, she got pregnant on purpose so her grandfather had to marry her. Angie repeats that that is what she mustn't do. (Then why tell her, I wonder? Red rag to a bull, surely!) Angela tells her that nowadays a man wouldn't necessarily marry a woman because she was pregnant. Katy comments that she thinks Martin would.
Fred is out in the street, seeing off Claire, Ashley and Joshua. He tells them to drive carefully, if they miss that boat there will always be another. He tells them that they are what his whole life is all about. As they drive off, Audrey comes along and tells Fred not to be lonely while they are away. He knows where she is. He then invites her to the Rovers for a drink.
Bev and Deirdre have met up in the Weatherfield Arms, and Bev tells her about her meeting a few weeks back with Shelley and how they'd had a good talk and decided they'd keep in touch. Deirdre is sure Shelley must have been so pleased, but then Bev tells her how that evening Shelley rang her and said she didn't want to see her again. Bev is convinced that Charlie made Shelley do it, and has been worried about her ever since, but daren't ring in case he's there. She then wondered about who she could find to help her.
Katy joins Martin in the pub and tells him that she's been talking to her mum.
Ken and Blanche then arrive at the bar, and as Ken orders the drinks, Blanche is still trying to place the voice on the telephone. Ken suggests that perhaps it actually was just who Deirdre said it was. Blanche says that in that case Deirdre is now starting to sound like she's lying when she's not.
Back in the Weatherfield Arms, Deirdre tells Bev that Shelley and Charlie behave affectionately towards one another when they're on public display, but she tells Bev about Liz and how Charlie made Shelley get rid of her. Bev suggests that she goes back to Deirdre's house with her, and then Deirdre tells Shelley her mum is there and asks if she would come and see her.
In the Rovers, Shelley puts the idea of the New Year's Eve party for regulars to Fred. While Fred at first doesn't seem keen, Audrey thinks it's a good idea and persuades him to say yes.
Over at a table, Martin and Katy are talking about having a few drinks and then going home to do a lot of making up.
Charlie comes in and Shelley is pleased to tell him about the party on New Year's Eve. ‘Nah, count me out,' scowls Charlie. ‘It was your idea!' says Shelley, dismayed. Charlie tells her that he only told her that Vince's local was having one, it didn't mean they have to copy.
Blanche approaches the bar in the Rovers and starts to tell Shelley how she answered the phone this morning but at first could not recognise the voice. Ken then comes up and interrupts her, asking if he can have a word. He won't let her finish her conversation and drags her off to tell her that Bev doesn't want Shelley to know that she'd phoned Deirdre. He implores Blanche to keep it their little secret, and Blanche eventually agrees. All this time Charlie is staring at them from across the other side of the bar.
In the Weatherfield Arms, Deirdre tells Bev that they will have to be careful how they sneak her in as it's not just Charlie, if anyone sees her they are likely to announce it in the Rovers. Bev is worried that she's asking too much, but Deirdre tells her she's not, and they'll just do it. They get up and leave.
And that's it for episode 1.
Here is episode two from Monday. Apologies for the delay.
We open in the pub where Ken is still trying to persuade Blanche not to say anything about Bev. "But what if someone mentions her to me?" Ken points out that's very unlikely. Tracy comes in and says she's left Amy with Aunt Em.
At the bus stop, Bev and Deirdre have just arrived. Bev spots Charlie, who is over at the burnt-out shop telling Jason he has to keep working while Charlie goes to the pub. Deirdre meets him in the street and they exchange a couple of words before he goes into the Rovers and Deirdre waves Bev over to the Barlow house.
In the cafe, Tyrone and Jack are trying to persuade Vera to stay out of the house so Tyrone and Maria can have it to themselves, but V just wants to go home and put up her feet. Jack points out that Tyrone can't sweet-talk Maria with the Duckworths sat there. A good thing, too, says Vera, because women don't believe that stuff, "not a word of it!" Jack disputes this and tells Tyrone that when they were courting, "I could get my little tiger here to do anything that came into my head." Tyrone suddenly looks sick. Roy interrupts to ask what Vera sold one customer. She says she sold a cup of tea and the smile was free. This upsets Roy, who believes the man has brought in his own food. Possibly the lunch box was a clue. He goes over and tells the man he can't bring in his own food. It seems the man is ignoring Roy and continues reading his paper. Roy persists and the bloke gets up, shuts his lunch box and leaves.
In the pub, Tracy wants to go and see Steve and see if he's all right. Ken and Deirdre try to dissuade her. "We know how strongly you feel," Ken tells her. "That's why I should go to him," she says. Ken tells her that sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do. "Is no-one going to sit with me?" whines Blanche from behind them.
Martin and Katy are sitting nearby and see Warren and Candice come in. Martin tells her to watch the big apology. She's too busy slagging them off. The factory staff are also in the pub and are discussing the Karen and Steve situation. "Karen and Steve's marriage is a spectator sport," says Sonia. "Always was." Angela says it would be awful if Steve threw out Karen. Kelly says anyone would get fed up with Karen eventually. Janice, in a blue jacket exactly the right colour for her, says she doubts Steve would throw Karen out. Kelly starts going on about it and Angela stops her, telling her she wasn't there. "No," agrees Kelly. "But Hayley was." Hayley would rather not talk about it and Janice says she's going to see Steve. Tracy comes over and tells them she's got something to say. "You always did have, love. That's been the problem," says Janice. Tracy replies that Karen has never been stuck for words, either. Janice warns Tracy not to start slagging off her mate Karen. Tracy tells them all bluntly that Karen has gone. "And what Steve wants people round here to do is support him, not to be gossiping." At the bar, Shelley comes over and Deirdre tells her Bev is next door.
Meanwhile, in his flat, Steve is watching old videotapes of Karen and crying.
At the Barlows', Shelley hugs her mother and demands to know what's wrong. Why has she come to see her? "I'm here because of Charlie. I'm worried about you." Shelley clams up immediately. "There's no need to be. There's nothing wrong."
Back in the Rovers, Charlie asks where Shelley is, but Violet has been too busy to notice. The younger crowd (and Martin) are all quite relaxed together and it seems we've missed the big apology. Warren is ready to forget it, but Candice tells him: "You're injured, babe. You're not the player you once were." Hayley has gone and Kelly is annoyed that Hayley never spills the beans. Janice says that if Karen has gone there's no point in chewing it all over. "Yeah there is," Kelly says. "Between Christmas and New Year we need all the excitement we can get." Blanche thinks it's too crowded in the pub. Tracy agrees and gets up to go. She tells her father she's going to go for a walk, nowhere near home or Steve's, and then she's going to call in and check how Amy is.
In the cafe, everyone is getting a bit fed up with Roy, who is still going on about the bloke with the lunch box. He's planning to put up a sign. He thinks about changing "All food consumed on these premises must be bought on these premises," to "all food eaten . . ." but decides that this would just mean "they" would buy the food and bring their own drinks. Hayley and Liz are sitting at a table discussing Steve. Liz says she didn't like Karen but she didn't want things to end like this. Tyrone and Maria are at another table and Tyrone is still regretting not having the house to themselves. "I wanted to cook you a mean," he tells Maria. She offers to give him a key so he can let himself into her flat and cook it there. Liz has been at Steve's lately, so they should be alone.
Steve is walking along the street when he meets Tracy. She denies lying in wait for him and says she was just going back to Emily's. Where she's dumped Amy again, Steve says pointedly. Tracy denies this and says she's sorry about what's happened. She is surprised by Steve's venom. "No you're not!" he tells her. "You've been trying to split us up for months." He tells her she hated Karen and even though she tries to sound sympathetic, he knows what she's really like. "If you did, you'd know I'd do anything for you," Tracy says. "As if I'd want anything from you!" he spits. "I wouldn't care if I never saw you again!"
"Charlie's a cheat!" Bev shouts at Shelley, who calls her a liar. Shelley is still standing, though Bev is sitting at the table. Shelley says her mother has made up her own version of Charlie who is a selfish womanizer. "He's not like that." (All together now: Oh yes he is!) She goes on: "He's the most wonderful man I have ever met." Bev says: "He's a predator." "He's faithful." "He's fooling you. He's Peter Barlow all over again!" That really upsets Shelley. "He's NOT! He's the best man I have ever met." She shows her mother the new earrings as proof of how good a man Charlie is. Bev tells her Charlie will wreck her life.
In the taxi office, Steve tells Eileen she doesn't need to stay. "I'm company and you need it," she replies. Steve wonders if things would have worked out better if he had loved Karen more, or earned more, or bought more things for her. He loved her, he says. Eileen says he will eventually get over Karen. "I don't want to," he says.
In the pub, Katy and Martin are cuddling and Sarah is embarrassed. Candice thinks it's gross, but Leanne just giggles at them. Warren and Jamie think there must be a better way of spending Christmas, but they don't want to go home to their folks. "They're younger than him," Warren points out, but Martin says that might be true of Frankie, but Danny is older. Ken wants to know what's taking Shelley and Bev so long. Blanche is getting restless. "Stick a brandy down her," advises Deirdre. Charlie is looking around the place. Liz comes in and tells them she's at a loose end. Jason comes in and Charlie asks him if he's seen Shelley. He hasn't. And he doesn't let Charlie go to look for Shelley. Not before he's bought the couple of pints he promised.
Next door, Shelley is telling Bev she's just bitter because Charlie turned her down. And why would Bev think Charlie didn't love her? "Am I so bad, so ugly?" Bev tells her she's kind and generous and Charlie has got her afraid to speak to her mother. "That's because of the kind of person you are," Shelley says. "I love him and I can't live without him. But I can live without you." She tells her mother never to contact her again.
In the pub, a very drunk Katy is taken home by Martin. After they've gone, Sarah expresses her disgust at the way they were acting in public. Charlie and Jason are drinking at the bar when Shelley comes back. Charlie cross-examines her on where she's been. She tells him she was in the back, but he looked there. So she says she was outside. Then both inside and outside. "To tell you the truth, I needed a bit of time to myself," she says. The stress of sorting out the New Year party is getting to her. It seems Charlie is going to push for a better answer, but he accepts what she says and backs off. Shelley apologises to him. "I didn't mean to cause a fuss."
In Maria's flat, she's digging into the ice cream, though Tyrone says it's for afters. She is just beginning an ice cream fight when Liz comes in. "I'll come back later," she says, backing out again.
Bev and Deirdre are talking and Deirdre is trying to soothe Bev. "We could both be wrong about him," Deirdre says. Bev worries about what Charlie will do to Shelley. "She's not stupid," says Deirdre. "No, she's lonely and willing to compromise," Bev says. "Like mother, like daughter." She cries and Deirdre hugs her. Bev asks Deirdre to keep an eye on Shelley for her.
In her bathroom, Katy takes a pill from a packet and drops it down the toilet.
Steve has put Karen's things into bin bags and plans to get rid of them. Liz gives him a pep talk. She tells him that if he still loves Karen he shouldn't let anything stand in his way. She and Jim got to rock bottom in their relationship but came through it. Steve thinks he and Karen are different. She tells him he can get Karen back. But he's ready to let go. "I've cancelled her credit cards," he tells him Mum. Karen will be out of his life then.
Wednesday 29 December
Hi everyone, and happy new year! Here is the report for Wednesday 29th December.
We open out in the street where Norris is sweeping the pavement outside the Kabin. Fizz, Kirk and Sean all come along, on their way to work. Norris asks if they are all present and correct, and refers to Karen not being among them. Kelly threatens to shove his broom where he can sweep the pavement without using his hands! As they walk away Sean confesses that he was always so jealous of Steve and his relationship with Karen and wonders if any of them will ever be loved the way she loved him. It almost makes him want to cry!
Tracy sees Liz walking down the street and rushes over to ask if she's going to Steve's. Liz says that no, she isn't, she thought she'd give him some space and advises Tracy to do the same. Tracy says that she has just been worried about him, that's all. Liz says that although he threw Karen out, he's still in pieces over it. Tracy tells her that the last thing she wants to do is hurt him even more.
In Martin and Katy's flat, she is making him a lavish breakfast of a slice of toast and a mug of tea, to serve him in bed. He wanders into their living room, saying if he'd stayed in bed any longer he would never have got up. He tells her that when it's just the two of them together, he couldn't be happier.
In the taxi office, Eileen is trying to phone Patrick without success. Steve says that he can manage anyway, but Eileen doesn't think so, given the state that he's in. Just then Tracy waltzes in with two bags of shopping for Steve, as she is convinced his cupboards will be bare and his bread stale. Steve is obviously irritated by this, and demands to know whether his mother put her up to it. She says not, and asks for the keys to flat, so that she can go and put all the shopping away. Steve refuses to hand them over, and goes out for a walk.
In the factory, the topic of conversation is, of course, Karen. Fizz thought she might even wait until work had started and then make a grand entrance, but obviously it hasn't happened. They talk about Karen's machine and Kelly decides to take it over, sitting down in front of it and taking the cover off. Sonia wonders what will happen if Karen comes back. Sean quips that they can have a cat fight over it, blood and knickers everywhere!
Ken and Deirdre are in the café, talking about Bev and the fact that she's asked Deirdre to keep an eye on Shelly. Ken thinks there ought to be a law against mothers interfering in their children's relationships, if there was Blanche would be doing ten years hard labour!
A workman comes in, the same one that ate his own sandwiches in there a few days ago. He walks across Roy's newly washed floor and into the gents. Roy, with mop still in hand, asks what he can get him. ‘Nowt, ta,' comes the reply as the door shuts behind him.
Ken wonders what Tracy will do now that Karen is out of the picture. Deirdre is sure she's thinking of something. Ken thinks that Deirdre should tell her that what she does affects everyone else. Deirdre scoffs that he was just going on about interfering mothers and now he expects her to stick her oar in. Anyway, it would be a waste of time, Tracy won't take a blind bit of notice.
Just then the workman comes out of the toilet and Roy stutters that it is for the use of customers only. The man says nothing and walks out.
Norris is talking to Rita in the Rovers, about Karen's disappearance. In true Norris style he thinks that there has been foul play, he tells Rita they are looking at a murder here. Rita nearly chokes on her drink. ‘You're telling me that Steve MacDonald and Tracy Barlow hatched a plot to get rid of Karen?' Norris says he's not sure if it was premeditated or a spur of the moment crime of passion, but he feels it in his water, the same as when he unmasked Richard Hillman.
Les rushes into the pub and over to the bar where Sean and Eileen, Jason and Violet are standing. He tells them that he's just seen Patrick off to hospital in an ambulance. He'd been run over. Apparently Patrick set off in his cab and then realised he'd dropped his wallet. He stopped the cab and got out and went back to pick it up when he saw the cab moving with no-one in it, and gathering speed. Next thing he was flat on his back, with the cab parked on top of him, ‘You ought to have seen the tyre marks!' says Les. Eileen asks what happened next. Les tells her that the police turned up asking where the driver was. Patrick told them he was the driver, so the police thought he'd been drinking. At this point they all collapse with giggles, much to Les's annoyance. He storms out saying that he's going to see how Patrick is.
In the café, Vera plonks a rather unappetising sandwich down in front of Jack. She's got him and Tyrone some steak for tonight and she doesn't want him ruining his appetite. Liz overhears, and tells them that Tyrone is having pizza with Maria tonight, and she thinks it looks like it's getting serious.
Roy puts a notice on the door to the toilets, stating that they are for the use of patrons only. Hayley queries why he's done that, is it because some bloke came in a used the toilet? ‘Did he damage it?' she asks. Roy stutters, ‘Well, no…..' ‘So he just used it?' asks Hayley. She tells him that people do it all the time, she's done it herself, gone into a large department store just to use the toilet, or gone into a pub and looked round as if meeting someone and then slipped into the loos. Roy thinks that is rather deceitful.
As Liz goes to leave, Hayley asks her if there are any developments, such as Steve going to look for Karen. Liz tells her no, but comments that they could do with one of Roy's signs in the Weatherfield Arms, people are always going in there just to use the toilets, and half the time they just want to nick the toilet roll. Roy looks very perturbed and goes into the loos.
Deirdre comes out of her house and sees Charlie and Shelley at the end of the street. Charlie is talking animatedly to Shelley, and wagging his finger in her face as if he's cross. Just when Deirdre is about to interfere they both burst out laughing and she kisses him, he was obviously just telling her a funny story. Steve comes up behind Deirdre then and tells her that her daughter is doing his head in, being nice. He doesn't want her to be nice or nasty, he just doesn't want her anywhere around.
Over at the Duckworths, Vera tells Tyrone she's heard he won't be in for tea. She asks if he and Maria are getting serious. Tyrone says that's up to Maria, and Vera tells him she doesn't want to see him get hurt again. Jack adds that the two of them could move in together there, like they did before. They then form a mutual admiration society where they tell Tyrone he's been a better son than their own Terry, and he tells them they have been better parents than his own ever were. He tells them he dreams of being able to buy them a posh bungalow. Vera says they would have adopted him if they could.
Tracy and Deirdre are in the kitchen at home. Tracy says that she was thinking of taking Amy and moving away before Karen left. She couldn't stand seeing Karen with a baby. She admits that she hated her, but was sorry for her when she lost the baby. Deirdre tells her gently that she doesn't realise the effect her little games have on everyone else, and points out that just because Karen has gone it doesn't mean that Steve will want her, love doesn't work like that. They hug.
Over at the flat, Katy and Violet are having a drink and a girly talk. (I didn't know they were so friendly!) Katy confesses that she thinks it's the right time to have a baby and didn't take her pill. Violet asks what Martin thinks, and Katy admits that she hasn't told him.
At the pub, Janice and Kelly are discussing Steve MacDonald, and Kelly tells Janice that she fancies him. Just then, Steve shuffles in behind them, obviously having had a few drinks already, and orders a large scotch.
Ken and Deirdre are at a table, and Deirdre recounts to Ken the tale of her thinking Charlie was having a go at Shelley earlier in the day. Ken tells her to let that be a warning.
Just then Jason and Sean come in, and Jason asks Shelley if she's seen Violet. ‘She's behind you,' says Shelley, and sure enough, Violet has just come in behind them. She kisses them both.
Charlie comes in and Shelley kisses him, saying she's missed him and if he will go and put his feet up she will bring him a drink. Deirdre nearly twists her neck off gawping at this scene, not very tactfully. When Charlie has gone, Deirdre comments about trying too hard. ‘After all,' she tells Ken, ‘We love each other but I don't do that!' ‘Well,' says Ken hopefully, ‘you could try.'
Shelley takes Charlie his drink in the back room. He asks if he's missing something, and wonders why Deirdre was watching them. Shelley feigns innocence.
Fizz comes in, accompanied by Les who's on crutches. Apparently he was trying to re-enact what happened to Patrick and hurt his own ankle trying to jump out of the way of the car.
Tracy bounces in, and sidles up to Steve, who by now is very drunk. He demands to know what she's doing there. She tells him she just put their daughter to bed and thought she'd have a drink. Slurring his words, he tells her he had a word with her mother to stop her stalking him. Tracy finds this amusing, and undeterred she asks if he'd like to take Amy out tomorrow. ‘No!' Steve shouts, and then calls to everyone to ‘Get this woman away from me!' Shelley tells him he should go home. ‘Home!' exclaims Steve, loudly. ‘A home is where you have a wife and everything is all happy! Not a stupid little flat where everything is all messy.' Everyone in the bar looks at him in a concerned manner. Tracy helps him out, despite his protests, and takes him to his flat.
Norris and Rita are crossing the road on their way to the pub. Rita asks if his plan is to get Steve drunk so that he confesses to murdering Karen. Norris feels he might slip up if he thinks he's got away with it. He tells Rita to hurry up, before they miss the action……
In the flat, Tracy gives Steve a large glass of water, telling him it will do him good. He tells her nothing will help. He then softens, ‘Why did she do it Tracy – why?' Tracy tells him she was mad, she must have been to lose him. She then kisses him tenderly on the cheek and leaves. Aaaah!
Friday 31 December
Over in the mean streets of Weatherfield it is party night and Audrey bids farewell to her last customer of 2004 - Shelley who actually has a new hairdo. Candice is also quick to finish and depart - well 'er Warren needs her!
Sally having whizzed around the corner in an expensive and powerful sports car is telling Kev how she has been lent it by Ian for the weekend as a thank you for getting his business in some sort of order (and pigs might fly - is this the Deirdre Raschid story all over again I ask myself). Kev can even be taken for a ride (just like Sal I think) providing he takes off his overalls. He wants to know what services she has provided for this little perk - well she always go the extra mile she says - and she has been given Ian's credit card to have a good meal out (does she know the pin number - it won't work otherwise).
Along at Rovers the catering team are preparing for the party - although it seems that no-one knows how to cut a sandwich (luckily they are unlikely to be catering at Wimbledon this year). Betty plums for diagonal. Anyway they are not cucumber but potted crab. Emily brings peace and harmony back to the back room!
Anyway Charlie has noticed Shelley's hairdo - any more of this and we will end up liking him (is there something about builders in the Street - Len Fairclough, Alan Bradley, Ray Langton all had their moments as I recall). He gives her a dress he has bought her and she is very happy until she realises it is two sizes too small (and she is not that slim at the moment - you would have thought he might have noticed in bed but clearly she does not get undressed with the lights on). Charlie almost admits making a mistake by picking up the wrong one but then suggests the solution is for her to lose weight (come on Shel wake up and smell the napalm and get out of there). Shelley is struck dumb. After a few minutes she accepts the need to lose weight and suggests he takes it back to the shop. He stomps out and walks down the Street and tells Jason an untrue story and gives it to him for Violet.
Candice takes a present around to Warren's house (it is his 18th birthday the next day) but he does not seem interested in the present. He wants to open it later with the others. They sit around watching the Royle family and ignoring Candice.
Tracy sees Steve into his house and makes sure he gets ready to go out at 9 to go to the Rovers. He does not want to be seen with her - but she insists she is a true friend and just wants to make sure he is not alone at New Year.
With everyone going to the party (except Roy and Hailey) Cilla cannot find a Chesney sitter, so Cinders will go to the Ball and Chesney has to come along as well - so the whole family head down the Street to the Rovers. Chesney has never been allowed in a pub before (I don't why in this day and age, but I suppose this is Weatherfield) - and anyway the Rovers does not have a child license so Fred could lose his license (although if this is a private party he might be OK). Shelley reckons the lad is already at home and can stay so Chesney asks for a pint as he starts eating the bar snacks. Cilla says he can have a lemonade and keep his mouth shut. Anyway we find that Sophie and Rosie are also in the Rovers as Sally tells Kev to watch his wallet - she does not trust those little fingers. As a true teenager Rosie is using her mobile phone texting people throughout the evening and ignoring her parents - reality comes to Weatherfield!).
Not surprisingly there are complaints about the number of children - Audrey is glad that David and Bethany are not present. Frankie gives Warren a rather nice watch and Mike opens a bottle of champers as his first legal drink. And Candice's present - is a little number for her to wear in private - not in public.
Steve is fretting and drinking and looking unwashed and unhappy - what can be on his mind - bet it is Karen!!
At the bar Sophie and Chesney are becoming close friends! Ken is on his way back from Scotland collecting Adam. Shelley announces lots of food in the back room (what happened to the function room). Danny takes Frankie out of the pub.
There is a lot of eating going on in the back room - Kirk carries out two huge plates - whilst Betty ensures that Chesney - who reckons that Candice is minging - always tossing her hair about. Candice has bought Warren a ring - and then starts going on about the Beckham ring - which means nothing to him.
Danny takes Frankie up to the roof of the factory to show her the view - which he reckons is really romantic - and he gets down on one knee to propose again - which is better than his first attempt, which was along the lines of "you are pregnant - we had better get married - once I have divorced my wife!". The kids depart for a club and he gets lyrical about Weatherfield and being together. And she is called Francesca Elizabeth. She says yes by the way. He really loves her.
In the Street Tracy is shouting the odds yet again. He comes downstairs looking dapper and ready to go out. He got changed not because of Tracy - but because of Karen. He knows she would be out meeting new people - and that is his only reason for going out - and he will buy her one drink, but he does not want her hanging round him all evening.
Violet finally arrives for her shift wearing - yes that dressed. Shelley is again struck dumb but is soon busy serving.
Anyway Sally is really happy - everything is going well - a good job, the garage is going well and Rosie is doing well at Oakhill.
Shelley loses her rag over the dress and Violet offers to take it off (to cheers from the regulars). But Shelley says it looks lovely on her and goes out to have a cry.
K Richard W
Anyway, here we go with episode two from Hogmanay, with the party still in full swing at the Rovers.
Sophie and Chesney are under a table, playing with their food. Sophie is putting snack rings on her fingers and Chesney is doing the old orange-peel-in-mouth-then-grin routine. Above them we can hear Betty and Liz talking about Shelley and Charlie, and Shelley being upset because "Charlie's been buying Violet presents."
In the bar, Sally is lecturing Eileen on customer service and "front-of-house management". Rosie is sitting with them looking very bored. "Like Ian says, I'm the brains of Davenport's, not just the face," Sally says. Eileen looks up and says she must be the voice of Streetcars. "It's not quite the same, though, is it?" asks Sally. "Because you're not making decisions of great importance. You're just a wage slave at the end of the day, aren't you?" Now both Rosie and Eileen look horrified and you can see Eileen looking around the room for a chance to escape. Deirdre and Liz come through from the supper room (also known as "in the back"). They note that Charlie is drinking happily and doesn't look very upset, and also spot Steve and Tracy, speculating on what, or who, might have brought Steve out of the house. Norris is stood at the bar with his reluctant harem (Emily, Audrey and Rita) listing all the stars who have died during the year -- Marlon Brando, Fay Wray, Estee Lauder (though I'll swear he called her "Esther"!) "and 11 out of the delivery book". Apparently Mrs Leonard was not discovered for more than a week and they had delivered her two copies of the People's Friend in the meantime! Audrey says she is going to see Gail, which gives Rita a chance to berate Norris for being so insensitive. It's the anniversary of Alf's death. Norris protests that every day must be the anniversary of someone dying. "What am I supposed to do? Never talk about dead people?" "That the most sensible thing you've said all year!" Rita tells him. Charlie tells Jason he's going to check on Shelley.
He finds her on the stairs and they make up. Charlie says he's sorry and they agree Shelley should try to shrug things off more. They kiss.
Sophie has been watching and rushes back under the table, taking more food with her. "They're snogging!" she tells Chesney. "That's disgusting!" he says. Sophie tells him he only thinks that because he's never tried it. She claims she's done loads of snogging.
In another corner of the room, Gail is telling her mother she's upset that Eileen is there. "I hoped she'd go and visit him wherever he is and pull a pink cracker with him." Sarah tells her not to be upset -- she's not upset at all. "Nothing's going to bother me again after the year I've had." Gail says she thinks she'll have Richard on her shoulders for the rest of her life. Audrey tells her it's a new year so there should be a new start. Nearby, a green tablecloth shakes violently and we hear Chesney's voice: "Urrgghhh!! Get off me, woman!" He sounds disturbingly like Jack Duckworth.
In the bar, Ken has arrived with Adam, who is now dark-haired and about six-foot three! Frankie wonders how old he is and Danny suggests 16 or 17. "I bet he wouldn't disappear the minute his mum's back's turned," she mutters. She's not so upset about the boys leaving, but because she didn't get asked, and she's not been to a club for ages. "And I bet I could show that Leanne trollop a thing or two." Danny tells her it's not a competition with Leanne, and that she and Candice are just two-minute wonders. Les and Cilla are in a booth. She's getting really fed up with fetching and carrying for him. "I could have been the dancing queen tonight," she moans. "Young and sweet and only 17." "Seventeen!" cries Les. "You're 43!" "I'M 39!!!" she corrects him emphatically.
Eileen meets Gail at the door to the ladies'. They glare at each other. There is a moaning line-up at the bar. Jack says he wishes he could get Vera to leave him, but Fred says they belong together. Steve says he thought he and Karen belonged together. Norris says it was like that with his first wife, Myrtle, "till she changed." Kevin says nothing. Fred says all women change. "Aye, into their mothers," agrees Jack. He claims V's mother was an ugly old bag who doubled for Boris Karloff. Jack and Vera have been married 47 years -- he calculates it by it being "a few months" before the Munich air crash. Fred claims men are not complete without a woman, although no-one can make a man a bigger fool than a woman. He mentions Penny King and Orchid to back up this theory. "It's a pity we need women," says Norris. "We should be like worms -- able to procreate with ourselves." The rest stare at him in horror. "Where's the fun in that?" asks Kevin.
In the back, Blanche is complaining that she's had Sally Webster going on as if she's the only woman who has ever had to work and look after a family. They discuss Sally's former plan to send Rosie to stage school and the fact that Rosie is now at Oakhill instead. Vera's seen Rosie in her boater and isn't impressed. "It's not doing her any good," she says. "She'll be going to university and it will be two fingers up to Sally." Rita defends Rosie. Blanche says it's the other Webster child she feels sorry for. "It's like Royalty," she says. "An heir and a spare. There will be no posh school for her -- forever in her sister's shadow. Then one day she'll snap and we'll read about her killing spree in the papers. . . " She is interrupted by a red head popping out from under a nearby table. "Do you lot mind -- going on upsetting folk!" A tearful Sophie comes out from under the table and stomps off. As the women look somewhat shamefaced, Chesney tells them what for. "Call yourself adults! You want your legs slapping!"
Deirdre has gone outside to have a smoke. She tells Shelley it's habit, even though she's allowed to smoke inside the pub. Deirdre offers Shelley support, because they were almost family before, but Shelley is very defensive. She tells Deirdre that Bev and Liz are wrong about Charlie. "He makes me feel safe. He's a real bloke and I like that." Deirdre reminisces about being married to a builder and how mad that was. "Well, he were a plumber," she says. "I never knew where I was from one minute to the next." She says Ken is more sensitive. "Ray was more manly." She tells Shelley about how she and Ray were due to go off to Holland to start a new life when she found out about his deceit. She tells Shelley that the worst thing was when she found herself doing the same thing to someone else. She hates herself for the lies she has told and the pain she has caused.
In the back room, the line-up of ladies who gossip has an extra, carrot-topped face in the middle of it. He is apparently starving and they are feeding him. They agree he probably doesn't get much of anything at home. "I suppose his mother does her best," Emily says. Vera is horrified. "Do you always have to see the best in everyone?" she demands. Cilla is a horrible mother who leaves Chesney in the house on his own and forgets he exists when it suits her. Chesney tells them his mum didn't get any food in for Christmas and they had to have beans on toast. "I didn't mind not having sprouts, though. I 'ate sprouts!" He wanted a bike "but I shouldn't have said so, because them as wants don't get." "Well, that's true enough," agrees Rita. "I didn't want a mountain bike or one with fifty million gears or owt," Chesney says. "I just wanted a bike." Then he and Schmeikel could go to the Red Rec together. Instead of getting a bike, he got a chess set. "Only no-one in our house knows how to play it and some of the pieces are missing." That does it. The purses come out. "Chesney, don't tell your mam," Rita says as she slips him some cash. "Spend it all on yourself," Betty says, giving him more. And Vera kisses him.
Out in the bar, Deirdre gives Ken a big smacking kiss on the lips. She tells him it wasn't for anything special, then asks how Adam is, and kisses Ken again. Nearby, Adam bumps into Sarah. We learn that he's nearly 17. (I checked, and Susan Barlow/Baldwin left the Street in 1987, so that one age the programme makers haven't meddled with)
Violet moves to the bar, asking who is next. Eileen places her order, but gets told by Gail that she was next. Eileen asks after Nick, which obliges Gail to ask after Todd. They sort of make up. Eileen says what happened wasn't really anything to do with them -- they were both just looking out for their kids. Eileen wants to put it all behind them, but Gail says some things can't be forgotten. "I don't want to be your enemy," Eileen says. "You're not my friend," Gail says, "but you're not my enemy." She admits she always liked Todd. She asks Eileen to warn the family if Todd is planning to visit. Eileen doesn't think he'll be back. Gail pays for Eileen's vodka and cola and they drink to the grandson they both lost. "To Billy."
On the stairs, Chesney is counting his cash. Twelve pounds! "They fall for it every time," he says.
In the bar, Cilla tells Les that Chesney will have to help him to the gents' because she's off to the ladies'. While she's gone, the jukebox blares out "Rocking all over the world," and Les gets up, playing air guitar with his crutch. Unfortunately, Cilla comes out and catches him and everyone else in the bar is hugely entertained by the resulting row. Suddenly it is nearly midnight and Fred and Shelley hush everybody and get the champagne ready. Fred wants to find a first footer, but Shelley says there's no time. "The bongs have started." As Big Ben's bell chimes the hour, everyone links hands, with some sniping between Rita and Cilla who are next to each other, and start "Auld lang syne". Then there is lots of kissing, with Charlie's lips lingering a tad too long on Violet's.
Out in the street, Chesney rushes to let Schmeikel out of the house and give him a hug. Behind him, Ken leads a conga line out into the street.
As fireworks fill the air overhead, the screen says: "A happy New Year from all at Coronation Street."
And from me, too.