Monday 1 January 1996
The episode centred on the new year exploits of various members of the cast kicking off with the Watts household and Curly preparing to go into work as after all it is now his branch and he has to put in an appearance. There is a touch of Curly/Raquel banter at the breakfast table as they compare their status in life but nothing too deep. Meanwhile next door The Malletts are having a spot of bother with their central heating and they are intent to let the rest of the street know about it. Gary Mallett sets about one of the radiators with a hammer and proceeds to spend the rest of the episode annoying people with a barrage of noise from his efforts in trying to fix things. Coupled with the fact that his wife has a low tolerance to the cold and we hear her constant complaining about how her "toes will fall off" if things get any worse. It would seem these two are shaping up into the Junior Duckworths quite nicely. Alma and Gail are in the cafe doing a quick resume on the new years menu and attempting to resolve the pricing. All is going reasonably well until Audrey comes in still getting excruciating mileage out of the whole OBE business. The fact that Alf has circulated a video of his acceptance with Betty has further roused her wrath. Meanwhile Mike arranges some work for Bill in the shape of converting one of his larger rooms into two smaller ones. Bill goes to price up the job and we see the re-emergence of Roy the geek from upstairs and a cameo shot of Dreary. Bill prices up the job and submits his pricing to Mike in the Rovers later on. Whilst they are summing up the cost and measurements etc. We see Roy the geek is actually something of a wizard with figures as he helps Bill and a perplexed Mike with the measurements on the proposed flats. Meanwhile Denise goes shopping with her mundane sister who speaks of nothing much but her husband's affair. Denise begins to feel uncomfortable about this and tries to set her sister's mind at rest and judging by the effect I think she does manage to placate her a little. Audrey continues her rant and raving in the Rovers with Alf until he relents and to shut her up decides to spend some money on her. He decides to have an official OBE portrait done to keep her quiet, of course this means new hairdo and clothing etc..etc. Steve McDonald takes a bit of a ribbing from Mike and the regulars over the bent Scotch much to the obvious distaste of Vicky. Whereas The Malletts finish the episode by fusing the electric's of the house and plunging themselves into darkness (Over the course of the episode they manage to deprive themselves of heat, light, water).
Wednesday 3 January 1996
The episode tonight saw Don off to see his solicitor about the legal row over the house. He returned later in jubilant mood explaining to Josie how the barrister who would be representing him was capable of making him appear to have been the model husband in an idyllic marriage with Ivy. His mood was buoyant until later when he began thinking of how Gail and Martin's representative could possibly dig up some of his own darker secrets such as his pestering of Denise some time ago. Meanwhile The Mallets household was still not ship shape and Gary was being kept at a distinct arms length by his wife due to the fact he had endured an electrical shock . She believed that because he had experienced a shock if she touched him she would receive one as well. Meanwhile Bill and Jim set about doing the work on Baldwin's flats. On removing a section of walled partition they found an old metal fireplace which was apparently of some value. Taking a "finders keepers" approach they took the liberty of putting in the van so they could take it away and sell it. Roy (the loony) spotted them and due to his honest nature he was about to tell Mike . After they talked to him for a while though his silence was more or less assured. However Jamie who made a reappearance tonight could not be bought so easily his silence would cost them £5. Meanwhile over at Firman's Curly was talking to Ann (the young shelf stacker who we have already surmised fancied him) she was basically explaining to Curly that she was thinking of moving on to pastures new until Curly convinced her to stay. I predict that in time to come she will rise through the ranks to become a possible assistant to Curly. Curly also had a grievance about how he hardly seemed to see Raquel very much these days as she was constantly working in the Rovers. Meanwhile Denise had a visit from Brian the accountant although it was purely a vocal meeting and nothing else took place. Denise in fact seemed to be showing the occasional signs of a conscience as they spoke. Ken of course remains completely oblivious to any wrong doings and was merely looking forward to Daniel's first Birthday party. Steve and Vicky had another meeting with Vicky's Uncle in an attempt to keep Steve out of jail. When it came to telling the truth Steve seemed to be definitely holding back and even went so far as to start chewing his bloody fingers again.
Friday 5 January 1996
Don's paranoia rose to new heights tonight as he worried over the implications of the up and coming court battle over the house. His concern was that all his skeletons would come tumbling out of the closet when the whole episode went to court. His mood became bleaker as the episode went on until finally he ended up screaming at Gail like a man deranged. Meanwhile Ken and Denise prepared for Daniel's birthday party with Rita popping around early to drop off her presents but not stopping for the party on the grounds of her differences with The Webster family. The Malletts were still fretting over the condition of the electric's in their house. They went as far as to seek Bill's advice on the matter and his opinion was not favourable. Gary spoke to Jack in the pub about the matter in an indirect manner and Jack attempted to put Gary's mind at ease on the subject. Gary's wife however was not so forgiving as she was prepared to get a quote to have the house rewired and then drop the quote on Jack and Vera's hands. Vera seemed more than prepared for this eventuality and warned Jack to be on his guard. Meanwhile at the Birthday Party the house was full of screaming kids and the party seemed to be in full swing. Suddenly Brian arrived with his wife in tow, within moments he had collared Denise in the kitchen and was speaking in hushed tones about how he was in love with her. This situation put Denise on shaky ground and obviously made her nervous. She spurned any suggestions he made and he stormed off in a temper. Meanwhile Curly was recruiting at Firman's freezers and he was in the mind to promote Ann the shelf stacker to his personal assistant. Before making such a move though he sought the approval of Raquel on the grounds that he might be suspected of promoting an attractive woman for the wrong reasons. Raquel had no idea what he was on about and gave him her blessing to go ahead. It was also revealed that Liz McDonald was an applicant for a job at Firman's freezers however her lack of retail experience made her a non-starter. Curly told Raquel to keep this information under her hat whereas Jim seemed to think that Liz would be in with a good chance when he spoke to Curly that afternoon (more of a case of who you know etc...).When Curly tried to talk Ann into accepting the position she seemed most hesitant about accepting on the grounds of the responsibility involved however she said she would think about it. Meanwhile Steve McDonald made the highly unwise move of going to see the supplier of the dodgy whisky. It transpires that he knows the supplier Malcolm Fox quite well and it would seem Malcolm has spoke to the Police and his barrister to engineer a shorter sentence. Steve was all bravado of course throughout this conversation yet later on over a meal with Vicky he could do little but whinge about the state of British Justice. Minor storylines this episode were that Bill and Jim's work on the flats was completed and Mike was secretly happy with the work. He seemed to be none the wiser to the real value of the fireplace. So for now Jim and Bill have got away with their indiscretion for now. However this being soap land I can't see that working out like that for long.
Worth adding that what came out of Steve's meeting was that not only did he KNOW the whiskey was stolen but he'd also originally asked to become a partner (50-50) on the whole shipment although this request had been turned down. Of course later on with Vicky he denied completely that he'd known the stuff was stolen, going into his hypocritical speech about the innocent and the British justice system.
Monday 8 January 1996
A somewhat quickly paced and enjoyable episode tonight kicking off with The Malletts on the warpath over the dodgy electrics in their house. Judy had ordered an estimate and was all set to present it to the Duckworth's that dinner time. Meanwhile Don was wallowing in a mire of paranoia and despair as he sat imagining the consequences of the court case and all his dirty little secrets being unveiled. Jodie was as supportive as she could be but even that couldn't lift Don's spirits. In fact the previous Friday's little outburst from Don was the topic of conversation between Gail and Martin and Alma. None of them seemed to have sussed out what Don was on about in regards to the "funny phone calls" but as the conversation drew to a close Gail seemed to realise what he had been on about. Cue an entrance from Mike Baldwin who began cracking jokes about the criminal element in the presence of Steve & Vicky. This of course inflamed who threatened to sue for slander. Baldwin retorted with a comment to the likes of "You obviously don't know his past" in reference to Steve. Meanwhile Brian the accountant came knocking on Denise's door eager to continue their secret liaison. Denise adamantly refused to continue their affair. Brian was in anguish over her decision and seemed unable to accept the situation (did anyone else notice how clingy young Daniel was getting in this scene). Mavis dropped her foot in it by telling Liz how Rita and Sally didn't get on anymore. Rita was understandably upset by this remark and an apologetic Mavis later went out to try and make amends for her misdeeds by talking to Sally and trying to act as a mediator in peace talks. Meanwhile the Malletts presented the quote for the rewiring to the Duckworths and were promptly told where they could stick it. Undeterred by these actions The Mallets switched tactics and began using a little subterfuge to get their own way. Gary turned up offering the olive branch to Jack suggesting that the women should fight this little battle out between themselves. He asked Jack to come round for a drink and to watch the sport on Satellite TV that evening saying that Judy would be out. Thus Jack went round with a few bottles and they sat down (with Judy strangely present)for a drink. Jack however was unaware his pints were spiked with Vodka and it seemed that he was being coerced into agreeing to paying for the electrics. Thankfully Vera intervened and saved him from doing anything rash. Their actions got them barred from the Rovers however. Meanwhile Curly promoted a very nervous Ann to be his personal assistant. Already as they discussed the policy of customer input she ran rings round Curly so I think she could become quite an interesting match with Curly. He took her into the Rovers to celebrate with a drink whilst Raquel announced she would be stepping down from evening shifts behind the bar at the Rovers. Also finally after what seems an age Rita and Sally finally settled their differences and had a drink together. Also there was yet an another argument between Steve and Vicky in The Rovers as she questioned him further over the dodgy scotch. If ever this was a match made in hell this was it. Over at Ken and Denise's house there was announcement to be made. Ken was somewhat nervous about what Denise was saying but was surprised when she asked him to marry her. Ken agreed to her proposal. I reckon Brian is going to be round the corner with a spanner in the works. Other minor storylines this episode were Liz feeling a bit sorry for herself over being unemployed and Curly having to break the news to her that she hadn't got the job at Firmans.
Wednesday 10 January 1996
Curly had a day off from Firman's to go shopping with Raquel, although he kept in contact by phone with his newly promoted trainee assistant Ann who kept ringing him for advice.
Gary Mallett spoke to Jack to test the water and see if he and his wife Judy could still go in The Rovers. Jack despite plenty of grumbling from Vera on the subject relinquished their ban from the pub.
Don's nerves finally got the better of him over the house situation and he went to see Gail to inform her that he was prepared to withdraw his application from the courts over trying to gain ownership of the house. There was still an uneasy atmosphere as Gail and Martin along with Don and Josie sat down for peace talks with Gail as an unofficial chairperson of the meeting. A few times it looked like Don's temper might flare and the whole process be back to square one. Eventually though matters were ironed out and Don got the house at half price for £12,000 with Nicky's agreement.
Over at the Rovers Vera puzzled over the pub bookkeeping whilst Jack wanted to go out for a couple of hours to buy some pigeons. To alleviate the short staffing situation Jack recruited Liz for a one off lunch time shift . Vera played the high and mighty landlady for awhile until she discovered Liz's experience did count for something especially when it came to changing a barrel.
We saw the return of Trish tonight and it looked as though she is in deep trouble financially. It would appear she has fallen behind in the payment of fines and tonight she even went as far as to sell her TV to Roy the loony from upstairs. In essence it appeared he bought the TV as a sympathy gesture more than anything else though.
The marriage of Steve and Vicky appeared to be heading for even more troubled waters as Steve's behaviour generally became worse. It was Vicky's birthday and the entire day was brought down by Steve and the matter of the court case. It seems no matter what effort she makes towards him he basically doesn't seem to give a damn and in tonight's episode it really showed. Vicky spoke of her concern about if he went to prison. Steve's nonchalant answer was to the effect "It doesn't matter as there were no kids involved and she had plenty of money anyway". Also to top matters off at the end of the episode he told Vicky he had found a way to keep himself out of jail. It would mean paying off the shady Malcolm Fox so he would change his evidence to keep Steve in the clear. Vicky didn't look happy but like the love struck fool she is she'll probably go along with it.
Other minor storylines involved the news of Ken's impending marriage to Denise spreading like wildfire and Dreary giving her blessing. Raquel buying Curly some underpants and promptly showing them off to the Rovers occupants. Liz still hadn't found gainful employment after being turned down by a tele-sales organisation.
Friday 12 January 1996
Steve McDonald furthered his plans to keep himself out of jail tonight with another display of thoroughly despicable behaviour. He basically played on Vicky's love for him to convince her to give him £3000 to hand over to Malcolm Fox so he would change his evidence. Meanwhile Gail told Alma about the house business being resolved and the imminent pay-out to Nick.
Meanwhile The Duckworths were discussing the Malletts over at The Rovers, Vera was discussing with Jack how the streets newest arrivals had lowered the tone of the neighbourhood since moving in. Jack however was more defensive of them as he had noted their ability to consume large amounts of beer on their premises. His opinion was altered somewhat when they received a quote for the rewiring of their old house in the post. At that point he decided they did have a common streak after all.
Denise and Ken were in romantic form smooching on the doorstep before she packed him off to school for the day. In fact Denise's attitude was surprisingly positive about their impending marriage. She told Fiona and Maxine that she felt that she and Ken actually had a good solid future ahead of them.
Her mood was lessened somewhat shortly after that as she went up to the flat only to discover Brian waiting for her. He had obviously still not accepted the fact that she wanted the affair to end. Denise however soon put paid to any ideas he might have got when she broke the news of her impending marriage to him. For a few moments Brian stood there in stunned disbelief almost refusing to take the news in. Denise stood her ground though and asked for the keys to her flat back. Brian gave her the keys and promptly stormed out.
Meanwhile Gail and Martin were at the solicitors with Nick awaiting the cheque from Don for the house. Don however didn't show up as he had preferred to bring the money into the solicitors earlier that day. When he wasn't there Gail's suspicions instantly began to fear the worst however as soon as the cheque was handed over her fears were laid to rest. So with the cheque handed over the whole matter can be laid to rest. Nicky has some money and Don has his house.
Meanwhile Steve anxiously awaited the return of Vicky from the bank with the £3000. She returned not to be greeted with any thanks for her actions but merely with Steve's somewhat cruel and dismissive attitude. At this point Steve put forward another part of his scheme. He insisted that she should go and meet with Malcolm Fox on the grounds that she would have more success in negotiating with him. Vicky was somewhat disturbed by this but nonetheless agreed to go along with the plan.
Meanwhile young Jamie inflicted himself upon Roy upstairs. There was in fact a double agenda for this as Jamie was using Roy's mathematical talents to get his homework done. Coupled with the fact that Trish had sold her TV to Roy in the previous episode so Jamie had nothing to watch. Roy was initially hesitant in letting Jamie watch TV as he declared he had no license and strictly speaking he would be setting a bad example. Jamie got around this line by declaring his mother had already set him a bad example so it didn't matter. What followed was Roy giving Jamie a lecture about television and communication which fell upon deaf ears as Jamie fell asleep.
Steve and Vicky went to the car lot owned by Malcolm Fox and whilst cowardly Steve sat in the car. Vicky went inside to do the negotiating with Fox. Despite being nervous she began negotiating with Fox who initially got the idea that Vicky might be the bargaining chips in this little deal. Vicky laid her cards on the table and told Malcolm that if he changed his story for the police he would get £1500 there and then and a further £1500 after the trial. Fox took the news cooly and asked to see the money which Vicky promptly produced. At that point Fox changed the rules a little by upping the fee from a total of £3000 to £6000 which he declared would be his sum for keeping Steve out of jail. Vicky sat in stunned silence as Malcolm took the £3000 from her.
Minor storylines this episode were Curly and Raquel discussing what they would do with their nights in when she stopped working at The Rovers in the evenings. Curly obvious had ideas but they were seemingly a million miles from Raquel's. Jack secretly tried to discuss the wiring problems with the Malletts in Vera's absence and possibly do a deal. Percy tried to get Liz a job in the Rovers and Liz had to endure Vera's comments about her appearance and age to be in with a chance. Finally Nick thanked Don for the cheque and it would seem their friendship is back on again.
Monday 15 January 1996
Tonight's episode brought the Steve McDonald affair to a head as he prepared to go to court over receiving the stolen scotch. Whilst Jim made his preparations to go and support his son. Liz showed how she truly felt about the entire matter. She believed him guilty and wanted as little as possible to do with the whole business.
Meanwhile we saw Trish return to a more prevalent role tonight. It was becoming increasingly obvious that as far as Trish was concerned things were going from bad to worse and we were seeing as Rita put it "a desperate lady". Trish's problems stem from the fact that she owes money left, right and centre. Coupled with the fact that she seems unable to get a job and the fact she has to support Jamie as well only makes matters worse.
Trish's desperation became even more evident when she packed Jamie for the evening to a friend's house. She then proceeded to make herself look glamorous for a "visitor". Enter Mike Baldwin who came around to the flats believing there was problem with the accommodation. However Trish had invited him around merely to offer herself to him. Declaring she could make it fun for him and such like. Potentially a situation of prostitution. Mike turned her down flat and warned if she tried that again she would be on the streets "where she belonged".
Denise's sister turned up at Ken and Denise's house in a somewhat distraught state. She was declaring her intentions to leave Brian for his affair. Denise obviously shocked at this little revelation began doing some fast talking to bring her round to the idea of sticking with Brian and told her not worry as all marriages have rough patches. Later Ken even volunteered to go and have a chat with Brian to try and smooth things over. As you can imagine Denise wasn't too keen on the idea at all and quickly talked him out of it.
In court Malcolm Fox took the stand and kept his end of the bargain up by clearing Steve's name stating he had lied in his statement to the police. This left the Police with nothing on Steve and they were forced to drop the charges. However the officer dealing with the matter commented that he was sure their paths would cross again. A somewhat nerve wracked Vicky completed the transaction with Fox's wife and handed over the remainder of the money in the court toilets.
Hence they all made their way back to the Rover's to celebrate Steve's name being cleared. Liz even went as far as apologising for thinking him guilty. Uncle Nick (Steve's defence lawyer and Vicky's advisor) however had twigged on to what had happened and was somewhat disgusted to say the least. He informed Vicky that the Police would more than likely be aware of what had happened and would more than likely be looking to find evidence of purgery. Vicky's mood dropped on hearing this and the fact that she could possibly be incriminated later on due to Steve's actions. This didn't stop Steve partying though even going as far as buying Fiona a drink right under Vicky's nose..
Wednesday 17 January 1996
Tonight's episode coasted along comfortably with Trish still in the depths of despair over her seemingly unstoppable downward spiral. Hardly helped by the unkind cajoling of Mike Baldwin. Her efforts to find work were still drawing the proverbial blank. This was in turn making her usually volatile temper shorter fused than normal. In most cases though her bark was worse than her bite and the recipients didn't usually come away too offended.
Meanwhile Ken was full of impending matrimonial joy as he wandered around the Street handing out invitations to it's residents. Denise too was exhibiting signs of happiness and to any casual onlooker Ken and Denise might have looked like the proverbial happy couple.
Over at the Rovers Vera showed her distaste over Jack's dishevelled and generally unkempt appearance. She went on about his appearance insisting that now he had the elevated status of landlord it was time to make an effort and smarten up a little.
Vicky and Steve were experiencing their taste of victory following Steve's unlawful release following the court case. Unfortunately the whole affair had obviously left a bitter taste in Vicky's mouth as it was obvious she was miserable and still distrustful of Steve. Even though she made him promise that his "dodgy days" were over it was quite evident that she didn't believe him. It would also seem that her conscience is being weighed upon by events of late.
It was only made worse by the arrival of a congratulatory Jim & Liz who came around to their flat. Both unaware of what truly went on with the court case. After Steve cracked open yet another bottle of Champagne they all went out for a shopping trip. Meanwhile Trish was now in the Rovers and her mood was grimmer than ever. Bill was as supportive as he could be but nothing could raise her spirits. Meanwhile Ken returned home to find the police on his doorstep. They had apparently come to arrest Trish (who had lived there previously) and send her for a week in prison because of her unpaid debts and fines.
Ken went back into the Rovers and asked her for a private word outside. Upon emerging from the pub however the Police were waiting for her and in somewhat predictable fashion her temper exploded aggressively yet again. Amongst other things she compared Ken to "a school-yard snitch" before being bundled into the Police car and driven away.
The McDonalds returned from their shopping spree with Steve in jubilant mood and spending money as if it was going out of fashion. His mood was as cocky as ever, if not more so. Meanwhile Vicky looked as though she was going to burst into tears at any moment as she stood there it would seem wrestling with her conscience. A humorous remark from Andy about bribing the judge didn't help matters either.
Jack meanwhile had taken Vera's lecture about appearance further to heart than she might have realised. Jack had thus taken himself off to Denise's salon for a haircut. Thus we saw him having his hair washed by none other than Maxine who suggested the styles he could have were limited mainly by the limited amount of hair. However he soon returned to the Rovers with a conventional short back and sides looking most dapper however it left no lasting impression on Vera. She remained resolutely unimpressed by his tidied appearance.
Back at Ken and Denise's they were playing happy families as Ken revealed how his day had gone and they both sympathised with Trish's plight. Basically from their viewpoint all was well with the world and it would seem nothing could upset that. This in mind Ken elected to take baby Daniel for a walk around the block for five minutes. Meanwhile only minutes earlier we had seen Brian come looking in the salon for Denise.
Brian duly resumed his search in the next logical place which was namely Ken's house. Denise was shocked by his sudden appearance and he was most insistent that get the chance to put his side of the argument across. Once inside he began to explain to Denise how much he loved her and how his own marriage had become a loveless sham. Denise became increasingly distraught as she had to sit and listen to him go on about his feelings.
Ken returned from his walk with Daniel who was now soundly asleep so Ken quietly crept inside so ,as not to wake him. He heard voices and saw Brian but assumed nothing, thinking that Brain was discussing his marital problems with Denise. Then Ken entered the room and saw Denise in floods of tears (a veritable mascara storm). Seeing the situation he told Brian to stop involving Denise in his marital affairs and sort it out between himself, his wife, and the "other woman". Brian went quiet for a moment before flatly spilling the beans and announcing Denise was the "other woman". Denise at this point was shaking like a leaf and it all took a while for Ken to absorb. His face was somewhat blank at first before he suddenly took on a countenance of rage.
He made short work of Brian almost throwing him down the hallway towards the front door. Then he pined him up against the door itself, with Denise screaming and shouting and trying to pull him off all the while. Ken then opened the door and threw him out. He fixed Denise with a most frosty stare before telling her to get out before he killed her...Charming !!
Denise was at this point a babbling wreck who was pleading with Ken to listen whilst she let out a flood of explanations as to what had happened and about how it had all happened a long time ago. Ken simply stood there silent until he ordered her out again. The last thing we saw was her running down the street in tears with Brian getting into his car and driving away.
Friday 19 January 1996
Tonight's episode dealt with the aftermath of the revelations of Denise's affair with Brian the accountant. She spent the night over at the flat above the salon whilst Ken spent the night at home looking after Daniel. He made his first public appearance in the Kabin and Mavis and Rita noticed his subdued manner although he revealed nothing.
When Denise finally did show up at Ken's to try and resolve matters Ken was very bitter about the way things had turned out. He made it quite clear he wanted Denise out of his life. It was obvious at that point that Ken was not going to budge an inch on the subject. So Denise spent most of the day alone in the flat above the salon until she was disturbed by Fiona. It was obvious to Fiona that there was something wrong but she didn't push the issue.
Meanwhile elsewhere in the street, Gail and Martin received a bill from the solicitors for services rendered in the near court drama regarding Don's house. They had run up a bill of over a thousand pounds. Martin felt they should dip into Nicky's (Hey it's Nick) funds to pay the difference. However Audrey chipped in by claiming it should be Don that footed the bill as he was the loser in the case (admittedly that's not strictly true).
Fiona's boyfriend Tony was more than eager to find time alone with Fiona. His idea was to get rid of Maxine somewhere for the evening. However his hopes were dashed when Fiona informed Tony that Maxine had "reserved" the flat for her own use that night. Thus it was them that had to make themselves scarce.
Denise's sister appeared at Ken's house in a state of worry over the fact Brian had not been home that evening. She was in fact oblivious to the truth of the affair. Thus Ken took it upon himself to inform her of Denise and Brian's infidelity. Within minutes she was at the salon giving Denise a dressing down over her behaviour. She stated she had suspected everyone but her own sister of such a betrayal. Denise for the most part was somewhat remorseful and at a loss to explain what driven her to start the affair. It ended with Allison declaring she never wanted to see Denise again and then storming out.
The next visitor was none other than Brian who turned up in an effort to win Denise over. At first she flatly rejected him despite his declaration of love for her. He expressed his view how Ken was not the one for her. He also mentioned how together they could salvage something from the wreckage of the relationships they had destroyed. Denise seemed to accept this as the only way she could win so she took up his offer of a life with him.
Jamie came round to see Dreary, in his usual inimitable fashion he had invited himself round for tea. He told Dreary about his mother's incarceration before hinting that his foster family for the week were "nutters". He made a beeline attempt at trying to set up residence at Dreary's house for the week. After some banter she relented and let him stay for the night but insisted he go back in the morning.
Finally, Denise returned to see Ken in what seemed like a last ditch attempt at reconciliation. Deep down she knew it was hopeless but she tried anyway. Ken instantly assumed she had come to take Daniel but he was mistaken. Instead she took the unexpected approach and explained how although she loved him she could not offer the stability that a child needs. So basically she left Daniel in Ken's capable hands and drove off into the night with Brian at her side.
Monday 22 January 1996
Tonight's episode showed Ken coping on his own since the departure of Denise and in many ways putting on a brave face considering events of the past few days. Denise's departure was still more or less secret from the rest of the street and for the time being Ken was content to keep it that way.
Audrey on the other hand was in buoyant mood due to receiving a letter from her son in Canada. He announced his intention to come and visit Audrey and his long lost sister Gail. This idea appealed to Audrey no end and even Gail seemed keen on meeting her brother who she had not seen for over 30 years. Alf on the other hand was hardly as forthcoming about the matter. He was fearful that events of the past, namely when Audrey nearly ran away with her son's adoptive father, would be raised again. Thus he stated that when her son arrived he would rather be left out of affairs for the duration of his stay.
Over at Dreary's house Jamie had taken up residence on her settee. Both of them were fully aware that the social services would be looking for Jamie. Thankfully Roy from the flat upstairs had got the police off their trail by telling them that Dreary was on holiday and her flat was empty. Jamie was adamant he was going to stay for the remainder of the week, whilst Trish was locked up. He announced that if the social services turned up then he would put on an act for them in an effort to stay where he was. At that moment the Social Services arrived, accompanied by a police officer. Jamie as predicted put on the act by giving everyone the silent treatment. The social service woman was more or less taken in by the vulnerable yet tough act Jamie was portraying. With some coaxing from Dreary the Social Services agreed to let Jamie stay for the rest of the week.
After the authorities left Dreary fully expected Jamie's act to dissolve. In fact what happened was quite the opposite to what Dreary expected. Jamie continued his near silent act morosely stating how he wanted his mother back. That was shortly before he dissolved into floods of tears proving he was not quite the hard man that we may all have previously thought.
Denise's absence had attracted the attention of Fiona and Maxine. They had both concluded quite accurately that something serious had occurred. Meanwhile Andy was in the depths of despair. He had come to the conclusion that his social life had come to a screeching halt. He took solace in the advice of Curly, who used his own life as an example, and stated how he had lacked courage and drive in his more formative years. Thus, suitably charged, Andy decided to go off and seek his fortunes with Maxine. He didn't get very far though because when he arrived to talk to Maxine she was engaged in conversation with Fiona and was more than a little dismissive of him. Thus he left more dejected than when he started. Whilst the girls in the salon hardly noticed his presence.
Ken was visited briefly by a colleague from the school and he took the opportunity to explain the situation he was going through. His colleague sympathised but advised him to get legal advice regarding the custody of Daniel.
Almost as soon as his colleague left Ken was visited by a more than curious Fiona. Ken instantly assumed that Denise had sent her to "deliver a message". In fact Ken wrongly assumed a great deal believing that whilst the whole affair had been going on Fiona had known about it. Fiona of course had not known and was obviously quite shocked about the revelation.
There were a few minor stories brewing mainly from Maud's reading of the tea leaves for Phyllis. The reading left Phyllis believing she was in for interesting times ahead. In fact what had really happened was Maud had got the cups the wrong way round, and it was Maud who had made a good prediction for herself.
Wednesday 24 January 1996
Tonight kicked off proceedings with Dreary sending Jamie off to school. He seemed to have settled in quite nicely at Dreary's flat for the duration of Trish's spell in prison. Alma came round to the salon to keep an appointment with Denise only to discover she was not there.
Fiona and Maxine were attempting to keep a dignified silence throughout the affair but Alma seemed to see through the charade. Eventually however all was obviously revealed because Alma turned up at Ken's house to offer her sympathies. Ken opened up to Alma somewhat and declared his intention to keep Daniel no matter what the consequences. She urged him not to be bitter but he seemed most adamant.
Meanwhile Maud and Phyllis had made plans for Percy in the shape of marriage proposals. Both of them had put their faith in the readings of the tea leaves. Thus Maud approached Percy first, and after a speech about how they had to make the most of their lives together, she popped the question. Percy was somewhat shocked by the question and after some stumbling declared he would think on the subject and give her an answer later. Thus, somewhat shell shocked, he ambled of to the Rover's for a drink and a chance to contemplate the answer. No sooner had he arrived in the pub though, Phyllis pounced. She delivered her proposal and instantly Percy got the idea that he was the victim of a joke.
Both Maud and Phyllis lost out as Percy vented his anger on Phyllis first, and then on Maud when he returned to the Corner shop later on. So it was down to Phyllis and Maud to decide who would get the man in the long run. They even wondered whether they should cut a deck of cards for the honours.
Meanwhile back at Ken's house Allison turned up on his doorstep. After some hesitation Ken invited her in and she began to talk to Ken about Denise. Her basic intention seemed to be to get Ken to accept Denise back into his home. This would prompt Brian back into her life, or so she had come to think. Ken's reaction was understandably negative. He told Allison straight that he and Denise were through and that was the end of the matter. This news distraught Allison and she became angry at Ken accusing him of being selfish, which was much to the amusements of Mike Baldwin who was watching from outside.
Meanwhile Jim and Bill were out and about delivering leaflets to promote their business. Jim took the liberty of dropping some leaflets in at the Bookies. There he discovered that Sean Skinner had employed a replacement for Liz. This news came only a short while after Liz had been made "redundant" due to over staffing problems.
Jim took the opportunity to confront Sean later in the pub when he came in with his new assistant. Sean took the opportunity to drop some hints about the Des and Liz's activity in the previous months gone by. I'm not sure whether Jim caught on though.
Minor happenings this episode were Curly inviting Ann his new assistant around for a meal. This put Raquel in a spin over what to cook. Audrey was somewhat emotional over Alf's attitude towards her visiting son. However after some of her usual emotional manipulation she won the day and Alf agreed to let him stay.
Friday 26 January 1996
Tonight kicked off with Jim showing great suspicion as to regard the reason for Liz's dismissal from the bookies in the previous months. Understandably Liz exhibited signs of nerves over the matter as there was the potential for another "Jim Blows Up" scenario.
Alma came to pay Ken another visit now that he had become a single parent. She was all reassuring words but Ken was having none of it. His mood was somewhat resolute and definitely tinged with more than a hint of bitterness. He seemed more than content to continue his life as he had been of late. Somewhat later in the episode Mike was laughing at Ken's predicament but he soon shut up when Alma rubbed it in that Ken had managed to keep his son ..... unlike Mike.
Also tonight showed the return of Trish who was fresh from her stint in prison for the week. Jamie proved determined to go and meet her as she was released. We saw a most tearful reunion between them before Trish came home. Once back she sat and talked to Dreary and she confided in her how unpleasant the entire experience had been. Dreary also confessed how she was going to miss Jamie being around as she had grown accustomed to him in the week gone by.
Audrey was in the Rovers with Alf and Fred Elliot, the butcher. Audrey revealed to a somewhat shocked Fred that she had a son. Eager to keep the details of her illegitimate children under wraps between her and Alf they had pretty soon concocted an elaborate tale of her previous husbands and how they were successful businessmen and the like. Alf however laid a warning at Audrey's door that she should be careful with her stories as people would begin to talk when her son did arrive.
Meanwhile Jim had returned home consumed with thoughts of his wife and the possibilities of an affair. What followed was Jim asking frankly for a truthful answer to his question. He wanted to know if there had been an affair. So Liz took the bull by the horns and came clean. She admitted that there had been an attraction between her and Des. She continued by saying though that nothing had happened and she had quit the job to save her marriage.
Jim didn't quite go ballistic when he heard the news but it was obvious he was somewhat angry. Both appointed blame to each other for the faults in their marriage. The argument didn't get resolved either as they were continued in the Rovers later.
Event of the evening was the dinner party at Curly and Raquel's. What had transpired was an obvious piece of match making in an effort to unite Ann and Andy. From the offset there was an obvious clash of personalities as they sniped at each other over the dinner table. Ann something of a believer in the old traditional values whilst Andy was something of a jaded realist. Despite frosty beginnings I think there could be some real chemistry between these two.
In the Rovers Liz was working behind the bar whilst Jim was playing darts with Bill. Des came in for a drink and was served by Liz. This attracted the attention of Jim who didn't do anything but stood there casting looks across the bar. So it seemed quite obvious that there is mileage left in this storyline yet.
Monday 29 January 1996
Tonight's episode opened with the corner shop being the victim of a burglary. Maureen turned up on the scene soon after the event and was in an eager mood to appoint blame to Maud about the occurrence. Maud defended herself with the statement that being wheelchair bound meant she couldn't reach the alarm to activate it at night. Regardless we saw Maureen displaying an uncharacteristic temper which went as far as to frighten off a potential buyer for the shop.
One of the big occasions of the night was the arrival of Audrey's long lost son from Canada. She was reunited with him at the airport where he arrived with a female colleague. Audrey of course instantly assumed the woman to be a romantic interest of her son's. Eager to spare any further potential embarrassment she arranged to make herself scare for the next day or so to allow Audrey and her son get reacquainted. I must say when they were reunited his reaction was somewhat lukewarm to say the least but on further inspection his nature did seem somewhat reserved.
Jim and Bill were busying themselves with fixing the damage to the corner shop caused by the break in. It was obvious Jim's heart wasn't in the work however as he was concerned over Liz's behaviour and his jealous streak had been roused over whether she had an affair or not. It seemed obvious he was distrusting of her now. In fact it was made worse by the fact she had gone away to visit her mothers and she was now out of his sight. Bill was no comfort either, the only words of wisdom he could offer were the fact that he had been two timed by his supposedly trustworthy wife as well.
Ken meanwhile had left Daniel in the capable hands of Sally despite Kevin's distaste to the idea. He was afraid of Sally being used as a baby-sitter for all and sundry again like she was before. What made matters worse was Ken was going to be working late which meant Daniel was at their house for the duration. Also later in the episode Mike revealed in a less than tactful manner that Denise had split with Ken. Naturally she went to see him as a shoulder to cry on. Nonetheless Ken was resolutely playing the hard bitten, and somewhat bitter, single dad who would accept help from no quarter (unless it was Sally...bless her ).
Gail meanwhile met up with her brother and they had a chance to get to know each other. Gail began by explaining that Audrey had over blown the nature of her and Alma's Cafe. In fact rather than being the swanky restaurant Audrey had painted as a picture in truth it was little more than a greasy spoon. There was some genial small talk but there was a lot more catching up to be done.
Josie and Don returned from their holidays looking tanned and for once they were even cracking smiles. There was even a bit of humorous banter over Ivy thrown in as Vera recounted their nights visiting strippers from years ago.
Wednesday 31 January 1996
Unfortunately Adrian was unable to watch tonight's episode and so we don't have the usual summary. Ian Smith has kindly written one for us, many thanks Ian.
The main point in tonight's story was Vera visiting Don and going to visit the upstairs loo where the light was broken. As she got to the landing wind blew and she went as white as a sheet. Yup. Ivy's ghost had made its appearance and seriously scared the hell out of our Vera, who fled the house shaking without explanation to Don. The episode ended with Don laughing out loud in the Rovers Return when he heard Vera's story and as he left the pub a wind howling down the street, blowing beer cans past him in true "Omen I, II or III" style. As he stopped outside his front door ridiculously loud and spooky banging noises were heard from the upstairs room where Vera claimed to have seen Ivy. Don turns pale. Fade-out music and credits! Very, very silly and it made me laugh out loud which I suspect it wasn't supposed to do.
Other developments seemed to be Kevin losing his rag with Ken after he was late to collect the baby and telling him to sort something out like he and Sally had done. When asked "like what?" Kevin put his foot firmly in it by saying something like "We got married". Before he could properly apologise for his mistake Ken had gone off in a huff.
The potential buyer has backed out of the corner shop purchase after the burglary, and Maureen revealed that she hadn't even told Reg about the break-in. Fiona and Maxine have decided to carry on with the salon without Denise - but it's obvious Maxine's heart isn't in it and she just wants to give up. Jim whinged on about Liz and was she being unfaithful behind his back (again!), and Audrey's son let slip that he'd already been to the UK twice before but hadn't told his mother. He claimed it was because he didn't know how Audrey would feel about him on home territory, but I reckon it was because he preferred to spend his time in London's gay bars.